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Thought I'd dig into what has happened with past drafts vs the Jays picks this year. Just to help limit expectations of the Jays getting a Mike Trout (inner circle HOF) or John Olerud (immediate help) in it.

Lets see what the best cases ever are for the Jays top few picks and how the Jays have done when they had that pick before...
  • The 20th overall pick has produced 2 HOF level talents in Mike Mussina and CCSabathia (both 60+ WAR). Near HOF in Torii Hunter (50's WAR), and strong All-Stars in Bob Welch and Rick Rhoden (30+ WAR). The Jays only #20 pick was Chad Jenkins (1.4 WAR, drafted in 2009 by JPR), the Jays also lost a #20 pick for signing Dennis Lamp (used by White Sox on Tony Menendez -0.3 WAR lifetime). 62% of players drafted in this slot have reached the majors.
  • Pick #89 isn't as good but there is promise as the best there is Randy Johnson (over 100 WAR) but he didn't sign (Giants drafted him, later was drafted/signed by the Expos). Justin Morneau is the only other one over 20 WAR, with 2 in the 10's as well. The Jays twice drafted here getting Jeff Hearron (-0.2 WAR) and Billy Brown (didn't reach). Only 32% of players drafted in this slot have reached the majors.
  • Pick #121 John Valentin is the only guy over 4 WAR here (32.5) out of 58 players, just 31% reached.
  • Pick #157 Tom Gordon had 35 WAR, Larry Andersen 13.9, Brandon Guyer 5.8, rest under 1. 29% got a cup of coffee at least.
That covers round 1-5, Jays pick every 30 after that (#187, #217, etc.). From pick #121 (4th round) on it is a pure crapshoot it seems - a 1 in 50 shot at best each time at getting a useful player.

What are the Jays best by round?
  • Round 1: Roy Halladay (duh) with 64.2 WAR, Green & Carpenter both in the 30's, then 6 guys in the 20's.
  • Round 2: David Wells with 53.4 WAR, then Bo at 16.3 so far, with Derek Bell the only other 10+ guy.
  • Round 3: John Olerud 58.2 WAR, Jimmy Key 48.9, then a big drop to the 10-14 range for Shaun Marcum, Adam Lind, etc.
  • Round 4: Casey Janssen 7.4 WAR - this is a slot that a new record could be set in you'd think, but the last to reach was Kevin Smith (-0.3 WAR) and sadly the best prospect is Nick Frasso (sent to LAD for Mitch White)
  • Round 5: Dave Stieb 56.4 WAR, Pat Hentgen 32.6, Michael Young 24.7 (curse you Gord Ash), Mike Timlin 19.0, Cavan Biggio 5.8 - yes he is the 5th best 5th rounder for the Jays ever, tied with Lane Thomas (137 OPS+_for Washington right now - Jays traded him for International Bonus Slot money in 2017)
So you get the idea, in 46 drafts the Jays have seen a few really good players drafted in the first 5 rounds, a HOF'er and a couple of near HOF'ers. But to do so you need luck and good scouting.

So how has our current GM done?
  • 2016: Bo, Biggio, 8 others reached who did little (1.5 WAR for Zach Jackson, the rest are 0.4 or less each). Signed everyone in the first 12 rounds, 29 of 41 overall.
  • 2017: Ryan Noda at 1.6 is the best so far, with Riley Adams at 1.1. The rest are 0.1 or less. Signed the first 16 picks, 30 of 40 overall.
  • 2018: Vinny Capra at 0.1 is #1 in WAR so far, just 4 have reached but Adam Kloffenstein is very promising this year. Addison Barger has shown signs he could be good in spring training but has been hurt this year. Signed everyone in the first 20 rounds, 32 of 40 overall.
  • 2019: Alek Manoah #1 easily at 7.8, only Spencer Horwitz has also reached (0.0 WAR). Signed the first 18 rounds, 30 of 40 overall.
  • 2020: Just 5 picks, none have reached, all signed, Austin Martin got us Berrios and now has a 330 OPS in AAA (16 PA). Frasso used to get us White (crap).
  • 2021: 20 picks, 18 of 20 signed (all top 15 picks did), none reached yet. Ricky Tiedemann is a solid prospect though if he can stay healthy. Top pick Gunnar Hogland was part of the trade to get Matt Chapman.
  • 2022: 22 picks, signed the first 17 (15 rounds plus 2 bonus) 19 of 22 signed overall.
Our prospect watchers will know who in each year is really promising, but I tried to list the key guys like Tiedemann. No major missed signings yet. 2017 looks like a flop, but 2018 has potential to be a good one if Barger and Kloffenstein can come through. It seems clear our current GM often sees picks as trade chips though, not hesitating to trade even guys he sees as top prospects like Martin to improve the ML team.

