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Some Very Serious And Definitely Not Half-Assed Reactions To The Jays’ Day Two Draft Picks

We’ve already taken a pretty deep look at the first four picks the Jays made in the draft, and you can read about them here:

Now it’s time to quickly go through the rest of the Jays’ picks through the end of Day Two — aka, the rest of the picks that actually matter (inasmuch as any of these picks matter)…

  • 129th overall: Kevin Smith (SS), Maryland

If history is any indication, Smith is going to be very mediocre, but will have a surprisingly long career. Uh… in most areas.

Also: huge jorts.

Clearly this entire post is just to make dumb jokes everybody was already done with yesterday afternoon when the Jays picked him, so we could really just end this charade now, but… what the hell, let’s actually seriously do this.

Smith is a shortstop from Maryland, and MLB Pipeline ranked him 91st in the class. In their scouting video we’re told that it looks as though he has the defensive ability to stick there. They mention his “sneaky” in-game power at the plate, but also that strikeouts are and issue and that he tends to get pull happy.

Can’t complain about a guy who seems like he’ll stick at short and maybe has a chance to have enough in his bat to not be useless.

  • 159th overall: Cullen Large (2B), William and Mary

A second baseman, eh? That’s already a red flag, perhaps. A whole lot of second basemen start out as shortstops, so to already to be off the tougher defensive position says something. But obviously we have to look a little bit deeper than that! Hey, and good news! Large, Cullen, was the eighth second baseman selected in this draft. ELITE!

Y’know, at a really shallow position!

Large was also the seventh ranked second baseman for John Sickels at Minor League Ball, where we’re told about his… uh… ability to be hit by pitches. Seriously.

Sickels had Large at 279 on his top 500, while Baseball America had him at 285. I smell signability pick! The Jays perhaps need to move some money around for the players they took who had a little bit of leverage — high school catcher/RHP Hagen Dasz (or something), and junior college RHP Nate Pearson (who is a sophomore with an LSU commitment and would be eligible for next year’s draft because he’ll be 21). Shi Davidi, in his Day Two roundup for Sportsnet smells something similar: “From the fifth round onwards the Blue Jays appear to have over-drafted some players, at least based on independent third-party rankings, perhaps with the aim of creating some room within their signing bonus pool of $8,231,000, the 13th largest among the 30 big-league clubs.”

Oh, what a mistake I’ve made…

  • 189th overall: Brock Lundquist (OF) – Cal St. Long Beach

Holy shit, now that’s a Cal St. Long Beach name if I’ve ever heard one. (Isn’t it? How the hell would I even know?)

Brock Lundquist! Uh… *sigh*

No, but OK, some interesting tidbits here: Lundquist was drafted by the A’s in the 36th round back in 2014 when he came out of high school. Based on his profile page at Long Beach State (which, apparently is the same school as Cal State Long Beach — WHO KNEW?) he was maybe a bit of a sensation during his freshman season… as a DH. He was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, apparently, showing some halfway decent pop with three homers and 14 doubles in 128 at-bats.

Things seemed to go a bit south for the Brockster this season, however. After hitting 18 doubles, slugging .479, and striking out just 30 times in 213 at-bats in 2016, he dropped to 13 doubles, a .429 SLG, and 58 strikeouts in 231 plate appearances.

Maybe that’s why his stock dropped, and maybe the Jays think there’s a chance he gets back on track? Sure, let’s go with that over my second choice for an ending to this capsule: “WHO CARES????”

  • 219 overall: Colton Laws (RHP), UNC Charlotte

I’m opening tabs and searching links as I write this, but my guess is that I already learned the most important thing I need to know about Colton Laws when I looked six names to the right of his name on the MLB.com Draft Tracker: Colton Laws stands 6’7″ tall.

A 6’7 pitcher? I LIKE WHAT I’M HEARING! And at 215 pounds, is there room for him to fill out? To add some velocity to… whatever velocity he already has? I DON’T KNOW!

Laws’ name shows up in a fanpost at Minor League Ball, where he’s “rated” by a system called FaBIO (Fielding- and Ballpark-Independent Outcomes) as being… pretty good, maybe? It’s something!

