Top 30 Prospect Musings

Thursday, July 13 2017 @ 09:18 AM EDT

Contributed by: Gerry

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