So for the draft keep expectations of the Jays drafting 3 or 4 HOF'ers to a minimum, for every Jeff Kent picked in the 20th round there are many, many, many guys picked who never reach. Even in round 1 we have had 1 HOF'er picked, and 3 top 3 picks that never reached (the infamous Augie Schmidt over Dwight Gooden being the most painful one). The most recent first rounder to be a lock not to ever make it is Jon Harris (2015) who pitched in an indy league last year at age 28. Max Pentecost from 2014 fully retired from pro-ball a few years ago.
Past Drafts vs What Could Be | 14 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
bpoz - Friday, July 07 2023 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#431227) #
This FO has had 3 Draft managers I think.

Lalonde? From AA's time for 2016. Followed by the guy who went to Pittsburg (A Manoah and counting). Next was Shane Farrell. Austin Martin ruined his 1st draft. Farrell's next 2 drafts have produced a lot of minor league relief pitching success quite fast. The Jays are willing to trade their good and mediocre prospects for immediate success because they need the revenue that winning produces.

Star players drafted have a chance to become stars. Zeuch may have become a star but he was not overpowering. Pearson could become a star because he is overpowering and finally healthy. Warmoth had a ceiling that I was not able to clearly define. I liked Kevin Smith. If K Graveman, Pillar and M Boyd can become successful then any pick can.

It seems that star prospects like A Martin, G Hoglund and B Barriera fell to Shane Farrell. I suppose he was pressurized to take them.
Nigel - Friday, July 07 2023 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#431229) #
Warmoth and Harris are the only two recent(ish) 1st round picks that I would love to hear from the drafters why they were made first round picks. I'm sure there was a reason (and a good one) but it wasn't obvious to me what that was when seeing them in Vancouver right after being drafted. In the old NW League (and still to some extent today in A+) the first round picks (on all teams) really stood out. They had one or more "loud tools" that made them stand out from the sea of mid round college picks that the league was awash in (on all teams). Warmoth didn't have a single loud tool and was tiny (relative to listed height and weight). The people who do this for a living know a million more things about baseball than I do so it would be fascinating to hear the thought process on draft picks like that.
lexomatic - Friday, July 07 2023 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#431230) #
When I used to do these types of exercises, I liked re-ordering the draft by performance so far, then redoing the draft with that new, smaller pool.
I don't have those anymore, but it was fun. I think sometimes the Jays even drafted the same player!
Glevin - Friday, July 07 2023 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#431231) #
"Warmoth and Harris are the only two recent(ish) 1st round picks that I would love to hear from the drafters why they were made first round picks."

Warmoth went about the place he was supposed to go. It was a really weak draft especially for hitting. There were 13.5 hitters taken in first 27 picks. Royce Lewis is only one who looks like major league regular. Next best are guys like Hiura and Jake Burger. Just a very weak draft. In 2015, when Harris was taken, it was a much better draft but Harris was supposed to go much higher than 28th (Fangraphs had him going 13th) so obviously he was liked in the industry. Odds of anyone picked in the 20th becoming anything are pretty low so it doesn't bother me too much. What bothers me are the higher misses when there is ton of talent around. 2014 was particularly brutal. Jays had 8th and 11th picks and got Jeff Hoffman and Max Pentecost. Groshans also a huge miss as there were a ton of much better players taken later in the round. Austin Martin also big miss but doesn't bother me as much either as he was traded when value was still pretty good for an important piece.
Ducey - Friday, July 07 2023 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#431233) #
The thing about grading drafts is that

1)we dont know about signability discussions. Picking players isnt just about picking the best talent.
2)injuries are a huge factor. You could pick the best player but he cant stay healthy. Is that the scouts' fault?
3)statistically its a complete crap shoot. Even the best teams get maybe 3 or 4 players from a draft. Definitely luck involved.

