logo

Blue Jays Nation’s 2023 Preseason Top 50: Prospects #40-36

alt
Photo credit:@WBCBaseball
Brennan Delaney
11 months ago
We’re chugging along our top prospect, as we are now on day three.
If you love pitching prospects, we got quite a few in this article. None of these five players have made it to the high minors, so there’s a chance you may not have heard of a few of these players.
If you missed prospects 50-46, or 45-41, you can read the articles in the link below.
Blue Jays Nation’s 2023 Preseason Top 50: Prospects # 50-46
Blue Jays Nation’s 2023 Preseason Top 50: Prospects # 45-41
Let’s look at my criteria for ranking and scouting before we look at prospects 40-36.

Brennan’s criteria:

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 these grades are relative to the league in which they play at. 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 to have that grade.
For these prospects, I’ll be going over their background, numbers in the minors, pitch mix (if they’re a pitcher), and giving a scouting report (if feasible, rookie league guys are difficult).
Let’s jump in!

#40 Cooper Benson:

Left-handed starting pitcher Cooper Benson was selected in the 17th round of the 2021 draft and spent his first professional season between the Florida Complex League and Low-A.
The 22-year-old posted a 1.80 ERA in 35 innings, along with a 37 K% and an 8 BB%. That K% was the fifth high in the organization for any Blue Jays pitcher with 20 innings pitched, while his K-BB% of 29% was the fourth highest in the organization behind Nick Frasso, Ryan Boyer, and Ricky Tiedemann.
Benson features a fastball that sits 88-91, touching 93 mph with sinking action, as well as a sweeping slider (which I called a slurve incorrectly in the video above) and a nice changeup with late break.

Scouting report:

Small, strong build with muscular legs and a slim upper half, Benson has a 3/4 release point and a medium arm circle. The fastball sits 88-92 but plays because of the deception in his delivery. He features a sweeping slider that generates whiffs, as well as a changeup with late vertical breaks. Filling out the rest of his frame could help him see a tick-up in velocity.

Grades:

Fastball: 40
Slider: 50
Changeup: 50
Control: 50
Overall: 35

Where he’ll start in 2023:

It’s tough to say where the 22-year-old lefty will start the 2023 season. There’s a chance he starts in Vancouver, but I think a repeat of Low-A is the most likely. In terms of what he’ll need to improve, he just needs to face tougher competition to continue to improve.

#39 Peyton Williams:

The 6’5, 255 lb first baseman was selected in the seventh round of the 2022 draft and spent his first half-season with the Low-A Dunedin Blue Jays.
With Dunedin, he slashed .242/.382/.333 with two home runs in 123 plate appearances. More impressive is the fact that he had an insane 17.1 BB% compared to a 26.8 K%, great numbers for his first half-season (and something he also did with the University of Iowa).

Scouting report:

Tall, stocky build with thick legs and a long upper half, Williams has a great eye at the plate matched with the ability to spray the ball for an average. He has plenty of raw power, but hasn’t done a great job tapping into it during games. Fringe defensively at first base figures to be a first baseman/designated hitter while rising up the minors. Below average runner.

Grades:

Hit: 50
Power: 45
Run: 30
Field: 40
Arm: 40
Overall: 35

Where he’ll start in 2023:

The Blue Jays may be aggressive by placing Williams in High-A Vancouver, as it’s not unusual to see college-drafted players head there in their first full season. Williams will have to tap into his raw power in-game action as he continues to rise up the minors.

#38 Eric Pardinho:

The 21-year-old righty (who may be 22 years old when you read this) was signed via the international free agency back in 2017. He spent 2022 with the Low-A Dunedin Blue Jays and the High-A Vancouver Canadians.
With Dunedin, Pardinho had a 0.75 ERA and 2.94 FIP in 12 innings pitched. It also saw him own a 31 K% and 4.8 BB%. His tenure in High-A Vancouver wasn’t as successful, as he had a 10.20 ERA and 6.13 FIP in 15 innings pitched. While his K% sat at 30.1%, he had an incredibly high 19.3 BB% in that short span.
He features a four-pitch mix which features a fastball that sits low 90’s but has touched 93.6 mph, a slider, a changeup, and a knuckle curveball, his best pitch. 

