With the 20th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select… Jacob Gonzalez?
2 months ago
Today will be the last player we look at for the 20th overall pick.
In this article, we’re going to look at Jacob Gonzalez. Let’s dig in.
Jacob Gonzalez’s bio:
Jacob Gonzalez is a 21-year-old shortstop standing at 6’2”, 200 lbs for the University of Mississippi.
Like all college players eligible for the draft this season, he went undrafted in the 2020 draft. He was a top-300 draft prospect according to Baseball America, but has raised his stock massively heading into the 2023 draft. He now ranks as MLB Pipeline’s 18th-best draft prospect, and Baseball America’s eighth-best draft prospect It’s worth mentioning that MLB Pipeline had the Blue Jays selecting him in their June 15th mock draft.
It was only two seasons ago when the Blue Jays selected a player from the University of Mississippi in the first round, as they selected Gunnar Hoglund with the 19th overall pick. The last time they selected a position player who actually signed from the university was back in 2016, when they selected J.B. Woodman with the 57th overall pick.
Jacob Gonzalez’s statistics:
Gonzalez immediately made an impact for the University of Mississippi, slashing .355/.443/.561 with 12 homers in 310 plate appearances in his freshman season. He also had a higher BB% (12.3%) than K% (11%).
In his sophomore season, the University of Mississippi won the College World Series, and Gonzalez slashed .273/.405/.558 with a career-high 18 home runs in 200 plate appearances. Moreover, he had a 16.7 BB% and a 10.7 K%.
The 2023 season was an odd one for him, as he slashed .327/.435/.564 with 10 home runs in 253 plate appearances, along with a 13.8 BB% and an 11.1 K%. His home runs dropped, while his batting average improved, but not to what he had in his freshman season.
Jacob Gonzalez’s tools:
Gonzalez has a solid hit tool, with good bat-to-ball skills and a good eye at the plate. He did home run hunt to much in 2022, but refined his approach.
He has above-average power potential, as he has fast hands and can go get the ball, this makes some believe he could hit 20+ homers a season. Some scouts worry about whether or not he’ll be able to hit premium velocity and off-speed stuff away, as there are some quirks to his swing.
Defensively, he has good hands and is fluid at the position with a good arm. It’s worth noting that he’s not a good runner, which causes some to worry that he’ll have to move to third base or second base in the future.
Still, he has the ability to hit for power and could be a solid hit-for-average guy. Plus he has a track record of being an above-average defender at shortstop in his collegiate career.
Jacob Gonzalez’s grades:
Like always, let’s look at Gonzalez’s grades according to Baseball America and MLB Pipeline.
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Will the Blue Jays select Jacob Gonzalez?:
The question that has always been posed in the past 19 articles is if this player is the best player available. Unlike a few that we’ve looked at in this series, Gonzalez has a real shot at being the best player available when the Jays select.
With that being said, there’s also a good chance that Gonzalez may be off the board before the Jays will pick. Still, he’s an intriguing shortstop prospect who’d help bolster this organization’s hitting prospects.
Thanks for reading my 20 draft prospects in 22 days (blame Canada Day and the recovery day after.
There will be three more articles in this series, looking at the 89th pick, the 121st pick, and the 157th pick. For those articles, we’ll look at eight players around the pick for each of those picks, giving us a total of 24 more players!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.
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