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Photo Credit: https://www.mlb.com/news/2022-mlb-draft-order

With the 128th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select…

While this isn’t a top 100 pick, there could be some interesting prospects available with this pick

Of course I had to feature a hard-throwing college player that everyone knows about, but there are some interesting starters available with this pick.

This will be the last article in the series, but there are still  plenty more players that will be picked in the 20-round draft. Let’s get into this group of prospects.

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Ben Joyce: 

Joyce is a right-handed reliever that will likely be picked higher than 128th. You’ve probably heard the name for good reason. He’s only pitched one season for the University of Tennessee, but boy did he ever leave an impression.

The 6’5 righty had an ERA of 2.23 with a K/9 of 14.8 and a BB/9 of 3.9 in 32.1 innings pitched. While the righty is strictly a reliever, his stats aren’t the reason everyone and their mothers want him drafted for their bullpen.

Yup, you read that right. According to the velocity reading at the arena, Ben Joyce threw 105.5 mph. While there are questions about whether or not this was the actual velocity, it’s definitely possible as he often hit 103 mph and hit 104 mph a few times.

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There are causes for concern, however. The 21-year-old missed all of 2019, pitched at a community college in 2020, and missed all of 2021 due to Tommy John. While the Jays have shown they aren’t afraid of drafting pitchers with arm issues (Gunnar Hoglund, Nate Pearson), it’s to be seen if Joyce’s arm can hold up.

This leads into the second issue, which is the fact that he hasn’t ever worked in back to back days for his University. In fact, he works on 3+ days of work, according to MLB Pipeline.

Furthermore, some Jays fans believe he would immediately help this bullpen, which is just not true. While at this point, his floor is a major league reliever, Joyce needs to work on command, as his BB/9 of 3.9 is on the high side. His secondary pitches also need work.

He’s also a large adult son (pitcher over 6’5), so there’s that!

Here are his grades according to MLB Pipeline:

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Fastball: 80 (duh)

Slider: 50

Changeup: 50

Control: 45

Overall: 45

MLB Pipeline has him ranked as their 112th ranked draft prospect, Baseball America has him as their 103rd, while Prospects Live has him as their 105th best draft prospect.

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Another notable fact is that ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel has the Jays picking him with their 78th overall pick

Trey Dombroski: 

We go from a college pitcher with iffy control, to a college pitcher with arguably the best control in the entire draft class. Trey Dombroski is a 21-year-old left handed large adult son, standing in at 6’5. The lefty pitches for Monmouth University, a rather small school.

Despite that, Dombroski (awesome name), has posted great numbers at the college level. This season, he posted a 3.13 ERA in 95 innings pitched. However, he did a great job limiting the walks with a BB/9 of 1.3, while also getting plenty of strikeouts with a 11.4 K/9.

For his collegiate career, he has a 3.19 ERA in 166.2 innings pitched. Using his fantastic command, he only issued 26 walks in 166.2 innings for a BB/9 of 1.4. His K/9 sat at a respectable 10.7, for a strikeout to walk ratio of 7.65.

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Dombroski played a season of summer ball in 2021 where he posted a 0..85 ERA in 31.2 innings pitched. He only walked two batters for a BB/9 of 0.6, while striking out 45 for a K/9 of 12.8. That’s a strikeout to walk ratio of 22.50, which is insane.

While his 88-92 mph fastball is surprisingly slow considering his size, he commands it so well that he can use it at any point, no matter the count. He also has two breaking balls that are above average pitches, according to MLB Pipeline. His last pitch is a changeup that is “sold well”.

Here are his grades per MLB Pipeline

Fastball: 50

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Curveball: 50

Slider: 50

Changeup: 50

Control: 70

Overall: 45

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Dombroski is rated as MLB Pipeline’s 111th best draft prospect, Baseball America’s 117th best prospect and Prospects Live’s 185th best draft prospect.

