Toronto Blue Jays Midseason Top 50 Prospects

Another frustrating season has gone off the rails and the window of contention that management hoped was still there last season has now passed. The move to start selling off players began in late June with the trading of Steve Pearce and continued up until the trade deadline with deals for J.A. Happ, Roberto Osuna, Seung-Hwan Oh, Aaron Loup and John Axford. We have already started to see some bright spots this year in the play of infielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and more recently pitcher Ryan Borucki. This is a top 5 system with many of the top prospects now into the higher levels so good things should be returning to Toronto again soon.

Prospects1500 Tiers:
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players who are worth keeping an eye on, but likely to never make a team’s 40-man roster

GRADUATED: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Previously #7), Ryan Borucki (previously #12), Dwight Smith Jr. (Previously #30)
TRADED: Connor Greene to St. Louis (Previously #13), Edward Olivares to San Diego (Previously #15)

Tier 1

1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B (Previously #1)
Age: 19 (DOB 03/16/99)
Currently with AAA Buffalo
The #1 prospect in all of baseball started the season at AA New Hampshire where he was five years younger than the league average. He was no match for the Eastern League as he slashed .402/.449/.671 with 14 HR, 60 RBI in 61 games. After missing time with a knee injury he was promoted to AAA Buffalo where he is 12 for 26 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 8 walks in his first 9 games. The Toronto fans are eagerly awaiting his arrival.

2. Bo Bichette, SS (Previously #2)
Age: 20 (DOB: 03/05/98)
Currently with AA New Hampshire
Bichette is so good some feel he is having a bad season because he is hitting only .282 after lofty numbers of .384 in 2017 and .427 in 2016. Relax everyone he is back on fire slashing .338/.372/.600 since the All-Star break. He leads the Eastern League in Total Bases with 201. One of the top 10 prospects in baseball.

Tier 2

3. Danny Jansen, C (Previously #8)
Age: 23 (DOB: 04/15/95)
Currently with AAA Buffalo
Having another outstanding season at AAA Buffalo as he awaits a call to Toronto to begin the transition of taking over catching duties from Russell Martin. He is slashing .273/.387/.472 with 12 HR and 56 RBI. The wait will end with a September call-up.

4. Anthony Alford, OF (Previously #3)
Age: 24 (DOB: 07/20/94)
Currently with AAA Buffalo
Alford has struggled all season at the plate after suffering a hamstring strain near the end of spring training. He is only slashing .225/.305/.335 with 5 HR and 13 SB at AAA Buffalo. He had a 7 game stint with Toronto early in the season going 2 for 14, He remains the best long-term option to make an impact in the Blue Jays outfield.

5. Nate Pearson, RHP (Previously #5)
Age: 21 (DOB: 08/20/96)
Currently on DL with Hi-A Dunedin
Unfortunately it has been a lost season for this high upside pitcher. He began the season with an oblique injury and then in his season debut he suffered a broken forearm when he was hit with a comebacker after throwing only 34 pitches.

6. Kevin Smith, SS (Previously #25)
Age: 22 (DOB: 07/04/96)
Currently with Hi-A Dunedin
An outstanding season has seen Smith rapidly move up this list. He has a great combination of power and speed. A slash line of .355/.407/.639 in A Lansing and a power surge of 13 HR since his promotion to Hi-A Dunedin in late May have combined to give him totals of .316/.374/.560 with 20 HR, 79 RBI and 26 SB across two levels this season.

7. Cavan Biggio, 2B (Previously Unranked)
Currently with AA New Hampshire
Age: 23 (DOB: 04/11/95)
Selected in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, Biggio has made the biggest leap of any prospect in the system this year. He is second in the Eastern League in HR (24), RBI (85) and OPS (.940) and Total Bases (189) hitting cleanup in a stacked AA New Hampshire lineup.

Tier 3:

8. Jordan Groshans, SS (Previously N/A)
Age: 18 (DOB: 11/10/99)
Currently with Rookie GCL Blue Jays
This high-schooler from Texas was the 12th overall pick in the 2018 draft. He has exploded out of the gate with 4 HR, 38 RBI and a slashline of .380/.439/.593 in his first 28 games in the GCL.