Scouting report:

Short, compact build with large legs and broad shoulders, Pardinho has a medium circle arm action and pitches from a 3/4 release point. The knuckle curve is his best pitch, as he induces a lot of vertical break which results in plenty of whiffs. Fastball sits in the low 90s with good shape, but a velocity tick-up could help him tremendously. His slider has a sharp sweeping motion that registered a 56 whiff % in Dunedin, while his changeup misses bats with downward movement. He struggled in High-A with walks, and has missed significant time with injuries.

Grades:

Fastball: 45
Curveball: 55
Changeup: 50
Slider 50
Control: 40
Overall: 35

Where he’ll start in 2023:

It’s likely that Pardinho will start the 2023 season repeating High-A. It’s to be seen whether or not the Jays plan to stretch him out as a starter. Moreover, he’ll have to lessen the home runs and walks and stay healthy if he is to progress to the next level. The ceiling has always been there, he’s just had bad luck with injuries.

#37 Chad Dallas:

The 22-year-old right-handed pitcher was selected in the fourth round of the 2021 draft, and spent his first professional season with the High-A Vancouver Canadians.
With Vancouver, he posted a 4.60 ERA and 5.50 FIP in 88 innings pitched, all as a starter. He had a slightly below-average 21.2 K%, while his 12.6 BB% was on the high side.
Looking specifically at his arsenal, Dallas may have the best combination of breaking balls in the Blue Jays organization. His best pitch is a slider (which has been called a cutter as well), while his curveball has the potential to become a plus pitch. His fastball is average, as it sits 90-94, while his changeup has some late glove side fade.

Scouting report:

Small frame, but a ton of muscle, Dallas has a 3/4 release point and a medium circle arm action. His best pitch is a cutter/slider that has a sharp horizontal and vertical break, it’s a plus pitch. The second-best pitch in his arsenal is a big, looping curveball that has a sharp 12-6 drop. His fastball sits 90-94 and is used best at the top of the zone. The changeup has glove side fade and is pitch under development. Dallas’ big issue was a loss of control, which increased his walk rate and loud contact.

Grades:

Fastball: 45
Slider: 60
Curveball: 55
Changeup: 45
Control: 40
Overall: 35

Where he’ll start in 2023:

Dallas is probably the most obvious placement, as he has a clear path to start the 2023 season with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. It’s possible he repeats the level, but unlikely. Dallas could end up transitioning to the bullpen as he did when he played in college. The next step in Dallas’ progression is to improve the walk rate.

#36 CJ Van Eyk:

Van Eyk was selected in the second round of the 2020 draft and was “one of the most talented arms” in the draft class according to MLB Pipeline. He missed all of 2022 due to Tommy John surgery, which happened at the end of the 2021 season.
He spent that entire 2021 season with the High-A Vancouver Canadians and posted a 5.83 ERA and a 4.55 FIP in 80.1 innings pitched. While he had a good 28.3 K%, he struggled with walks as he had an 11 BB%, which contributed to his higher ERA.

Scouting report:

Long body, with long limbs that he can fill out with muscle, Van Eyk has a 3/4 release point. His best pitch is a plus curveball, which misses a ton of bats with a late break. The fastball can be used all over the strike zone and sits 91-94 mph, touching 96 mph. Although it’s developing, the slider could potentially become a plus pitch in the future with its gyro shape. The changeup is average. Aggressive, but struggled with walks and loud contact in his first professional season before missing 2022 due to Tommy John.

Grades:

Fastball: 50
Curveball: 60
Slider: 50
Changeup: 50
Control: 40
Overall: 40

Where he’ll start in 2023:

Gauging where Van Eyk will start is difficult. If he’s ready, it’s possible he will start the season with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. If he returns to action midway through the season, he may rehab with the Low-A Dunedin Blue Jays, or even the Florida Complex League team. To improve to the next level, he’ll have to drop the walk rate, but he has the stuff to be a back-end-of-the-rotation starter, and potentially even a middle-of-the-rotation starter.

What’s next:

Are you tired of pitching prospects? Well, you’re in luck as Wednesday’s article will feature only three, instead of four or five.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D.

POINTSBET IS LIVE IN ONTARIO

Check out these posts...