We’ve reached the point now in which it’s a little tedious to do a post on each of the players the Blue Jays select in the 40-round MLB Draft. Instead, I’ll round up their fifth to tenth round selections from yesterday into one post.
The Jays went all-in on position players in their second day at the draft, which is unsurprising given the fact they used their top two picks on pitchers. Remember, the second day is all about big-picture strategy. When selecting players in these later rounds, you’re often finding guys that will sign at the below-slot value in order to re-allocate that money elsewhere to a more difficult to sign player.
Toronto made a couple of punt picks here on low-upside college seniors without much leverage, but they also grabbed a couple of players who could be steals if they do manage to sign them.
Much like Toronto’s fourth-round pick Will Robertson, the selection of Morris is mostly about the upside in his bat. He slashed a .353/.460/.521 line for Virginia this year in the ACC, which is one of the stronger divisions in college baseball. He was also ranked No. 104 by Pipeline and No. 100 on FanGraphs, meaning this could be another steal in the mid rounds for the Blue Jays. Hopefully, he can have a similar arc to Cavan Biggio, another fifth-round college pick the Jays made a few years ago.
Morris was a solid prospect who played for former closer Billy Wagner in high school, albeit one who was 19 years old and with a strong commitment to the University of Virginia. After a solid first season as the starting shortstop for the Cavaliers, Morris’ All-Star turn in the Cape Cod League raised his profile, and he’s continued to hit extremely well as a Draft-eligible sophomore. Morris has a very good track record for hitting and most scouts believe he’ll continue to hit for average at the next level. The left-handed hitter sends a lot of line drives the other way and controls the strike zone extremely well. Virginia’s home park is not conducive to power, nor is Morris’ current approach, but as he continues to learn how to turn on pitches on the inner half of the plate as well as fills out his 6-foot-2 frame, there could be more pop coming in the future. There’s less belief in Morris’ ability to play shortstop than there is in his bat. While he has decent hands and enough arm, he’s not a runner, with most thinking he’ll profile better at second base as a pro. Virginia has a good track record of producing players with a strong foundation for hitting, with many of them going on to add power as they developed. That’s the hope for Morris, who could be a solid offensive-minded second baseman when all is said and done.
Shortstop Tanner Morris put together a stellar sophomore campaign, batting .345 (7th in ACC) with 21 doubles (4th in ACC), 5 HR and 38 RBI!
— Virginia Baseball (@UVABaseball) June 4, 2019
Tanner Morris has excellent pure feel for hitting and good wood bat track record. He even brought out the wood bat back in his high school days. Hit tool is the biggest for him, but he has a strong arm. Not a SS at the next level. #MLBDraft #BlueJays
— Carlos Collazo (@CarlosACollazo) June 4, 2019
Eden enjoyed a breakout Junior season at Cal after switching from shortstop to centre field. He slashed a .350/.419/.541 line with eight homers in 183 at bats. The change in position made some sense for Eden, as a couple of his best attributes are his speed and his arm.
For Cameron Eden, this past season was defined by change. His position changed. His role changed. Now, Eden will be changing scenery, having been selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth round (177th overall) of the 2019 MLB draft.
Eden earned an All-Pac-12 honorable mention as a junior, slashing .370/.442/.560 (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage) and totaling eight home runs and 20 steals, all of which are career highs.
— Cal Baseball (@CalBaseball) June 4, 2019
A Senior at Georgia, Talley slashed a .346/.459/.512 in his final season at the college level. That was a massive improvement from any other season he had in college and it also featured him walking more times than he struck out. According to Baseball America, Talley is solid defensively, but, as a college second baseman, he’ll have to be carried by his bat.
Talley has always had the tools, and he put them together in a very good senior season at Georgia, leading the Bulldogs to the No. 4 national seed and an NCAA Regional host berth. The 6-foot-3, 205-pound left-handed-hitting second baseman entered the tournament batting .327 with eight home runs. He’s shortened up his swing and taken a better approach at the plate, and he’s gotten stronger and more versatile, too.
Camacho was the second-straight Senior the Jays drafted. Yet another infielder with solid offensive numbers, this figures to be a pick they can sign below slot value in order to save money for their other picks in the draft.
#BlueJays eighth-round pick Angel Camacho graduated with a kinesiology degree after three years, before earning his master’s of business administration while playing for the @JAX_Dolphins. Colour me impressed.
— Alexis Brudnicki (@baseballexis) June 4, 2019
And this is the kind of pick the Jays are saving their money for. Clarke, a sophomore catcher from Vanderbilt, was ranked No. 139 by Pipeline heading into the draft. As their scouting report suggests, he had some of the highest upside of any catcher coming into the 2017 draft out of high school, though that mostly comes from his bat.
Clarke had more offensive upside than most of the high school catchers in the 2017 Draft, but the Nashville product resisted seven-figure overtures from big league clubs in order to stay home and attend Vanderbilt. He still is known more for his bat, though he has gotten better behind the plate this spring after spending most of his freshman season at DH. Whether he’ll be signable this time around as a sophomore-eligible remains to be seen. Clarke stands out as a lefty-hitting catcher with the ability to handle the bat. He regularly puts the barrel on the ball, uses the entire field and manages the strike zone well. He has more strength than bat speed and possesses solid raw power, though he’s more concerned with making quality contact than swinging for the fences. If Clarke can continue to improve his defense, he has a chance to become a big league regular. He looks quicker and more agile than he did in high school, though his receiving skills are fringy and need more work. He has similar arm strength but his quick release helps him keep the running game in check.
Blue Jays just took Vandy catcher Philip Clarke in the 9th. Higher on our board, eligible-sophomore with leverage, if they sign him there that's a steal.
— Brian Sakowski (@B_Sakowski_PG) June 4, 2019
No. 297: Glenn Santiago
The Blue Jays finished off their second day at the draft by grabbing high school shortstop Glenn Santiago. His best asset right now is his speed, but there’s room to grow.
Glenn Santiago is a 2019 SS with a 6-0 160 lb. frame from Guanica, PR who attends International Baseball Academy. Slender athletic build with lots of room to get stronger. 6.75 runner has run down to 6.4 in the past, has quick twitchy actions in the infield with clean and soft hands at the ball, very good raw arm strength, light on his feet and stays low through the ball, has the tools to stay at shortstop for a long time. Right handed hitter, has loose hands and an easy swing, fluid path, hits with rhythm and barrels up the ball consistently, not strong yet but will improve as he matures physically. Good student, verbal commitment to Florida International.