9. Sean Reid-Foley, RHP (Previously #4)
Age: 22 (DOB: 08/30/95)
Currently with AAA Buffalo
Having a good bounce back season after an up and down year in 2017. Reid-Foley was 5-0, 2.03 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in 8 starts to begin the year at AA New Hampshire prior to his promotion to AAA Buffalo in late May where he is 7-3 with a 3.49 ERA, 1.15 WHIP. He should be the next starter to debut in Toronto.

10. Eric Pardinho, RHP (Previously #20)
Age: 17 (DOB: 01/05/01)
Currently with Rookie Bluefield
Pitching in the APPY league at 17 years old, 3-4 years younger than the league average is a great story in itself but dominating is something else. 45 strikeouts and only 12 walks in 33 innings for a 3.32 ERA over 8 starts.

11. Miguel Hiraldo, SS (Previously #43)
Age: 17 (DOB: 09/05/00)
Currently with Rookie DSL Blue Jays
It’s only the DSL but Hiraldo is hitting .325/.391/.467 in 50 games. The glut of shortstops in the system is likely the only reason he has not yet been brought stateside. A move off of shortstop is likely in the future for the top-ranked player from the 2017 J2 class.

12. Forrest Wall, OF (Previously #12 Colorado)
Age: 22 (DOB: 11/20/95)
Currently with AA New Hampshire
Acquired from the Colorado in the Seung-Hwan Oh deal at the trade deadline. Wall was a first round pick of the Rockies in 2014. He was originally a second baseman but has transitioned to centre field over the past couple seasons. With 28 SB and 10 HR this season he is a good left-handed bat that brings both speed and power.

13. David Paulino, RHP (Previously #6 Houston)
Age: 24 (DOB: 02/06/94)
Currently on DL with AAA Buffalo
Acquired from Houston in the Roberto Osuna deal at the trade deadline. At the time of the trade he was on a rehab assignment in the GCL where he has made 3 starts while recovering from a shoulder injury. Health permitting he should get a September callup to Toronto. He is a major-league ready pitcher who made 6 starts last season for the Astros going 2-0 with a 6.52 ERA over 29 innings.

14. Griffin Conine, OF (Previously N/A)
Age: 21 (DOB: 07/11/97)
Currently with A Short Season Vancouver
Drafted in the second round of the 2018 draft in June. The son of former MLB player Jeff Conine is off to a strong start to his pro career slashing .274/.344/.496 with 5 HR while also earning a spot in the Northwest League all-star game.

15. Logan Warmoth, SS (Previously #6)
Age: 22 (DOB: 09/06/95)
Currently with Hi-A Dunedin
The first round pick from the 2017 draft has been slowed by injuries this season with two trips to the DL. In 59 games he is slashing .220/.306/.276 with 1 HR

16. T.J. Zeuch, RHP (Previously #10)
Age: 23 (DOB: 08/01/95)
Currently with AA New Hampshire
The first round pick from the 2016 draft is enjoying his best season as he continues to move up the ladder. Promoted to AA New Hampshire in May he is 7-4 with a 3.32 ERA in 16 starts earning a spot on the Eastern League all-star team.

17. Hector Perez, RHP (Previously #9 Houston)
Age: 22 (DOB: 06/06/96)
Currently with AA New Hampshire
Acquired from Houston in the Roberto Osuna deal at the trade deadline. Perez has electric stuff with a 96 mph fastball. He has 101 strikeouts in 89.1 IP this season. He was promoted by the Astros to AA in mid-July and in his debut with New Hampshire he took the loss giving up 3 hits, 2 walks in 5 innings, Across two levels this season he is 3-5 with a 3.72 ERA in 22 games (14 starts). Could be the closer of the future,

Tier 4:

18. Chad Spanberger, 1B (Previously #20 Colorado)
Age: 22 (DOB: 11/01/95)
Currently with Hi-A Dunedin
Acquired from Colorado in the Seung-Hwan Oh deal at the trade deadline. Spanberger has a lot of power with 23 HR and 80 RBI. He was leading the SALLY in OPS (.942) at the time of the trade. After 9 games at A Lansing he has already been promoted to Hi-A Dunedin.

