The Pulse on the Blue Jays: Futures Market – Top 5 Positional Prospects

draft1

Last week we took a look at the top 5 pitching prospects currently in the Blue Jays farm system. Just as was the case with the pitching prospects, all the players that we have examined have yet to make their MLB debut.

Max Pentecost

Max Pentecost · C · 22 years old · 6’2 · 190lbs

Acquired: Drafted in the 1st round (11th overall) of the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft

Current Affiliation: Vancouver Canadians (Single A)

What You Need to Know:

  • Finalist for the Johnny Bench award – given annually to the Best Catcher in Division I College Baseball – and was considered the best catching prospect available in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft.
  • Still waiting for Pentecost to make his 2015 season debut following offseason shoulder surgery to repair a partially torn labrum, but we were able to see a small sample of what he is capable of when he hit .324/.330/.749 with 7 extra base hits and 12 RBI in 105 at bats split between two levels of Single A after signing his MLB contract.
  • Baseball America: “Pentecost’s athleticism stood out then and still does after catching for most of the last three seasons. Scouts consider him an above-average runner, fairly exceptional for a catcher. The body and his speed earn him Jason Kendall comparisons…”
  • ESPN: “Offensively, Pentecost has a line-drive swing that stays through the zone with good bat speed and transfers his weight well to generate average power, mostly to the pull side. He’s shown an ability to work counts and a willingness to hit the ball the other way, so high averages and on-base percentages are not out of the question. His swing is more geared towards contact; but 15-18 homer seasons are not out of the question.

 Blue Jays Prospect Rank:

  • 4th (Top 30 – MLB.com)
  • 5th (Top 40 – bluebirdbanter.com)

Tale of the Tape:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-o2Yg6byfU

MLB ETA: 2017

Richard-Urena

 

 

Richard Urena · SS · 19 years old · 6’1 · 170lbs

Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2012

Current Affiliation: Lansing Lugnuts (Single A)

What You Need To Know:

  • Was the 9th ranked international free agent available in the 2012 class and signed with the Blue Jays along with Franklin Barreto, who was ranked 2nd. With Barreto now property of the Athletics (traded for Josh Donaldson), Urena’s path to Toronto is a little less clogged.
  • Known more for his glove than his bat, Urena uses his soft hands and good footwork combined with solid range and a strong throwing arm to earn plus grades in the defensive department. This should help ensure that he stays at SS at the major league level.
  • Even with having an advanced glove, Urena shouldn’t be considered an “all glove, no bat” shortstop. Through 51 games with Lansing, Urena is currently hitting .284/.300/.754 with 8 HR and 42 RBI in 218 AB.
  • Has been credited with having advanced patience at the plate for his age, yet he still manages to strike out in 20% of his at bats. This is an area that will definitely need to be addressed going forward if he plans to progress rapidly through the minors.

Blue Jays Prospect Rank:

  • 7th (Top 30 – MLB.com)
  • 12th (Top 40 – bluebirdbanter.com)

Tale of the Tape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBvK0uqSH14

 MLB ETA: 2018

 

Mitch-Nay- 

 

Mitch Nay · 3B · 21 years old · 6’3 · 200lbs

Acquired: Drafted in the Supplemental 1st Round (58th Overall) of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft

Current Affiliation: Dunedin Blue Jays (Single A)

What You Need to Know:

  • The big bodied 3B combines his quick hands with a solid approach at the plate in order to make consistent, hard contact. Nay has also been known to put on a power show during batting practice but has had trouble transitioning that raw power into the actual game.
  • Has shown that he has enough of an arm to play third base, but other than that, he gets below average grades in range and footwork. If his defense doesn’t improve at the hot corner, a change in position may be in the cards. If that is the case, Nay definitely has the arm to play RF, but 1B is just as likely of an option.
  • Defense aside, Nay’s bat and offense will continue to dictate his ascension through the minors and will determine how much, if any, of a major league career he has.

Blue Jays Prospect Rank:

  • 8th (Top 30 – MLB.com)
  • 13th (Top 40 – bluebirdbanter.com)

Tale of the Tape:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRo6W8ZSGeY

MLB ETA: 2017

dwight smith jr

Dwight Smith · OF · 22 years old · 5’11 · 195lbs

Acquired: Drafted in the Supplemental 1st Round (53rd Overall) of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft

Current Affiliation: New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Double AA)

What You Need to Know:

  • Comes from MLB pedigree. His father, also named Dwight Smith, played in over 800 games spanning 8 seasons in the majors.
  • In his first two full seasons in the minors, Smith has proven to be a difficult out at the plate thanks to his quick swing and advanced knowledge of the strike zone. He has also shown to have good eye and discipline at the plate which, when combined with his quick swing, leads to a solid on-base %.
  • Has split times between CF and LF during his time in the minors, but seems better suited for LF long term because of his speed and arm strength.
  • The Blue Jays also had Smith take reps at 2B during the Arizona Fall League and Spring Training this year in the hopes that he could help solve the revolving door at 2B. That being said, I do wonder if the emergence of Devin Travis this season has caused them to shelve or limit his time at 2B? Either way, the time spent at 2B can’t hurt, if anything it can only help him become more versatile.

Blue Jays Prospect Rank:

  • 9th (Top 30 – MLB.com)
  • 7th (Top 40 – bluebirdbanter.com)

 

Tale of the Tape:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAka3eVGnYg

MLB ETA: 2016

 

Dawel-Lugo

Dawel Lugo · SS · 20 years old · 6’0 · 190lbs

Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2011

Current Affiliation: Dunedin Blue Jays (Single A)

What You Need to Know:

  • Another high ceiling SS that the Blue Jays signed as an international free agent, Lugo was viewed as one of the best hitters in the 2011 class.
  • Regarded as a good “bad ball” hitter which helps him cut down on his strike out numbers. Lugo has a decent amount of raw power for his size and, with his quick hands; it could turn his line drive power into home run power.
  • Currently a SS in the minors, Lugo does have the hands and arm strength to stay at the position in the majors. Although his lack of speed and range could see him slide over to 2B or 3B long term, especially if he adds more size.

Blue Jays Prospect Rank:

  • 15th (Top 30 – MLB.com)
  • 21st (Top 40 – bluebirdbanter.com)

Tale of the Tape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0cDFJrpfvk

MLB ETA: 2017

 

Honourable Mention(s):

  • Andy Burns · 2B/3B · 24 years old · 6’1 · 205lbs – MLB ETA: 2015
  • Rowdy Tellez · 1B/DH · 20 years old · 6’1 · 205lbs – MLB ETA: 2018
  • Anthony Alford · OF · 20 years old · 6’1 · 205lb – MLB ETA: 2018

    – $

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s