My apologies for the lack of activity on the blog today, but if you check out our live stream at 3:00 PM EDT and our live blog / chat at 7:00 PM EDT, you’ll see that the Getting Blanked crew hasn’t just been sitting around whistling Dixie while the draft rumours heat up to a temperature hot enough to burn fire.
To whet your appetite for draft discussion in the meantime, here are a few players that have been talked about as possible targets for the Blue Jays, despite the team, as Kevin Goldstein describes, notoriously playing it close to their vest.
Last year, the first with Andrew Tinnish acting as scouting director, the Blue Jays played it safe with their first pick, selecting Georgia Tech’s Deck McGuire, before taking high school pitchers with their next three selections. Most pundits expect the team to act similarly tonight with their five choices, selecting more safely with their first pick (21) before taking bigger risks during the first compensation round (35, 46, 53, 57).
Levi Michael, SS, University Of North Carolina, 5′ 10″, 180 lbs
Three of the five mock drafts I’ve read have Michael going to the Blue Jays, and all three give unflattering reports of the switch hitter known more for his line drive and gap power than sending it out of the yard. He has a reputation for speed that hasn’t translated well into defensive range, a lack of which will likely mean a move to second base in his future. We’ve seen Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos seek out athletic types more often than not, betting that they can develop into elite talents. By everything that I’ve read, Michael doesn’t seem to be the type to exude the kind of athleticism that’s seemed attractive to the Blue Jays in the past.
The latest news has the Colorado Rockies who draft in the 20th slot giving Michael some attention after losing interest in first base prospect C.J. Cron.
Kolten Wong, 2B, Hawaii, 5’9″, 190 lbs
If the Rockies don’t select Levi ahead of the Blue Jays, it likely means that they went with Wong, whose diminutive stature and hitting ability made him a fan favourite this year in Hawaii. As the ESPN scouting report suggests, Wong has one tool, but that tool is hitting. Marc Hulet of Fangraphs describes him as “more of a complementary player than a star.”
Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgia Tech, 6’4″, 210 lbs
As you might expect, a big and tall left handed pitcher could be taken by any team on the board, and Bradley is no exception. If the Jays get a chance to snatch him up with the 21st pick, they will. His fastball has hit as high as 97 mph, but sits more often between 89-94 mph. He also sports an above average changeup which should attract Toronto. ESPN suggests his ceiling is more of a number three type in the rotation, while FanGraphs believes that he’d likely move quickly through any organization.
Andrew Chafin, LHP, Kent State, 6’2″, 180 lbs
Chafin missed all of 2010 with Tommy John surgery, but bounced back incredibly well in 2011. He has at least four pitches with a fastball around 91-92 with a ton of movement. His curveball is a potential out pitch, but most attractive for the Blue Jays is his underdeveloped changeup which, when he’s used it has show signs of a late drop. And we all know how much this organization loves a good changeup.