Also: I searched Twitter for “Colton Laws” and some velocity related terms, and found a tweet from March saying he was topping out at 92, and one from April saying that he was hitting 93.

Sounds like he was a pretty good college pitcher, at least:

Laws, a first team all-Conference USA performer this season, improved his draft stock in grand fashion last time out striking out a Conference USA tournament record 14 batters in the Niners second round matchup with UTSA. Laws led the 49ers to semifinal Saturday hurling a complete game, four-hit 5-0 shutout victory over the Roadrunners. The Faith, N.C. native started his season in just as impressive fashion posting a 29.2 innings scoreless stretch in which he didn’t allow a run in a month’s worth of Friday night action.

Sickels had him at, like, 474 though.

  • 249th overall: Kacy Clemens (1B), Texas

BLOODLINE PICK!

BLOODLINE PIC!!!

Yes, his dad is that Clemens. No word yet on whether Kacy will demand a fresh jersey to change into for every inning that he plays, or that his kids all have names that begin with the letter “K” (BECUZ STRIKEOUTS).

Honestly, though, maaaaaybe this guy doesn’t really want to hear about his dad literally every minute of every day. So… he’s a Clemens, whatever. He’s also a college senior and a first baseman, so naturally you think that maybe he’s yet another guy the Jays have taken to save some money.

On the other hand, Clemens actually had a bit of a breakout year at the plate in 2017. After hitting .303/.418/.470 with five home runs in 2016, he bashed his way to .303/.414/.532 with 12 home runs this season.

Ohhhhhhhh shit. So I guess I can’t make the obvious joke about that now, eh?

  • 279th overall: Zach Logue (LHP), Kentucky

WE’RE ALMOST DONE!

Logue was ranked 332 by Minor League Ball (whose rankings I’m leaning on heavily here because… that’s the tab I have open), and also was Sickels’ 43rd ranked lefty pitcher. And BA had him as the 258th overall prospect. So… he’s better regarded than the guys taken by the Jays in the few rounds ahead of him. I guess that Kacy Clemens deal is going to be way under slot and they managed to get back to making picks that don’t make the draft look like the total weird sham that it is. TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, CLEMENS!

Once again, I did some ol’ fashioned tweet-searchin’ and found references to Logue hitting 92 and 93 on the radar gun, which is completely unverified, but a lefty throwing like that sounds intriguing. Slightly less intriguing, though, when you see that he’s 6’0″ and 165 pounds.

Sure, whatever.

  • 309th overall: Justin Dillon (SS), Cal St. Sacramento

LAST ONE!

AND!

I!

DON’T!

CARE!

TO!

KEEP!

DOING!

THIS!

OH! But wait! What’s this?? Dillon is a fifth year senior (CHEAP SIGN) and, holy shit, it turns out he likes the outdoors. The out-of-doors, if you will. He probably doesn’t like it as much as I like the lede from the Sacramento Bee piece about him this May that told us as much, though!

Justin Dillon finds comfort in all things outdoors.

A hike, a hunt, a swim. A bow, a fishing pole or a rifle in his grasp, and you’ve got the making of a happily bearded and burly fellow who looks more wilderness than corporate desk guy. This is Sacramento State’s version of “Gunsmoke” figure Marshal Matt Dillon, calloused hands at the ready to strike.

Oh, and there’s another fresh-air vantage point the senior from Placerville craves: The mound.

Forgive me for skimming past the fucking dagger that is “The mound” there at the end, but… uh… Gunsmoke?

GUNSMOKE???

A GUNSMOKE REFERENCE?????

GUNSMOKE HASN’T BEEN ON THE AIR FOR FORTY TWO YEARS! GUNSMOKE FIRST WENT ON THE AIR SIXTY TWO YEARS AGO! HOLY SHIT, GUNSMOKE RAN FOR TWENTY YEARS! IT WASN’T UNTIL GUNSMOKE’S FINAL SEASON THAT POST-IT NOTES AND PUSH-THROUGH CAN TOPS WERE INVENTED! SERIOUSLY! GUNSMOKE!

I am genuinely floored. I… I’ve been absolutely certain for six capsules now that this post was going to end with a pathetic whimper, and here we are ending with a bang. A bang of goddamned Gunsmoke. In twenty-seven-motherfucking-teen. I can’t even.

