2018 marks the first time the Blue Jays are selecting as high as they are since 2014. In 2014, the Jays had both the #9 and #11 picks, selecting Jeff Hoffman at #9 and Max Pentecost at #11. While Hoffman’s made it to the majors since being traded to Colorado in the Troy Tulowitzki deal back in 2015 and has thrown 130 1/3 innings in the big leagues (accumulating -0.4 WAR according to Baseball Reference). Pentecost is with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, hitting .242/.295/.395 as he continues to try to find his way to the major leagues after several years of shoulder injuries.
In 2013, the Jays had the #10 pick and selected Phil Bickford who didn’t sign. Pentecost was selected as compensation for not signing Bickford but the chances of not signing players in the early rounds have gone down dramatically since.
The Blue Jays have not selected 12th in the draft ever.
With the #12 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Blue Jays selected Jordan Groshans, a high school third baseman out of Magnolia, Texas. Groshans is an interesting selection because the Jays are probably trying to get him to sign for less than the $4+ million that the Blue Jays have available for their first pick.
Groshans is listed as a third baseman but was announced as a shortstop on the broadcast. They like his size (6-foot-4, 190 pounds) and projects to have plus power, according to MLB.com. A right-handed hitter, Groshans is known for having a short swing and being able to hit “quality fastballs on the showcase circuit,” again, according to MLB.com. Groshan is not a speedster but few prognosticators thing that he’ll stay at shortstop for long but he’s got a solid arm.
MLB.com ratings: Hit: 50/Power: 55/Run: 50/Arm: 55/Field: 50
Baseball America notes that he has “quick bat speed and plus raw power and he showed the ability to square up elite pitching . . . hitting a home run against a 95-mph fastball . . . in the Perfect Game All-American Classic.” He’s smoothed out a big leg kick and he’s been “hitting lasers the entire season.”
With Brady Singer, Cole Winn, and Matthew Liberatore all available, it’s interesting that the Jays selected Groshans who is ranked #31 by MLB.com and #38 by Baseball America.
With a commitment to Kansas, I would think that he’ll sign, particularly going so much higher than expected.
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The 2018 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available!
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