19. Ryan Noda, OF (Previously #26)
Age: 22 (DOB: 03/30/96)
Currently with Class A Lansing
Noda is slugging his way to another excellent season slashing .261/.419/.475 with 15 HR and 67 RBI.

20. Adam Kloffenstein, RHP (Previously unranked)
Age: 17 (DOB: 08/25/00)
Still yet to be assigned
Drafted in the third round of the 2018 draft. Kloffenstein is a 6’5”, 220 lb. right hander with a 96 mph fastball and a lot of promise.

21. Billy McKinney, OF (Previously #13 NY Yankees)
Age: 23 (DOB: 08/23/94)
Currently with AAA Buffalo
Acquired from the Yankees in the J.A. Happ deal at the trade deadline. McKinney was the first round pick of the Oakland A’s back in 2011. Combined at AAA Scranton/Buffalo this season he has a slashline of .228/.296/.476 with 13 HR. He is major-league ready and will be in the mix for a starting outfield spot in 2019.

22. Richard Urena, SS (Previously #9)
Age: 22 (DOB: 02/26/96)
Currently with AAA Buffalo
Urena had an 11 game stint with Toronto this season where he hit .278/.278/.444 with 1 HR but he has only hit .213/.242/.324 with 4 HR at AAA Buffalo. Major-league ready he should be back up in September and added into the crowded infield mix.

23. Rowdy Tellez, 1B (Previously #11)
Age: 23 (DOB: 03/16/95)
Currently with AAA Buffalo
After struggling through a very tough year in 2017 he has rebounded with a solid season slashing .272/.344/.437 with 11 HR and 42 RBI in his second full season at AAA Buffalo.

24. Thomas Pannone, LHP (Previously #24)
Age: 24 (DOB: 04/28/94)
Currently with AAA Buffalo
We may have already seen a Toronto debut from Pannone by now had he not been suspended for 80 games (PED) to start the season. In 6 AAA starts he is 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA and a 9.8 K/9 and 1.7 K/9

25. Reese McGuire, C (Previously #21)
Age: 23 (DOB: 03/02/95)
Currently with AAA Buffalo
Solid defensively he is slashing.236/.320/.327 with 5 HR splitting time with Dan Jansen at catcher in Buffalo

26. Orelvis Martinez, SS (Previously unranked)
Age: 16 (DOB: 11/19/01)
Still yet to be assigned
Martinez was given the largest signing bonus of the entire J2 class at $3.5M. He was ranked at #4 on the MLB.com international list. Reports say he has a chance to be an above-average hitter

27. Santiago Espinal, SS (Previously #42 Boston)
Age: 23 (DOB: 11/13/94)
Currently with AA New Hampshire
Acquired from Boston for Steve Pearce in late June has a slashline of .278/.328/.426 since being promoted to AA New Hampshire. He was enjoying a breakout season at Hi-A Salem prior to the trade slashing .313/.363/.477 with 7 HR.

28. Max Pentecost, C (Previously #13)
Age: 25 (DOB: 03/10/93)
Currently with AA New Hampshire
Healthy for the entire season his slashline is .223/.261/.337 with 4 HR while catching the majority of the games for AA New Hampshire.

29. Riley Adams, C (Previously #22)
Age: 22 (DOB: 06/26/96)
Currently with Hi-A Dunedin
Leading the organization throwing out 47% of base stealers while slashing .235/.337/.358 with 4 HR, 38 RBI.

30. Samad Taylor, 2B (Previously #40)
Age: 20 (DOB: 07/11/98)
Currently with Class A Lansing
Speedy infielder has a slashline of .228/.322/.374 , 6 HR, 42 RBI, 39 SB in his first full season league.

31. Harold Ramirez, OF (Previously #23)
Age: 23 (DOB: 09/06/94)
Currently with AA New Hampshire
Ramirez is nearing the end of a third full season at the AA level and finally showing the promise that he had in the lower minors earlier in his pro career. A strong second half has pushed his slashline up to .309/.363/.454. With little more to prove in the minors a September call-up is a possibility.

32. Justin Maese, RHP (Previously #16)
Age: 21 (DOB: 10/24/96)
Currently on DL with Hi-A Dunedin
Has yet to play in 2018 and will miss the entire season with a shoulder injury.

