Join Jays From the Couch on a trip down memory lane, as we take a look at the Toronto Blue Jays top draft picks over the past 10 years.
Keep all sharp objects locked away while taking this trip down memory lane.
For this exercise, we’ll look at the players the Blue Jays chose with the first pick they had in each draft. I tried to do this in one post, but it seemed to drag on, so I split it into 2 parts. Part 1 starts with the 2006 1st pick of Travis Snider. For each draft player picked will be listed, along with other notable picks who’ve played in the major leagues and that year’s Toronto Blue Jays Top Ranked Prospect as listed by Baseball America.
Travis James Snider
Once considered the future of the franchise, Snider signed for $1.7M and was built like a running back. He quickly rose through the Blue Jays farm system, winning MVP honors in the Appalachian League and becoming the Blue Jays 2nd ranked and Baseball America 53rd prospect in 2006. Travis would make it all the way to number 6 on Baseball America’s top prospect list in 2008, making his season debut on August 29th against the New York Yankees.
Travis would struggle through 5 years with Toronto before being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the July 31, 2012 Trade Deadline for Brad Lincoln. Snider’s Blue Jays career ended with a .248 batting average, 31 home runs in 242 games.
At 27-yr-old, Travis appears to have found his niche as a 4th outfielder, filling this role for the Pirates between 2013 and 2014 before being traded to the Orioles for LHP Stephen Tarpley on January 27th, 2015. After 69 unproductive games in Baltimore Travis was released in August. The Pirates scooped him up to finish the season.
Blue Jays Top Prospect in 2006: RHP Dustin McGowan
Status: Free Agent, 4th outfielder
3B Kevin Ahrens
The switch hitting Kevin Ahrens signed with Toronto on June 15th, 2007 for $1.4M. He was supposed to be the next Chipper Jones, but Kevin struggled from day one hitting .230 with 3HR in 48 Gulf Coast League games. In 2007, Kevin came in as the Jays 3rd ranked prospect and it was all downhill from there.
It took 7 seasons for Kevin to get to Double-A in 2013 where he played 73 games, hitting only .218 with 4 home runs. He was granted free agency at the end of the season and signed with the Atlanta Braves as a minor league free agent. After two unproductive seasons Kevin was again granted free agency.
Blue Jays Top Prospect in 2007: Adam Lind
1B David Cooper
David Cooper signed on June 11th for $1.5M and was assigned to New York Penn League to play for Auburn. Cooper showed he could hit right from day one, hitting .341 in NYP, .354 Lansing, and .304 in Dunedin in his first professional season. He spent two seasons in Double-A in 2009 and 2010, hitting 20 home runs in 2010.
Cooper ranked 5th in 2008, 4th in 2009, and despite showing more power saw his stock drop to 21st and 22nd in 2010 and 2011. David made his major league debut as a 24-yr-old in 2011 against the New York Yankees, going 0-for-4.
In 2012, Cooper showed signs of becoming a major leaguer before suffering a neck injury, ending his season with a .300 BA and 4HR in 45 games. He was released by the Blue Jays on March 13th, 2013, signed by the Indians in August and spent two seasons in the Indians organization. Cooper signed with the New York Mets in 2015 playing 10 games in Binghamton.
Blue Jays Top Prospect in 2008: Travis Snider
RHP Chad Jenkins
Stephen Chadwick Jenkins signed for $1.359M on August 15th, 2009. The Jays assigned the 22-yr-old to Lansing for 13 starts, before moving up to Dunedin for another 13 starts. Expected to become a workhorse at the back of a major league rotation. Chad Jenkins quickly moved through the system making his major league debut on August 7th, 2012 against the Tampa Bay Rays, throwing 3IP of 2H and 2K.
Jenkins has spent the past three years relieving for Toronto and starting for Buffalo. 2016 could be Jenkins year to stick with Toronto as a member of their bullpen.
Notable Picks in 2009: James Paxton (Comp-unsigned), OF Jake Marisnick (3rd rd), SS Ryan Goins (4th rd), LHP Aaron Loup (9th rd), C Yan Gomes (10th rd), RHP Drew Hutchison (15th rd), RHP Ryan Tepera (19th rd)
Blue Jays Top Prospect in 2009: Travis Snider
Status: Four-A pitcher with the Blue Jays
In Part 2, we`ll visit a few picks that still make this minor league fanatic a little crazy in the head.
*Featured Image Credit: Open Grid Scheduler Under CC BY-SA 2.0
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.