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The Batters Box top 30 prospect list is not updated until after the end of the season but today I look at some potential comings and goings off the list. Buffalo and New Hampshire both had the day off for their respective all-star games. Jason Leblebijian represented the Jays in the AAA game, we went 0-4. The AA contingent were more successful. Each of Gunnar Heidt, Ryan McBroom and Danny Jansen had a hit. Jansen also walked. Conner Greene pitched two innings and picked up four strikeouts while allowing two hits. Dusty Isaacs struck out the side in the eighth. In the affiliate games that were played Bo Bichette, David Jacob and Ryan Noda hit home runs.

Now that it is mid-July lets take a look at the Blue Jays top 30 prospects. I do not keep a running list of who is in or out so we will do this on the fly.

If we look at last years top 30 there are several players who status on the list is in doubt. The easy one is Danny Barnes, he will lose his eligibility based on his major league time. Players who have not lived up to expectations include Josh Palacios, JB Woodman, Harold Ramirez and Reggie Pruitt. On the pitching side Shane Dawson, last years number 30, will likely drop off. Of those mentioned Palacios has had an injury plagued season with occasional flashes of good performances. And Reggie Pruitt has just started playing in short season ball. They could improve their chances to retain their spot with strong showings over the next six to seven weeks.

There are some other players who haven't disappointed but whose stock has dropped. In this list I would put Cavan Biggio, Jose Espada, Ryan McBroom and Reece McGuire. These are bubble players who need good second halves to retain their places.

In total I have mentioned ten players who are out of the top 30 or on the bubble. Who could take their places?

First we have the 2017 draft crop. Last year six draftees made the list and somewhere between five and seven is a likely number. Logan Warmoth, Riley Adams and Kevin Smith, among others, would make the top 30.

Outside of the draft some players have surprised in a positive way. In AAA Chris Rowley and Jason Leblebijian will need to be looked at closely. Ian Parmley has had a good year but I think he will fall short of the list. Roemon Fields has had a good year. If he keeps hitting well over .300 he could get a September call-up and who knows? It is tough for a reliever to make the list but if Carlos Ramirez can keep pitching the way he has in New Hampshire when he has not been injured he will get a look. Andrew Guillotte will also be under consideration.

Jordan Romano has one of the strongest claims on a top 30 slot while Josh De Graaf could sneak in if he continues to pitch well. Andrew Olivares has been discussed a lot recently on Da Box, he has a good chance. Yennsy Diaz and Kevin Vicuna will be in the mix. In Bluefield, Chavez Young and Ryan Gold are playing well in a small sample so far.

In the short season teams the Jays have a lot of very young arms who are around 19 to 21 years old. They are probably too young to get a read on their potential yet so most of them will have to move up before they come under consideration for the top 30. Dominic Abbadessa, Jose Theran and Joseph Reyes are also off to good starts but also likely too young.

I listed ten players as likely to drop off. I also mentioned that around six draftees could make it. That leaves just four spots to be filled. I have mentioned 13 players as having a shot at those four spots. Romano and Olivares would be the favourites to take two of those, the rest is up for grabs in the next seven weeks. Picking this years top 30 will be trickier than the last couple of years.

That's my read on it, who am I missing?

Elsewhere, Bo Bichette hit his first home run for Dunedin. He finished going 2-4. Vladdy Jr. was 0-4 with two strikeouts. Anthony Alford was 0-3 in his first rehab start. DJ Davis went 2-3 with a walk. In Lansing Kyle Weatherly couldn't get out of the first inning. He gave up six runs, five earned and has a 67.50 ERA. >

David Jacob had two hits for Vancouver, one of them was a grand slam. Brock Lundquist joined him in the two hit club. Wilfri Aleton did not have a good appearance, he came on in relief and gave up six runs.

Ryan Noda hit a two run home run for Bluefield and added another hit. His average is .507 but is there a place for him in Vancouver? Kacy Clemens is handling first there. Yorman Rodriguez had two hits while Ryan Gold was hitless. In the battle of catchers batting average Gold leads Rodriguez .372 to .362.

Finally, to help you feel old, Felipe Castaneda, who was born in the year 2000, had six strikeouts in 3.2 innings in the GCL today. He now has 12 K's in 10.1 innings. Naswell Paulino, also born in 2000, pitched four innings today in the DSL. He was charged with three runs and had just one K.

