The Blue Jays continued to stock up on position players coming out of college in the fourth through the sixth round of the MLB Draft on Tuesday afternoon.
With the 129th overall pick in the draft, the Blue Jays selected shortstop Kevin Smith out of the University of Maryland. Smith is known for his defense but has been trending upwards with his bat since his freshman year. He hit .273/.358/.422 as a freshman with 14 doubles, a triple, seven home runs and 11 stolen bases and then seemed to regress a bit in his sophomore year, hitting .259/.308/.409 with nine doubles, a triple and eight home runs. He went to the Cape Cod League and got scouts’ attention, hitting .301 with 12 doubles and two home runs before returning to Maryland for his sophomore season this year, clubbing 13 home runs, 10 doubles and three triples with a .268/.323/.552 slash line.
Baseball America writes that Smith shows “above average bat speed and raw power” but his strikeout rate leaves them wondering about “his ability to make contact.” Still, because of his defense and the fact that he’s projected by scouts to stay at shortstop in the professional game, have made him a high draft pick.
Listed at 6-feet and 175 pounds, Cullen Large hardly lives up to his name. Still, the College of William and Mary second baseman was selected by the Blue Jays with the 159th overall pick. Large is a switch hitter who gets a good rep for his feel for hitting and ability to work counts. As a second baseman, Large seems to have decent range and hands and Baseball America thinks he “should become an average defender.”
Large probably has more gap-to-gap power than home run power and hit .323/.399/.475 in three seasons at W&M, smacking 48 doubles, five triples and 16 home runs in 169 total games. He hit over .300 in all three season and had a solid walk-to-strikeout rate with 76 walks and 113 strikeouts.
With their sixth round, the Jays went to college again, selecting right fielder Brock Lundquist from Long Beach State University. Lundquist was already drafted once, in the 36th round by the Oakland A’s, out of high school and the Jays will give him a lot more money now, with a $233,900 bonus assigned to the 189th overall pick.
Lundquist, who sports a pretty impressive moustache, is listed at 6-feet and 210 pounds as a right-handed hitter. Lundquist hit .292/.376/.454 with 44 doubles, nine triples and 10 home runs in 163 games for the Long Beach Dirtbags and is another hitter who profiles with more gap power than home run power. Baseball America writes that he “has a good bat path and good bat speed, but his pitch recognition is below-average and he can get out on his front side.”
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