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2019 MLB Draft Day 3: Blue Jays Picks, Notes, and Open Thread

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2014 MLB Draft Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

While today is the last day of the three making up the 2019 MLB Draft, by volume almost three-quarters of the 2019 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.

In recent years, the Blue Jays have gone heavy on college players early on the second day, with an emphasis on pitchers. Last year, they took 10 straight college players to start the third day, not taking a high school player until round 21. Update: so of course they took a high school player right off the bat in 2019.

11. Nick Neal, 1B/RF, Randleman HS (North Carolina)

Listed at 6’6” and 285 pounds, despite being one of the younger players in the class as he doesn’t turn 18 until October. Unsurprisingly, has huge raw power (“stupid power” per Nathan Rode). We’ll see if he can hit enough for it to play in pro ball, since it’s exceedingly unlikely he would be taken here unless they had a deal (which might require some pool money above $the 125,000 de facto slot for post-10th round selections). Apparently reclassified into the 2019 class within the last year, so perhaps someone most teams weren’t on.

12. Sam Ryan, RHP, Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Worked full-time as a junior (albeit in a multi-inning capacity), seeing improved results with a 2.70 ERA in 53.1 innings, 61 strikeouts against 19 walks. The Jays see something they really like for him to be the second player taken on the last day.

13. Trevor Schwecke, SS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

  • Hit over .300 in all three college seasons, with a jump in power in his 2019 junior season. Also a good showing in the wood bat Northwoods League last summer (.298/.373/.453) which has been a marker of Jays draftees in recent years.

14. Eric Rivera, CF, Florida Atlantic

  • Thee year starter at FAU, very good plate discipline metrics, batting average jumped to .335 in 2019 though minimal power. Posted a .250/.397/.290 line in 127 PA on the Cape last summer, so the plate discipline held up against top pitching.

15. Michael Dominguez, RHP, Jefferson HS (Florida)

  • A smaller (5’10”/175) pitcher from the high school as Fred McGriff, he’s also on the older side turning 19 in August. He sits in the high 80s/low 90s with his fastball, with some violence/effort in the delivery. He can spin a breaking ball, though with inconsistent shape in the video I saw. Dominguez is committed to Florida State, and while picks in this range don’t always sign, it seems to me that to take him here the Jays would have to have a pretty good idea he’s signable.

16. Jackxarel Lebron, RHP, International Baseball Academy (Puerto Rico)

  • A relative unknown who is committed to San Jacinto, but who Perfect Game had ranked inside their top 500 for the 2019 high school, with his fastball up to 92 and a curveball has his primary offspeed pitch. Given where he was picked, I’d expect him to sign.

17. Jared DiCesare, RHP, George Mason University

  • Didn’t have a great junior year, with a 5.40 ERA in 80 innings but just 59 strikeouts and 11 home runs allowed.But he was better in 2018 (3.33 ERA) and had a productive stint in the Cape Cod League, throwing 36.2 innings with a 2.95 ERA and 28 strikeouts.

18. Brandon Eisert, LHP, Oregon State

  • Junior who has pitched a lot of big innings as multi-inning reliever for the Beavers, including 57 innings out of the bullpen en route to winning the College World Series last year (2.53 ERA). He started in the bullpen this year before moving to the rotation midseason and excelled, with a 2.03 ERA in 62 innings with a 74/13 K/BB ratio. It’s not huge stuff, his fastball sitting in the high-80s, but with deception and pitchability. According to his OSU profile, he managed to grow two inches from 6’0” to 6’2” between his sophomore and junior seasons.

19. Gustavo Sosa, C, Tottenville HS (New York)

  • Rutgers commit who is young for the draft class, turning 18 in July. Listed as a catcher and apparently has good athleticism behind the plate, but also around the diamond. Hard to say exactly what his signability would be.

20. Jimmy Robbins, LHP, Rollins College (Division II)

  • Was at Troy in 2017 before Tommy John surgery caused him to miss all of 2018 and he transferred to Rollins (a school I’d never before heard of). Posted a 3.40 ERA with 105/35 K/BB in 76.2 innings in 2019.

21. Parker Caracci, RHP, Ole Miss

  • Caracci was drafted by the Jays in the 35th round last year, and I really hoped they might be able to make a run at signing him with the remainder of their slot room. He redshirted his first two years at Ole Miss but had a breakout 2018 in the bullpen, a 2.25 ERA in 48 innings with 73 strikeouts against just 14 walks. That he fell where he did indicated he was planning on going back to Ole Miss to consolidate that breakout, but instead his season was quite up-and-down, as he’s posted a 4.99 ERA in 30.2 innings with 17 walks against 36 strikeouts.

