2014 MLB Draft: No. 11 – Toronto Blue Jays – Max Pentecost
Another former draftee from 2011, Max Pentecost improved his stock dramatically, being drafted with the eleventh overall pick by the Toronto Blue Jays, compared to the seventh round by the Texas Rangers three years ago. The Blue Jays injected their minor league system with a much needed catching prospect, since the departures of former prospects Carlos Perez of the Houston Astros and Travis d’Arnaud of the New York Mets.
Since 2011, Pentecost has displayed the above-average tools at the college level that drew the Rangers to draft him in the first place. The 21 year old can hit for solid average and the Blue Jays would like him to add some more power to his bat, providing a catcher that is competent on both sides of the plate. The junior, out of Kenneshaw State, possesses good speed for a catcher, but will need to improve his arm strength and accuracy if he is to shut down base stealers at a higher level.
Pentecost will immediately be the number one catching prospect in the Blue Jays organisation, with long-time prospect A.J Jimenez following closely at number two. However, Jimenez is now twenty-four years of age and his window of opportunity may have just closed slightly more, after the addition of Pentecost. The pipeline for prospects for Toronto is littered with high-ceiling arms, so it will be refreshing to add a legitimate position player to the mix.
The Blue Jays have been known to gamble on their first round draft picks in the past, but Pentecost proves to be a slight change from that draft strategy, and figures to be likely to sign under the suggested slot value of $2,888,300. If Max Pentecost can improve a couple of his tools, he pictures to fill out as a modest starting catcher in the major leagues, and will look to break camp with the Blue Jays by the 2017 season.