33. Chavez Young, OF (Previously unranked)
Age: 21 (DOB: 07/08/97)
Currently with Class A Lansing
The 2016 39th round selection out of the Bahamas continues to exceed all expectations slashing .282/.350/.435 with 6 HR, 46 RBI and 27 SB. He was named to the Midwest League all-star team.

34. Jon Harris, RHP (Previously #19)
Age: 24 (DOB: 10/16/93)
Currently with AA New Hampshire
Harris has rebounded from a disappointing 2017 season. The first round pick from 2015 has cut down on the walks in his second season with AA New Hampshire leading to a 9-4 record and 4.73 ERA. He also had two good starts with AAA Buffalo in late-June.

35. Hagen Danner, C (Previously #18)
Age: 19 (DOB: 09/03/98)
Currently with Rookie Level Bluefield
Hitting .279/.421/.361 in his second season with Bluefield.

36. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP (Previously #17)
Age: 25 (DOB: 12/01/92)
Currently with AAA Buffalo
Former first rounder from 2011 recently returned to the Buffalo bullpen after spending a month on the DL. Prior to that he made 7 starts with mixed results going 1-0 with a 4.11 ERA.

37. Mc Gregory Contreras, OF (Previously unranked)
Age: 19 (DOB: 08/30/98)
Currently with A short season Vancouver
Starting to look like a pretty good investment, he was signed for $10,000 in the same J2 class that the Blue Jays gave some guy named Vlad $3.9M. His 7 home runs are the most hit by a Vancouver player since 2015. He has a slashline of .254/.3o9/.514.

38. Jordan Romano, RHP (Previously #35)
Age: 25 (DOB: 04/21/93)
Currently with AA New Hampshire
He leads the AA team with a 10-5 record, 3.43 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 115.1 innings. A rollercoaster season has seen him post 8 straight victories in April/May before making one spot start with AAA Buffalo. When he returned to AA New Hampshire he had a very rough month of June going 0-4 with a 7.52 ERA but has since turned things back around.

39. Yennsy Diaz, RHP (Previously #38)
Age: 21 (DOB: 11/15/96)
Currently with Hi-A Dunedin
Diaz has been impressive this season, he was promoted to Hi-A Dunedin in late May after dominating the Midwest League going 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA. In Dunedin he has a 3.95 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.

Tier 5

40. Gabriel Moreno, C (Previously unranked)
Age: 18 (DOB: 02/14/00)
Currently with Rookie Bluefield
Unheralded signing from the 2016 J2 class, Moreno was having an outstanding season leading the Gulf Coast league in hitting .413/.455/.652 when he was recently moved up to Bluefield.

41. Leonardo Jimenez, SS (Previously #44)
Age: 17 (DOB: 05/17/01)
Currently with Rookie GCL Blue Jays
Top J2 signing from 2016 IFA class is just getting started slashing .259/.341/.362 in the Gulf Coast League. He is a strong defensive shortstop.

42. Angel Perdomo, LHP (Previously #27)
Age: 24 (DOB: 05/07/94)
Currently with Hi-A Dunedin
Injuries have slowed his progress over the years but healthy this season he has pitched well with 3.63 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 18 games (12 starts). Getting old for the level, a move up to AA is overdue.

43. Sean Wymer, RHP (Previously N/A)
Age: 21 (DOB: 03/19/97)
Currently with A short season Vancouver
Selected in the fourth round of the 2018 draft out of TCU. Wymer is 3-2 with a 4.64 ERA in 8 appearances (4 starts) to begin his pro career.

44. Jonathan Davis, OF (Previously #37)
Age: 26 (DOB: 05/12/92)
Currently with AAA Buffalo
After enjoying a breakout season with AA New Hampshire where he was leading the Eastern League in runs scored (68) and second in hits (92) he was promoted to AAA Buffalo in mid-July. At 26, he could be in line for a September call-up and should be in the mix for the 4th outfielder job in Toronto for 2019.

45. Kevin Vicuna, SS (Previously #28)
Age: 20 (DOB: 01/14/98)
Currently with Class A Lansing
.266/.307/.358 with 37 RBI in his second season at Class A Lansing.

