Logan Warmoth, that is.
The Jays have made their first selection in the draft, and it’s a guy who we’ve heard them linked to for weeks. Or, y’know, we would have heard them linked to for weeks had we actually been paying attention.
A good defensive shortstop with a bat that just keeps improving! Sure, that works.
Some quick reactions before we dive in a little deeper:
Warmoth had one of my favorite swings in the draft class, and I like his chances to stay at shortstop in the… https://t.co/CSs0M9Mr4W
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) June 13, 2017
Baseball America says Logan Warmoth has plus arm that rates as best tool. Has good hands and solid range giving him a chance to stay at SS
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) June 13, 2017
It's possible Warmoth stays at SS. Not flashy, but solid. A little Devon Travis, a little Cavan Biggio (from #BlueJays 2016 Draft) in there— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) June 13, 2017
Warmoth is an excellent pick for the Blue Jays. Should move quickly through the system.
— Christopher Crawford (@Crawford_MILB) June 13, 2017
The best Warmoth emoji I can come up with is ⚔️🦋
— Minor Leaguer (@Minor_Leaguer) June 13, 2017
— Mike (@50_MissionCap) June 13, 2017
And speaking of tweets, you can follow the newest Blue Jays prospect on Twitter at @LoganWarmoth.
And you can watch him put some of his skills on display here:
* * *
It’s important to click the link to finish that Keith Law quote that’s in the tweet above. Keith had Warmoth as the number seven prospect on his board at ESPN.com ($). No, not seventh among college position players or some similar subset of players. Seventh overall.
“It’s a simple, direct swing from the right side that produces surprising power and he runs well enough to add value on the bases,” he writes.
Not everybody is quite so high — MLB Pipeline says that “with average range and arm strength, he’s probably better suited for second base” — but he seems like he’s a “helium” pick because of his bat. “College shortstops who can hit and field their position always rank well on draft day, particularly if they come from a major school and have played against quality competition,” writes Jon Sickels at Minor League Ball. “University of North Carolina shortstop Logan Warmoth checks off all of those boxes. Viewed as a second or third round talent back in January, his junior season has been excellent, making him a virtual lock for at least the back part of the first round.”
“Warmoth’s greatest strength is his lack of weaknesses, possessing average-or-better tools across the board,” explains Nick J. Faleris and Burke Granger of 2080 Baseball. “With a balanced swing and level bat path, Warmoth is an offensive threat, regularly barreling balls too all fields. While the power is shy of impact, he should be capable of producing 10-to-15 home runs a year along with a few dozen doubles.”
FanGraphs seems to reluctantly praise his defensive skills, “Warmoth has an above average arm and good defensive feet that might allow him to play there long term,” but Eric Longenhagen adds that “scouts think the bat might profile at third or second should he have to move.” Meanwhile, in Baseball America’s pick-by-pick analysis, we’re told that “scouts see him as a high-floor, safe bet big leaguer who could exceed his offensive projections.” (They have a nice story about him sometimes being overlooked for higher profile teammates, too).