In the 11th-round, the Toronto Blue Jays went with a physical specimen, 6-foot-6, 285-pound high school first baseman/outfielder Nick Neal from Randleman High School in North Carolina. Before the 2019 season, Neal, who is still 17, was noticed for his size and athleticism, getting 104mph exit velocity on his hits and having a “positional velocity” of 86 mph on his throws at first base. He showed power in-game too at the Prep Baseball Report Future Games, hitting an opposite field home run on the first day.
Neal is an interesting draftee by the Blue Jays. He has a commitment to Walters State Community College which makes him more signable since he doesn’t have a four-year college commitment.
The Jays went with another pitcher in the 11th round, the first since the second, by selecting righty Sam Ryan from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Ryan is a junior, standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 205 pounds, coming to prominence in 2018, splitting time between the bullpen and the rotation, pitching to a 4.14 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 63 innings. In 2019, he was used solely as a reliever, tossing 53 1/3 innings in 20 games, striking out 61 and walking 19 with seven saves with a 2.70 ERA.
Neal is probably a reliever long term but he could get transitioned to the rotation in a case of need and he has some experience there.
12th-round pick Trevor Schwecke is a junior coming out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. At 6-foot-1 and 185, he’s primarily a second baseman going into the pros (although he played shortstop in college) and was a First-Team All-Horizon League mention this year and a Second-Team All-Horizon League at least twice before. He hit .335/.416/.507 in 2019 with 20 doubles, three triples and four home runs, and maintained a .322 batting average for his college career.
MLB.com notes that Schwecke’s swing has “a lot of moving parts, but he possesses a good feel for hitting and some pop.”
The Blue Jays selected centerfielder Eric Rivera from Florida Atlantic University with their 14th-round pick. The 6-foot, 185-pound junior was a Conference USA Hitter of the Week in 2018 and was named to the Conference USA All-Tournament team in 2018. He improved on his sophomore stats (.277/.387/.409) with a .332/.434/.435 slash line, hitting nine doubles and six home runs, giving him six home runs in each of his three seasons. He also had 11 stolen bases in 2019 and looks like he’s got some pop, some speed and could be a decent defender in the outfield.
With their 15th-round pick, the Jays selected right handed high school pitcher Michael Dominguez from Jefferson High School in Tampa. One scouting report from the 2019 World Showcase, noted that he’s got a medium frame (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) and athletic build and has “plus arm speed” and he “creates plane to the plate from high three quarters slot, quality extension, uses lower half well.” He threw 89-92 mph (touching 93), flashing solid arm side life and showed the ability to both work down in the zone and elevate the fastball. The scout liked his slider, saying “pitch will be a bat-misser for him as he continues to throw it harder” and he also threw a changeup that was “effective.”
With a commitment to Florida State, Dominguez might not be very signable in the later rounds, but he also only threw 24 innings in spring baseball this year, striking out 44 and posting a 0.88 ERA. Is the low number of innings due to an injury that caused him to drop down the draft board?
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