An interesting note is that if he adds a sinker or splitter to get ground balls, he could be a lot like Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Austin Charles:

After I added Nazier Mule to the last article, I just had to add another position player who can pitch. Charles also had an interesting fact which will be at the bottom of his section.

Standing at 6’6, the 18-year-old is rather large for the position of shortstop. Despite this, his defensive home isn’t set as some believe he’ll stick at third, while others think Charles is best suited for the outfield. He’s incredibly athletic and has some power, especially as he continues to bulk up.

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According to MLB Pipeline, many scouts believe Charles’ future lies on the mound. His fastball clocks in at an average of 94 mph and has a solid slider.

The site also notes that Charles prefers hitting, and that made me think of Hagen Danner, who was also a two-way player drafted out of high school. He had a backup plan to pitch (and did it successfully), so perhaps Charles could do the same? Below are his grades:

Hit: 50

Power: 50

Run: 50

Arm: 60

Field: 45

Overall: 45

 

Fastball: 55

Slider: 50

Changeup: 40

Control: 50

Overall: 45

MLB Pipeline ranks him as their 109th best draft prospect, while Baseball America ranks him as the 102nd best draft prospect and Prospects Live ranks him as 119th best draft prospect.

Interesting note, the Jays drafted his brother in the 20th round of the 2010 draft.

Nolan McLean:

Sticking to 2-way players, is the 20-year-old Nolan McLean.

Unlike Nazier Mule and Austin Charles, Nolan McLean has spent the last two seasons playing with Oklahoma State.

Starting with his batting stats, he slashed .285/.397/.595 with 19 homers in 290 plate appearances with the University. While the power is evident, he struggled with the strikeouts as he had a K% of 36.90%. His BB% sat at 12.76%, so while he can take a walk, his penchant for striking out is worrisome.

In his collegiate career, he slashed .277/.402/.570 with 27 homers, but again, the K% was worrisome. Despite all that, he hit for average and showed a ton of power in his two seasons and could be an interesting project with the bat. Defensively, he plays third base.

As for his pitching, he pitched 25.1 innings as a reliever for the University. He posted a 4.97 ERA, but showed impressive swing and miss as he has a K/9 of 13.9. McLean’s BB/9 was a bit worrisome at 4.6, but there’s plenty of time to iron that out.

McLean has had great exit velocities as he has quick bat speed and strength. His big struggle was against the fastball, as he had issues even making contact.

As a pitcher, his fastball hit 98 mph with two breaking balls. It’s noted by MLB Pipeline that he’s pitched as a high-leverage reliever, so there’s a lot to like about McLean. Below are his grades:

Hit: 40

Power: 55

Run: 30

Arm: 70

Field: 50

 

Fastball: 65

Curveball: 55

Slider: 55

Control: 45

Overall: 45

MLB Pipeline ranks him as the 115th best available draft prospect, while Baseball America has him as their 135 best draft prospect and Prospects Live has him as their 221st best draft prospect.

I could see him spending another year in college to focus on one facet of baseball, whether that’s as a third baseman or a pitcher is to be determined.

Caden Dana:

In the last section focusing on the 128th pick, we’ll look at the 18-year-old righty, Caden Dana.

Our fourth large adult son of the article, the righty stands in at 6’5, 215. MLB Pipeline compares the 18-year-old to a former Jay prospect, Noah Syndergaard.

Dana’s fastball hits a consistent 95 mph, but has been even higher in short stints. Dana also throws a curveball and a changeup that will need development at the FCL.

The Kentucky recruit will need to work on his command, so if he were drafted by the Jays, expect him to work on his pitchers before appearing in his first major league game. Below are his grades:

Fastball: 55

Curveball: 55

Changeup: 45

Control: 45

Overall: 45

MLB Pipeline ranks Dana as their 199th best draft prospect, Baseball America ranks him as their 76th overall draft prospect and Prospects Live ranks him as their 115th draft prospect.

Jayden Hylton:

Jayden Hylton is the first pure position player on this list.

