With the 20th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select… Matt Shaw?
2 months ago
We are less than a week away from the 2023 MLB draft, fun!
There are just three articles remaining looking at who the Blue Jays could pick with the 20th overall pick. On top of that, we’ll look who the Blue Jays could pick with the 89th overall pick, the 121st pick, and the 157th overall pick. However, we’ll look at eight players in a single article for each of those articles for a total of 24 players.
Today, we’re going to look at Matt Shaw.
Matt Shaw’s bio:
Matt Shaw is a 21-year-old infielder who has attended the University of Maryland for the past three seasons. Standing at 5’11”, 185 lbs, he has never been drafted before.
He ranks as MLB Pipeline’s 16th best draft prospect and Baseball America’s 13 best draft prospect. It’s also worth noting that in many mock drafts, he’s usually gone before the Blue Jays pick. However, it’s worth noting that in Joe Doyle’s latest mock draft for Future Stars Series, he notes that the Blue Jays have been scouting Shaw often, and he could be in play for the Jays if he falls to them.
The last time the Blue Jays selected a player out of the University of Maryland was back in 2017, when they selected Kevin Smith in the fourth round. As you may know, that turned out pretty good for them, as he was a part of the Matt Chapman trade with Oakland before the start of the 2022 season.
Matt Shaw’s statistics:
The shortstop started his collegiate career in the 2021 season, slashing .332/.409/.544 with seven homers in 214 plate appearances. He walked 8.4% of the time, while striking out 16.8% of the time.
He was fantastic in summer league between his freshman and sophomore year, slashing .369/.469/.689 with nine homers in just 147 plate appearances. His K% dropped mildly to 14.3%, while his BB% improved to 12.9%
Shaw improved drastically in his sophomore season, slashing .290/.381/.604 with 22 homers in just 291 plate appearances. His K% dropped to 15.8%, while his BB% increased to 11.7%.
He also won the 2022 Cape Cod (arguably the best summer league) MVP, as he slashed .360/.432/.574 with five homers in 155 plate appearances.
His junior season was even better, as he slashed .341/.445/.697 with 24 homers in 317 plate appearances. For the first time, he walked (43) more than he struck out (42). His BB% jumped to 13.6% while his K% sat at 13.3%, so he saw improvements in every season of college ball.
Matt Shaw’s tools:
Just Baseballl’s (and friend of mine) Jared Perkins saw Shaw at the University of Maryland, and this is what he had to say:
“Small guy. but absolute grinder. Doubt he sticks at SS as the arm is kind of average and he lacks range at times. Seems like he could settle in at 2B very nciely”
Scouts believe he may move to second base is a trend that we’ll get into soon. Let’s start with what the 21-year-old infielder does well with first.
Shaw’s bat is the best attribute. He does a good job at making hard contact consistently, and does a good job avoiding striking out while also walking quite a bit. Not just that, but Shaw isn’t just a pull hitter, as he can send the ball out of the park in right field as well.
Shaw also improved against secondary offerings, as that had been an issue in his first two collegiate seasons. It’s worth noting that he does also expand the zone a bit, which has led to not the greatest strikeout rate in his career.
He is an above-average runner and shows great instincts on the bases. Defensively, he has a below-average arm that may push him to second base. The 21-year-old has also seen time at second base, third base, and the outfield.
Defensively he may not win any gold gloves, but the blend of power and hit-for-average in his bat will definitely get him picked in the first round.
Matt Shaw’s grades:
Like always, we’ll look at Baseball America and MLB Pipeline’s grades for the middle infielder.
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Will the Blue Jays select Matt Shaw?:
Like noted early, Joe Doyle said that the Blue Jays scouted the 21-year-old middle infielder quite a bit. So if he’s somehow available when they step up to the podium on June 9th, there’s definitely a chance they select him.
With that being said, they may not have the opportunity to as Shaw is one of the best college hitters in this year’s class. Even if he does move to second base, the intrigue of his raw power and above-average hit tool may make teams decide to pick him before the Jays get a chance.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D. Thanks to Jared Perkins for the video and additional information. You can find him at @JaredCP1, and be sure to check out his podcast Behind the Seams. Their YouTube channel can be found here. You can also find some clips on Prospects Live’s website prior to the move to Just Baseball.
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