With the 20th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select… Vance Honeycutt?

Photo credit:© Jeffrey Camarati - USA Today
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
The Toronto Blue Jays need some power in the organization.
In a month and three days, the 2024 MLB Draft will kick off, with the Blue Jays picking with the 20th-overall pick for the second straight season. Their other pick on the first day will be in the second round (59th), before picking 95th, 125th, 136th, and 158th.
Moreover, the Blue Jays have a signing bonus pool of $8,897,000 for the first 10 rounds (or 11 picks). For rounds 11-20, they can sign those players to a bonus of up to $150,000 before it counts towards their bonus pool.
Let’s take a look at one player who could give the Jays some much-needed power.

Vance Honeycutt’s bio

Vance Honeycutt is a 21-year-old outfielder who stands at 6’3”, 205 lbs who has loads of power, as we’ll get to. This isn’t his first draft, as the San Francisco Giants selected him in the 20th round of the 2021 draft, but he elected to honour his commitment to the University of North Carolina.
There are many notable schools in North Carolina, such as Wake Forest and Duke, but the last time the Blue Jays selected a player out of the University of North Carolina was in 2018 with their 16th-round pick, selecting Josh Hiatt.
The last time they selected a position player from the school was their 2017 first round pick, selecting Logan Warmoth with their 22nd overall pick.

Vance Honeycutt’s stats

Honeycutt has spent three seasons with the Tar Heels and is having his best collegiate season in 2024. The 21-year-old is slashing .314/.409/.703 with 26 homers in 288 plate appearances. However, he already has an elevated strikeout rate of 27.8%, a worrisome sign before hitting the professional ranks.
For his three-year collegiate career, he’s slashing .291/.412/.632 with 63 homers in 841 plate appearances, along with a 26.3 K% and a 5.2 BB%. It seems like when he tries to cut down his hack, like he did in 2023, he sacrifices power. That season, he hit a career-worst 12 homers with a 20.4 K%.

Vance Honeycutt’s tools

According to MLB Pipeline’s scouting report on the corner infielder, every tool except his hit tool is plus. The strikeouts are a massive concern, especially as the drop in power coincided with the drop in his strikeout rate in 2023.
However, when he runs into a ball, the power is real as he has “well-above-average raw power with bat speed, strength, leverage, and loft”, everything you want in a power hitter. The swing is okay and he’s a heavy pull hitter, something the Blue Jays need at this point.
It’s not just the power though, as he has terrific speed (his highest grade), along with fantastic outfield defence which Pipeline considers “potential gold glove in centre field”. It’s also noted he has great arm strength.

Vance Honeycutt’s grades

As always, we’ll look at his grades according to MLB Pipeline.
“Vance Honeycutt” is also an 80-grade name, let’s be real here.

Will the Blue Jays select Vance Honeycutt

A few years ago, the Blue Jays’ weakest position in the farm system was outfielders. However, that has changed in recent years. They signed Enmanuel Bonilla to the largest international free agent deal in franchise history worth $4.1 million. On top of that, the two D. Brown’s (Dasan and Devonte) have had strong seasons, while Alan Roden looks like a hit.
However, there are three outfielders that make up a team, so you can never have too many, and it’s been a hot minute since the Jays selected an outfielder, at least a pure outfielder, with their first-round pick. In fact, we’d have to go all the way back to 2012, when they selected D.J. Davis with the 17th overall pick.
Still, Honeycutt looks like someone that the Jays could really use, especially if the hit tool improves.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

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