46. Zach Jackson, RHP (Previously #34)
Age: 23 (DOB: 12/25/94)
Currently with AA New Hampshire
Having a great season out of the AA bullpen, 2-2, 3 SV, 2.79 ERA, 11.2 K/9. With the Toronto bullpen in flux a late-season call up to see what they have here is not out of the question.

47. Joshua Palacios, OF (Previously #29)
Age: 23 (DOB: 07/30/95)
Currently with Hi-A Dunedin
.275/.341/.376 with 5 HR and 56 RBI mostly hitting leadoff in Hi-A Dunedin all season.

48. Addison Barger, SS (Previously unranked)
Age: 18 (DOB: 11/12/99)
Currently with Rookie GCL Blue Jays
Florida high schooler drafted in the sixth round in 2018 draft is hitting .197/.303/.303 in first season of pro ball.

49. John Aiello, 3B (Previously unranked)
Age: 21 (DOB: 02/14/97)
Currently with Rookie Bluefield
Drafted in fourteenth round in the 2018 draft after leading Wake Forest in HR(9) and RBI (40). He has started off his pro career .273/.429/.409 thru first 12 games with Bluefield

50. Maverik Buffo, (Previously #32)
Age: 22 (DOB: 09/15/95)
Currently with Hi-A Dunedin
After going 9-3 with a 4.26 ERA with class A Lansing he was promoted to Hi-A Dunedin in July where he is 3-2, 4.76 ERA in 6 starts.


PLAYERS PUSHED OUT OF TOP 50 WITH RECENT TRADE DEADLINE ACQUISITIONS

51. Francisco Rios, RHP (Previously #33)
Age: 23 (DOB: 05/06/95)
Currently on rehab assignment with GCL Blue Jays
Struggled in his second season with AA New Hampshire going 0-4 with a 9.91 ERA and 2.21 WHIP in 8 starts before going on DL in May.

52. Maximo Castillo, RHP (Previously unranked)
Age: 19 (DOB: 05/04/99)
Currently with Class A Lansing
Having a good season in his first year with a full season schedule. 8-5 with a 4.96 ERA, 7.7 K/9

53. Patrick Murphy, RHP (Previously #41)
Age: 23 (DOB:06/10/95)
Currently with Hi-A Dunedin
After injuries hampered the start of his career, former third round pick from the 2013 draft is finally having a breakout year going 8-4 with a 2.58 ERA in 21 starts. He made one spot start with AA New Hampshire in May giving up 4 hits in 6 IP.

54. Connor Panas, OF (Previously #36)
Age: 25 (DOB: 02/11/93)
Currently with AA New Hampshire
Numbers are down from 2017 with the move to AA, .237/.293/.375, 8 HR, 32 RBI

55. Juan Kelly, 1B (Previously #46)
Age: 24 (DOB: 07/16/94)
Currently on DL with AA New Hampshire
Struggling this season with .224 AVG but on pace for a career high in HR with 11, needing only one more to match his career-high 2016 total.

56. Tim Lopes, 2B (Previously #49)
Age: 24 (DOB: 06/24/94)
Currently with AAA Buffalo
.274/.322/.368 with 13 SB playing both second and third base with AAA Buffalo

OTHERS FROM PRE-SEASON LIST
Reggie Pruitt, OF (Previously #39) – Currently with Class A Lansing .209/.302/.277, 27 SB
Roemon Fields, OF (Previously #42) – Currently with AAA Buffalo .238/.307/.297, 23 SB
Ivan Castillo, 3B (Previously #45) – Currently with Hi-A Dunedin .304/.345/.412
Eduard Pinto, OF (Previously #47) – Currently with AA New Hampshire .256/.291/.366
Yeltsin Gudino, 2B (Previously #50) – Currently with Hi-A Dunedin .239/.307/.256

RELEASED – D.J. Davis, OF (Previously #31)
RETIRED – Bradley Jones, 2B (Previously #48)

 

Featured image of Bo Bichette – photo credit Scott Greene (@Scotty_Ballgame)

2 Comments

    • thanks Rob. Yes Bergen is having an outstanding season in the NH bullpen, giving up only 1 ER since May 1. I tend to downgrade relievers as they are mostly just filler in dynasty leagues until you actually see them working high-leverage innings in the majors. He’ll be on the 2019 pre-season list, especially if he earns a September call-up next month. Closer of the future? Who knows at this point?

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