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The Blue Jays sort of operate their franchise like your buddy that chases strippers and always ends up with a massive credit card bill to show for it. Sure, sometimes it makes for a once in a lifetime experience (Josh Donaldson), but other times it’s for fleeting exploits with a disappointing outcome (David Price). Only the bill in this case isn’t an actual physical one, but a bare cupboard once chock full of valuable prospects. In recent years, the Jays have upgraded the major league roster for sure, but have seen prospects like Franklin Barreto, Daniel Norris, Jeff Hoffman, and Miguel Castro leave their system. So now we’re left to review a mortgaged farm with a prized cow, a lot of young calves, and some goats. Confused? Me too! Then again is it any more confusing than a team that needs pitching trading away all it’s young pitching? Time to review the Blue Jays Prospects! You’re excited, I can tell…

2015 Graduates
Devon Travis | Dalton Pompey | Roberto Osuna | Aaron Sanchez

Tier 1: Specs On The Beach
Potential stars. Consensus T100 prospects with premium fantasy ceilings

Anthony Alford, OF | Age:21 | ETA 2018 | 2015 Level: A/A+
2015 Stats: 487 PA, .298/.398/.421, 4 HR, 27 SB, 13.7%BB, 22.3%K

Alford is probably the buzziest name on prospect lists over the last year. Part of it is the tools, he’s athletic, speedy, and full of untapped power potential. The other component is the story and the division 1 college football background, because be honest, we all love a dual-sporter. The thing is over the last year Alford’s skill set evolved beyond just high ceiling toolsy athlete to a legitimate hitter. He’s got 70 grade speed, with a good hit tool and the real question is what will the finished product be? A leadoff hitter that wreaks havoc with his speed and on base skills, working counts, and wearing down pitchers for the mashers behind him; or will he develop the type of power that will push him to the heights of superstardom? I lean toward the former.

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Tier 2: Floorboreds
Lacking the “star” upside. They might have some warts, but their ETAs are on the horizon.

Connor Greene, RHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: A/A+/AA
2015 Stats: 132.1 IP, 3.54 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, 7.8 K/9

If six degrees of Charlie Sheen was a thing people outside of the San Fernando Valley worried about, Conner Greene might be headed to the clinic. But alas Conner acted in “legitimate” entertainment with Sheen as a child actor/model. Now that I’ve made everyone including myself hate him, let’s talk about why you should care. Greene’s a young righty with a plus fastball that touches 97, who had a strong showing in the lower minors before hitting a bit of a stumbling block at AA. He needs time to refine his second offers, and find a true arsenal outside his fastball. If he can do that, the ceiling is probably a number two starter. If not, then he’s a starter that’s number two.

Jon Harris, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: SS
2015 Stats: 36.0 IP, 6.75 ERA, 5.2 BB/9, 8.0 K/9

Originally drafted by the Blue Jays in the 33rd round in 2012, things came full circle last season as he went 29th overall to those same Blue Jays. Harris’ first run at pro ball in short season Vancouver was a bad one; but with a plus fastball, and three breaking pitches that grade slightly above average (slider, 12-6 curve, and change), there’s a lot to like. He’s big and lanky with room to add onto his frame, which should help him fend off some of the fatigue he experienced last season. Dropped a bit in the draft, might be a player you could get in your first year player drafts at a discount.

Max Pentecost, C | Age: 22 | ETA: 2017 | 2015 Level: N/A
2015 Stats: N/A

After sitting out 2015 as he recovered from labrum surgery, the former Cape League MVP looks to stake his claim among the elite catching prospects. He has good across the board tools and the kind of athleticism that leads scouts to believe he’ll stick behind the plate. His quick short swing allows him to hit to all fields, albeit with moderate power. He’s more of a line drive hitter looking to make contact than a power bat. The real worry here is the injury and how he recovers, though the Blue Jays plan to limit his catching by giving him reps at 1B and DH.

Dwight Smith, OF | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016 | 2015 Level: AA
2015 Stats: 512 PA, .265/.335/.376, 7 HR, 4 SB, 9.1% BB, 12.5% K

Smith is a polished hitter with an MLB ready approach and hit tool. His upside is limited by gap power and a lack of speed, so he profiles more as a 4th outfielder at best. Could see the bigs this year but he’s probably not going to be on our radar unless Toronto’s outfield is ravaged by injury. Played some second in the Arizona Fall League in 2014, and for our purposes a move to the keystone would be best case scenario.

