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Rounds 6-7: Jays select SS/CF Cameron Eden and 2B L.J. Talley

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees
Brandon Morrow was also a UC-Berkeley Golden Bear
Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

With the 177th overall pick of the 2019 MLB Draft, the Blue Jays selected junior Cameron Eden in the 6th round of the MLB Draft from the University of California Berkeley. He was ranked 320 on Baseball America’s board, the first Jays draftee who isn’t a consensus top 150 player.

As a freshman in 2017, he won the starting shortstop job for the Golden Bears, posting a strong .315/.361/.472 triple slash line, hitting for average (.382 BABIP) with a little pop but mediocre plate discipline metrics (10 walks against 41 strikeouts). That production cratered to .247/.306/.292 in 2018 for his sophomore year.

In addition, his wood bat track record in summer leagues is more pedestrian. In 2017, he hit .263/.316/.373 in 232 plate appearances in the Northwoods League. In the Cape Cod League last summer it was a similar .254/.302/.325 line in 126 PA. The overall profile was similar to his freshman year, but with moedrate BABIP in the low-.300s.

Eden did rebound significantly in 2019, despite moving from shortstop to centrefield. That was partly to accommodate getting other players in the lineup, but also a reflection of that he might fit best elsewhere at the next level. He’s reported to have a good arm and good speed, so the outfield is a logical mix but the infield isn’t out of the question either. As usual, if a player hits, they’ll find a position for him.

In that respect, he rebounded in a major way in 2019, hitting .370 as a junior in about 235 PA. The power rebounded to where it was a junior, with similar plate discipline. Ultimately, however, it was powered by a .412 BABIP. The question will be how that translates to pro ball and wood bats, as he hasn’t been able to do that with wood bats so far. On the plus side, the PAC-12 is a very strong baseball league, so he was facing quality pitching.

With the 207th overall pick, the Blue Jays selected second baseman L.J. Talley in the 7th round from the University of Georgia. Talley’s a senior whose been a four year starter for the Bulldogs, who has improved his offensive production from year to year, culminating in .332 batting average in 2019 with 20 extra base hits and 40 walks against 36 strikeouts. He ranked 343rd on Baseball America’s board.

On the plus side, he’s produced offensively in the gauntlet of the SEC, the top baseball conference where there’s plenty of big arms. If that’s a legitimate breakthrough that carries over to pro ball, he could be a really nice pick. He’s considered a solid surehanded defender. He’s a senior sign that should result in considerable slot savings, and as polished college player Vancouver would make sense as an initial assignment.