With the 5th pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Blue Jays have selected utility player Austin Martin out of Vanderbilt.
As the guy with arguably the best hit tool in the draft, Austin Martin’s name has been mentioned near the top of the draft for months with more than a few people thinking he should go number one overall based purely on talent. Not only is Martin a plus hitter with a chance for more, but he is also a pure athlete which gives him some defensive options going forward. While there is some uncertainty surrounding his defensive position, that is of little consequence, as his bat would play anywhere on the field. His swing generates a lot of natural loft and carry so while his overall strength doesn’t point to big time power, his power will likely play up given the swing and just how advanced his hit tool is.
The biggest question for Martin is his future defensive position, as everyone agrees he can hit and should be a regular in a major league lineup. He started out in the infield but he doesn’t have the strongest throwing arm, so he was moved from third base to center field. He could also be a guy that is given reps throughout the infield and even the corner outfield spots to give him a bunch of utility in addition to a tantalizing offensive package. This isn’t a situation where the player in question is deficient defensively, but more that his regular home hasn’t been figured out yet and his physical tools as a pretty quick runner and good field instincts give him a lot of options to explore.