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Day 2 picks: college seniors

The Jays took three pitchers and an outfielder with their even picks in the 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th rounds

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Notre Dame vs Texas A&M Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Having drafted aggressively with their first four picks on the first day of the 2022 MLB Draft, it was obvious the Blue Jays were going to have to create some savings in their draft pool by going underslot with a numbers of picks in rounds 3 to 10 on the second day. What was more in question was the degree to which this would be required

An interesting pattern emerged, as the Jays not-surprisingly went all-college with their eight second day picks, but alternated between juniors and seniors. In the odd rounds, they took juniors, some of whom will save them money but will require real bonuses, and those will be profiled separately. In the even rounds, they went with seniors, who collectively are more interesting than senior signs that tended to be, likely as a result of the backlog of players in the college ranks stemmed from the chaos of 2020.

College Seniors

With the 128th overall pick, the Jays selected fifth year senior RHP Ryan Jennings in the 4th round from the Louisiana Tech. The 6’0” Texas native transferred after two years at junior college, and after redshirting in 2020 stepping into their starting rotation the last two years where he posted solid numbers in Conference-USA (4.02 ERA, 168K in 174.2 innings).

On the draft broadcast Jim Callis mentioned that he was in the low-90s as a starter, and touched up to 99 as a reliever from a funky angle. While he had some success as a starter, including dominating Rice in April, that’s where his future will almost certainly lie in the pro ranks.

With the 128th overall pick, the Jays selected RHP T.J. Brock in the 6th round from (the) Ohio State. He didn’t pitch much at OSU, totalling just 77.2 innings and maxing out at 31.2 as a freshman, but intriguingly has been pitching on the Cape this summer where he’s struck out 15 in a small 8.1 inning sample with some strong stuff:

The Jays took similarly took a senior RHP who pitched pre-draft on the Cape last year in Matt Svanson (13th round).

In the 8th round, the Jays took outfielder Dylan Rock, another fifth year senior from Texas A&M who was a graduate transfer after four years at UT-Arlington where was a solid performer who hit over .300 with solid plate discipline and on-base skills.

Rock took that to a different level in 2022 in College Station, hitting 318/.468/.641 with 19 home runs while walking more than he struck out (52/49). Granted, to put in perspective he’s three months older than Alejandro Kirk, but those are still really impressive numbers in the SEC. It’ll be interesting to see if the power breakout translates to pro ball, as he could (and probably should) go right to Vancouver.

Finally, in the 10th round, the Jays went to the West Coast to select LHP Ian Churchill from the University of San Diego. Another pitcher who’s moved around, starting at Santa Barbara junior college, then to the University of Arizona for 2020-21 before ending up USD as a graduate transfer.

He didn’t pitch much at Arizona, but struck out 57 in 54 innings as a bulk/multi-inning reliever in San Diego. His most impressive work came back in 2019 when he was one of the top prospects in Alaska summer league (1.55 ERA, 44K in 40.2 innings). On the draft broadcast, Jonathan Mayo noted his fastball is up to 93. His delivery offers deception from a funky, crossfire delivery.

In total, the slot for these four picks totals $1,057,800, and the Jays should be able to bank the vast majority of that. It would be surprising if the cumulative bonuses exceed $100,000 and certainly $150,000.