DETROIT -- There has been a lot of change atop the Blue Jays' organization since the last time Brian Parker oversaw a Draft, but the director of amateur scouting insists it's still business as normal.Parker is about to embark on his fourth MLB Draft, but this will be his first
DETROIT -- There has been a lot of change atop the Blue Jays' organization since the last time Brian Parker oversaw a Draft, but the director of amateur scouting insists it's still business as normal.
Parker is about to embark on his fourth MLB Draft, but this will be his first working for president Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins. Whenever there is a change in hierarchy, there are usually some philosophical adjustments as well, but Parker downplayed that when speaking to the media Tuesday evening.
The Blue Jays are still open to the high-risk, high-reward players that became synonymous with former GM Alex Anthopoulos' regime. Whether it was taking injured pitcher Jeff Hoffman in 2014 or selecting hard-to-sign outfielder Anthony Alford in 2012, this organization has never been afraid to gamble.
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"It has been a good process," Parker said of getting to know the new regime. "We started back in the offseason, honestly. Everybody was on the same page as far as what we were planning to do, how we were going to attack this spring."
One noticeable change is that the front office went through a mock draft last month. In the past, Toronto had a countless number of meetings to set its ideal Draft board, and that process continued this year, but the club decided to take it one step further.
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The mock draft was done to practice how the club was going to break down players, how it was going to rank everybody on the list and to make sure everybody in the organization was on the same page. It's far from an exact science, but Parker felt the new strategy will help everything run a little smoother when the first round gets underway Thursday night at 6 ET on MLB Network and MLB.com.
"The process is still similar in that we may take a high-risk player in the first round," Parker said. "Whether it's a college or high school player, there's risk involved. We've put everything together and lined it up, and we'll see how it plays out Thursday night. As far as how we've done things in the past and tolerance, the board has been put together building all that in ... not really worried about who's high risk and who's not high risk."
According to MLBPipeline's Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, the Blue Jays have been linked to a wide variety of players for their first-round selection -- 21st overall. Stanford right-hander Cal Quantrill, Vanderbilt right-hander Jordan Sheffield and high school outfielder Taylor Trammell are just a few of the names that have been discussed.
"The top of the Draft in the top 10 is a little bit more uncertain this year than it has been in the past," Parker said. "There are more college players at the top in the past couple of years than there have been this year as far as premium college guys, where I think this year the strength might be a little bit more high school-oriented. There's a little bit more uncertainty right now as far as what teams at the top are going to be doing."
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.