2013 Draft Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

by Daniel Levitt | Posted on Thursday, June 6th, 2013
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MLB Draft 2013

With the 2013 First Year Player Draft set to start Thursday, we take a look at what to expect from the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays have had their philosophy change in recent years under the new guidance of Alex Anthopoulos, which has seen the club prize highly-touted high-school players who are notoriously hard to sign, but come with high-ceilings. This has marked a move away from the traditional picks of more seasoned college players who require less development to get them to the big leagues, but have less ceiling.

2013 will mark the first year under the guidance of new amateur scouting director, Brian Parker, who moves into the role after two seasons as a pro scout and another as a professional cross checker with the Blue Jays. Despite the change in personnel, Parker insists that he will not shy away from the strategy of drafting and signing high-ceiling talent.

In the past under Anthopoulos, the club has had several additional picks through the clever manipulation of the old collective bargaining agreement. In 2012, the Blue Jays received a supplementary first round pick for the departure of catcher Jose Molina via free agency. Those days are gone and under the new CBA, the Blue Jays’ due diligence and expertise will be needed more than ever.

Also new with the current CBA is the financial restrictions for teams to sign their draft picks. Each organisation is allotted a total figure, which is based on the number and order of the picks. Here are the Blue Jays’ recommended slot values for selections 1-10:

Round

Overall

Slot

1

10

$2,921,400

2

47

$1,168,200

3

83

$650,800

4

115

$446,100

5

145

$334,000

6

175

$250,100

7

205

$187,400

8

235

$156,900

9

265

$146,500

10

295

$136,800

Last year, the Blue Jays still found a way around the new rules. They effectively wasted their draft picks for rounds 4-10 on players who were unlikely to get drafted, and consequently accepted exceptionally low signing bonuses (as little as $1,000). That then freed up extra money on their picks in the first three picks.

This year is slightly different. The Blue Jays have the minimum number of picks for the first time since 2008. The execution may arrive in later rounds, but the strategy is set to remain the same.

An interesting selection for the Blue Jays, if he falls far enough, is the number eight draft prospect Trey Ball. The 6’6” lefty is currently committed to the University of Texas and is being scouted for both his bat and arm. Typically, it’s fairly clear which direction two-way players will head when they reach the next level, with the scouting industry agreeing a certain prospect should hit or pitch as a pro. The jury is still out on Ball, the top two-way player in this class. Teams may not decide which way the Indiana high school product should go until the last minute.

If they cannot get Ball, then Parker may opt to go for 6’5” left-handed pitcher Sean Manaea, out of Indiana State University. The twenty-one year old will be a solid choice for the Blue Jays, who possesses a plus fastball and the potential to add a plus changeup and slider to round out his arsenal. He’s not as polished as some of the higher ranked prospects, but a southpaw who has up to 96 mph on the cape is going to get a lot of attention.

Whatever the results, be sure to check in with us during and after the draft for a full roundup of the events. Go Jays!

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Daniel Levitt
About the Author

Daniel has been following the minor-leagues since 2012, and is BHC's go-to guy for all things prospects. Daniel is eager to enthral you all with his love and passion for baseball. Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielLevitt32. http://daniellevitt32.com/







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