Checking In On Where Blue Jays Top 50 Prospects Are

Kevin Smith photo credit - Scott Greene, @Scotty_Ballgame on Twitter

With the minor league season now a couple weeks old it is time to check in on where some of the prospects from my 2019 Toronto Blue Jays Top 50 Prospects list have landed and see how they are starting.

AAA Buffalo Bisons

The Bats

#1 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Talk of a call-up to Toronto is getting louder every day (and several reports as of publishing this article are pointing to this Tuesday 4/23 as Vlad’s arrival in MLB). After a monster home run hit completely out of the Pawtucket stadium everyone is wondering what more does he need to prove at AAA. He is slashing .412/.500/.824 with zero strikeouts in the 5 games since being recalled from an early rehab assignment at Dunedin. The wait is almost over.

#2 SS Bo Bichette – He started slow going 2 for 20 in the first 5 games but now has an 8 game hit streak going and leads the team with 8 RBI thru the first 13 games.

#7 OF Anthony Alford – The trade of Kevin Pillar looked like it might open the way for Alford to get full-time AB’s in Toronto but now he must wait for the questionable Socrates Brito experiment to play itself out first. He started out the year strong going 7 for 24 in his first 6 games but has now slipped to .182/.256/.386 with 18 strikeouts.

#8 2B Cavan Biggio = He is making a very strong case for an earlier promotion than expected. He leads the team with a .438 average and has an OPS of 1.188 with 2 home runs

#25 C Reese McGuire – .242/.306/.364 in his first 9 games while maintaining his always solid defense behind the plate. He has thrown out 2 of the 8 base-runners so far

#43 OF Jonathan Davis – Started the season on the injured list with an ankle sprain. Has been rehabbing with High-A Dunedin.

The Pitchers

#10 SP Sean Reid-Foley – Lasted  only 2 innings in his first MLB start of the year giving up 3 ER on 4 hits and 2 walks. He has not been any better since being sent back to AAA with a 13.94 ERA in 3 games (2 starts).

#13 SP David Paulino – was roughed up in his second start of the season giving up 5 earned runs in 3.2 IP

#17 SP T.J. Zeuch – started season on injured list

#32 SP Jon Harris – started season on injured list

#39 SP Julian Merryweather – started season on injured list

#44 SP Shawn Morimando – 13.50 ERA in 3 starts

#48 RP Zach Jackson – 8.10 ERA in 5 appearances

SP Jordan Romano – after being selected in rule 5 draft by Texas, Romano was returned on March 23. He has one clean 3 inning relief appearance and one start that he gave up 5 runs in less than 3 innings.

AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats

The Bats

#4 SS Kevin Smith – .240/.283/.440 with 2 HR to start his first AA season. He has started games at SS and 3B. Leading the team with 22 TB.

#16 OF Forrest Wall – back for a second time at AA he is hitting .225/.380/.275 with 12 K in 13 games

#21 1B Chad Spanberger – struggling early with the move up to AA hitting only .140/.246/.260 with 1 HR and 17 K.

#28 SS Santiago Espinal – .220/.278/.320 early on while playing both 2B and SS, Leading team with 8 RBI

#51 OF Joshua Palacios –  .237/.348/.368 in 10 games.

The Pitchers

#12 SP Hector Perez – 1-1 record with a 7.84 ERA in 3 starts. 13.9 K/9 with 16 K in 10.1 IP

#38 SP Yennsy Diaz – 1-1 record with a 4.91 ERA and 0.909 WHIP in 2 starts.

#49 RP Jackson McClelland – 1.42 ERA in 5 appearances. He will need to improve on the  5 walks in 6.1 IP though.

#50 SP Zach Logue –  1-0 record with 3.38 ERA in 3 starts.

SP Patrick Murphy – a glaring omission in my top 50, he should have been somewhere in the 25-30 range. After a strong 2018 season where he was 10-5 with a 2.64 ERA he has started off in AA 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA with 15 K  in 15 IP thru his first 3 starts

SP Andrew Sopko – He missed my top 50 list because he was acquired from the Dodgers for Russell Martin in January just after the list was published. He would have landed in the 45-50 range on the list. After going 3-1 with a 3.88 ERA at AA Tulsa he returns to AA and is 0-2 in his first 2 starts with 10 K in 10 IP.

High A Dunedin Blue Jays

The hitters

#15 SS Logan Warmoth – off to a slow start as he returns to Dunedin for a second time slashing .148/.228/.208 in first 13 games

#24 OF Ryan Noda – leads the team in hits with 16 and is slashing .308/.368/.423 in 13 games

#26 2B Samad Taylor – struggling so far hitting only .156 but 6 walks have contributed to a .341 OBP.

#29 OF Chavez Young – still looking to breakout slashing .245/.298/.377 with 1 HR

#30 C Riley Adams – 5 for 10 in the last 3 games has brought his slashline up to .303/.500/.545. He already has 2 HR as well

#41 OF Demi Orimoloye – in his second try at advanced A level with a new team. Not the start he is looking for hitting only .158

#46 SS Kevin Vicuna – solid start to the season in move up a level slashing .262/.354/.333 in first 12 games

OF Cal Stevenson – another glaring omission from the top 50 list Stevenson had a slashline of .369/.511/.523 in 2018 after being selected in the 10th round of the 2018 draft. In hindsight he should have ranked somewhere in the 35-40 range on my list. An aggressive jump straight to Dunedin from rookie ball has him off to a slow start hitting only .188/.264/.292.

The Pitchers

#5 SP Nate Pearson – After missing all of last season Pearson is dominating the FSL in his first 3 starts with a 17:1 K/BB ratio, 0.75 ERA, 0.50 WHIP and 2-0 record. A quick promotion to AA should be likely.

Low A Lansing Lugnuts

The Hitters

#6 SS Jordan Groshans – 2018 first round pick off to a great start in his first full season hitting .375/.457/.525

#33 C Alejandro Kirk – He continues to hit with the move to full season ball, leading the team with a 1.066 OPS slashing .333/.420/.571 with 2 HR in the first 11 games

#36 C Hagen Danner – Has 4 HR already but only hitting .167 with 12K in his frist 10 games mostly at DH

#46 OF Mc Gregory Contreras – slow start in move up to class A slashing only .195/.250/.258

#49 2B Otto Lopez – strong start hitting .366/.498/.480 with 1 HR, 7 RBI and 5 SB in 11 games

The Pitchers

#40 SP Sean Wymer – has gone 6 innings in all 3 starts so far. 1-0 with 3.93 ERA on 20 hits/5 walks.

SP Juan De Paula – acquired just as the season started from San Francisco in the Kevin Pillar trade. He was #23 on the San Francisco Top 50 prospects list. Now in his 4th organization since being a J2 signing in 2014. His potential and career 2.62 ERA have made him a desirable trade piece three times now after earlier trades for Ben Gamel and Andrew McCutchen. He had a strong outing in his last outing with the new team giving up 1 run and striking out 6 in 5 IP.

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