Blue Jays Prospect Pyramid for the 2022 Season

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The Toronto Blue Jays Prospect Pyramid is interesting to navigate. The prospect pyramid is a tool to explore the method of measurement used for prospects for any team. The purpose of this ranking system is to forego the prospect list system. While lists may be more accessible for top prospects, any list will vary from person to person. Instead, prospects are categorized based on their projected ceiling. In this case, all prospects will come from the  Blue Jays organization.

To qualify as a baseball prospect, a player must be:

  1. Born After December 31, 1996 (25 or under)
  2. Has appeared in fewer than 50 MLB games or 50 innings pitched
  3. Has had less than 130 MLB plate appearances

(Authors’ note: Irv Carter, Estiven Machado, Ricky Tiedemann, Kendy Rojas, and Yosver Zulueta will not be considered in this pyramid. Instead, they will be marked “Too Early to Tell.” Alejandro Kirk, Alek Manoah, and Nate Pearson have graduated from the Prospect Pyramid in 2021.)

Blue Jays Prospect Pyramid

First Tier

Gabriel Moreno

Heading into the 2021 season, no one could have guessed that Gabriel Moreno would be the Blue Jays’ top prospect in 2022. Currently, Moreno is a catcher and designated hitter who has proven himself offensively. In his 2021 season, Moreno .367/.434/.626 in 37 games (mostly played with New Hampshire). Moreno kept himself busy in the offseason, playing in Arizona Fall League. It’s no surprise that he continued to dominate with a hitting line .329/.410/.494. Moreno has been named the seventh-best prospect in baseball and will likely start the season in Triple-A Buffalo. Moreno hopes to become a cornerstone of the Blue Jays lineup for many years to come.

Second Tier

Jordan Groshans

Heading into his 22-year-old season, Jordan Groshans is a prospect fans should know by now. As the 12th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, Groshans played the 2021 season for Double-A New Hampshire. In 75 games, he hit .291/.367/.450 with 7 Home Runs and 40 RBI. With the Fisher Cats, the 22-year old plays shortstop but started a handful of games at 3rd Base and 1st Base in 2021. He could likely play in Triple-A Buffalo by the end of Spring Training 

Otto Lopez

Otto Lopez is a 23-year old utility player from the Dominican Republic. In 113 games between New Hampshire and Buffalo, he hit .315/.379/.437 with five home runs and 64 RBI. In addition, Lopez played in one game for the Toronto Blue Jays. Lopez has stolen 63 bases in four seasons in the minor leagues. It could be a tangible skill that gives him a shot at making the Blue Jays 26 man Opening Day Roster.

Orelvis Martinez

Baseball America has Orelvis Martinez as the 75th best prospect in baseball. Last season, which saw the infielder split time between Low-A Dunedin and High-A Vancouver, he hit .261/.345/.549 with 28 home runs and 87 RBI. Having signed with the Blue Jays in 2018 at 16-years old, he has been in this organization for nearly four years. After no season in 2020, 2021 allowed Martinez to play outside of Rookie Ball, proving himself that he is one of Toronto’s top prospects.

Third Tier   

 Manuel Beltre

At just 17-years-old, Manuel Beltre is a Shortstop who signed with the team in 2021. In 53 games in the Dominican Summer League, he hit .225/.391/.346 with 2 Home Runs and 29 RBI. He turns 18 in June and will continue to develop as the years go on. Beltre even had the opportunity to participate in Spring Training with the Toronto Blue Jays. 

Rikelbin de Castro  

After signing with the Blue Jays in 2019, Rikelbin de Castro had his first entire season in the minors playing in the Florida Complex League. After starting the season 0 for 21, he turned things around by hitting .333/.481/.567. Hopefully, de Castro can build on that momentum in 2022. While he is still a few years away from the Major Leagues, 2022 can be a chance to make a name for himself as a Blue Jays minor leaguer. 

