Mock MLB Draft Roundup: The Toronto Blue Jays at No. 20 overall

Tyson Shushkewich
11 months ago
This season, the MLB Draft is slated to begin Sunday, July 9th in Seattle, Washington, the same weekend as the All-Star festivities that are slated to go down at T-Mobile Park, running through the early part of the week and ending with the game taking place on Tuesday. The Blue Jays own the 20th pick in the draft this year and won’t select again until the third round at 89th overall, as the club lost their second-round pick as compensation for signing right-hander Chris Bassitt this past offseason, who declined the Mets qualifying offer early into free agency.
From a historical perspective, the only time in franchise history that the Jays had the 20th pick was back in 2009 and the club would go on to select right-hander Chad Jenkins out of Kennesaw State University. Jenkins would end up playing 46 games for the Blue Jays between 2012 to 2015 and amassed a 3.31 ERA with a 4.6 K/9 before being released by the team midway through the 2016 season. In the same draft class, Stephen Strasburg was selected first overall by the Washington Nationals while the Los Angeles Angels selected Mike Trout at 25th overall, with numerous other stars being drafted in the later rounds such as Nolan Arenado, DJ LeMahieu, Paul Goldschmidt, and current Blue Jays 1B/DH Brandon Belt.
As we look ahead to the 2023 MLB Draft, there are numerous sites and analysts that are starting to put mock drafts together with high school programs set to finish, travel ball programs starting to ramp up, and the College World Series slated for a few weeks prior to the draft. Let’s do a quick roundup of how the analysts are thinking the draft will turn out for the Blue Jays with their first pick.

Thomas White – LHP (Phillips Academy)

Jim Callis – MLB Network
Similar to the Blue Jays’ path last year at the draft, where they selected prep southpaw Brandon Barriera, Jim Callis at the MLB Network thinks the Jays will follow the same path this year and will select left-hander Thomas White out of Phillips Academy, located in Andover, Massachusetts. Ranked at #17 on MLB Pipeline, White is currently the top-ranked left-hander on the board, including college arms, where he boasts a high 90s fastball and a curveball that ranks at 55.
Standing at 6’5″, White has the frame and repeatable delivery to be a starting pitcher but like all prep arms, there will always be associated risk. Factor in a commitment to Vanderbilt and it is likely that any team wanting to draft White will need to fork over some serious cash to get him to sign. The last time the Jays drafted a player from Massachusetts in the first round was Tyler Beede back in 2011, who did not sign and went on to Vanderbilt and was later drafted by the Giants.

Yohandy Morales – 3B (Miami)

Tyson Tucker – Prospects Live 
The MLB Draft currently has a solid mix of position player talent scattered throughout the first round, and ranking at #23 on MLB Pipeline is Yohandy Morales, the player Tyson Tucker over at Prospects Live believes will be a good fit for the Blue Jays. Undrafted out of high school large in part due to his commitment to the University of Miami, Morales has developed into a solid third baseman with the Hurricanes, suiting up in over 157 games since the 2020/2021 season and owning a .326 average with 39 home runs and 147 RBI’s.
He made the USA Baseball National Collegiate Team last season and he currently leads the Hurricanes starters this season in terms of average (.375), OPS (1.074), and slugging (.625) while sitting tied for second in doubles (12), second in RBI’s (43), and tied for third in home runs (10). Batting from the right side, Morales has an easy swing through the batter’s box and hits for power but there is some swing and miss in his game, sporting a 23.2 strikeout percentage this year. Defensively, Morales and his 6’4″ frame moved over to third base at Miami and has six errors on the year to the tune of a .933 fielding percentage as well as a plus arm that should be able to hang at the professional levels.

Kevin McGonigle – SS (Monsignor Bonner)

Ryan Miller – Just Baseball
Over at Just Baseball, Ryan Miller believes prep shortstop Kevin McGonigle will be on the board for the Blue Jays and the front office will go with the Pennsylvania product, who is currently ranked at #26 on the MLB Pipeline pre-draft rankings.
Batting from the left side, McGonigle boasts a 60 point hit tool and recently impressed with USA Baseball’s 18U team, with the middle infielder showcasing his ability to get the barrel to the ball through his senior season at Monsignor Bonner, where he currently owns a .455 batting average through 16 games with nine extra-base hits, including two home runs. He also has a strong eye at the plate, having just struck out only eight times dating back to the 2020/2021 season and walking 20 times already this season.
There will be some debate over whether McGonigle can hang on the left side of second base or whether he will need to move over to the right side given his frame and arm strength but he has a high baseball IQ and an average run tool that should play well on the infield. With a commitment to Auburn, any team that drafts McGonigle will have to pry him away from that commitment.

Aidan Miller – SS/3B (JW Mitchell)

Shooter Hunt & David Seifert – Prep Baseball Report
The highest-ranking player in this article at #12, the baseball minds over at Prep Baseball Report believe shortstop/third baseman Aidan Miller will be the right fit for the Blue Jays at spot #20 (should he still be there).
Coming from a baseball family, as his brother Jackson was drafted by the Reds in the second round back in 2020, a broken hamate kept him on the field for quite some time during his senior season at JW Mitchell but the 6’2″ right-handed batter has shown off his power and ability in the box last summer at the All-American Classic (Perfect Game) showcase. Through three seasons at JW Mitchell (freshman to junior), Miller put together a .385 average with 15 doubles, seven triples, and eight home runs with a .508 on-base percentage.
Although a shortstop early in his high school days, Miller projects more on the hot corner given his frame and arm although scouts do believe he could move over to first base as time goes on. Miller also has a commitment to Arkansas, so any team looking to draft the infielder will have to convince him to forego college baseball.


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