Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
I start this post at a disadvantage because I'm not a subscriber to either ESPN or Baseball America. I'm aware that BA has ongoing previews of the best players available for the upcoming June Draft.  and that Keith law has also weighed in with a Top 100 list. but given that both are not available for free, I must leave any discussion of those expressed opinions to others.

What I can bring to the table, though, is John Sickels' 2010 First Round Mock Draft, as well as his Mock Draft for the Supplemental first round.

Without divulging too much of his content, I'll simply lift out the selections he assigns to the Jays as a foundation for a couple of observations:

11) Toronto Blue Jays: Christian Colon, SS, Cal State Fullerton
     Good tools, good bat, good makeup. Main issue is possible bonus demands, but after last year's debacle the Jays may be looking for a different course from previous conservative drafting.

34) Toronto Blue Jays: Todd Cunningham, OF, Jacksonville State University
       Has decent tools but should be affordable, important for the Jays with multiple picks following last year. 

38) Toronto Blue Jays: Micah Gibbs, C, Louisiana State University
      He won't need a lot of time in the minors, provides defense with a decent bat, and will be attractive to a team with multiple picks and a budget.

41) Toronto Blue Jays: Addison Reed, RHP, San Diego State University
       He's polished, affordable, throws hard, and won't take long to reach a major league bullpen.

I have two thoughts regarding the projections Sickels makes here, with all due respect to a man who's clearly more knowledgeable than I am.

First, he seems to be leaning hard towards "safe" picks and I would argue that there's almost no evidence, beyond the number of picks in hand, that would indicate the Blue Jays intend to play it safe. in fact, in his remark on Colon he alludes to potential bonus demands and observes (correctly, in my opinion) that the Jays might be less conservative, before going on to assign them three conservative picks in the supplemental round.

I originally reacted with "Colon? Not my first choice but not bad." But the more I read about Colon the more I get the impression that would ne a noteable overdraft.

Instead, I suggest Austin Wilson. Wilson, too, is considered a hard sign but he's also considered a five tool talent who's described in far more glowing terms than Colon, even by Sickels himself:

20) Boston Red Sox: Austin Wilson, OF, Harvard Westlake High School, California
     Mega-tools with excellent makeup, which the Red Sox like. He also has a large price tag to buy him away from Stanford, but the Red Sox could afford that more than most clubs.

I simply don't see a rational explanation for why the Jays would pass on a hard-to-sign five tool high school outfielder to take a hard-to-sign less impressive college junior shortstop - especially in the wake of signing Adeniy.

Second, after stating the Jays might be less conservative he gives them a  high school outfielder at #34 that he describes as having "decent tools" - because he's affordable. What's up with that?

Then a few picks later he suggests a team with as many as half a dozen good catcher prospects would draft a catcher who "shouldn't need much time in the minors." Again - huh???

I know nothing of Cunningham, and Gibbs seems worthy of respect but neither of these makes sense to me, especially when you see THIS:

39) Boston Red Sox: James Paxton, LHP, Grand Prairie
       Hard to know how he ranks until we get to see him pitch when the independent leagues start up, but I can see the Red Sox being attracted to the marvelous K/IP and K/BB marks he posted in college as much as his lively arm from the left side.

Now, laying aside whether or not Paxton will be on the board this late (Law ranked him #13 I'm told), maybe it's just me but I can't see that.

If affordability is at issue, who's got LESS leverage than Paxton? Beyond that, the Blue Jays clearly liked him a year ago and admit they essentially misplayed their hand at the negotiating table. It makes no sense to me that they would let him slide not once but twice. Maybe I'm projecting my own views on the team here but I'd be stunned if the Jays passed on Paxton with even one of those picks, let alone both of them.
And I'd be really unhappy if that led to Paxton suiting up for the Red Sox.

In any case, the ball has commenced to roll. Are their other sources you trust for solid projections for the upcoming draft? Personal favorites for whom you are rooting? Scouting reports you want to highlight?