Mitch Nay, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A+
2015 Stats: 391 PA, .243/.303/.353, 5 HR, 0 SB, 7.3% BB, 17.1% K

A former first round pick that’s toiled a bit on the professional level, Nay is the kind of player that pops up on prospect list due to raw power ability. The numbers in the Florida State league are quite frankly pedestrian, but it will be interesting to see if he can develop the type of in game power his batting practice exploits hint to. Then again it’s a tricky game when you start to project out future success from batting practice.

 

Others: Andy Burns, Matt Dean, Joe Biagini, Matthew Smoral, Roemon Fields
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Tier 3: Long Shot Lolitas
Sexy ceilings, but these youngsters also come with risks and distant ETAs.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., OF | Age: 16 | ETA: 2021 | 2015 Level: N/A
2015 Stats: N/A

I’m not sure what it says about the hitters in the Blue Jays system when the highest ceiling belongs to a 16 year old kid. Then again Vlad Jr. isn’t your ordinary 16 year old in fact he was considered the creme de la creme of the 2015 J3 market, signing with the Jays for $3.9 million dollars. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, close your eyes, well actually wait until after you read this, then close your eyes and envision the imagery of my wonderful prose. Okay, so picture if you will Vlad Guerrero’s swing, bat speed, and hand eye coordination in the body of a 16 year old David Ortiz. Everyone, meet Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He’s got all the hitting intangibles of his father without even a shred of his speed or arm. In fact, more than likely by the time Guerrero reaches the show he’s going to be positioned at first base or as a DH donkey. The bat is real and he’s worth considering late in genesis dynasty drafts or toward the end of the first round in your first year player drafts.

Rowdy Tellez, OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A/A+
2015 Stats: 487 PA, .289/.347/.454, 14 HR, 5 SB, 8.5% BB, 18.7% K

A 30th round pick turned donkey with a wrestler’s name, Tellez showed well in the Arizona Fall League hitting .293/.352/.488 with four homers. Spent all of last season in A ball and should see New Hampshire to start the season. You obviously hope he turns into your prototypical big/bad body 1B/DH with 30+ homer power. Well he’s already got the body, with a 6’4 245 lbs frame, and at only 20 years old he’s still years away from his peak power. Rowdy’s a player I like in deeper dynasty formats, where you have enough slots to let someone develop.

Richard Urena, SS | Age: 19 | ETA: 2019 | 2015 Level: A/A+
2015 Stats: 536 PA, .262/.284/.407, 16 HR, 8 SB, 2.9% BB, 20.5% K

Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, just days after the Blue Jays nabbed Franklin Barreto. Urena has spent his first few years in the organization hidden behind the Venezuelan’s shadow, but with Barreto shipped off to Oakland in the Josh Donaldson trade, Urena’s moved to the top of the list in terms of the Jays middle infield prospects. From all accounts he’s a glove first type, but he took a big step forward in 2015 as he showed legitimate pop, slugging 16 homers across two levels of A ball. He’s still raw in terms of approach and that may not change, but expecting a finished product that hits .250 and provides double digit homers and a handful of steals isn’t out of the question. Probably not an option to consider outside of very deep dynasty leagues.

Sean Reid-Foley, RHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2019 | 2015 Level: A/A+
2015 Stats: 96.0 IP, 4.22 ERA, 6.3 BB/9, 11.7 K/9

A polished young prep arm with a good fastball that sits 92-95 with the ability to touch 98. Reid-Foley struggles at times to find the zone but he’s young and there’s time to find his control. His secondary offerings consist of an above average slider, and an average change. As you can see from the K rate there’s a lot to like. Right? Then….you look at that walk rate. 6.3? Yikes!!! This tells the story of SRF, as us lazy people like to call him. He’s got no idea where it’s going.

D.J. Davis, OF | Age: 21 | ETA: 2018 | 2015 Level: A
2015 Stats: 496 PA, .282/.340/.391, 7 HR, 21 SB, 7.0% BB, 21.4% K

An athletic speedster drafted as a Mississippi prep star in 2012. Am I talking about Anthony Alford? No! They have two of these guys, with Davis actually going first at 17th overall. In the first three years of his pro career Davis struggled with the bat before finding his stroke in his second year at class A Lansing. Despite the poor showing early in his pro career there is a speed tool that grades amongst the best in the game, drawing comps to Billy Hamilton. Whether his power and approach develop is really the biggest concern, because if it does we’re looking a truly dynamic fantasy player. With the early struggles the risk factor with Davis is quite high.