3 Stars

3rd star: Felipe Castaneda

2nd star: Bo Bichette

1st star: David Jacob


Top 30 Prospect Musings | 55 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
PeterG - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 09:37 AM EDT (#345217) #
Edward Olivares might make the top 30? How about top 10? I saw new TSN Top 10 rate Max Pentecost as #10. Imo. Olivares is a better prospect than Max in every way. We must not be negatively influenced by the fact he was not on the radar last year. Olivares is 3 years younger than Max. He is a better hitter, a better base runner and far better defensively. What more does he need to do to get fair recognition? Look at those previously ranked 11-20 and tell me who looks better. Ryan Borucki is the only possibility imo but I would still go with Edward.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#345218) #
Noda is 21.  He wasn't a great hitter in his collegiate career, but perhaps he has made some adjustments since the draft.  He's like the batting equivalent of Kevin Pillar- he is going to have show the club at each level that he can buck the odds. 

Whatever is going on, he is definitely destroying the Appy League.  He has the best numbers in the league by a mile.

Marc Hulet - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#345219) #
I agree that Olivares is in the Top 10 for me. He's a 20-20 threat (HR-SB) and can play all three OF spots. He's also leading the Midwest in outfield assists (13!). The only thing he doesn't do well is walk, which could come with time. He has the 3rd most homers in the league, the 5th most doubles (tied with Vlad, Bichette was 1st), tied for the most triples, tied for 7th most steals. The Jays clearly saw something they liked in the spring because he got a number of appearances with the big club in camp despite never playing above short-season ball and missing almost all of last year due to injury.
Gerry - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#345220) #
John Lott talks to Ryan Borucki for the Athletic and apparently this story is unlocked. Mark Buehrle's name comes up a few times.
bpoz - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#345221) #
Thanks Gerry for opening up this discussion. It is a lot of fun.

There is more than 1 top 30 list. They probably don't differ much. There is 1 list that I can find easily. In it Bichette is ranked #5. Behind Vlad, SRF, Alford and Urena. I place him 4th and Urena 5th.

Bichette is having the best season of anyone in the organization. However Vlad has the hit tool, great at getting walks and projects to have a lot more power than Bichette. SRF projects at a V good SP, and those are needed. Alford hits for average so far and has all the tools. Offense, defense, speed, arm and power.
SK in NJ - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#345223) #
I recall Atkins raving about Borucki around the time he was added to the 40-man roster. I'm looking forward to seeing his development. Buehrle was one of my favorite pitchers so that's a good pitcher to emulate.
uglyone - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#345224) #
olivares seems like a good candidate for top 15 but i'd hesitate to move him up much higher as he's been a tad old for his levels and his line is very good but has some holes in it. but if his defense has legit plus upside in CF then i could be being too conservative.

But i think i would still have these guys ahead of him:

B: Vlad, Bo, Alford, Urena, Rowdy, Jansen, Warmoth, (Gurriel?)
P: SRF, Maese, Zeuch, Greene, Pearson, (Rios?)
PeterG - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#345225) #
I would not put Rowdy, Maese, Greene or Pearson (too much unknown) ahead of Olivares. Rios is completely out of the question.

You are being more than a tad conservative Ugly. If you have time, listen to a couple of Lansing games and you might well change your mind. Did you see Olivares in ST?

Olivares is a touch young for his level, not old. And remember that he hardly played at all last year.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#345226) #
The average age in the Midwest is 22 so Olivares is actually a year young for the league.

For me, Reid-Foley and especially Greene are future relievers - likely high-leverage - but relievers nonetheless.

I would personally rank Urena below Olivares. Urena is two levels higher but he had success only one level ahead (admittedly at a younger age). I'm not sold that he's going to be an impact player.
85bluejay - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 12:09 PM EDT (#345227) #
For me, Olivares is an easy top 10, maybe top 5 by the end of the season.
Kudos to the Cubs & White Sox for hooking up on a big trade & ignoring the cross-town nonsense - Now Jays, don't be afraid to market your players to the Yankees & Red Sox.
uglyone - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 12:11 PM EDT (#345228) #
Sure but average league age isn't a good bar for legit propects imo. That includes half the league being vet filler.

from my experience of good prospects 20 is the "right" age for A, 21 for A+, 22 for AA. any older than that and it gets a bit suspect imo. any younger and it gets more promising.

