Timing really worked out on this one. This system lost some shine when it shipped out Gabriel Moreno the other day, and to a lesser extent, Jordan Groshans to Miami last season, but neither makes a dent in the long-term build of the organization, which remains impressive from top to bottom. 

 

1. LHP Ricky Tiedemann | 20 | AA | 2023

At 6’4” 220 lbs with an upper-nineties fastball, Ricky Tiedemann has been bullying batters throughout his baseball life but took it up a notch in 2022, traversing three levels of minor league play (78.2 innings) with 117 strikeouts and a 0.86 WHIP. He was every bit as dominant in 11 Double-A innings (0.82 WHIP) as he had been in 30 Low-A innings (0.80 WHIP). The only real worry here is that he won’t get tested until the majors, but as bugaboos go, that’s a preferable one. He’ll likely need better command, especially off-speed command, to survive big league lineups a couple times through, and he won’t need either of those traits in place to dominate again in the minors. The Jays put him on an aggressive timeline seeking someone to challenge him in 2022 and might do the same this year if they decide he’ll need to develop in the majors anyway. He’ll turn 21 in August and is on track to celebrate that milestone in Toronto.

 

2. SS Addison Barger | 23 | AAA | 2023

So just as I’m finishing up his blurb, this budgie futhermucker shoves in and shuts down my computer. Destroys it, actually. No lie. I am in the market for a new desktop. Probably less “in the market” and more “snapping up the next semi-reasonable replacement I can find.” Anywho, Barger will always be remembered as the man who ended that tower, a faithful workhorse for something like a decade. On the field, Barger enjoyed a dream season in 2022, thriving at three levels and setting himself for a big league gig in 2023. His wRC+ scores of 149, 147, 192 tell the story of a season that ended with eight molten-hot games in Triple-A. A left-handed hitter at 6’0” 175 lbs, Barger cut his strikeouts at each new level, which allowed the solid natural power to play in game. He was a sixth round pick out of high school in 2018. Real developmental win for the Jays. Feels a little underrated in a general fantasy sense.

 

3. OF Gabriel Martinez | 20 | A+ | 2024

Once in a while, an obvious prospect will pop, the dynasty world will notice, and the prospect will nonetheless remain under the radar for most leagues. I don’t know when the report was submitted now that Fangraphs’ schedule has gone the way of Napster, but they’ve got him at a 40+ Future Value. You have to buy the book to know that that means. Impossible for me to explain it here, except to say that it’s inaccurate to say that Martinez is tracking as a well below average major leaguer after posting a 141 wRC+ as a 19-year-old in High-A. He’s not the biggest guy at 6’0” 170 lbs, but Martinez generates power with an athletic swing that allows him to limit the strikeouts (15%) despite holding nothing back when he explodes through the hitting zone.

 

4. SS Orelvis Martinez | 21 | AA | 2024

From one end of the developmental outcomes spectrum to, well, maybe not the other but certainly a less shiny spot than the one occupied by Tiedemann’s 2022, we find Orelvis Martinez, who hit 30 home runs as a 20-year-old at Double-A but batted just .203 with a 28.5 percent strikeout rate to get there. It’s not a disqualifying season by any stretch, but it’s a continuation of his outcomes in High-A to finish up 2021, when he hit nine home runs in 27 games but batted .214. Probably shouldn’t have graduated the league and opened the following year a level up, but that’s Captain Hindsight talking. Makes enough sense to graduate a gifted 19-year-old coming off a 99 wRC+ and an off-season of work, and I suppose he might graduate Double-A on the strength of his 96 wRC+ against older players. On the other hand, he got worse throughout the season, outcomes-wise, batting .184 from August 1 through season’s end, so his best path probably leads back to Double-A. If he dominates, that’s great, but the risk is that if he struggles again, it’ll wash away most of the remaining buzzy-prospect sheen.

 

5. 1B OF Spencer Horwitz | 25 | AAA | 2023

His name is close enough to howitzer that you’d expect this guy to have a cannon for a throwing arm. Instead, Horwitz is a bat-first prospect who hits left-handed, throws right, and could work his way onto the big league roster early in 2023. A 24th round pick in 2019, Horwitz will never have much room for error. Another .363 slugging percentage like the one he posted across 44 games at Triple-A would likely be enough to keep him confidential for a long time. He’s ranked fifth on the chance that an early injury creates a chance for him, but he’d always be among my first cuts if he lands on a roster of mine.

