When you have to of the top prospects in the game, you are already ahead of the curve when it comes to overall team prospect rankings. Being so close to Dunedin, I spend quite a bit of time around their organization. The Jays have one of the deepest farm systems, full of bats that start out playing up the middle. They have been one of my favorite organizations to cover this past season.
- Vlad Guerrero, Jr., 3B AA
His hitting is unquestioned. He will produce Pujols/Cabrera/Frank Thomas type numbers. He is the best minor league hitter I have ever seen. While some question his body and his defense, I don’t. He is quick and athletic for his size. He won’t win any Gold Gloves but he will catch the balls that he gets to. A move to 1B is probably in the cards but I see no reason for the Jays to overpay Josh Donaldson with Vlad, Jr. waiting in the wings.
2.Bo Bichette, SS AA
Bo struggled to start 2018. Of course, when you spend most of 2017 flirting with .400, anything less than that seems like a struggle. Bo has plus plus bat speed and hand-eye coordination. He is at his best when he is letting the ball get deep and spraying line drives to RF. He is at his worst when he is trying to pull everything. He will sell out early in the count, but like Vlad, he is one of the more mature hitters with 2 strikes that you will find. He has the glove and arm to stick at SS. He will hit for more power as his body grows.
3. Nate Pearson, RHP, A+
Pearson has missed essentially all of 2018 after a freak injury left him with a broken ulna in his first start of the season. The good news is the cast is off and his range of motion is close to full range. When healthy, Pearson throws easy gas and features 4 potential plus pitches with command.
4. Jordan Groshans, SS, Rookie
The Jays 2018 1st round pick has huge raw power. He is a big kid with a projectable frame. He doesn’t look 18 and he doesn’t hit like a teenager. His size may move him to 3rd base, where his athleticism plays up. I don’t often pick scouts’ brains on players but when a scout asked me if I had seen him yet and then gushed about him, my ears perk up. Take this with a grain a salt, but this one scout in particular mentioned Jeter several times. From Groshan’s size and his ability to drive the ball to RCF to the way he moves defensively, Groshans is impressive specimen. Quite frankly, I dont think it’s fair to hype any young player with a Jeter comp, but if Groshans is a fraction of Jeter, the Jays got a steal.
5. Anthony Alford, OF AAA
I hate prospect fatigue and try to avoid the trap. However, at some point, a guy has to stay on the field and produce. Alford may be the best athlete in all of minor league baseball, but so far, he has not been able to translate success in High A to AA/AAA. More importantly, Alford needs to be healthy.
6. Danny Jansen, C AAA
Jansen should be catching in Toronto right now. He is a plus defender with a plus arm. He has excellent bat speed and consistently finds the barrel. He has sneaky power that should play up in the Rogers Centre.
7. Ryan Borucki, LHP MLB
Borucki is extremely polished and has already produced 2 really good starts in Toronto. He features a FB 91-92 with a devastating CH. He added a SL last season that he throw in any count and keeps lefties off his FB. This guy misses barrels, generating weak GB contact, that allows him to go deep into games. He is also one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.
8. Kevin Smith, SS A+
Last season’s 4th round pick out of Maryland has done nothing but rake since his debut. He has explosive bat speed and uses his lower half to generate loft and power. Smith also plays plus defense and has a strong arm. At some point the Jays will have to decide between Bichette or Smith at SS. Smith has the edge defensively.
9. Eric Pardinho, RHP, Rookie
Pardinho features 3 potential plus pitches with plus command. He is a bit undersized but the fact the Jays started him in the Appalachian League instead of the GCL speaks volumes for what they think about him.
10. Griffin Conine, OF, Rookie
Conine was the Cape Cod League MVP between his So./Jr. season at Duke. The son of former Marlin Jeff has big time power. His swing does get long and he gets pull happy. At one time he was considered the top college bat in the draft. The Jays certainly got a steal in round 2.
11. Sean Reid-Foley, RHP AAA
12. T.J. Zeuch, RHP AA
10 and 11 were a toss up between Reid-Foley and Zeuch. I go with Reid-Foley here because of the electric stuff. Reid-Foley misses bats and can rely on 97 if other pitches aren’t working. Zeuch on the other hand has better command but if he misses with anything up in the zone, it will get hit hard. Zeuch reminds me a bit of Doug Fister. He profiles as a solid back of the rotation SP that has the chance to dominate a line-up IF he stays down in the zone.
13. Miguel Hiraldo, SS/3B DSL
I saw a lot of Hiraldo in Extended Spring Training. He is a smaller guy with a sturdy, strong frame. He has an explosive bat and really attacks the ball. I was a bit suprised he was sent to the DSL but the Jays have so much depth up the middle. Defensively, he looked smooth at SS with a strong arm.
14. Cavan Biggio, UT, AA
Like his Hall of Fame father, Biggio is versatile. He can play 3B, 2B, 1B and both corner OF spots. Biggio’s swing is long at times but he has natural loft and a mature approach. Biggio’s power spike in 2018 does not necessarily surprise me. He put a jolt into a number of balls last season that died in the Dunedin humidity and still hit 13 HR. The increased power and BB rate has improved his average and makes him an intriguing utility piece going forward.
15. Ryan Noda, 1B/OF A
Noda is too good for Lansing. He has an elite eye with emerging power. He may not be athletic enough for any position but the one thing he will always do is see a ton of pitches and get on base.