The On Deck Circle

Where practice swings don’t exist

Toronto Blue Jays All-Drafted Team

Posted by Blake Murphy on February 8, 2008

This article has been submitted by gracious party host Erik Arnold.

The Toronto Blue Jays and Montreal Expos have always been admired for solid drafting and player development. On pure numbers, these two franchises have created more major league players than any other. So I thought to myself, what would the Toronto Blue Jays look like on Opening Day 2008 if we could only use players drafted and developed in our system? Sounds like a pretty good activity for mid term week. This is what I came up with:

C – Craig Wilson
1B – Jeff Kent
2B – Orlando Hudson
SS – Michael Young
3B – Aaron Hill
LF – Brad Hawpe
CF – Vernon Wells
RF – Alex Rios
DH – Carlos Delgado

1. Michael Young
2. Alex Rios
3. Vernon Wells
4. Carlos Delgado
5. Brad Hawpe
6. Jeff Kent
7. Aaron Hill
8. Orlando Hudson
9. Craig Wilson

Pretty solid lineup top to bottom. The Jays all-draft team has disgusting depth at 2B which is why I had to move Aaron Hill to third and Jeff Kent to first (both have spent time at those positions). Only 3 current Jays cracked the lineup, but they were no brainers – Hill, Wells and Rios. Michael Young really is “the one that got away” as the organization is still looking for any serviceable guy at SS - hindsight is 20/20. Brad Hawpe was originally drafted as a pitcher in ’97 and has really turned into a nice OF option with 20-30 HR potential for the Rockies. Catcher was very thin, I scoured all the draft lists for 15 years and Craig Wilson was the best I could come up with. Maybe I missed something, but I guess it isn’t too bad. Blake reminded me that Delgado was drafted as a catcher, but realistically there is no way he mans that position in his current state. The one thing I’m most stoked about: the return of O-dog to man second base.

B – Ryan Freel 2B/3B/OF
B – Curtis Thigpen C
B – Casey Blake 3B/1B
B – Sean Green OF
B – Eric Arnold IF

No surprises on the bench. Freel and Blake give you some positional flexibility and Sean Green gives some added pop in a pinch hit situation. Thigpen was really the next best catcher I could find and Blake probably wouldn’t publish this article if I didn’t include him somehow. Eric Arnold, a hack prospect, is by no means deserving of a spot, but we share a name and I think that’s cool…enough said.

1 – Roy Halladay
2 – Kelvim Escobar
3 – Chris Carpenter
4 – Ted Lilly
5 – Dustin McGowan

A pretty nasty rotation and there were still plenty of other options available. If only we could have foreseen the same kind of revival in Chris Carpenter’s career that we did in Doc. Escobar is a legit ace and Lilly and McGowan are above average 4-5 guys. Obviously team chemistry was not a factor as Ted “South Paw” Lilly made the cut.

CL - David Weathers
SU - Brandon League
SU - Casey Janssen
MR - Brandon Lyon
MR - Mark Hendrickson
LR - Shaun Marcum

Not a lot of bullpen arms available from what I could recall. Still, Weathers got 30 saves last season and there is some good talent. This might actually be a compliment to the Jays development system because rarely are guys drafted as relievers. More often than not, these types of guys develop into bullpen arms if they don’t have the stamina or enough effective pitches to give 5+ innings a game.

Well, there you have it! Pretty nice to think that, in lieu of trades, free agency and salary constraints, the Jays could field a SOLID team that I argue would be very competitive. Well that’s it for this mid term week exercise, back to the books!

This article has been submitted by gracious party host Erik Arnold.

4 Responses to “Toronto Blue Jays All-Drafted Team”

  1. stu Says:

    Craig Wilson the Catcher (who I’ve never heard of) can’t compare to “Crappy” Craig Wilson, the Pirates scrub/former all-time PNC Park home runs leader.

  2. Erik Says:

    Stu… prepare yourself….

    The shitty Craig Wilson of the Pirates that you speak of is the same Craig Wilson drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays as a catcher in 1997. Had a few decent years with the Pirates including a 28 HR season if I’m not mistaken. Still, it makes a pretty good point of how badly the Jays have drafted that position in the last decade.

  3. Erik Says:

    My bad.. drafted by the Jays in ‘95, traded to the Pirates in ‘97.

  4. Cone Says:

    Lets not forget Aurora, Ontario native Joel Collins at Catcher. While only at single A rookie Lansing, the stocky power hitter is sure to impress and move up depth charts at a lightning fast pace.

    He is also well known for having been beat out for Cardinal Carter CHS MVP by one Michael Cascone.

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