 

6. OF Dasan Brown | 20 | A+ | 2025

In 2021, Brown couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a water bottle processing plant. Thus, he mostly disappeared from the dynasty baseball consciousness. One thing about 80-grade runners: they’re never out of chances for our purposes. Jorge Mateo is a good example. Adalberto Mondesi, too. We’ll see how the new rules affect the running game, but it’s hard to imagine they change the fact that steals make the roto-world go ’round. Roger Cedeno popped into my head while writing that sentence. Anyway, Brown still strikes out too much (28 percent), but he still produced a 130 wRC+ and .392 on base percentage with 11 steals in 40 games as a 20-year-old at High-A. I think it gives Brown a tiny little boost that the organization seems committed to fielding strong outfield defenses.

 

7. RHP Yosver Zulueta | 25 | AAA | 2023

Tricky one here. Zulueta has extreme upside but lacks experience due to a series of extremely unfortunate events that include Tommy John surgery and a torn ACL. Plus there’s the whole defecting from Cuba thing. It all adds up to an incredible talent with a high-nineties fastball who could probably help in the bullpen a whole lot sooner than he could help in the rotation.

 

8. SS Tucker Toman | 19 | CPX | 2026 

The son of a college coach, Toman grew up to be a switch hitter with solid swings from either side. The Blue Jays selected him 77th overall in this year’s draft and paid an over-slot bonus to sign him. He fits well with what this organization has prized the past several years: middle-infield hands with plate skills, even if the players aren’t particularly strong or fast, which describes Toman well enough at the moment.

 

9. 2B Cade Doughty | 22 | A | 2025

Doughty played three years for LSU and struck out a total of 89 times in 133 games. He drew 56 walks and hit 30 home runs. Is that something you might be interested in? At 6’1” 205 lbs, Doughty doesn’t pop off the screen in any particular way, but the sum of his parts has always produced plus outcomes, so Toronto selected him 78th overall in this year’s draft.

 

10. OF Devonte Brown | 22 | A | 2025

So here’s a guy who caught my eye. I doubt you’ll find him on any lists, but I can’t wait to see him against upper-minors arms. It’s not like Brown comes out of nowhere. He did go undrafted this season but had slugged .500 for two straight seasons in the ACC at NC State, an impressive enough feat for any young hitter. It makes perfect sense that Toronto wouldn’t overlook a productive, patient bat with only medium-good tools. That describes most of this list.

Thanks for reading!

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vince
21 days ago

Barriera not on list. kid throws hard and is athletic. your thoughts? thanks for all you do for us roto heads

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  vince
20 days ago

am looking at him vs snelling, ferris, prielipp at 45th overall in a 30 teamer right now.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  goodfold2
20 days ago

it’s almost certainly TINSTAPP though.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  goodfold2
10 days ago

went him at 45th, got ferris and harrington later too. needed long term pitching depth, got 3 pretty highly real life drafted guys.

Allen
Allen
23 days ago

Hey, weird aside, I clicked on this article right as the guy on the podcast I am listening too said “itch”, anyway, nerdy question, anyone you seen draft or own these guys? Ethan Salas, Emmanuel Bonilla, Brainer Guerrero, Luis Morales, Robert Gala and Luis Guanipa — how soon does Salas go in FYPDs?

Gracias

goodfold2
goodfold2
24 days ago

got that 30 teamer 6 round slow draft starting shortly, am going over your posts but i’m quite behind currently. what’s best spot (besides yours that’ll be later) for 1st year lists? prospects live got more paywalled up than previously (team top 30’s you get 10 not 30 unless paywall). i got this link here which is a lot of sites including your stuff. but obviously really don’t want to miss any names prior to you finishing your team by team lists
https://fantasyrundown.com/2023-mlb-top-prospects/

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  goodfold2
23 days ago

do have obviously the top 15 from 2022 page in july and top 100 post draft for the AL west teams not done yet as some of those might pop up in that as not owned.

Matt
Matt
28 days ago

Where did you hear about Tiedemann first last year? Mine was Ben Badler on the BA pod but it seems these days you can get such a monster advantage in dynasty leagues getting guys like this in March and April and either flip or hold, Chourio, Tovar, Endy, etc.

Seems TOR has some strong young arms, any worry still in AL East these days or is that done with now that NYY is the only semi scary offense? Used to avoid TOR pitchers in dynasty.

