Toronto Blue Jays 2024 Aggregated Top Prospects

Photo credit:Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Tammy Rainey
1 month ago
It’s been a long, restless winter of me thinking, “I should write something,” while every marginal topic related to the Jays is already over-covered by other writers, and thus, feeling I have little more to add. Just last week I was mulling the idea of looking at positional depth and BNS literally drops one on that very topic the next day. Anywho… Having finally gotten the Pipeline list, I’m now as set as I’m ever going to be for the annual spring tradition of aggregating all the “professional” prospect lists into one consensus list.
I regret that I’ve not been able to acquire a ranking for Baseball Prospectus’ 11-20 (behind a paywall), and so, as is usual, the point system will seem a bit off since I use a 20-point system. I do, however, know who those 10 are, just not what order they are in, so each of them gets one additional point because they are at least #20 on the BP list.
Beyond those two sources, I also have Baseball America, Law’s list at The Athletic, Scott Mitchell’s essential list (because he goes to 50!) at TSN and Fangraphs. If I ever get informed of the balance of the BP list I’ll edit accordingly. I will refrain from overly cribbing the scouting work and inside reporting of these fine writers as much as possible, referring you to the links and not wishing to violate paywalls over much, but of course, there will be some comments. Also, I’ll not age and position for easy reference and possible farm team assignment. In parenthesis is the point total on a 20-point scale. For example, Ricky Tiedemann, obviously everyone’s #1, got 120 total points.
  • 1. Ricky Tiedemann (120) – 21, LHSP, AAA Buffalo – The weird thing about lists like this is that for the very top guys, there’s very little fresh to say about them. For Ricky, the discussion beyond his on-field results is that he came back last August from being sideline noticeably more cut, and this spring is, as some phrase it, “ripped.” He might be even better than we’ve been expecting. The limiting factor this year is pitch counts and IP, so if things go well for the major league rotation, we might be waiting longer than we’d like to see that manifest in Toronto.
  • 2. Orelvis Martinez (114) – 22, 2B/3B – Buffalo – the primary story here is where he can settle in defensively. The reports suggest that he’d be an adequate 3B (note for comparison that players like Deavers and Riley are not highly rated defenders but they’re good enough for the bat to carry them there) and better, more natural, at 2B (though he has a 3B arm). Given the need in Toronto is more 3B than 2B, you might see him start at one spot and slide over later. This could start to manifest by June if things go well in AAA.
  • 3. Arjun Nimmala (108) – 18, SS – Low A Dunedin – Most every player acquired as a shortstop begins their development journey trying to stick there, and Nimmala seems to have a better than average chance to do so. He barely got a cup of coffee in the GCL last summer, and given that the league will start earlier this year, he may open the season back there, but a successful season will see him with the D-Jays relatively quickly.
  • 4. Addison Barger (94) – 24, 3B, RF – Buffalo – Another candidate to come crashing in and grab significant major league time at 3B. Like Orelvis, he might well project long-term as better elsewhere (in RF), but you could imagine a future where he plays 3B until Springer is gone, then moves out to right.
  • 5. Brandon Barriera (92) – 20, LHSP – Dunedin – Was said to come into camp last spring heavier and not as in shape as the team rightfully expected, and still got good results – just not much work because of injuries. Reports this spring say this conditioning circumstance has not repeated. Could be a breakout season.
  • 6. Leo Jiminez (23) – 23, SS/2B – Buffalo – Defense has never been a question, some said it was MLB-caliber even a few years back. His best offensive year was 2021, thanks to an absolutely ridiculous walk rate, but in ’23 (in AA), he got his slugging up over .400 for the first time for a more balanced offensive year. A small late-season sample at AAA went poorly but it’s reasonable to think there’s an everyday regular job in his future – for some team –  and not just utility work. This is his last option year so the odds he gets traded by the end of 2024 are pretty high.
  • 7. Adam Macko (63) – 23, LHSP – AA New Hampshire – Only the top 5 here were in every one of the top 10 lists (Jiminez was on all but one) but Macko got a lot of love. His big objective last season was to stay healthy all year and he did that, while doing his best work later in the year.
  • 8. Kendry Rojas (62) – 21, LHSP – High A Vancouver – Spent the whole season in Dunedin, which is fine as he’s young enough to take a slower development path with. Was assigned to work on velo over the winter and Scott Mitchell observed Saturday on Twitter that he was touching 97 (which he’d done only on rare occasion last year). The guy has skills and if he can sit around 95 it’s a good sign of continued success.
  • 9. Enmanuel Bonilla (61) – 18, RF – GC Blue Jays – You’ll note the tightly bunched point totals in this part of the list. If I knew the rest of BP’s ranking, I might find Bonilla (or Rojas) a slot or two higher. His debut season in the DSL didn’t generate significant red flags and he’ll be stateside this spring. I’ll be watching to see what happens when the short season ends, whether or not they will keep him working in the complex or send him over to the D-Jays for more game action.
  • 10. Josh Kasevich (43) – 23, SS – New Hampshire – This guy… I don’t want to disrespect the player or the evaluators but… a great glove to go with a singles hitter profile at the plate? I just don’t get the love. On my personal list, he’s #25, and that’s mainly because I have to respect the pros. If I could choose one guy off of this list to go in the next trade, this is the one.
