Toronto Blue Jays: A look at the 2020 Amateur Draft Pool Allocations

Toronto Blue Jays 2020 Amateur Draft (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Toronto Blue Jays 2020 Amateur Draft (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

With confirmation of the pools and bonus values for the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft, we look at how this impacts the Toronto Blue Jays while also delving into previous drafts.

Thursday was an interesting day for Major League Baseball fans, as details of the 2020 Amateur Draft pool allocations were clarified. The question is, how does this impact the Toronto Blue Jays?

Before we take a look at the Blue Jays specifically, it’s worth clarifying how the Amateur Draft will potentially play out in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As per an agreement between the league and players, the draft could be as short as five rounds. (In addition, next year’s draft could be shortened to as few as 20 rounds.)

If this becomes the case, it would represent a significant drop from recent years, when there have been 40 rounds. Further, as reported by Jim Callis of, each selection was supposed to rise by 3.5 percent this year, in line with the league’s annual revenues.

Instead, the players association allowed MLB to keep the values which were set last year, for both the 2020 and 2021 drafts. As per Callis, the Blue Jays’ bonus pool for a five-round draft is $9,694,300, which breaks down as follows:

  • 1st round: $6,180,700 (picking fifth)
  • 2nd round: $1,771,100 (42)
  • 3rd round: $793,000 (78)
  • 4th round: $543,500 (107)
  • 5th round: $406,000 (137)

For anyone unfamiliar with the workings of the MLB amateur draft, you might be wondering why the Blue Jays are not picking 35th in the second round and so on. This is due to a couple of rounds of competitive balance picks, along with six free agent compensation selections in the second round.

Interestingly for the Blue Jays, if MLB decides to extend the draft to 10 rounds, both they and the San Francisco Giants would join six other teams who already have eight-figure bonus pools. The additional rounds would break down as follows for Toronto:

  • 6th round: $306,800 (166)
  • 7th round: $239,000 (196)
  • 8th round: $188,900 (226)
  • 9th round: $160,300 (256)
  • 10th round: $148,400 (286)

The value of having another five draft picks cannot be underestimated. For a prime example with the Blue Jays, go all the way back to their first ever amateur draft in 1977.

That year they selected Jesse Barfield in the ninth round of the draft. Barfield didn’t debut in the Majors until 1981, but it was worth the wait.

The Joliet, Illinois native went on to be a regular in the Blue Jays’ starting lineup between 1982-88. During that time he helped the team win their first ever divisional title and make their inaugural playoff appearance in 1985.

From a personal perspective, Barfield’s best season with Toronto was in 1986. That year he was named an All-Star, won Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards, while also leading the AL with 40 home runs.

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Of course, regardless of how many rounds there ends up being this year, the Blue Jays will be still be expected to land an excellent prospect by virtue of having the fifth overall draft pick. Admittedly though, even this doesn’t guarantee success.

Consider the likes of Ricky Romero (sixth in 2005), J.P. Arencibia (21st in 2007), Aaron Sanchez (34th in 2010) and Marcus Stroman (22nd in 2012). All of them had their moments in Toronto — particularly Stroman — but the reality is none had the long-term impact the Blue Jays were hoping for when they initially drafted them.

Of course, you only have to get it right once for a player to leave that lasting impact on a franchise. For the Toronto Blue Jays, this player was undoubtedly the late, great Roy Halladay.

Halladay was selected 17th overall in the 1995 draft. And although he initially struggled in the Majors, he went on to have a Hall of Fame career, which included six All-Star appearances and one Cy Young award during his time in Toronto.

The Amateur draft usually takes place in June, but is scheduled to be held in July this year. However, regardless of when it does happen, the Blue Jays and their fans will be hoping they find a player who can have even half the impact of Mr. Halladay.

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What are your takeaways from the amateur draft pool allocations for this year? Is there anyone in particular you predict the Toronto Blue Jays will target with their first round pick? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.