Checking in on how the Blue Jays’ 2022 draft picks and undrafted free agent signs are doing so far
Photo credit:Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images
5 months ago
It’s been just over a month now since the 2022 MLB draft, so it’s time to look at how each player is doing!
We’ll be going in the order in which they were drafted, starting with the 23rd overall pick, then the 60th overall, and then so on and so forth.
We’ll also be looking at how the undrafted free agents have been doing, as they’ve also put up some interesting numbers.
As most of these players have played with the Dunedin Blue Jays, we’ll be able to look at exit velocity data and pitching velocity. Here’s the database for every single batted ball in play for the 2022 Dunedin Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays’ first-round draftee has yet to make his professional debut. In fact, it’s unlikely he will make his debut in 2022. It’s been reported that the 18-year-old lefty will work at the complex in Florida, much like how the Blue Jays’ third-rounder, Ricky Tiedemann did last season.
Hopefully, Barriera is able to rise up the ranks like Tiedemann has done this season.
The 21-year-old shortstop who was chosen 60th overall was assigned to the Dunedin Blue Jays in Low A. He’s slashing .234/.294/.277 with no homers in 51 plate appearances. Kasevich has avoided strikeouts, as his 7.8 K% is the lowest amongst this group of players, but he’s only walked 5.9% of the time. He has a 69 (nice) wRC+ for the season
Out of all the drafted players that landed in Dunedin, Kasevich has the lowest average exit velocity at 82.55 mph. He has a hard hit percentage of 23.26 (second lowest), and his maximum exit velocity sits at 104.3 mph.
Selected with the 77th overall pick but paid like a first-rounder, Tucker Toman has had an impressive start to his professional career in the Florida Complex League (FCL). In 42 plate appearances, he’s slashing .314/.405/.400 with 11 hits, three of which have been for extra bases.
Toman also has a 14.29 BB% and a 26.19 K% in a short amount of time. Coming into Monday’s game, the 18-year-old shortstop had a wRC+ of 123, but it’s likely to have jumped. I can’t wait to watch this kid play ball.
The 21-year-old has by far been the most impressive draftee, as he’s surpassed my expectations. Doughty is a second baseman and third baseman and is slashing .341/.426/.805 in 47 plate appearances with the Dunedin Blue Jays.
The most impressive number, however, is the fact he’s added five home runs in that short amount of time. To add to this, he has a 10.6 BB% and 21.3 K% for a wRC+ of 238.
Another interesting number is the fact that out of his 28 balls in play, seven of them have been line drives or 25%. As you may know, line drives lead to the highest batting average, as they have a batting average of over .600 (whereas fly balls and ground balls are under .300).
As for his exit velocity stats, his 90.10 mph average ranks only behind one player (who we’ll get to) for the highest average this season in Dunedin. Doughty also has a hard hit percentage of 29.03%, not the highest, but promising numbers.
Alan Roden was selected with the 98th overall pick out of Creighton University. Like Doughty and Kasevich, he was assigned to the Dunedin Blue Jays.
In Low A, the left-handed batting corner outfielder is slashing .229/.333/.371 with a homer in 42 plate appearances. His K% and BB% are both at 9.5% and the 22-year-old has a wRC+ of 106. He has also made at least three impressive catches, according to the radio broadcast.
In his last season with Creighton, he only struck out eight times in 242 plate appearances. He’s already struck out four times in those 42 plate appearances, so that’s something to watch.
As for Roden’s statcast numbers, he has an average exit velocity of 84.28 mph with his 33 batted balls. He currently has a hard hit percentage of 32.35%, and has a max exit velocity of 104.3 mph.
Jennings was selected with the 128th overall pick and has yet to feature in a professional game.
According to the site Jaysprospect.com, Jennings will be making his debut with the Dunedin Blue Jays soon. The article also notes that he has a four-pitch mix, a fastball, a curveball, a slider, and a changeup.
You should definitely give that article a read, as this information would’ve become a lot harder to come by if not for Brian Crawford’s work.
The 21-year-old lefty is the only draftee to head straight to the Vancouver Canadians, and deservedly so.
In the three games Fluharty has appeared in, he has a 2.25 ERA and 0.86 FIP in four innings pitched. What’s more impressive is his 43.8 K% and 6.3 BB%, while also owning a ground ball percentage of 57.1%.
The 21-year-old has a two-pitch mix, a fastball that sits in the low 90s, and one of the best sweeping sliders out of the 2022 class. He’s found immediate success with the Vancouver Canadians.
T.J Brock is the only draftee to have both a strikeout thread, as well as statcast data. He only pitched one inning with the Dunedin Blue Jays, striking out two of the three batters he faced (the other out was a ground ball).
