Toronto Blue Jays 2019 MLB Draft Report Card
Every year at the conclusion of the regular season, Baseball America revisits each teams' most recent draft class. Each class has its no-doubt, high-profile names to keep an eye on, but our annual draft report cards highlight the best tools, best debuts, late-round steals and more. Here are the names you need to know from every organization's 2019 draft.
Best Pure Hitter: SS Tanner Morris (5) put together three seasons of high offensive performance at Virginia. Between his pure hitting ability and plate discipline, he has a chance to be a high on-base percentage player, with an approach geared toward hitting the ball toward the middle or opposite field. OF Will Robertson (4) and C Philip Clarke (9) are two other college bats who stood out from Toronto’s draft class.
Best Power: Robertson has above-average power from the left side. He hit 15 home runs at Creighton, then tacked on six more with short-season Vancouver. OF Nick Neal (11), a two-sport athlete who also played football in high school, also stood out for his power.
Fastest Runner: OF Dasan Brown (3) immediately becomes one of the fastest players in baseball, an 80-grade runner on the 20-to-80 scouting scale.
Best Defensive Player: Brown’s top-of-the-scale speed gives him a chance to be an elite defender. SS Glenn Santiago (10) has shown promising athleticism and defensive potential at shortstop, while the Blue Jays value SS Cameron Eden’s (6) versatility to play either shortstop or center field.
Best Athlete: Brown has some crudeness to his baseball skills, but he is an outstanding athlete.
Best Fastball: RHP Alek Manoah (1) was the prize of the Toronto’s draft class. He can overpower hitters with a fastball in the mid- to upper 90s.
Best Secondary Pitch: Manoah’s slider is a plus pitch at times. As a high school draft pick, RHP Kendall Williams (2) is younger than Manoah and doesn’t have as much present stuff, but his curveball, slider and changeup all flash promising projection indicators for the future, especially his breaking pitches.
Best Pro Debut: Manoah didn’t get to pitch much, but he dominated in his 17 innings, posting a 27-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio with a 2.65 ERA. Williams also made the most of his limited work in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, while former Penn State C Dalton Sloninger (38) hit .304/.379/.551 between Rookie-level Bluefield and short-season Vancouver.
Closest To The Majors: Manoah shouldn’t need much time at the Class A level, so he could end 2020 in the upper levels with a chance to make his major league debut in 2021.
Best Late-Round Pick: With a smaller, compact frame at 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, RHP Michael Dominguez (15) doesn’t jump out physically, but he had immediate success in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He’s a strike-thrower who pitches at 89-93 mph with good deception, reaches 95 mph and throws a solid breaking ball.
The One Who Got Away: The Blue Jays knew there was a slim chance of signing RHP/C Nathaniel LaRue (25) that late in the draft based on his asking price and their pool limits. He has a chance to boost his stock at Auburn, armed with a low-90s fastball and a breaking ball flashing plus.