Arizona Fall League is set to start today and the Blue Jays have four pitching and four positional prospects joining the Peoria Javelinas along with prospects from the Red Sox, Braves, Padres, and Mariners systems.
Max Pentecost (C): The Blue Jays 11th overall pick from the 2014 draft has a massive amount of upside but has had a hell of a time staying on the field. In 2014, his first season in professional ball, Pentecost had shoulder surgery which resulted in him missing all of 2015. He didn’t get back behind the plate until the 2017 season and it’s questionable as to whether Pentecost will end up being a first base/designated hitter prospect long-term. Obviously the Jays want Pentecost behind the plate because when he was drafted in 2014, he was regarded as the best all-around player at the position, and his combination of defensive and offensive skill make a very exciting catching prospect.
Lourdes Gurriel (IF): Like Pentecost, Gurriel is a top prospect who had a difficult time staying on the field for the Blue Jays this season. Gurriel, who signed a seven-year deal with the Jays after defecting from Cuba last winter, is an interesting talent with a good bat who can play a few different positions. He had a leg injury coming out of spring training, re-aggravated the same injury when he returned in April, and didn’t get rolling until June. Gurriel finished the season with a .229/.268/.339 slash line between Single- and Double-A, but improved as the season went along.
Javier Hernandez (C): Signed as an international free agent back in 2013 as a 16-year-old, Hernandez has been in Toronto’s system for five years. He began the season in Vancouver, but was quickly called up to Lansing as catchers all shuffled around through the system to accommodate the Major League team. Hernandez also missed the first two-and-a-half months of the season and didn’t get rolling until mid-June.
Jonathan Davis (OF): Unlike the other position players the Jays are sending to Arizona, Jonathan Davis didn’t miss any time this year due to injury. He played in 128 games with Double-A New Hampshire, slashing a .249/.361/.379 line while stealing 20 bases. He was a 15th round pick in 2013 and is jammed behind a lot of outfield prospects, so the 25-year-old has a lot of work to do to get on the map.
T.J. Zeuch (LHP): Toronto’s 31st overall pick in the 2016 draft had an up-and-down sophomore season at the professional level. He started the season at Single-A Dunedin but missed all of June and July with an injury. He started the season well, but struggled as his innings count increased over time, ultimately leading to the two-month disabled list stint. For the season, Zeuch had a solid 3.56 ERA over 14 starts.
Andrew Case (RHP): An undrafted free agent from Saint John, New Brunswick, Case navigated his way through three levels last season, beginning in Single-A and finishing in Triple-A. Case missed a good chunk of the 2016 season after being suspended for 50 games for missing a mandatory pre-season drug test. But after a season in which he posted a 1.58 ERA at Double-A over 32 appearances, many of them in the closer role, Case has put himself on the organization’s map.
Jackson McClelland (RHP): The 15th round pick from the 2015 draft, McClelland had an excellent season in Single-A as a late-innings relief pitcher. The righty ended up as the Dunedin Blue Jays’ closer during their playoff run, and ultimately finished the season with a 1.34 ERA between Lansing and Dunedin over 45 appearances.
Danny Young (RHP): Another 2015 draft pick, Danny Young had a decent season for the Blue Jays system in a relief role, posting a 3.00 ERA in 47 outings split between Dunedin and New Hampshire.