Miguel Hiraldo

He is a 21-year old from the Dominican Republic. Defensively, Hiraldo can play both second and third base. Furthermore, he played the 2021 season with the Dunedin Blue Jays in Low-A. In 105 games, he hit .249/.338/.390 with seven home runs and 52 RBI. Hiraldo is considered an excellent five-tool player, with a chance for his power to transcend him up levels for the Blue Jays. 

Leo Jimenez

Jimenez is a 20-year-old middle infielder who comes from Panama. In 59 games between the Florida Complex League and Low-A, he hit .320/.523/.392. Although he may not be a power bat, he can hit for contact. His glove sets him apart and his ability to make great plays as a middle infielder. The Blue Jays gave Jimenez the chance to play in the Arizona Fall League, and he did not disappoint. He had an On-Base Percentage of .412 in 15 games. 

Adam Kloffenstein

Adam Kloffenstein is the Blue Jays 3rd round draft pick from 2018 from Magnolia, Texas. In the right-hander’s season with the Vancouver Canadians, he had an ERA of 6.22 in 101, and 1/3 innings pitched. Something for him to improve on in 2022 is reducing walks, as he gave up 61 in 2021. Although 2021 was a rough start, he is still 21-years-old and hopefully, with no interruptions in the 2022 season, he will rebound. 

Sem Robberse

As one of the Blue Jays’ top pitching prospects, Robberse is an international signing from the Netherlands in 2019. In his first entire season in the minor leagues, he had a 4.36 ERA in 88 2/3 innings pitched with 90 strikeouts. He is considered a high-velocity pitcher as his fastball is hitting 95 miles an hour at age 19. Something like that from Robberse is someone to follow in the next couple of years. 

Samad Taylor

After being acquired by the Blue Jays in a 2017 trade with Cleveland, Taylor made his way to Double-A New Hampshire in 2021. In 87 games with the Fisher Cats, he hit .294/.385/.503 with 16 home runs and 52 RBI. The 23-year-old could likely be playing next season in Triple-A Buffalo. 

Fourth Tier

Chad Dallas

Chad Dallas is the Blue Jays 2021 fourth-round pick. He is a right-handed starting pitcher from the University of Tennessee. In his two seasons with the Volunteers, Dallas had a record of 14-2, ERA of 3.91 in 124 1/3 innings pitched. He also had 143 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.12. He has a fastball in the low 90s, complemented with breaking balls. Something the Blue Jays organization is his ability to command the strike zone effectively and log many innings. 

Hagen Danner

Hagen Danner is an interesting case. Originally drafted by the Blue Jays in 2017 as a catcher, he has become a relief pitcher through the Blue Jays organization. In 35 and 2/3 innings pitched, Danner has an ERA of 2.02 with 42 strikeouts. Danner settled into the closer role for the High-A Vancouver Canadians in 2021. Danner will likely remain a pitcher for the foreseeable future. 

Sebastian Espino

Sebastian Espino is a 21-year-old utility prospect from the Dominican Republic. In 2021 he spent 61 games with High-A Vancouver and four with Low-A Dunedin. In those 65 games, he hit .295/.357/.502 with eight home runs and 48 RBI. When with the Mets, he was used as a middle infielder. Since coming to the Blue Jays, he has been used as a third baseman and left fielder. 

Nick Frasso

Nick Frasso is a right-handed pitcher from Loyola Marymount University in California. After being selected by the Blue Jays in the fourth round of the 2020 draft, he only appeared in three games for Dunedin’s Blue Jays Low-A team. In five innings pitched, he produced a 0.00 ERA with eight strikeouts. While his 2021 season was short, he hopes for a longer 2022.

Adrian Hernandez

Adrian Hernandez is a right-handed relief pitcher from Mexico. In 2021, Hernandez had a combined ERA of 2.74 in 62 1/3 innings pitched. As a result, he was promoted to Double-A New Hampshire. His downside is that he is over-reliant on his fastball. He does throw it effectively and in the low 90s but needs to improve other pitches to make the Major Leagues. 

