With the 20th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select… Chase Dollander?
Photo credit:Kelsey Grant
5 months ago
Look, do I think this draft prospect will be available when the Blue Jays pick? No.
However, CBS’ latest mock draft has Chase Dollander, yes, the consensus number two heading into the college season, falling to the Blue Jays in the 20th position.
It seems incredibly unlikely, but if he were to fall to the Jays, he’d definitely be the best player available. Let’s look at his bio, statistics, stuff, and grades!
Chase Dollander’s bio:
Like most draft eligible college players, Dollander went undrafted in the 2020 draft as they were only five rounds in the COVID-shortened draft.
Standing at 6’2”, 200 lbs, Dollander was considered the only 2023 draft eligible prospect that could challenge Dylan Crews to go first overall. After a tough 2023 by his standards, many sites that have draft rankings have him around the sixth or seventh best prospect.
In terms of where mock drafts have him, MLB Pipeline’s recent mock draft has him going ninth overall to the Colorado Rockies, and so does The Athletic’s Keith Law’s recent mock draft. Baseball America has him going a little bit lower, as they have the Los Angeles Angels picking him 11th overall. As mentioned earlier in the article, CBS’ latest mock draft have him falling to the Blue Jays, which is why we’re covering him today.
You don’t have to look too far to see the last time the Blue Jays drafted out of the University of Tennessee. They selected Chad Dallas in the fourth round of the 2021 MLB Draft. Prior to that, they had drafted Tayler Saucedo in the 21st round of the 2015 draft, and selected two players in the 2002 draft.
Chase Dollander’s statistics:
After going undrafted, the 21-year-old right-handed pitcher honoured his commitment to Georgia Southern University, posting a 4.04 ERA with a 28.8 K% and a 12.6 BB% in 49 innings pitched. He had an impressive debut against the University of Tennessee, finishing with a line of 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1ER, 1 BB, 8 K, and would later transfer to the SEC school.
The 2022 season is where Dollander made his mark. In 79 innings pitched, he had a 2.39 ERA and an impressive 35.3 K% and a 4.2 BB% for a 31.1 K-BB%, which is insane. This propelled him to the top of most sites’ top 2023 draft rankings, behind only Dylan Crews.
Dollander’s 2023 season was his worst of his collegiate career. He posted a 4.75 ERA in 89 innings pitched. Moreover, his K% dropped slightly to 31.3%, but his BB% jumped to 7.8%.
The 21-year-old’s last college game was in the College World Series, where he went 3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K against Stanford. Tennessee eventually won that game, but were eliminated in the next game they played against Louisiana State University.
Chase Dollander’s stuff:
Dollander has some of the best pure stuff in the class, and could be classified as arguably the second best starter behind Paul Skenes.
The 21-year-old sits 95-97 mph with his fastball, but has touched as high as 99 mph generating a ton of swing and miss. Even though his ERA went up and his K% went down, the whiff rate on his fastball actually increased. There has been less carry on the fastball, which is concerning to some scouts.
The slider was the main cause of concern (more on that in a bit), but it averaged in the mid-80s and even reached 91 mph. When on, it’s a tight slider with a lot of sweep. In 2023, it lacked the movement that made it a premium pitch heading into the season. Unlike his fastball, his whiff rates on the slider dropped from 36% to 28%.
Dollander also throws a mid-70s curveball which had spin rates around 2,700 RPM and had a 12-6 movement, as well as a changeup.
On top of his stuff regressing, Dollander’s command and control struggled in 2023. His BB% jumped quite a bit, but he also lacked pinpoint accuracy that made him so effective in 2022. This also led to a higher ERA as he missed his spots in 2023.
However, not all hope is lost. Baseball America notes that he made some adjustments heading into the 2023 season that could have impacted his play. It also appeared that he reworked his slider’s shape, which was detrimental to his whiff rates.
With that being said, if a team with good pitching development (such as the Blue Jays) selected him, he could very well get back to his 2022 form.
Chase Dollander’s grades:
Like always, we’ll look at Baseball America and MLB Pipeline’s grades for the 21-year-old.
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Will the Blue Jays select Chase Dollander?:
If Chase Dollander is available when the Blue Jays make their pick, they should absolutely choose him. He’ll without a doubt, be the best player available.
While he had a rough season in Tennessee this year, this was a guy that was thought of by most to be the second best player in the 2023 draft, if not the best. Plus, the adjustments he’d have to make to find his 2022 form are minor, as Baseball America notes that scouts think his poor season came down to slight mechanical changes.
Dollander has a ceiling of an ace and was even called “potentially generational”. If he’s available 20th overall, I hope the Jays pick him.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D. Thanks again to Prospects Live’s Tyler Jennings for allowing me to use his videos!
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