Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid-Season Prospect Countdown: 30-21
1 year ago
If you haven’t been able to tell, I’m actually pretty high on the Blue Jays pitching on the farm. Here’s a bunch more, with some new draftees mixed in.
If you missed the past four articles and want to do the countdown the right way, you can click the article title below.
As in each of those articles, I’ll be using clips of players in High A, Double A, and Triple A throughout the series of articles. For players in Dunedin, I’ll be using exit velocities numbers, pitching velocity as well as clips from the three series on MiLB TV.
For players in the Rookie Leagues (Florida Complex League and Dominican Summer League), we’ll strictly be using the season numbers. Furthermore, the year is done for those individuals.
Also, the most important aspect to me when evaluating players is their statistics, as it quantifies what players do with the tools. Afterward, their ceiling/floor is important, while proximity to the MLB matters for some, especially closer to 60.
Starting off with a pitcher who reminds me of a former Jays #2…
#30 Irv Carter:
Selected in the fifth round of the 2021 draft, the 19-year-old righty was such an intriguing prospect that the Jays went over slot value to draft him.
He started his 2022 season with the Florida Complex League, posting a 5.88 ERA and 5.49 FIP in 33.2 innings pitched. While his 29.2 K% and 7.6 BB% were rather impressive, he struggled mightily with the long ball and extra-base hits. He allowed eight homers and had a 21.1% home run to flyball ratio.
Carter was promoted to Low A Dunedin, where he has posted a 6.43 ERA and 4.20 FIP in just 7 innings pitched. His 15.6 K% is a drop, while his 9.4 BB% has increased from his time in the FCL, but that’s to be expected for a 19-year-old in A ball.
According to Baseball Savant, he throws a fastball, a slider, and a changeup. His pitch mix is expanded upon in an article on him by Sports Illustrated’s Ethan Diamandas, which mentioned his fastball (that has touched 97 mph) has a heavy sink to it, a circle changeup, and a slider that is described as being “sharp”.
Do yourself and check out this article, as it goes into similarities with former Jay, Marcus Stroman, as well as community work Carter has already done in Toronto.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen enough of Carter to give a scouting report. However, as he stands at 6’4, 210 lb, there’s still plenty of projection. While the results haven’t stood out, he’s incredibly young and his ceiling is what lands him as my number 30 prospect.
#29 Alan Roden:
The first 2022 draftee to make the list (Devonte Brown was undrafted), Alan Roden had some great numbers at Creighton. The 22-year-old corner outfielder only struck out eight times in 242 plate appearances, which is a 3.31 K%.
It hasn’t quite yet translated to the pro game he’s slashing .167/.288/.259 with a homer and a 12.12 BB% and K% in 66 plate appearances. Moreover, he has already struck out the same amount of times in Dunedin as he had at Creighton.
As for his batted ball data, Roden has an average velocity of 84.88 mph, which ranks him fourth amongst drafted players that were assigned to Dunedin. Furthermore, he has a hard hit percentage of 34.04%, which ranks him third amongst drafted players, as well as fifth amongst all Dunedin Blue Jays hitters.
Although I don’t have the clips for it, he has made three outstanding catches according to the Dunedin Blue Jays broadcast, Christopher Valentine.
Like Irv Carter, I haven’t seen enough of Roden to grade him.
#28 Chad Dallas:
Chad Dallas is an incredibly fun pitcher. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 draft, the 22-year-old righty has had a solid start to his professional career.
This season with the High A Vancouver Canadians, he has a 4.46 ERA and 5.41 FIP in 78.2 innings pitched. He has a 22.4 K% and a 12.2 BB%, which doesn’t quite stand out, but I really like his pure stuff.
While his fastball sits in the low 90s, his bread and butter pitch is a hard slider that breaks more horizontally than vertically. He also pairs this with a curveball that just plummets. Dallas will throw in an occasional changeup that breaks to the right.
Dallas definitely has the stuff to be a back end of the rotation starter. The next step is to limit the walks while continuing to improve his already fantastic pitch arsenal.
