With the 206th pick, the Jays selected infielder Nick Podkul in the 7th round from Notre Dame. This marks the second time in three years the Jays have pulled a second baseman from South Bend in the top 10 rounds, having selected Cavan Biggio in the 5th round two years ago.
Podkul has been a consistent performer, steady increasing his offensive output from season to season, from a .765 OPS in 2016 to .825 in 2017 to .958 in 2018. He hit .312/.433/.525, with 8 home runs and a 33/32 BB/K ratio. And he draws a lot of hit-by-pitches. Defensively, he profiles as a utility player who can move around the infield.
Of note, he’s performed very well in summer wood bat leagues. Two years ago, he posted a .269/.402/.423 line with 6 home runs in the Northwoods League. Last summer, he hit .311/.421/.543 with 9 home runs in the Coastal Plains League, and Perfect Game ranked him the #2 prospect in that league. Perfect Game ranked as the #303 overall draft prospect.
With the 236th pick, the Blue Jays opted for some #MACtion, selecting Kent State ace Joey Murray, a right handed pitcher who has absolutely dominated over the past two seasons, winning back-to-back MAC Pitcher of the Year. In 2017, he posted a 1.80 ERA in 75 innings, with 110 strikeouts. He one-upped that in 2018, setting a single season league record with 141 strikeouts in 95.2 innings with a 2.45 ERA. The latter mark ended up much higher as he faded down the stretch and got touched up by Louisville in regionals.
That said, it’s not big raw stuff, as his stuff plays significantly up:
Blue Jays 8th rounder Joey Murray throws an invisi-ball. Oustanding deception. Fastball plays way harder than the velo readings.— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 5, 2018
Blue Jays also go the #MACtion route with Kent State's Joey Murray. One of the premier performers in college baseball in his career, lots of deception, mostly 87-91 mph with flashes of 55 SL. @CoachSimmons4— Brian Sakowski (@B_Sakowski_PG) June 5, 2018
Murray was Perfect Game’s #368 rated player, and he’s a little on the older side as he’ll turn 22 shortly after the season ends.
With the 266th pick, the Blue Jays selected Jake Brodt in the 9th round, a senior first baseman out of Santa Clara University. He posted a very strong junior season, hitting .338/.375/.532 with 7 home runs but a 13/47 BB/K ratio. He tailed off some in his junior season down to .270/.335/.555, though his power spiked with 15 home runs. That included a pair of grand slams in the same inning on the opening weekend of college baseball in mid-February:
Realistically, he’s a senior sign who should create some slot, and I’d guess will head to Vancouver this summer (could be Bluefield instead). Prior to Santa Clara, he attended Huntington Beach HS, a SoCal baseball powerhouse from whom the Jays drafted Hagen Danner in the second round last year (and from where the Lopes brothers hail).
With their final pick today, 296th overall, the BLue Jays took outfielder Cal Stevenson, a senior out of the University of Arizona. To some extent, he’s also a senior sign, but he’s also been a quality performer in the PAC-12. Over the last two years, he’s hit around .300 while posting huge OBP marks by drawing 83 walks against 52 strikeouts.
He played on the Cape last summer, and didn’t produce as much, with a .254/.364/.263 line that is notable for just one extra base hit in 144 PA. At 5’9”, he’s a grinder type who will control the strike zone.