Urena is imo a good example of the difference. He's the same age as olivares but 2 levels higher. he put up the same numbers a level higher and a year younger than olivares just last year, with similar strengths and weaknesses. For me I can't see Olivares being the better prospect for doing something less impressive than what urena was doing just last year, despite urena struggling while playing 2 levels higher this year. For me, olivares is still playing catchup in this comp.

bpoz - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#345229) #
Speaking of age Tellez is in AAA at a young age. He moved fast and earned his way to AAA. Some struggles are acceptable.

So many other young players are struggling in AA. I give them a pass. After half or all of next year I expect a big improvement.
uglyone - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#345231) #
What levels are the good prospects at at age 21?

Osuna: MLB
Sanchez: AA, AAA, and MLB
Pompey: A+, AA, AAA, and MLB
Tellez: AA
Urena: AA
Greene: A+ and AA
Alford: A+
Zeuch: A+
Jansen: A+

being 21 in low-A is a little old. a comparable would be a guy like Rios absolutely dominating lansing last year at 21 and then having a very good 2nd half in A+. Olivares hasn't even matched that yet, though for me he's put himsslf in that kind of company at least.
hypobole - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#345234) #
Has Pearson pitched yet, or is he at extended or injured?

Has anyone ever hit as poorly as Rowdy in AAA and actually had a decent major league career?
SK in NJ - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#345235) #
"Now Jays, don't be afraid to market your players to the Yankees & Red Sox."

Time for a Donaldson/Devers trade.
85bluejay - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#345236) #
"Has anyone ever hit as poorly as Rowdy in AAA and actually had a decent major league career?"

Well hypobole, based on the comments of some posters here, I'm told that the hall of fame has already ordered Rowdy's plaque.

"Time for a Donaldson/Devers trade" - I say Amen to that - unfortunately, I don't think Shapiro & Co. have the cojones to withstand the fan backlash.
jerjapan - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#345237) #
"based on the comments of some posters here, I'm told that the hall of fame has already ordered Rowdy's plaque"

What are you talking about?  this sounds like a total straw man. 
uglyone - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#345240) #
remember jer it's only the nerdy statswatchers favored prospects that bust, never the toolsyscouters favored prospects.

so every time a stats prospect goes bad, we must mock stats scouting. but never condemn tools scouting when their guys bust.
CeeBee - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#345241) #
"What are you talking about? this sounds like a total straw man."
Or baiting or trolling. Not really necessary on this fine site IMO.
hypobole - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#345242) #
Didn't mean to start a sarcasm war, I thought maybe someone actually had an answer.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#345243) #
For Top 30 I also have a soft spot for Yorman Rodriguez - .362 average in Bluefield and 5 Ks in 17 games. Kid can hit... and he's playing more catcher than ever. And has thrown out 27% of base runners so far. A hit tool like that is hugely valuable if he can perform ok as a catcher.
85bluejay - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#345244) #
Marc Hulet, I like Yorman Rodriguez too - but he played so much 1b last year that it seem to indicate that his defense wasn't well regarded - Also, how does he compare with another guy I like, Ryan Gold.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#345245) #
Agreed on the 1b but it's the fact he's playing more C this year and making strides (at least through the SB/CS)... It would really depend on how the other 29 spots play out but I could see him sneaking into the 27-30 range if there was a club official or scout out there that saw some potential in the defence... I've heard some questions about Gold's ability to stick to... He has more power than Yorman but less feel for the hit tool. Those guys are probably pretty close value wise right now.
Nigel - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#345246) #
Yorman Rodriquez unfortunately is Juan Kelly all over again. Fantastic hit tool but with limited walks and power and absolutely no position on the diamond to play. He is still mostly DHing. He's generously listed at 5'10" which means he can't play 1B. In his pre-season description of the players on the radio the C's manager was politely dismissive of his C skills (when asked about him at C, he said something to the effect that we like him with a bat in his hands). I just don't see his path forward. But, I agree, his hit tool looks to be excellent.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#345247) #
Didn't mean to start a sarcasm war, I thought maybe someone actually had an answer.