#27 Peyton Williams:
The second 2022 draftee in this article, I have huge expectations for the 6’5 first baseman. When he was selected in the seventh round back in July, I instantly became intrigued with the type of player he is.
Despite coming in at 6’5, 255, Williams isn’t your prototypical large slugging first baseman. In fact with the University of Iowa, he slashed .317/.455/.593 with a 15.64 BB% and a 16.87 K% in 492 plate appearances. In his last season, he had a .335/.464/.622 slash line in 261 plate appearances with a 13.41 BB% and K%.
That isn’t to say he doesn’t have power, as he had 13 homers in 2022, as well as 13 homers in 2020 summer league (which uses wooden bats).
With the Dunedin Blue Jays, he’s slashing .232/.403/.357 with two homers in 72 plate appearances. While 25 K% is on the high side, he has an incredible 19.44 BB%, so the plate discipline is definitely there.
Moreover, he has the highest average exit velocity (90.08 mph) of any Dunedin Blue Jay hitter, both this season and in 2021. His 47.37 hard-hit percentage also ranks the highest out of any Dunedin Blue Jay hitter since the Florida State League started tracking it in 2021.
He had a slow start, but he had two homers in Friday’s game, and this guy is legit. It wouldn’t surprise me if his K% drops while his extra-base hits rise.
#26 Eric Pardinho:
At one point Eric Pardinho ranked as the Blue Jays 5th best prospect in 2019. Sadly for the 21-year-old, injuries had kept him from getting significant innings since early August in the 2019 season. That was until this season.
The righty made his 2022 debut with the Dunedin Jays, posting a 0.75 ERA and a 2.91 FIP in 12 innings pitched. He had a great 31 K% and a fantastic 4.8 BB%.
It hasn’t quite been smooth sailing since joining the Vancouver Canadians, as he’s posted a 9.64 ERA and 7.20 FIP in 9.1 innings pitched. The issue has been the long ball (3 homers) and high walk rate (15.7 BB%).
With that being said, Pardinho is still young for the level, as Baseball Reference notes he’s -2.2 years younger than the average pitcher. Not just that, Pardinho also has some pretty nasty stuff, and that will help normalize the statistics as he continues to pitch at the level.
According to Savant Data, Pardinho throws six pitches. A four-seam fastball, a curveball, a sinker, a slider, a changeup, and a cutter. His best pitch is his knuckle prospect, which has some crazy vertical movement. As for his fastball, it averages in the low 90s.
Pardinho just needs a chance because when he’s healthy, Pardinho is an incredible pitcher. Wishing nothing but good health for the 21-year-old.
#25 Adam Kloffenstein:
Like Yhoangel Aponte (covered in the last article), Kloffenstein ranked higher in the Pre-Season top 20 than I originally intended due to trades.
That doesn’t mean that the 22-year-old righty isn’t a prospect to look forward to. As I mention in each of these articles, results come first, but Kloffenstein’s ceiling alone ranks him this high.
He started his 2022 season with the High A Canadians (his third straight). He posted a 3.81 ERA and a 4.74 FIP in 26 innings pitched. He had a solid 25.9 K% and an 8.6 BB%, which was down from the 13.1 BB% he had posted at the same level in 2021.
He was promoted to Double A New Hampshire, where he has mixed results. The 22-year-old has posted a 6.07 ERA and 5.32 FIP in 72.2 innings pitched. To go along with this, he has a 23.3 K% and an 11 BB%.
Kloffenstein’s issue has been the big inning, where the opposing team hits him early, but he settles in and keeps them off the board. Another aspect of his game to work on is the consistency of box scores. For example, he had a stretch of three games in mid-July where he posted a .368 ERA and a 4.31 FIP with a 27.9 K% and 11.5 BB% in 14.2 innings pitched
In his next two games, he allowed 10 earned runs in just 7.1 innings pitched, before another two games where he had a 1.64 ERA and 5.78 FIP in 11 innings pitched.
The most promising part of his game is his five-pitch mix. He features a four-seamer, a sinker, a slider, a curveball, and a changeup, per JaysProspects.com. At points, that four-seamer has hit as high as 96 mph. He also has some projectability left, as he stands at 6’5, 243 lb.