In that game on August 6th, he threw three variations of the fastball. His cutter sat at an average of 87.6 mph and he threw it 5 times generating 3 whiffs. He also threw a sinker and a four-seam fastball, both of which hit 96.9 mph.
According to an article by The Athletic, Brock throws a slider, so maybe statcast thought was a cutter. No idea.After the inning pitched in Dunedin, he was promoted to High A Vancouver, where he’s posted a 5.40 ERA and 0.03 FIP in 3.1 innings. He has a 56.3 K% and a 12.5 BB% in his brief stint with the team, but he looks to be a reliever to keep an eye on.
The 21-year-old first baseman was my favourite pick of the draft, as he has elite bat-to-ball skills, and also draws a ton of walks.
So far in his professional career, he’s slashing just .175/.340/.175 with an 18 BB% and a 28 K% in 50 plate appearances. Regardless, there are some encouraging signs from Williams.
Williams has averaged 89.66 mph on his 26 batted balls in play. More impressively, however, is the fact that 44.44% of those balls have been over 95 mph, which is considered “hard hit”. His max exit velocity is 107.9 mph, which came in his first plate appearance.
Aside from his K%, one worrisome sign is his ground ball percentage which sits at 73.1%, a high number for a guy that doesn’t have a lot of speed. It’s still early and it’s a tiny sample size, but hopefully, Williams will start to elevate the ball.
The 24-year-old outfielder was selected with the 248th overall pick. He’s had a solid start to his Dunedin Blue Jays career, slashing .244/.367/.415 in 49 plate appearances. Rock has added a home run and has a 10.2 BB% and a 22.4 K%.
In terms of Baseball Savant data, he has an average exit velocity of 82.83 mph and a 27.59% hard-hit rate. His highest exit velocity so far has been 108.2 mph, .1 mph away from tying the highest from a 2022 drafted player.
Harrison was selected with the 278th overall pick. The 21-year-old righty has had a great start to his professional career, registering a 0 ERA and 1.99 FIP in 5.1 innings pitched. He also has a 33.3 K% and 9.5 BB%, pretty solid numbers in the pros.
According to Savant Data, he throws a four-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup. In Dunedin, he’s reached 94.7 mph, but sits between 92-93 for the three games he’s appeared in.
Ian Churchill was selected with the 308th pick. The 23-year-old left-handed pitcher has had an alright start to his pro career for the Dunedin Blue Jays. He currently owns a 3.00 ERA and 2.82 FIP in 3 innings pitched. He has a good 30.8 K%, but his 15.4 BB% is on the rather high side.
Churchill throws a fastball (which Baseball Savant characterizes as a sinker), a changeup, and a slider. His fastball has sat in the low 90s in the three games he’s appeared in touching 93.8, but it has reached as high as 96 mph prior to being drafted.
Selected 338th overall, the 22-year-old righty has yet to pitch professionally.
Per the UConn Blog, Gallagher features a low 90s fastball and a slurve-breaking ball that sits in the low 80s. Although he pitched as a starter in his junior season with the Huskies, it’s likely he pitches as a reliever in the Jays organization due to not having a third pitch.
Regardless, his 6.73 BB% is something to look forward to when he eventually gets assigned, likely with the Dunedin Blue Jays.
Like Brandon Barriera, it’s likely that Perry will work at the complex for the duration of this season. Drafted 368th overall, Perry’s fastball velocity sits in the 92-93 mph range and has hit 95 as an 18-year-old according to this Yahoo report.
Furthermore, his Perfect Game page notes that he throws a curveball in the high 70s, a curveball in the high 70s, and a changeup in the low 80s, dating back to October 2021.
He’s definitely a pitcher to keep an eye on!
Bonds was drafted with the 398th overall pick, but won’t be pitching for the Jays likely until 2024.
Unfortunately, the 21-year-old required Tommy John before the end of his season, meaning he’ll be rehabbing with the Jays.
The righty sits in the low 90s with plenty of movement on his fastball. His secondary pitch is a curveball.
Hope he has a speedy recovery!
The 18-year-old was the only catcher drafted in 2022, but hasn’t quite got his season going yet with the FCL Jays, albeit it’s been an incredibly small sample size.
He’s slashing .077/.143/.077 with a hit in 14 plate appearances. He also has a K% and BB% of 7.1%.
There’s still plenty of time for the 18-year-old, and from the clips I’ve seen, I like his framing ability.
Turconi was selected with the 458th overall pick and has had a solid start to his pro career. The 23-year-old is slashing .314/.390/.429 with a homer in 41 plate appearances. He has a 9.8 BB% and 14.6 K%.
