With the 146th pick of the 2018 MLB Draft, the Blue Jays selected senior catcher Chris Bec in the 5th round out of the University of Maine. He’s posted strong numbers the last two years at Maine, with a combined triple slash of roughly .330/.405/.495 in 440 PA, with 9 home runs among 43 extra base hits and 48 walks against 43 strikeouts.
He was ranked 297th by Perfect Game among 2014 high school grads, so there’s some pedigree there, but this looks like a classic senior sign to save a bunch of money against the $357,700 slot value that can be used elsewhere (read: to offset some of the ~$1.8 million they’re reportedly going overslot for Kloffenstein).
With the 176th pick in the 6th round, the Jays took shortstop Addison Barger from C. Leon King high school in Tampa, Florida. As the image above alludes to, the Jays have some history here, having taken Derek Bell from the same school in the second round of the 1987 draft (the first year there was one draft instead of January and June drafts).
Barger is a player with helium this spring and who greatly improved his draft stock. For example in late November, Perfect Game has him ranked #191 in the high school class, whereas six months later they ranked him the #115 among all draft prospects. MLB.com had him ranked 143rd, with him beyond FanGraphs formal rankings but appearing to be in the ~200 range.
Barger is committed to the University of Florida, one of the premier college programs (and the reigning national champions), so it’s a little curious to see him picked at this part of the draft with a slot value of $271,100. That said, it would be very surprising if the Jays risked picking him here (where’d they lose the slot allocation if he doesn’t sign) without knowing he was signable. Though I’d expect his signing bonus to be at least somewhat above slot.
He’s an athletic infielder, with some questions about where on the infield he ends up. The Jays will undoubtedly see if he can stick at SS, MLB.com rates his best tool as an above average arm, so 3B could make sense as could 2B (with a lower offensive bar).
Addison Barger was one of the best players in the Tampa area this year. No real plus tools, but he does everything well. I like the bat speed. He can pick it, might move to 2B eventually but SS for now. Smart player.— Carlos Collazo (@CarlosACollazo) June 5, 2018
Offensively, he hits from the left side with a more of a line drive swing and the possibility of some future pop as he physically matures. His profile frankly sounds a lot like Logan Warmoth as a Florida prep player (see this Baseball America profile from last year). Of note, he played for the Blue Jays scout team last fall at a major tournament in Jupiter, so he would seem to be someone they’ve been quite interesting in for a while.