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Bluebird Banter Top 40 Prospect Review

Toronto Blue Jays v. Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Since the minor leagues seasons are over, I thought we’d take a quick look how the players on our Top 40 Prospect list did this season.

  1. Vlad: Having a very good rookie season and yet we all seem disappointed. I really like watching young players, but the bad part is people want them to be perfect right away. He’s going to be very good. We should be happy with a 20-year old hitting .276/.351/.458 in his rookie year
  2. Bo Bichette: Came up and was off the chart. In a bit of slump now. One of those things baseball people say is that they like to see a young player have troubles so they can see how he works his way out of it. His defense has looked better than I expected. And I wouldn’t have expected a .311/.347/.590 line after 37 games.
  3. Danny Jansen: Having a rough rookie season with the bat. He has a .204/.277/.359 line. I’ve said that it must be tough to be a rookie catcher and have to deal with 36 pitchers, several rookies, lots of guys picked off the waiver wire. I’d guess he’s caught at least a dozen guys who he didn’t know 48 hours before he first put down signs for them.
  4. Nate Pearson: He’s moved up to number 7 on Baseball America’s 100 prospect list. After throwing just a couple of innings last year, he’s thrown 101.2 innings this season. Split between Dunedin, New Hampshire and Buffalo he had a 2.30 ERA, allowed 63 hits, 8 home runs, 27 walks and 119 strikeouts. I wonder how many innings they will cap him at next year. I’m thinking we’ll see him in Toronto at some point next season.
  5. Eric Pardinho: Made 7 starts at Lansing. He has a 2.41 ERA. In 33.2 innings he allowed 29 hits, 1 home run, 16 walks and 35 strikeouts. Turns 19 in January. Next year Dunedin, maybe New Hampshire at some point.
  6. Jordan Groshans: He is #38 on Baseball America’s latest Top 100 list. He hit .337/.427/.482 with 2 home runs, 13 walks and 21 strikeouts in 23 games. He hasn’t played since May 13th with a foot injury. He should be ready for next season.
  7. Sean Reid-Foley: He did not have a good year. He had a 6.47 ERA in Buffalo. In 89 innings he allowed 78 hits, 13 home runs, 65 walks and 105 strikeouts. 6.6 walks per 9 inning isn’t what we wanted to see. And he had a few innings in Toronto, 9 games, 6 starts. He actually looked a little better for the Jays. He had a 4.26 ERA. In 31.2 innings he allowed 33 hits, 5 home runs, 21 walks and 28 strikeouts. Some guys take a little longer than others to figure things out, but then some never do.
  8. T.J. Zeuch: He had a terrific August, which convinced the Blue Jays to bring him up in September. In 6 August starts (which included a no-hitter) he had a 2.28 ERA. In 13 Buffalo starts he had a 3.69 ERA. In 78 innings he allowed 70 hits, 6 home runs, 32 walks and 39 strikeouts (and 8 hit batters). His first appearance in the majors went well.
  9. Kevin Smith: Had a rough first look at Double A. He hit .209/.263/.402 with 19 home runs, 29 walks and 151 strikeouts. A 32% strikeout rate isn’t what I expected from him. He had a really good July (.333/.370/.708), and we thought he figured it out, August wasn’t good (.174/.224/.315). Everyone is allowed an off year, but he’ll be falling down our list next year.
  10. Cavan Biggio: He was terrific in Buffalo (.312/.448/.514 in 43 games). And he’s been good for the Jays (.207/.342/.376 with 12 homer runs, 25 strikeouts and 10 steals, without being caught). The 10 steals surprises me. UZR has him at -1.1/150, which seems about what I see with my eyes. I think he’ll be an average or slightly better than average second baseman.
  11. Anthony Alford: He had a terrible start to his season in Buffalo. From there it was up and down and, of course, there were some injuries. June was terrific (.361/.541/.525), and then he didn’t play all of July. August was pretty good, but then there was another injury. In all he hit .259/.343/.411 with 7 home runs, 22 steals (8 times). I’m hoping he gets a bunch of at bats before the end of the season but, so far, they are giving at bats to Anthony Davis. I like Alford more than Hernandez, but I might be in the minority.
  12. Adam Kloffenstein: Had a terrific season for the Canadians. 2.24 ERA in 13 starts. In 64.1 innings he allowed 47 hits, 4 home runs, 23 walks and 64 strikeouts. Pretty great for an 18-year-old.
