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The draft begins tonight and for the first time it is available on TV in Canada, if you get Sportsnet One.  The Jays first pick is a mystery still and we won't know who the lucky guy is until around 8pm tonight.  The Bachelorette is on TV tonight too but that is a different group of guys trying to get lucky.

The mock drafts and predictions are coming hot and heavy' let's see if there is any consistency this week.

The top three picks appear to be reaching consensus now.  Gerrit Cole; Anthony Rendon; and Trevor Bauer should be the first three names called, after that it gets fuzzy.

Keith Law has a new mock draft out for subscribers.  He still has the Jays taking Levi Michael, a shortstop from North Carlolina.  Law also notes that the Jays are interested in lefty pitcher Andrew Chafin who they hope to get in the sandwich round.  The next three players taken would be Taylor Guerrieri, Brian Goodwin and Kolten Wong.

Jonathan Mayo at has the Jays taking Guerrieri.  Here is his comment:

There's still a chance the Blue Jays could go the college route with a guy like Michael, but there certainly has been a lot discussed about the Jays and projectable high-school pitching

The next four players taken, after the Jays, per Mayo areWong, Mike Mahtook, Brandon Nimmo, and Michael.

Bob Elliott has a draft round-up that seems to rely on third party sources rather than any inside scoop:

Both Baseball America and Perfect Game USA scouting service predict the Jays will select North Carolina Tar Heels shortstop Levi Michael. What makes him so attractive, aside from his 6.6 speed and skills with the bat is, that he graduated high school in January of 2009. He is 20, or a year younger than most college players.

Michael then played three seasons for the Tar Heels, 2009 at second, 2010 at third and this season at short. This spring, he has hit .300 in 59 games with 13 doubles, three triples, five homers and 48 RBIs, while going 15-for-16 stealing bases.

 1pm - Law is now tweeting that the Rockies, who pick before the Jays are not taking CJ Cron, more likely Michael or Wong.

 1:05pm - Baseball America has the Jays taking Michael.

1:05pm - Our own Marc Hulet has the Jays taking Michael as well.

1:30 Kevin Goldstein at BPro stays on Jed Bradley for the Jays.


We will add other news, as it happens.


D-Day; Draft Day; Decision Day (pick one) | 46 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ayjackson - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#236185) #
There seems to be a lot of consensus around Levi Michael.  To me it seems completely uninspiring.  I hope he's more than a middle infielder with not enough defence for SS and not enough bat for anywhere else (hello Russ Adams).
85bluejay - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#236186) #

If the Jays draft Levi michael @ 21, I'll be disappointed - I see russ adams with speed - I'd much rather the Jays hope that Brad Miller the SS of Clemson ( & likely pro 2nd base) drop to them early in day 2

I'm hoping that Tampa/San Diego with numerous picks will use some on signability & allow more talented prospects to fall.

There is a rumour is that Josh Bell & agent wants to fall to the tigers (#74) - I hope if he's there at 72, the Jays select him.

-I'm hoping for Daniel Norris @ 21 but expect the Jays to go college with this pick.

-Most interesting aspect to follow - Tampa/Boston/Toronto have many 1st day picks - once again a battle of the AL east - it sucks that Boston picks before the Jays

-This draft is pitching rich, so I hope at least 3 of the Jays 5 early picks are pitchers  & I won't complain if all 5 are pitchers.

Alex Obal - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#236187) #
"Projectable" has to be one of the top three most Orwellian words in all of baseball. Because high-school pitchers are long on talent and short on track record, you would imagine they're way harder to project than college guys. Of course, if you put the emphasis on "project" it makes perfect sense...
MatO - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#236188) #
Why would a college player hitting .300 (actually .297) be a first round talent?
Mike Green - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 01:12 PM EDT (#236189) #
Bingo, MatO.  Check out the W/K/HR data too (spoiler alert: he walks about 10% of the time, strikes out about 20% and has at best medium range pop).

He's a college player whose draft status is built largely on projection and with modest discernible present talent.

92-93 - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#236190) #
Let's hope that the usual AA rules stand - if you know about it, it isn't likely to happen. I too would be underwhelmed by Michael @ #21.

Law keeps mentioning Kent State's Andrew Chafin too, so he might be a supplemental guy in the cards.
Alex Obal - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#236191) #
Is there a handy site anywhere that shows NCAA conference equivalencies, or gives a sense of each conference's perceived difficulty?
92-93 - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#236192) #
The SEC, ACC, and Pac-10 are the cream of the crop, IMO. I'd imagine it would be pretty hard to accurately rank so many conferences, and the Blue Jays have been taking guys from all over the perceived map. Chafin is from Kent State and the poorly regarded MAC, and Coastal Carolina's Anthony Meo was also heavily scouted in a bad Big South conference. And I wouldn't exactly call The Citadel's (Asher Woj) Southern conference much of a powerhouse either.

