The first day of the MLB draft is done. The Jays selected four pitchers with their first five picks.
Pick 1 (20th) – Chad Jenkins
From reports Jenkins fits the Jays mold of a near MLB ready pitcher that can fill the back half of a rotation but ultimately lacks the upside of a front-line starter. With the Jays depth of potential 4’s and 5’s in the system I’m not too thrilled with this pick.
Pick 2 (37th) – James Paxton
Paxton, a Boras client, is a hard throwing lefty from the University of Kentucky. He struck out 95 vs 17 BB in 65 IP this season. A Canadian, Paxton’s main issue is control. From the scouting reports I read Paxton could be a front-line starter or fizzle out due to command issues. 17 BB doesn’t look to shabby to me. Either way I love these types of picks. Even if the Jays pay a couple of million over-slot this is a far cheaper source of talent than free agency.
The MLB sets a price target that teams should pay to players drafted in a certain position, ie the 28th player should be paid X. That is the slot price. In the past the commissioners office would do whatever they could to talk teams about going over slot. A few years back the Astros drafted Drew Stubbs in third round and were about to pay him above slot money ($900,000). The MLB put their goons to work and talked the ‘stros’ out of signing Stubbs. A year later he went to the Reds 8th overall and signed for $2 million. The Tigers have set the bar for drafting success, paying above slot money for Verlander (their ace), Maybin & Andrew Miller (primary tools in trade for Cabrera) and Porcello (current #3/#4 at the age of 20).
Kudos to the Jays for this pick. I think of Boras as a mini-scouting agency in itself. Typically he doesn’t represent poor prospects. Think of it as the Boras seal of approval.
Picks 3, 4, 5
Jake Eliopoulos (LHP) HS
Jake Barrett (RHP) HS
Jacob Marisnick (CF) HS
With the final three picks of the day the Jays selected three high schoolers. Scouting reports lifted from ESPN, Keith Law and other sites can be found throughout the web, so I’ll spare you the details. Its nice to see the former college only emphasis that J.P. used during his first five years in office come to an end. Before the selection of Travis Snider J.P. had yet to use any of his first five picks on a high schooler.