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In a recent thread I dug into the fun way Collins (and Hernandez) ended up here - started with a 15th round pick in 2009. But what about the rest of the roster? We always talk about how important the draft is but how did we get this lineup?

  • International Free Agents: Vlad (signed 2015), Kirk (2016), Gurriel (2016)
  • Draft: Jansen (16th, 2013), Biggio (5th 2016), Bo (2nd 2016), Saucedo (21st 2015), Mayza (12th 2013), Manoah (1st 2019, 11th overall), Borucki (15th 2012)
  • Free Agent: Springer (QO compensation), Ryu, Gausman, Kikucki, Garcia, Katoh, Heineman, Phelps,
  • Trades: Berrios (Austin Martin & Simeon Woods Richardson - both still in minors), Hernandez (Francisco Liriano), Chapman (Gunnar Hoglund, Zach Logue, Kevin Smith, Kirby Snead - only Hoglund hasn't reached the majors yet), Espinal (Steve Pearce), Collins (Reese McGuire), Stripling (Kendall Williams & Ryan Noda - neither has reached the majors yet), Cimber (Andrew McInvale & Joe Panik), Richards (Rowdy Tellez), Zimmer (Anthony Castro), Tapia (Randal Grichuk and cash), Thornton (Aledmys Díaz), Merryweather (Josh Donaldson and cash), Kay (Marcus Stroman and cash)
  • Rule 5 returned: Romano (phew - was a 10th round pick in 2014)
So the IFA are probably the biggest value for the dollar thanks to Vlad, and to a lesser degree Gurriel. Funny that only 1 first round pick of the Jays is in the majors with them right now (Manoah) vs, say, 10 years ago (2012: Ricky Romero, Chad Jenkins, Brett Cecil, Travis Snider, David Cooper, and J.P. Arencibia). Ah the great hopes we had for some of those guys. Our current GM though is ruthless when trading first round picks - he has zero attachment issues it seems (see recent 1st rounders Martin, and Hoglund).

Free agency has been important, but only once have the Jays lost a draft pick due to signing a free agent. Ryu & Gausman were saddled with QO's earlier but took it then went back to free agency the next year without it. The rest just weren't good enough to be given a QO.

I listed what each player cost in trades, but didn't list who else came with them in each case. For example, Teoscar came here with Nori Aoki. But even straight up in each case I'd have trouble with reversing any of those deals. Austin Martin is back in AA (736 OPS), same for SWR (0 ERA in 16 2/3 IP 4 BB 14 K - if he keeps that up he'll be up before we know it). Kendall Williams & Ryan Noda both look like they could be good for the Dodgers but we will see in a few years on that one, but right now Stripling is important to the Jays hopes thanks to Ryu & Pearson being hurt.

Our top prospect with no doubt is Gabriel Moreno (IFA) with Orelvis Martinez seen as climbing fast (also an IFA). Jordan Groshans is often listed as a top prospect (1st round in 2018, 12th overall), as is Nate Pearson (1st round 2017, 28th overall). That's all the guys on the top 100 lists right now. It'll be interesting to see if any of those guys make an impact this year, but all could in 2023 easily. The low number of first round draft picks on the current roster is more a function of the Jays willingness to make trades than anything else imo. Looking at those trades I'd say the Jays should keep doing that - no obvious losses right now, a couple could go sideways but not yet.
How did we get these guys anyways? | 10 comments | Create New Account
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bpoz - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#412861) #
Thanks for the digging John.

Taking Aoki's salary and then quickly releasing him was a nice strategy of taking advantage of other teams wanting immediate help and to dump salary.

We gave some cash as well as Pearce for Espinal. At the time I did not think that we gained or lost much. Espinal must have impressed our FO with excellent defense. With Boston he also had a v good bb/k ratio and that continued in the Jays minor league system. Bauxites are valuing the bb/k ratio.

Milwaukee did not want prospects for T Richards so we gave up Tellez. We got the prospect. Bowden Francis.

T Richards, Cimber, Soria and Brad Hand were acquired to rebuild the pen. Tellez seems to be the only potential loss so far.

Milwaukee may have known their offense was weak (playoffs proved it) so Tellez was possible help.