Hayden Juenger

Hayden Juenger is a right-handed relief pitcher from Missouri. He had a 2.70 ERA in 20 innings pitched for the Vancouver Canadians in his first minor league season. Also noted is that he has a WHIP of .750 and a SO/W rate of 8.50 and showcases someone with good command. 

Rafael Lantigua

Rafael Lantigua is a 23-year-old infield prospect from the Dominican Republic. In 83 games this year between Vancouver and New Hampshire, he hit .270/.365/.453 with 11 home runs and 43 RBI. What stands him out from other prospects is the ability to steal who had 26 stolen bases in 2021.  

Elvis Luciano

Despite playing for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2019, Elvis Luciano has yet to return to the Majors. At 22 years old, Luciano spent the 2021 season with Double-A New Hampshire. In 12 starts with the Fisher Cats, Luciano had an ERA of 3.16 in 37 innings pitched. While he still has a way to go, Luciano will hopefully be back with the Blue Jays soon. 

Tanner Morris

Morris is an infielder selected by the Blue Jays in the 5th round of 2019. In his season with Vancouver, he hit .285/.381/.401 with seven home runs and 57 RBI. Morris is someone who plays a bat-first utility role. He hasn’t locked down a defensive position which could be argued as a good or bad thing. 

Trent Palmer

Trent Palmer is a starting pitcher from Minnesota that Blue Jays selected in 2020. In 16 games with Low-A Dunedin, he had a 4-2 with an ERA of 3.00 in 63 innings pitched. Palmer finished the 2021 season strong with a great September. In 17 innings, he was 2-0 with an ERA of 2.12, a WHIP of 0.882, and 25 strikeouts. Palmer should be able to work on that during his 2022 campaign. 

Eric Pardinho

Pardinho is a right-handed starting pitcher from Brazil. Although he didn’t play much in 2021, he is looking to bounce back in 2022. He has gone down on this prospect pyramid because since his Tommy John surgery in 2018; he has only thrown 40 2/3 innings in three calendar years. Pardinho has to prove to himself and the Blue Jays that he can remain healthy in 2022. 

Will Robertson

Will Robertson is a 24-year-old Right Fielder who played for the Creighton Blue Jays in the NCAA. After being drafted by the Blue Jays in 2019, he spent most of 2021 with the Vancouver Canadians. In 60 games, he hit .239/.323/.402 with six home runs and 31 RBI. He is considered to have above average in the area of raw power. Fangraphs rated him a 60 on their 20-80 scale.  

C.J. Van Eyk

The Blue Jays drafted CJ Van Eyk in the 2nd round of the 2020 MLB Draft as a pitcher out of Florida State. In his first minor league season with Vancouver, he had a 5.83 ERA in 80 1/3 innings pitched with 100 strikeouts with a WHIP of 1.369.   

Chavez Young

Chavez Young is a Bahamian outfield prospect drafted in the 39th round by the Blue Jays in 2016. In 2021, he spent the season with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. In 78 games, he hit .265/.350/.409 with seven home runs and 52 RBI. 

Fifth Tier 

Zach Britton

Despite the name, Zach Britton is a catching prospect from Indiana. After three seasons at Louisville (NCAA), he played 2021 in Low-A Dunedin, where he hit .225/.372/.371 with seven home runs and 35 RBI. Britton has transitioned into a catcher, despite not playing there full time since 2018. 

Dasan Brown

Dasan Brown is a center fielder who the Blue Jays selected from the 3rd round of the 2019 MLB Draft. A native of Oakville, Ontario, Brown spent last season with the Low-A B; he says, he hit .212/.310/.323 with 4 Home Runs and 16 RBI. He has also been excellent defensively with a .992 fielding percentage in the minor leagues. Scouts also rave about his speed, considering it well above average. 

Zac Cook

Zac Cook is a utility player from California. In his first minor league season, he hit .255/.378/.489 with 12 Home Runs and 47 RBI with Dunedin and Vancouver. Cook had a great ending to the 2021 season. In September, Cook hit .333/.452/.625 with 2 Home Runs and 10 RBI. Some momentum he can carry into 2022. 

