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Unsigned Blue Jays draft picks from recent years and where they are to start the 2024 season

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Photo credit:Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Shushkewich
1 month ago
Since the 2020 MLB Draft, when the number of rounds was reduced to 20 after the COVID-19 campaign, the Toronto Blue Jays have had a pretty successful run of signing players selected during the draft.
Only eight players they selected decided not to turn pro, with five of those selections being prep players who were drafted late in the process and likely not going to sign based on their academic commitments.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at where these players have ended up over the years.

Micah Bucknam – RHP (16th round – 2021)

A product of the Mennonite Educational Institute and hailing from Abbotsford, B.C., right-hander Micah Bucknam decided not to sign with the Blue Jays as a late selection of the 2021 MLB Draft. Instead, he took his talents down to Lousiana State University.
With a pit stop in Trenton last summer to play in the MLB Draft League (0.53 ERA through five starts and 17 innings), Bucknam pitched out of the bullpen for the Tigers and posted an 11.57 ERA through eight outings, striking out 14 batters to the tune of a 18.0 K/9. The Junior National Team alum earned SEC First-Year Academic Honour Roll honours as a Sports Administration major and won a championship with the Tigers as a true freshman. He rounded out the summer by pitching in the Cape Cod League with Yarmouth-Dennis, authoring a 3.94 ERA through four outings (three starts) with a 1.375 WHIP and a 1.7 BB/9 with seven strikeouts.
Bucknam returns to LSU this year and likely will be pitching out of the bullpen again given the Tigers’ stacked rotation. Bucknam is draft-eligible in 2025 as per the Canadian Baseball Network.

Luke Holman – RHP (20th round – 2021)

The last pick for the Blue Jays in 2021, the organization drafted pitcher Luke Holman out of Wilson High School (West Lawn, PA) but there was little chance the right-hander was backing out of his commitment to Alabama.
With the Crimson Tide, Holman made 15 appearances out of the bullpen as a true freshman and secured a spot in the rotation a year later, pitching 81 innings. Between both campaigns, he authored a 4.05 ERA through 35 appearances, striking out 111 batters while holding opponents to a .212 batting average.
Following the 2023 season, Holman entered the transfer portal and joined LSU, vying for a spot in the weekend rotation. The 6-foot-4 junior made his debut on Saturday for the Tigers, taking on Central Arkansas and holding them to three hits through 5 1/3 innings while striking out ten batters to help LSU take home the win. He will be draft-eligible later this year and is currently ranked at #35 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 draft prospects.

Kale Davis – RHP (16th round – 2022)

Selected in the 16th round, reliever Kale Davis decided to not sign with the Blue Jays and instead chose to return to school. After spending three seasons at Oklahoma State, the 6-foot-3 pitcher transferred to Oklahoma for the 2023 season, classified as a redshirt junior.
With the Sooners, Davis struggled on the mound, making seven starts with a total of 15 appearances on the year (he was mostly a reliever with OSU) and pitching to an 8.92 ERA across 36 1/3 innings.
It does not appear Davis is pitching anymore following his time with Oklahoma.

Jérémy Pilon – LHP (18th round – 2022)

Another Canadian drafted late by the Jays, southpaw Jérémy Pilon (Salaberry-De-Valleyfield, Que.) also decided to not sign with the club and instead returned to pitch with the Junior National Team and Academie Baseball Canada. He was 16 when he was drafted by the Jays and wasn’t ready to turn pro just yet.
Pilon committed to Alabama for the 2023 season and was draft-eligible once again last summer at 17 years old and was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 18th round. The southpaw decided to spurn his commitment to the Crimson Tide and instead inked a $172,500 bonus from the Rays. He did not pitch for the Rays following the draft and will likely begin the year in rookie ball this upcoming campaign.

Greg Pace Jr. – OF (20th round – 2022)

A product of Detroit Edison High School, Greg Pace Jr. was the last selection of the Jays during the 2022 draft but also decided not to sign, instead taking his talents to Michigan in the Big Ten conference.
As a freshman last season, Pace appeared in 49 games mostly in a bench role and produced a .123 average with a .542 OPS through 65 at-bats, striking out 40 times while racking up 5 extra-base hits (two home runs) and six RBIs. The outfielder also stole eight bases for the Wolverines, who finished the year with a 28-28 record and made 22 starts in the outfield
As a sophomore, Pace has seen an increased role in the program out of the gate, appearing in all four games so far this season (three starts) and already has four hits, one of which was a home run, and has already tacked on three RBIs.

Joe Vogatsky – RHP (14th round – 2023)

A junior at James Madison University heading into the 2023 MLB Draft, the Blue Jays used their 14th-round pick on Joe Vogatsky but he decided to not sign, reportedly looking to complete his college degree before turning pro.
The Sport and Recreation Management student began his journey with the Dukes working in both starting and relief capacities but switched to being a full-time reliever in 2023, seeing improved results as a member of the bullpen. Last season, he pitched to a 3.34 ERA through a career-high 21 appearances and posted a 10.9 K/9 while collecting five saves. Vogatsky also took his talents to the Cape Cod League last summer as well, appearing in four games out of the pen and allowing just one earned run through 6 1/3 innings to the tune of a 1.42 ERA
Vogatsky returns to the Dukes for his senior season and will be draft-eligible again this summer. He made his first appearance of the campaign on Sunday, going 4 1/3 innings in relief against Arkansas and allowing just two hits, one run, and three walks while striking out four and helping the Dukes secure the win.

Sam Kulasingam – 1B (17th round – 2023)

Another junior selection for the Blue Jays, the organization used one of their later picks on infielder Sam Kulasingam out of Air Force in the Mountain West Conference.
Drafted a first baseman, Kulasingam is known for his ability at the plate, with the switch-hitter posting a .426/.537/.655 slash line last year with the Falcons, leading the team in both average and OBP. He authored a team-leading 1.193 OPS while collecting six home runs and 51 RBIs, walking more than he struck out at 50 and 24 respectively.
Named a Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball last year, Kulasingam decided to not sign with the Blue Jays in favour of finishing his education with Air Force, where he is a biology major and also has a pilot training position waiting from him following graduation.
Now a senior, Kulasingam has three hits through 11 at-bats to start the new year with two walks and one RBI. He is eligible for the 2024 MLB Draft.

Chase Brunson – OF (18th round – 2023)

A student out of San Clemente High School heading into the MLB Draft, outfielder Chase Brunson was a late selection and decided to pursue a post-secondary program instead of turning pro.
Originally with a commitment to Loyola Marymount University, Brunson switched in the summer and instead joined Texas Christian University, joining the #5 ranked Horned Frogs instead. Through three games with TCU, Brunson is off to a hot start as a freshman as he went 6 for 10 on the weekend with two doubles, two home runs, and four RBIs with four walks and four strikeouts against Florida Gulf Coast. He made four putouts in the outfield.

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

 

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