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Toronto Blue Jays 2018 MLB Draft Grades

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Griffin Conine (Photo by Tom DiPace)

Best Pure Hitter: SS Jordan Groshans (1) made a loud impression in his pro debut in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where he showed an advanced approach and a knack for putting the fat part of the bat on the ball. He has the ability to square up premium velocity and drove the ball well to right-center field in his debut.

Best Power Hitter: OF Griffin Conine (2) has plus raw power that he generates from impressive bat speed. He hit nine home runs in 42 games in the Cape Cod League after his sophomore season, though he had a down year as a junior at Duke and will need to make adjustments to better control the strike zone. Groshans and 3B John Aiello (14) both have above-average power.

Fastest Runner: For OF Adrian Ramos (19), his strengths center around his speed and defense, with 70 speed on the 20-80 scouting scale.

Best Defensive Player: OF Hunter Steinmetz (11) is a 5-foot-9 center fielder  with plus speed and good defensive instincts. The Blue Jays also drafted C Chris Bec (5), who has strong catch-and-throw skills out of Maine.

Best Athlete: There wasn’t one super quick-burst athlete in Toronto’s 2018 draft class, but Ramos sticks out for his combination of speed, quickness and athleticism at a premium position.

Best Fastball: The Blue Jays didn’t draft a flamethrower like they did in 2017 with Nate Pearson, but RHP Adam Kloffenstein (3) was up to 95-96 mph this spring at 17 years old. He has the best combination of present fastball and projected future fastball in their class. RHP Sean Wymer (4) has been up to 95 mph, while RHP Joey Murray (8) throws just 86-91 mph but still gets remarkable swings-and-misses on that pitch because of his deception, command and riding life that he takes advantage of by pitching up in the zone aggressively.

Best Secondary Pitch: It depends what day you see him to tell what his best secondary pitch is, but Kloffenstein flashes an assortment of three promising pitches. His curveball is probably his most advanced pitch right now, though he shows feel for a slider and an advanced changeup for a high school draft pick. Wymer can snap off an above-average curveball.

Best Pro Debut: Groshans dominated the GCL as an 18-year-old, batting .331/.390/.500 in 37 games before a late promotion to Rookie-level Bluefield. OF Cal Stevenson (11) had more than twice as many walks (53) as strikeouts (21), hit .359/.494/.518 and stole 20 base in 21 attempts for Bluefield. Murray held down a 1.75 ERA with 39 strikeouts in 25.2 innings for short-season Vancouver.

Most Intriguing Background: The Blue Jays added to their collection of sons of former ‘90s and 2000s big league standouts by drafting Conine, whose father Jeff played 17 seasons in the majors. Cobi Johnson (30)—previously drafted by the Padres in 2014 and the Angels in 2017—is the son of Blue Jays pitching coach Dane Johnson.

Closest To The Majors: Conine doesn’t have a typical fast-track profile after going through some struggles his junior year at Duke and then after joining short-season Vancouver, but he is the team’s most advanced college hitter. Wymer could move relatively fast as well if he’s in a relief role.

Best Late Round Pick: Stevenson has tremendous plate discipline, above-average speed and a skill set that should help him get on base at a high clip. He’s not a pure center fielder but he has above-average speed and good defensive instincts for a player who could rotate around all three outfield spots.

The One Who Got Away: C Kameron Guangorena (36) ranked as the No. 114 prospect on the BA 500. He had a strong commitment to Cal State Fullerton, where he’s going to bring a promising combination of athleticism, strong hands and a plus arm behind the plate.

Nate_Pearson

2018 Toronto Blue Jays Instructional League Roster

The Toronto Blue Jays have announced their Instructional League roster, headlined by flamethrower Nate Pearson.

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