As a Tellez' booster, I thought that I should have a look (I know, hypobole, that you weren't being nasty).  It's really hard to search historical minor league statistics, in order to find offence-first players who had a bad year at triple A at age 22.  There haven't been that many players who are in triple A at age 22 for one thing.  The average age is over 27 and there are many clubs that don't have anyone under the age of 24.  Back in the day, it would have been very common for a player who hit double A pitching as well as Tellez did at age 21 to find themselves on the major league roster at age 22.  I suppose you could search the Lahman database- I'd start with players of age 22 who had batting averages under .250 and see what I got. 
jester00 - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#345248) #
For those down on Tellez, there are a couple of points to factor in (disclaimer - I'm a huge Tellez booster)

He's been young for every stop he's made (many times by at least 2 years). What's he's done at each of those stops from an offensive standpoint (firmly in my mind at least) puts him in the top 10 of Jays prospects.

The other big factor that I don't think should be ignored (not sure if its been mentioned on this site or not) is what he's had to deal with on a personal level this year.

For those that don't know, have a read. He's struggling in his first go round at AAA, no doubt. But he's young with an outstanding track record, I'm expecting him to come around.
85bluejay - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#345249) #
With the emergence of Smoak & the presence of Morales, there's no place for Tellez - it might be in Tellez best interest to regain some confidence in AA & try AAA again next year, after all he has time on his side.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#345250) #
Morales' presence has little to do with it. If Tellez turns it around, he will win a job at some point. If he doesn't turn it around, he won't.

Actually Pearce would be a higher bar to hurdle for Tellez.
Super Bluto - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#345251) #
Bichette with 2 hits so far tonight is back up to .400.

Phew! I was getting worried.

Nigel - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#345252) #
From last year's top 30 I think that there are some easy guys to drop: Barnes, Woodman, Ramirez, Pruitt, Dawson, McBroom, and Murphy.

Easy guys to add: Warmoth, Pearson, Ch. Young, Y. Diaz, Rowley and Romano

Bubble to Drop/Add: Gudino, Vicuna, Z. Jackson, Espada, Biggio, Harris and Palacios
Gerry - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#345253) #
Andrew Guillotte is up with Buffalo. No Dalton Pompey in the lineup, he last played on Saturday, did not play Sunday before the all-star break.
Gerry - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 08:08 PM EDT (#345254) #
Bichette now 3-3. Vlad has his first hit in the FSL too.
scottt - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#345258) #
Kudos to the Cubs & White Sox for hooking up on a big trade & ignoring the cross-town nonsense - Now Jays, don't be afraid to market your players to the Yankees & Red Sox.

As much as I'd like to grab the top 2 or 3 prospects from either Boston or New-York, that's a completely different scenario, although maybe there's a Yankees/Mets trade  brewing.
scottt - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#345259) #
Guillotte looks like a super-utility type.  The OBP is decent this year. How is his defense?
aarne13 - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#345260) #
Brandon Grudzielanek signs NDFA? any relation to the ex-Expo?
ayjackson - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#345261) #
His son.
jerjapan - Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#345262) #
Great thread guys, can't think of any names missing.  I'm like Gerry - I can't get a feel for the short season guys unless they were high profile signings and off to an excellent start like Reyes. 

Christian Lopes has to be another name to remove, even though he's having the exact same season he always has.  It's a good sign that guys like him, McBroom and Smith Jr. are all out of the top 30 despite decent numbers year after year. 

Bradley Jones would have been a contender but he imploded when promoted and went hitless in his 8 games before landing on the DL.  Any word on the injury?

Hypobole, I'd be interested to see the answer to your question about Rowdy as well ... I'm guilty of following our system way more than others, but I certainly can't think of a Jays example.  That said, I still like the kid and think the family struggle with cancer that Jester linked to would be a tremendous challenge to a young man that age.  Heck, any age. 

Nigel - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 01:26 AM EDT (#345263) #
I was at the Nat tonight for Warmoth's first game. He bumped Vicuna from the line-up. Not sure what Vicuna's future role will be going forward. After one viewing, I will offer only one comment - he's a pretty small guy. He's listed at 6" - 180lbs. He stood next to Cullen Large several times tonight. Large is (based on his size relative to others on the C's) listed at 6'/175 and that seems legitimate. Warmoth is a couple of inches smaller and at least 10-15lbs lighter than Large. I'd guess Warmoth is closer to 5'10" and 160-165. Admittedly, that means nothing.

A couple of other random notes. Pruitt made one of the best catches I've ever seen live. Running into deep left-center and making a catch on a full out, full speed dive. Although his 2B was on a weakly hit little humpback liner over the 1B, he also didn't look totally lost at the plate. He showed some better discipline in a couple of long ABs. Progress.

