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The 2020 MLB draft (also known as the Rule 4 draft), bringing players into the league from the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, is the most unusual in memory since the draft began. Instead of the 40 rounds of draft picks that the clubs would make, there are just five this year, one tonight and four tomorrow. Additionally, to help protect the teams’ financial situations (really?), clubs only have to pay a maximum of $100,000 towards the players’ signing bonuses this year with the balance being paid in 2021 and 2022.
After selecting Vanderbilt infielder/outfielder Austin Martin in the first round, Florida State pitcher CJ Van Eyk in the second, Jacksonville righty Trent Palmer in the third, and Loyola Marymount righthanded pitcher Nick Frasso in the fourth, the Blue Jays went on to select outfielder Zach Britton from the University of Louisville in the fifth round.
Britton, an outfielder who played at Louisville for three years has an interesting profile. He didn’t do much his freshman year, hitting .239/.400/.375 in 88 at bats with six doubles and two home runs but he blossomed in the New England Collegiate League that summer with nine doubles in 72 at bats, hitting .361/.440/.486. He followed that up with a .288/.368/.470 slash line in his sophomore year, hitting seven doubles and five home runs while going to the Cape Cod League and hitting .286/.358/.500 with six doubles and five home runs in just 98 at bats. In his abbreviated junior year at Louisville, he hit .322/.446/.542 with 11 doubles and a triple, walking nine times and striking out 12.
While he wasn’t ranked by MLB.com, Baseball America ranked Britton at #192 and noted that has a “fairly loud lefthanded bat.” They like his “pretty” swing and has some “impressive exit velocity numbers,” noting that the hit tool was his best one, leading all NCAA DI hitters with 11 doubles. He’s had more doubles power than home run power but they like the fact that he generated so much power with a wood bat in the Cape Cod League. They think he’s ultimately a left fielder and has limited running skills and a fringy arm.
They Jays have a few guys in their system who aren’t fleet of foot but have a good eye at the plate and a good potential hit tool and it will be interesting to see where Britton fits in.
What do you think of the Jays’ fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft? Let us know in the comments!
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