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Today I started thinking about the Blue Jays top 30 prospects, and it's not going to be easy. We have too many easily fit into a top 30 list. On the field Buffalo won, despite an oh-for from Vlad. Vancouver, the GCL and DSL Jays also won.

I know many of you maintain an active top 30 prospect list. I do not. But with the season running down, I took a pad and wrote down which players would be under consideration for this years top 30 list. Before too long the members of the Batters Box minor league crew will have to input our top 30 lists to generate our consolidated official list so I was getting a jump on that.

When I looked at my list the first thought I had was that the top ten or so prospects were not too hard to rank but after that things got murky. My second thought was that the system did indeed have a lot of depth, I had 60 names on my possible list without much effort. Now I would caution that probably 45 of those sixty have significant issues to overcome before they get to top ten status. They might be very young with a limited track record, or they might be advanced in AA or AAA with a spotted record or questions about their ability to succeed in the major leagues. Picking the back half of this years top 30 will be a challenge.

We could start in AAA where we have a bucket load of outfielders. Is Dwight Smith still a prospect? Anthony Alford has had a down year, he is still a prospect but lower ranked than last year. How many have passed him by? Dalton Pompey has missed so much time to injuries but he has hit well when he has played. Billy McKinney is the newest shiny object but he has questions too. Jonathan Davis hit well in AA and to start in AAA but has cooled off, does he get a chance? And if we go down to AA, how does Harold Ramirez fit in? And what about another new guy, Forrest Wall? Brock Lundquist hit well in Lansing and Dunedin, can he get onto a top 30 list? Has Chavez Young done enought to get a look? And don;t forget on of the stars of this report, Mc Gregory Contreras who has played well in the second half of the season.

Looking at the middle infield, is Richard Urena still top 30 worthy? How about Logan Warmoth? Has Santiago Espinal passed them both? How does Samad Taylor rank after not hitting as expected in Lansing? There are lots of younger players with high expectations. Is Otto Lopez a guy? Luis De Los Santos hasn't had a great season but Rafael Lantigua has. Leonardo Jimenez is only 17, he is eight months younger than Miguel Hiraldo but playing at a higher level for most of the year. Addison Bargar was a sixth round draft pick this year, does that get him on the list?

On the pitching side the Jays brought in several pitchers with question marks. Hector Perez, Jacob Waguespack, David Paulino and Corey Copping. They join the Jays question mark group including Jordan Romano, Angel Perdomo, Zach Logue, Maximo Castillo, Yenssy Diaz and several 18 year olds in the lower levels.

Even at catcher do you rate a Gabriel Moreno or a Hagen Danner, playing in the lower levels, higher than a Reese McGuire or a Max Pentecost, playing at the higher levels. What about Riley Adams?

In these paragraphs I have name checked over 30 prospects who could stake a claim to the top 30, and I avoided the top 15 or so. I also didn't cover all the positions on the field. As I said at the start, picking the top 30 this year will be a challenge.

And also returning to a point I made above, the Jays have a very deep system but they don't have a top 15 without some significant questions. Prospects are always to prone to failure but the Jays, even in the top ten or top 15, do have players with issues. Some evaluators rate top systems based on the number of can't miss prospects, the cream at the top. Others will look at depth. I believe the Jays are not a top system based on the cream, but are very deep. Yes they have Vlad and Bo but when you get past those you don't see guaranteed stars. Based on where the Jays are in their cycle, looking to a rebuild with kids, having that depth should be a good thing and create a continuous flow of prospects ready for promotion over the next several years.


Buffalo won 4-2. Vlad Jr. was 0-5 and has just one hit in the last three games. His average is down to .372. Rowdy Tellez had two more hits plus a walk. Matt Tracey started and pitched five shutout innings although that took him over 100 pitches. Billy McKinney homered, his 16th of the season.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire lost 3-2. The hot hitters at the top of the lineup all were shut down, Harold Ramirez, Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette were a combined 0-14. Forrest Wall doubled and scored a run. Max Pentecost hit a solo home run. Hector Perez had an excellent start, six innings, no walks and seven K's. He did give up a run on a solo home run. Was it a one-off or could he have found something this quickly? It's most likely a one off but we will see.


Dunedin lost 6-5 in ten innings. Aaron Sanchez started and pitched 3.2 innings. He was a bit wild and walked four. Bryan Baker made his first appearance and recorded four outs. Angel Perdomo gave up three runs but only one was earned. He hasn't pitched well as a reliever, his WHIP in relief is 1.77.


