Day 2 of the draft is an interesting one. Picks fly by faster than they do on Day 1 and players who don’t necessarily have the same levels of hype are selected. That said, there are usually some very good players picked on Day 2 who will make it to the majors. In recent years, major leaguers Matt Boyd, Kendall Graveman, Chad Girodo, Anthony DeSclafani and Sam Dyson have all come from Day 2 selections. In 2016, the Blue Jays stocked up on talent coming out of colleges who generally have a bit of a higher floor than the players drafted in this area by former GM Alex Anthopoulos.
In the third round, the Blue Jays went with college righty Zach Jackson out of Arkansas. Jackson is “well built” at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds (according to Baseball America) but has some kinky mechanics and struggles with his control, leading to his being projected as a bullpen arm. Despite his struggles, scouts love his curveball but he often has better control and command of the hook than the heat which comes in 90-93 mph (although MLB.com believes the FB is a couple of ticks faster at 93-95).
The 2016 Blue Jays’ fourth round pick in the draft is outfielder Joshua Palacios. Palacios has some big league bloodlines with his uncle, Rey, playing for a few years for the Royals. Transferring from San Jacinto College to Auburn, he was having a tremendous season before injuring his wrist in April. Scouts like his speed (considered “plus”) and his contact ability. Defensively, he may be tried in center field but probably doesn’t quite have the instincts for it and lacks the power profile of a corner outfielder.
In the fifth round, the Blue Jays selected another player with big league bloodlines in Cavan Biggio, the son of Hall of Famer Craig. Baseball America likes his “very intelligent approach to the game” but no one really praises his physical tools as being anything above average.
The Blue Jays selected high school outfielder D.J. Daniels out of Fike High School in Wilson, North Carolina for their sixth round pick. An excellent athlete, he has a great physique at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds and was a quarterback as well as an outfielder. He has more power than the elite HS outfielder the Jays drafted last year (Reggie Pruitt) but much less speed. It may take a lot of money to sign Daniels, and he’s committed to James Madison University for football.
For the seventh round, the Blue Jays go back to college, selecting Kent State Junior Andy Ravel. Ravel’s reputation is as a solid starter with average stuff although his slider has been called “above-average” by Baseball America. Ravel was a starter all season and had a 3.36 ERA and very good strikeout to walk rate (20 walks, 77 strikeouts) over 91 innings.
The Blue Jays went back to Grayson Community College in Texas by selecting righty Kyle Weatherly in the eighth round of the draft. The Jays selected Grayson CC’s Grayson Huffman on Day 2 of the draft in 2014 but unfortunately, Huffman is still in short-season ball and hasn’t produced much since his first pro season, struggling last year. Weatherly, however, put up some great stats on the mound in a hitter-friendly league, going 9-2 with a 2.62 ERA (while the club’s ERA as a whole was 5.54). Committed to LSU next year, Weatherly is 21 with a 91-93 mph fastball and average slider.
Nick Hartman is the Jays’ ninth rounder, coming out of Old Dominion with a 4.81 ERA in 48 2/3 innings. The 6-foot-2 Texan can hit the mid-90s with his fastball, which garnered him the attention he’s getting and the draft position in the top 10 rounds, giving him the potential to be a reliever.
The Blue Jays drafted another player out of the University of Florida this year (after Justin Shafer has been working his way through the system, currently in Dunedin). A bullpen arm in college, Kirby Snead is a lefty who drops down and throws from a three-quarters arm slot, giving him movement on his fastball and projection as a LOOGY, throwing in the high 80s with a good breaking ball and a changeup.
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