Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of, with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Afternoon Snack… er… Afternoon Hangover… er… links!!!
I really don’t get the sense that Anthony Alford is bluffing about being a seriously tough sign, based on his comments to WDAM.com in Laurel, MS. “I wasn’t expecting to go in the top three rounds. I got a call earlier that they wanted me to be their number one pick, but I turned it down,” he says. “I told them I wanted to go to college, and I thought they’d pick me probably the tenth or eleventh round…I was surprised.” He adds that he’s “going to sit down with my family and talk about it. We’re going to discuss the pros and cons, but we’re not really going to make a decision. I mean, I’m still going to school regardless.”
At ESPN.com (Insider Only), Keith Law reviews the drafts of AL clubs, saying of the Jays’ drafting of numerous college seniors, that he “thought this was the most obvious strategy to employ in the current system if you had extra picks, and the Jays executed it extremely well.” He adds that 58th pick Mitch Nay “should sign very soon,” that Marcus Stroman is better than his draft position suggests, that 60th pick Tyler Gonzales has “a violent delivery and his command is poor,” and that the Jays “took a few backup tough-sign options after the 10th round.” There are, of course, many other nuggets in there as well.
In another piece for ESPN.com (Insider Only), Law suggests where each team’s best newly-drafted prospect would rank in their current system, and for the Jays, he’d have Marcus Stroman at number four, ahead of Anthony Gose, Noah Syndergaard, Dan Norris and others.
MLBTR passes along a Jon Heyman tweet where the CBS Sports reporter suggests that rival GMs think there’s a decent chance Matt Garza is traded, despite the Cubs’ efforts to re-sign him, and that it may be a race between the Yankees, Red Sox and Jays to get him.
At the National Post, John Lott talks draft strategy, college seniors, and all that good stuff, with comments from Andrew Tinnish, and some of the club’s recent draftees– of both the high- and low-end types. He adds another piece on just Matt Smoral and Tyler Gonzales.
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet talks to Andrew Tinnish, and tells us that the tough work for the Jays starts now, as they try to get everybody signed, and make all the money work.
Chris Toman of MLB.com writes about how the Jays’ risk-taking draft strategy has reshaped their minor league system.
Want to read something depressing? Then take a trip through Dave Schoenfield’s positional rankings for the AL East at ESPN.com– a role-by-role recap of how the Jays really kinda aren’t the best at anything (well… except in right field and when it comes to their number two starter).
The Jays made Daniel Devonshire the third ever Kiwi to be drafted by a Major League club, says Stuff.co.nz. He went in the thirty-seventh round.
Lastly (wait, really? that’s it?), at the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin speaks a little of the Jays’ development of a more athletic, more versatile roster. “The Blue Jays have a plan that involves becoming more athletic and more versatile on their major-league roster,” he says. “It’s part of the reason why their DH, Edwin Encarnacion, learned to play first base and a little left field. It’s part of the reason why the relatively unathletic Adam Lind was sent down, and it’s a large part of the reason 24-year-old Yan Gomes is back in the majors.” [Note: Wait... what???]
The rest of the piece sorta veers from this premise, however– did whoever wrote the headline only read the first two paragraphs???– into more basic stuff about the lineup, including Edwin Encarnacion’s progress as he tries to return from a hand injury.
“Just in talking to Eddie and seeing the look on his face when he goes through some of those strength tests, he’s more encouraged today than he was at the time of being hit,” said John Farrell. “First and foremost, no fracture, a good thing. When you still can’t see the knuckles on the back of his hand, there’s swelling in there.”