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Blue Jays Tweak Their Process



TORONTOThe Blue Jays are looking to meld the old with the new in their first draft under general manager Ross Atkins, and things are clearly going to be different for scouting director Brian Parker.

New club president and CEO Mark Shapiro, assistant GM Tony LaCava, director of baseball operations Mike Murov and farm director Gil Kim are all contributing to the process, while the club’s new high-performance department is also taking part.


To ensure all the new parts integrate smoothly on draft day, the Blue Jays recently ran a six-round mock draft to develop their board and identify gaps in information, but also, as Atkins puts it, "to learn one another, our styles and what we’re accustomed to, what we’re not accustomed to.”

"What we’re trying to do is maximize what was good by . . . trying to use all our resources,” he added.

The draft will be important for the Blue Jays, given the way former GM Alex Anthopoulos thinned the system during last summer’s trade deadline shopping spree and their spending in Latin America capped after blowing their bonus pool last year to sign Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for $3.9 million.

Parker will have the 21st, 57th and 66th picks. With a bonus pool of $6,603,300—which ranks 20th—the Blue Jays can shift some money around should someone unexpectedly drop, a strategy they’ve employed in the past.

"If there are opportunities to maximize every single dollar you have,” Atkins said, "(there is) no question that we will be looking to do that.”

JAYS CHATTER

• Over the past six years, the Blue Jays have focused on high school pitchers and premium position players in the early rounds of the draft, using their eight first-rounders on six pitchers, a center fielder and a catcher. Atkins was guarded about his philosophy. "Really, we try to value what history tells us, and try to connect the dots backward to determine what has worked in the past, what has been indicative of future success and how do we create the most value in this draft,” he said. "So it’s not position-specific, it’s not need-specific—it’s (about) value and based on history.”

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Max Pentecost's Power Comes With A Catch

Max Pentecost's power comes with a catch.

• After three shoulder surgeries, 2014 first-round catcher Max Pentecost was activated from the disabled list on May 12 and returned to action at low Class A Lansing. He is limited to DH while he continues his throwing program.

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