The Pulse on the Blue Jays: 2015 MLB Draft Review

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With the MLB Amateur Draft now entering its third day it is time for us to take a quick look at how the Blue Jays have fared so far. With not having the best access to scouting information or video, I have relied heavily on scouting reports and break downs from MLB.com and the great Blue Jays community website, bluebirdbanter.com.

Jon Harris

1st Round (29th overall): Jon Harris · RHP · 21 yrs old · Missouri State · 6’4 · 175lbs

  • From MLB.com: “A 33rd-round choice by the Blue Jays out of a Missouri high school three years ago, Harris took a step forward in the Cape Cod League last summer and has continued to improve as a junior. He works comfortably at 92-94 mph with his fastball, and it plays up because it has run and sink and he uses his height to deliver it on a nice downhill plane. He has added some strength and his 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame still has room for more, so he could pick up more velocity. His curveball, slider and changeup are all plus pitches at times. Harris has power and depth on his breaking balls, and he has made huge strides with his changeup and trusts it more than before. He also has improved his command and is doing a better job of pitching inside with his fastball.”   
  • Although not possessing nearly the amount of upside as 2014 first rounder, Jeff Hoffman, some scouts believe that because Harris is more polished and closer to being a “finished product,” that he could move quickly through the Blue Jays minor league system.
  • Jim Callis of the MLB network said that the Blue Jays got a “steal” in Harris, who was rumoured to have been going in the first 15 picks. Needless to say he was not expected to be there when the Jays were picking at #29.

Brady Singer

2nd Round (56th overall): Brady Singer · RHP · 18 yrs old · Eustis HS (FL) · 6’5 · 180 lbs

  • From MLB.com: “Whenever a projectable high school pitcher shows a jump in stuff, he’s bound to move up Draft boards. That’s exactly what was happening with Singer in Florida, though some concern about mechanics was giving some scouts pause. Singer, a 6-foot-5 right-hander committed to the University of Florida, had always intrigued because of his frame and fairly solid idea of how to pitch. When he went from throwing his fastball in the 88-92 range to sitting closer to 92-94 mph and touching 96, his stock definitely jumped. He’ll complement the fastball with a slider that flashes average and he shows some feel for a changeup. Singer uses a three-quarter arm slot with a high elbow, a kind of unorthodox delivery that will make some scouts pause. Given the leap he’s made stuff-wise, a team is bound to look past that and nab him in the first few rounds of the Draft.”

Justin Maese

3rd Round (91st overall): Justin Maese · RHP · 18 yrs old · Ysleta HS (TX) · 6’3 · 190 lbs

  • From MLB.com: “One of the biggest pop-up guys this spring, Maese sent scouts scurrying to El Paso amid reports that he was hitting 96 mph with his fastball and 86 mph with his slider. While he only flashes that type of stuff rather than maintains it, it’s possible that he could sneak into the top three rounds. Though Maese’s fastball can climb into the mid-90s, he doesn’t tend to hold that velocity and often works at 88-92 mph. His slider has its moments too but he throws it too much and it often devolves into a less powerful pitch with slurvy break. Also a star quarterback for Ysleta High, Maese has the athleticism and frame to remain a starter. To do so, the Texas Tech recruit will have to become more consistent with his fastball and slider, develop a changeup and improve his control and command.”

Carl Wise

4th Round (122nd overall): Carl Wise · 3B · 21 yrs old · College of Charleston (SC) · 6’1 · 215 lbs

  • From MLB.com: “Lightly recruited out of high school, Wise has established himself as one of the most reliable power hitters in college baseball. He homered six times in seven games in March and has reached double figures in two of his three seasons at Charleston. Facing top competition in the Cape Cod League last summer, he tied for second with six longballs. Wise has good strength and excels at generating backspin on his drives from the right side of the plate. He can get pull-conscious at times but generally stays under control at the plate and manages the strike zone reasonable well, so he should hit for a decent average. Wise has enough arm strength for third base but almost certainly will move to a different position in pro ball. His throws lack accuracy at times and his hands and quickness are subpar for the hot corner. First base is his likely destination.”

kris bryant

5th Round (152nd overall): Jose Espada · RHP · 18 yrs old · Jose Collazo Colon HS (PR) · 6’0 · 170 lbs

  • Okay so the above picture is clearly Cubs phenom, Kris Bryant. Why did I post this you ask? Well, two reasons really. The first, is that I could not find an actual picture of Espada, and the second, and much sadder reason is because the Blue Jays actually drafted Bryant while he was still in High School in the 18th round of the 2010 MLB Draft and were unable to sign him… so yeah. Anyway, back to Espada…
  • From bluebirdbanter.com: Per Jim Callis on the MLB Network draft broadcast, the Blue Jays told him he was an ahtletic, projectible pitcher who they’ve had up to 92 MPH, flashing a plus breaking ball. It sounds like he’s an under the radar pop-up guy who’s taken significant steps forward in the last 6-8 months, someone who the Jays scouts really like and should be a quick and easy sign since you don’t go so far off the board for a guy you aren’t sure you can sign.”