Lansing blew a 4-0 lead and lost 7-6. Maximo Castillo had a decent start, two earned runs in six innings with eight K's but Matt Shannon gave it back and took the loss. Reggie Pruitt homered. Samad Taylor had two more hits, he has played very well since the beginning of August.


Vancouver won 5-2. McGregory Contreras went 4-4 with a double. Contreras has had a good second half, his OPS in the second half is .981. That sets up the 19 year old for Lansing next season. Tanner Kirwer and Otto Lopez homered. Joey Murray started and had five strikeouts in two innings.


Bluefield had a scheduled day off.

GCL Jays

The GCL Jays won 6-4. Joseph Reyes was the star, he was 3-4 with four RBI. Rafael Monsion went five innings, gave up two runs, but didn't record a K. Francisco Rios pitched two shutout innings of relief. That was his fourth appearance in the GCL, he should be on his way to New Hampshire soon.

DSL Jays

The DSL Jays won 2-1 on a walkoff in the bottom of the tenth. They had just three hits. Santos Moreno had a good start, he threw 6.2 shutout innings with seven K's.

3 Stars

3rd star: Joseph Reyes

2nd star: Mc Gregory Contreras

1st star: Hector Perez


The Top 30 is Overflowing | 45 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
bpoz - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#363753) #
Thanks Gerry. You managed to find 60 names. That is very deep.

I agree with your top 2. Vlad and Bo. #3-5 is up for debate. D Jansen makes my list. So 3.

The rules for no longer being a prospect are ?????? 150 ABs and 50IP? And age is 25 and younger?
Nigel - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#363755) #
It is a very deep and good system. The number 30 prospect in the system is probably better now than at any time in my memory of following this. It is a very oddly distributed system though. By that I mean, they are likely to have two consensus top 15 players in baseball and probably no other consensus top 100 players (assuming Jansen graduates off the lists). Itís also incredibly light on OFs and starting pitchers but ridiculously deep in middle infielders and 3B prospects. For example, is there a single prospect that reasonably projects as a starting OF? Chavez Young might be the one (although I count 6 or 7 who currently look like 4th OF types).
John Northey - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#363756) #
For fun the oldest top 30 is from after the 2004 season...
#1: Aaron Hill (very good)
#2: Josh Banks (ugh)
#5: Shawn Marcum
#6: Gustavo Chacin
#7: Dustin McGowan
#28: Adam Lind

The organization had 4 division titles and 1 league championship that year.  3 guys who would have good ML careers, a few others of note and a lot of floatasm.
JohnL - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#363757) #
The guy on that 2004 list that contributed the most to the Jays was #14... Robinson Diaz.
bpoz - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#363758) #
We traded for Grichuk, who looks like he can be a regular ML OF. We gave up D Leone who is not a closer or set up man. Maybe setup. Conner Greene was the risk, since he had and still has a chance to be a SP. Currently his BB are so bad that he may not make it to the Majors. He is just as bad as a reliever this year. He still has 2 options left.

So we can always package something together and get someone that is surplus but talented from a contender. Grichuk was surplus and had no options left. A change of teams should benefit him and did.

We definitely are loaded with 4th OF types. LFs because of weak arms.
hypobole - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#363760) #
One question mark pitcher not mentioned above is Pat Murphy. And an interesting pitcher in the lower levels is the C's Winckowski.
Gerry - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#363761) #
I actually had Murphy in my top 15.
hypobole - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#363762) #
From today's FG chat:

Q - Is Anthony Alford going to hit enough for an everyday CF role?

A - Sinking like a stone, last scout I spoke with on him said the bat speed isn't there right now.
bpoz - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#363763) #
Under AA Stroman became a ML SP after 7 AAA starts. Sanchez after 6 AAA starts.

Under Shapiro Borucki 14 AAA starts. SRF 15 AAA and 8 AA starts before promotion to the ML rotation.

So if Zeuch starts in AAA next year 20 starts gets him into August and 15 would be end of June. Of course he has to show good results before he gets called up.
PeterG - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#363764) #
Infielders can become OF's as did Mookie Betts. I think Gurriel should be an OF and likely will be. That was his original position in Cuba I believe.
dan gordon - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#363766) #
The farm system certainly is very deep at this point. Looking at my list, I have about 55 prospects that I really like. It's hard to know what to think of the younger guys in the very low minors that have little track record. They have such a long way to go, and so much can go wrong. I probably rate those prospects lower until they show some consistent good performance and the ability to maintain that as they move up a couple of levels. Having said that, guys like Groshans and Hiraldo who were very highly rated by scouts and have gotten off to great starts are certainly two of their better prospects. The middle infield depth of prospects the Jays have now is crazy. One of the reasons I'd like to see Gurriel in the OF.
jerjapan - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#363767) #
Winckowski is an interesting young guy taking a real step forward this year - not uncommon for a HS pitcher to take a couple of years to click.  I made fun of Uglyone for talking the guy up after a couple of good starts, but Ugly was onto something.  3 strong starts in a row for Wink now. 

