Here we look at who the Blue Jays selected in the 21st through 25th rounds of the 2017 MLB Draft.
The Blue Jays went with another right-handed pitcher in the 21st round, selecting 6-foot-3 Turner Larkins, a junior out of Texas A&M. Larkin, who sports a snazzy bow tie in his profile picture for the school’s website, has been an additional starter (rather than being in the regular weekend rotation) and was drafted in the 28th round in 2014 by Milwaukee before choosing to go go college. This time around, Larkins was limited in his action this season due to surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow, missing time in the fall and early spring. Larkins had a solid 3.37 ERA and 1.31 WHIP over 26 2/3 innings this year and his strikeout total of 20 was not impressive and his rate was well down from the previous two seasons while his walk rate was up. Baseball America writes that his velocity was in the 88-93 mph range and has a decent curveball but his slider and changeup both need improvement. One article I saw commented that Larkins could return to school to try to make the weekend rotation next year rather than sign.
Gunner Halter, son of former big league utility player Shane Halter was drafted by the Blue Jays out of Seminole State Junior College in Oklahoma. A shortstop who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 180 pounds, Halter was scouted heavily coming out of high school and Nathan Rode wrote that “he takes an aggressive hack and can handle velocity” despite “an arm bar in his swing.” Rode noted Halter’s strong arm in the infield and thought that he could handle third base if he wasn’t able to play shortstop as a pro. Halter could have gone to Kansas State but chose the Junior College route, heading to Seminole State and getting drafted in his first year. Halter is still weighing his options but if he signs, he’ll begin his professional career at the age of 19.
In the 23rd round, the Blue Jays went with a guy who was projected in going early, taking right-handed pitcher Daniel Ritcheson out of Bishop Alemany High School in California. Ritcheson is relatively new to pitching but was touching 95 mph with his fastball this spring but had some questions regarding his makeup. At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds Ritcheson has a prototypical pitcher’s frame but Baseball America notes that he throws out of a “high three-quarters delivery, although it lacks deception or plane.” He also had an inconsistent but potentially plus breaking ball. He was criticised for losing concentration on the mound and having difficulty dealing with adversity. Committed to San Diego State, it’s likely he’ll head there to refine his stuff after getting drafted so low, unless the Blue Jays can come up with a significant bonus offer.
The Blue Jays decided on right-handed pitcher Colin Brockhouse out of Ball State University with their 24th round pick. Brockhouse is from Fort Wayne, Indiana (where I’ve always been welcomed warmly on my journeys to see the Lugnuts) and pitched for three years at Ball State while also playing DH, hitting .248/.322/.397 with 10 doubles, two triples and six home runs in 77 games as a hitter. As a pitcher, he only threw 40 2/3 innings this season with a 3.98 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, striking out 40 and walking 19. It appears that he’s always walked a lot of batters. Brockhouse has an injury history, however, having Tommy John surgery while in high school and missing part of this season with elbow tendinitis. He also appears to be on the fence about signing, telling Colin Grylls of The Daily News that “I haven’t committed yet to the Blue Jays . . . I can wait out that period [until the signing deadline of July 15] and if the Blue Jays can’t come up with X amount or something, then I don’t know . . . I’ll have to rethink things and make a decision from there.”
The Blue Jays took another high schooler and another Canadian in the 25th round, selecting Cooper Davis out of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario. Davis was said to “ooze” athleticism with “elite level speed.” He played in the T12 tournament last year and was said to be “electric” and has played all over North America with the Ontario Blue Jays and the Canadian Junior National Team. Davis has committed to Vanderbilt University which can be a very attractive school for most players and a tough one for big league teams to buy a player out of.
If you like us here, like us on Facebook!
The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Check out the Handbook page for more information!
Now is a great time to subscribe to the Blue Jays from Away Premium Content Section!
All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2017) and may not be used without permission.