There is a world of amateur baseball out there, and it’s a fucking fools errand to go around thinking that anybody who isn’t paid handsomely to keep tabs on the players and the pro scouts watching them can provide you anything resembling value for their thoughts on who looks good, who should go where, who your favourite team should be targeting and who we should lose our shit over either drafting or passing up. Double that foolishness for anyone dumb enough to try and write about it in any kind of serious way, without the giant caveat I’m about to lay down: I have no fucking idea who these draft prospects are beyond what’s being written about them and I’m passing along.

To me, it’s absolutely ab-fucking-surd the way baseball fans have developed the tendency to react at all to the picks their club makes, but especially with faux outrage that their club has taken someone who they’ve heard doesn’t have the kind of ceiling they want, or have passed on someone they’ve heard better things about than the player selected. It just fucking kills me.

That said, there are some names out there to keep our eyes on, and some interesting ones being linked to the Jays.

On the Getting Blanked Podcast earlier today (which I had so little to do with I think I can objectively say was pretty fucking great), as well as episodes of ESPN Baseball Today this week, Keith Law has spoken about Lucas Giolito, who he’s said may be the most talented player in the draft, but who appears to be slipping because of a “non-serious elbow injury.” The Jays are one of the teams with multiple early picks who he figured would be contemplating drafting Giolito and going over-slot to sign him, culling extra money for him from their pool by going cheap or straight-up punting on a later pick. In fact, he has Giolito going to the Jays in his most recent mock draft at (Insider only), explaining that “they’re on everyone — Smoral, Cecchini, Dahl, prep catcher Stryker Trahan, and even the college arms I have going right ahead of them. There’s a strong sentiment that they’re one of two or three teams loading up to go over slot recommendations at their first pick for someone like Giolito, Russell or McCullers.”

Marc Hulet of FanGraphs is hearing similar rumblings, explaining that “The chatter has them mostly on prep players and the local media is big on prep catcher/outfielder Stryker Trahan but that’s mainly because he was in for workout and looked good. Two names I’ll throw out are prep hurler Lance McCullers Jr., whose father pitched in the majors but could be gone before the Jays’ first pick, and college starting pitcher Marcus Stroman, who is likely a pro reliever and possibly MLB-ready (He addresses a club weakness – the bullpen – and could help them save some cash for supplemental round choices).”

Stroman is an interesting option, as Law explained on Thursday’s Baseball Today that he expects him to sign quickly, and be rushed through the minors in as little as eight weeks. If this is the route the Jays take with one of their picks, I’d expect that to be the plan– it’s rare that you can have a player making an impact so quickly in the Majors, and it would not just be interesting to see, but would help the Jays, either during a stretch drive, or as a ready-made replacement for trade bait like potential free agent relievers Darren Oliver, Francisco Cordero, and Jason Frasor.

Giolito is the really intriguing one, though, simply because of the talent– Law had him as high as number three in his first mock draft, and says in the preamble to his second, in which he couldn’t assign a team to Giolito, that he could very well go in the top 15. If he’s available when the Jays pick at 17, it would be a very AA-like move to make, I think. If he’s there and they pass, though, let’s please just all assume that the club didn’t like the medicals before we go shit ape, huh?

Choosing someone like him, and then a cheaper option like Stroman to balance the money pool, sounds like maybe an ideal outcome for fans of the club, but saying so forces me to go back to my original point, which is that we know so goddamn little about these guys that it’s not really possible to have any sort of reasonable expectation of the Jays’ strategy. It’s probably better to watch what they do, then work backwards to try and decipher what it suggests they were thinking, rather than the other way around.

There’s a lesson to be learned, I think, from out of the confusion two years ago when the Jays went off the board for a sandwich round pick not a lot of people were talking about– Noah Syndergaard. Whatever the team does, it’ll provide us with some real food for thought, but not a whole lot to get worked up about.

