Blue Jays select ‘pure hitter’ Austin Martin with No. 5 pick in shortened draft

The Toronto Blue Jays chosen Austin Martin of Vanderbilt College with the No. 5 decide on the Main League Baseball newbie draft on Wednesday.

The versatile Martin, who was introduced on the draft as a shortstop, has hung out at numerous positions together with centrefield whereas at Vanderbilt, with some scouts calling him one of the best pure hitter on the draft.

Martin fell to Toronto as he was No. 2 on the MLB Prospect Rankings checklist.

Martin was initially taken by the Cleveland Indians as a 37th-round decide within the 2017 MLB Draft. However as a substitute of becoming a member of the Indians out of Trinity Christian Academy in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., he selected to attend Vanderbilt.

In 140 profession NCAA video games over three seasons — with 2020 being lower brief by the pandemic — the 21-year-old slashed .368/.474/.532 with 85 walks. In 2019, his final full season, he had 105 hits in 65 video games with 10 house runs and 46 RBIs.

The Blue Jays chosen fifth general for the primary time since taking Vernon Wells at No. 5 in 1997.

In the meantime, the Detroit Tigers chosen third baseman Spencer Torkelson from Arizona State College with the primary general decide.

Shortened draft size

This 12 months’s draft has been lower down to simply 5 rounds from the same old 40 in a cost-cutting transfer as a result of pandemic.

The draft was initially scheduled to be held this week in Omaha, Neb., forward of the now-cancelled Faculty World Collection. As a substitute, the league goes with a two-day digital draft on the MLB Community studios in Secaucus, N.J., with the primary 37 picks being referred to as Wednesday. 160 shall be made in all.

The Blue Jays, who have been 67-95 final season, additionally maintain the Nos. 42, 77, 106 and 136 general alternatives.

With the game on hiatus, the draft is offering baseball-starved followers no less than some measure of satisfaction. MLB and the gamers’ affiliation have been exchanging proposals relating to a possible return however nothing has been finalized.

Earlier Wednesday, baseball commissioner Rob Manfred mentioned there’s “100 per cent” probability of huge league ball this 12 months.

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