The MLB draft is different from the 3 other major sports, where players have little leverage to pick their spots or contract terms. And it also makes it have to grade the scouts.
Dr B - Friday, July 07 2023 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#431234) #
My least favourite first round pick was David Cooper at #17 in 2008. He was a low risk, low ceiling first baseman who made it to the major-league coffee-bar briefly which was about as good as you could hope for. As much as it may have been a weak draft you might as well pick someone with a ceiling of major leaguer even if the risk profile is higher.  Even dire picks such as Deck McGuire (#11 2010) had _some_ potential.
John Northey - Friday, July 07 2023 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#431245) #
Lots of factors in every draft. But how you do vs others is #1 I think. Lets look at 2016 (our current GM's first draft)
  • Jays: 22.4 WAR so far, Bo Bichette 16.3 the best
  • Yankees: -1.0 WAR, Taylor Widener at 1.1 is their best
  • Red Sox: 4.8 WAR, Santiago Espinal at 5.1 is their best (heh)
  • Orioles: 8.4 WAR, Austin Hays at 8.6 is their best
  • Rays: 14.9 WAR, Nathaniel Lowe at 8.4 is their best
So for 2016 the Jays have the best player, and best WAR outside of their #1 guy. A clear AL East win.

  • Jays: 1.1 total, Ryan Noda #1 at 1.6 (he was part of the Ross Stripling trade)
  • Yankees: 12.4 WAR, Garrett Whitlock #1 at 5.0
  • Red Sox: 6.0 WAR, Tanner Houck #1 at 5.8
  • Orioles: 1.1 WAR, Mike Baumann at 0.1 is best that signed (removed those they didn't and it goes down to -0.6 total)
  • Rays: 10.0 WAR, Taylor Walls #1 at 6.1 (#2 was a DNS at 5.9 as was #3 0.3)
Not as good a draft. Pretty pathetic really with just the O's being worse.

So that gives a quick check of the 2 oldest drafts by our current GM vs the AL East. I could see doing a full analysis of all teams for comparison if I had a few hours and wanted to, but right now I don't. Especially since the book isn't written on most players in most of those drafts yet.

For older drafts it gets simpler in some respects, for fun here is one for each of the previous GM's....
  • 2010: AA's first: 65.9 WAR but that is boosted a LOT by unsigned guys Kris Bryant (28.6) and Chad Green (8.1 and finally here). Noah Syndergaard was the best signed (sigh - 16.1). Rays had 61.4 tops being Kevin Kiermaier at 34.5. Orioles had 54.7 almost all from Manny Machado (53.2, 3rd overall pick). Red Sox 9.8 but 11.2 from unsigned Hunter Renfroe, best otherwise was Brandon Workman (2.6) ugh. Yankees 3.6 total with Tommy Kahnle tops at 3.1. Rays clearly the top of the class that year with the O's 2nd thanks to Machado. Red Sox & Yankees flopped bad.
  • 2005: JPR had a few by then mostly bad, but had a top 10 pick and didn't waste it (well, not totally). Rickey Romano (9.9) but only got 9.8 total (2 others made it), geez was he bad at drafting. Rays 46.5 but #1 was unsigned only 1 guy who made it signed (Jeremy Hellickson at 11.3). Orioles flopped at 5.5 with top being David Hernandez at 4.7. Red Sox did well 103.5 WAR with Jacoby Ellsbury #1 at 31.2 but unsigned were significant (Blackmon 19.8, Jason Castro 12.4 plus a couple of 5's). Yankees had a great one at 122.3 with #1 being Brett Gardner 44.3, #2 unsigned though in Juston Turner (36) and Doug Fister (19.6) didn't sign either but Austin Jackson did sign (22.1). So I'd give 2005 to the Yankees.
  • 1997: Gord Ash - 1995 his first was the Halladay draft so that was a massive win, lets check a bit later. 98.2 WAR, his best I suspect. Orlando Hudson #1 at 30.9, Vernon Wells 28.6 and Michael Young 24.7 should've been the core of a champion but weren't. Sigh. Rays just 12.6 with the best not signing (Heath Bell) so #1 was Toby Hall at 4.7 (they drafted before having a ML team). O's did good at 46.5 led by Jayson Werth at 29.2. Red Sox just 17.4 saved by David Eckstein at 20.9 (19th round). Yankees flopped with 6.5 total #1 Randy Choate 4.5.
  • 1983: Gillick's last high pick draft: just 8.5 WAR total, Glenallen Hill #1 at 9.7 - his early drafts were mostly miss with the odd hit (Moseby, Barfield, Stieb).
So what do we see? Often the Jays do fine vs the current AL East but have had a few flops and a few 'woohoo' years, I'm sure I've done more in depth on annual stuff before as have others.
scottt - Saturday, July 08 2023 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#431272) #
It's nice that there is no signability issues anymore.
hypobole - Saturday, July 08 2023 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#431275) #
"Lots of factors in every draft. But how you do vs others is #1 I think."

