Blue Jays Nation’s 2023 Preseason Top 50: #15 Josh Kasevich
10 days ago
It’s been a while since a 2022 draftee was ranked on Blue Jays Nation’s Top 50, but that changes with this article.
Josh Kasevich is an intriguing prospect, as he has a great hit tool and will be able to stick at shortstop as he’s a great defender.
However, we’ll look at the criteria before taking a deep dive.
Instead of writing this out every time I did for the mid-season Top 60, I’ll copy and paste my criteria for how I rank and scout these players.
There are many factors that determine a top prospect. The eye test is the biggest driver in determining a top prospect, but proximity to the majors, ceiling, and floor is also important. Moreover, statistics are another key ingredient, as everything works together to give you numbers.
As for the grades, it’s important to remember that they are relative to the league in which they play. A kid from Dunedin is not going to have a 50-grade hit tool if he were placed in the big leagues. But relative to the league in which he plays, a .300 hitter is eligible for that grade.
For these prospects, I’ll review their background, numbers in the minors, pitch mix (if they’re a pitcher), and give a scouting report (if feasible, rookie league guys are difficult).
Let’s jump in!
Josh Kasevich’s career so far:
The 21-year-old (who’ll turn 22 a day after this article is published) was drafted in the second round of the 2022 draft.
He spent his first season with the Low-A Dunedin Blue Jays, where he slashed .262/.344/.336 with no homers in 122 plate appearances. While the shortstop didn’t walk an extraordinary amount (9 BB%), Kasevich did have a higher BB% than K%, as he had a 7.4 K% in that short stretch. That’s a sign of a great hitter.
Looking at his collegiate career, he slashed .310/.383/.445 with seven homers in 277 plate appearances in the 2022 season. Like in his first professional season, he had a relatively low 8.7 BB%, but only struck out 5.8% of the time with the Oregon Ducks.
Kasevich hit the ball relatively hard in his time with the Dunedin Blue Jays according to Exit Vel’O’Clock. He had an average exit velocity of 85.2 mph, with a hard-hit % of 22.8% and a maximum exit velocity of 104.7 mph. Kasevich is more of a contact first batter than a power hitter, which you’ll come to learn about in his scouting report!
Lanky build, with long legs and a long torso with broad shoulders, Kasevich has projection remaining. As it stands, he’s a contact-over-power guy who has a great eye at the plate and can hit difficult pitches and spray the pitches to all fields with gap power. As his body continues to develop, he may be able to hit 15 homers in a season with his fluid swing. Quick twitch defender with good instincts, a strong arm, and good footwork. Has the potential to stick at shortstop and be a great defender.
Where he’ll start in 2023:
It’s likely that Kasevich, who’ll be 22 years old, will start his 2023 season with the High-A Vancouver Canadians. If he produces, he has the opportunity to move up the minor league ranks quickly. The biggest flaw Kasevich will need to address is his power. He’s not quite a five-tool prospect, but with average to above average power, the Jays could have gotten a real good prospect with their second round pick in 2022.
On Tuesday, we’ll have the last prospect the Jays have traded for, who also has a fascinating story.
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