We’re getting into the back half of the draft and there are still some interesting names that are going to come up. While much of the “dirty work” of a draft is done in the first few rounds, the fact that the Blue Jays didn’t have nearly as many picks in the first 100 means that the Jays went looking for more value later in the draft.
The 21st round selection for the Blue Jays was another Canadian: College catcher Mike Reeves:
“Hailing from Peterborough, Ontario, Reeves played his college ball at Florida Gulf Coast University, and had a strong season at the plate despite not hitting for much power. Reeves played in 57 games for FGCU, hitting .330/.417/.389 and threw out only 7 of 41 would-be base stealers.”
23 year old Reeves stayed in Canada and played for the Vancouver Canadians in 2013. He started off the season hitting incredibly, carrying a .414 batting average through June and hitting .280 in July. His season tailed off in August, hitting just .225 but his power numbers started to rise. The biggest knock on Reeves is his lack of power and, from our sources in Vancouver, we were informed that Reeves went through some mechanical adjustments designed to unlock some more power. He only hit two doubles in all of June and July — a span of 33 games — but hit four doubles and a home run in 22 August games. Defensively, Reeves is solid but he had a fairly low caught stealing rate (25%), something which may improve as the pitchers that he catches become more adept at keeping runners close. Whether Reeves can incorporate the adjustments that have helped him hit the ball more authoritatively and maintain his excellent contact numbers going forward is the big question that we’ll ask about this young Canadian catcher.
22nd round draftee Sam Tewes did not sign.
23rd round pick Brenden Kalfus got a lot of playing time with Vancouver as an everyday outfielder and flashed some of the tools that made him a popular player at St. Mary’s College of California.
“Kalfus made some noise this year in his senior year at St. Mary’s in California, even taking a West Coast Player of the Week award — one that Kris Bryant (who went second overall) won at least three times this year. Kalfus also had a 36-game hitting streak this season, garnering even more attention and helping him win the West Coast Conference batting title with a .381 mark. He doesn’t seem to have much power or speed, but could be a very nice organizational player even if he doesn’t develop either.”
Kalfus is another player who pretty much performed as expected in his first season of pro baseball, hitting .268/.349/.346. He stole nine bases but didn’t add much power, hitting 11 doubles, two triples and one home run in 263 plate appearances. Defensively he put up solid numbers, throwing out eight runners on the bases playing both corner outfield positions about equally. His lack of power really doesn’t help the fact that he’s only been playing corner outfield spots and he’ll need to develop more pop in order to make people think that he’s a major league calibre talent.
In the 24th round, the Blue Jays selected community college outfielder Sean Hurley:
“Hurley played 53 games this season for Central Arizona College (a community college) where he had very good numbers, hitting .341/.430/.562 with 13 2Bs, 2 3Bs and 8 HRs. He’s a guy with pop and is physically mature, so his power will come from learning how to turn on mistakes rather than from more physical development.”
Hurley’s raw numbers weren’t particularly impressive with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays. He hit .216/.335/.338 but showed some extra-base pop with seven doubles, two triples and two home runs in 165 at bats. His .335 OBP shows that he can take a walk but at 21 years old, Hurley needs to cut down on his strikeouts (42 in 2013) and make more contact to get going through to the full-season leagues.
College lefty Scott Silverstein was selected in the 25th round:
“Silverstein has had a rough road to getting drafted, having had two shoulder surgeries to repair a torn labrum, which could normally completely derail a young pitcher’s career. Silverstein didn’t pitch at all in his first two seasons at Virginia but the team stuck by him and he rewarded them in his senior year. He threw 88 innings, going 10-1 with a 2.86 ERA and giving up 86 hits and 25 walks to go with a respectable 69 strikeouts. Silverstein’s seen his fastball clocked in the low 90s and can throw a pretty decent curve and changeup.”
