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Toronto Blue Jays Top 20 2016 PRE-SEASON prospects, mid-season review

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Anthony Alford
Anthony Alford
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing with our mid-season organization reviews, we turn to the Toronto Blue Jays

Please remember, this is the PRE-SEASON LIST.

This is not a new list.

These are pre-season grades.

Ask questions about the current state of the system in the comments section.

This list was originally published December 30th, 2015

1) Anthony Alford, OF, Grade B/B+: Hitting just .217/.318/.336 with 12 steals, 31 walks, 81 strikeouts in 226 at-bats in High-A while fighting injuries; he hit .302/.380/.444 at the same level last year so this is disappointing but tools/athleticism remain impressive and he has been very hot lately.

2) Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Grade B-/B:
Hitting .292/.389/.498 in Double-A with 13 homers, 46 walks, 66 strikeouts in 295 at-bats in Double-A at age 21; easy adaptation to the high minors, demonstrates impressive feel for hitting to go with his power.

3) Richard Urena, SS, Grade B-/B:
Hitting .292/.338/.434 with 23 walks, 62 strikeouts in 373 at-bats in High-A at age 20; I wonder if he has the range for shortstop long-term but his bat is developing nicely.

4) Conner Greene, RHP, Grade B-:
20 starts between High-A and Double-A, combined for 3.14 ERA, 72/51 K/BB in 106 innings; effective overall but I'd like to see a higher strikeout rate and/or fewer walks as he moves forward; stock steady.

5) Vlad Guerrero, Jr, OF-3B, Grade B-:
Playing for Bluefield in the Appalachian League at age 17, hitting .252/.357/.412, showing impressive strike zone judgment and has stolen nine bases already in 30 games but hasn't fully tapped his power yet; that will come.

6) Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Grade B-: Strong season between Low-A and High-A, 2.53 ERA in 107 innings with 118/33 K/BB; reports on stuff are promising and his command has taken a significant step forward this year with a 50% reduction in walks; breaking out.

7) Jon Harris, RHP, Grade B-/C+:
Age 22, 2015 first round pick from Missouri State University, 90 innings between Low-A and High-A with combined 2.61 ERA, 76/28 K/BB; seems steady and reliable, potential mid-rotation arm but not as much upside as SR-F.

8) Justin Maese,RHP, Grade B-/C+:
2015 third round pick from high school in El Paso, Texas, very athletic, projectable, 2.65 ERA in 37 innings between short-season A and Low-A; 22/3 K/BB; throws strikes and velocity has picked up, secondary pitches still in progress; breakout candidate for next year.

9) Max Pentecost, C, Grade B-/C+:
Confined to DH role as shoulder injuries heal but hitting well, batting .307/.370/.462 in Low-A; need to see former college star and first round pick at higher levels and unknown how he'll respond with the arm once he gets back behind the plate.

10) D.J. Davis, OF, Grade C+:
Age 22, similar to Alford as toolsy outfielder with football background and super athleticism but skills aren’t nearly as refined, hitting .203/.284/.283 in High-A, 17 steals, 22 walks, 75 strikeouts in 212 at-bats; concerns about his swing mechanics pre-season look valid.

11) Clinton Hollon, RHP, Grade C+:
Suspended for positive drug test and hasn't pitched this year.

12) Angel Perdomo, LHP, Grade C+:
Very impressive season in Low-A, 2.97 ERA, 115/38 K/BB in 88 innings; throws quite hard and secondary pitches, command are improving; a bit older than the typical strong Low-A prospect at age 22.

13) Mitch Nay, 3B, Grade C+:
Injured all year, hasn't played.

14) Dwight Smith JR, OF, Grade C+/C:
Age 23, hitting .259/.309/.408 in Double-A, not much different than lats year's .265/.335/.376 at the same level; showing more power this year but at the expensive of OBP with no net increase in production. Tweener.

15) Matt Dean, 1B, Grade C
: Hitting .215/.294/.313 in Double-A at age 23, obviously unacceptable especially for a corner player; at age 23 he needs to make more progress soon.

16) Andy Burns, INF, Grade C:
Hitting .234/.291/.358 in Triple-A but was much better at the same level last year; age 25; I think he's better than this year's numbers indicate, at least as a possible utility infielder with versatility.

17) Taylor Cole, RHP, Grade C:
What I wrote before the year: Age 26, posted 4.06 ERA with 128/55 K/BB in 164 innings in Double-A, 174 hits. WARNING: Scouts don’t like him much, doesn’t throw hard for a right-hander, will not rank this highly on other lists if he even shows up on them. That said, he is similar at the same stage of his career to Matt Shoemaker and Chris Heston, older strike-throwing non-prospect right-handers who were durable and eventually made enough adjustments to be valuable, at least for a while. Put a competent defense behind this guy and something nice might happen.

This year Cole has a 4.33 ERA in 54 innings between High and Double-A with a 47/16 K/BB. Basically the view hasn't changed: he's a Grade C prospect and an older one at age 26 but he could still surprise at some point due to his control.

18) Shane Dawson, LHP, Grade C:
3.54 ERA in 94 innings in Double-A with 74/53 K/BB; has sleeper potential but walk rate is much higher this year and he doesn't have the pure stuff to get away with that as he moves up further.

19) Jose Espada, RHP, Grade C:
Age 19, fifth round pick from Puerto Rico this past spring in 2015; 7.54 ERA with 20/6 K/BB in 24 innings in rookie ball; too soon to tell much but he's projectable and young.

20) Joe Biagini, RHP, Grade C:
Very good bullpen year from 2015 Rule 5 pick; 2.48 ERA in 40 innings with 36/12 K/BB, 1.53 GO/AO; should hold middle relief job going forward.

OTHERS OF NOTE: Deiferson Barreto, 2B; Ryan Borucki, LHP; Travis Bergen, LHP; Yennsy Diaz, RHP; Roemon Fields, OF; Chad Girodo, LHP; Dan Jansen, C; Ryan McBroom, 1B; Blake McFarland, RHP; Rodrigo Orozco, OF; Reggie Pruitt, OF; Tom Robson, RHP; Hansel Rodriguez, RHP; Lane Thomas, INF; Carl Wise, 3B

That's how the pre-season view turned out. Discuss current happenings in the comments section.