First Round Report Card

So the Draft was earlier this month, and the Jays took, with their first round selection, a projected sandwich/2nd round pick. A potentially poor fielding first baseman. Most probably a designated hitter.

David Cooper was so excited about being so highly coveted by a team with a mid first round pick, that he quickly became the first first rounder to ink a deal with his team.

It was a curious selection by a team that has historically had a farm system void of top shelf talent, but a team in the past two drafts altered their strategy into selecting more high ceiling guys.

In the two drafts previous to 2008's the Jays were lauded for their selections of Travis Snider, Kevin Ahrens, Brett Cecil, etc. The selection of Cooper, though, appears to be a regression in draft strategy to the team's philosophy prior to 2006.

Notably, most analysts suggested that the 2008 draft was a relatively weak class. That being said, when the Jays were on the clock, they had every opportunity to really roll the dice with selecting a player with perceived signability issues. And with a weak draft class this year, the worst case scenario for the team would be that the Jays wouldn't be able to ink a deal with the pick, and would be compensated with another first round pick for 2009's draft.

If the Jays gambled with their pick and snatched a high risk/big money demanding high school arm like Gerrit Cole or Jake Odorizzi, the team would conceivably have an arm that could have a major impact when Ricciardi is long gone. Instead, they took a lumbering designated hitter who will rise through the system relatively quickly. And back up Travis Snider.

David Cooper. Yippee.


Anonymous said...

I'll bet you hated the JP Arencibia pick as well.

Robbie Alomar said...

Arencibia was a totally different case because of a lot of major points:

1) He was once projected as a mid first round pick

2) He was taken as a late first round pick

3) He actually has defensive ability

So to summarize.. I didn't hate the Arencibia pick.. I certainly wasn't in love with it, but didn't find it offensive like this year's pick.

Anonymous said...

I think the way the draft played out was unfortunate for the Jays. There was a decent chance that an Alonso, Wallace or Lawrie could have made it down to us, but they didn't. Cooper and Davis looked like the best bats available at that point. Cooper did play in a pitcher's park and pitcher's league, whereas the opposite was true for Davis.

They did end up selecting a dozen high schoolers and a few JuCo's. There is a lot to like about the draft. Why does there have to be a high schooler in the first round to be a successful draft? I'm sure if there was a polished HS hitter or pitcher available at #17, he would have been given due consideration.

Robbie Alomar said...

The pick didn't necessarily have to be a high schooler, but the pick just reeked of a signability choice rather than taking the best player available.

And my argument was that since the draft was so weak, that if they took the best player, and they ended up not being able to sign him, it wouldn't be the end of the world as they'd be compensated for that loss of a signing.

Anonymous said...

Well I disagree, Robbie. I think he was the best player available. the Signability players (Melville, Gray) were available at 63 and later. There wasn't a Porcello and Brackman dropping. The high schoolers available were very raw. I like high schoolers like Snider and Ahrens, who have some polish, but given the choices available, the best bat available (either Davis or Cooper depending on who you believe) seemed like the right way to go.