  13. Patrick Murphy: It was pretty much a lost season for Patrick, after being told his delivery was illegal. I don’t understand why his delivery is worse than a dozen or so guys in the majors that start their delivery with a rock step or a tap. Add in that he missed time with injuries. In all he made 18 starts, had a 4.71. In 84 inning he allowed 75 hits, 7 home runs, 27 walks and 86 strikeouts. I’m figuring we give him a mulligan for this season.
  14. Hector Perez: He had a terrible start to his season in Buffalo. After that it’s been up and down. In total, he had a 4.60 ERA in 26 games, 24 starts. In 121.1 he allowed 130 hits, 9 home runs, 67 walks and 117 strikeouts. The second half of the season was pretty good, 3.56 in 12 games 10 starts. 55.2 innings, 51 hits, 30 walks and 51 strikeouts.
  15. Chavez Young: He wasn’t great in his first season at Dunedin. Hit .247/.315/.354 with 6 home runs, 35 walks and 102 strikeouts. He had 24 steals, caught 11 times. Young is raising money for Hurricane Dorian Relief.
  16. Thomas Pannone: Spent most of the year on the highway between Toronto. He had good moments and bad moments. In Toronto he had a 6.35 ERA in 31 games, 6 starts. in 66.2 innings he allowed 64 hits, 13 home runs, 28 walks and 63 strikeouts. In Buffalo he was in 8 games, 6 starts. In 33.2 innings he allowed 25 hits, 4 home runs, 28 walks and 63 strikeouts.
  17. Rowdy Tellez: Rowdy spent most of the season with the Blue Jays. In 96 games he’s hit .219/.281/.426 with 17 home runs, 22 walks and 100 strikeouts. The 28% strikeout rate and 6.3% walk rate isn’t what I thought we’d see from him. In Buffalo he hit .366/.450/.614 with 7 home runs, 14 walks and 25 strikeouts. If I ran things, I think I’d start next year with Rowdy as our first baseman, but I’d likely sign a veteran who could DH and play first if Rowdy can’t bring his numbers up.
  18. Yennsy Diaz: He was very good for the Fisher Cats. In 26 games, 24 starts he had a 3.74 ERA. In 144.1 innings he allowed 125 hits, 12 home runs, 53 walks and 116 strikeouts. He had that one appearance in Toronto. I kind of think we’d be better off with him in the bullpen, but we’ll see how things go next year.
  19. Griffin Conine: After the PED suspension ended, Griffin was very good in Lansing. Hit .283/.371/.476 with 22 home runs, 38 walks and 125 strikeouts in 80 games. The strikeouts is a worry. It will be tough to move up the ladder with a 36% strikeout rate.
  20. Miguel Hiraldo: He was very good in Bluefield. He hit .300/.348/.481 with 7 home runs, 14 walk and 36 strikeouts, with 11 steals. He split time between second base and shortstop.
  21. Hagen Danner: After hitting .279/.409/.432 in Bluefield, his .170/.254/.369 in Lansing was a surprise and not a pleasant one. He split time between catcher and first base.
  22. Orelvis Martinez: He had a terrific season in the GCL. He hit .275/.352/.549 with 7 home runs, 5 triples, 14 walks and 29 strikeouts. He played 26 games at short and 11 at third base. He made 17 errors at short, but then I don’t worry about errors until they get to A ball.
  23. Billy McKinney: He’s been up and down between Toronto and Buffalo a handful of times. For the Jays he’s hitting .213/.264/.407 with 9 home runs, 14 walks and 63 strikeouts in 71 games. In Buffalo he hit .271/.383/.488 with 4 home runs in 36 games. I’d rather Alford in the fourth outfielder spot.
  24. Ryan Noda: Last year he hit .256/.421/.484 with 20 home runs in Lansing which put him on the prospect radar. This year, in Dunedin, he hit .238/.381/.418 with 13 home runs, 74 walks and 138 strikeouts. He also had 14 steals (caught 2 times).
  25. Reese McGuire: Reese hit .247/.316/.366 with 5 home runs, 25 walks and 44 strikeouts in 72 games in Buffalo. Since coming up to Toronto, he’s hitting .306/.317/.548 with 4 home runs, 1 walk and 12 strikeouts. He looks good behind the plate. I’d be happy if he was our backup catcher for the next 10 years. I like left-handed hitting catchers in the backup job.