The floor is open.
Thinking 'Bout the Draft | 26 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
92-93 - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 02:37 AM EDT (#214601) #

Paxton would have to give the Blue Jays permission to select him again.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that enough teams balk at Jameson Taillon's high demands and the top prep arm in the draft falls into the Jays lap at #11, however unlikely that scenario is. Last year teams like the Orioles and Pirates let Tyler Matzek and Jacob Turner pass them because of demands and in 07 Rick Porcello fell to the back end of the first round, so you never know. Taillon's a big righty (around 6"7 230) with an even bigger fastball that sits in the mid-upper 90s and touches 99, which he complements primarily with a curve and works in progress in his 2 seamer and changeup. He threw a no hitter about a month ago and tied a school record with 19 strkeouts, previously held by some kid named Kyle Drabek. His dad is from the Cornwall area and mom from Toronto and they met at U of T, so maybe they'll put in a good word - The Jays were pretty good 18 years ago when Taillon was born. He's got the Rice scholarship so if he prices himself so high that he figures only a team like NYY or BOS can afford maybe the Jays can swoop in armed with that big draft budget we've been hearing about.

sam - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 03:26 AM EDT (#214602) #
I'd have to agree. Sickels is wrong. I doubt very much that there'll be many safe selections for Toronto in this draft. Unless Sickels is suggesting that we draft safe in the opening rounds and go after those guys who slipped through with high demands in the later rounds I just don't see where he got his info. Law has said Toronto has been linked with a number of prep arms with their first pick. I like Wilson a lot too but I think a prep arm might be the first pick.

I'm not the biggest fan of Sickels. He consistently ranks Toronto's prospects lower than other organizations and his write-ups reveal no info not apparent in basic statistics.

I think you can safely ignore Sickels projections.
scottt - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 06:31 AM EDT (#214604) #
At, Christian Colon is currently ranked 13th and Austin Wilson 21st.

Moe - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 07:24 AM EDT (#214605) #
Keith Law has Wilson at 5. There is a bit of a discussion on him and Law responds that he really likes his bat.

Colon is ranked 28 and the other are all not even ranked (Law goes to 50).

Law also states that "right now we have only two players, Bryce Harper and Anthony Ranaudo, who are expected to demand well-above-slot bonuses (although that is simply industry speculation)."
This would lower the Jays' chances that Wilson will fall.

Question: How much money is left for the draft after signing Hechavarria? Or was that a different budget all togther. I find that hard to believe.

Moe - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 07:31 AM EDT (#214606) #
I just realized that Law updated his ranking. The above was from Feb 19. This one is from April 26:

Wilson: 15 ("but has yet to wow scouts this spring")
Colon: 26
Gibbs: 40
others unranked (through 100)

Others around 10: Sale (3B/OF, ranked 7), Grandal (C, 11), Brentz (OF, 12). 8-10 are pitchers. Given how stacked the Jays are, I don't see them picking a safe college pitcher or someone with injury concerns this high.

Forkball - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#214610) #
"How much money is left for the draft after signing Hechavarria?"

They were ready to sign Chapman for about $20 million right?  So if that's the case presumably they would have at least the difference between that and Hechavarria's contract.

I've seen AA continually say the money is there if they want it, it's just a matter of using it wisely.  He's also mentioned that they're going to be looking toward higher ceiling players and the draft is the most economical way to get players.  To me it sounds like there really isn't a budget.  They might be a little more careful with the re-picks (since they would lose them otherwise) but I think everyone's in play for the other picks.  I'd guess the Jays will be a top 3 spending team in the draft this year (excluding Harper who by himself will be more than most team's entire drafts).
rpriske - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#214612) #
When was this article written? If it was before the Hecchevarria signing he might have put Colon due to our desperation at SS.
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#214622) #
I saw the scouting video on Colon, and wasn't wild.  I don't care for the swing and (at least on one throw), his arm looks weak.  I am all in favour of drafting a good college middle infielder with a first round pick.  It's the "good" part that is important. and difficult (Aaron Hill vs. Russ Adams). 
Mike Green - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#214625) #
Here are the relevant statistics that I could find for Colon and Gibbs so far this season:

Colon- .336/.441/.663; 12/26/10 (HR/W/K)
Gibbs- .404/.483/.573; 5/24/17 (opponents stealing bases are 41-8).

