Here’s something that isn’t ‘the Blue Jays are in on ______’ or ‘the Blue Jays came second on ______’, which is a nice change of scenery! Baseball America has released its pre-season Top-100 list and it features six Blue Jays’ prospects…
14. Nate Pearson
19. Austin Martin
34. Jordan Groshans
69. Simeon Woods Richardson
70. Alejandro Kirk
96. Orelvis Martinez
The last time BA put out a list, it featured four Blue Jays, Pearson (No. 7), Martin (No. 16), Groshans (No. 31), and Woods Richardson (No. 67).
An injury-riddled debut season that saw him struggle with command drops Pearson a few spots while Martin, Groshans, and Woods Richardson remain pretty much where they were last summer.
The fact Martin is already ranked this high despite not having any at-bats since being drafted is very high praise for his raw talent and what he accomplished in college. It’s a similar story for Groshans, who maintains a very high ranking despite only having 79 plate appearances over the last two seasons.
And then there’s Alejandro Kirk and Orelvis Martinez, who break BA’s Top-100 for the first time. Kirk, of course, gained a lot of hype last season with a very strong big-league debut and rockets all the way up to No. 70. Martinez, a young, toolsy shortstop, just cracks the list at No. 96, but he’s one who could really take off and rise this season.
The one name I’m sort of surprised isn’t there is Alek Manoah, the team’s top pick from the 2019 draft, but, regardless, having six players in BA’s Top-100 is impressive.
I would be interested to see where names like Manoah, Gabe Moreno, and Adam Kloffenstein rank on an expanded list. A good start to the 2021 season would likely push any of those three into the Top-100 after higher-ranked names graduate.
Another interesting name to keep an eye on is Leonardo Jimenez, who Jim Bowden mentioned in a post about underrated prospects who you won’t see in Top-100 lists…
Jimenez slashed .294/.372/.371 in 2019 at both Lansing of the Midwest League and Bluefield of the Appalachian League with 13 doubles in 251 plate appearance. He has played second base and shortstop and plays them both above average, but he profiles as an everyday second baseman when fully developed. He’s fundamentally sound who does everything average or above outside of his power tool. His short, compact swing is consistent and repeatable, which will lead to very few slumps. He sprays the ball all over the field, owning the gaps with line drives. He has the instincts and intellect to overachieve.