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If you've been paying attention to draft coverage you're probably familiar with hitters the Jays could potentially take in Round 1 - Gordon, Tulowitzki, Zimmerman, Braun and Clement (although the first three are likely to be taken prior to the Jays pick).

But after that pick when the Jays select in the early to mid-rounds, beginning with their 3rd round pick somewhere around pick 88 (depending on whether Drew and Weaver sign prior to the draft) and every 30 picks thereafter, who might they be interested in?

One thing that I noticed about the players listed below is that most of them are in the SEC. There's a couple reasons for this. One, the SEC is one of the top conferences in the NCAA. Two, many of the parks in the SEC are severe pitchers parks, particularly Mississippi, Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, Mississippi St, South Carolina, and Georgia who all have historically had park factors under 80. Combine those two factors and the hitters in this league have understated stats.

Having said that, here's seven players to watch for on draft day:

Eli Iorg, OF, Tennessee
6'3", 200, 3/14/83
Baseball America Rank: 75

Year	ABs	Ave	Obp	Slg	BB	K
2005	230	0.391	0.442	0.696	19	28
2004	238	0.324	0.370	0.466	16      34
Yes, that's the son of Garth Iorg. Baseball America described Iorg as 'toolsy' which generally means a player's numbers aren't as good as one would expect. However, Iorg has had strong numbers for the Volunteers this season where you'd probably consider him even if he wasn't a 'toolsy' player. Given that combination chances are good that Iorg will be a 2nd round pick, but if he lasted until the third round the Jays could very well have another Iorg in the organization.
Chase Headley, 3B, Tennessee
6'2", 195, 5/9/84
Baseball America Rank: 128

Year	ABs	Ave	Obp	Slg	BB	K
2005	196	0.383	0.534	0.679	57	20
2004	112	0.295	0.389	0.393	17	14
2003	194	0.330	0.453	0.464	39	35
There's a couple interesting things here. One, his hitting line is quite impressive, and has spiked from last year. Two, the BB/K rate is incredible - it's Jayce Tingler-esque (Tingler was 48/9 his final year in college).
Brian Pettway, OF, Mississippi
6'1", 205, 7/29/83
Baseball America Rank: 129

Year	ABs	Ave	Obp	Slg	BB	K
2005	215	0.400	0.472	0.721	31	38
2004	203	0.305	0.373	0.448	23	29
2003	203	0.266	0.371	0.468	28	47
I had been keeping close tabs on Stephen Head, the 1B/P from Mississippi, as a potential pick of the Jays in the first round. As time has passed that's become less likely as he hasn't performed as well as expected this year. At one point Mike Green pointed out that Head wasn't even the best hitter on his team this year - some guy named Pettway was. So looking a little closer at Pettway I was surprised to see his hitting line - his stats spiked this year, apparently because he lost 20 pounds. Baseball America has him ranked at 129, but I'd guess that one of the college oriented teams would take a shot at him in the top 100.
Mike Costanzo, 3B, Coastal Carolina
6'3", 205, 9/9/83
Baseball America Rank: 123

Year	ABs	Ave	Obp	Slg	BB	K
2005	197	0.386	0.543	0.665	62	52
2004	231	0.359	0.479	0.740	50	52
2003	173	0.318	0.374	0.509	15	43
According to Baseball America Costanzo showed 'premium power' in the Cape Cod League in 2004, and was rated their 19th best prospect last summer. The Jays have seemingly favored players who have performed well in the Cape League in the past (for instance, Lind, Klosterman, and Metropoulos last year) - it's typically the only time to scout players using wood bats - so they might be giving Costanzo a long look this year.
Clete Thomas, OF, Auburn
6'0", 185, 11/14/83
Baseball America Rank: 99

Year	ABs	Ave	Obp	Slg	BB	K
2005	220	0.327	0.426	0.550	32	57
2004	216	0.329	0.429	0.514	35	41
2003	256	0.297	0.356	0.391	22	46
In Baseball America's top 200 draft rankings they noted that Thomas' performance 'never matched his plus across-the-board tools'. Granted, his numbers aren't outstanding, but they're still pretty solid (although a lot of Ks) and as noted above he plays in a pitcher's park against good competition. Thomas played in the Cape Cod League last summer and was rated the 20th best prospect by BA.
Josh Bell, C, Auburn
6'0", 200, 7/3/84
Baseball America Rank: 114

Year	ABs	Ave	Obp	Slg	BB	K
2005	224	0.339	0.402	0.558	20	38
2004	226	0.274	0.321	0.438	12	65
2003	200	0.295	0.338	0.490	11	47
After Clement and Teagarden there aren't a lot of top college catching prospects, and Bell is one of the better ones. Like many players his stats have jumped in his third year of college, and Bell won't turn 21 until July.
Seth Johnston, 2B/SS, Texas
6'3", 200, 3/12/83
Baseball America Rank: 80

Year	ABs	Ave	Obp	Slg	BB	K
2005	226	0.389	0.437	0.597	19	20
2004	267	0.296	0.340	0.457	16	41
2003	 95	0.253	0.290	0.389	 3	17
Johnston is the lone senior on this list. Because of that there's a chance that he'll be 'overdrafted' because his bonus will be less. With a larger budget and no second round pick there won't be the need for the Jays to take seniors as in years past, but the Jays like Big 12 players (their top 3 choices last year were all Big 12 players) and they may feel he's the best on the board and take him regardless of his class.

