Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: C Christian Koloko

Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: C Christian Koloko

The Toronto Raptors didn’t have a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but that didn’t stop them from adding one of the best center prospects this class had to offer in Christian Koloko. Toronto likes being positionless, but turning down a premium athlete who happens to be 7-1 would be foolish. Fresh off winning […]
Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: C Christian Koloko – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Top 3 African-born players in Toronto Raptors franchise history

Top 3 African-born players in Toronto Raptors franchise history

The Toronto Raptors used the No. 33 pick in the NBA Draft on Cameroonian-born center Christian Koloko. With Masai Ujiri as dedicated to growing the game of basketball in Africa as anyone and Pascal Siakam in place as the team’s star, African talent is making up the bedrock of this organization. Only 74 players who […]
Top 3 African-born players in Toronto Raptors franchise history – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

3 reasons Raptors fans should get hyped over Christian Koloko

Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: C Christian Koloko

The Toronto Raptors only had one draft pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but they were largely considered to have hit a home run by taking Arizona center Christian Koloko at No. 33 overall. Even though he is a bit of a work in progress, his talent is obvious. Koloko has officially wrapped up Summer […]
3 reasons Raptors fans should get hyped over Christian Koloko – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Toronto Blue Jays have selected Josh Kasevich with the 60th overall pick

With the 60th overall pick, the Blue Jays selected Josh Kasevich.

Kasevich is a right-handed batter shortstop drafted from the University of Oregon. At 6’2, 200 lb, there is potential for more pop from the 21-year-old middle infield.
This season with the Oregon Ducks, he slashed .310/.383/.445 with seven homers. Kasevich walked (BB% of 8.66%) more times than he struck out (K% of 5.78%), meaning that the righty is a contact hitter.

With the 60th overall pick in the MLB Draft the #BlueJays select SS Josh Kasevich from Oregon. Really good contact and on-base skills, could stick at shortstop, too: pic.twitter.com/y8E4FdAZsY
— Mitch Bannon (@MitchBannon) July 18, 2022

For his collegiate career, he slashed .303/.374/.424 with eleven homers. He had the same K% and BB% of 8.43.
Baseball America notes that he has a flat bat path which doesn’t allow him to elevate the ball often, but he still showed great plate discipline which allowed him to walk more than strikeout.
According to MLB Pipeline, Kasevich is considered one of the better defenders in his NCAA league. He has a great arm that is accurate and has excellent instincts (hands and footwork). 

Josh Kasevich’s offensive talents are going to receive plenty of love, and rightly so, but he features a solid glove, too. #BlueJays pic.twitter.com/qNHdZD5Gng
— Thomas Hall (@ThomasHall85) July 18, 2022

Baseball America notes that he doesn’t have a “quick-twich lower half” that scouts like in a big league shortstop. However, he only made 14 errors with Oregon. Kasevich is an average runner as well.
Here are his grades according to MLB Pipeline:
Hit: 50
Power: 40
Run: 50
Arm: 55
Field: 55
Overall: 50
If he develops more pop, he could become an excellent prospect.
It’s likely that the 21-year-old Kasevich starts in High A as he’s likely advanced enough for that level.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

With the 128th overall pick, the Blue Jays could select…

While this isn’t a top 100 pick, there could be some interesting prospects available with this pick

Of course I had to feature a hard-throwing college player that everyone knows about, but there are some interesting starters available with this pick.
This will be the last article in the series, but there are still  plenty more players that will be picked in the 20-round draft. Let’s get into this group of prospects.
Ben Joyce: 
Joyce is a right-handed reliever that will likely be picked higher than 128th. You’ve probably heard the name for good reason. He’s only pitched one season for the University of Tennessee, but boy did he ever leave an impression.
The 6’5 righty had an ERA of 2.23 with a K/9 of 14.8 and a BB/9 of 3.9 in 32.1 innings pitched. While the righty is strictly a reliever, his stats aren’t the reason everyone and their mothers want him drafted for their bullpen.

Ben Joyce throws the fastest pitch in college baseball history at 105.5 MPH (via @PitchingNinja) pic.twitter.com/TPgsCwyNrb
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) May 1, 2022

Yup, you read that right. According to the velocity reading at the arena, Ben Joyce threw 105.5 mph. While there are questions about whether or not this was the actual velocity, it’s definitely possible as he often hit 103 mph and hit 104 mph a few times.

Tennessee junior Ben Joyce is hitting 103.5 MPH pic.twitter.com/KXWQdlDWuv
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) February 24, 2022

There are causes for concern, however. The 21-year-old missed all of 2019, pitched at a community college in 2020, and missed all of 2021 due to Tommy John. While the Jays have shown they aren’t afraid of drafting pitchers with arm issues (Gunnar Hoglund, Nate Pearson), it’s to be seen if Joyce’s arm can hold up.
This leads into the second issue, which is the fact that he hasn’t ever worked in back to back days for his University. In fact, he works on 3+ days of work, according to MLB Pipeline.
Furthermore, some Jays fans believe he would immediately help this bullpen, which is just not true. While at this point, his floor is a major league reliever, Joyce needs to work on command, as his BB/9 of 3.9 is on the high side. His secondary pitches also need work.


Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation