With the increased depth in the Blue Jays system, there’s a lot of prospects who didn’t make the Top 40 list that have interesting potential and are worth highlighting. That’s where the various “Beyond the Top 40” lists come into play, but even having profiled more than two dozen more prospects, there’s others who haven’t fit into the themes of a list. Therefore, today is one final catch-all of other notable prospects, divided into four sub-groupings
One thing to emphasize with these “Beyond the Top 40” lists is that appearing on one versus another that appears earlier or later is not indicative of ranking. Even though this is the last one, if the main list kept going, there are players here that would rank alongside or ahead of players on the consensus just missed list or my pref list.
AAA Pitchers (theoretical near term call-ups)
Zach Jackson, RHP, age 25
A dominant reliever at Arkansas, Jackson was a 3rd round pick in 2016 and higher profile than most on this list. He was serviceable in Buffalo, but the results have stagnated as he’s moved up with his strikeout rate down to 24% and still walking too many. He tends use a ton of pitches too, a function of wildness but also the lack of a true putaway secondary. He’s touch 94-95, but it’s generally lower-90s. He may get the call at some point, but without anything plus, I wouldn’t be expecting much.
Bryan Baker, RHP, age 25
The third player to come over in the Sueng-hwan Oh deal, Baker’s got a hard fastball in the 94-97 range along with a big, power curve in the low-80s. It definitely profiles as big league calibre, and has enabled strikeout rates above 30% in the upper minors. The issue is finding the zone, with a walk rate above 15% last year. He’ll almost certainly get a shot at some point, if he can improve the control some he could be a decent bullpen option.
Andrew Sopko, RHP, age 25
In contrast to the two above, Sopko has a feel for pitching and will mix three/four pitches when effective, but has well below average velocity (high 80s, touching low 90s). He doesn’t have a true putaway pitch, but his change-up and curve are solid. He got off to a nice start start in New Hampshire, but was really hit around in Buffalo. He dealt with injuries and maybe that was a factor, but not a promising indicator of how marginal stuff might translate to today’s juiced ball game.
Kirby Snead, LHP, age 25
Snead’s a lower slot lefty with a low-90s fastball and a sweeping breaking ball, sort of the classic LOOGY profile. He’s turned in decent performance at the upper levels, and is in major league camp so it wouldn’t be shocking if got called up to MLB at some point. But for me he’s basically a guy (wasn’t fond of the pick at the time, but the Jays seemed to have a quota for drafting a Florida Gator reliever on the second day at the time).
Corey Copping, RHP, age 25
Acquired for John Axford at the 2018 deadline, Copping’s fastball sits 92-93, touching a tick or two higher. His breaking ball varies from more of a true curve around 80 to more of a slider as high as 85, and more slurvy in between. He’d be behind the other two right-handed relievers for me, but again, could factor in at some point.
Nick Allgeyer, LHP, age 24/25
Had a really strong first half (2.89 ERA) before tailing off in the second half (5.14 ERA) with a much lower strikeout rate. Perhaps a sign of the league catching up to him, since it’s modest raw stuff with a fastball 88-91, but there’s three usable secondaries with a change-up, curve and slider. In my looks the change-up was the most effective, but none are really plus secondaries. Still, he handled a pretty big jump
Kyle Johnson, RHP, age 23/24
Johnston came over at the trade deadline for Daniel Hudson, and had a really rough go of it with Dunedin to end the season after decent high-A numbers before. He looked quite ordinary the one outing I saw, low-90s fastball and low-80s slider, profiling to me as a reliever. But maybe the trade messed with him, statistically he was a different pitcher and maybe he looks better in 2020 having settled in.
Sean Wymer, RHP, age 23
It’s been an inconsistent pro career for the 2018 4th rounder, similar to his junior year at TCU and barring a breakthrough he’ll probably end up in the bullpen where he had more success in college. It’s a three pitch mix, low-90s fastball, change-up and low-70s slurvy breaking ball.
Winder Garcia, RHP, age 18
I don’t really have any solid information on this undersized 5’10” righty signed in late-2017, but the Jays have been pretty good at unearthing some gems who don’t sign for big dollars on July 2nd. Garcia not only made from the DSL stateside in his first season, but was polished enough to be sent to Vancouver to start the last game of the season, where he turned in a nice start. That’s more than notable even without having any idea about his stuff.
