by Mason McRae
It’s been about a month and a half since the Jays added 30 draft picks into their system via the draft, some haven’t taken the field yet such as 11th overall selection Alek Manoah, so It makes perfect sense to look at how these youngsters are kicking off their professional baseball careers.
Starting it off with some day-three selections.
38th Round Pick: Ryan Sloniger, Catcher (Penn State) – The senior sign from the northeast has had the best start of all the Jays draftees. Starting in rookie ball, Sloniger played in 13 games, in which he slugged an impressive .419/.510/.744 slash-line, with only 6 strikeouts to 5 walks in 43 at bats. He was promoted to Vancouver, where he has cooled down a bit, but he’s still having success with a .280/.333/.440 statline. He’s struck out a little too much at 7 K’s in 27 at-bats, with only 2 walks. But for a 38th rounder, Sloniger has been much much more than what the Jays expected from him on draft day.
34th Round Pick: Luis Quinones, Right-Handed Pitcher (San Jacinto Community College) – another 30s round pick who’s been promoted to Vancouver from Bluefield thanks to a hot start. Luis threw 6.1 innings, giving up 1 hit, 2 earned runs, and walking 2 while striking out an impressive 10 batters. All of those numbers equated to a 0.474 WHIP, and a 2.84 ERA. Since being promoted to Vancouver, Luis hasn’t taken a step back, throwing 11.2 innings, giving up 2 earned runs, 5 hits, with a scary 10 walks to 15 strikeouts. Those numbers come out to a 1.286 WHIP, and a 1.54 ERA. So he might me due for ANOTHER promotion in the coming weeks.
24th Round Pick: Spencer Horwitz, First Baseman (Radford) – Spencer has been impressive in Rookie ball, given he’s a 21 year old who’s probably a little too old to be playing for that level. But forgetting that, he’s been good with a .318/.364/.464 line in 110 at-bats. I think it’s time to promote him to Vancouver, because there’s no reason for him to be wasting time in rookie ball.
22nd Round Pick: Nick Fraze, Right-Handed Pitcher (Texas State) – Nick’s been great in Low-A, with a 2.35 ERA in 15.1 innings, he’s given up only 10 hits, and walked 5 guys which is just shy of a 1 WHIP. He’s been really good and is line for a promotion soon, especially if he can strike out more guys as he only has 8 K’s.
17th Round Pick: Jared DiCesare, Right-Handed Pitcher (George Mason) – After being promoted to Vancouver, Jared has gone back to exactly what you’d expect in a college pitcher who threw in the mid-8o’s and had a 5.40 ERA in the Atlantic 10. Yes, you read that correctly. He had a FIVE ERA, in the Atlantic 10, not the ACC, or SEC, or even the overrated Big Ten.. But in Low-A, he’s sporting a whopping 4.91 ERA, and a 1.36 WHIP. The Jays will be lucky if he makes it to High-A and quite frankly, it’s embarrassing that DiCesare got promoted to Low-A before Sam Ryan who had a sub 2 ERA in 10 innings before a disappointing start this week.
13th Round Pick: Trevor Schwecke, Shortstop (Wisconsin at Milwaukee) – the final day-three selection there is to look at. Trevor has been pretty good in Low-A with a .285/.386/.354 line. He’s still looking to find some power but he’s gotten on a lot and has some defense that he carries.
Now onto the Day-two draftees….
10th Round Pick: Glenn Santiago, Shortstop (International Baseball Academy) – Given how much of a ‘raw’ talent Glenn is, he’s started in the Dominican League and he’s been just alright with a .211/.349//352 slash in 71 at-bats, with 16 K’s to 9 walks. He’s got 3 triples, but is looking for his first professional home run still. Ironically Santiago and Clarke (below), might be the Jays best picks on day 2 and they were the last 2 taken.
9th Round Pick: Phillip Clarke, Catcher (Vanderbilt) – my favourite draft pick in the class, Phillip was a tough sign and was a massive over-slot at 500k. Since then he’s won a college world series and began his professional career in Low-A for Vancouver with an impressive statline of .306/.393./469 with 2 home runs, and only 7 K’s to 6 BB’s in 56 at-bays. He’s been exactly what you’d hope for on draft day and has a legitimate chance at being a Blue Jay in the future.
5th Round Pick: Tanner Morris, Shortstop (Virginia) – my least favorite pick on Day-two, Morris has been somewhat disappointing, considering he’s still in Low-A. His numbers are the following .236/.382/.355 in over 100 at-bats. Tanner really hasn’t hit well but still has shown great discipline at the plate. Will Holland, who I wanted them to take, hasn’t played a single game yet, so Morris is off the hook for now.
4th Round Pick: Will Robertson, Outfielder (Creighton) – Another really good selection in Robertson hasn’t turned out to be so true. He’s slashed an underwhelming .234/.341/.315 in 111 at-bats for Low-A (Vancouver). He was drafted as a guy with high upside power but still hasn’t found it yet and it’s hurting him badly.
3rd Round Pick: Daasan Brown, Outfielder (Abbey Park High School) – The Canadian hasn’t played yet, so I can’t bash this pick just yet. But, the guy I would’ve like to see taken – Drew Mendoza has been extremely look in High-A with a .290/.402/.377 statline.
…. and here’s the Day-One draftees
2nd Round Pick: Kendall Williams, Right-Handed Pitcher (IMG Academy) – The big righty made his MiLB debut yesterday and was disappointing giving up a run, a hit, and walking 1 in 1 inning while striking out a batter. He has a lot of talent, but nowhere near as much as Trejyn Fletcher who got less money and has been great in the Gulf-League after being promoted. He’s hitting .297/.357/.541 and has really shown off his power with 2 home runs in 11 games.
1st Round Pick: Alek Manoah, Right-Handed Pitcher (West Virginia) – Manoah hasn’t thrown just yet, but it’s believed that he’ll be starting in Low-A Vancouver soon this week.