  26. Elvis Luciano: Should be coming off the IL very good.
  27. Trent Thornton: Who had Trent leading the team in starts and innings pitched this season? He’s had good and bad starts. In his four wins he has a 1.11 ERA. In his 9 losses he has a 9.61 ERA.
  28. Logan Warmoth: Started the year in Dunedin. He hit .292/.380/.423 with 3 home runs, 19 walks and 41 strikeouts in 35 games. Moved up to New Hampshire, he didn’t hit as well, .200/.290/.277 with 22 walks and 74 strikeouts in 65 games. Between the two he had 14 steals.
  29. Forrest Wall: He started the season in New Hampshire, hitting .270/.353/.419 with 9 home runs, 49 walks and 109 strikeouts in 109 games. He moved up to Buffalo, in August, hitting .255/.340/.447 with 2 home runs, 6 walks and 14 strikeouts in 14 games.
  30. Leonardo Jimenez: He started the season in Bluefield, hitting .298/.377/.377 with 21 walks and 42 strikeouts in 56 games there. He played 2 games in Lansing at the end of the year. He played 39 games at short and 17 at second.
  31. Justin Maese: Missed almost all the the season, after missing all of last year following shoulder surgery.
  32. Brock Lundquist: After a very good 2018 split between Lansing and Dunedin, Brock didn’t have a great time in New Hampshire. He hit .232/.308/.351 with 6 home runs, with 37 walks and 105 strikeouts.
  33. Santiago Espinal: He had a good season. Started out in New Hampshire and hit .278/.343/.381 with 5 home runs, 35 walks and 50 strikeouts in 94 games (also 12 steals and 13 caught stealing). Moving up to Buffalo, he hit .317/.360/.433 with 2 home runs, 7 walks and 23 strikeouts in 28 games.
  34. Chad Spanberger: Spent the season in New Hampshire hitting .237/.308/.399 with 13 home runs, 43 walks and 117 strikeouts. He did finish well, .337/.396/.530 with 3 home runs, 8 walks and 21 strikeouts in 23 games. Hopefully that will carry over to next year.
  35. Zach Jackson: Pitched for the Bisons (won 9 games pitching out of the pen, with no losses). In 46 games he had a 3.97 ERA. In 68 innings he allowed 56 hits, 10 home runs, 34 walks and 68 strikeouts. He did bring the walk rate down (last year he had 51 walks in 62 innings).
  36. Jackson McClelland: Pitched most of the season in New Hampshire. He pitched in 32 games there with a 2.98 ERA. In 42.1 innings, 33 hits, 4 homers, 21 walks and 42 strikeouts. Moved up to Buffalo he pitched in 11 games, had a 6.00 ERA. In 15 innings he allowed 12 hits, 2 homers, 11 walks and 14 strikeouts. He had 2 bad games for the Bisons, giving up 9 of his 10 earned runs in those two games.
  37. Joshua Palacios: Spent the season in New Hampshire. Hit .266/.371/.416 with 7 home runs, 45 walks and 70 strikeouts. Also 15 steals. He hit better after the All-Star break (.280/.376/.469) than before (.252/.365/.364). He played 35 games in center, 25 in right and 15 in left. He turned 24 at the end of July.
  38. Otto Lopez: He had a terrific season in Lansing. He hit .324/.371/.425 with 5 home runs, 34 walks and 63 strikes outs. He stole 20 bases, caught 15 times (not the success rate you would like to see). He played mostly short (82 games), but also second (19 games) and left (11 games).
  39. Alejandro Kirk: He started the season in Lansing, hitting .299/.427/.519 with 3 home runs in 21 games. Then he moved up to Dunedin, where he hit .288/.395/.446 with 4 home runs, 38 walks and 31 strikeouts in 71 games. He will much higher on the list next year.
  40. Riley Adams: He started the season in Dunedin (where he played all of last year) and hit .277/.434/.462 with 3 home runs, 14 walks and 18 strikeouts in 19 games before moving up to New Hampshire. There he hit ..258/.349/.439 with 11 home runs, 32 walks and 105 strikeouts in 81 games. I’m thinking he’ll be moving up the list too.