Blue Jays Top Prospects Countdown: Position players who didn’t crack the Top 20

Brennan Delaney
1 year ago
Over the past several years, the Blue Jays have graduated quite a few position players, such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and Alejandro Kirk. They still have quite a few position players who may make an impact as soon as 2022. However, many in this list of position players that just missed out are on the young side.
Much like the article about the pitchers that missed out on my top 20, this list will feature 15 position players who missed the cut, but you should still keep an eye on. We’ll start with Double-A and work down to the Rookie Leagues… 

Chavez Young:

Drafted in the 39th round of the 2016 MLB draft, the 24-year-old from The Bahamas has an interesting skill set. First and foremost, he’s fast. He stole 20 of 23 bases in 2021 and my lord, does he ever cover a ton of ground in centrefield. Young is by far the Jays’ best defensive outfielder.
Furthermore, he also had a successful 2021 with the bat. Young, who is a switch hitter, slashed .265/.350/.758 with seven home runs in 324 plate appearances. He had been high up on multiple prospect lists in years previous, but he struggled in 2019 and didn’t play in the minor leagues in 2020.
It’s safe to say he returned to form and realistically, I think Young has a shot at making the MLB in a utility outfielder kind of role. If you’d like to know more about Chavez Young, I actually wrote an article about him here.
2022 start: Triple A, 40 man roster

Tanner Morris:

We all love Santiago Espinal, especially for his versatility. With that being said, the Jays drafted utility infielder Tanner Morris in the 5th round of the 2019 draft. In his first full professional season, the then 23-year-old slashed .285/.381/.782 with seven home runs in 470 plate appearances in Vancouver.
The most impressive part of his game however, is his ability to take a walk (BB% of 12.3% in 2021), while limiting the strikeouts (19.1% in 2021). Tanner is definitely a prospect to keep an eye on as there’s a chance he’ll carve out a utility role for himself in the future.
2022 start: Double A

Cameron Eden:

I’ve always found the stolen bases to be an underutilized aspect of baseball. Eden was drafted in the 6th round of the 2019 MLB draft and put together an impressive 2021 when he was healthy.
In 218 plate appearances, the 23-year-old utility INF/OF slashed .274/.383/.785 with an additional four home runs. However, despite the fact he only played 48 games, Eden stole 30 bases in 32 attempts.
LIke the two prospects listed above, Eden could see himself in a utility role on an MLB team.
2022 start: Double A

Riley Tirotta:

Despite being older than the average third baseman in Low A, Tirotta absolutely crushed his 30 games in Dunedin. Picked in the 12th round of the 2021 draft, the 23-year-old who is four days older than me, slashed .305/.429/.818 with a home run in 119 plate appearances. He also had a high BB% of 16%, with a K% of 21%.
It was surprising that Riley dropped to the Jays, as he killed it during his senior year of university. In 222 plate appearances, he slashed .337/.451/1.147 with 16 home runs. If he can translate that success to a wooden bat, the Jays may have another late round steal.
2022 start: High A
Miguel Hiraldo

Miguel Hiraldo:

Signed for $750,000 in 2017, the 21-year-old second/third baseman had a solid season in Dunedin. 2021 was his age 20 season, and he put up a slash line of .247/.338/.727 and seven home runs in 453 plate appearances. However, he struck out 111 times, or 24.5% of the time. To develop further, the now 21-year-old must be more selective with his pitches.
Hiraldo could be selected by another team in the Rule 5 Draft once (if???) a Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached.
2022 start: High A

Victor Mesia:

The Jays have a tendency to sign catchers through the International Free Agency. We saw them sign both Alejandro Kirk and Gabriel Moreno in 2016, and Mesia will be the first of quite a few on this list.
Signed for $300,000 in 2019, Mesia recently celebrated his 19th birthday and has already progressed to Low A. Mesia started his 2021 season off rough with a meniscus tear, but upon returning to the FCL team, the then 18-year-old slashed .288/.371/.864 with two home runs in 70 plate appearances. The 5’9 catcher they call the Bulldog was promoted to Low A, where he slashed .129/.161/.318 in only 32 plate appearances.
For context, he was -3.3 years younger than the average catcher for that level. He’s shown an above average bat for his age, but he excels defensively. Expect a prospect report that covers him at some point during the season.
2022 start: Low A

Damiano Palmegiani:

Despite the fact that Palmegiani is Venezuelan, the recently turned 22-year-old was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays. Twice.
Drafted out of his high school in Vauxhall, Alberta in 2018, the third baseman pursued college and played his 2019 at CS Northridge. However, that university didn’t play in the 2020 season. He joined the State College Spikes in 2021 and slashed .304/.409/.891 in 66 plate appearances. Regardless of the small sample size, the Jays drafted him in the 14th round of the 2021 MLB (as opposed to the 35th round in 2019).
Palmegiani had 48 plate appearances for the FCL team, where he slashed .333/.458/.997 with two home runs. He was 1.1 years older than the average third baseman, but his numbers were what you’d expect from a 21-year-old in the FCL.
2022 start: High A