John Northey - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#412865) #
Tellez would've been nice for the first week or so, but with Collins hitting I'd at this stage think he has a lot more value to the Jays than Tellez (109 OPS+ so far over 50 PA, 113 since he left vs Collins 177 here over 34 PA). Funny thing, despite the PA spread the two of them have 10 hits, 2 or 3 doubles, 0 triples, 3 home runs, 7 vs 8 RBI. Lower # in 2B and RBI for Collins in 16 fewer PA.
hypobole - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#412866) #
Hutch was a 15th Round pick, but he was a flyer, like the Kris Bryant pick the following season.

Guys with no negotiating power, like Loup and Tepera, signed early. Once JPR realized Paxton, Barrett and Eliopoulos wouldn't sign for what he was offering, they knew how much they could give Jenkins, Marisnick and other early round picks they planned to sign all along. With a lot of unspent budget remaining, they went after the high school flyers and ended up giving Hutch 400K and 18th rounder Daniel Webb 450K.
John Northey - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#412868) #
Hey, JPR did something right - who knew :)

Spending later in the draft can be very useful. Hutchinson's bonus was the 5th highest the Jays gave out that year. Chad Jenkins got the most ($1.3 mil), then Jake Marisnick $1 mil, everyone else was $500k or less. James Paxton the most frustrating as the Jays easily could've paid his demands but decided not to. Sigh. But the most WAR so far is Yan Gomes (16.9) who got an $85k bonus - go figure.

2009 was an outlier for JPR though, 2008 peaked with Eric Thames 2.2. 2007 Brett Cecil 6.7, 2006 Travis Snider 4.3, 2005 Ricky Romero 9.9, 2004 Adam Lind 12.7, 2003 Aaron Hill 24.4 (and Shaun Marcum 13.4), 2002 Dave Bush 3.6. So 1 guy reached 20 WAR, 2 others reached 10. Then in his final draft 3 guys cracked 10 (1 didn't sign) with Aaron Loup over 7 and still going strong (signed for 2022/2023/option for 2024).
hypobole - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#412869) #
"James Paxton the most frustrating"

Taking Eliopoulos in the 2nd round was frustrating as well. 3 of the next 12 picks were by the Mets, Cubs and Angels. They took (and signed) Steven Matz, DJ LeMahieu and Patrick Corbin.
jerjapan - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#412884) #
It's a crapshoot, always.  Individual picks are not the issue, it's who has the better development philosophy. 

teams that can draft relievers in the later rounds (TB), or find defensive talent up the middle on the IFA market (us), or leverage their franchise name and wealth (NYY). 

There will always be a Nestor Cortez or a Jose Bautista floating around on waivers. 

Parsing individual picks is dumb.  nobody parses individual ABs, or individual months, or individual seasons, because there is not enough data. 

So, same goes with decisions made by GMs. 

There are multiple tiers of talent, and sometimes you get a guy in the first round like Manoah, sometimes you get a faded first rounder like Collins, and sometimes your ace reliever sets records after being reclaimed on waivers. 

A good GM is good at leveraging every tier. 
bpoz - Monday, April 25 2022 @ 11:20 PM EDT (#412886) #
The Jays insist on the hit tool. They take a chance on the dazzling speed of a Dasan Brown and then try to teach him to hit.
Glevin - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#412897) #
It's actually amazing how quick the turnaround was. Jays were a layoff team in 2016 and then again in 2020 with none of the same players. That's only 3 years to turn things around without tanking in by far the best division in baseball. It's really impressive.
Dr B - Tuesday, April 26 2022 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#412915) #
It's a crapshoot, always.
Indeed, there's a ton of randomness. When we view things in hindsight, however, we look at the results and this takes the randomness out. I'm pretty sure I've made this argument before. People often complain “Why did we pick player X, when another team picked star player Y later in the draft?” One is comparing X against the _best_ player out _all_ the following players. The probability that someone after your pick is going to turn out better is high. It's frustrating when you miss out on a superstar, but one can take comfort that it is mathematically probable and happens to all franchises, good and bad.
bpoz - Wednesday, April 27 2022 @ 08:37 AM EDT (#412980) #
Good analysis on the draft Dr B. I am always fascinated.

It was/is said that Cincinnati very often used their 1st pick on a HS position player. With a sample size starting in 1980 I am guessing that HS position players is where they had a lot of success.
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