In that second mock draft of Law’s he has the Jays taking Louisiana high school shortstop Gavin Cecchini, though he says he’s “also hearing Stanford’s Stephen Piscotty here; his first-round range seems to be from Nos. 17 to 25. Otherwise, it’s the usual cast of high school upside bats, including Dahl if he makes it this far. I don’t think they’ll take Mississippi prep outfielder D.J. Davis here, but they are on him.” Cecchini is the Jays’ pick at 22 in his third mock.

Obviously, with so many moving parts ahead of them, everything wide open.

Comments (24)

  1. If you punt picks #50 & #58 and give them 100k each, you can give Giolito the equivalent to #4 overall’s slot.

  2. Law also said in the comments that he would take Giolito 1-1 if his doctors were comfortable with the medical reports

  3. Can someone please impose Stoeten’s head on the classic JP “horseshit” photo and write “Please don’t troll my fucking blog” in the speech bubble?

    After 5ish years of writing this thing you still get so worked up about future flame posts that a third of the content of an informative draft post has to be devoted to literally begging guys not to come on here and angrily rant? Take this as constructive criticism: Like Darren Oliver and coming in with the bases loaded, you’re too old for this shit.

    Anyway, take care.



      you suck

    • They aren’t trolls though, they’re people genuinely pissed off that the team picked one guy they’d never heard of a month ago instead of another guy they’d never heard of a month ago. It happens every year, and it goes way beyond being a nuisance, it’s just fucking dumb, and as a public service I like to point that out.

  4. Impossible to take a good picture of Bud.

    • I’m positive that Stoeten is purposefully choosing unflattering pictures of Selig for these posts. Having said that, I’m really glad I didn’t invite Bud to be in my wedding party

  5. Should be really interesting to see which way they go. Obviously, I’m not a scouting expert but if they could score a guy like Giolito, elbow problems or not, that would be quite a coup based on the fact a lot of in-the-know guys had Giolito ranked at the top earlier this spring before his injury. With the wealth of pitching prospects on the way up there would be no pressure in rushing a talent like that.

    Imo this draft is probably going to be a one-off more than anything else because you’re not going to see teams with nearly as many draft picks in future drafts, at least not teams that finish in the middle of the standings.

  6. Oh the irony of getting Giolito (after his medicals scare others away) because they have an extra pick due to Tyler Beede’s medicals that scared them away.

  7. to be clear, that seems like it would be a HUGE trade-up

  8. with 22 being compensation for failing to sign beede it will very likely be a low risk, low(ish cost signing. i believe the pick is lost if they fail to sign that pick again

    • You have to assume that pick is earmarked for a guaranteed sign guy.

      If the Jays are willing to punt a pick or two on a college senior for example, the Beede pick would make sense to go overslot on someone else.

      • That rule is changed this year. Unsigned draft picks return compensation picks for two years now, so even if the Jays don’t sign the player at #22 this year, they get one more do-over.

  9. I’ve been hoping they snag Marcus Stroman up too. McCullers Jr would be a fucking steal at 17th, in my opinion.

  10. Didn’t know about these guys, thanks Stoeten.

  11. I’m basing all of my thoughts on the prospects the Jays draft on their names alone… and this year’s crop of possibles sound like winners!

    • Which is why I’m all for Stryker Trahan. I had never heard of him before, but with a name that sounds like it came straight out of Street Fighter he’s gotta be a winner!

  12. If Baseball America, Keith Law & Kevin Goldstein are happy with AA’s picks, so am I. I will reserve emotion until they tell me how to feel.

  13. Hello my name is Bud. I suffer from an affliction that is diagnosed by medical professionals as dipshitialcontortionalfacialitus, commonly called “retard-face”, people often approach me on the street and ask, “Are you a retard?”. I reply, “of course not, I’m the commissioner of Major League Baseball..nobody in their right mind would put a retard in charge of the greatest sport the human race has ever had the privilege of enjoying.”

  14. Stryker Trahan?? Now that’s a baseball name right there.

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