Toronto Really Needs to Alter their Draft Strategy.


For the 6th straight season, not all first round picks from this year’s draft have signed. It was announced this morning that the Toronto Blue Jays had failed to come to an agreement with Oaks Christian High School pitcher Phil Bickford. Bickford, the tenth overall pick in the draft, will attend Cal State Fullerton where he will be eligible to be picked in the 2016 draft. Meanwhile, the Jays will be compensated by getting the 11th pick in next year’s draft.

Toronto has a bad habit of drafting unattainable first rounders. It all started in 2010 when the team tabbed Kentucky starter James Paxton, but Paxton failed to come to an agreement with the team and reapplied the following year, only to be selected by the Mariners in the fourth round in 2011. In the meantime, the Jays ended up selecting Noah Syndergaard with the compensatory pick they got for missing Paxton.

Tyler Beede was chosen by the Jays the following year out of Lawrence Academy in Massachusetts. Although he made it abundantly clear that he was not to be picked in the draft, Toronto didn’t listen and tabbed him. We all know what happened next. Now, Beede is destined to be a top five pick in the 2014 draft. Toronto on the other hand, was given a consolation prize of Marcus Stroman, who last year was suspended for PEDs.

It is unknown who the Jays will tab as Phil Bickford’s consolation, but one thing that needs to be pointed out is that the Jays have had a bad drafting history as of late. Not only have three of their past five picks bolted, but the return investments haven’t paid off as much. Syndergaard was traded to New York along with John Buck and Travis d’Arnaud and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra for R.A Dickey, Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. Dickey made headlines by becoming the first reigning Cy Young winner to lose ten games before the All-Star Break since Bret Saberhagen.  Josh Thole has been an okay backup, and Nickeas is just there in case Thole goes down. Meanwhile, Syndergaard is starting to look like the real centerpiece of the deal as he’s made it to Double-A already and will be pitching in the Futures Game on Sunday.

Similarly, while the choice of Marcus Stroman as consolation for Beede looked good at first, Stroman has not managed to do much of anything, mostly due to the suspension. Oddly enough when he was drafted, analysts said that he would likely be the first draftee in the majors. Look at him now.

Whomever is in charge of the Blue Jays scouting department needs to be fired, as well as Alex Anthopolous, Both have done bad jobs so far in their respective tenures with the team.

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