Indiana high schooler Trey Ball
We’re just about three weeks away from MLB’s annual Rule 4 draft, aka the amateur draft, and with the tenth overall pick– though nothing in the way of extras this year, for the first time in… forever– the Jays have a chance to see a nice bit of high end talent fall their way, and we’re starting to see that in the mock drafts that are filtering out.
Two of those showed up in the ol’ digital inbox yesterday, with John Sickels of Minor League Ball coming out with his second version, and Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider Only) revealing his first mock.
Both of them link the Jays to two-way Indiana high school prospect Trey Ball, who was profiled today at Baseball Prospectus. Sickels evidently thinks the Jays are more inclined to take him than Law, as Keith actually has the Jays passing on Ball– though obviously things are very fluid at the moment.
Ball is “a logical choice,” Sickels says, because of his “combination of upside, athleticism, and youth, plus Toronto’s usual orientation towards those qualities in the draft.”
Law has the Jays taking Washington state high school catcher Reese McGuire, though he notes that he has “heard the Blue Jays could take Ball or Meadows with this pick. I would expect them to be opportunistic on any player who was supposed to go higher than this and falls, which could mean Frazier.”
Those would be Georgia high school outfielders Austin Meadows– who Chris Crawford (@ChrisCrawfordV) of MLB Draft Insider and ESPN’s draft blog called in the first edition of his 2013 Draftbook (published in January) “a potential cornerstone player for a franchise even if he has to move to a corner outfield position professionally”– and Clint Frazier, who Crawford called “an everyday outfielder who has the chance to make an all-star team or two.”
As for McGuire, in his ESPN scouting report, he’s noted for his throwing and an improvement in his hands over last year. “At the plate, however, he’s a real question mark,” we’re told. And Crawford is similarly less than enthusiastic about a guy who in both Law’s and Sickels’ mocks is being looked at as just outside the top 10. “I’ve seen some analysts put McGuire at the top of their catcher rankings, but I’m a little more bearish on him than others,” he writes. “He gets rave reviews for his work ethic, and he did put up good numbers over the summer, but he starts the year as my forth best prep catcher.”
Law had the two outfielders landing back-to-back, a couple picks after the Jays, followed by Ball, who in his scouting report at ESPN.com, he says is “so promising as a position player and as a pitcher that he could go in the first round as either one of the two. On the mound, his talent is easier to spot — a 6-foot-6 left-hander with a loose arm, a fastball up to 94, and feel for a breaking ball already.”
In his chat yesterday, Law said that he preferred Ball as a pitcher. So… there’s that. Some interesting names to start getting acquainted with, I guess.
Lastly, switching gears while still speaking of chats, Jason Parks had one over at Baseball Prospectus yesterday, in which he spoke of a few of prospects already in the Jays system. Some highlights!
Kris (PEI): Marcus Stroman’s ceiling as a starter? Reliever?
Jason Parks: I don’t see him as a starter. I think he can be closer, and a good one.
Parker (British Columbia): If you could predict the future, where would Alberto Tirado rank in next years top 100? ~75 range?
Jason Parks: 75
Aaron Sanchez (Dunedin): How good could I be?
Jason Parks: With your easy delivery/release and plus-plus raw stuff, I think you can be an impact rotation arm. Maybe a frontline starter if the command and secondary utility come together. You can make it look easy. That’s not easy.
So… there’s also that.
If you’re interested Crawford’s 2013 Draft Book for yourself, you can order it for just $3.99 at MLB Draft Insider.