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2017 Draft Preview: organizational outfield depth

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For previous entries, see the 2017 Draft Storystream

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Next up are the outfielders. The preamble/background that follows is identical to previous entries, so those familiar can skip to the next section. For each grouping, players are displayed on a chart according to both major league upside and experience level (an approximate proxy for risk). This is not an exact science, so take the positioning with a grain of salt, but it looks something like this:

position template 2

Keep in mind that "reasonable upside" is not the same as likely or base case projection, and most players at the lower levels won't come anywhere close it. Basically, if the player's development goes well, this is what he could become. And conversely, it's not an absolute ceiling either and there is potential for upside surprise. Kevin Pillar would be a prime example.

For the purposes of this exercise, I'm including not only players with rookie eligibility, but also players ~25 or under contributing or established at the major league level with 3+ years service time to give a better sense of the total organizational depth. As a general rule, I've kept players included last year for comparative purposes.

2017 depth OF

The first group is near term impact talent, on the 40-man roster. Kevin Pillar obviously projects as an anchor for the rest of the decade (at least). Dalton Pompey is yet to break through, with injuries really hindering him and the first step is to stay healthy. Anthony Alford is succeeding in AA, and could realistically now be within a year of being a MLB contributor. Realistically, if one of those two became an average or better regular over the long term, that would be a good outcome.

The next conceptual subgroup would be some upper level prospect without the impact ceiling of the above group. Dwight Smith Jr and Harold Ramirez both profile as tweeners, who won't hit enough to be regulars in a corner. Jonathan Davis and Derrick Loveless fit in this group as well, though without quite the same pedigree. The Jays would be well to get one contributor from this group, either a second division regular type or bench/platoon bat.

The third group is the starting outfield in Lansing, two highly drafted college player and an international signee from off the map. J.B. Woodman certainly has tools, but the 40% strikeout rate in low-A does not portend well. Joshua Palacios hasn't picked up where he left off last year, but is still very interesting. Edward Olivares is holding his own in Lansing after moving very quickly through the lowest levels.

There's a tier of potential bench or role players, the likes of Darrell Ceciliani, Ian Parmley, Andrew Guillotte (more of a utility type than strict outfielder) and Roemon Fields. All of those could one day conceivably be in Toronto.

Finally, there's a bunch of very young, very risky wild card prospects that have been brought into the system recently. Reggie Pruitt is a l, but the performance hasn't been there yet, the same is true of D.J. Daniels but who had a very rough post-draft debut. Chavez Young had a nice debut, he's one to keep an eye on.

Removed from last year: Domonic Brown (free agent), D.J. Davis (lack of performance), Rodrigo Orozco (not in full season at age 22)