Clearly he hasn’t been as dominant as he was in 2018, but he had a nice run to start SEC play before a disastrous run in early May in which he allowed 12 runs in 2.1 innings over three games. He’ll reach the mid-90s with the fastball with a good breaking ball, so he’s a real relief prospect if the Jays can get him back on track and consistent. As a redshirt junior, Caracci has a year of eligibility remaining, but he’ll turns 23 later this year and I’d expect he signs this year.

22. Nick Fraze, RHP, Texas State

  • Three year starter in college, just a 4.38 ERA in 86 in 2019, but had a dominant start against Rice (7 IP, one hit, 12K). 2.97 ERA in 78.2 innings in 2018, and solid K/BB numbers both years.

23. Anders Tolhurst, RHP, Grossmont College (California)

  • 83 strikeouts and 3.91 ERA in 66.2 innings in 2019.

24. Spencer Horowitz, 1B, Radford

  • Three year starter with mid-.800s OPS, though batting average fell each year. Decent stint on the Cape last summer (.279/.383/.382 in 82 PA), good plate discipline metrics but underwhelming power for 1B.

25. Nate LaRue, RHP, McGill-Toolen HS (Alabama)

  • Athletic defensive catcher with some feel for hitting, ranked 149 by MLB Pipeline. Also legit prospect as a pitcher with up an 80s fastball and good breaking ball(s). Auburn commit, will be going to school.

26. Jean-Christophe Bisson, OF, Cardinal Roy SS (Quebec)

  • Committed to Missouri, essentially akin to an international free agent as he doesn’t even turn 17 until August

27. Roel Garcia, RHP, Rice University

  • Missed 2019 after Tommy John surgery in January. 5.02 ERA in 52 innings mostly as a start in 2018, 45/28 K/BB. Goes back to school with two more years of eligibility or signs and should be ready by short season ball in 2020?

28. Gabriel Ponce, RHP, Arizona Western JC

  • Rated 237 in 2017 high school class by Perfect Game with a fastball up to 92, 5.68 ERA in 38 innings for San Diego as a freshman. Much better 2019 after transferring, 1.75 ERA and 92 strikes in 72 innings. No apparent D1 commitment for 2020, which might suggest he’s highly signable.

29. Owen Diodatti, catcher, A.N. Myer SS (Ontario)

30. Noah Myers, OF, Wabash Valley JC (Illinois)

  • Hit .318/.474/.482 for Wabash Valley, had committed to South Carolina as a transfer for 2020

31. Blake Sanderson, RHP, Florida Atlantic

  • 3.68 ERA in 85 innings as a starter in 2019 with 68/20 K/BB (swingman previously). Wants to be an FBI agent.

32. Braden Halladay, RHP, Calvary Christian HS (Florida)

33. Daniel Batcher, LHP, George Jenkins HS (Florida)

  • Brother of a Jays minor league strength and conditioning coach, so likely purely a courtesy pick. Classic projection play with an upper 80s fastball, committed to West Virginia.

34. Luis Quinones, RHP, San Jacinto JC

  • Only pitched 18.1 innings, but 23 strikeouts and 1.96 ERA in 2019. 2015 high school graduate, turns 22 next month, odd seeing as only second year of eligibility.

35. Connor Phillips, RHP, Magnolia West HS (Texas)

  • Not to be confused with Magnolia High School from where the Jays draft Jordan Groshans and Adam Koffenstein last year (the Magnolia Indpedent School board is apparently very creative with names).
  • Ranked 188th by MLB Pipeline and similarly by perfect Game, 61st in the 2019 high school class. Fastball velo sits in the low-90s, has touched 94-95 with a short, tight sliderish breaking ball (curve velo) and apparently a changeup that flashes promise. LSU commit, so extremely likely to end up at school which is the reason he was still on the board.

36. Scotty Bradley, 1B/C, Indiana University

37. Andrew McInvale, RHP, Liberty University

  • Strong 2019 redshirt-junior season: 3.41 ERA in 103 innings, 101/40 K/BB. Missed all of 2018 with injury after transferring from junior college after originally attending Baylor.

38. Ryan Sloniger, catcher, Penn State

39. Octavio Corona, RHP, Otay Ranch HS (California)

  • Ranked 298th in the high school class by Perfect Game, committed to St. Mary’s. Put himself on the map over the last year, fastball tops out in low-90s, projection play at 6’0”/165. Signable if there’s some money left over? Video from last fall.

40. Miguel Obeso, RHP, Cowley County CC (Kansas)

  • 77 strikeouts in 43.2 innings would suggest real stuff, but 25 walks and 4.74 ERA indicative of development project. First year player, so just a flyer?