Draft Day 2 Primer: What are the Blue Jays needs, and what will be their strategy?
2 months ago
The Blue Jays may have made their first-round selection, but there are still two more days of draft festivities!
This article will be setting up the second day of the draft, and what the Blue Jays may do, what their needs are, and some notes about Arjun Nimmala.
Looking at past years:
Using the last two seasons as a baseline, what have the Jays done? The 2021 draft was similar to the 2023 draft, as the Blue Jays had lost their second round pick due to them signing George Springer. The difference is that they signed Gunnar Hoglund for $111,500 less than slot, which may not be the case this year.
Signing Gunnar Hoglund and Ricky Tiedeman to under-slot bonuses allowed them to over-slot high school pitcher Irv Carter, who signed for $376,300 over-slot.
It was a bit of a different situation in 2022, as they had not only a second round pick, but additional two picks from losing Robbie Ray and Marcus Semien. They over-slotted both Brandon Barriera ($520,600) and Tucker Toman ($1,153,100), and made the money up by drafting more relievers and seniors from college.
Although they have the same number of picks as the 2021 draft, it’s likely that they’ll have a strategy similar to the 2022 draft.
Will Arjun Nimmala be over-slotted?:
It’s without question that the 17-year-old shortstop was one of the best players available for the Jays, if not the best player available.
I’m still quite surprised that Nimmala fell to the Jays, as most publications had him around the 10 spot. With that, plus the fact he’s a high school player, the Jays may need to offer him over-slot, which would mean a similar strategy of selecting relievers and/or college seniors on day two of the draft.
Still, it’s very much worth it.
What are the needs?:
In the first few rounds, you should always draft the best player available, which the Blue Jays did on Sunday.
However, as we get further along in the draft, it may be worth it to draft for needs, which begs the question: What are the Blue Jays needs?
As it stands, they only have one catcher in MLB Pipeline’s Top 30, as Luis Meza, their 2021 international free agent signing, ranks as their 30th best prospect. After graduating the likes of Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk, and trading Gabriel Moreno, the position that the front office has developed the best is quite barren.
Another need in my opinion is outfielders. The Jays have quite a few intriguing outfielders in the system, such as Alan Roden, Gabriel Martinez, Garrett Spain, and Enmanuel Bonilla, but there are all a few years away at the minimum. Furthermore, they also have guys like Otto López, Davis Schneider, and Spencer Horwitz who play some outfield, but aren’t pure outfielders. If the Jays select some college players early on day two, perhaps they could draft some older outfielders.
It’s likely that third base will be open for someone to grab next season, as it seems unlikely Matt Chapman will sign. Orelvis Martinez and Addison Barger are the likely candidates to fill it, but you also have Damiano Palmegaini in Double-A playing his ass off. It’s not a big as of a need as the other positions, but having more options for the future couldn’t hurt them.
Of course, you can never have too many pitchers either, and I’d be expect them to pick up a few on day two, wether they be relievers or starters.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.
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