Each year, after we do our 40 man prospect list, we discuss players that didn't make the list, but who we were still kind of interested in. A couple of these guys I had at the back of my 40 man prospect list, but I got out voted. There are a couple that didn't quite make my list but I think could make the list in the future. And then there are a couple that were on past lists, that I just wanted to check on.
Yennsy Diaz, RHP, age 19, DOB: November 15, 1996.
Yannsy was an international free agent signing, from the Dominican, back in 2014. He had his first taste of pitching in the organization last year. He started the year in the Dominican Summer League, pitching in 10 games, 6 starts, with a 1.93 ERA, 37 innings, 30 hits, 16 walks and 39 strikeouts. He moved up to the Gulf Coast League and pitched in 5 more games, 3 more starts, had a 4.74 ERA. In 19 innings, he allowed 24 hits, 7 walks with 19 strikeouts. Too many walks, but then it was his first time pitching in professional ball. And, he struck out more than a batter an inning..
He's not a big guy, 6'1", listed at 160 (but I'd imagine he's working on adding muscle). Give him another year, if he continues to strike guys out, and he'll be on our list.
Jesus Severino, SS,age 18 (DOB: June 11, 1997).
Another international free agent signing from the Dominican, in 2013. Jesus got a $400,000 signing bonus. He started 2015 in the DOSL, hitting .354/.483/.396 with 11 walks and 10 strikeouts, in 14 games. Quickly moved up to the GCL, he hit just .198/.316/.260 with 13 walks and 30 strikeouts in 33 games. They say he's a good defensive shortstop, but he made 15 errors. In 2014 he stole 10 bases, but last year he only had 2. He's listed at 6'1" and 175.
Osman Gutierrez, RHP, age 21 (DOB: December 15, 1994).
Another international signing, this time from Leon, Nicaragua, he signed for $210,000, in 2011. He had pretty great numbers in 2014, putting up a 1.91 ERA in the DSL. He pitched in 12 games, 10 starts, giving up 44 hits, 25 walks with 42 strikeouts in 47 innings. Last year he was moved up to the GCL, The numbers weren't so good. 4.66 ERA in 11 games, 9 starts. In 46.1 innings, allowing 50 hits, 15 walks with 41 strikeouts.
He is a bigger guy, listed at 6'4", 210 pounds. When he was signed, he was throwing a 90 mph fastball, a curve and a change. At 21 he's going to have to start moving up the ladder if he wants to land on our prospect list last year.
Hansel Rodriguez, RHP, age 18 (DOB: February 27, 1997, better mail your card now).
Hansel was a Dominican international signing, from 2014 (is Hansel a common name in the DR?). Last year he had a 4.68 ERA in 10 games, 7 starts in the GCL. He allowed 48 hits, 10 walks with 37 strikeouts in 42.1 innings.
When he was signed, Baseball America's Ben Badler said that he throw a fastball that hit 95 and an 'above average' curveball.
L.B. Dantzler, LHB, age 24 (DOB: May 22, 1991).
Dantzler went from #16 on our list, in 2014, to off the list, in 2015, to....well much further of the list this year. When he was drafted, in the 14th round of the 2013 draft, we hoped he would develop the power needed to carry a first baseman to the majors. After his first season of minor league ball, we were hopeful. He hit .302/.38/.504, in 59 games at Vancouver,in 2013.
Since then, the power has disappeared. In 2014 he hit .245/.328/.361 with 6 home runs in 91 games split between Lansing and Dunedin. Last year, he hit .251/.305/.368 in 98 games at Dunedin. On the plus side, he played some games in left field, so maybe he isn't limited to first base and DH. Well, actually, it's more that they wanted Matt Dean to play some first, so Dantzler had to play somewhere else.
Matt Dean, RHB, 1B/3B, age 23 (DOB: December 22, 1992).
Last year, Dean was 37th on our list, dropping from 26 the year before. You would think that, with the number of prospects lost to the system, that Dean would have been able to hold a spot this year. But no.
Dean spent the year at Dunedin, hitting .253/.313/.410 with 14 home runs in 123 games. Not awful, but you would expect more from a corner infield prospect. He's a big guy, 6'3" and 215, so we keep expecting him to show more power. Since he's 23 now, he better show it sooner not later. And he's going to have to strike out less. He struck out 26.6% of the time. And walking more would be ok too, he walk in just 6.9% of PA.
The Jays seem to be moving him off third base, he's played much more at first than third over the past couple of seasons. Moving to an lesser defensive spot on the spectrum puts a bit more pressure on his bat.
Having completed the journey through the top 40 prospects, we look at players who retain rookie eligibility but were excluded by the age cutoff.
If you have missed any earlier posts in our annual prospects list, you can find them here: