Breaking down the Jays' selections in the MLB Draft 2011


So we now know who the Jays want to have in their minor league system, but how likely are they to sign these talented young kids (they're mostly kids, anyway)? In this article I'll divide the haul in four categories: hard to sign, reasonably signable, probably cheap to sign, and signability unknown. Without further ado, let's look at the expensive ones first:

Hard to Sign selections:

Tyler Beede (21) - Our first round pick, Beede's story was that he'd sent out a letter asking not to be drafted and that he was going to Vanderbilt. Now we know he likes the Jays' development and he's being honest: he just wants money. Beede was ranked lower than this by Baseball America (BA) and by DiamondScape Scouting (DSS) at 35 and 31 respectively. Beede was probably picked so high because he has three pitches with good potential, a good pitcher's build which could give him some added velocity as he matures, and his command. In short, he's pitching (almost?) like a college pitcher, but at a much younger age.

Kevin Comer (57) - Comer, another RHP, is a bit of a strange pick, as Perfect Game reports he missed most of the season and scouts were thinking Comer was definitely going to Vanderbilt. The Jays probably don't think so, since they picked him early. Still, Vanderbilt recruits are notoriously tough signs and all indicators point to Comer being no different. Like Beede, Comer has easy velocity with good command and good potential on his offspeed stuff, with his curve getting good reviews. Comer was ranked #102 by BA, but #40 by DSS.

Daniel Norris (74) - After the Jays called a timeout in the second round, they selected Daniel Norris. Norris was ranked #16 by BA and #7 by DSS, so he's quite a steal here talentwise. Moneywise, not so much, as Norris was asking for almost $4 million. He's a lefty who already throws hard and commands his offspeed pitches, but some have reservations about his mechanics. If Norris does sign, Jays fans will be delighted with the investment.

Andrew Chin (168) - One of the biggest surprise picks, and that's saying a lot, is Andrew Chin, who needs Tommy John surgery and is unlikely to pitch for the next 10-12 months. BA reported that Chin was a tough sign before the injury, so I listed him here. It's possible that the Jays can convince him to sign by giving him expert medical treatment. The Jays must have liked him a lot to take him here. DSS has Chin ranked at 283, and he's apparently a lefty who throws 86-90, touching 92, with decent offspeed offerings and good command. He's apparently friends with Tyler Beede! Keith Law said here that Chin wanted "an insane number" to forgo school.

Christian Lopes (228) - Lopes, projected to be a second baseman, is one who was formerly very highly ranked but didn't develop as much as expected. His best asset is his bat, he uses the whole field and projects to have average or a bit below average power. As someone who was in first-round discussion last year, the high school shortstop might come a bit pricey. Lopes was ranked 180th by BA and 160th by DSS.

Mark Biggs (258) - Biggs would've been in the discussion for Kentucky's best prospect if he hadn't picked up an injury early in the season. The high school RHP has touched 94 mph and has a changeup that is more advanced than his curve. He's 6'3, 215 pounds, athletic and strong, so he apparently really fits the type of pitcher the Jays are looking for. Given his injury, I suspect he'll want money or try to prove his worth by going to college, where he would both pitch and hit.

Andrew Suarez (288) - Suarez (LHP, high school) is definitely a tough sign, as he was projected to go much higher than this. BA has him ranked #155, with DSS having him 169th. He's a lefty that easily hit 92 mph in 2009, but didn't live up to his projectability and is still pitching 88-92 mph. He does have good offspeed stuff that he can throw for strikes, so he's definitely got some real upside. Suarez is from a well scouted region in Florida.

John Norwood (378) - Another Vanderbilt recruit to pair with Beede and Comer, Norwood is a center fielder whose best asset is his speed. He's expected to make decent contact but with below average power. As a Vanderbilt recruit there should be no hopes he comes cheap.

Matt Dean (408) - Matt Dean can quite comfortably called the Jays' most exciting later round pick. Dean was ranked number 54 by BA and 56 by DSS, so the reason he has dropped so far has to be his money demands. He has a strong commitment to Texas University, which means the Jays will have to either spend big or consider this a lost pick. Dean is a shortstop now but projects as third baseman as he fills out, and he will probably have good power and decent contact abilities.

(more hard signs after the jump)

Cole Wiper (438) - Wiper might not have quite match Dean in terms of draft rankings, but as BA's #192 and DSS' #110 he's obviously more expensive than your normal 14th round pick. Wiper, a right handed pitcher, has good offspeed stuff that he uses a lot, while his fastball is just 88-90 mph and pretty straight. I can't find anything on a commitment, but he's sure to have one and he's bound to be expensive.

