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Nick Melotte's Blue Jays Top 20 Prospects

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The Jays have a trio of major league ready players at the top of the list, followed by a pair of promising first round picks from the 2014 draft.

Blue Jays right handed pitcher Aaron Sanchez, not to be confused with the chef from "Chopped".
Blue Jays right handed pitcher Aaron Sanchez, not to be confused with the chef from "Chopped".
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Here is my so called "secret sauce" and get a more detailed breakdown of the process that goes into how I rank prospects in each organization.

The Grading System

My grading system will be familiar to those who keep up with college football recruiting or played the MLB2K video game series as I use a star rating system from one to five stars with half grades in between. An outline of what each level would represent looks like this, but remember these are examples and not definite.

5 star
The cream of the crop. A five star rating is reserved for the elite talents of the minor leagues. These players do not have a glaring weakness and if there is a blemish on their record, it is miniscule. Don't expect to see many of these, as this is reserved for players with the best chance to become super stars or top of the rotation stalwarts. Call this a 75-80 or A rating.

4.5 star
The rest of the elite. A 4.5 star rating encompasses players that are still elite, but not the potential mega stars a five star player would have. Receiving a 4.5 star rating means the player has all-star caliber potential with a good chance of being in a contending team's starting line up and have a long career. A 4.5 star pitcher could be generalized as a future #2 or 3 starter. Equal to 60-70 or A-/B+ type.

4 star
Garnering a four star rating means the player has the potential to be a productive major leaguer with an all-star season or two in his career. Four star players should develop into regulars in the lineup, dominant relief arms or a mid-rotation starters. This kind of player may have a true talent level higher but injuries may hold him back from reaching their full potential. Similar to a B/B- or 50-55 rated player.

3.5 star
A player receiving 3.5 stars projects to see time as starters in the majors, but more than likely on a team out of the playoff picture where a below-average season once in awhile won't kill them. Innings eating strike throwers would fall into this category, as would set up men and defensive-oriented starters. This would be a 45 or B-type of player.

3 star
Three star players are your 4th outfielders and relievers with live arms and control problems. Hitters who may lack enough tools to hold down a starting gig, futures as a platoon players, and swing men types capable of spot starting would be three star players. Recent IFA's with little or no track record usually are included here as well. A low 45/high 40 grade or C+/C type player would fall here.

2.5 star
Not every one gets to collect MLB paychecks, but some get them every once in awhile. 2.5 star players are your up and down guys who shuttle between the big leagues and AAA. September cups of coffee cielings fall here, as are the injury replacements and players riding the waiver wire. These players aren't expected to make any serious impact. 40 grade players and C type or lower organizational filler.

Anything below 2.5 stars is someone who doesn't project to be a major league player, therefore they are not mentioned.


Good, that's out of the way. Without further adieu, I give to you the top 20 prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. All ages are how old they will be for the 2015 season, and affiliates mentioned are where I expect the player to begin the upcoming season.

Previous Team Ranks and #1 Prospect

Atlanta Braves - 2B Jose Peraza

Miami Marlins - RHP Tyler Kolek

New York Mets - RHP Noah Syndergaard

Philadelphia Phillies - SS JP Crawford

Washington Nationals - RHP Lucas Giolito

Baltimore Orioles - RHP Dylan Bundy

Boston Red Sox - 2B Yoan Moncada

New York Yankees - RHP Luis Severino

Tampa Bay Rays - SS Willy Adames

Toronto Blue Jays

Due to the time crunch, the 4.5 star player comments will be truncated. As before, if you have any questions or comments on any players in the organization, feel free to comment.

4.5 star

1. RHSP Aaron Sanchez - 22 years old, MLB Toronto

aaron sanchez

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports

2014 MiLB (AA and AAA) Stats -

W L SV G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO
3 7 0 22 20 100.1 88 54 44 6 57 84
ERA FIP WHIP BB% K% K/BB H9 BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP LOB%
3.95 4.40 1.45 13.1 19.3 1.47 7.9 0.243 0.355 0.326 0.681 0.293 68.5

2014 MLB Stats -

W L SV G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO
2 2 3 24 0 33 14 5 4 1 9 27
ERA FIP WHIP BB% K% K/BB H9 BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP LOB% fWAR
1.09 2.80 0.70 13.1 19.3 3.00 3.8 0.128 0.202 0.165 0.367 0.157 84.1 0.5

2015 Outlook -

If you would have asked me this question at the beginning of Spring Training, I would have said Sanchez was likely to break camp in the bullpen potentially as the closer. If Marcus Stroman hadn't torn his ACL, that would have probably been the case. Other injuries have now cemented Sanchez's status in the Opening Day rotation.