Adams is a big guy at C. He's 6'4/225. But he's athletic. He hit a hot smash down to 3B that wasn't fielded cleanly but the ball only fell a couple of feet away. Adams was able to beat the throw to 1B. Very few catchers could have beaten that out for a hit. I haven't got a good handle on his D yet but nothing terrible jumps out at me. He has the most severely angled (rather than square) receiving position I've ever seen in a C. I'm not sure how that will work for blocking balls going forward but that's a minor thing. He's definitely mashing in Vancouver.

A very fun night at the ballpark.
scottt - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 06:37 AM EDT (#345265) #

Glevin - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 07:36 AM EDT (#345268) #
Stats do matter in the minors especially for hitters and especially in the upper minors, but scouting also matters. Some people were upset that Tellez wasn't ranked closely to Bellenger because of their similar AA numbers but obviously, in retrospect, they were ranked appropriately. Someone can be raking at A ball but if their swing can't catch up to a 93 MPH fastball, they are going to get exposed very quickly as they move up. If they can't hit decent breaking balls, they will be exposed. Those are things that simply will not show up in stats. I am not close to giving up on Tellez but he's definitely gone backwards this year and in some very concerning ways. He's still young it's just that being a poor fielding 1B/DH type, he has so little margin for error.

uglyone - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#345271) #
and some people were upset that Betts was ranked far behind Buxton.

jerjapan - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#345276) #
Scouting reports (free content) from BP on Bichette and Biggio.  I'm not super familiar with the 20-80 scouting scale, but the results strike me as a bit low on Bichette?

Speaking of prospects, the White Sox are ridiculous.  Their NINTH best guy according to MLB is Zach Collins - also listed as the 68th best prospect in the game. 
uglyone - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#345279) #
Bo is no scouts' dream, that's for sure. even statistically there are warning signs despite his great line. but man has he been insanely good so far anyways.
hypobole - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#345281) #
Law's midseason Top 50 has Vlad 8 and Bo 34

Vlad might be his father with patience. He's already outperforming his dad in several key areas while playing in low-A at a year younger than when the elder Vlad was there. He's OK at third base now, but his body is already big and he'll have to work on conditioning to stay on the dirt.

Bichette has a big bat-wrap and almost wild approach, but he has outstanding hand-eye coordination and plus bat speed, allowing him to hit .384/.448/.623 before a promotion to high-A earlier this week. He's most likely a second baseman in the long term.
Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#345282) #
I don't know.  I love that scouting report on Bichette.  A 19 year old with above-average bat speed, good command of the strike zone and recognition of secondary offerings, ability to barrel consistently and room to grow into his power sounds like a first-rate batting prospect to me.  If you throw in that he has a high baseball IQ on the bases, and may be able to stay at shortstop and certainly can play second base (solid, accurate arm, quick transfers, average range), that's a Grade A prospect in low A ball.  All you really want to see from him is how he does as he moves up.  
hypobole - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#345283) #
jerjapan here's a good read on the 20-80 scale
jerjapan - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#345287) #
Thanks Hypobole, that's a great primer.  It's Bichette's Overall Future Potential 60 (plus) / Realistic Potential 50 (average regular) scores that threw me a bit.  He could arguably be our best prospect right now - that seems like a conservative projection to me. 

Mike Green, do you focus on the descriptions more than the numerical score? 
Mike Green - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#345291) #
Mike Green, do you focus on the descriptions more than the numerical score?

Yes.  I find that scouts' biases get wrapped into a score in a way I can't see- against short starting pitchers or players with unusual swings, for instance.
Gerry - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#345295) #
No Pompey again for the Bisons tonight.
PeterG - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#345296) #
Shi Davidi said earlier that he had tweaked his knee again.
hypobole - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#345297) #
Where's Nate Pearson?
Gerry - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#345298) #
If a pitcher has thrown a lot of innings before the draft the teams often dial it back for them. I would guess you will see him pitch an inning in the GCL soon.
hypobole - Friday, July 14 2017 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#345299) #
Thanks, Gerry.
ayjackson - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#345306) #
Somebody should flush Pompey down the toilet...should have maxed his value by flipping him at the deadline two years ago. You have to wonder if he can ever stay healthy.
scottt - Saturday, July 15 2017 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#345311) #
Could be that he will need some knee surgery but that they're waiting until the end of the year to look at it.

Speed is the opposite of power. It's maxed out from the start and it can start to decline very early.

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