Been reading all your lists, huge to be out this early in the offseason.

goodfold2
goodfold2
Reply to  Matt
20 days ago

in case not known that g.pontes he’s mentioning was ex ralph prospetor here for years (just prior to itch actually). co-founder prospectslive.

junior56
junior56
29 days ago

Hi Itch! Sorry to hear about the desktop. Hope all is well with you and the family. Moving forward hope Barger make it to the show this year I could use a 3B off the bench. How much longer Bichette leads off for the Jays? Plays SS? Seems father time caught up with him in 2022.

Doctor Savage
Doctor Savage
Reply to  junior56
19 days ago

George Springer is the leadoff hitter for the Jays, and likely will be for the foreseeable future, and Bo put up 4.5 fWAR on the strength of a 129 wRC+ in 2022, so I’m not sure what the “father time has caught up with him” business is all about…

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
29 days ago

Hey Itch,

Just curious what you would see as Barger’s role with the Blue Jays. Obviously, he’s not going to pay SS. Any chance at 2B? Or is he going to be a utility/bench bat guy?

Harley Earl
Harley Earl
Reply to  The Itch
27 days ago

Thanks Itch. One more quick question if I may. Where would you put the ceiling for Barger? Stats or similar player by name is fine. Thanks!

Brett
Brett
29 days ago

Morning Itch, great stuff as always.

I have a team with 20 milb spots and I hate being saturated. Looking for two or three guys to cut in the new year so I can add pop ups as they pop. Are there a couple names you’re okay dropping from this list?

Joey Wiemer
Pedro Leon
Aaron Zavala
Dustin Harris
Andy Pages
Yiddi Cappe

And to tie it in with this article, would you drop any of them for a Barger or a Gabbo Martinez? Thanks, love your work.

Schoolboy P
Schoolboy P
29 days ago

Good morning!
Looking to snag a minor league Catcher who can come up early/mid year and make an impact in the same way MJ Melendez did last year. I picked him up for $1 with the last pick of the draft and am hoping to do the same this year.
I had my eyes on Endy Rodriguez, but PIT signed Hedges. Then I moved to Bo Naylor and of course they signed Zunino.

Any recommendations?

Schoolboy P
Schoolboy P
Reply to  Schoolboy P
29 days ago

Ignore this duplicate. Sorry!
Thank you for the response, Endy it is!

fivepoundbass
fivepoundbass
29 days ago

Morning Itch, thanks for the great stuff, as always. I am happy to see that you have at least some faith in Orelvis. I’ve been sitting on him for a while in a league where about 100 minor leaguers are kept. He’s kinda all over prospect lists right now. He has a very loud carrying tool, so hopefully they will start him again at AA and he can make some progress on the hit tool.

Prawn Lord
Prawn Lord
29 days ago

Hi Itch!
Would you hang on to Orelvis in a 14 team league with limited (13) farm system spots? Would be dropping to get an extra farm draft pick.
Thanks!

Schoolboy P
Schoolboy P
29 days ago

Good morning! Question about catchers –
Last year I snagged MJ Melendez for $1 with the last pick in my keeper league (2 catcher league). This year, I am hoping to do the same thing.
Based on your prior columns I had either Bo Naylor or Endy Rodriguez pegged as my picks. Of course, CLE signed Zunino and PIT signed Hedges, so that sucks. Anyone other catchers who you think will get an early/mid year promotion and be an impact bat the same way Melendez was last year?

Thanks!!

Jimmy
Jimmy
29 days ago

Morning Itch! Is Tyler Gentry ready and will he break camp with the big team?
Thank you!

galica1234
galica1234
29 days ago

The Itch!!!!

Awesome!!!

a. Fab read considering I signed up Tiedemann, thanks to you in 2022.

b. Horwitz=Jon Olerud! and he’d be a fan favorite among the Jewish community in TO!

c. Happy new year, like Miley said smoke ’em if you got ’em.

d. George Carlin quote of the day for December 28, 2022

‘Tell you another reason hockey is not a sport it’s not played with a ball. Anything that isn’t played with a ball can’t be a sport. These are my rules I make them up. Hockey is played with a puck. What is a puck? I never even heard of a puck outside of hockey. Have you ever heard of a puck? The only other place you find a puck is in the urinal to control the smell in the bathroom all right? And as far as I’m concerned any game where the main object is something that came out of a urinal is definitely not a sport.’

PLAYING WITH YOUR HEAD (1986)

Cheers,
Ante