Blue Jays go all-in on position players on Day 2 of MLB draft

Canada Jr. team center fielder Dasan Brown makes a diving catch on a flyout by Toronto Blue Jays' DJ Neal during the third inning of a spring training baseball game Saturday, March 23, 2019, in Dunedin, Fla. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

TORONTO – After selecting pitchers with their top two picks, the Toronto Blue Jays went all-in on position players on Day 2 of the 2019 MLB Draft.

One of those picks also happened to be the highest-ranked Canadian selected, 17-year-old outfielder Dasan Brown. The speedy Oakville, Ont., native went in the third round, after which the Blue Jays added another outfielder, five infielders and a catcher.

Somewhat remarkably for this franchise, none of the draftees are related to past or current major-leaguers. That will have to wait for Day 3, as will the Blue Jays’ ongoing search for pitching.

In the meantime, the first 10 picks of the Blue Jays’ 2019 draft class warrant a closer look:

Alek Manoah | 1st round | RHP | West Virginia | $4.55 million slot value

In the last year, the Blue Jays have seen Manoah make meaningful progress on the mound. By selecting him 11th overall, they’re betting that there’s more growth ahead.

“We’re really confident in who he is as a person and the work he puts in on and off the field to reach his ceiling as a major-league starter,” amateur scouting director Steve Sanders said.

Kendall Williams | 2nd round | RHP | IMG Academy | $1.4 million slot value

Like Manoah, Williams is a six-foot-six right-hander with plenty of upside. But while Manoah has already filled out, Williams is “the quintessential projectable high school right-hander,” according to MLB Pipeline. He throws a fastball that will sometimes reach 94-95 mph and he throws both a curve and a slider.

Complicating matters for the Blue Jays, Williams has committed to Vanderbilt, one of the top schools for developing pitchers. With that commitment in mind, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he requires an over-slot deal.

Dasan Brown | 3rd round | OF | Abbey Park H.S., Ont. | $678,600 slot value

Some scouts give Brown’s speed an 80 on the 20-80 scale, so that skill alone makes the Oakville, Ont., native worth watching. A Texas A&M commit, he’s “incredibly raw” offensively, according to Baseball America. Still, that speed gives him the potential to be an elite defender as long as the Blue Jays are prepared to be patient. At 17 years old, he has plenty of development ahead.

Will Robertson | 4th round | OF | Creighton | $492,700 slot value

Robertson goes from one Blue Jays team to another, bringing with him the impressive raw power that allowed him to hit 15 home runs at Creighton – a notoriously tough place to go deep. A left-handed hitter, Robertson has a line-drive swing that allowed him to hit .311 last year.

Tanner Morris | 5th round | SS | Virginia | $367,900 slot value

There’s no denying that Morris can hit. In 56 games this year, the left-handed hitter batted .345/.452/.507 with 21 doubles. Though the Blue Jays drafted him as a shortstop, Baseball America suggests he’s likely better suited for third base or a corner outfield position long-term.

As a draft-eligible sophomore, he has leverage here. If the Blue Jays don’t meet his price, he can go back to school and aim to improve his 2020 draft stock with a strong junior year.

Cameron Eden | 6th round | SS | University of California | $279,500 slot value

While the Blue Jays drafted Eden as a shortstop, he has also played left and centre while batting .370 with a 1.002 OPS. An above-average runner, he stole 20 bases in 24 attempts this season.

Four years ago, the Blue Jays (then under Alex Anthopoulos) drafted Eden’s brother Chandler, who’s now a member of the Dodgers organization.

L.J. Talley | 7th round | 2B | Georgia | $218,500 slot value

Talley produced at the plate, hitting .332 with a .924 OPS this year, but limited arm strength might keep him to second base, according to Baseball America. As a senior sign, he could be a candidate to sign a below-slot deal.

Angel Camacho | 8th round | 3B | Jacksonville University | $175,000 slot value

Even though Camacho hit .317 with an .887 OPS as a senior at Jacksonville, he still didn’t rank among Baseball America’s top-500 prospects. Under those circumstances, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Blue Jays can land him on a below-slot deal, too.

Philip Clarke | 9th round | C | Vanderbilt | $154,900 slot value

Clarke hit .306/.387/.479 at Vanderbilt this year – impressive production from behind the plate. Even though he’s best known for his bat, he’s now an average receiver, according to Baseball America. Like Morris, he’s a draft-eligible sophomore, which gives him more leverage than many draftees.

Glenn Santiago | 10th round | SS | International Baseball Academy | $145,500 slot value

Not unlike the Blue Jays’ current manager, Santiago’s a slender shortstop from Puerto Rico. He has committed to Florida International for college.

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