By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
The Rule 5 draft is one of the most fun parts of the season for me. I love seeing who the Blue Jays (and even other teams) are going to take a chance on.
For many minor league players, it offers the opportunity of a lifetime: to get to show what they can do at the major league level. The Blue Jays have said that they would be active this year and there's enough talent filtering up through the organization that there's a good chance that other teams might take a flyer on some of the Blue Jays players.
The players whom the Blue Jays wanted to select were likely all gone by the time the Jays' selected with the 12th pick and they ended up passing and thus, selected no one in the major league portion of the draft.
The highest player selected with Blue Jays' connections was Anthony Gose, the former outfielder-turned-pitcher, who was selected by the Houston Astros off the triple-A roster of the Texas Rangers. Gose has been trying to make it as a pitcher, pitching 10 2/3 innings for the Tigers' class-A Advanced affiliate in Lakeland and giving up nine runs on seven hits and six walks with 14 strikeouts, while throwing 98-100 mph.
No Blue Jays were selected in the major league portion of the draft.
In the triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft, the first name to pop out was Mitch Nay, a third baseman in the Blue Jays organization. Nay, who had struggled with injuries for the past two years, returned to action after complications from a staph infection that withered away a leg muscle. After regaining strength, he returned to action, playing for the Lansing Lugnuts and hitting .222/.265/.393, finding some of his power that had deserted him, hitting nine doubles, two triples and 10 home runs. Having spoken to Mitch several times, we wish him the best of luck with his new club, the Cincinnati Reds.
The Toronto Blue Jays selected right-handed pitcher Andrew Muren, a 29-year-old who spent time at three levels for the San Francisco Giants, spending most of his time in double-A where he had a 4.70 ERA over 23 innings of relief, striking out 27 and walking 17. He's a hard thrower, earning the nickname "the hardest thrower you've never heard of" by Fanrag Sports. His story seems to be a bit like Bo Schultz in that he was ready to leave the game at one point, attending a police academy before coming back to baseball and now hitting 100 mph on the radar gun.
In the second round of the triple-A phase, the Blue Jays selected 23-year-old Italian catcher Alberto Mineo off of the Cubs' double-A roster. He played last year in class-A South Bend, hitting .278/.374/.358 with 20 doubles and four triples over 405 plate appearances. Mineo was a teammate of Jordan Romano's in the World Baseball Classic on Team Italy in 2017.
The Blue Jays also selected shortstop Ivan Castillo off of the Cleveland Indians' double-A roster. From the Domincan Republic, Castillo spent time with double-A Akron and class-A Advanced Lynchburg in 2017, playing in just 56 games (28 at each level) and hitting .267/.341/.354. He doesn't appear to have much pop, hitting a career-high of five home runs as a 19 year old in the Midwest League.
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The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Check out the Handbook page for more information!