I don't think we have a shortage of OF depth, but it is definitely more of the corner OF variety - Conine, Lundquist, Ramirez, McKinney, Smith Jr., Contreras, possibly Noda - all top 50 prospect types. 

Dom Abadessa might be a sleeper CF prospect to watch. 

Nice to have a strong system again, but definitely more strength on the position player side of things.  Adding some pitchers at the deadline helped, but is it safe to call this an org philosophy, targeting position players on the IFA market / in the draft and trading for / signing pitchers?
PeterG - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#363768) #
The most underrated prospect in the system, and a player I think is going to move up very quickly, is Otto Lopez who is now playing at Vancouver. At what position, who knows? He plays everywhere, often 4 or 5 different positions in a week and he can hit as well.
Nigel - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#363769) #
To Dan's point, I think most of the candidates for the Jay's top 10 prospects are ones which we have very little or no professional playing data on (albeit the little we have is promising). I think all of Pearson, Groshans, Pardinho, Kloffstein and Orelvio Martinez are likely to be on a lot of Jays top 10 lists. Those are the players that are going to need to show that they are actually top 100 prospects (or have some of the other prospects take a big step forward) or this is going to be a system filled with a ton of prospects but very few (other than the obvious current top 3) impact prospects.
hypobole - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#363771) #
With Lopez, it's not just his his tool - 10% BB/10% K rates are excellent, and similar to what he did in the GCL last year. He's done this while doubling his ISO this year.
greenfrog - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#363773) #
I always thought that Alford simply waited too long to commit to baseball. He had the foundation of talent to be a star, but he lost too much critical development time to football and injuries.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#363775) #
Rob Fai mentioned in around the nest that Otto Lopez had the highest upside of any of the Vancouver players, and he seems to have the Mookie Betts starter pack. There is still a mountain between that comparison, but he is a great breakout candidate for next season.
acepinball - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 08:00 PM EDT (#363776) #
I got to 40 easily and I'm never good with the short season teams. I'm really impressed at how the farm has been stocked in the Atkins era. They've made a number of additions by trading veterans they signed just a few months earlier.

If one were to criticize the front office for not doing a rebuild towards the end of the Bautista/EE era, they would have to acknowledge that they didn't make many (any) regrettable "win now" moves to compound the problem.

I think this is a really fun time for the franchise. They are about to get an influx of talent at league minimum salaries. Vlad is going to be ridiculously fun. I'm looking forward to seeing who they surround him with.
dan gordon - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#363777) #
Will be interesting to see where Lopez plays, as he's played a bit of just about everything. Maybe they plan to try to develop him as a true multi-position player, like Zobrist. He's taken quite a step forward with his hitting this year, while moving up from the GCL last year to Bluefield and then Vancouver this year. He could stand to add a bit of muscle, as he's listed at only 160 pounds.
eldarion - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#363779) #
Oof...Pardinho is mowing down the Elizabethton Twins through six innings tonight.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#363780) #
Pardinho probably has the highest upside of all the pitchers outside of Pearson, who I fully expect to make some top 100 lists in a few years.
Gerry - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#363783) #
Two homers for Biggio, including a walk off.
eldarion - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#363784) #
Amazing. A 20-30 home run 2B would be a terrific luxury in the big leagues. So is Travis legitimately blocking Biggio? It sounds like Biggio will be knocking on the door by midway next season. If so, where else can Biggio play? If not, does Travis have any trade value given his propensity for getting hurt?
hypobole - Thursday, August 16 2018 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#363785) #
Biggio played RF tonight.
dan gordon - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 01:16 AM EDT (#363792) #
Nice to see Biggio hitting better after a rough June and July where he hit .195 and .181. At least he kept up the walks and hit a few HR's during the skid. Also good to see a lefty batter who handles lefty pitching well, and his road numbers are actually better than at the friendly home park in NH. He has 26 HR's now in 378 AB's, which is close to a 40 HR pace. Today was his first game in the OF this year, after playing 2 games there last year. He threw a runner out at home in today's game. Jon Berti, who is nobody's idea of a hot prospect, played 2B today, so it's not like they were putting Biggio in the OF to make room for somebody, so maybe it's something they're looking at as a possible position for him, given the presence of Travis, Gurriel, Bichette, etc.

