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

2022 Major League Baseball Draft Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Today marks the end of the 2023 MLB Draft, the last 10 rounds starting at 2:00 EDT again streamed on What used to be in prior years a six-hour, 30 round, and 900+ player rapid-fire marathon is now a much more manageable 10 rounds that takes little more than a couple hours.

As a reminder, players chosen after the third round can sign for up to $150,000 without it counting against a team’s draft pool, with any excess counting against. With the selections yesterday, the draft pool is likely pretty well spoken for, so it’s unlikely there’s going to be any significant overslot picks today (though they’ll probably take a player or two as insurance policies).

Instead, if past years are any indication, the Jays tend to take a lot of college pitching early on the third day, and pitching depth in the minors is certainly an area of organizational need. Likewise, there may be a high school pick or two signable at $200,000 or $250,000 who would only count modestly against the pool and could be fit in.

Below we’ll track the Blue Jays picks as they come in, and add some notes and thoughts.

11. Grant Rogers, RHP, McNeese State

  • The two-time Southland Pitcher of the Year after transferring from Panola College (where 2021 4th rounder Chad Dallas pitched a year before transferring to Tennessee), Rogers is a 6’7”, 230 pound behemoth described as “having the stuff to match the monstrous frame”. Interestingly, though he lowered his ERA to a sparkling 1.82 over 103.2 innings in 2023, the 18/88 BB/K is more indicative of finesse than a power profile (after also striking out less than a batter an inning in 2022).

12. Chay Yeager, RHP, Pasco Hernando JC (Florida)

  • A two-way player in junior college who played infield, on the mound the 5’11” Yeager struck out a whopping 102 batters in 69.1 innings with a three pitch mix and fastball in the low-90s7

13. Brennan Orf, OF, Southern Illinois

  • Well, the last outfielder the Jays drafted out of the Southern Illinois University system worked out alright (albeit Carbondale, not Edwardsville campus). I doubt this one can spin as good a slider, but as a two year starter for SIUE in 2022-23 posted remarkably similar batting lines in hitting a combined .352/.500/.737 with the power ticking slightly up this year. The Ohio Valley Conference isn’t exactly the SEC, but video game numbers are video game numbers so we’ll see how it translated to pro ball.

14. Joe Vogatsky, RHP, James Madison

  • A 6’0” junior, Vogatsky struggled badly over limited relief appearances in 2021-22 (41.2 innings, 8.64 ERA, 21/42 BB/K) but pitched well as a starter in summer leagues. Still working out of JMU’s pen in 2023, he posted a solid 3.34 ERA with 36K in 29.2 innings, and has pitched a handful of innings this summer in the Cape Cod League.

15. Kelena Sauer, RHP, San Diego State

  • The top ranked high school arm from Hawaii in 2020, Sauer worked mostly out of the bullpen for San Diego State the last three years with a total of 90 innings to a 4.70 ERA and 50/100 BB/K. Sauer’s filled out his frame to 230 since high school, but is still a sinker/slider pitcher from a lower arm slot with a fastball topping out around 90.

16. Jackson Hornung, catcher, Skidmore College (Division III)

  • Hit .442/.549/.781 in 353 PA with 20 home runs over the last two years with Skidmore. Though a senior, has one year of eligibility left due to 2020 season being cancelled and committed to Kansas State.

17. Sam Kulasingam, 1B, Air Force

  • Mountain West Player of the Year in both 2022-23, he hit a combined .418/.511/.669 with very similar seasons in a pretty solid, though offensively oriented, DQ baseball conference. Apparently considered unlikely to sign if not drafted the first two days, though to the extent that’s about bonus expectations that could be overcome.
    An additional factor is that he’s required to complete senior year, but grandfathered into a previous policy to allow service commitment to be deferred upon graduation. So it would appear if he signed, he would have to go back next year, though wouldn’t be eligible to play collegiately.

18. Chase Brunson, OF, San Clemente HS (California)

  • 6’3” outfielder from SoCal baseball hotbed who turned 18 just before the draft, committed to Loyola Marymount. Many high school picks in this range are insurance policies in case something goes wrong with another pick signing to avoid leave slot dollars on the table, but the lack of major profile doesn’t really fit that mould. Actually signable?

19. Aaron Munson, RHP, Angelo State

  • The second player drafted out of Angelo State by the Jays (after RHP Matt Shannon in 2017’s 12th round). Struck out 115 in 101.2 innings while only walking 25 with a 3.63 ERA out of rotation as a junior, improving from 81K in in 94.1 and 4.77 in 2022. Smallest pitcher in draft class at 5’10”

20. Kai Peterson, LHP, Sierra JC

6’1” southpaw who required Tommy John surgery in 2020 and missed his senior year of high school. Struck out 127 in 84 innings with a 3.84 ERA in 2023 season and is committed to Rice if he doesn’t sign.