Jaden Rudd:

Drafted out of high school in the 7th round in the 2021 draft, Rudd had an okay start to his professional career. In 71 plate appearances, the 19-year-old slashed .218/.386/.731 with a home run and five stolen bases on six attempts. While that doesn’t sound fantastic, it’s important to remember that he’s still a young player who hasn’t developed as much as his fellow draftees that played college ball.
Despite his low batting average, he has shown the ability to see the ball, as he had a BB% of 15.5% with a K% of 19.7%. He’s certainly a prospect to keep an eye on with an interesting story. Perhaps there’ll be a prospect report on him mid-season?
2022 start: FCL Blue Jays

Estiven Machado:

If healthy, Machado is a player certainly to keep an eye on as he has potential to the moon. The reason he doesn’t rank in my Top 20 is that after signing for $775,000 in 2019, the shortstop has missed both the 2020 (COVID) and 2021 (injury) seasons.
Rated as the 8th best prospect in MLB Pipeline’s mid-season report, Estiven Machado only had one plate appearance (it was a hit) before a hamstring injury ended his 2021 season. The 19-year-old is a switch hitter with plus hitting, and power which will develop with age. He’s also a plus defender in terms of fielding and arm.
2022 start: FCL, but will reach Low A

Rikelbin De Castro:

De Castro, who signed for $1,200,000, was another player signed in that 2019 IFA window. Recently celebrating his 19th birthday, he had an alright season in the Florida Complex League. As an 18-year-old, he slashed .238/.372/.769 with two home runs and three triples in 156 plate appearances. While he had a high walk rate of 15.4%, this was paired with a high strikeout rate of 25.6%. This will need to decrease if he is to reach his full potential.
However, De Castro’s calling card is his above average defense. According to MLB Pipeline, he is one of the better defenders in the 2019 class. If he can clean up his approach and add power, he could be a very interesting prospect to watch in the upcoming years.
2022 start: Low A

Endri Garcia:

Moving on to a Venezulan who was signed through the IFA, left fielder Endri Garcia. The then 18-year-old slashed .315/..419/.862 with two home runs in 148 plate appearances for the Dominican Summer League (DOSL) team. A promising sign for young players in the rookie leagues is their BB% and K%. Endri had a rather high BB% of 10.1% with a K% of 19.6%, which means that he has the ability to see that ball.
It’ll be interesting to see how he does once he moves to the FCL in 2022.
2022 start: Florida Complex League

Luis Garcia:

Did I intentionally put Luis Garcia directly after Endri Garcia? Absolutely. The young player played a more utility role with the team, playing all infield positions except for catcher and first.
Offensively, Luis had an impressive age 17 season in the Dominican Summer League, as he slashed .307/.375/.755 in 152 plate appearances. Furthermore, he struck out only 13.2% of the time, while walking 8.6% of the time.
The reason he didn’t rank in my top 20 is because he cooled off to end the season. In his last 55 plate appearances, he slashed .231/.259/.528 with six strikeouts and a walk. If he can play like he did throughout the start of his season, he could be one of the better prospects in the Jays system in a few years.
2022 start: Florida Complex League

Cristian Feliz:

I’ll ask this question, what position do you think has the least overall depth in the whole of the Jays organization. Some may say outfield (bonus: check out Yhoangel Aponte), but I’d point to first base. Next to Vlad, there really isn’t a first baseman on the main team, nor do they have a ton of prospects coming except.
Well, that is for two players. We’ll focus on Feliz, a 19-year-old who had a solid season in the Dominican Summer League. He slashed .291/.393/.811 in 178 plate appearances, and added 4 home runs, the most on the team (by double).
The left hander has shown power, but with that power comes a large K% of 27.5%. As he develops, this K% will need to drop for him to reach his full potential.
2022 start: Florida Complex League

Jonathan Peguero:

The Blue Jays really love to sign catchers out of the International Free Agency. He started the 2021 season as a 16-year-old (for about two weeks), but had quite an impressive season in the Dominican Summer League. In 112 plate appearances, he slashed .266/.384/.756 with two home runs, which tied for the second most on the team.
Furthermore, he showed his eye at the plate as he had 16 walks (or a 14.3% walk rate) and 19 strikeouts (or a 17% strikeout rate).
Again, he was only 17.
2022 start: Florida Complex League

Luis Meza:

For the last spot, I debated putting Yhoangel Aponte on this list, but I settled with recent IFA signing Luis Meza.
Meza, who is also a catcher, signed for $2,250,000 in the recent IFA window. I wrote an article on him here, but long story short, he is a good hitter with power and is good defensively. MLB Pipeline also gave him a 45 run tool (on a scale of 20-80), which I find hilarious as catchers usually have a 30 run tool.
2022 start: Florida Complex League
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. I’m nearing 300 followers, so send me a follow!. I also have COVID at the moment, so I am stuck at home writing a bunch of articles for an array of sites.

Check out these posts...