JC-Cardenas

6th Round (182nd overall): JC Cardenas · SS · 20 yrs old · Barry University (FL) · 6’0 · 185 lbs

  • From bluebirdbanter.com: “pick is pretty far off the draft board, as neither Baseball America nor Perfect Game list him among their top 500 prospects. This past year, he posted a .352/.457/.519 triple slash line in 43 games, with 4 HR, 11 other extra base hits, and a 28/22 BB/K ratio. Career, his numbers aren’t quite as good, .312/.410/.426 with 9 HR and 25 other extra base hits and 74/88 BB/K. It looks like he took a nice step forward in the past year. Fielding percentage is a poor indicator of anything at the MLB level much less the amateur level, but his .920 mark this year and .921 career number is pretty poor.”

Travis-Bergen

7th Round (212th overall): Travis Bergen · LHP · 21 yrs old · Kennesaw State (GA) · 6’1 · 205 lbs

  • From MLB.com: “When Kennesaw State became the first NCAA Division I team in 21 years to win a regional tournament in its playoff debut last June, Bergen was named Most Outstanding Player after picking up two victories in the four days. He followed up with a strong summer in the Cape Cod League and has performed well again this spring. Bergen can hit 94 mph with his fastball, but he usually pitches at 88-92 mph. He lacks downhill plane because he’s 6 feet tall and leaves his heater up in the strike zone more than he should, but it’s effective because his extreme crossfire delivery produces run and sink and allows him to get inside against righties. Bergen’s breaking ball varies between a fringy slider in the lower 80s and a promising cutter in the upper 80s, and he may want to focus on the cutter in pro ball. His changeup has some sink and is an effective third pitch. He throws enough strikes to remain a starter, though his lack of a true plus pitch gives him little margin for error.”

danny-young

8th Round (242nd overall): Daniel Young · LHP · 21 yrs old · Florida (FL) · 6’2 · 195 lbs

  • From bluebirdbanter.com: “Young has been used as both a starter and reliever in his college career, though mostly as a reliever during conference play in the crucible of the SEC. This year he only started one game, posting a 2.42 ERA in 26 innings, striking out 23 against 9 walks, allowing 26 hits and one home run. In SEC play, he pitched 9.1 innings, posting a sterling 0.96 ERA. Florida perennially has extremely deep pitching, and so whereas at another school a guy like Danny Young would have a much higher profile role, maybe or probably being a weekend starter, he was buried as a complementary bullpen piece among a ton of quality arms. Consequently, there is actually very little in-depth information available about him (which is maybe what the Blue Jays are exploiting).”

Connor Panas

9th Round (272nd overall): Connor Panas · 3B · 22 yrs old · Canisius College (NY) · 6’0 · 218 lbs

  • From bluebirdbanter.com: “6’0”, 218 pound Etobicoke native Connor Panas as a senior out of Canisius College in Buffalo. Panas is listed on the Draft Tracker as a 3B, but has also played LF, CF and 1B for Canisius this year, so he has some utility ability. Over the last two years, Panas has absolutely mashed the ball for Canisius, posting a .379/.476/.633 line in 2015 in 290 PA, hitting 10 HR, 24 other extra base hits and showing strong plate discipline with a 31/37 BB/K ratio. Over his four years at Canisius, he hit .344/.447/.522 with 80 extra base hits and a 103/106 BB/K ratio. Keep in mind, as dominant as those numbers are, the MAAC conference is not a baseball powerhouse.”

owen spiwak

10th Round (302nd overall): Owen Spiwak · C · 20 yrs old · Odessa College (TX) · 6’2 · 185 lbs

  • From bluebirdbater.com: “…Catcher and Mississauga native Owen Spivak from Odessa College, a junior college in Odessa, Texas. The 6’2″, 185 pound left-hand hitting Spiwak was selected by the Mets in the 26th round of the 2013 draft out Cawthra Park Secondary.In 2015 for Odessa, he posted a line of .387/.445/.629 in 220 PA, hitting 8 home runs and 20 other extra base hits with a 17/20 K/BB ratio. On the MLB Network broadcast, Jim Callis said he got a message from a non-Jays scout describing him as having a sweet left-handed swing.”

Late Round Picks (11 to 15):

11th Round: Marrick Crouse · RHP · 18 yrs old

12th Round: DJ McKnight · OF · 21 yrs old

13th Round: Daniel Perry · SS · 18 yrs old

14th Round: Ryan Hissey · C · 21 yrs old

15th Round: Jackson McClelland · RHP · 20 yrs old

Further Reading on the 2015 Blue Jays Draft Class:

  • Jeff Moore from Sportsnet.ca: http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/mlb-draft-what-blue-jays-top-picks-can-offer/
  • Ben Nicholson-Smith from Sportsnet.ca: http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/toronto-blue-jays-select-2015-first-round-pick-anthopoulos-missouri-state-right-hander-jon-harris/
  • From bluebirdbanter.com: http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2015/6/9/8752441/blue-jays-picks-in-the-2015-mlb-draft

– $

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