Draft Preview

Here is the most recent draft order as updated by Baseball America in mid-April.

1) Nationals
2) Mariners 3) Padres 4) Pirates 5) Orioles 6) Giants 7) Braves 8) Reds 9) Tigers 10) Nationals (compensation for failure to sign 2008 first round selection, Aaron Crow) 11) Rockies 12) Royals 13) Athletics 14) Rangers 15) Indians 16) Diamondbacks 17) Diamondbacks (compensation from Dodgers for Orlando Hudson) 18) Marlins 19) Cardinals 20) Blue Jays 21) Astros 22) Twins 23) White Sox 24) Angels (compensation from Mets for Francisco Rodriguez) 25) Angels (compensation from Yankees for Mark Teixeira) 26) Brewers 27) Mariners (compensation from Phillies for Raul Ibanez) 28) Red Sox 29) Yankees (compensation for failure to sign 2008 first round selection, Gerrit Cole) 30) Rays 31) Cubs 32) Rockies (compensation from Angels for Brian Fuentes)

Supplemental First-Round Picks
33. Mariners (compensation for loss of Raul Ibanez)
34. Rockies (compensation for loss of Brian Fuentes)
35. Diamondbacks (compensation for loss of Orlando Hudson)
36. Dodgers (compensation for loss of Derek Lowe)
37. Blue Jays (compensation for loss of AJ Burnett)
38. White Sox (compensation for loss of Orlando Cabrera)
39. Brewers (compensation for loss of CC Sabathia)
40. Angels (compensation for loss of Mark Teixeira)
41. Diamondbacks (compensation for loss of Juan Cruz)
42. Angels (compensation for loss of Francisco Rodriguez)
43. Reds (compensation for loss of Jeremy Affeldt)
44. Rangers (compensation for loss of Milton Bradley)
45. Diamondbacks (compensation for loss of Brandon Lyon)
46. Twins (compensation for loss of Dennys Reyes)
47. Brewers (compensation for loss of Brian Shouse)
48. Angels (compensation for loss of Jon Garland)
49. Pirates (for failure to sign 2008 second-rounder Tanner Scheppers)

Second-Round Changes
56. Dodgers (compensation from Braves for Derek Lowe)
60. Diamondbacks (compensation from Royals for Juan Cruz)
61. White Sox (compensation from Athletics for Orlando Cabrera)
73. Brewers (compensation from Yankees for CC Sabathia)
76. Yankees (for failure to sign 2008 second-rounder Scott Bittle)

Third-Round Changes
104. Blue Jays (compensation from Yankees for AJ Burnett)


The Jays do get compensation for losing AJ Burnett, which is great for an organization that needs to keep things cheap if possible. They end up with 5 picks in the first 3 rounds, which is bad. Draft predictions are hard to make, but I'll do my best to deduce who they won't get a chance to take, and therefore amplify who they very well may take.

The Top 10: There is an obvious #1 this year with Stephen Strasburg leading the way as the phenom of the draft, and the other top 10 contenders are predictable enough at this point. They are:

1- Stephen Strasburg, SP WAS

2- Grant Green, SS SEA (although they may opt for Ackley due to Triunfel's presence in the minors)

3- Dustin Ackley, 1B/OF SD (whether it's Green or Ackley, SD will draft a position player)

4- Tyler Matzek, SP PIT (the top HS SP in the draft)

5- Matt Purke, SP BAL

6- Donovan Tate, OF SF (could be their best OFer in a long, long time)

7- Zach Wheeler, SP ATL (ATL scouts love this kid)

8- Alex White, SP CIN (a slow start to the season has brought about questions about his ceiling)

9- Aaron Crow, SP DET (other teams will balk at his signing price, Detroit will pay whatever it takes)

10- Rich Poythress, 1B WAS (with WAS getting Strasburg with the #1, they'll want some pop in their lineup to make sure they can score some runs. Rich has more pop than any other College player in the draft)

With these guys off-the-board, the Jays are looking at a heard of SP or OF prospects leading the way for the remainder of the first round. Of these, and since the Jays have had slow progression from their HS drafted prospects, they are most likely aiming for one of these players with their first pick:

Rex Brothers, LHP - His stock has gone up extensively this season
Mike Leake, RHP
Mike Minor, LHP
Jacob Turner, RHP
Jared Mitchell, OF (has 5 tool talent)
Tim Wheeler, OF (also has 5 tool talent)
Kendall Volz, RHP

My opinion is that this draft is very heavy in SP talent, and since the Jays pick again at 37, they will most likely lean towards one of Mitchell or Wheeler if they are available. There is a serious lack of speed on the Jays throughout their system, and the opportunity to grab a 5-tool player will not pass them by easily. Having said that, I fully expect them to grab the best talent available regardless of position, but there will clearly be lots of SP talent left to select from with the 37th pick and in the second round. I guess we'll find out soon as draft day approaches!

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