I think the obvious lesson is that you really can't be relying entirely on statistics or results to make your decisions, you are drafting based on future projections and the grades you can slap on their tools. Which is why Trevor Bauer, UCLA's ace with a 203:36 K:BB, is going to go behind Gerrit Cole and his 119:24. Each started 16 games - Bauer was 13-2 in 136.2 innings, Cole was 6-8 in 114.1 innings.
TamRa - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#236194) #
color me confused.

I see the math as simple: One premium talent (at least) who ought to go in the upper half of the round is projected to fall because of the $$$ it takes to sign him.

One team above all others says "screw the $$, we're taking the best guy"

How does that NOT add up to us taking Bell?
woodman663 - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#236195) #
You're all very quick to dismiss Michael, without noting that he's younger than other available college players and that he's apparently been bothered by an ankle injury this year.

If AA/Tinnish see projectable power/a legitimate shortstop or plus defender at 2nd I'll trust them over the naysayers. Michael's #22 on Baseball America's top 100 btw.

Then again, AA could have fooled them all.

TamRa - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#236196) #
Kevin Goldstien just answered a twitter question about Michaels - was ask if Adams comparison was fair and said "No."

Shoeless Joe - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#236197) #
I'm get the feeling Micheal might project to be similar to the Aaron Hill we seen earlier on in his career. Good defense, pretty good average, but modest power. I feel this goes against the "we need plus players at every position philosophy." This idea I have bought into with AA. The only plus I see with Micheal is that this would fill a huge need, as despite spending big on Thon and Hech middle infielders is the thinnest part of the farm.

I want Javier Baez, he's got the bat and good tools defensively. Other then that i think we should draft whoever falls because of teams penny pinching ahead like Guerrieri, or maybe Norris. Although I like Robert Stephenson more then Norris....

MatO - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#236198) #

Bingo, MatO. Check out the W/K/HR data too (spoiler alert: he walks about 10% of the time, strikes out about 20% and has at best medium range pop).

His walk rate is actually much better than that Mike.  He also has a knack for the HBP as well.  See his stats linked.  I don't think walk rates tend to translate very well to pro ball though.

Actually, Michael's sophomore season was much more impressive so maybe there's something to the playing hurt idea.

85bluejay - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#236199) #


the change in type of bats used in college baseball makes comparing seasons more difficult - hitting is down across college baseball - so maybe Michael is not as good with the new bats

which is closer to simulating wood bats.

braden - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#236200) #

KLaw just answered my question on Michael/Adams comp (with bonus snark!)

"Talk me into Levi Michael to the Jays at #21. I have visions of Russ Adams 2.0

  (2:30 PM)

 Get glasses. Or new medication. We took Adams because the GM ignored every scout in the room who told him Adams couldn't play shortstop. Michael, on the other hand, can play shortstop (and is a better runner, has a better eye, and is only 20)."

sam - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#236201) #
I don't mind the Michael selection too much.  I'd imagine he'd sign for slot and the Jays will pursue tough to sign players later in the draft.  I'd wish Michael walk more though. 
metafour - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#236202) #
Actually, Michael's sophomore season was much more impressive so maybe there's something to the playing hurt idea.

That was with the launch-pad bats of the past.  The NCAA implemented rules regarding new BBCOR bats this season which emulate wood more accurately.  While Michael may have been hurt this year, he also hit only .252 in the Cape Cod league last year with wood.  I am very very worried about this kid being exposed big time.  His slugging % has dropped literally like 100 points from last season, his batting average is down almost 50 points....and like I said; I'd be a lot less worried if he also didn't struggle with real wood bats last year as well.

I just dont get it.  Even if everything pans out this kid isn't going to be better than average defensively at SS....then you look at his bat and I personally dont see a whole lot there that makes me believe he will be better than average there as well.  He's got some speed but its not like he's a burner either; and the fact that he switch-hits does nothing for me.
Krylian19 - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#236203) #
Add me to the 'I hope we don't draft Levi Michael at #21' camp.  IMO, there will be better options and more talented players available at 21 and that's the route I'm hoping for.  Whether it's a prep arm (Stephenson, Guerrieri, Norris, or one of the slew of college arms (a couple of whom may drop) I think there will be better talent available.