Don’t expect this for the Jays’ next 30 picks!

  • RADAR

    It’s like a big bowl of meh. Not that middle round draft picks are expected to be anything else but would it hurt to draft the odd, high risk/high upside, outside the box, potential allstar? I want some prospect porn to indulge my fantasies.

  • Teddy Ballgame

    Be careful, Stoeten, or I’m going to drop some Gilligan’s Island references on your sorry ass.

    Again, this might be my favourite Jays draft ever based on player names. Logan Warmoth! Hagen Danner! Cullen Large! Brock Lundquist! Colton Laws! It sounds like the gang of athletic prep kids who get all the girls and look to humiliate those nerds in a yacht race.

  • The Humungus

    Here’s an interesting one:

    23rd Rd (699 Overall) RHP Daniel Ritcheson (Bishop Almeny HS) 6’4, 175

    Added 7mph to his FB from Oct 2015 to Oct 2016. Strong commit to San Diego State.

    Buuuuuuttt, he was ranked 131 on MLB’s board and they got him way later than that. Perfect Game calls him “Projectable” in a positive way. Here’s the MLB report:


    One of the concerns in the scouting industry in today’s game is that young pitchers are throwing too much. With that in mind, when a good arm comes along without a lot of mileage on it, scouts get excited. Such was the case with Ritcheson in Northern California, who has a lot to learn but a lot to work with. There is little question about Ritcheson’s arm strength, as he was throwing his fastball up to 93-95 mph this spring. He’ll flash a very good slider as well, and while his changeup is below-average right now, he does show some feel for it, with hope that it eventually will be a third Major League-average offering for him. A former catcher, Ritcheson is still learning how to pitch. He has a tendency to come out of the gate full-tilt, running out of gas as he gets deeper into starts. Right now, Ritcheson looks more like a power fastball-slider guy, and that might make some feel that he profiles better in the bullpen. But everything works well delivery-wise, giving him a good chance to start at the next level once he cleans some things up. A team that feels he can do that could take him early enough to keep him from staying in SoCal and heading to San Diego State.”

    • The Humungus

      This guy looks like the kind of guy whom you pick a bunch of middling guys with little negotiating leverage on the second day to save some cash so you can go well above slot to try to get this guy out of his commit.

        • The Humungus

          Me too, because it’s totally appropriate in 2017 to react loudly and negatively to something that’s not even half done, basically after you’ve read a headline.

          Thanks a lot, Al Gore. Your “internet” ruined civilization.

  • Barry

    It’s entirely possible the Jays are drafting solely on an Awesome Name basis, which I’m cool with, because that’s totally how I’d do it. Drafts are a crap chute — it’s all about development. Develop War Moths and Large Cullens. Sure, throw in a Kevin Smith here and there so the strategy doesn’t look obvious.

  • The Humungus

    I think one of the fun things about watching the draft names scroll is that there are lots of 5th year JuCo transfer seniors being drafted who were born in 1994 and are therefore older than Roberto Osuna.

  • matt2

    On the Gunsmoke reference: my wife is from the same hometown (and alma mater) as Justin Dillon and, well, I can confirm that Gunsmoke is still a thing up there. Seriously and actually. That area is Gold Country and they love glamorized Western frontiersman shit the way Canadians apparently fucking eat up Anne of Green Gables. (Holy shit, did you know that Anne has been made into a movie/TV series 12 times?) My father-in-law, used to watch Gunsmoke reruns with alarming frequency and so did most of the people he knew.

    I don’t even remember how I got here but the point is … I guess it’s still kind of a contemporary reference for their readership?

    • matt2

      SHOULD READ: My father-in-law, who also followed baseball in the area, used to watch Gunsmoke reruns with alarming frequency and so did most of the people he knew.
      [it was bothering me]

  • The Humungus

    The Jays had the 999th pick in the draft.

    The picked a senior lefty from a school in Hawaii who threw nearly 1200 pitches in 11 starts, including a season high of 140.

    Like, c’mon. Are you just hoping that the law of averages applies to Tommy John and drafting guys who are likely to need it so you can keep the good ones healthy?