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The Blue Jays farm system is suddenly stocked with intriguing outfielders

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Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
A few seasons ago, the weakest position in the Blue Jays’ farm system was undoubtedly in the outfield.
Fast forward to around two months into the 2024 season, and it’s become one of the most well-stocked positions in the organization.
That begs the question, who are some outfielders the Blue Jays have percolating in the minor leagues? We’ll look at outfielders with a wRC+ above 100 (min: 50 plate appearances), as well as some potential breakout outfielders and outfielders with a track record.

Devonte Brown

I often ask the question “how was Devonte Brown undrafted”, and the question still rings true.
This season with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the 24-year-old is slashing .270/380/.431 with six home runs in 205 plate appearances. He has a good eye at the plate, posting a 13.7 BB%, but is struggling mightily with the strikeout rate, as it’s elevated to 37.6%.
All in all, his 133 wRC+ is tied for first among outfielders in the organization. I wrote more on him in my latest Toronto Blue Jays Prospect Profile.

Nathan Lukes

This is Nathan Lukes’ third season in the organization, and it’s his third season of hitting well. The 29-year-old is slashing .333/.406/.480 with six homers in 192 plate appearances, along with a 9.9 BB% and a 15.1 K% for a 133 wRC+, tied for Brown.
Sadly, Lukes was recently placed on the 7-day Injured List with an injured thumb. There has been no update on his condition.

Alan Roden

If you had to pinpoint one player who broke out during the 2023 season, Alan Roden is probably the guy you’re looking at. This season with Double-A New Hampshire, the 24-year-old corner outfielder is slashing .263/.372/.438. He’s also hit seven home runs in 231 plate appearances, along with a 12.1 BB% and a 13.9 K%. This gives him a 130 wRC+ for the season.
It is worth mentioning that his play has seen a slight drop since his tenure in New Hampshire last season, as he slashed .310/.421/.460 with six homers in 209 plate appearances for a 147 wRC+.
Still, a promotion to Triple-A should be in order around the All-Star break.

Dasan Brown

Dasan Brown will make the big leagues, but in what capacity is the question. This season in High-A Vancouver, the 22-year-old centrefielder is slashing .260/.369/.416 with five homers in 203 plate appearances. His 12.8 BB% is the highest of his career, minimum 100 plate appearances, while his K% of 24.1% is the lowest in his career.
Overall, he has a 129 wRC+ and has been the driving force of Vancouver’s offence. He’s also stolen 12 of 13 bases this season, and a promotion to New Hampshire should be coming soon.

Addison Barger

Addison Barger has played more innings at third base, but Fangraphs considers him an outfielder (117 innings between left and right field), so I do too. This season with the bat, Barger is slashing .265/.384/.488 with the Buffalo Bisons, along with eight homers in 204 plate appearances.
In total, he has a 127 wRC+, and his K% has continued to drop, now sitting at 18.6%. The BB% is sitting at 15.2%. He’s one of a few infielder-turned-outfielders we’ll look at in this article.

Victor Arias

The first Single-A Dunedin player we’ll look at, Victor Arias is a 20-year-old, left-handed batting corner outfielder. This season with the D-Jays, Arias is slashing .264/.379/.384 with two homers in 190 plate appearances, along with nine doubles, two triples, a 11.6 BB%, and a 23.2 K% for a 126 wRC+.
He’s still quite a few years away from even reaching the upper-minors, but Arias has hit at any level he’s been at so far in his four-year career, with this being his best season (min:100 plate appearances)

Steward Berroa

Another prospect I once covered in the Toronto Blue Jays Prospect Profile series, Steward Berroa has quickly become a prospect worth watching in Triple-A Buffalo. This season, he’s slashing .297/.381/.485 with six homers (one short of his career-high) in 177 plate appearances, along with an 11.3 BB% and a 26 K%.
Overall, the 25-year-old has a 119 wRC+, but has also stolen 27 of 34 bases. Not as great as his 47/57 rate last season, but he’s a menace on the base paths.

Enmanuel Bonilla

The Blue Jays signed Enmanuel Bonilla to a signing bonus of $4.1 million, the highest bonus they’ve given out in international free agency. Yes, even higher than what Vladimir Guerrero Jr. received.
This season with the Florida Complex League Blue Jays, Bonilla is slashing .289/.364/.464 with three homers in 110 plate appearances, already matching his career-high from last season. However, his K% jumped from 24.3% to 30%, while his BB% decreased from 11.9% to 6.4%.
Still, Bonilla has a 119 wRC+ along with six doubles and a triple. It’s not a hot take to say at some point, he’ll be in the Top 100 best prospects list.