So while the results may not be there, Kloffenstein definitely earns a place on this list due to his ceiling.
#24 Kendry Rojas:
Rojas ranked as my 16th best prospect in the Preseason Top 20. In the Florida Complex League last season, he had a 2.28 ERA and 2.03 FIP in 23.2 innings pitched. Not just that, he also had an incredible 44.8 K% and a 5.7 BB%, which is fantastic.
While he hasn’t quite put up the same numbers in Low A this season, they are still quite respectable. The 19-year-old left has a 4.09 ERA and 3.55 FIP in 33 innings pitched with Dunedin. Rojas has a 23.3 K% and a 12.3 BB%, which aren’t awful numbers for a 19-year-old at the level.
According to Baseball Savant, Rojas has a three-pitch mix, a sinker that sits in the low 90s that has touched 93 mph, a slider, and a changeup. Standing at 6’2, 190 lb, and only 19 years old, Rojas still has projection left which could lend him a velocity tick.
#23 Trent Palmer:
After a solid season with the Dunedin Blue Jays in 2021, Trent Palmer started his 2022 with the High A Vancouver Canadians. There he posted a 4.18 ERA and a 4.76 FIP in 23.2 innings pitched. Moreover, he has a 32.1 K% (up from 31.2 the season prior) while he significantly dropped his BB% to 7.1 (down from 15.8).
He was swiftly promoted to the Double A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, where he had good results. He had a 3.69 ERA and a 4.37 FIP in 31.2 innings pitched. His 24.3 K% was a drop off, while his BB% raised to 11, but this is expected due to the advanced approach of the Double A batters.
Palmer throws a fastball, which sits in the low 90s, but has touched 97 mph, a slider, a curveball, and his best pitch, a changeup. If you want to learn more about Palmer, I actually did a Prospect Profile on him earlier in August. Sadly, the 23-year-old righty won’t pitch again this season.
#22 Hayden Juenger:
Drafted in the 6th round of the 2021 draft, Hayden Juenger (Ying-er) has the opportunity to be the steal of that draft.
The 21-year-old started his 2022 season with the Double A Fisher Cats, posting a 4.02 ERA and a 5.05 FIP in 56 innings pitched. He had a great 29.5 K% and a solid 9.3 BB%. He mainly pitched as a starter with the Fisher Cats.
He was promoted to Triple A Buffalo in late July and has pitched solely as a reliever in the nine games he’s appeared in. With the Bisons, he has a 3.24 ERA and 3.24 FIP in 16.2 innings pitched. He still has an impressive 27.5 K% and a 10.1 BB%, and honestly could be ready for the Blue Jays bullpen as soon as next season.
His fastball sits in the mid 90s, with a nice slider. MLB Pipeline notes that “his changeup has developed nicely”, but he’s really used that as his main out pitch, as it has a nice fade to the right.
#21 Manuel Beltre:
One of the last rookie league guys on the list, Manuel Beltre was my 9th best prospect in the Preseason Top 20. There’s still a lot to like in the 18-year-old, even if he has dropped a bit. This season in the FCL, he slashed .234/.351/.310 with a homer in 206 plate appearances for a wRC+ of 96. Beltre also had a solid 19.9 K% with a 10.7 BB%.
While he didn’t stand out with the FCL Jays, the shortstop literally played in the Complex League as a 17-year-old, albeit very briefly. While he hasn’t quite put up the stats one may expect, Beltre is incredibly young and still has a high ceiling.
He stands out defensively, has a great work ethic, and is a great leader. While he’s a toolsy player, there is tons of upside in the 18-year-old.
As the rookie leagues have concluded, he won’t get any more game action in 2022. It’s likely he’ll start the 2023 season with the Dunedin Blue Jays, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he repeats the FCL, even if he’s called up to Dunedin mid-way through the season.
There are only two more articles left! Take a guess who the next group of players will be! If you’ve had enough of pitchers, there won’t be many in the 20-11 rankings, so stay tuned.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. I used my own clips from the site for videos, so if you’re into prospects, definitely send a follow my way! Also, credit to @Bo_Flows_11 on Twitter for the sick artwork on the header.
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