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2010 Amateur Draft Very Early Preview

Well, most of the Type A free agents are signed so the draft order for the Jays (and the rest of the league) is starting to crystallize.  As of now, here are the Jays' picks (h/t to River Ave Blues, a fantastic site that does a nice job representing Yankees fans in the interwebs)

 First Round: 

#11 (the Jays' own first-round pick)


 Sandwich Round:

#33 (supplemental pick for Scutaro, which turns out to be higher than the Red Sox pick they get for Vespa)

#38 (for failing to sign James Paxton, a 2009 sandwich rounder)


Second Round:

#52 (the Jays' second round pick)

#69 (for failing to sign Jake Eliopolous, a 2009 second-round pick)

#70 (the pick coming over from the Red Sox for Marco)


Third Round:

#84 (the Jays' third-round pick)

#104 (for their failure to sign Jake Barrett, a Jays' 3rd-round pick in 2009). 


If Rod Barajas signs with another team, the Jays will get another pick in the supplemental round, probably somewhere in the 40s.  That would make 9 picks in the first 3 rounds, and 5 in the top 50 or so.  General Manager Alex Anthopolous mentioned in his chat yesterday that he plans to use this draft to "flood the Minor league system with high-end talent." 

Between the players the Jays got in the Halladay trade, those coming over in the Rolen trade last season, and this year's draft, particularly with Anthopolous' renewed emphasis on scouting and stated willingness to exceed slot (not that that helped all that much last year), I think it's reasonable to expect that the Jays minor-league system can become a consensus top-10 system by the time the dust clears after the draft.  That's actually quite good considering how many young players the Jays have promoted from the system in the past couple of seasons to the major-league team.  And it will go a long way toward making the Jays competitive down the road without resorting too heavily to the free-agent market.  I've always believed you bring your core players up through the system and with trades, and go to free agents only to plug holes when you're almost ready to contend.     

While having so many picks would potentially allow the Jays to really distribute their picks among position, I have to admit, I don't think they should prioritize any positions really.  I think teams get into trouble when they do that.  I'd use the draft to try to nab the best talent available that I think will sign.  I do think it's important to look at a mix of more polished, "safer" players and more athletic, "upside"-type players.