As for his Baseball Savant data, he has the lowest average exit velocity out of any drafted player on the Dunedin Jays, as it sits at 82.23. He also has the lowest hard hit percentage at 15.63%. His highest exit velocity sits at 98.9.
Despite the somewhat low hard-hit balls, he’s still had a successful start to his professional career.
Like nearly everyone else in this article, Chasse started his professional career with the Dunedin Blue Jays. The lefty has a 4.91 ERA and 6.21 FIP in 3.2 innings pitched. He has a 21.1 K% and a rather high 26.3 BB%, but this is expected to normalize as he continues to pitch.
Per Savant Data, Chasse throws a four-seam fastball, a slider, and a changeup, His fastballs sit in the low 90s but he has touched as high as 93 since joining the Blue Jays organization.
The last drafted player, Stanifer was drafted 578th overall. Like the other high school drafted players in this article, it’s likely he spends the season working at the complex.
Despite being only 18 years old, Stanifer averaged 90-95 with his fastball, reaching 97 mph. As he’s only 18 years old, it’s certainly possible he adds more velocity as he fills out his frame.
Brown signed as an undrafted free agent after the draft, but man, the Jays got a good one. The 22-year-old centre fielder was assigned to the Dunedin Blue Jays and has slashed .300/.488/.500 with a homer in his 43 plate appearances. He also has a 23.3 BB% and a 16.3 K%, very good numbers, for a wRC+ of 186.
Brown also hits line drives at an impressive rate, as his current line drive percentage currently sits at 22.7%.
The reason this undrafted free agent snuck into my Top 60 list is due to his incredible exit velocities. His current average exit velocity sits a 90.6 mph, the highest average for any Dunedin Blue Jay all season. Not just that, but he has a 40.74% hard hit percentage, and his top exit velocity of 108.3 ranks the highest amongst recently drafted players for the team.
Ryan McCarty should’ve been drafted. The reason he wasn’t was due to the fact he played division three baseball at university. In his 5th year at university, the 23-year-old shortstop slashed .529/.591/1.164 in 237 plate appearances with Penn State Abington, and no, that’s not me incorrectly placing OPS next to on-base percentage like I used to do, McCarty had a slugging of 1.164 due to his 29 homers.
He had a 15.19 BB% and a 5.49 K% in that season, which is just bonkers. He also added 22 steals, going 22/26, so yeah, I don’t care if his “competition was weaker”, he absolutely dominated like he was playing MLB the Show on rookie, and he deserved to be drafted.
It’s carried over to the Dunedin Blue Jays as well. He’s slashing .345/.424/.517 with a homer in his 33 plate appearances. His BB% has dropped to 9.1%, while his K% has jumped to 27.3%, but his 172 wRC+ is reason enough to be intrigued by McCarty.
Oh, and he also pitched for his university, so he always has that in his back pocket.
Huntzinger wins the best name award, but he’s had a decent start to his pro career as well. With the FCL Jays, he slashed .100/.357/.100 with a BB% and K% of 28.6% for a wRC+ of 69 (nice).
However, the 23-year-old was swiftly promoted to Dunedin, where he went 1-4 in his first game. The catcher hit three balls in play, with two of them being over 90 mph, so that’s a promising sign.
The 21-year-old Amalfi was an undrafted free agent who was assigned to the Dunedin Blue Jays. So far this season, he has a 9 ERA and a 7.99 FIP in just 2 innings pitched. He hasn’t recorded a strikeout but has a 25 BB%. Obviously, this is an incredibly small sample size which you shouldn’t put too much stock into.
According to Savant Data, Amalfi has a four-pitch mix that includes a four-seam fastball, a slider, a curveball, and a changeup. His fastball sits in the low 90s and has touched 92.3 mph in the Blue Jays organization.
The last undrafted free agent to sign was left-handed pitcher Kelsey Ward. The 21-year-old posted a 5.67 ERA in 60.1 innings pitched with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. However, he had a good summer league where he posted a 1.80 ERA in 30 innings pitched with Waynesboro.
Like Jennings and Gallagher, it’s likely he’ll start his professional career with the Dunedin Blue Jays, it’s just a question of when.
What’s next for these guys:
The most impressive draftee so far is a toss-up between Cade Doughty (due to five homers) and Devonte Brown (insane batted ball stats). That isn’t to say that a lot of these guys can’t quickly rise up the minors, especially the relievers.
Either way, it will be fun to follow these guys in the upcoming years to see how they pan out.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. On Tuesday, all four affiliate teams (not in the rookie leagues) will be on MiLB TV. So if you want to see their K threads or Cade Doughty homers, give me a follow!
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