Next week I'll take a look at the pitchers that the Jays could take after they make their first pick.

Beyond the First Round - College Hitters | 25 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#117630) #
Very interesting, Pistol. I love Headley's age, power spike and low K rate. Any reports on his defence at third? Hmm, I think I'll do a little research.
Jordan - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#117631) #
Talk about your Three True Outcomes guy -- 44% of Costanzo's plate appeances resulted in a walk or a strikeout. That's a little too reminiscent of Jack Cust for my liking.

Great work as always, Pistol.
Ken - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#117632) #
That BB/K rate of Headley's is filthy, his 1984 DOB can't hurt him either. Both of which make me think he'll be gone before the Jays get round to their second pick. I hope i'm wrong- does anyone know anything about his defense at third?

This got me wondering, is there a general feeling at BB of the way management will lean this year re pitcher/hitter focus or maybe balanced approach?
Ken - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#117633) #
I see you were thinking the same thing as me, Mike. Beaten to the punch.
Pistol - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#117634) #
"Is there a general feeling at BB of the way management will lean this year re pitcher/hitter focus or maybe balanced approach?"

Just my own personal guess, but I think the Jays draft will be similar to last year - fairly balanced between pitchers and hitters (as opposed to the first two pitcher heavy drafts).


There's a couple interesting notes in the BA Draft Tracker. One, the Brewers might be interested in Ryan Braun, the 3B out of Miami with the pick before the Jays. Two, Wade Townsend looked better in workouts in Dunedin, apparently pitching in extended spring training, but did give up a HR to the newest Jay signee Leance Soto.

So if spectulation is correct the top 5 would go: Upton, Gordon, Tulowitzki, Zimmerman, and Braun.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#117635) #
I have no inside knowledge, but I'd guess that a balanced approach would be taken. The original goal was to have good pitching prospects at all levels, and objectively one would have to say that the goal has been achieved this year. The signings from Taiwan, Cheng and Keng, are looking very good, and have helped the overall system depth.

As for Headley, here's a little more. He's from Colorado, and was at University of the Pacific in his freshman year in 2003. He played third base and had a fielding pct. of .932. He transferred to University of Tennessee late in the year. In 2004, he sustained an unspecified injury (shoulder?), and spent most of the year at first base and DHing. He's back at third base this year, has started 9 DPs in 56 games, and has a fielding percentage of .918. The middle infielders on the Vols have typical 28 and 27 DP totals. I could not locate subjective reports on his range.
Jordan - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#117638) #
It's looking more and more like Jeff Clement will be the heavy favourite to go with the #6 pick. But youneverknow.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#117639) #
Hmm, Maybin or Clement would be available at #6 if the draft goes as Pistol has it. You can certainly make the case for Maybin.

Preferring the position player who is likely to help you sooner is probably not the best philosophy with a high first-round pick. You've got statistically maybe a 1 in 5 shot at a very good player, and with good scouting, you can probably reduce that to maybe 1 in 3. In this regard, you don't want to be hampered by wearing a short-term lens.
Stellers Jay - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#117640) #
An article at baseball america yesterday was discussing the Mariners possibly taking Mayberry with their first pick. I can't imagine re-drafting a player that they couldn't sign before and using the 3rd pick overall to do it. I'm really hoping that KC (most likely) cuts a pre-arranged deal to save money and overdrafts somebody ahead of Toronto. That would enable one of the premium bats to slide in to JP's lap.

Everything I've read, has the Jays showing zero interest in Maybin. Is this true or is it a smokescreen that will enable him to fall to them.? He's an excpetionally talented player. I know he's a highschooler, but I hope they don't pass on him if he falls to 6.

As far as the 2nd pick for toronto, I'm really hoping they pull the trigger on a "first round talent" that has slid over signability concerns. With no second pick and the increase in budget they have the money to spend in later rounds.
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#117641) #
If Maybin is there at six, I would really like to see the Jays take him... although Ricky Romero and Jeff Clement are nothing to sneeze at.

If outfielder Daniel Carte is still around in the third round he might be an interesting bat to take. He was the top player in the Cape Cod League in 2004 but struggled this season due to an oblique strain. He is the 46th rated prospect by BA.

I agree Mike Costanzo is another interesting draft option, as is catcher Chris Robinson, who is a solid all-around player, albeit unspectacular in any one aspect of his game.
Ken - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#117643) #
If the top of the draft goes as 'projected', Maybin would be available for the Jays. I would have thought he was going higher than that (would the brewers let him slip by? I'm not so sure). I know JP hasn't ruled out a high school hitter, so it would be very interesting if he was fell to the 6th pick.