Silverstein made his pro debut with Bluefield but was quickly promoted up to Vancouver this year. He threw 37 1/3 innings for the Canadians (in addition to six innings in Bluefield) and, after a long college season as well, earned his rest. His 4.58 ERA and 1.45 WHIP for Vancouver are pretty solid and he struck out 31 with just 13 walks. Silverstein is unlikely to wring more velocity out of a body that has been wracked with injuries and is already physically mature (at a hulking 6’5″ and 250 lbs.) but he probably has the stamina and endurance to handle a starting role in Lansing next year.
26th rounder Tanner Cable did not sign.
In the 27th round, the Blue Jays selected high school shortstop Andrew Florides. There wasn’t much to be found on the 18 year old who only saw 37 plate appearances in the Gulf Coast League. Florides had a rough go, hitting only five singles (a .152 average) and striking out 12 times.
The Blue Jays’ 28th round selection, Matt Dermody is a 23 year old out of the University of Iowa:
“This was Matt Dermody’s fourth time being drafted by four different teams, but he hasn’t been able to improve his position over time. Originally drafted out of high school in the 26th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was drafted in the 29th round after his sophomore season by Colorado and in the 23rd round last year by the Diamondbacks. The Iowa Hawkeye senior is a 6’5″ senior who mounted his best statistical season in 2013. He threw 94 innings with a 3.64 ERA while striking out 64 and walking 21. Obviously, with a low strikeout rate, the ceiling will be fairly low for Dermody, but his college coaches loved his work ethic so look for this lefty to put in the work to succeed in pro ball.”
Well, the big lefty had an outstanding year in the Northwest League with the Vancouver Canadians, throwing 40 2/3 innings, mostly out of the bullpen and absolutely dominating hitters. While his college strikeout rates weren’t fantastic, he was able to get the pro hitters out at a much higher pace, striking out 50 and walking just four. He put up excellent rate numbers: a 1.77 ERA and 1.20 WHIP and there’s even better news because his BABIP was .398 meaning that he was actually unlucky.
29th rounder Garrett Pickens, coming out of Delta State University in Mississippi appeared to be dominant in his final year, giving up only 1 earned run in 19 1/3 innings pitched and striking out 19 while walking only 6. Mostly spending his year in Vancouver, Pickens had a very good 3.29 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 27 1/3 innings with 15 walks and 15 strikeouts. Both rates will have to improve for the 23 year old righty.
The 30th round pick for the Blue Jays was one of the most intriguing, high school first baseman Rowdy Tellez:
“The Blue Jays’ 30th pick was an interesting one, but one that shouldn’t get fans’ hopes up. Tellez was ranked by Jonathan Mayo as the 99th draft prospect going in and was ranked by Baseball America as the #2 ranked first baseman and was projected to go in the second round. Tellez is big at 6’4″ and 225 lbs and is said to have “light tower power.” I won’t write too much here because, despite the fact the Blue Jays drafted him, unless they offer Tellez an amount of money that is WAY over slot, he’s going to go to USC and won’t be available to go pro for another few years.”
Well, the Blue Jays got Tellez to sign on the dotted line for $850,000 and got him to their complex in Dunedin where, according to reports, they started working with him on his swing. Overall, his GCL numbers aren’t bad with a .234/.319/.371 line but Tellez filled up the extra-base hit column in the GCL more than anyone else not named “Barreto.” Tellez hit five doubles, three triples and a pair of home runs in his rookie campaign and, of that, two doubles, two triples and both home runs came in his last seven games. Baseball Prospectus writer Chris King told me that he saw huge improvements in Tellez’s swing towards the end of the season and he could be motoring up through the prospect ranks for the Blue Jays in the next couple of seasons.
Coming up next, the final ten rounds of the 2013 draft and, then, our overall analysis of the Blue Jays’ drafting strategies.
Note: No pretty pictures today, folks. We’ve instituted a policy here of only using photos that we own the rights to and unfortunately, we weren’t able to see any of the players in today’s post in person.