In round 26, the Blue Jays went with catcher Brett Wright out of Auburn. The teammate of first overall pick Casey Mize, Wright is a 6-foot, 210 pound receiver who spent his first two years of college ball with San Jacinto junior college before transferring to Auburn. As a junior in 2018, he hit .264/.397/.503 with 14 doubles and 11 home runs, indicating that he’s a catcher with some pop in his bat. Baseball America notes that he’s “a patient, disciplined hitter who has walked nearly as much as he’s struck out and provides solid power.” While he could return to Auburn, Wright will probably sign once the Tigers are done in their College World Series run.
A rare high schooler selected in the back half of the draft, the Blue Jays used their 27th round pick to select righty Kyle Luckham from El Dorado High School in Placentia, California. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound righty competed in high school against such lights as Nick Pratto and 2017 Blue Jays second-round pick Hagen Danner. He throws in the low 90s, touching 93-94 mph and has a lively fastball with sink and fade in addition to a potential plus changeup. Many scouts project him as a reliever since his breaking ball isn’t great and he has a high-effort delivery but we likely won’t know more for a few more years. With a strong commitment to Cal State Fullerton, most think he’ll go to college.
For the second year in a row, the Blue Jays selected an infielder from the University of Texas. After selecting Kacy Clemens last year, they chose infielder/pitcher Andy McGuire in the 28th round in 2018. McGuire has taken an unusual route to being drafted. He played sparingly in 2014 with Texas as a third baseman before moving to the mound for his sophomore year in 2015. With a new head coach at Texas, McGuire transferred to University of South Carolina Aiken but decided, for health reasons, to take some time off from baseball to focus on his studies. He transferred back to Texas where he completed his degree and rejoined the baseball team for 2018. McGuire was mostly a reliever, throwing 30 2/3 innings with a 2.05 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, striking out 26 and walking 11, but he also hit .263/.383/.500 with three doubles and two home runs in 38 at bats. It’s thought that the Blue Jays will put McGuire to work as a hitter rather than as a pitcher at this point.
I thought “Fitz Stadler” was a great baseball name but the Blue Jays outdid themselves by selecting Cre Finfrock, a righthanded pitcher from the University of Central Florida in the 29th round. Finfrock was a regular starter for his first two seasons, logging 175 2/3 innings between those two season before he missed all of 2017 because of Tommy John surgery. He threw 48 innings in 2018, posting a 3.56 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, striking out 50 and walking 29. Baseball America thinks that he’ll be a reliever as a pro due to a “poor, short arm action and a fastball that ticks up to 94-95 out of the bullpen but sits at 90-92 as a starter.” They write that “the arm action is bad enough that teams are worried that another injury is only waiting to happen.” Baseball draft report writes that he’s “also shown flashes of a quality breaking ball (77-84) and change (79-81), with potential average or better pitches in time.”
The Blue Jays went with another college arm in round 30, selecting 6-foot-4 senior Cobi Johnson out of Florida State. Another Tommy John survivor, Johnson has already been drafted twice: once by the San Diego Padres (35th round in 2014) and once by the Los Angeles Angels (29th round in 2017). He missed all of 2017 with the surgery and came back this year to throw 20 1/3 innings with a 3.54 ERA and 27 strikeouts with 13 walks. The writers at Baseball Draft Report really like his stuff, noting that he’ll sit 87-92 mph with his fastball and touch 94 with a “plus” 73-74 mph curve, an average change and he also has a cutter/slider. Since he has another year of eligibility, he could return to the draft to improve his stock even more (losing a round to his last draft season in 2017) or he could leverage his ability to return to school to get a bigger bonus than he would have last year coming off surgery without having pitched since the year before.
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