The Jays have a few outfield prospects in the minors, but none have broken into the top 10 in terms of best Jays prospects. They can increase their minor league outfield depth by selecting Hylton with their 128th overall pick.

He’s a 6’6 outfielder with room to fill in his frame. While there are holes in his swing, that’s what development is for. He has an above average arm that plays in right field, and while a lot of his tools are still raw, there’s a lot to like about this 18-year-old and he’s expected to be chosen in the first five rounds.

Below are his grades:

Hit: 45

Power: 55

Run: 50

Arm: 55

Field: 50

Overall: 45

Hlyton ranks as MLB Pipeline’s 114th best draft prospect, Baseball America’s 390th best draft prospect and Prospects Live’s 168th best prospect.

Pete Hansen:

Pete Hansen is another lefty pitcher who doesn’t throw especially hard, but still gets results.

Pitching with the University of Texas, he has posted a 3.76 ERA in 107.2 innings pitched. Despite the lack of velocity, he had a K/9 of 10 while limiting the walks with a BB/9 of 1.6.

For his collegiate career, he had a 2.67 ERA in 215.2 innings pitched, where he had a K/9 of 9.1 and a BB/9 of 1.8.

His fastball sits at 88-90 on average, but has touched 94 mph at points. He features a nasty slider that he can throw to both righties and lefties, as well as a curveball. Hansen also features a changeup which he throws to righties.

Hansen’s breaking balls allow his fastball to play up, according to MLB Pipeline. Even though he doesn’t throw hard, his command allows him to get strikeouts. Pipeline also notes that he has a high floor as the back end of the rotation guy, and it won’t take him long to get there.

Here are his grades according to MLB Pipeline:

Fastball: 40

Curveball: 55

Slider: 60

Changeup: 50

Control: 60

Overall: 45

MLB Pipeline ranks him as their 127th ranked draft prospect, while Baseball America has him as their 91st best draft prospect. Prospects Live have him as their 202nd best draft prospect.

Max Martin:

The last player in this series, we have Max Martin.

According to Pipeline, there have been times where the 18-year-old Martin has looked like one of the best prep players in the draft, but other times he lacks that consistency.

Martin has great bat speed and had some impressive exit velocities, but had issues with spin rate when the pitch isn’t a fast ball.

He is a quick runner and will be able to stick at shortstop as he has a great internal clock. He has good footwork and quick hands, but scouts wonder about his arm strength when making a deep throw.

The 18-year-old shortstop is committed to Rutgers, but there’s a good chance the right handed batting Martin will be taken in the top five.

Here are his grades according to MLB Pipeline:

Hit 50

Power: 45

Run: 60

Arm: 55

Field: 50

Overall: 45

He ranks as MLB Pipeline’s 122nd best draft prospect, Baseball America’s 130th best draft prospect and Prospects Live’s 59th best prospect.

Who will they select:

I really have no idea who the Jays will select with this pick. I think it’s worth the shot to take one of the 2-way players and see what they could do as a professional with both pitching and batting.

If I had to pick a guy here, I talked myself into wanting the Jays to select Trey Dombroski, as I think a sinker would really benefit his game. 

Ben Joyce also isn’t out of the question. While both Dombroski and Pete Hansen are more MLB ready, the Jays could select one of the most highly touted relievers in the draft.

Either way, Sunday through Tuesday will be an interesting period to see which way the Jays go.

Previously in the series…

With the 23rd overall pick, the Blue Jays could select…

With the 60th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select…

With the 77th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select…

With the 78th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select…

With the 98th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select…

Editor’s note: Like with the last season I wrote, I want to thank you all for reading. These articles were a blast, as it allowed me to highlight players you may not have known about! I’m hoping quite a few of these players end up on the Jays, as I like their makeup!

I’ll be releasing an draft primer article tomorrow, focusing on who the Jays are linked too (back in April, we had no idea!), as well as what the team could be planning. Basically, if you have no idea how the draft works, tune into that article.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. Stay tuned to Blue Jays Nation, as we’ll have a ton of articles focusing on the draft as it progresses.