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Scouting Report on new Blue Jays Thomas Pannone and Samad Taylor

From Brian Hemminger of Let’s Go Tribe

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays
I believe this child is neither Thomas Pannone nor Samad Taylor, however, he has a glove on and he’s young.
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

After the Blue Jays traded Joe Smith, I talked to Brian Hemminger, who writes about Cleveland’s prospects for Let's Go Tribe, about the players the Jays got back. Here is what he had to say:

In Thomas Pannone, the Blue Jays are getting perhaps the most underrated prospect in the entire Cleveland Indians farm system. While former top draft picks and southpaw pitchers Brady Aiken, Rob Kaminsky and Juan Hillman have received most of the attention in the Indians prospect rankings, it’s been Pannone who has put up the best overall results of any left-handed pitching prospect in the system.

Over the last two seasons while advancing from Single-A to High-A to Double-A, Pannone has led all Indians pitching prospects with a 2.30 ERA. He’s struck out 242 batters in 243 innings pitched, holding a 3.07 FIP. At one point, he had a scoreless innings streak of over 45 innings and has only allowed more than three runs once since June 7th, 2016.

The 23-year old relies on deception with his delivery, but he’s added velocity to his fastball, which was recently upgraded by Fangraphs and he mixes in a plus curve and change-up. Personally, I think Pannone is the best left-handed pitching prospect that the Indians had.

Samad Taylor is another intriguing middle infield prospect. Drafted in the 10th round last year, Taylor has done nothing but produce since he started playing, batting .293 in his first taste of pro ball last year as a 17/18 year old. He’s performed even better this season, slashing .300/.328/.467 through 28 games in Low-A Mahoning Valley.

Taylor is still very young, but his contact rate is rock solid and he’s starting to showcase some power, leading the Scrappers in home runs thus far with four. Defensively, he mostly plays second base but has put a bit of time in at shortstop and his fielding percentage is on the rise, only committing two errors this season in 46 chances.

While neither player was listed on the Indians top 30 for MLB Pipeline, they likely both would have been if they had been drafted in the first few rounds with similar stats. In Pannone, I think the Blue Jays have a future fourth starter if not better, and he should be available next season at the latest. Taylor will take a bit more seasoning, but he’s showing zero signs of being in over his head yet and should slot in nicely in the Jays system. I wish both players luck in their new homes!

Thanks Brian.