We continue our mid-season organization reviews with a look at the Toronto Blue Jays Top 20 Prospects from the beginning of 2017. The index for other team reviews can be found here.
1) Vladimir Guerrero Jr, 3B, Grade B+: Age 18, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2015 for $3,900,000, you may have heard of his father; hitting .312/.406/.460 between Low-A and High-A, 45 walks against just 40 strikeouts; has made good progress with his defense at third base; upside: his dad with better strike zone judgment and a hot corner glove. Certainly a Grade A prospect now.
2) Sean Reid-Foley, RHP, Grade B+: Age 21, second round pick in 2014 from high school in Florida; 4.74 ERA in 82 innings in Double-A, 73/37 K/BB, 81 hits; not a great transition to Double-A but he’s young and the ERA overstates things a bit; main problem has been gopher balls, change in ground ball/fly ball tendency.
3) Richard Urena, SS, Grade B+: Age 21, signed out of Dominican Republic in 2012; hitting .245/.290/.368 in Double-A, 24 walks, 70 strikeouts in 359 at-bats; steady with the glove and showing gap power with 26 doubles; given youth still has substantial potential.
4) Lourdes Gurriel, Jr, INF-OF, Grade B: Age 23, Cuban, signed for $22,000,000 in November; opened season on disabled list; back now but hitting just .231/.260/.330 in 91 at-bats between High-A and Double-A; sample size too small to be meaningful especially given circumstances; I still don’t really know what to think of him.
5) Anthony Alford, OF, Grade B: Age 23, third round pick in 2012, mashed Double-A (.325/.411/.455), promoted to majors and broke hamate after eight at-bats; now on rehab assignment in High-A; a really fun player to watch with tremendous athleticism and improving skills; will have to see if hamate injury saps his power temporarily.
6) Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Grade B: Age 22, 30th round pick in 2013; hit .297/.387/.530 with 23 homers, 63 walks, 92 strikeouts in 438 at-bats in Double-A in 2016; 2017 has been much weaker at .206/.279/.329 in 298 at-bats in Triple-A; detailed scouting reports will be illuminating; too soon to give up but it is fair to note that there have always been doubters.
7) Jon Harris, RHP, Grade B-/B: Age 23, first round pick in 2015 from Missouri State; having some problems with Double-A transition, 5.18 ERA in 99 innings with 73/33 K/BB, 118 hits; like SRF, Harris has given up a lot of homers this year; he’s pitched better recently and may be making necessary adjustments.
8) T.J. Zeuch, RHP, Grade B-: Age 22, first round pick in 2016 from University of Pittsburgh; 3.23 ERA in 53 innings in High-A, 42/14 K/BB, showing expected polish; went on disabled list with undisclosed injury June 5th.
9) Conner Greene, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 22, seventh round pick in 2013; another guy struggling with Double-A transition, 4.73 ERA in 93 innings with 66/56 K/BB, 91 hits; in his case gopher balls aren’t the problem but too many walks are.
10) Justin Maese, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 20, third round pick in 2015 from high school in Texas; 4.24 ERA in 64 innings in Low-A, 54/20 K/BB; went on disabled list in June with undisclosed injury but is now on rehab assignment; can hit 96 but still working on secondaries.
11) Bo Bichette, SS, Grade B-/C+: Age 19, second round pick in 2016, son of Dante Bichette; ridiculous season, hitting .385/.444/.606 between Low-A and High-A and was over .400 for much of the spring; 15 steals, 32 doubles, 11 homers; maybe he doesn’t stay at shortstop long-term but with the bat that doesn’t really matter; has blown every expectation out of the water.
12) Angel Perdomo, LHP, Grade C+/B-: Age 23, signed out of Dominican way back in 2011; 3.73 ERA in 75 innings in High-A, 65/43 K/BB in 74 innings; went on disabled list July 8th with undisclosed injury; command the main issue here, high upside lefty.
13) J.B. Woodman, OF, Grade C+: Age 22, second round pick in 2016 from University of Mississippi; hitting .242/.323/.379 with 29 walks, 107 strikeouts in 248 at-bats in Low-A; on disabled list since July 3rd; Midwest League sources like physicality and power/speed potential but worry about approach, holes in swing.
14) Max Pentecost, C, Grade C+: Age 24, first round pick in 2014 out of Kennesaw State; career slowed by injuries; hitting .289/.344/.465 in High-A; splitting time between catcher and first base; he can hit but we still need to see how his defense pans out.
15) Joshua Palacios, OF, Grade C+: Age 21, fourth round pick in 2016 out of Auburn, nephew of former MLB player Rey Palacios; hitting just .233/.308/.309 in Low-A, disappointing following strong 2016 debut; like Woodman, there are tools here but he is less refined than the typical college bat.
16) Reese McGuire, C, Grade C+: Age 22, first round pick by the Pirates in 2013, acquired at trade deadline in 2016; missed most of this season with knee surgery; hitting .216/.311/.363 in 51 at-bats in Double-A, on rehab assignment right now; no change in profile, strong glove with questionable bat.
17) Harold Ramirez, OF, Grade C+: Age 22, signed by Pirates out of Colombia in 2011; came over at the 2016 deadline; hitting .258/.307/.356 in Double-A, disappointing after hitting.306/.351/.401 at the same level in 2016, still young of course.
18) Ryan Borucki, LHP, Grade C+/C: Age 23, 15th round pick in 2012, 3.58 ERA in 98 innings in High-A, 109/27 K/BB, 95 hits; looks ready to move up to Double-A.
19) Francisco Rios, RHP, Grade C+/C: Age 22, signed out of Mexico in 2012, 4.03 ERA in 67 innings in Double-A with 52/27 K/BB; went on disabled list yesterday with undisclosed injury.
20) Zach Jackson, RHP, Grade C+/C: Age 22, third round pick in 2016 from University of Arkansas; 2.86 ERA with 39/19 K/BB in 35 innings between Low-A and High-A with 23 hits allowed; classic bullpen stuff and approach.
OTHER GRADE C+/C:
Dwight Smith, OF: .277/.336/.399 in Triple-A, hit .370/.414/.444 in 27 major league at-bats; certainly worthy of more major league time.
Feel free to ask for about anyone mentioned above, anybody not on the pre-season list, and the 2017 draft. I’ll answer in the comments section.