Travis Bergen had another scoreless inning today to lower his AA ERA to 0.30 - although he has given up 6 unearned runs, as Mike G noted a while back. I expect/hope he will be given serious consideration for a 40-man spot.

Lazaro Estrada had quite a game for the DSL team today, with 10 K's in 6 IP. Now has a K:BB ratio for the season of 79:12, with an ERA of 1.94 and a WHIP of 0.86. He's a little older than his competition at 19.

Pardinho now has a K:BB ratio of 57:13, ERA of 2.93 and WHIP of 1.02. I would imagine that he will skip Vancouver and start at Lansing next year.
Glevin - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 02:55 AM EDT (#363793) #
Travis will be a 0-1.5 WAR 28 YO next year. He's not blocking anyone. (And unfortunately, he doesn't have any trade value). Biggio playing RF is why I don't worry about a glut of middle infield types in the minors. Players can always move down the defensive spectrum. Guys like Groshans, Biggio, Hiraldo, etc...could all end up as corner OFers. Overall, I think we have a very clear 1-2-3 in the system but after that, it's vague because the guys who should be here are either low in the minors (Pardinho, Pearson, Groshans) or going backwards (Alford). I'd probably go with some combo of Groshans, Biggio, and Smith next. I just don't trust pitching prospects much especially so low in the minors (Pearson and Pardinho)

Alford has been easily the most disappointing prospect in the organization for me. He looked ready for the majors last year and the CF of the future. Great numbers in AA with great strikezone awareness, speed, defense, etc...This year, he looks like a non-prospect in AAA. He went from a 15.4K rate in AA last year to a 28.6 one in AAA. Hopefully the Jays can fix this. How does someone lose so much bat speed at 24 YO?

In general, I really believe in the approach of stocking the farm system as much as possible. The more prospects you have, the more will emerge to help the team. You will have failures (looks like Warmoth) but you will also have surprises (Smith). Just keep adding prospects whenever you can. This FO has done a great job of that.
Jonny German - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 04:32 AM EDT (#363796) #
I actually had Murphy in my top 15.

Very surprised at this. Does he have particularly good scouting reports? By the numbers I can't see how he'd rate above his teammate Yennsy Diaz.
Jonny German - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 04:50 AM EDT (#363797) #
Nice to see Biggio hitting better after a rough June and July where he hit .195 and .181.

June was rough, but not July - .394 OBP and .431 SLG.
SK in NJ - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#363801) #
The only knock on the farm system right now might be that aside from the top 3 (Vlad, Bo, Jansen), there is a lack of top 50 level talent. However, that might change in a year or two depending on the progression of players like Groshans, Pardinho, Pearson, Martinez, Hiraldo, Kloffenstein, etc. I really like the idea of promoting so many prospects in the next year and still having a bunch of high upside prospects filtering up. Some of them will be traded for big league help, hopefully if the team is in contention in 2020-25, but that's not a bad thing either. Building up an expendable prospect base is important too.

I'm not giving up on Alford as wrist injuries can be tricky to come back from, even a year later, but 2019 is going to be a make or break year for him. Either he bounces back and proves he is a future big league CF or if he continues on this track then he loses a ton of value/luster. Age is no longer on his side. Just turned 24 and will be 25 next year. I still really like his skill set so not giving up hope yet.

I also like the FO approach of stockpiling prospects, especially given their focus on player development. Some times all it takes is a little tweak and a player can be fixed. When you look at the sheer number of prospects added versus subtracted since this FO took over, it's amazing. Granted two straight trade deadlines of selling will help with that, but still a very nice way to bridge to the next window.
hypobole - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#363806) #
Jonny, did you see the 2080 scouting report on Murphy posted a few weeks back?
whiterasta80 - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#363808) #
Prospects don't develop in a linear fashion, so I am not giving up on him yet, but Alford's K% is scary bad (28.6%).

Tellez, Jansen, Smith Jr, Vladju, and Urena are all sub 19 with better walk rates. Even Gurriel Jr. is 7 points lower.

I still think Biggio is the second coming of Dan Uggla.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#363809) #
If Cavan Biggio can be the 2.4 to 4.2 WAR player that Dan Uggla was than I would be ecstatic. For his career Uggla was worth over 23.4 WAR. I think Matt Carpenter light is another positive outcome for him.

I agree that Alford is the biggest disappointment of the year, but he gets another turn at AAA to redeem himself the way others sometimes have.

