The Blue Jays opened Day 3 of the draft by selecting 5-foot-9 Missouri State center fielder Hunter Steinmetz. The junior hit .300/.418/.439 with eight stolen bases, hitting 12 doubles, two triples and three home runs in league play, earning himself a second-team All-Missouri Valley Conference honour. He also hit .288/.365/.447 with seven doubles, a triple and four home runs and league-leading 17 stolen bases in the Cape Cod League in 2017 suggesting that he has a good feel for a wooden bat. Known mostly for his defense, Steinmetz gives the Blue Jays their first true center fielder in the 2018 draft.
I reached out to Hunter and he wants to let the fans know that he’s “just excited for the opportunity to play for an organization like the Blue Jays and can’t wait to get started!”
In the 12th round, the Blue Jays selected Iowa Hawkeye lefty Nick Allgeyer. Baseball America had the 6-foot-3 pitcher ranked as the #457 draft prospect, noting that he’s been “Mr. Reliable for Iowa,” working at least six innings in his last 14 starts and giving up more than three earned runs once. He throws 88-92 mph and has a slider and a big, slow curveball with a “potentially average changeup.” BA likes his control and varying his speeds to the plate. Allgeyer made 15 starts and had a 2.41 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 97 innings with 95 strikeouts and 28 walks in his junior year (although technically his fourth year: he redshirted his third year recovering from Tommy John surgery). He was named to the All-Big Ten First Team in 2018.
In the 13th round, the Blue Jays selected pitcher Brad Wilson, a junior out of Ohio Dominican University. Wilson stands 6-foot-1 and is listed at 260 pounds on the Ohio Dominican Panthers website and had a 2.52 ERA and 61 strikeouts over 39 1/3 innings and nine saves as a reliever. He started in his first two seasons and had solid numbers there but really exploded, posting a 13.96 K/9 rate while walking only seven batters and giving up 28 hits as a closer.
The Jays went with another third baseman in the 14th round of the draft, selecting junior Johnny Aiello who stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs in at 215 pounds. Aiello was ranked the #182 prospect by Baseball America who noted that he had a strong season in the Cape Cod League in 2017, hitting .306 with three doubles and a home run in 62 at bats. He hit .231/.346/.389 for Wake Forest in 2018, hitting five doubles, a triple and nine home runs, falling way back after a .328/.417/.643 season in 2017, blasting 17 doubles and 20 home runs in his sophomore season. Aiello didn’t strike out that much more in 2018 than he did in 2017 so there doesn’t appear to be a drop off there. He’s considered to have above-average power but BA wrote that “he had trouble consistently getting to it in 2018, and his high strikeout rate could prohibit him from hitting for contact at the next level.” He is, however, rated well for his defense and arm.
In round 15, the Blue Jays selected sophomore righty Troy Watson from Gunter, Texas. Watson threw 34 innings for the University of Northern Colorado with a 2.91 ERA with nine walks and 24 strikeouts. Troy missed a month and a half of his season because of ulnar neuritis in his elbow but he got stronger as the season went on, tossing eight innings and giving up one earned run in his final start (a loss) against CSU Bakersfield on May 13.
Troy writes us that “I’m very excited to be a part of such a great and historic organization!”
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The 2018 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available!
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