With spring training underway and the early ramp-up portion highlighting plenty of players beyond the frontline regulars, it’s an opportune time to dig deeper into many of those prospects with the Bluebird Banter Top 40 prospect list over the next couple weeks. As with last year, the 2023 list is a collaboration between myself and fellow BBB author Tom M.
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 how we see the prospects not only relatively, but with more emphasis on risks and projected outlooks for major league value.
For more detail on the grading scale, see this primer from Fangraphs
After significant turnover the last couple years, there was a more normal level of turnover this year. The only graduation in 2023 was #1 prospect Gabriel Moreno, although that was only in the most technical sense as he still only had 73 PA. Additionally, Max Castillo likewise exhausted rookie eligibility subsequent to the midseason trade to Kansas City.
They were two of six players on the 2022 list to have been moved to other organizations over the last 12 months as the Jays made win-now moves: Moreno (1), Jordan Groshans (3), Samad Taylor (9), Chavez Young (21), Nick Frasso (26), and Castillo (31). That takes a good chunk of future value from the farm system, though most would have ranked lower. The exception being Nick Frasso, who had a big up arrow and would have been near the top-5.
In addition, three others retain rookie eligibility but aged off the BBB criteria: Joey Murray (16), Fitz Stadler (37), and Vinny Capra (40). While they aren’t part of the main list, neither are they afterthoughts and we will return to them later.
Of the other 31, with a mild spoiler alert, 24 or 60% are holdovers on the 2023 list, albeit with some big moves in both directions. Seven fell off the list, including four top-25 prospects.
As was the case last year, this remains a thinner system after first graduating significant talent to the majors and trading quite a bit away. Going into this exercise, my impression was that on the whole 2022 represented net further net slippage to the point of falling to a bottom-five system. After diving deeper, that was excessively pessimistic as there were plenty of offsetting bright spots. But the developmental chops of the player development side will be put to the test over the next couple years to maintain a pipeline of talent that can be used to supplement the big league roster in one way or another
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 2022 Bluebird Banter Top 40 Prospects List Index
- 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 2023 season, that is, born after June 30, 1997. 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.
2023 Top 40 List (grade):
- LHP Ricky Tiedemann (55+, last year: #5)
- IF Addison Barger (45/45+, last year: #39)
- SS Orelvis Martinez (45/45+, last year #2)
- LHP Brandon Barriera (45)
- SS Leo Jimenez (40+, last year: #4)
- OF Gabriel Martinez (40+)
- RHP Yosver Zulueta (40+, last year: #32)
- UTL Otto Lopez (40+, last year: #7)
- RHP Dahian Santos (40+, last year: #19)
- SS Tucker Toman (40)
- RHP Sem Robberse (40, last year: #10)
- IF Cade Doughty (40)
- 1B Spencer Horwitz (40, last year: #18)
- SS Josh Kasevich (40)
- OF Enmanuel Bonilla (40)
- RHP Hayden Juenger (40, last year: #17)
- RHP CJ Van Eyk (40, last year: #8)
- RHP Irv Carter (35+/40, last year: #11)
- RHP Hagen Danner (35+/40, last year: #6)
- 1B Rainer Nunez (35+)
- IF Tanner Morris (35+, last year: #29)
- 3B Damiano Palmegiani (35+)
- SS Manuel Beltre (35+, last year: 14th)
- CF Dasan Brown (35+, last year: #35)
- IF Adrian Pinto (35+, last year: #22)
- LHP Adam Macko (35+)
- LHP Kendry Rojas (35+, last year: #28)
- RHP Adrian Hernandez (35+, last year: #27)
- OF Robert Robertis (35)
- C Luis Meza (35, last year: #24)
- RHP Chad Dallas (35, last year: #13)
- OF Alan Roden (35)
- RHP Trent Palmer (35, last year: 30th)
- RHP Michael Dominguez (35)
- RHP Nick Fraze (35)
- LHP Cooper Benson (35)
- SS Estiven Machado (35, last year: 15th)
- LHP Brandon Eisert (35, last year: 34th)
- LHP Jimmy Robbins (35)
- LHP Mason Fluharty (35)