What I think nowadays is how a team does vs its bonus pool spending. Take the 2017 draft. Red Sox had under $5.7 million to spend. Rays over 12.5 million. Sox had picks 24, 63, 101. Rays had picks 4, 31, 79, 109. Now the Rays only spent a bit over $10 million, because as you pointed out, they didn't sign Rasmussen. But they also shouldn't get his WAR either. The Sox ended up with Houck and Cutter Crawford. The Rays, Walls and?

It may look like the Rays did as well or better, but the Red Sox sure seem to have done better to me.
Nigel - Saturday, July 08 2023 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#431276) #
Totally agree hypobole. It like salary cap efficiency - how much value per dollar spent (not absolute value) is the key.
John Northey - Saturday, July 08 2023 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#431279) #
Wow, that 2005 first round was more stacked than I remembered. 4 guys in the 40's for WAR including Troy Tulowitzki taken right after Romero ouch. #11 was Andrew McCutchen (48.5 WAR) but the Rays got a guy who never reached before that and the Mariners had a negative WAR guy picked before the Jays got a chance. Thus the 9.9 Romero not being a waste. He was solid for a few years before injuries got him.

For fun the 2005 draft page here.

Past drafts: That covers the current GM and the last draft by AA and how we all reacted to each draft.

85bluejay was underwhelmed by the Jays first 3 picks in 2016 (Bo & 2 flops). dan gordon called it with Woodman, annoyed the Jays took him over Bryan Reynolds (14.7 WAR so far drafted by the Giants, traded to Pittsburgh). All 3 day one picks were seen as very signable.

2016's first round was a flop - Will Smith is the only one over 6 WAR at 13.5. Round 2 led by Bo at 16.4, then Pete Alonso at 16.0, then Bryan Reynolds at 14.7. Rest are sub 4.
2017 first round led by unsigned Drew Rasmussen at 5.9, then Tanner Houck at 5.2, rest under 4; second round led by Daulton Varsho at 8.7, rest sub 4
2018 first round led by Nico Hoerner at 8.8, then Shane McClanahan 8.7, Brady Singer 5.9, Logan Gilbert 5.2, all taken after the Jays took Jordan Groshans (sigh). Second has no one over 4 WAR yet.
2019 has Alek Manoah leading at 7.9, Adley Rutschman 7.4, Corbin Carroll 4.8, rest sub 4 in both rounds 1 and 2.
2020 and 2021 and 2022 have no one up to 4 WAR yet in rounds 1 or 2.

So basically for 2019 the Jays did damn good with Manoah. 2018 was a miss, 2017 a weak year, 2016 a big win with Bo (best in rounds 1 and 2 so far) but could've been a massive win had they taken Reynolds over Woodman.
85bluejay - Sunday, July 09 2023 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#431333) #
The Jays desperately need a good draft - I'm not optimistic.
hypobole - Sunday, July 09 2023 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#431339) #
Jays have one pick, #20, out of the 1st 88. They have a tiny $6.5 million bonus pool. No matter how well or poorly a team drafts, those numbers give no reason for optimism.
85bluejay - Sunday, July 09 2023 @ 07:00 PM EDT (#431365) #
I read somewhere that because 2022 #1 pick high school pitcher Brandon Barriera arrived in spring training this year in poor physical shape and that has set him back, the Jays will shy away from a high school pitcher with their top pick - hope that's not true - for a putrid system, BPA is a must.
Past Drafts vs What Could Be | 14 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.