  • 11. Alan Roden (40) – 24, RF/LF – Buffalo – Among hitters, there’s probably more buzz around Roden this spring than any other prospect. His career so far has been both impressive and… concerning is too harsh a word by far. He’s an on-base machine (over 140 pro games he’s got a .420 OBP) with solid speed (29 steals in 34 attempts) and not as much power as you’d want from a guy who projects as a corner outfielder (11 career homers). The story goes that the unusual stance last year was supposed to be contact-oriented, and it worked, but this spring, they’ve made an adjustment to maintain that while getting to more power. It’s not impossible that he begins the year at AA but there’s no obvious reason why he should either. Chatter suggests that if there’s a significant injury to an outfielder this year Roden is in line to step in.
  • 12. Jauron Watts-Brown (37) – 22, RHP – Vancouver? – Everything I know here is scouting that was draft-related. Personally, I’m not this high on him as a lot of the discussion frames him as a bit of a project, but this list isn’t about my opinion. He could easily start the year in Dunedin, but some college draftees go right to High A so this is the most difficult guess on this list. Worth noticing that this makes him the highest-ranked right-handed starter in the system, as all four we’ve discussed so far are lefties.
  • 13. Landen Maroudis (34) – 19, RHP – Dunedin? – THIS dude, on the other hand, is generating a lot of buzz. Not Tiedemann-of-two-years-ago level buzz but everyone seems impressed. As a high school pitcher, and with the complex league starting in April, he might well get a few turns there before heading to Dunedin. But the bulk of his year will likely be with the D-Jays.
  • 14. Chad Dallas (31) – 24, RHP – Buffalo – Coming into last season, the general vibe was that Dallas was… fine? Some skills, some stuff to work on, maybe a back-end ceiling? They seem a lot more impressed with him now. In 2022, the walk rate was too high, and the hits allowed were pretty ordinary, as was the K rate. Last season each of these got noticeably better, while pitching at a higher level and piling up over 1/3 more IP. He’s not a potential ace like Tiedemann, but under the right series of circumstances, he might be called on to fill a gap in the major league rotation before Ricky T is. I, for one, had rather give him a look than all the Wes Parsons and Paulo Espinos of the world.
  • 15. Yosver Zulueta (29) – 26, RHP – Buffalo – Conversely, here’s someone whose star has dimmed. After being felled by a freak (leg) injury as the 2021 season was beginning (and losing the entire season), Zulu had to prove himself in ’22, and while he did burn his way through 4 levels, the higher he got, the higher his walk rate got. He ended up (to my bitter regret) being regulated to the bullpen, and last year, it was still the free pass that bedevilled him. Interestingly, he somehow managed to get fairly successful outcomes despite the horrifying walk rate. Eventually (August 13), the organization decided to bring him back to the Complex to work on some changes, but from the beginning of May until that “demotion,” he somehow managed a 3.89 ERA while walking 33 in 41.2 innings of work. Which is one reason I still have faith in him. The other is that when he got back from the retooling, he walked 4 (and struck out 17) in 11.2 September innings. But this is a crucial season to consolidate those gains. I still wish he’d end up starting though.
  • 16. Davis Schneider (26) – 25, 2B/LF – Toronto – You already know pretty much all you can know about this guy. The only thing to add here is that not all list-makers still regard him as eligible for prospect lists, which likely hurts his standing.
  • 17. Spencer Horwitz (25) – 26, 1B – Buffalo – Consider this: if Roden breaks camp with the Bisons, five guys in their everyday lineup will appear on this list, hopefully pressing for a major league job. Plus, players like Nathan Lukes, Damiano Palmegiani, and Rafael Lantigua, who, in some situations, would be considered to have a legit shot for major league at-bats. Oh, and for a time, Joey Votto. Absolutely stacked.
  • 18. Cade Doughty (24) – 23, 3B/2B – New Hampshire – For my (theoretical and actually non-existent) money, I’d take this guy’s ceiling over Kasavich’s. His season was generally described as disappointing compared to expectations for a college hitter at High A, but his OPS was over 100 points higher (.858) in the second half than the first. He had 7 homers in 206 first-half at-bats and 11 in 169 after July 1. He does need to work on the strikeout rate but I have pretty high expectations, at least for the bat. This will be an important year as he faces more advanced pitchers.
  • 19. Fernando Perez (20) – 20, RHP – Dunedin – Latin pitchers often have very nice K rates but less impressive walk rates. Perez, at 20 and pitching in the GCL, walked 12 in 49.2 IP, which alone makes him someone to watch. Listed at 6’3″, 170, that indicates a lot of frame to fill out still and get stronger. If he carries his success over to full season, he could make a run at next year’s top 10.
  • 20. Connor Cooke (19) – 24, RHRP – Buffalo – it’s easy to find a lot of chatter around this guy. He ripped through three levels last year to land in Buffalo, sporting an insane 16.24 K rate on the season (13.06 in Buffalo alone) but most of his work was in AA so he is not kicking down the door for (frankly unavailable) MLB innings but he’s also at or near the front of the line for potential promotions when openings arise.
Others receiving at least 15 points:
Damiano Palmegiani (3B/1B, 24), Dahian Santos (RHP, 21), TJ Brock (RHRP, 24)
Next time, I’ll take a (probably briefer) look at how the various prospect lists published by “fan” sites (including our own Brennan Delaney) aggregate and how that list differs from this one.


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