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Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 26: Rafael Lantigua

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Ryley Delaney
5 months ago
Today’s prospect could play with the 2024 Blue Jays.
This is Blue Jays Nation’s annual pre-season list, in which I’ll take a look at the top 50 prospects in the organization. We’ll look at the player’s stats, my observations, and other publications’ scouting reports if available.
Let’s take a look at Rafael Lantigua.

Getting to know Rafael Lantigua…

Position: Everything except first base, catcher, and pitcher
Bats: Right
Born: April 28, 1998
Acquired: 2017 International Free Agency
2023 Team: Triple-A Buffalo
Previous Ranking: 42
Rafael Lantigua started his Blue Jays career in 2017, slashing .284/.379/.376 with no homers in 256 plate appearances, along with a higher BB% (12.9%) than K% (12.5). He had a similar 2018 at the rookie level, before struggling in 2019.
After the 2020 minor league season was cancelled due to the pandemic, Lantigua played the majority of his 2021 season with the High-A Vancouver Canadians. He was 23 years old at the time, and slashed .280/.375/.470 with 11 homers in 347 plate appearances, along with a 12.1 BB% and a 21.9 K% for a 127 wRC+.
Lantigua was one of just four players in the Blue Jays organization with 500 or more plate appearances in 2022, in fact, his 547 plate appearances were the most in the minor leagues for the Jays. Between Double-A and Triple-A, Lantigua slashed .274/.346/.393 with seven homers, along with a 9.7 BB% and a 19.2 K%.
However, Lantigua’s career-year came in 2023. With the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, Lantigua slashed .305/.425/.469 with 12 homers in 578 plate appearances, along with a career-high 17 BB% and an 18.5 BB%. His 131 wRC+ was seventh in the Blue Jays organization, and he once again led the Jays’ minor leaguers in plate appearances.
It makes sense that Lantigua gets so many plate appearances, as he plays every position except for first base, catcher, and pitcher. His versatility to play all over the place could become handy for the Jays in 2024. On top of that, he’s always shown a great eye at the plate, and there’s some pop in his bat. He also had 28 steals in 37 attempts.
Lantigua ranks on just one list this season, Scott Mitchell’s Top 50 list at 32nd. He notes that Lantigua has good exit velocities and plays all over the place.
The hit tool is average, he has pop, and his versatility is incredibly important. Don’t be surprised the 25-year-old makes his Blue Jays debut in 2024.

In case you missed it…

Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown: The honourable mentions
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 36: Hagen Danner
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 35: Rainer Nuñez
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 34: Hayden Juenger
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 33: Junior Arias
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 32: Michael Dominguez
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 31: Connor O’Halloran
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 30: Brennan Orf
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 29: Adrian Pinto
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 28: Franklin Rojas
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 27: Gabriel Martinez

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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