Cameron Eden

Cameron Eden is a 23-year-old who spent 2021 with the Vancouver Canadians. Originally drafted by the Blue Jays to be a shortstop, Eden has transitioned into a Center Fielder in 2021. Eden has been one of the best defensive center fielders within the farm system. A large of that could be credited to his speed. In 2021, he stole 30 bases with Vancouver in 32 attempts. 

Cristian Feliz

Cristian Feliz is a 6 foot 4 first baseman who played for the Blue Jays in the Dominican Summer League team. In 44 games, he hit .291/.393/.417, with four home runs and 30 RBI. He managed to have a WRC+ of 132 for the Blue Jays in 2021. He’s still 19-years-old and has a lot to show this organization. 

Luis Garcia

Luis Garcia is a 19-year-old Third Baseman from Venezuela. In 36 games for the Blue Jays Dominican team, he hit .307/.375/.380. In 2021, Garcia had a WRC+ of 117 in the Dominican Summer League. He has the hitting tools to progress him higher up the pyramid in the future. He could likely be in the fourth tier in 2023. 

Spencer Horowitz

Spencer Horwitz is a 24-year-old from Maryland who plays first base and the outfield. In 109 games this season with Vancouver and New Hampshire, he hit .294/.400/.462 with 12 home runs and 66 RBI. Horwitz was one of the few Blue Jays asked to play in the Arizona Fall League with Mesa. In 16 games with Mesa, he continued to impress, hitting .375/.460/.484. 

 Gabriel Martinez

Gabriel Martinez is an outfield prospect from Venezuela. In 34 games in 2021, he hit .330/.442/.411 with 0 Home Runs and 15 RBI. This prospect with a smooth right-handed swing is excellent at hitting for contact. He performed well in the Florida Complex League, which earned him a promotion to Low-A late in the season. 

Victor Mesia

Victor Mesia is a 19-year-old catcher from Venezuela. In his first season in the minors, he hit .233/.304/.367 with 2 Home Runs and 16 RBI. While he did well in the Florida Complex League, he struggled in Low-A. Mesia will likely start next year in Low-A. Unfortunately, injuries limited him in 2021, but he can build on that momentum in 2022. 

Yeuni Munoz

Yeuni Munoz is an 18-year-old Right Fielder from the Dominican Republic. In 44 games with the Blue Jays Dominican League Summer team, he hit .260/.363/.387 with 1 Home Run and 30 RBI. Scouts noticed that he had a pop in his swing. He still has a while to make this roster in the future. 

Dahlan Santos

Originally a 2019 International Free Agency signing, the right-hander is heading into his 19-year-old season in 2022. In 40 1/3 innings pitched, he has a 5.58 ERA, a WHIP of 1.33, and 58 strikeouts. His average fastball is in the low 90s; he has managed to throw as high as 94mph on occasion. An underlying statistic for Santos is his Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) which was 3.30 in 2021. 

Sixth Tier of the Blue Jays Prospect Pyramid

Everybody Else

While there are many other prospects within the Blue Jays prospect pyramid, some at this point may not be worth listing. It may be because there are an array of people within the Minor League system, outside of the United States, or in a developmental league. While some may get on this list at some point, chances many won’t be.

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Players Mentioned: 

Gabriel Moreno, Jordan Groshans, Otto Lopez, Orelvis MartinezManuel Beltre, Rikelbin de Castro, Miguel Hiraldo, Miguel Hiraldo, Leo JimenezAdam Kloffenstein, Sem Robberse, Samad Taylor, Chad Dallas, Hagen Danner, Sebastian Espino, Nick FrassoAdrian HernandezHayden Juenger, Rafael Lantigua, Elvis Luciano, Tanner Morris, Trent PalmerEric Pardinho, Will RobertsonC.J. Van EykChavez YoungZach Britton, Dasan BrownZac CookCameron Eden, Cristian Feliz, Luis Garcia, Spencer Horwitz, Gabriel Martinez , Victor MesiaYueni Yunoz, Dahlan Santos