Overall I think the system has a lot of talented hitters and infielders, but overall lacks athleticism. Salad Taylor, Chavez Young, Forrest Wall and Kevin Smith are the only prpspects in full season who are above average athletes outside of Alford/Pompey.
John Northey - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#363812) #
SK in NJ - tough there, complaining about a lack of top 50 talent outside of the big 3.  If a team has 2 top 50's they are above average.  The Jays have 3 who might be top 10 level.  Yeah, we'd all like it if the top 50 were all Jays but realistically having 3 in the top 50 is damn good.  Jansen looks underrated so far.with his 400/364/700 line (1 sac fly vs 0 walks).
whiterasta80 - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#363814) #
Yeah that Uggla comment was in no way meant to be a slight. Just to say that the skill set is familiar.

I'd rank Nate Pearson as the biggest disappointment of the year for me. Although obviously that's not a performance issue.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#363818) #
Yeah Pearson being injured by a line drive was a pretty big bummer.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, August 17 2018 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#363837) #
Salad Taylor? If he got thrown out of a game would that make him a tossed Salad?
TamRa - Tuesday, August 21 2018 @ 12:10 AM EDT (#363977) #
I'm not really worried about Alford. It's a hugely disappointing year but top 100 prospects don't suddenly stop having talent at 24. I worry about his health all the time (and suspect there's an issue we haven't been told about this year) but not ability or development. As they say, it's usually not leniar.
bpoz - Wednesday, August 22 2018 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#364054) #
I am working on my top 10 list.
1) Vlad
2) Bo
3) D Jansen (if he still qualifies as a prospect)
4) N Pearson
5) SRF
6) E Pardinho
7) J Groshans
8) K Smith
9) G Moreno
10) TJ Zeuch

Borucki no longer qualifies due to 50+ IP in the Majors. He would be #5 for me.

Personally I don't like to put anyone in my top 10 if they have not played as a professional. So A Kloffenstein probably will play too little. He will be # 11-13 on my list.

Looks like I completed my list.

Anyone else have a top 10 list?

Jonny German - Thursday, August 23 2018 @ 04:36 AM EDT (#364105) #
My list is always a work-in-progress, but here's how it looks today:

1. Vlad Guerrero Jr
2. Bo Bichette
3. Danny Jansen
4. Nate Pearson
5. Anthony Alford
6. Sean Reid-Foley
7. Eric Pardinho
8. Jordan Groshans
9. Kevin Smith
10. Cavan Biggio

There are 2 notable differences from your list:

I'm higher on Alford than you are. I'm willing to give him the first couple months of 2019 before dropping him significantly. Even established MLB starters sometimes have a stinker of a year with no obvious explanation.

I'm much lower than you on Gabriel Moreno. The only numbers that can make me rank a Rookie-ball player highly are draft round and signing bonus. I'll see how he does at Lansing next year before putting him into the top-20.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 23 2018 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#364111) #
Cal Stevenson isn't likely to be in top 30 consideration in this farm system, and the odds are against him.  On the other hand, he's well ahead (at least offensively) of where Kevin Pillar was.  Pillar was in Bluefield at age 22, 8 months older than Stevenson.  He hit .347/.337/.534 with 10 walks and 36 strikeouts in 256 PAs.  Stevenson is hitting .372/.502/.523 with 46 walks and 19 strikeouts in 219 PAs, and 15 SBs in 16 attempts.  As a left-handed hitter, he has absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching (in a very small sample).  He will have to play a good defensive centerfield to make it, but youneverknow.
hypobole - Thursday, August 23 2018 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#364113) #
To think positively, maybe Stevenson has an excellent rapport with the Bluefield hitting coach. I guess we'll find out by where he's assigned next year, Vancouver or Lansing.
hypobole - Thursday, August 23 2018 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#364115) #
And FWIW, Clay Davenport really likes Cal in LF, and is positive on him in CF. Was also surprised by how strong Alejandro Kirk's catching is viewed - best defensive number of any Bluefield player.
bpoz - Thursday, August 23 2018 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#364126) #
A Kirk seems to be opening some eyes.
scottt - Thursday, August 23 2018 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#364169) #
10th round picks rarely make the top 30 the first year.
jerjapan - Thursday, August 23 2018 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#364180) #
Nobody seems to consider this, but Stevenson signed for $5000, way below slot.  he hasn't been promoted aggressively because this org doesn't do that for low pedigree guys.  I think I was the first person to mention Stevenson's gaudy stat line, but the fact remains that he is longshot.
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