When Vlad Jr. graduated from prospect status, the Blue Jays’ farm system predictably took a tumble down Baseball America (and everyone else’s) organizational talent rankings. Since the trade deadline, though, the Jays’ system has jumped up from No. 9 to No. 6 on Baseball America’s list.
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) August 14, 2019
The list features Bo Bichette, Nate Pearson, Jordan Groshans, and Eric Pardinho in the top-100. Like Vlad, Bo will have graduated the next time Baseball America puts out a list, but I imagine a few Baby Jays will make the list.
Simeon Woods Richardson is a good bet, as he’s been pitching well since joining Single-A Dunedin after being acquired in the Marcus Stroman trade. Alek Manoah, Toronto’s first pick from the 2019 draft, has been excellent in limited innings in his first full professional season. Also thriving in rookie ball with Vancouver is Adam Kloffenstein, who has an outside chance at making a top-100 list.
With Bo and Vlad graduating, the wealth of Toronto’s prospect capital is pitching. Over at FanGraphs, Marc Hulet did a dive into the farm systems with the best arms, in which he ranked the Jays at No. 4.
The Toronto organization is quickly building up an impressive stable of arms and I could have listed another four or five pitchers. The majority of the pitchers with the higher ceilings are in the lower levels of the system while most of the upper-level arms are more No. 4 starter types. As it stands right now, none of the pitchers in the Jays starting rotation look like locks to be there in two or three years. But by the end of 2021, the front of the rotation could include two hurlers already touching 100 miles per hour in Pearson and Manoah.
Nate Pearson, RHP, AA, ETA: 2020
Alek Manoah, RHP, A-, ETA: 2021
Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP, A+, ETA: 2021
Eric Pardinho, RHP, A, ETA: 2022
Adam Kloffenstein, RHP, A-, ETA: 2022
Anthony Kay, LHP, AAA, ETA: 2020
Patrick Murphy, RHP, AA, ETA: 2020
Josh Winckowski, RHP. A+, ETA: 2021
Kendall Williams, RHP, R, ETA: 2023
The depth and quality of pitching the Blue Jays are stockpiling in the system really is quite exciting. The thing with pitching prospects is that nobody is a sure thing which is what makes the acquisition of quality depth so important. The Jays have a lot of darts to throw at the board and there appears to be an incredible wave of pitching talent working its way up through the system.