Cody Glenn (468) - Glenn doesn't have a BA writeup, but DSS ranked him 207th, and Perfect Game also has him in the 4th-10th round category as #39 prospect from Texas. He's both a LHP and a 1B, but seems to have been drafted as a pitcher. He has a 88-91 fastball and a "sweeping curveball". He seems to be committed to LSU, going by tweets from a LSU guy. Don't think he'll be signed easily.

Richard Prigatano (499) - The Jays really weren't cheaping out in these rounds. Prigatano was ranked #196 by BA, although he wasn't on DSS' top 300. He was apparently generating some buzz this spring, with BA claiming he might have shot too far up draft boards to go to college. He has a Long Beach State commitment and plays first base, though he's seen as athletic enough to play the outfield. It should be no surprise that as a (current) 1st baseman, Prigatano's value comes with the stick.

Joel Seddon (619) - Seddon is a RHP rated top prospect in Michigan with a commitment to South Carolina, so he probably won't come too cheap. He's projectable, athletic, has a good curve and "has a good feel for pitching". He could also get a chance to hit at South Carolina, if he goes there, but BA thinks his future is on the mound. Seddon is on twitter.

Aaron Nola (679) - The Jays drafted another top 250 talent in Nola pretty late in the draft. BA notes he has a good changeup and throws strikes, but he's not overly tall at 6'0 and has had some injury problems. He'd love to join his brother Austin at LSU, but he's a player the Jays have now also drafted. Will the Jays sign both, or perhaps neither? In any case it'll take money to sign young Aaron away from LSU, as he has himself said in the linked article. The younger Nola is listed #163 by BA and number 224 by DSS.

Jerrick Suiter (1069) - Suiter is seen as almost unsignable away from TCU, and he plays multiple sports well. He's 6'4 and has reached 94 mph before, but hasn't been sharp this season. EDIT: here's a link to an article about him, explainig he'll be a "draft-and-follow" for the Jays. He was ranked 128th overall by DSS, but unranked by BA.

Reasonably signable selections:

Jacob Anderson (35) - Anderson is a prospect that few will have anticipated to be selected so early. He was ranked #157 by BA and #93 by DSS. Although he's committed to Pepperdine, BA's prediction of him going there was probably based on a much later selection, so Anderson could very well sign for slot or slightly above slot. Anderson is ahletic and pretty fast, and his defensive position is a bit of a question: he might even be able to handle center field. He has the potential to hit, and he won a home run derby for amateur prospects at Wrigley Field, but he apparently struggles with offspeed stuff at the moment.

Joe Musgrove (46) - A big guy at 6'5 and 230 pounds, Musgrove is a right-handed pitcher committed to San Diego State, but he's probably signable for around slot. He was ranked #90 by BA and #69 by DSS, so he is another selection that went higher than expected. Musgrove probably raised his stock late by throwing hard (there seem to be reports of him reaching 97-98), but the Jays were probably on to him because he offers the full package: durable frame and the command of multiple pitches. Musgrove throws a splitter in addition to his breaking ball, and his sinking fastball is said to get a lot of grounders. I think the scouts probably did their job well in uncovering a possible gem with Musgrove.

Dwight Smith Jr. (53) - Dwight Smith Jr. was ranked #49 by BA and #53 by DSS, so he went exactly where experts thought he would go. There are no indications that he'll be overly expensive to sign, and since he has been on scouts' radars for long enough, I would think there are no concerns he refuses to sign. What Smith Jr. has going for him is his ability to make contact (his "hit" tool), but he also could hit for some power. Like Anderson, his position is in the outfield, but he probably doesn't stick in center.

Jeremy Gabryszwski (78) - I probably have less difficulty with spelling Polish names than most, but this one's really baffling. The pick was a bit baffling too, and Gabryszwski (did that one right in one try!) was not on BA's top 200 or DSS' top 300. The right-hander apparently threw 94 earlier in the year but didn't maintain the velocity, and he has already had elbow problems in 2008. The Jays were probably interested because of his 6'4, 205 frame and an apparently good slider and average changeup. I think after the Norris pick they wanted to combine upside with signability, and I expect Gabryszwski (getting the hang of it) to sign for slot.

John Stilson (108) - Stilson, a right-handed pitcher from Texas A&M, slipped due to shoulder problems, and he's currently in rehab. BA ranked him #23 before the injury, and DSS ranked him #101 after. Stilson, as an injury risk who is unlikely to return to college, should command some money but shouldn't be a huge overslot signing because of that injury. If he can avoid surgery, Stilson's very good changeup and hard fastball could carve through the minors. If starting doesn't work out for him, most think he'll be very good as a reliever.

Thomas Robson (139) - Robson, yet another right-handed pitcher, was ranked #229 by DSS but #101 by John Sickels. He fits the Beede/Comer mould of pitchers with low-90s velocity, command, and good potential on their offspeed pitches, as well as a 6'4 frame. Robson was the highest ranked Canadian in the draft and he's also just 17 years old. I would be surprised if he doesn't sign.

