The 2010 MLB Draft starts on June 7th and with four picks in the first round (three supplemental), the Toronto Blue Jays have an opportunity to inject a lot of young talent into their system.
New GM Alex Anthopoulos has been a breath of fresh air when compared to predecessor J.P. Ricciardi. He's media friendly, fan accessible and seems to genuinely care about his players.
However, the upcoming draft is where Alex can really begin to make his mark on this team.
Unlike Ricciardi, Alex is committed to scouting high school and prep players as well as college players. The previous regime virtually ignored the former for its first 3 or 4 drafts and only started drafting the latter when pressured by ownership and the media.
With Alex Anthopoulos's dedication to scouting there is no single prospect that won't be in play starting June 7th. However, with team President Paul Beeston's well known disdain for Scott Boras , and the contractual catastrophe last year, the Jays will probably avoid players with sign-ability red flags.
Before I get into the various draftees who could be in play next Monday, lets take a quick look at the Jays top prospects:
20. Brad Emsus 2B
19. Eric Thames OF
18. Ryan Goins SS
17. Robert Ray SP
16. Brian Dopriak 1B/DH
15. Gustavo Pierre SS
14. Adeiny Hechavarria SS
13. David Cooper 1B/DH
12. Jake Marisnick CF
11. Tyler Pastornicky SS
10. Brad Mills SP
9. Moises Sierra OF
8. JP Arencibia C
7. Carlos Perez C
6. Travis d'Arnaud C
5. Henderson Alvarez SP
4. Chad Jenkins SP
3. Zach Stewart RP
2. Brett Wallace 1B
1. Kyle Drabek SP
Names in bold are at AAA Las Vegas, names in italics are at A ball and those in underlined italics are playing rookie or developmental ball.
The first thing that jumps out is that the Jays only have one top 5 prospect that's major league ready (in theory, AAA players are closer to promotion than others).
The other is that the majority of our top prospects are in rookie or A ball, meaning they are years away from wearing a Toronto Blue Jays uniform. If ever.
Overall, The Jays have one legit ace pitching prospect in Drabek while the rest are middle to back end rotation types. Stewart project as a future closer.
Arencibia and Sierra, and to a lessor extent Wallace and Thames, are the only players with any power. However, Marisnick is very young and could still develop in that area.
The reality is that half these names will never be seen on the backs of Toronto Blue Jays jerseys. And of those that do, only a small hand full will have an impactful MLB career.
With that in mind, GM Alex Anthopoulos will be looking at pitchers with ace potential, major league ready outfielders and developmental power hitters, preferably infielders (non 1B).
The Jays won't be drafting the likes of Bryce Harper, Jameson Taillon or Drew Pomeranz but there is still plenty of blue chip talent out there.
Here are a few names that come to mind as possibilities for the Jays first pick at #11:
3B Nick Castellanos (pictured) - 6'4" 200 lbs. - Archbishop McCarthy HS (FL)
Castellanos is a right handed power hitter with good speed. He was an Under Armour All-American and won a Gold Medal at the Pan Am Games with the US Team, leading the squad with 14 RBI's.
He'll need to add weight but as he matures his upside projects as an All-Star MLB Third Baseman.
SS/3B Yordy Cabrera - 6'3" 195 lbs. - Lakeland HS (FL)
Another power/speed combo who will most likely end up at third base as a pro. Physically, some have compared him to Miguel Cabrera (no relation) which if true means his speed will decline as he bulks up. However, he has a cannon for an infield arm which lends well to manning the hot corner.
Yordy is definitely a project but his intangibles (great attitude, high grades) make him much less of a gamble.
CF/RF Bryce Brentz - 6'0" 195 lbs. - Middle Tennessee State
A four year starter, Brentz might be the most polished player in this draft and could legitimately contend for a roster spot next spring.
Brentz showed good power in college with a sophomore campaign of .465/28/73 in only 230 AB's. However, he injured his ankle this year and was a bit limited.
Regardless, his tools are all pro-worthy and he could hear his name called by Toronto at #11.
LF Michael Choice - 6'1" 215 lbs. - Texas Arlington
Another polished college outfielder, Choice doesn't have the defensive prowess of Brentz but his power stroke shows more potential.
He's also a patient hitter with 76 walks in 196 AB's. Although he'll never challenge for a stolen base title, he does have good speed and he's a very smart base runner.
RHP Karsten Whitson - 6'4" 190 lbs. - Chipley HS
Whitson is considered by many to be the second-best pitcher in this draft (behind Taillon), but is much more raw. In fact, I have the Jays selecting him in my recent mock draft that you can read here .
His mechanics and easy arm action allow him to throw a heavy, sinking fastball in the mid-90's with good command. Also, his low-80s slider bites hard and his change-up is improving.
Karsten has all the potential to be an legit ace, but the Jays will need to be patient.
RHP Dylan Covey - 6'2" 200 lbs. - Maranatha HS
If Whitson is gone at 11, then the Jays will take a long look at Covey who some scouts think is just as good.
Covey has a great mid 90's fastball that already shows movement, which is rare in a pitcher his age. However, his best pitch might the big, hard breaking curve ball that he throws at around 78 mph. He's also a great competitor and doesn't seem easily rattled on the mound.
Not having been to the playoffs since 1993, this might be the single most important draft ever for the Blue Jays.
Along with the 11th pick, Toronto also selects 34th, 38th and 41st in the First Round Supplemental. Add those to the three picks we have in the second round and one in the third and that's a grand total of 8 picks in the top 100.
No pressure, Alex.
You can read my full mock draft here.