Ryan Borucki, LHP | Age:21 | ETA:2018 | 2015 Level: RK/A
Stats: 5.2 IP, 3.18, 4.8 BB/9, 11.1 K/9

Following a elbow injury his senior year of high school Borucki fell to the Jays in 15th round of the 2012 draft. Prior to the injury many projected the hard throwing lefty to go somewhere in the 3rd to 4th round range, which would explain the rather sizable $426,000 signing bonus. What followed was Tommy John surgery that kept him sidelined for all of the 2013 season. He then returned in 2014 and showed what made him a highly regarded prep arm, hitting 94 on his fastball with good life, and mixing in his changeup that many feel might be the best in the organization. For consecutive years evaluators have felt Borucki was on the verge of being the breakout arm of the system, but so far durability concerns and injuries have prevented it from happening.

Angel Perdomo, LHP | Age:21 | ETA:2019 | 2015 Level: RK/A
2015 Stats: 69.1 IP, 2.60 ERA, 3.9 BB/9, 8.7 K/9

A 6’6 lefty with a fastball that touches 94 will get your ears to perk up, and your pants to get tight. Well, lads Perdomo is just that, a big lefty with a good fastball and the kind of frame where an increase in velocity in the coming years isn’t out of the question. The thing with Perdomo is, he’s raw, and that’s where the issue lies. His secondary offerings aren’t great, nor is his control, which led any to believe his future lies in the pen.

Others: Clinton Hollon, Dan Jansen, Justin Maese, Lane Thomas, Juan Meza

 

Minor League Index

   
  1. Shill Team 6 says:
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    1.What does it mean that it took an almost .400 BABIP to get to .293?

    2.The foosball background will surely be an asset in his development.

    3.So are you ok with the Prospect Ralph Lipshitz nickname? Or maybe PR Lifshitz?

    • Shill Team 6 says:
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      @Shill Team 6: Whoops! 1&2 are Alford Qs.

      • Shill Team 6 says:
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        @Shill Team 6: Whoops again. I guess 2 is a statement. But still aimed at Alford :\

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Shill Team 6: Haha Shill, I knew what you were saying.

          The Babip thing shouldn’t be a huge red flag. He’s probably going to have a better babip by nature with the type of speed he has. Now with that said the number was high so there was some luck. I think we all hope his developing skill set offsets some of last seasons luck in the finished product.

          I’ve always thought he was overrated but after checking out some of his at bats and witnessing his ability to wear down pitchers and find his pitch, I think at minimum he’s going to be a very ownable player in 12 teams once he arrives.

          I like that P.R. Lifshitz, sounds very 1940’s pen name.

          • Shill Team 6 says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: Do you think him not being a slap ball hitter helps make his BABIP even more feasible? Could hitting the ball hard plus speed do that?

            • Ralph Lifshitz

              Ralph Lifshitz says:
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              @Shill Team 6: Absolutley, I read that he was making a lot of hard contact and I saw that in the videos I watched, but with out concrete BB data to reference I didn’t want to say as much.

          • mmhmm says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz:

            High BABIP in the minors can just as often indicate someone hitting the shit out of the ball as someone getting lucky.

            • Ralph Lifshitz

              Ralph Lifshitz says:
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              @mmhmm: Agreed, and when you combine hard hits with 70 grade speed you can expect the BABIP to be above average.

            • Shill Team 6 says:
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              @mmhmm: I thought that’s what we were saying.

  2. Troutmaskreplica says:
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    Any thoughts on Ceciliani?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Troutmaskreplica: 4th outfielder quad-A kind of guy.

      • Troutmaskreplica says:
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        Sounds like you may have a venditte against him?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Troutmaskreplica: I have a totally have a Venditte against him

  3. Shill Team 6 says:
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    Do you think K. Bryant is a top ten guy this year?