BalzacChieftain - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#236204) #
If what is said above is true that the Rockies aren't taking Cron, I'd much rather the Jays take him if he is available. Big bats are rare, and while 5 tool players are nice, nobody ever complains about having a big bopper at first base.
Mylegacy - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#236205) #
At 21 I want something SPECTACULAR - even if we don't sign him.

SO - I want Joshua Bell, OF, Jesuit HS, Dallas TX. I'm prepared to go $8 to $10 million to get him. If he doesn't sign for that kind of be it.

IF Joshua is gone - I've a man crush on POWER - so I'd like C.J. Cron all 6' 4" 230 cuddly pounds of power hitting 1st base or more likely DH.

In the AL East you NEED impact bats and pitchers. IF those two are gone I want one of the two pitchers that best meet the same criteria - namely BIG UPSIDE. For instance, I'd be happy to gamble and take Matt Purke with this pick - check his medicals all summer and sign him just before the deadline - IF - our Doc's like his medical reports.

Please - no more McGuire's, Jenkins' or their ilk. No guts no glory! Go for the gusto from the get go, no?

Remember, I'm not the only one touting the Jays as spending over $20 million this draft. 

Forkball - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#236206) #
I have to say, I'm in the 'not excited about Levi Michael' camp, but I'll put my faith in Tinnish and Co. on that one.  It seems odd that a team that's generally tight-lipped has just about everyone projecting him.

Interesting Adams story... I wonder who the Jays would have taken otherwise.  Kazmir, Swisher, and Hamels were the next 3 picks..... I'd guess it would have been Swisher.

Mylegacy - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#236207) #
I should also say - I too trust AA's team of intrepid Prospect Hunters. Our 2010 draft was a fine selection - even more so if guys like Thon, Dyson etc., ever get to actually play ball.
Oxygen8 - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#236208) #
just give me pitching, pitching,pitching. a whack of prep arms if possible. then, go after thon (sign-ability) and thames (medical homework) type guys later.

pitching can easily be turned into a position player (marcum for lawrie). also, there is also the international signings available for middle infield types.

i really hope the 20 million budget rumor is true, the wells dump was a gift from the baseball gods. AA must repay them in tribute in the draft so not anger them. also, the new cba may close this porthole soon.

is it 6pm yet?
James W - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#236209) #
Is it lots and lots of money that Bell wants, or is he telling the truth (and not just pre-negotiating) when he says he's going to college? Is he even a premium talent? I can't even put together an educated guess.
sam - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#236210) #

I too trust AA, Tinnish, and co.  They seem like reasonable folk who trust their scouting, who ultimately seem to be the best judge of talent.  And dare I say I trust Rogers to fork over the dough to pay these kids to get them into the system.


Say what you want about Rogers and Jays baseball operations but they've got a good thing going with the fans right now.  They're honest about the team and it's direction, they aren't making outlandish promises like the last regime.  Sure, they are Rogers and at least once a year they remind you that they're trying to suck every last penny out of people.  Since Beeston has taken control, the baseball aspect has been well-run and I trust them to finance what the baseball people tell them is right about the organization. 

TheBunk - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#236211) #
I'd rather just draft CJ's brother Kevin Cron in 2nd-3rd round, most sources indicate that they are mirror images of each other.
BalzacChieftain - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#236212) #


Keith Law has been quoted as saying Bell is the best pure bat in the draft this year. As far as pre-negotiation goes and his commit to university, my non-expert opinion says that if he has Boras as an agent, he will take the money, but only if it's big.

85bluejay - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#236213) #
Somebody,Please,Please draft Levi Michael before the Jays . Regarding Josh Bell, I think he's not in the cards as the Jays seem to want to spread their overslot money on several players rather than a huge amount on 1 player and I like that strategy.
Moe - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#236214) #
Please calm down!  If the Jays draft Michael, then it's because they like him.  For all we know, these are not the old days any more where a college player was drafted because it was easy and cheap. The Jays may decide that he is the best player for that slot.  He might not be the best player on the board but some higher ranked players will fall due to bonus demands and Michael won't fall much below 21 (he might even be gone before).  So it could make sense to pick him there.

Most (all?) of us have not seen him play and get worked up based on 2nd hand reports.  Relax!  And keep in mind that whoever gets drafted at 21, Michael or your most favorite player, probably has a better chance of never making it than making it to an All-Star game.

timsevs - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#236216) #

I think the Jays are in a very strong position to draft J Bell due to the number of extra picks we have. However this would only in be in one of the slots which is protected where if he didn't sign then we simply get an extra pick next year.

We can then negotiate from a very strong position regarding the signing fee because if he doesn't sign it is not a disaster. Also given the recent history of players who have not signed it may help force him into making a deal.

