Daily Duce: Pre-draft edition


The Major League Baseball draft is tonight (7:00 ET), meaning we get something to distract us from actual Blue Jays baseball over the next couple days. I have a feeling this series against the New York Yankees might be hard to watch.

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As you likely know, the Jays had a historically bad month of May. They posted a franchise-worst .211 batting average and had a team OPS that was 2017 Ryan Goins calibre. Remember at the end of April when the Jays had those two walk-off wins in a series sweep of the Oakland A’s that brought them to 14-14 on the season? Well, since then they’ve gone 7-24 and scored five or more runs just eight times.

The team has a .384 winning percentage, better than only the post-expansion 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1981 seasons. Given the fact Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, and Ken Giles are likely to be traded prior to the July 31st trade deadline, I think it’s a fair bet this team is going to hit the 100-loss plateau. It would be just the fourth time the Jays have lost 100 games in franchise history. All of the other times came in the 1970s.

Marcus Stroman shared some thoughts on how bad the team is after he took the loss despite pitching well on Saturday. The replies to Hazel Mae’s tweet are, uh, predictably bad, as people point out that his quote features the use of “I” too much.

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I mean, what do we expect here? Stroman came up to the big leagues and played a key role on a damn good team. He injured himself in 2015 and worked really hard to make it back for the stretch drive. Save for a bad season in 2018, he’s been a bright spot on three seasons worth of terrible baseball. It’s completely justified for him to be frustrated with how the Blue Jays are spending his prime years.

People are bothered that he isn’t saying “we” enough, which is basically clamouring for a whole bunch of Disney movie, feel good, nothing-speak. He’s pissed off and wants to win. What else do you want?

Anyways, that’s enough of that. Let’s stop focusing on how awful the team is and instead talk about the upcoming draft. Gregor Chisholm of the Toronto Star has a nice primer on the draft, in which the Jays will select 11th. Here’s who he figured they’re going to end up with…

In its latest mock draft, FanGraphs had the Blue Jays taking right-handed pitcher Jackson Rutledge at No 11. MLB Pipeline called Rutledge the best junior college prospect since Bryce Harper in 2010, but it also has the 20-year-old going one pick earlier to San Francisco. Pipeline’s pick for the Blue Jays is right-hander Alek Manoah from West Virginia. This is the kind of guessing game even amateur experts struggle with, but other names of interest include left fielder Hunter Bishop (Arizona State), shortstop Bryson Stott (UNLV) and outfielder Corbin Carroll (Lakeside High School).

Gregor also points out some bloodlines in the draft to pay attention to. The late Roy Halladay’s son Braden, who has committed to Penn State, is available for his first time in the draft. Former Blue Jay Glenallen Hill’s son Glenallen Jr. will be available, as will former Blue Jay Al Leiter’s son Jack. We know how much the Jays love Hall of Fame bloodlines, so maybe they’ll grab second baseman Quinn Hoffman, son of one of the best closers of all time, Trevor Hoffman.

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Sticking with draft content, Nick Ashborne of Yahoo Sports did a way-too-early look at the Cleveland Crew’s work at the draft since taking over in 2015. There are some early-round misses, like Logan Warmoth and J.B. Woodman, but it’s hard to complain when this group added Bo Bichette, Nate Pearson, and Jordan Groshans over the past three years.

Still, the comments are loaded with FIRE SHAPTKINS THEY COULDN’T DRAFT A BEER LET ALONG A BASE BALL PLAYER!!! coming from fans who would blindly point at the last guy’s draft resume, which includes high pick busts like Chad Jenkins, Deck McGuire, and D.J. Davis.

Speaking of Bichette, somebody on Reddit pointed out that the Blue Jays’ No. 2 (well, now basically No. 1 since Vlad Jr. is in the big leagues) prospect is taking swings in the batting cage.