Georgia high school outfielder Clint Frazier
The Rule 4 draft, aka the amateur draft, goes Thursday, so naturally the rumblings about how it’s all going to shake down are about as close to a fever pitch as they’ll get. Or, at the very least, it isn’t entirely nonsensical to start thinking about what order prospects are going to go in– which is exactly what guys like Keith Law of ESPN and Jim Callis of Baseball America have been doing.
Law produced the third version of his mock draft on Monday at ESPN.com (Insider Only), and for the third time had the Jays selecting a different player with the tenth pick. This time, Indiana high school pitcher/outfielder Trey Ball was the name he went with for Toronto– a player he’d linked the club to in an earlier mock.
In his comment on the Jays’ spot, Law writes that he’s “only heard Ball, McGuire, and J.P. Crawford, with a slight chance they’d go for Bickford.”
McGuire is Reese McGuire, who Law had the Jays taking back in his first mock draft. I compiled some notes on him in a post back on May 17th.
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 [MLB Draft Insider and ESPN draft blog writer Chris] 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.”
Not exactly a glowing report, but if the Jays did end up taking him there, obviously it would be because their many eyes disagree. So… who knows?
Interestingly, in his earlier mock Law also noted that he would expect the Jays “to be opportunistic on any player who was supposed to go higher than this and falls, which could mean [Clint] Frazier.” In the most recent version he has the club passing on the Georgia outfielder, but Jim Callis of Baseball America seems to think it’s hardly a foregone conclusion that he’ll be available when the Jays pick. In a must-read piece from Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, Callis says that he thinks the Red Sox, who pick seventh, may be inclined to take one of two highly touted Georgia outfielders, Frazier or Austin Meadows– provided other prospects don’t slide and land in their lap.
Speaking of the Jays, Callis says:
Another guy who I think is on the top of their prep list where there’s at least a slim chance he gets to them is Clint Frazier, an outfielder from Georgia near Austin Meadows [another top draft prospect].
Those two guys are an interesting compare too. The two best high school position guys in the draft. Frazier has the best bat speed in the draft. He’s probably more likely than Meadows to have to move from centre field to a corner. But if he does he’s got more power, he’s got the arm strength. He’s not the biggest guy, but he can really juice the ball. His bat speed is electric.
Frazier had a better spring — they played head to head and Frazier hit two home runs in a game when everyone was there to see them both. Meadows didn’t have a bad spring, but Frazier captivated people a little more.
Interestingly, Law has Meadows off the board before the Jays pick, Frazier a few picks behind them, and Kohl Stewart, who Callis thought the Red Sox would snap up if he got past the Twins at four, down at 16. So… yeah. Things are still a bit murky out there. Only a couple more sleeps until it all gets cleared up, at least!