Scouting Reports on the three top prospects the Blue Jays signed in International Free Agency
By Nick Prasad1 month ago
The Toronto Blue Jays were active in International Free Agency this winter, as the team agreed to terms with catcher Franklin Rojas, shortstop Angel Guzman, and outfielder Andres Arias when the signing period opened earlier this month.
Angel Guzman – Shortstop
When observing Guzman at first glance, he isn’t the biggest guy on the field nor is he the boldest player. His 5’11” 160lbs frame is decently standard but his flashy approach to his positions and athletic nature is what catches your attention. His locked-in nature and IQ of the game convert into dynamic offensive plays, which benefit the game situation.
Guzman has a lot of growing ahead of him, and his athletic build will require a lot of strength work, which will only boost his current athletic profile. He is quick on his feet with raw-speedy attributes and able to move well on the backhand and forehand approach in the hole. He covers a lot of ground, has soft hands, and a strong-workable and projectable arm to be a true shortstop. He moves well, follows his throw and knows his position.
He swings the bat from both sides of the box with the left side being his strong point. His contact ability is impressive with the tools to put the ball in play and find gaps. He works his bat up the middle and will pull on the line when he finds his pitch. His barrel and ability to poke the ball in holes puts him in a one or two spot in the lineup with strong projection to insert more power into his overall makeup. Defensively I can draw similarities to Edmundo Sosa, and I can endorse MLB’s comparison to Geraldo Perdomo on both ends, but more so on the offensive side.
Franklin Rojas – Catcher
Like the majority of Venezuelan international prospect catchers, Rojas screams projectable from an above-average skill set. His overall game is impressive, and he is estimated to translate into a well-developed professional player.
His 5’10” 176lbs frame shows out to be athletic, agile, and strong. He demonstrates quick-twitch movements with the ability to react and change direction upon physical demand. He is a sound receiver behind the plate with very good fundamental blocking skills and is very athletic defensively. Rojas’ footwork is on-point followed by a good quick transfer and above-average arm down to the bag. His tools on the defensive end are above baseline and will be easy to work throughout the system.
Rojas is loose at the plate with rhythm and composure. His approach is productive contact but he can also muscle power through the zone. His bat speed is evident, and his hands move quickly to the ball. He gets out of the box quickly but still projects to be an average runner, a better runner for a catcher. Rojas’ prospective profile is fairly comparable to the Mets’ top prospect, Kevin Parada.
Andres Arias – Outfielder
The Blue Jays also added an all-righty 17-year-old out of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. Outfielder Andres Arias was one of the ranked prospects signed in this international prospect signing period. Arias ranks 34th of the top 50 prospects.
Arias is an average 50-grade scale player with potential. His size is well above average, with athletic makeup at 6’4” in height, weighing 180lbs. His body type defines strength and raw power with the ability to launch the ball. His consistency is said to be in contact with all fields with the focus being up the middle. He hits line-drive style and can push launch-angle on the pull side.
Arias is a decent defender with workable tools such as speed and fundamentals. His tracking and route are about average, and his arm is above average, making him an asset in the outfield. His tools and traits are workable with room for development from the corner positions. Arias is definitely a project, but an interesting long-term piece for the organization.
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