Jace Bohrofen

Jace Bohrofen was selected in the sixth-round of the 2022 draft, and has spent his entire 2024 season with the Vancouver Canadians. So far in 2024, he’s slashing .232/.363/.361 with three homers in 191 plate appearances, along with a 14.1 BB% and a 27.2 K%.
Notably, the 22-year-old hit six homers in 77 plate appearances with the Single-A Blue Jays last season. Moreover, since May 22, Bohrofen has slashed .096/.145/.192 with a 1.8 BB% and a 34.5 K% for a -3 wRC+. Hopefully, this is just a small blip in a successful career.

Alexis Hernandez

Selected by the Blue Jays in the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 draft in 2023, Hernandez has had a solid start to his Blue Jays’ career.
This season in Single-A, he’s slashing .234/.354/.371 with four homers in 147 plate appearances, along with a 12.2 BB% and a 25.2 K% for a 115 wRC+. The four homers is a career-high, and it came in a five-game span at the end of May.

Sam Shaw

The second of three infielders-turned-outfielders, Sam Shaw is a 19-year-old Canadian who was selected with the ninth-round pick in 2023. This season in the Florida Complex League, he’s slashing .240/.373/.354 in 119 plate appearances.
There hasn’t been much in terms of extra-base hits, as he has two homers, three doubles, and a triple, but he’s shown an excellent eye at the plate registering a 16 BB% compared to a 10.9 K%. Overall, he has a 104 wRC+, and has played 19 innings in left field.

Jean Joseph

The last player who has an average or better wRC+, Jean Joseph is slashing .229/.313/.374 with a career-best three homers in 150 plate appearances for a career-best 100 wRC+. He also has a 7.3 BB% (the lowest of his career) and a 22.7 K%.
The improvement is nice to see, especially as he’s already hit a career-high. He’s a good outfielder as well, and has played over 100 innings in centre and left, as well as 78 innings in right field.

Yhoangel Aponte

Now on to players with a sub 100 wRC+, first up is Yhoangel Aponte. Last season with the FCL Jays, he slashed .231/.344/.462 with a career-best eight homers in 183 plate appearances, along with another one with Dunedin at the end of the season.
The 2024 season hasn’t gone as well for the 20-year-old corner outfielder, as he’s slashing .204/.330/.331 with three homers in 218 plate appearances. Notably, his K% dropped a bit and now sits at 28.9%, while his 12.8 BB% is nice. Aponte has a 95 wRC+ for the season.

Rafael Lantigua

Rafael Lantigua, 26, was one of the Buffalo Bisons best hitters last season, slashing .305/.425/.469 with 12 homers in 578 plate appearances, along with a 17 BB% and an 18.5 K% for a 131 wRC+.
After electing free agency and re-signing with the Blue Jays, it’s been a rough go of things for the infielder-turned-outfielder-that-still-plays-the-infield. This season, he’s slashing .273/.357/.360 with two homers in 196 plate appearances, along with an 11.2 BB% and a 21.9 K% for a 92 wRC+.
The batting average is there, but after hitting 40 doubles and 12 homers last season, he has just nine doubles and two home runs.

Will Robertson

A pure outfielder, Will Robertson had a great 2023 season, slashing .245/.323/.488 with 19 homers in 412 plate appearances for a 118 wRC+. This was carried by a huge second half, along with a great Arizona Fall League.
However, after a solid start to his 2024 season where he hit four home runs in six games, Robertson’s bat has gone cold. Over his last two months, he’s slashing .175/.291/.270 with a 12.8 BB% and a 31.8 K% for a 51 wRC+.
For the season, he’s slashing .218/.326/.408 with seven homers in 172 plate appearances, along with a 12.8 BB% and a 32 K% for a 90 wRC+. Hopefully another great second half is in order here.

Jaden Rudd

Another breakout candidate, Jaden Rudd was selected in the seventh-round of the 2021 draft and is just 21. Yet, he’s already had some clutch moments in his young career, including a two-run double for Team Great Britain, during the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
On the affiliate side of things, Rudd is slashing .233/.333/.288 with no homers, two doubles, and a triple in 84 plate appearances with the Vancouver Canadians. While he’s always had a great eye at the plate (13.1 BB% this season), his K% has jumped to 31% from 25.6% the season prior.
Still, he’s someone who I think can break out in the next few seasons.

Gabriel Martinez

One player who had a breakout already was Gabriel Martinez. During the 2022 season, he slashed .293/.355/.477 with 14 homers in 389 plate appearances in the Complex League, Single-A, and Triple-A.
However, he struggled in his first full season in 2023 with Vancouver, slashing .242/.300/.374 with 12 homers in 448 plate appearances, along with a 6.9 BB% and a 16.5%. After a good start to his 2024 season with the Double-A Fisher Cats, he’s slashing .202/.264/.343 with four homers in 193 plate appearances, along 11 doubles and a triple.
The 21-year-old is a former top 10 prospect for the team, but after a rough 2023 season, he fell off the MLB Pipeline Top 30 list, and his 2024 hasn’t helped his case.
Still, there’s a track record there and he’s still young for the level.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Ryley_L_D.

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