Finally this strategy also keeps him away from clubs like the Yankees which may pay whatever necessary to get a premium talent.

tercet - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#236217) #
Russ Adams hit 370/476/555 52bb/19k with 7 hr 45sb/12cs in his draft eligible year at UNC

Id personally pass on Levi..

Ducey - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#236218) #
I imagine someone smarter than me has thought about this, but should we be somewhat skeptical that the draft noted for the large number of good pitchers coincides with the change in college bats (assuming I have that right)?
Ducey - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#236219) #

And I wouldn't mind a Russ Adams if he can play above average defence at short.

The real sin in taking Russ 14th is not his bat, but that he apparently can't throw a baseball.

As defence now seems to be a priority with AA, I would hope that this would not occur again in a premium defensive position.

Spifficus - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#236220) #

It was noted as a pitching rich draft coming into the year though, both college and high school, and down in college bats. A lot of them are power arms, too. Sure, the bats may help even the numbers and knock out some aluminum-power guys, but 92-95mph shows up no matter what bat you're holding

Moe - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#236221) #
I imagine someone smarter than me has thought about this, but should we be somewhat skeptical that the draft noted for the large number of good pitchers coincides with the change in college bats (assuming I have that right)?

That's a good question.  I'm not sure I ever read about that but this draft was highly regarded last year already.  And it's considered deep in prep players as well.  Plus, there is the Cape Cod league where they use wooden bats, iirc.  So, I'm not too worried but I'd love to read a professional assessment.

Russ Adams hit 370/476/555 52bb/19k with 7 hr 45sb/12cs in his draft eligible year at UNC  --  Id personally pass on Levi..

If only scouting were this easy.

MatO - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#236222) #
In the 40 14th overall picks between 1965 and 2004 there are 10 players with career WARs over 10.  Billy Butler drafted in 2004 will probably make that 11.   There was one other player with a WAR between 5-10.  That leaves basically 28 bad picks out of 40 or 70%.
John Northey - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#236223) #
Stats in college are notoriously hard to translate to anything useful. This is due to a variety of factors, #1 being the massive variability in talent level. Imagine a league where major leaguers are playing against rookie league teams - that talent spread happens in college sports. Or imagine a major leaguer playing on an A ball team because it was close to home or something. Parks can be extremely variable in field quality, visibility, size, etc. I'm glad people are trying to find ways to make sense out of the stats, but I suspect it will be a very, very long time until we can compare stats at a meaningful level.

As to walks, I'd rank that very low on skills I'd be looking for out of college. Ability to pick your pitch (which we are trying to measure by walks) is more important. Depending on the quality of lineup around a player he might feel the need to swing at bad pitches (always down a few runs, trying to do too much) or he might have a coach who tells them to hit the ball.

Even though I'm a numbers guy I see the draft as the domain of the scout.
MatO - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#236224) #

Oh yeah.  The historical performance of the 21st pick overall is even worse. 

Mike Forbes - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#236225) #
I personally like Jose Fernandez at 21.
finch - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#236226) #
I agree with Jose Fernandez. If somehow we get him and Josh Bell with our first 2 picks, I will be screaming in the streets of Vancouver, and not just because we won game 3 *knock on wood
TamRa - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#236227) #
"Regarding Josh Bell, I think he's not in the cards as the Jays seem to want to spread their overslot money on several players rather than a huge amount on 1 player and I like that strategy."

Remember the thing we were told? "If we think a guy is worth it and i ask paul for the money I'll get it"?

This would be an excellent place to prove that - assuming of course they do think he's worth it.
92-93 - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#236229) #
Exactly. This idea that they shouldn't take Bell so they can be more active with their later picks should be nonsense. Do both. You have a 65m payroll and a historically strong dollar. Take the best guy available at every spot and give him what he wants, within reason. Quibbling over less than the amount you pay mediocre MLB veterans makes very little sense.
Kelekin - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#236230) #
The only position player the Jays are known to be seriously considering in the 1st round is Levi Michael which is why he is a consensus.  I've wanted Josh Bell for a couple months now and I would love for it to happen but we'll see.  I really would like to see some big impact bats in this system.
jgadfly - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#236231) #
IF the Jays took Bell with their first supp pick and he didn't sign wouldn't they move up next year in the supp round ?
Alex Obal - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#236232) #
Thanks, 92-93 and John. I was particularly interested in Wong's Mauer-like line, and how impressive you'd consider it in the WAC vs. in the ACC say (or the Big West).

Goodness me. Four straight pitchers to open, with offense down across MLB? I guess everybody thinks they are that good.
greenfrog - Monday, June 06 2011 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#236243) #
Beede sounds like a great pick to me - if they can sign him.
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