2. LHSP Daniel Norris - 22 years old, MLB Toronto

daniel norris

Photo courtesy of Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

2014 MiLB (A+, AA, AAA) Stats -

W L SV G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO
12 2 0 25 25 124.2 96 37 35 7 43 163
ERA FIP WHIP BB% K% K/BB H9 BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP LOB%
2.53 2.57 1.11 8.6 32.5 3.79 6.9 0.212 0.283 0.308 0.591 0.310 79.3

2014 MLB Stats -

W L SV G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO
0 0 0 5 1 6.2 5 4 4 1 5 4
ERA FIP WHIP BB% K% K/BB H9 BA OBP SLG OPS BABIP LOB% fWAR
5.40 6.13 1.50 16.7 13.3 0.80 6.8 0.208 0.333 0.333 666 0.200 69.8 -0.1

2015 Outlook -

Projecting Norris to crack the MLB roster on Opening Day is a bit of a stretch to some. In my eyes though, when the competition comes down to Daniel Norris and Marco Estrada, I think the choice is easy. My only issue, and may be something the team is concerned with as well, is having a pair of rookies in the rotation. Norris only has 65 innings at the AA level or above and could be the odd man out. That particular scenario would likely put Norris as the ace of the AAA Buffalo staff until injuries or struggles hit.

3. CF Dalton Pompey - 22 years old, MLB Toronto

dalton pompey

Photo courtesy of Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

2014 MiLB (A+, AA, and AAA) Stats -

PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO
500 441 84 140 22 9 9 51 43 7 52 84
G BB% SO% XBH BA OBP SLG OPS wRC+ wOBA ISO BABIP
113 10.4 16.8 40 0.317 0.419 0.486 0.905 145 0.393 0.152 0.374

2014 MLB Stats -

PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO
43 39 5 9 1 2 1 4 1 0 4 12
G BB% SO% XBH BA OBP SLG OPS wRC+ wOBA ISO BABIP fWAR
17 9.3 27.9 4 0.231 0.302 0.436 0.738 104 0.323 0.205 0.308 0.2

2015 Outlook -

It looks like the center field job is Pompey's to lose. The Jays unloaded Anthony Gose in the offseason to Detroit, and newly acquired outfielder Michael Saunders is down until after the season starts with a knee injury. Barring a Jackie Bradley Jr-esque faceplant in the majors, Pompey should have plenty of slack on the starting gig.

4 star

4. RHSP Jeff Hoffman - 22 years old, Disabled List (TJ Surgery)

5. C Max Pentecost - 22 years old, Disabled List (Shoulder Surgery)

6. RHSP Miguel Castro - 20 years old, AA New Hampshire

7. RHSP Sean Reid-Foley - 19 years old, GCL Blue Jays

8. 2B Devon Travis - 24 years old, AAA Buffalo

3.5 star

9. SS Richard Urena - 19 years old, A- Vancouver

10. RHSP Roberto Osuna - 20 years old, A+ Dunedin

11. LHSP Jairo Labourt - 21 years old, Low A Lansing

12. 2B/LF Dwight Smith - 22 years old, AA New Hampshire

13. 3B Mitch Nay - 21 years old, A+ Dunedin

14. LHSP Shane Dawson - 21 years old, A+ Dunedin

15. 1B Rowdy Tellez - 20 years old, Low A Lansing

16. 3B Andy Burns - 24 years old, AAA Buffalo

17. LHSP Matt Smoral - 21 years old, Low A Lansing

3 star

18. SS Dawel Lugo - 20 years old, Low A Lansing

19. LHSP Matt Boyd - 24 years old, AA New Hampshire

20. LHSP Ryan Borucki - 21 years old, Low A Lansing

Honorable Mentions (other 3 star players, in no particular order) - RHP Taylor Cole, RHP Chase DeJong, RHP Starlyn Suriel, RHP Alberto Tirado, RHP Chase Mallard, RHP Connor Greene, LHP Jake Brentz, C Dan Jansen, CF Anthony Alford, RHP Clinton Hollon, and  RHP Juan Meza.


Toronto Blue Jays Age Pos Team Stars
1 Aaron Sanchez 22 RHSP MLB 4.5
2 Daniel Norris 22 LHSP MLB 4.5
3 Dalton Pompey 22 CF MLB 4.5
4 Jeff Hoffman 22 RHSP DNP 4
5 Max Pentecost 22 C A- 4
6 Miguel Castro 20 RHSP A+ 4
7 Sean Reid-Foley 19 RHSP R 4
8 Devon Travis 24 2B AA 4
9 Richard Urena 19 SS A- 3.5
10 Roberto Osuna 20 RHSP A+ 3.5
11 Jairo Labourt 21 LHSP A 3.5
12 Dwight Smith 22 2B/LF A+ 3.5
13 Mitch Nay 21 3B A+ 3.5
14 Shane Dawson 21 LHSP A 3.5
15 Rowdy Tellez 20 1B A 3.5
16 Andy Burns 24 3B AA 3.5
17 Matt Smoral 21 LHSP A- 3.5
18 Dawel Lugo 20 SS A 3
19 Matt Boyd 24 LHSP AA 3
20 Ryan Borucki 21 LHSP A- 3

Team Codes: AAA - Buffalo Bisons, AA - New Hampshire Fisher Cats, A+ - Dunedin Blue Jays, A - Lansing Lugnuts, A- - Vancouver Canadians, R+ - Bluefield Blue Jays, R - Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, DSL - Dominican Summer League Blue Jays, DNP - Did Not Play