I looks increasingly like Zimmerman, TT and Gordon won't be around by the time the 6th pick rolls around. Things may well change- I wonder what management already knows regarding the plans of other teams. I seem to remember from a BB piece last year that teams are given hints or told the probable choices of others choosing before them.
Stellers Jay - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#117644) #
If Weaver and Drew don't sign, are they even considered by Toronto at #6? Jeff Blair mentioned on the weekend that JP likes Drew and sees him as an OF that could move quickly.
Thomas - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#117647) #
Sometimes teams are honest with their plans, and other times they worry someone else might take their player and try to deceive others. Remember all the Brad Sullivan rumours floating around Toronto prior to the 2003 draft? JP sure looks like he made the right choice, there.

I agree with the sentiments about Maybin. When you have a premier high-school bat available, you have to take a look at him, I think. If the projections play out, I'd have to seriously consider taking Maybin at 6.
Pistol - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#117657) #
Part III of BP's draft study (for subscribers)

In more recent years (1990 on) the gap between HS and college players has shrunk to the point where they're just about even return on value at this point.
mendocino - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#117658) #
you might want to include Costanzo as a pitcher also

Coastal Carolina’s Mike Costanzo showed more aptitude on the mound than one National League area scout expected, touching 92 mph with his fastball and throwing three pitches for strikes. “He’s got a sweet, clean delivery and a big, strong body,” the scout said. “I thought he was going to walk off the mound, grab four seams and start throwing. Nope—his upper body was still, his arm was clean, and he threw a two-seamer, a wicked slider at times for strikes, and he also showed the ability to throw it off the plate and get guys to chase. Plus, he wants the ball.”

Chase Headley

Q: Mark from Boston asks:
Two names from the SEC that haven't gotten many headlines, despite putting up consistently excellent numbers: Chase Headley from Tennessee & Brian Pettway from Ole Miss. How good are they and where can they expect to be drafted?

A: John Manuel: Mark, don't know where you were when Chase Headley was the lead art on our website, but that's a pretty big headline. I already addressed Pettway earlier . . . Headley is a solid draft, he'll go great to a stats-oriented club because of his great BB-K ratio (52-16 last I checked) and production. He's average at third base, has average power and is athletic. He's just a very solid, college hitter, and those guys go well.

Mike Green - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#117659) #
Thank you, Mendocino. I noticed the chat reference on Headley, but BA wasn't working. Average D is maybe a little better than I would have guessed.
Brent S - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#117675) #
Craig, are you releasing your rankings this year? It was an invaluable resource come draft day.
Craig B - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#117680) #
When I get around to it. Possibly not at all. I'm busy with other things.
MatO - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#117681) #
Re the BP draft study Part III. Are college players still more likely to reach the majors? I didn't see it mentioned or is it rolled into the new value study? It would be interesting to see a breakdown between pitchers and hitters using the same parameters.
Pistol - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#117686) #
As far as I can tell they didn't break out the percentage that made the majors in recent years, just that the value between HS and college is remarkably close now.

I had e-mailed BP last week hoping they'd take a look at HS pitchers vs college pitchers and HS hitters vs college hitters and didn't get a reply. It's possible that'll be looked at in a future installment.

My real limited look at that issue showed that college hitters and HS hitters were similar, but college pitchers were better than HS pitchers. But I wouldn't make any bold proclamations off of that.
CaramonLS - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#117723) #
I'd also be interested in Seeing HS vs. College broken down by 5-10 rounds.

I'm wondering if its better to take HSers in the late rounds at the chance they might develop some talent one year, or take College guys.
jgadfly - Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 11:41 PM EDT (#117724) #
RE:Stellers Jay -
If Weaver and Drew don't sign, are they even considered by Toronto at #6? Jeff Blair mentioned on the weekend that JP likes Drew and sees him as an OF that could move quickly.

A ?...Can a team sign and then trade a draftee ? ie:Arizona signs Drew before draft and then trades him to the BJs for their #6 pick and they then draft Clement. This would seem to work out for both teams as Arizona doesn't lose last years pick and Toronto gets a very good bat, albeit expensive, as Drew is playing quite well in East Coast League (?)
Ryan C - Thursday, May 26 2005 @ 01:40 AM EDT (#117725) #
A ?...Can a team sign and then trade a draftee ? ie:Arizona signs Drew before draft and then trades him to the BJs for their #6 pick and they then draft Clement.

I dont think this would work because in mlb you cannot trade draft picks. So the Jays #6 could not be traded. It might work if 'Zona signed Drew, then the Jays drafted Clement, and then they traded players. Although in that scenario I think the Jays would probably just sign and keep Clement instead given Drew's likely pricetag.

Pistol - Thursday, May 26 2005 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#117729) #
Drafted players cannot be traded until 1 year after they are selected.
Beyond the First Round - College Hitters | 25 comments | Create New Account
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