Anthony DeSclafani (199) - The DeSclafani pick seems a bit out of character for AA, as he's a reliever mostly, and from college. DSS has him ranked 219th, so he's not coming totally out of the blue, but his numbers in college are very unimpressive. Reports on his fastball command vary wildly, but we do know he throws hard and has better stuff than his results indicate. There's nothing to indicate he'll be a tough sign.

Aaron Garza (319) - Described as "ultraprojectable" by BA, the high school RHP does not have good stuff at the moment. BA also thinks he would be hard to sign away from the University of Houston, but this article indicates he'll probably sign. Garza is 6'4 but just 160 pounds, so it's easy to see why he's projected to add velocity as he matures.

Andy Burns (349) - A college shortstop who has not played this season, Burns has apparently been working out for teams and seems to be interested in signing, which is why I listed him here. He's a good fielder who may or may not stick at shortstop, and his biggest question mark is the bat. DSS has him ranked 260th, so he could be a bit of a steal.

Eric Arce (769) - A first baseman who was drafted by the Jays last year but didn't sign. Stopped playing baseball for FSU, and is also known for being charged with kissing his underage girlfriend. I can't imagine he would go out of his way to get re-drafted, plus give the Jays permission to re-draft him if he wasn't intending to sign this time. He has a potent bat and good approach at the plate according to Perfect Game. Apparently has a shot at a corner outfield position due to improved conditioning.

Austin Nola (949) - The brother of Aaron, he probably only gets his money if Aaron comes with him. He's known for his defense but much less for his bat. The older Nola wasn't ranked by BA, but DSS was very high on him, ranking him 115 overall, and much higher than his brother.

Probably cheap to sign selections:

Jon Berti (559) - Berti is a college shortstop who will have to slide to second. He's described as a "sparkplug' by BA who makes good contact and has above-average speed. He doesn't have much power though, and didn't hit well with wooden bats in the Cape league.

Peter Mooney (649) - Hard to find info on the guy, but any college guy taken this late will probably come cheap. He's a contact hitter who bats lefty, short guy with reportedly very good defense.

Jorge Vega-Rosado (859) - Hard to find anything about him, he's a small guy who plays shortstop for a junior college. Those guys aren't usually expensive.

Kevin Patterson (919) - College senior with impressive raw power, passable defense at first base and lots of strikeouts. Would be a huge surprise if he gets paid over-slot.

All other unmentioned picks are probably cheap too, and are likely just filler.

Signability unknown:

Brady Dragmire (529) - Dragmire is one who we don't have lot of info on. This might mean he's an under the radar kid who'll be happy that he's drafted and sign for slot, but we can't say for sure. He's apparently not that big but still has room to grow and has already shown good stuff. He's apparently a three-sport athlete, so that could drive the price up significantly.

Luke Weaver (589) - Weaver is a projectable righty from Florida who pitches 88-92 mph, and throws strikes with both his changeup and breaking ball. Good student committed to Central Florida, so he may take some money to sign, but he's also somewhat of an under the radar guy, it seems (BA didn't have a writeup).

K'Shawn Smith (709) - Hard to find anything about him, so I'll list him under unknown signability. He plays for the same JC as Cory Spangenberg. The reason I'm not assuming he's cheap just yet, like Vega-Rosado, is that he was called a "standout" and is mentioned on a lot more sites. There's just no details except for his meaningless rate stats.

David Rollins (739) - Rollins is a junior college pitcher who pitches 88-91 mph from the left side, combined with a good slider and changeup for a solid three pitch mix, but his command isn't great. If he doesn't sign he will go to Lubbock Christian. He's been drafted in each of the last three years but has obviously never signed.

Justin Atkinson (799) - Atkinson is a Canadian shortstop likely to move to third base. His drawback defensively is his slow-footedness, but he has a good arm. He's got a strong body, but the power is all projection. Perfect Game thinks he should have been drafted much earlier.

Derrick Loveless (829) - Loveless is multi-sport talent and a good athlete, who hasn't focused on baseball much. According to this article, he doesn't know if he'll go to Iowa University or go pro. If he's good enough to demand a hefty price tag, I really don't know.

Taylor Cole (889) - College guy who went on a two year Mormon mission. He could once pitch in the upper-90s and was ranked number 79 overall in 2007. Will he return to that level? Who knows. What will he cost? Who knows.

So that concludes a very long article. Who do you think will sign?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Bluebird Banter

You must be a member of Bluebird Banter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bluebird Banter. You should read them.

Join Bluebird Banter

You must be a member of Bluebird Banter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bluebird Banter. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker