clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Blue Jays select OF Joshua Palacios in the 4th round of the 2016 MLB draft

New, 14 comments
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With their fourth round pick, the Blue Jays selected Joshua Palacios, an outfielder who spent the 2016 season at Auburn after transferring in from San Jacinto, one of the premier junior college baseball programs. It is certainly different to see the Blue Jays taking a second college position player in the their top five picks given how much they shied away from them in recent years, but Palacios is not exactly a conventional college draftee either. There's a lot of projection and development involved here.

Palacios was the 169th ranked player by MLB Pipeline (MLB.com), the 215th ranked player by Perfect Game, the255th ranked player by Baseball America. His best ranking came from D1Baseball, who had him in the 130-140 range, which is roughly where he ended up being drafted.

In just over 160 plate appearances in 2016, Palacios hit a robust .385/.463/.608 with 5 home runs (18 total extra base hits) and 12 steals in 17 attempts. Normally, that would be remarkable performance for a player at a SEC school, but Palacios missed most of the second half of the season after injuring his wrist in early April. As a result, he missed most of the SEC conference schedule when he would have seen consistently quality pitching, and those numbers were put up against lesser non-conference competition. He hit .372/.468/.439 and .364/.465/.516 in his two seasons at San Jacinto.

MLB Pipeline puts a potential 50 grade on his hitting ability, meaning he could project to hit around league average, but without much power potential. Their report notes:

A switch-hitter in high school who has hit exclusively left-handed in college, he has a quick swing and makes consistent hard contact. He manages the strike zone well and focuses on producing line drives, though he shows occasional power to his pull side.

Most scouts grade Palacios as a plus runner, though some rate him closer to average, and he can steal a few bases. He tried catching at San Jacinto before settling in the outfield, and he played left field this spring because Auburn had the quicker Anfernee Grier in center. Whoever drafts Palacios likely will try him in center field, but his instincts are suspect and will land him back in left. His arm is average.

Palacios should begin his professional career with the Vancouver Canadians of the short season Northwest League.