After a one year hiatus due to the limited insights in the wake of the cancellation of the 2020 season, the Bluebird Banter Top 40 prospect returns and will be unveiled over the next couple weeks with the minor league season set to begin. This year’s list is a collaboration between myself and fellow BBB author Expo45.
As previously, the list was compiled by grades. Lists are fun, but it’s often the case that ordinal rankings obscure as much as they inform. The difference between a few spots on a prospect list can be quite negligible or more in the eye of the beholder, so the idea is to provide more context on we see the prospects relatively, and more emphasis on risks and projected outlooks.
For more detail on the grading scale, see this primer from Fangraphs
There has been significant turnover from two years ago. Seven players from have the 2022 list have graduated and remain in the organization: Nate Pearson (1), Alek Manoah (4), Anthony Kay (7), Alejandro Kirk (8), Reese McGuire (12), Thomas Hatch (19) and Santiago Espinal (24).
That’s actually only the tip of the iceberg, as a further 12 have been moved to other organizations (some of whom graduated): Simeon Woods-Richardson (3), Patrick Murphy (11), Kendall Williams (13), Riley Adams (15), Griffin Conine (16), Kevin Smith (19), Anthony Alford (20), Josh Winckowski (21), T.J. Zeuch (25), Yennsy Diaz (26), Hector Perez (28) and Ryan Noda (32).
Two others are no longer in the organization, and though Josh Palacios (37) remains rookie eligible he has aged off and no longer qualifies for the main list. Of the remaining 18 from the 2020 list still in the organization, four have fallen off leaving just 14 holdovers who will carry over to the 2022 list.
Between graduating significant talent to the majors and trading quite a bit away, the system is much thinner than in recent years, especially at the top. In the past several editions, players graded at 35+ have been left off the back end of the list and shunted to the just missed section. This year players like that would be comfortably inside the top 30.
That’s not a criticism; the point of a farm system is to produce major league value and the Blue Jays are strongly in win-now mode. They’ve also held onto most of the most promising premium prospects. A contributing factor is the limited influx of amateur players, quite a bit of injury attrition, and also frankly a number of higher profile prospects have stagnated.
While the upper levels of the minors are less interesting than usual, there is a lot of interesting talent accumulated at the complex levels. The test of the franchise’s player development over the next several years will be how many of those step forward to replenish the pipeline.
This page/stream will serve as a landing page for all the content in this series. In addition to links for all the posts, the entire list will be below in one place as it is unveiled.
- The 2020 Bluebird Banter Top 40 Prospects List Index
- The 2019 Bluebird Banter Top 40 Prospects List Index
- The 2018 Bluebird Banter Top 40 Prospects List Index
Eligibility criteria for BBB Top 40:
- Players must retain rookie status (less than 130 MLB at-bats / 50 innings or 45 active days
- Players must be age-25 or younger for the 2022 season, that is, born after June 30, 1996. That’s not to say players older than that don’t have value or won’t make the majors, which is why we make a separate list for them as part of the series. Rather, they are closer to finished/developed products and beyond the point where further growth is an expectation and something to be projected which is a fundamental component of prospect lists/analysis.
2022 Top 40 List:
- Catcher Gabriel Moreno (2020: 6th)
- SS/3B Orelvis Martinez (2020: 5th)
- SS/3B Jordan Groshans (2020: 2nd)
- SS Leo Jimenez (2020: 12th)
- LHP Ricky Tiedemann
- RHP Hagen Danner (2020: just missed as catcher)
- UTIL Otto Lopez (2020: 22nd)
- RHP CJ Van Eyk
- 2B/Util Samad Taylor(2020: 36th)
- RHP Sem Robberse (2020: newcomers)
- RHP Irv Carter
- SS Rikelvin de Castro (2020: newcomers)
- RHP Chad Dallas
- SS Manual Beltre
- SS Estiven Machado (2020: newcomers)
- RHP Joey Murray (2020: 29th)
- RHP Hayden Juenger
- 1B Spencer Horwitz
- RHP Dahian Santos
- RHP Adam Kloffenstein (2020: 10th)
- OF Chavez Young (2020: 34th)
- 2B Adrian Pinto
- RHP Eric Pardinho (2020: 14th)
- C Luis Meza
- IF Miguel Hiraldo (2020: 9th)
- RHP Nick Frasso
- RHP Adrian Hernandez
- LHP Kendry Rojas
- IF Tanner Morris (2020: 33rd)
- RHP Trent Palmer
- RHP Maximo Castillo (2020: 38th)
- RHP Yosver Zulueta (2020: Newcomers)
- UTIL Sebastian Espino
- LHP Brandon Eisert
- CF Dasan Brown (2020: 23rd)
- CF Yhoangel Aponte
- RHP Fitz Stadler
- CF Cameron Eden
- IF Addison Barger (2020: just missed)
- IF Vinny Capra