Mudie - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#214629) #
Some draft centric sites to allow everyone on "Da Box" to familiarize themselves with the prospects:

Andy Seiler's MLB Bonus Baby:'s Draft Central:
Joh Klima's Baseball Beginnings:

...and remember the jays have 9 of the first 113 selection. So, read up.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#214630) #
The draft order is at wikipedia.

Checking it the Jays 'safe' picks (ie: can sign or not and have the pick in 2011) are #11, 34, 41, 61, 80, 93 while the 'must sign now' picks are #38, #69, #113

So I'd expect safe picks for #38/69/113 but risky ones for all the others. When you have this many picks you take risks as if one doesn't sign then you just shrug and use the cash on another pick.
John Northey - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#214631) #
Mudie - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#214633) #
Yeah, college players with no signability concerns for picks #38, #69, #113. The rest of the pick need to be high upside guys or execlent prospects with major signability question marks that might fall to the Jays, like Zach Lee, Brian Ragira or Austin Wilson.
TamRa - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#214637) #
When was this article written?

Last day or two...
TamRa - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#214638) #
coincidentally, there's a feature on Addison Reed at the draft central site:

There's also a profile on another guy I have a bit of a crush on - Robbie Avelis (he of the two consecutive no-hitters, one of them perfect):

Another interesting name for a bit later on - Delino DeSheilds Jr.

bcool - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#214648) #
You would think that at least 1 of Whitson, Covey, and Cole would fall to us at #11. Those are 3 very exciting prep arms. The guy I really want would be Manny Machado..but it looks like he's going to go somewhere in the top 5.

sam - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#214657) #
bcool: I think you're prognosis is the most likely scenario for our first pick. Do you have a preference?
ayjackson - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#214658) #
This should be switched from a "feature" to a "draft" article (please).  For ease of future reference.
bcool - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#214667) #
Out of the 3, I think Cole is the biggest risk. He's all projection right now.

Covey is probably the safest bet but doesn't have the projection and potential that Cole and Whitson do.

That leaves us with Whitson, whom I would pick personally out of the 3. However, the more I think about it, the more I believe that Whitson will be the one most likely gone by our pick.

John Northey - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#214671) #
I say go nuts and draft Bryce Harper :)

If he is the real deal, then getting him pre-age 18 would be a very good thing. Very expensive, but very good.
Spifficus - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#214674) #
Harper? No, I hear he has makeup issues. :)
TamRa - Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#214675) #
This should be switched from a "feature" to a "draft" article (please).  For ease of future reference.

My first submission as a member of the roster - rookie mistake (plus, not sure I know how to fix it!)

Mudie - Thursday, May 06 2010 @ 06:33 AM EDT (#214688) #
bcool, I'm not a fan of Whitson's mechanics.

He looks like he creates the dreaded "inverted W" while he loads his arm and it may be me, but I see a little bit of a "grab" while he's loading as well. He has a good tempo but a very soft glove side... he end up with his glove on his left hip(a lot like the way Morrow does, which causes Morrow to shoulder to leak out and results in him having poor control).

Whitson is big, projectable and has an electric arm, but he doesn't use his lower half very well, his delivery is ALL ARM, and I'm never a opptimistic about pitchers who put more stress on there arm then they need to.

I'd prefer to select Covey at 11, if Austin Wilson is off the board. I'm lukewarm on Cole, his mechanics aren't bad, but he doesn't have the smooth delivery of Covey and from what I've heard Covey might have a bit of an edge in pitchablity.
Mudie - Thursday, May 06 2010 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#214698) #
The more I watch Whitson's delivery the more it reminds me of Morrow's.

Here's a clip of Whitson:

Here's mechanical analysis of Morrow(with reference to "glove side fly-out" and him having a "grab'; I forgot Morrow had a "grab" until I reread this piece):
sam - Thursday, May 06 2010 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#214717) #
I think another name we should add is Tyrell Jenkins. He looks the part of what AA has been talking about adding to the organization. High upside/athletic guys.
Mudie - Thursday, May 06 2010 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#214723) #
Jenkins is a good guy to look for with one of the supplemental round picks or a second rounder. Big time athletic pitching prospect with good mechanics, plus velo, potential plus breaking stuff and size to dream on... I'd love the Jays to take him at 34... but he might be available even later because of his commitment to Baylor to play football.
Thinking 'Bout the Draft | 26 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.