For a nice overview on this year's draft, click this link.
We've already talked a bit about Nate Kirby, Virginia's injured southpaw, and outside of him there aren't any likely Jays picks among college southpaws. So we're quickly moving on the right-handers, putting them into a historical perspective by inserting them into a table with other high-profile right-handed pitchers from college:
Right-handed college pitchers, junior year:
This year's pitchers are a decent crop, even after the loss of Matuella and the recent regression of Funkhouser and Kirby. The smallish Fulmer will undoubtedly go high with the success of Stroman in mind, and Tate will probably go in the top 10 as well. Harris, Kaprielian, Buehler and Funkhouser are all supposed to in the first round, before the Jays can select them. Of the four, Funkhouser's stock seems to be in danger the most, as his velocity has been down and some teams apparently wonder if he's injured (source: Kiley McDaniel). All in all it seems quite unlikely the Jays will pick a college pitcher this year, but keep an eye out for Funkhouser, and of course Matuella and Kirby.
We know the Blue Jays focus on position players who play premium defensive positions (C, CF, SS and sometimes 2B and 3B). This college class is however very light on center fielders and catchers, so we'll focus on the middle infielders. We'll compare this year's crop with that of the 2011 draft which, already viewed at the time as a very strong draft class, seems to have been a very successful one for college middle infielders. At the time, it wasn’t expected to have a good class of hitters, as its perceived strength was pitching (hard to argue with arms like Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer, Archie Bradley, Dylan Bundy, Sonny Gray and Jose Fernandez in the class).
Besides being loaded with talent, the 2011 class is also of note as the first class of college players that played with the new bats, the BBCOR certified bats, which reduced offensive production in NCAA baseball. Because of that drastic change, it makes little sense to compare pre-2011 college hitters with the ones from this draft class, while the 2012 class and later have not had much time to get to the majors yet. But since he’s a Blue Jay, and Jays fans will be looking for the "next Devon Travis", I’ll include mr. Travis as a 2012 draftee exception.
College MIF, 2011/2014, junior year, sorted by isolated power (ISO):
As you can see, this is a good draft for middle infield power, but Swanson, Bregman and Happ all figure to be long gone by the time the Blue Jays make their first pick. Mikey White and Scott Kingery come closest to deserving a "potential next Devon Travis" label, as second basemen with some power. The other players fall more in the Nick Ahmed/Jace Peterson category, light-hitting defense first middle infielders. That doesn't seem like the Blue Jays kind of pick, and as MjwW has shown, the Anthopoulos regime has not been focusing college position players at all.
And yet the experts continue to link the Blue Jays to light-hitting shortstop Richie Martin from the University of Florida. One reason for that could be his performance in the Cape Cod League, where Martin hit .364/.420/.469. Joe Panik hit .276/.361/.372 in that same league, as a comparison. Kolten Wong hit .341/.418/.452 in the highly regarded summer league. With the Blue Jays picking Cape Cod performer Max Pentecost last year, perhaps the thought is they'll go for another Cape Cod standout in Richie Martin this year. Pentecost was hitting on a whole other level in the Cape though, with a .346/.412/.538, showing a lot more power.
Another, perhaps better, comparison to Pentecost's performance with the wooden bats of the Cape would be that of outfielder Donnie Dewees. The North Florida outfielder hit .340/.410/.473 on the Cape last year, and .422/.483/.749 in a weak conference this spring. As a very impressive statistical performer but not a standout player from a scouting perspective, Dewees is often predicted to be picked up at number 20 by the Oakland Athletics. In real life, of course, anything can happen and Dewees could definitely slip and be available to be picked by the Toronto Blue Jays at number 29.