By Bob Elliott
When the Blue Jays won their first World Series in 1992 homegrown pitchers Jimmy Key, Todd Stottlemyre, Pat Hentgen, David Wells, Mike Timlin, Mark Eichhorn and Dave Stieb were on the mound.
Pat Borders was behind the plate and John Olerud at first, plus Jeff Kent, Derek Bell, Greg Myers, Ed Sprague, Rob Ducey, Randy Knorr and Eddie Zosky contributed.
During this all-in season to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1993 Series win, Jays draft picks Casey Janssen, Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup, Chad Jenkins, Sean Nolin and Ricky Romero have pitched. J.P. Arencibia was behind the plate and Adam Lind was the DH.
Notice a difference in the homegrown totals?
This season has taught us again that winning the months of November and December means nothing.
Yet, as the rosters of the 1992-93 Jays -- capping 11 years of winning seasons with homegrown players -- told us, you can win in June.
The annual three-day, influx of talent begins Thursday night when the MLB Network telecast begins from Paramus, N.J. The first two rounds, plus 11 competitive balance lottery picks (which now can be traded under the Basic Agreement), 73 selections in all, will be chosen.
Commissioner Bud Selig and former first baseman Fred McGriff, recently hired by as a special assistant to president Paul Beeston, and vice-president Jay Stenhouse will be in New Jersey to announce the Jays picks. It will be new scouting director Brian Parker and his staff sending the names off to New York from inside the war room at Rogers Centre ... the old Founder’s Club on the 300 level.
Dana Brown, former Washington Nationals scouting director, a special assistant to general manager Alex Anthopoulos, and former Jays scouting boss Andrew Tinnish, an assistant Jays GM, along with former Tampa Bay GM Chuck LaMarr, plus the Jays army of cross checkers and area scouts have been watching high schoolers and collegians, then filing reports.
The Jays select 10th over-all for the first time in franchise history.
There other numbers in the first 30 picks where they had success:
Choosing fourth over-all resulted in Billy Koch in 1996.
Their No. 5 in 1997 was Vernon Wells.
Picking 13th was a lucky number in 2003 (Aaron Hill), as was No. 15 (Chris Carpenter, 1993), 16 (Shawn Green in 1991) and 17 was even better (Roy Halladay, 1995).
Selecting 10th while not familiar, has not been a successful neighbourhood for the Jays
Choosing ninth over-all in 1983 they selected catcher Matt Stark, who had one hit in five games with the Jays.
And selecting 11th in 2010 the Jays chose Georgia Tech right-hander Deck McGuire, whose next start will be his 43rd at double-A New Hampshire since he made his debut there in 2011. From the 2010 draft only lefty Sean Nolin and Sam Dyson have reached the majors, combining to pitch two innings.
This is the Jays highest selection since Romero went sixth overall in 2005.
The Jays say they will take the best player available.
A year ago they chose D.J. Davis 17th a Mississippi high schooler.
Two years ago they chose Tyler Beede of Auburn, Mass. with the 21st pick. Beede chose not to sign and is 14-0 for the Vanderbilt Commodores.
And three years ago they chose McGuire 11th.
Anthopoulous was wearing his scouting cap to see all three.
Antopoulos scouted high schoolers: left-handed hitting catcher Reese McGuire of Covington, Wash., right-hander Kohl Stewart of Tomball, Tex. and 6-foot-4 North Carolina Tar Heels third baseman Colin Moran ... all on the same trip.
Moran is batting .351 with nine doubles, 13 homers and 85 RBIs in 63 games with an 1.038 OPS.
Who else has he and other Jays evaulators seen:
Shortstop J.P. Crawford, a Lakewood Calif. high school. The speedster is the son of former CFL all-star defensive back Larry Crawford, who played eight years with the B.C. Lions and one year with the Toronto Argos.
Lefty Trey Ball a New Castle, Ind. high schooler.
Outfielders Austin Meadows and Clint Frazier, Loganville, Ga, high schoolers.
Hunter Renfroe with the Mississippi State Bulldogs, hitting .352 with 15 doubles, 15 homers and 58 RBIs in 59 games with a 1.074 OPS.
Draft guru Jim Callis of Baseball America has the Jays selecting red-headed Frazier or Stewart in his latest mock draft. Previous BA mock drafts had the Jays choosing Ball or Meadows.
The Houston Astros are on the clock ...
Major League Draft
Thursday 7 PM _ Rounds 1-2, plus competitive balance lottery picks, 73 selections, Sportsnet ONE, MLB Network
Friday 12:30 PM _ Rounds 3-10.
Saturday 1 p.m. _ Rounds 11-40.