If you had it to do all over again, would you do it differently? A look at Blue Jays Marcus Stroman’s 2012 Draft position
In anticipation of the backlash that is sure to follow, I’d to like to explain to our Jays From the Couch readers, and Marcus Stroman supporters, that this article is meant to be a fun exercise. It is by no means an attempt to devalue Marcus Stroman’s accomplishments or the accomplishments of the previous Blue Jays Front Office. Instead, it is to look back on the selection of the #StroShow to see how it has turned out thus far.
In fact, this exercise may actually validate the Stroman pick, if it even required validation. I will let you, the readers, make that conclusion.
With that out the way, I have a few rules to this little game:
Any players selected prior to Marcus Stroman, with the 22nd pick, will not be part of the discussion.
SO NO, “The Blue Jays should’ve picked Carlos Correa” comments. He was the 1st overall pick of the Astros that year, so was off the board 21 picks earlier.
Let’s not discuss any players taken after Matt Smoral, with the 50th pick. If the Blue Jays wanted to take a player who was drafted after the 50th pick then they wouldn’t have picked Matt Smoral, right?
Let’s get to it.
The Toronto Blue Jays had 5 picks in the 1st round, which included the compensation round. To refresh everyone’s memory here is a breakdown of who the Blue Jays selected with those 5 picks and where they fell in respect to the draft order:
17th: D.J. Davis
22nd: Marcus Stroman
50th: Matt Smoral
58th: Mitch Nay
60th: Tyler Gonzales
FYI- The 4 players taken after the enigmatic D.J. Davis were, in order, Los Angeles Dodgers Corey Seager, St. Louis Cardinals Micheal Wacha, San Francisco Giants Chris Stratton, and Atlanta Braves Lucas Sims. While Stratton and Sims have not made the impacts that Seager and Wacha have made, their development is still light years ahead of D.J. Davis.
Moving on. Here’s a break down of the picks from that draft, sorted by major league experience:
No Major League Experience
23rd- James Ramsey
26th- Stryker Trahan
27th- Clint Coulter
28th- Victor Roache
29th- Lewis Brinson (Top-Rated Prospect)
30th- Ty Hensley (Inactive)
Minimal ML Experience
24th- Deven Marrero
25th- Richie Shaffer
30th- Brian Johnson
That concludes the 1st round portion of the 2011 Draft. Other than Texas Rangers Lewis Brinson, who looks like a very solid Outfield prospect, the Stroshow pick looks pretty solid.
Next up, the Compensation Pick portion of the 2011 Draft.
No Major League Experience
34th- Daniel Robertson (Top-Rated Prospect)
40th- Shane Watson
42nd- Luke Bard
43rd- Pierce Johnson (Top-Rated Prospect, in 2014 and 2015)
45th- Barrett Barnes (Excellent 2016 at AA)
48th- Keon Barnum
49th- Jesse Winker (Top-Rated Prospect)
Minimal ML Experience
32nd- Jose Berrios (Top-Rated Prospect)
33rd- Zach Eflin (Exceeded rookie status)
35th- Kevin Plawecki (Exceeded rookie status)
37th- Pat Light
38th- Mitch Haniger
39th- Joey Gallo (Exceeded rookie status)
47th- Matt Olson
36th- Stephen Piscotty
41st- Lance McCullers Jr.
44th- Travis Jankowski
46th- Eddie Butler
The ML Regular group has some interesting players when comparing Marcus Stroman’s contributions to the Toronto Blue Jays to date. The St. Louis Cardinals struck gold with Stephen Piscotty who has the makings of a 20+HR, high AVG outfielder.
Stephen Piscotty Career Stats
The San Diego Padres Travis Jankowski creates havoc with his speed on the base paths and excellent defense but may struggle to maintain a replacement level AVG his entire career.
Travis Jankowski’s Career Stats
The Colorado Rockies, Eddie Butler, is tasked with conquering Major League Baseball’s most hitter friendly park. Thus far, the park is winning. Making his MLB debut the same year as Stroman, Butler bounced between the rotation and the bullpen in 2016, ending the season in the bullpen. With the Rockies current/future crop of starting pitching ready to make the jump to Colorado, Butler’s future is uncertain.
Eddie Butler’s Career Stats
Of the ML Regular group, the Houston Astros Lance McCullers Jr.’s results at the MLB level may resemble those of Stroman. McCullers lost a chunk of the 2016 season to injury, limiting him to just 14 starts, whereas, Stroman only made 4 starts in 2015 after tearing up his knee in Spring Training. Stroman’s made 20 more starts than McCullers, after making his MLB debut with 20 starts in 2014.
Lance McCullers Career Stats
The Marcus Stroman pick gave Blue Jays a taste of instant gratification. He was a college player that many teams viewed as a bullpen arm because of his height. While this, lack of height, may still pose durability problems down the road, Stroman has proven to be a top of the rotation starter on a playoff team.
Marcus Stroman’s Career Stats
Some fans choose to look to the future, rather than instant gratification. That might make Jose Berrios, Joey Gallo, etc more appealing than the quick risers in the ML Regular Group. It’s possible that, while the Minimal ML experience and No ML Experience groups have yet to secure MLB starting gigs, their upside may be greater than those in the ML Regular Group. It is also possible that once on an MLB roster any one of these young men’s future accomplishments could overshadow those in the ML Regular Group, including Stroman’s. One must also consider the age of a pick when placing expectations and comparisons to that pick.
With the information provided, are we still happy with decision to take Marcus Stroman with the 22nd pick in the 2012 Draft? If not, who would YOU rather the Blue Jays used that pick on and why?
Many of the 2012 draft picks of the Blue Jays are no longer in the system or have moved on from professional baseball. Here are the picks still plying their trade in Toronto’s farm system in the hopes of one day joining Marcus Stroman:
Anthony Alford, Ian Parmley, Ryan Borucki, Shane Dawson, Josh Almonte, and Jason Leblebijian.
*Featured Image Credit: ARTURO PARDAVILA III- UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0– cropped from original
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