The 2015 Major League Baseball Rule 4 Entry draft starts next Monday with rounds and 1 and 2 and the supplemental round in between, continuing Tuesday with rounds 3 to 10 and concluding Wednesday with rounds 11 to 40. The Blue Jays' first pick is 29th overall in the supplemental round with the pick they received for losing Melky Cabrera after losing their first round pick for signing Russell Martin. Of course, there's plenty of talent down the draft board, with the Jays taking players like Dalton Pompey in the 16th round (2010) and Kevin Pillar in the 32nd round (2011).
This year's draft is considered to be weak, perhaps weakest since 2000, especially at the top where few players have succeeded in separating themselves from the pack, and injuries have decimated the top talent. Vanderbilt SS Dansby Swanson has come as close as any in recent weeks, with a very strong second half capped by hitting four home runs in the SEC Championship. Still, pretty much everything is up in the air and there will undoubtedly be a lot of deals cut at the top by teams that don't see talent on the board worthy of their full slot to save money that can be used add players who slip due to higher prices tags. Essentially, make up for lack of elite talent with volume.
That said, there's still plenty of talent available, but it's a draft that will reward teams who make solid player evaluations and can cast a wide net to find diamonds in the rough that others overlook. Even though the Jays have one of the smaller bonus pools, that sets up well for them, as they've got one of the biggers scouting staffs in baseball and have been quite successful at taking overlooked value plays like Kendall Graveman and Matt Boyd in recent years.
Below is a list of high level draft content from various quality sources of draft coverage, as well as the content we've produced at BBB. Most of the sources have a more more quality features that are more in-depth, so I've linked to their portals as well where available. As things develop over the next week, this will be updated with the latest links.
- Reviewing Anthopoulos' Drafts
- Injured Pitchers (Aiken, Matuella, Kirby)
- Assessing Current Organizational Depth
- Assessing Draft Spending Patterns
- Potential College Options
- Evaluating the Strategy of Pitching, Pitching, and more Pitching
- High School Options
- Draft Retrospective: The Ones That Got Away
- Canadian Content
- Draft Portal Home
- BA 500 (6/2/2015)
- Top 100 Prospects (5/7/2015)
- Slot values for each pick
- Slot values per team (Blue Jays = $5,411,000)
- Mock Draft 5.0 / Mock draft 4.0 / Mock Draft 3.0
- Sortable Draft Board (awesome new feature)
- Kiley McDaniel Archive (de facto draft portal)
- Top 100 Prospects (Insider, 6/2/2015)
MLB Pipeline (MLB.com)
- Draft Central
- Top 200 Prospects (profiles and grades from main link)
- Mock Drafts: Draft Day / June 5
Unfortunately, a lot of their content is behind paywall, but they have an excellent collection of video that is free, as well as profiles of a number of prospects (both available from above). Finally, their region-by-region snapshots are free, and they include the rankings for every top 500 prospects, so you can still get that, just not in one place.
Good Twitter Follows for the Draft
- MLB.com: Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo
- Keith Law
- Kiley McDaniel
- Frankie Piliere (D1Baseball)
- Chris Crawford (Baseball Prospectus)
- Perfect Game: Patrick Ebert, Jheremy Brown
- Baseball America: Jon Manuel, Teddy Cahill, Hudson Belinsky
- Official MLB Draft