  4. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    hey Doctor PR Lifshitz;
    with this lineup i have exactly one pick to make (unless i can unload Hicks and picks 26th overall, 38th overall for something nice), it’s based on TEX and needs at least 9 of them at all times (DL/NA guys count, max yahoo slots for those, 5 each). max 6 SP (5 starting slots and 1 BN slot at most legal to be used for pitchers. 7 RP slots). i’ve recently traded useless picks (to somebody with my depth) and heaney and d.holland and yesmany tomas for delino and sal perez to people weak in picks (but thin in depth) and too strong in CF/C. holds/OPS (and other stuff) added H2H 20 teamer dynasty.
    C sal perez
    1B fielder
    2B forsythe
    3B beltre
    SS andrus
    LF upton
    CF delino
    RF stanton
    util franco or choo
    BN the other of franco or choo
    BN hicks (CF and RF now)
    NA t.anderson/gallo/profar (listed here since depth charts show them in minors)
    SP darvish/hammel/quintana/liriano/fiers
    RP giles/robertson/tolleson/kela
    NA urias

    1. at 6th overall i’m thinking to certainly grab mazara (RF) or brinson (CF), over some others (bregman/rodgers/reed/alford/alex reyes/devers). as strong as i am already in RF (stanton/choo/hicks) should i go with mazara or brinson (or do you have any of the others really that much higher)?
    2. with that roster is franco for odor that bad long term?

  5. Ralph Lifshitz

    Ralph Lifshitz says:
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    1. I can see the allure of going Mazara or Brinson over Reed/Rodgers/Devers/Reyes

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Ralph Lifshitz: I wouldn’t want to trade Franco, you have enough Rangers that Odor’s rule value is lost

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Ralph Lifshitz: good point on franco vs odor. also when beltre finally retires at one point i’m probably safer off with franco (or maybe franco eventually gets 1B, this is yahoo, he won’t need many starts there). go with mazara’s hit/power combo or brinson’s hit/speed/position eligibility? (CF is ALWAYS harder to find a decent overall player). Some places actually put their hit/power tools as equal to each other.

        Funny thing is if keeper deadline wasn’t jacked forward over a month (to few days ago sunday), from some wanting to draft way early, i might have been able to trade yesmany for odor (maybe adding picks useless to me), but since the odor owner couldn’t decide in a 2 day window (due to many many hockey leagues and not being in baseball mode yet) I had to keep Holland just to see if i could make the Holland + Tomas for Delino deal (i didn’t want to keep Holland on his own merits, but could’ve been left holding him for deal that might never have came through). Also with that roster i needed speed and a CF starter way more than Tomas as a 3rd string 3B/2nd string LF/3rd string RF. So i took the middle option of trading Holland and Tomas for Delino on keeper due date. Delino owner also came out looking to trade for a SP (and might’ve been able to get one better than Holland) that same day.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
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          @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: Personally I like Mazara better but BA and some other places rank Brinson higher.

          • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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            @Ralph Lifshitz: brinson’s D appears more useful and BA always gives huge credit to that. it’s only reason these places have swanson over rodgers and bregman. MLB.com’s prospect lists for the teams aren’t out yet, but from 2015’s TEX team list to 2016’s top 100 list, they’ve upped Brinson’s hit tool from 50/55 and mazara’s power from 60/65.

            this year’s class will have a bunch of “The Grooming of Groome Looms” jokes.

            • Ralph Lifshitz

              Ralph Lifshitz says:
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              @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: I’ve seen some put Brinson’s hit tool higher too, probably splitting hairs but Maraza has the better power.

              I actually like Swanson’s bat better than Bregman’s

              Yup lots of Grooming jokes, and Ray gun jokes with Corey Ray too

  6. Connor says:
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    We’re in that gross part of our 30-team dynasty draft where I need a starter. I’m looking at Conley, Dickey Feldman, Morrow, Chris Young, Weaver, Latos, C.J. Wilson. Any thoughts?

    Also about what round would you have any interest in drafting Brandon McCarthy? He can sit in an IR spot.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Connor: I’d go Conley and then McCarthy

  7. Speedy McGreedy says:
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    Nice post Ralph!

    Do you think Hoffman or Castro ever amount to anything or are they lost in the stratosphere?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
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      @Speedy McGreedy: thanks, yeah I think they both have monster stuff. It hurts their value but both have the ability to be good assets. Castro you can get for peanuts

Comments are closed.