Not long ago, the Blue Jays farm system appeared to be gutted. Major acquisition after major acquisition took away almost all Minor League depth and talent above A-Ball. They were dark times for the system. One regime change later, a major shift hsa occurred in both draft and signing philosophy, and as a result, the system is flourishing.
Not only has the player scouting and evaluation improved but it seems player development in the minor leagues has as well. We are beginning to see a massive improvement from prospects at all levels. So, lets review this season by unveiling the Toronto Blue Jays post-minor league season’s top 30 prospects.
30. Miguel Hiraldo
Miguel Hiraldo was an International free-agency signing from this July past. He is a 17-year old shortstop, who will most likely end up at third. He is widely considered the best bat available in the class. He has an advanced approach for a teenager, as well as plus-power potential. He has yet to play a game of professional ball, but due to his almost unlimited offensive potential, he comes in at number 30 for the Jays.
29. Bradley Jones
After being picked in the 18th round of the 2016 MLB draft, Jones began his pro career by winning the Appalachian league player of the week 3 times in 4 weeks. He can flat out hit. He had his season derailed by injuries after a slow start in Dunedin. Prior to that, he was pacing the likes of Guerrero and Bichette, step-for-step in Lansing, as a 22-year old. He may not have a clear position, playing all over the diamond, but with good athleticism, great feel and an above average hit tool, Jones has the tools to put together another big year in 2018.
28. Reese McGuire
McGuire, a former 1st round pick of the Pirates, is widely considered one of, if not the best defensive catching prospects in the game. The knock on him was that he had never been able to add the offensive game to his receiving skills. This year, despite injuries, he may have finally been able to put it together. At only 22 years old, with the type of defensive skill set McGuire has, he has most certainly earned his spot on this list.
27. Kevin Smith
Drafted in the 4th round this season, 21-year-old Shortstop Kevin Smith has all the tools to become a quality everyday player at the next level. Obviously, he is still miles away from the big leagues in Bluefield, but he has a well rounded and diverse skill-set and has shown far more power than initially anticipated, with 8 home runs and 34 extra-base hits in his first 262 AB’s. Watch for Smith to get challenged in a more advanced league next year.
26. Yennsy Diaz
In Yennsy Diaz the Toronto Blue Jays have a pitching prospect with a superstar caliber arm. Easy velocity, he also flashes a plus breaking ball on occasion. His issue is simple; command. He has almost no ability to command any of his pitches resulting in almost 5BB per 9IP, and that number would most likely be a lot higher if he was facing advanced hitters who don’t chase out of the zone as often. Here is the positive, 82 K and only 71 hits allowed in 77 IP, for a 20-year-old pitcher who hasn’t not come close to physical maturity (6’2 160lbs) in Lansing. Yennsy Diaz has superstar stuff and a lot of time to figure out the rest.
Please check in next time where I will run down prospects 25-21.
About Marc Nolan:
Marc Nolan is a Blogger, Public Speaker, and Entrepreneur originally from Campbell River, BC. Marc currently resides in Port Hope, ON with his Wife and two sons. He has always been involved in sports. A former College Baseball player, current coach and founder of the Northumberland Baseball Academy, Marc has invested his entire life to the game he loves. He has now been able to transition that passion into public speaking and journalism.
Despite the fact he has no formal training in the field, Marc has found ways to get exposure in the industry through hard work and dedication to what he loves. Currently, he operates a personal Blog (www.WestysWorld.com), writes for the LastWordOnBaseball. Hopefully, in the near future, will be starting his own personal Minor League Baseball Podcast. He is very active on Social Media. You can reach Marc with any questions, on Twitter, @MarcWestyNolan