With the MLB draft less than a month away, Crosscheckers and Scouting Directors are criss-crossing the country, getting more detailed looks at players recommended by Area Scouts.
Auburn’s Casey Mize has had a dazzling spring, and while he’s not the consensus #1 pick, he should be headed to the Tigers.
With their first pick at #12, the Blue Jays have been linked to several players. Jonathan Mayo of MLB Pipeline has South Florida LHP Shane McClanahan going to Toronto with that choice. McClanahan was viewed earlier this spring as a possible first overall pick, but his stock has dipped to due to command problems. A 2016 Tommy John patient, McClanahan has added strength during his collegiate career, and has lit up radar guns across the south, hitting 100, and sitting 92-98 with movement. McClanahan throws a change which projects as a plus pitch, and a slider that is inconsistent. He’s fanned an impressive 15.1/9 this year, but has also walked 5.3/9. The development of that third pitch will determine whether his future lies in a starting rotation or a bullpen.
Baseball America published their latest mock draft yesterday, and they have the Blue Jays taking South Alabama OF Travis Swaggerty. Scouting Director Steve Sanders was on hand to watch Swaggery recently. BA describes him as having five tools, and he’s put together a proven track record in the Sun Belt Conference. Swaggerty is also young for his draft class (he won’t turn 21 until August), which the Blue Jays put a premium on as an indicator of the likelihood of future success .
ESPN’s Keith Law has the Blue Jays selecting Stetson RHP Logan Gilbert. Long and lanky with a bowling ball fastball that has heavy sinking action, Gilbert is Nate Pearson-sized, who is described as athletic, with clean mechanics. Mississippi LHP Ryan Rolison has had an inconsistent spring, but is still seem by some as one of the top southpaws in the draft.
The Blue Jays have been linked to a couple of high schoolers with their first pick. Florida OF Connor Scott, Georgia RHP Ethan Hankins (who was viewed as a possible 1-1 pick before a minor shoulder issue intervened earlier this spring), Arizona 3B Nolan Gorman, and from their backyard, Mississauga’s Noah Naylor, whose stock has risen this spring have all been linked at one time or another to Toronto. Naylor certainly has the bloodlines, but if past history is any indication, the Blue Jays will shy away from all of these players with their first pick. Five of their first six selections (and 13 of their first 14) were college players, and that as much as anything indicates that they’ll lean in that direction.