The Mark Shapiro Era Draft Retrospective: 2017
Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
6 months ago
This year was the second draft with Mark Shapiro at the helm of the Blue Jays
Interestingly, 2022 will be the first draft since 2017 that the team had more than three draft picks in the first 100 picks. The Jays did a good job of acquiring two flamethrowing relievers, as well as a utility player and a catcher.
The Jays selected the versatile position player with the 22nd pick.
Unlike Zeuch, Warmoth is still in the Blue Jays organization, although he hasn’t been a top prospect for awhile. He was selected from the University of North Carolina as a junior, and has put up alright numbers in the minors.
In 1586 plate appearances, Warmoth has a .246/.337/.353 slash line with 20 homers. Before the pandemic, he had just 6 homers in 947 plate appearances. Since his move to Triple A in 2021, he has hit 14 homers in 639 plate appearances.
In 2021, his K% increased to a career high 33.2%, likely due to him trying to increase his power. He finished slashing .228/.350/.357 with nine homers and a wRC+ of 97 in 413 plate appearances.
He’s refined his power approach this season, as he’s hit five homers in 226 plate appearances. Notably, Warmoth’s K% has dropped to 26.5%.
While the 26-year-old can’t quite be considered a prospect anymore, his versatility and potential pop could help an MLB team in the future.
Much like Bo Bichette, you know Nate Pearson. He was drafted with the 28th pick and was touted as being the steal of the draft. Unfortunately for all parties, his career hasn’t taken off yet. This is mainly due to crappy luck, which started when he was hit with a comebacker that broke his forearm.
You know the story, Pearson has a 100 mph heater and a nasty slider, and when healthy, he could truly impact this pitching staff.
Up until 2020, he looked like a top prospect. In Short A, he had a 0.95 ERA and 2.08 FIP in 19 innings pitched. He had a K/9 of 11.37 and BB/9 of 2.37, showing his fantastic command and penchant for the strikeout.
In 2018, he was hit with that comebacker in his first game, which led to him missing the entire season.
The 2019 season was his best minor league season. Pitching with High A Dunedin, Pearson posted a 0.86 ERA and 1.64 FIP in 21 innings pitched. During this time, he had a K/9 of 15 (or a K% of 46.7%) and a BB/9 of 1.29 (or BB% of 4%).
Pearson was promoted to Double A, where he continued to dominate. In 62.2 innings pitched, he had a 2.59 ERA and a 2.90 FIP. His K/9 dropped down to K/9 of 9.91 and his BB/9 increased to 3.02, but it’s important to note that High A to Double A is a big step for pitchers.
Despite that, he still showed enough to get promoted to Triple A. In 18 innings, he posted an ERA of 3.00 and a FIP of 4.07. His K/9 decreased to 7.50, but his BB/9 also decreased all the way down to 1.50. All in all, it looked to be a promising development season, especially since he spent the season in good health.
Unfortunately, his bad luck started in 2020, missing time due to his elbow (2020), groin (2021), Mono (2022) and most recently, his lat (2022).
Pearson still has potential, as he’s a hard-throwing righty with a devastating pitch. All he needs is a run of good health to be an impact player for the Jays.
Hopefully, he can still hit his ceiling.
Originally drafted as a catcher, Hagen Danner was chosen with the 61st pick.
Danner transitioned to a relief pitcher in 2021 and pitched his ass off with the Vancouver Canadians. He posted a 2.02 ERA and 3.61 FIP in 35.2 innings pitched, which included a 10.60 K/9.
Danner was added to the 40-man roster in November to avoid being picked in the Rule 5 draft. Hagen features a fastball that sits in the mid 90s, and touches 100 mph. His secondary pitch is a mid-80s slider that has wipeout action.
He was promoted to Double A this season, but has been on the IL for the majority of the season. If you want to learn more about Danner, I’ve written two articles on him.
The backstop was chosen with the 99th overall pick.
The 26-year-old backstop is the backup catcher for the Washington Nationals. This season in 88 plate appearances, he’s posted a .192/.284/.321 slash line with a career-high three homers. Essentially, he’s a backup catcher who can hit the occasional bomb.
Adams was traded from the Jays in a deal to acquire [censored]. The reliever in question went on to blow a few games before being DFA’ed, [censored] is the reason why the Blue Jays missed the playoffs by a game.
Either way, I hope Adams and not [censored] have a long and prosperous career with their NL East team.
What to make of the 2017 draft:
Logan Warmoth may eventually see an MLB game, and Riley Adams is already in the MLB.
Hagen Danner is clearly thought highly of by the organization, and he has the potential to be a high-leverage reliever with his heater. Nate Pearson still has the potential to be an impact arm if he’s healthy.
In terms of drafting, I’d say they did a fine job with their first four picks. While they didn’t acquire an all-star, quite a few players have already seen the MLB, including Zach Logue and Kevin Smith.
Previously in the series…
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. I’ll be covering 2018 soon, where we’ll see a prospect that’s currently in the Top 100.
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