While today is the last day of the three making up the 2018 MLB Draft, by volume almost three-quarters of the 2017 draft remains. 900 players will be selected in rapid fire format starting around 12:00 EDT and lasting for around six hours. Below we’ll list all the Blue Jays picks as they come in, along with some notes on select choices. And of course, discuss them in the comments.
11. Hunter Steinmetz, OF, Missouri State
12. Nick Allgeyer, LHP, University of Iowa
13. Brad Wilson, RHP, Ohio Dominican (Division II)
14. John Aiello, 3B, Wake Forest
- Aiello was a top prospect out of high school (ranked 71st in the HS class of 2015 by Perfect Game, 149th overall by PG and 188th overall by MLB.com) after a strong summer but needed Tommy John surgery in his senior year and barely played, sending him to school almost by default. He had a breakout sophomore season in 2017, hitting .328/.417/.643 with 20 home runs (“Rake” Forest has a very offensive home park). He then had a good half season on the Cape (.306/.421/.403 in 76 PA) before playing for the USA College National Team. He had a rough 2018, and there’s always been a lot of swing and miss (K-rate around 30%), but there’s real upside if the Jays can unlock the potential he flashed in 2017.
15. Troy Watson, RHP, Northern Colorado
16. Josh Hiatt, RHP, University of North Carolina
- Hiatt has been one of UNC’s critical bullpen arms the last two years, posting a 2.29 ERA in 94 innings with 107 strikeouts against 37 walks. Listed at 5’11”/175, he’s on the smaller side, but according to this report runs his fastball into the low-90s with a good change-up that’s his primary offspeed weapon. He was briefly suspended by UNC earlier this year for “detrimental conduct”. Hiatt’s a redshirt-sophomore which gives him some leverage so he’ll get a decent bonus but likely not dipping into the pool. Perfect Game ranked him as their 448th best prospect, and ranked his change-up among the five best in the draft on the college side. Some very pretty change-ups in the video below:
17. Austin Havekost, RHP, Kent State
18. Fitz Stadler, RHP, Arizona State
19. Adrian Ramos, OF, Miami Dade CC
20. Vinny Capra, SS, University of Richmond
21. Kobby Lopez, LHP, Imperial HS (California)
22. Gage Burland, RHP, Lewis & Clark State
23. Troy Squires, C, University of Kentucky
24. Mike Pascoe, RHP, San Jacinto JC
25. Will McAffer, RHP, Tulane
- British Columbian who is well travelled, drafted from Tulane via Central Arizona CC via South Dakota State
26. Brett Wright, C, Auburn
27. Kyle Luckham, RHP, El Dorado HS (California)
- Ranked 143rd by Perfect Game
28. Andy McGuire, IF(?), University of Texas
- McGuire was a highly regarded infielder coming out of high school in 2013, ranked 62nd overall by MLB.com and 52nd among high schoolers by Perfect Game. Unfortunately, injures waylaid him and he left the program after 2015 and didn’t play in 2016-17. In 2018, he returned a reliever for Texas, tossing 31 innings with a 2.03 ERA. He also hit .263/.383/.500 in 47 PA, mostly in the outfield. The Draft Tracker has him listed as an infielder, but I thought I heard him announced as a pitcher. Interestingly, though he graduated this year, he retains one year of eligibility.
29. Cre Finfrock, RHP, Central Florida
- Finfrock is another player who was a highly regarded prep, ranked 135th overall by MLB.com in 2014 and 76th in the high school ranks by Perfect Game with a fastball that touched the mid-90s from a smaller frame. He had an excellent at UCF in a solid baseball conference, a 3.30 ERA in 95 innings with 73 strikeouts against 34 walks. The results weren’t quite as good in 2016, with a 4.35 ERA in 81 innings, though the strikeout rate was higher with 76 and he had a successful short stint on the Cape. He missed all of 2017 with what UCF player page say was a torn labrum but Tommy John surgery was also reported (frankly the latter would be better). He returned in 2018, throwing 50 innings with a 3.56 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 48 innings. If the stuff is still there, there’s interesting potential.
30. Cobi Johnson, RHP, Florida State
- This is an interesting pick for a number of reasons. First, he’s the son of Dane Johnson, the Blue Jays bullpen coach, former minor league pitching instructor and (and 1984 2nd round pick). But he was also very highly ranked out of high school, a potential Day 1 pick ranked 77th overall by MLB.com and 29th in the high school class by Perfect Game. But he had a strong commitment to Florida State that he fulfilled, though it never really clicked for him. Halfway through 2016, having only thrown 60 innings in his FSU career, he needed Tommy John surgery, and missed all of 2017. He only pitched 20 innings this year, to 3.54 ERA with 27 strikeouts. If he can find and maintain health, it will be interesting to see if the Jays can unlock that ability that was so evident 4-5 years ago:
31. Austin Easter, RHP, UNC-Wilmington
32. Joey Pulido, RHP, University of Houston
33. Matt Harris, RHP, Florida Atlantic
34. Grant Townsend, RHP, Oral Roberts
- 50 strikeouts in 38 innings...last draftee from Oral Roberts is working out pretty well (Jordan Romano, 2014 - also a junior college transfer)
35. Damiano Palmegiani, 3B, Vauxhall HS (Alberta)
- Member of the Canadian Junior National team that took on the Blue Jays in March, went 1-3 with a line drive single to left, a groundout to short and a flyout to centre. Committed to Cal State Northridge.
36. Kameron Guangorena, C, St. John Bosco HS (California)
- Formerly known as Kameron Ojeda, one of the top prep catchers especially on the defensive side. Ranked 157th overall by Perfect Game and 104th by MLB.com, and committed to Cal State Fullerton, where he’ll almost certainly end up.
37. Parker Caracci, RHP, Ole Miss
- Redshirted in both 2016 and 2017, but made mechanical adjustments and posted an impressive 1.85 ERA in 43.2 innings out of the bullpen with 68 strikeouts against just 10 walks. He was similarly impressive last summer in the Cal Ripken League (0.69 ERA in 38.2 regular season innings). His fastball is now up to 93-95 in relief with a much sharper low-80s slider as his primary offspeed. Caracci has plenty of eligibility left, so signability could be an issue this late in the draft, but on the other hand he turns 22 in September. If they can sign him, this could be a diamond in the rough.
38. Francisco Ruiz, C, Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy (Puerto Rico)
39. Cole Beverlin, RHP, Spruce Creek HS (Florida)
- Committed to Florida State, son of Blue Jays scout Jason Beverlin (courtesy pick)
40. Drew Labounty, SS, South Alabama
- Suffered a serious injury just prior to his senior season in February after fouling a ball into his right eye