Grant Townsend, RHP, age 22/23
More a reliever profile, but I thought his slider his pretty good and while it seems like he was sitting more around 90 on his fastball, he touched higher so in shorter bursts that could tick up. The 30% strikeout rate in Vancouver was intriguing.
Curtis Taylor, RHP, age 24/25
If the list had gone to 50, there’s a good chance Taylor would have made the backend, and just didn’t fit into any of the other lists. A 2016 4th rounder acquired in the Eric Sogard trade, he’s posted some impressive strikeout totals without the control issues of other hard throwers in his list. In 2018, the Rays were developing him as a multi-inning reliever before a more traditional one inning role in 2019.
He was off to a dominant start (1.06 ERA in 17 innings) before having elbow troubles and two awful outings, and then missed the last three months. Apparently it was only a strained UCL and not a tear, and one would think the Blue Jays wouldn’t have chosen him if the medicals weren’t reasonable, but my concern is it kept him out of the AFL after 2018 and was an issue in spring training last year. If he’s healthy, the fastball/slider combination certainly profiles as a legit MLB reliever and he’d reasonably fit at the backend of the list.
Jackson Rees, RHP, age 25
The numbers speak for themselves: 0.73 ERA in 61.2 innings with 88 strikeouts (37%) against 15 walks and a ton of ground balls. But it’s not smoke and mirrors either, his fastball is 93-95 with a good slider in the 85-87 range that misses bats. That’s the profile of a major league reliever. That the Blue Jays found/developed/unlocked this in an undrafted free agent is very impressive.
Sean Rackoski, RHP, age 25 in 2020
If finding one UDFA prospect is impressive, how about two in the same year? Rackoski wasn’t as dominant as Rees, but posted a 2.73 ERA in 62.2 innings with 67 strikeouts (26%) and plenty of ground balls. There’s similarities stuff-wise in that Rackoski’s fastball is also generally 93-95 with an upper-80s slider, but the shape isn’t as tight or consistently good.
Brad Wilson, RHP, age 23
Another reliever whose fastball will get up to 94-95 with a decent slider, with strong performance despite making a pretty big jump from rookie ball to AA by the end of the year.
Yorman Rodriguez, 1B/DH, age 22/23
Rodriguez posted some interesting numbers in complex and rookie ball, high-but-empty averages by not striking out much but putting the ball in play with little power. He scuffled in 2018 in Vancouver, but repeating the level was a different story as he hit .369 in 170 PA in 2019 while only striking out 7% of the time with a little gap power. The carried over to Lansing the last month of the season. I can’t him as a catcher, and it’s a really weird profile for a bat first player. But a single digit strikeout rate is remarkable these days.
- Demi Orimoloye, OF, age 23
Acquired for Curtis Granderson right at the end of August 2018, Orimoloye had a brutal first half (and repeating high-A at all), but posted a .786 OPS in the second half with 10 home runs (and 24 extra base hits total compared to nine in the first half). With significant tools and him still relatively young, that’s intriguing despite caveats and risks factors.
Alberto Rodriguez, RF, age 19
There’s not a whole lot to say here, but Rodriguez signed for $500,000 so clearly there was some pedigree to warrant that, and hitting .301/.364/.422 in the GCL indicates some skill as opposed to simply raw tools.
Davis Schneider, 3B, age 21
Had a torrid start in 2018 with Bluefield, then cooled off and finished with middling production. The reverse happened in 2019, as Schneider had a poor start up in Vancouver and ended up squeezed for playing time on an infield crowded with college draft picks. Back in Bluefield, he torched the league with a .930 OPS with significantly increased power and a touch lower strikeout rate.
Others in Passing
- RHP Donnie Sellers and RHP Colton Laws: both missed all of 2019, Sellers in particular is interesting as a reliever)
- RHP Emerson Jimenez: good numbers in Dunedin, will touch mid-90s with a slurvy low-80s breaking ball
- RHP Maverik Buffo: similar to Graham Spraker, I’d like to see what he could do purely as a one inning reliever, he’s got some quality secondaries