As mentioned in my last post, the 2015 edition of the MLB draft may not have had the same sexiness quotient for Jays fans given fact that the Jays had two picks inside the top 12 last year. For those of us that focus on the Vancouver Canadians though, what the Jays have done this year could land us some exciting talent to watch over the next month or so.
Last year, with the 11th overall selection, the Jays took Kennesaw State Junior Max Pentecost. As an advanced college bat, it was a no brainer that Max would make his pro debut in Vancouver. And, after a six game GCL taster, that is exactly what happened. Unfortunately injuries didn’t let us see the best of the athletic catcher.
The reason behind the Pentecost preamble? When the Jays took Gunnar Heidt‘s College of Charleston teammate Carl Wise with their 4th round pick I immediately thought of Max. A couple of tweets helped hammer that home:
Second College of Charleston player off the board here in Carl Wise. Chance he actually ends up behind the plate. #mlbdraft
— Hudson Belinsky (@hudsonbelinsky) June 9, 2015
So a catcher who opened eyes by impressing power-wise in the wood bat Cape Cod league. Sounds familiar. Of course, many will scoff at that comparison as Pentecost was (and probably still is, despite a litany of injuries) highly regarded as an athletic catcher. Wise is a 6’2″ 225 pound bat who many scouts believe will NEED to move off third and look at catcher as a potential option. Of course, first base may be as well.
For fun though, I compared Max and Carl’s Cape Cod League stats:
So, Max is not only a better defensive option, but seemingly a better hitter as well. Suppose that’s why he went 11th overall while Wise went 122nd. Still, getting back to the title of this post. Wise, when signed, will be a Vancouver Canadian in short order.
Unless, of course, the Jays decide to convert him to catcher straight away. In which case he’ll work on his tan in Florida for awhile.
With the Jays taking two raw high-school pitchers in rounds 2 and 3, I’d assumed Wise would be the highest pick we would see at the Nat this year. That takes into account the complete and utter mental block I had with Jays first rounder, Missouri State junior Jon Harris.
For those that have been asleep for a couple of weeks, or as a reminder of how fantastic this pick was, here is an excerpt from Nick Faleris’ scouting report:
Good projectability not often seen in high-end college arm. Some effort and will need to smooth out delivery some to improve command/execution, but repertoire is easy starter arsenal and can stick in rotation without above-average command because of quality of stuff. Raw pitch grades drop some because of some inconsistency in execution/command. Should be more question of mid-rotation vs back-end arm, but if used in relief could be set-up type.
Timetable could be as soon as late 2016 or early 2017; conservative would be late 2017/early 2018. Shouldn’t be a project; he can pitch.
I think this was a very strong pick; best available for me.
Many of those I have spoken to believe Harris is too advanced for the Northwest League. So was Marcus Stroman. At the time of the draft, Stroman was seen as the one arm who could advance to the majors during his draft year and he still came. The Jays love to get their high end talent time in Vancouver. Call it an introduction to Canada.
Whatever the reason, I fully expect Harris to spend a bit of time in the North. Similar to Stroman’s two weeks, it’ll probably be truncated, so once the news is announced, I’d be queuing for tickets.
And apparently he’s signed!!
Deal for slot money between #BlueJays and first-rounder Jon Harris is done pending physical, could be finalized tomorrow.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) June 13, 2015
There’ll be a plethora of signings to come and many of those will either begin their career at the Nat or be in here in short order. I’ll endeavour to look at those names shortly.
Today though is the C’s media day. Apparently 24 players have flown north from Dunedin and today they do their meet and greets.