Gregor Chisholm: Why the Blue Jays made Oakvilles speedy Dasan Brown the first Canadian off the MLB draft board – Toronto Star

Gregor Chisholm: Why the Blue Jays made Oakvilles speedy Dasan Brown the first Canadian off the MLB draft board - Toronto Star
Jays pick top-ranked Canadian OF Brown
TORONTO – After selecting pitchers with their top two picks, the Toronto Blue Jays went all-in on position players on Day 2 of the 2019 MLB Draft.

One of those picks also happened to be the highest-ranked Canadian selected, 17-year-old outfielder Dasan Brown. The speedy Oakville, Ont., native went in the third round, after which the Blue Jays added another outfielder, five infielders and a catcher.

The team is well below .500, sitting 17.5 games behind the New York Yankees for top spot in the AL East. The only bright spot on an otherwise dreary campaign was the MLB debut of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., a prodigy that already has Blue Jays fans focused less on the present and more on the future.

Blue Jays first-round draft pick shares touching moment with family during MLB Draft

Somewhat remarkably for this franchise, none of the draftees are related to past or current major-leaguers. That will have to wait for Day 3, as will the Blue Jays’ ongoing search for pitching.

With the 11th pick, the Jays selected West Virginia pitcher Alek Manoah, a 6-foot-6, 260-pound monster on the mound. The right-handed pitcher got his 2019 season off to an incredible start with a 9-4 record and a 2.08 ERA in 16 starts with the Mountaineers.

In the last year, the Blue Jays have seen Manoah make meaningful progress on the mound. By selecting him 11th overall, they’re betting that there’s more growth ahead.

The Blue Jays have to be excited about such a promising prospect, and as you can see below, its safe to assume Monoah is jacked up to be heading north of the border as well.

“We’re really confident in who he is as a person and the work he puts in on and off the field to reach his ceiling as a major-league starter, amateur scouting director Steve Sanders said.

It may take some time before we see Monoah take the mound for the Blue Jays, but those still paying attention have another potential stud to get excited about.

Like Manoah, Williams is a six-foot-six right-hander with plenty of upside. But while Manoah has already filled out, Williams is “the quintessential projectable high school right-hander,” according to MLB Pipeline. He throws a fastball that will sometimes reach 94-95 mph and he throws both a curve and a slider.

Complicating matters for the Blue Jays, Williams has committed to Vanderbilt, one of the top schools for developing pitchers. With that commitment in mind, it wouldnt be a surprise if he requires an over-slot deal.

Its a boom-or-bust pick in that hes a tools over baseball skills profile and the bat and hit tool are big question marks (as is often the case). Theres a good chance players with these profiles never make it to AA and most fans will never hear his name again. But if he can hit in pro ball theres the secondary skills to be very valuable and could have MLB value even if hes a well below average hitter.

Some scouts give Brown’s speed an 80 on the 20-80 scale, so that skill alone makes the Oakville, Ont., native worth watching. A Texas A&M commit, he’s “incredibly raw” offensively, according to Baseball America. Still, that speed gives him the potential to be an elite defender as long as the Blue Jays are prepared to be patient. At 17 years old, he has plenty of development ahead.

Robertson goes from one Blue Jays team to another, bringing with him the impressive raw power that allowed him to hit 15 home runs at Creighton – a notoriously tough place to go deep. A left-handed hitter, Robertson has a line-drive swing that allowed him to hit .311 last year.

Dasan Brown has an argument as the fastest player in the class. He absolutely flies. Its a light bat now, but he has some bat-to-ball skills and could be an exceptional defender in center field. #MLBDraft #BlueJays

There’s no denying that Morris can hit. In 56 games this year, the left-handed hitter batted .345/.452/.507 with 21 doubles. Though the Blue Jays drafted him as a shortstop, Baseball America suggests he’s likely better suited for third base or a corner outfield position long-term.

Jays 3rd rounder Dasan Brown is one of the youngest and fastest players in the draft. Big physical projection, bat has come on the last few months.

As a draft-eligible sophomore, he has leverage here. If the Blue Jays don’t meet his price, he can go back to school and aim to improve his 2020 draft stock with a strong junior year.

Vincent Cervino of Perfect Game had this to say about him after seeing him in April with the Junior National Team:

While the Blue Jays drafted Eden as a shortstop, he has also played left and centre while batting .370 with a 1.002 OPS. An above-average runner, he stole 20 bases in 24 attempts this season.

Four years ago, the Blue Jays (then under Alex Anthopoulos) drafted Eden’s brother Chandler, who’s now a member of the Dodgers organization.

Talley produced at the plate, hitting .332 with a .924 OPS this year, but limited arm strength might keep him to second base, according to Baseball America. As a senior sign, he could be a candidate to sign a below-slot deal.

Even though Camacho hit .317 with an .887 OPS as a senior at Jacksonville, he still didn’t rank among Baseball Americas top-500 prospects. Under those circumstances, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Blue Jays can land him on a below-slot deal, too.

Clarke hit .306/.387/.479 at Vanderbilt this year – impressive production from behind the plate. Even though he’s best known for his bat, he’s now an average receiver, according to Baseball America. Like Morris, hes a draft-eligible sophomore, which gives him more leverage than many draftees.

Not unlike the Blue Jays’ current manager, Santiago’s a slender shortstop from Puerto Rico. He has committed to Florida International for college.

The Toronto Blue Jays have selected the first Canadian in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft, taking Oakville, Ont., outfielder Dasan Brown in the third round (88th overall) on Tuesday.

#BlueJays have selected top-ranked Canadian outfielder Dasan Brown with the 88th pick overall. The Oakville high schooler has a commitment to Texas A&M.

Dasan Brown didnt want to interrupt teachers at Abbey Park high school today with a phone call from a major-league front office, so he took the day off. Which classes did he skip? It was math, umm, gym … and, umm, business.” Theyll understand. #BlueJays

Brown didnt want to interrupt teachers at his high school Tuesday with a phone call from a major-league front office, so he took the day off according to TSN Blue Jays reporter Scott Mitchell. Which classes did he skip?

The six-foot, 185-pound Brown attends Abbey Park High School and has played for the junior national team. The 18-year-old is listed as a centre-fielder.

Brown was selected early on the second day of the draft. The New York Yankees took the second Canadian player later in the third round, grabbing Western Kentucky University outfielder Jake Sanford of Dartmouth, N.S., 105th overall.

The San Diego Padres took right-handed pitcher Matthew Brash of Kingston, Ont., in the fourth round, 113th overall.