While the presence of No. 1 overall prospect and impending superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr. alone makes the Blue Jays’ farm system noteworthy, it’s the organization’s sheer depth of potential impact talent, both hitters and pitchers, that makes it No. 5 in MLB Pipeline’s Top 10 farm system rankings for 2019.
It marks the second straight year that Toronto cracked the list after ranking No. 8 a year ago.
The Blue Jays' commitment to scouting and player development is reflected by the number of homegrown players on the club’s new Top 30. In total, 24 players entered the system via the Draft or as an international signee, including every player in the top 13 spots. And of the five players they acquired through trades, four entered the system with experience at or above the Double-A level.
It shouldn’t be long until Blue Jays fans get a look at some of the organization’s highly regarded prospects, too, as exactly half of the players on the Top 30 are projected to reach the Major Leagues in 2019.
Guerrero is the headliner of that group, of course, and he’s poised to become one of baseball’s premier players when he finally arrives. As the season unfolds, he should be joined in the big leagues by players such as MLB Pipeline No. 11 overall prospect Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and a host of right-handed starting pitchers, such as Trent Thornton, T.J. Zeuch and Patrick Murphy.
Here's a look at the Blue Jays’ top prospects:
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B
- Bo Bichette, SS
- Danny Jansen, C
- Nate Pearson, RHP
- Eric Pardinho, RHP
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the 2018 preseason list to the 2019 preseason list:
Jump: Cavan Biggio, 2B/OF (2018: NR | 2019: 10) -- A revamped swing helped Biggio unlock his power, and he was one of six Minor Leagues to have a 20-20 campaign (26 HR-20 SB).
Fall: Logan Warmoth, SS (2018: 5 | 2019: NR) -- 2017 first-rounder struggled in his first full season, showing little impact potential at the plate while ceding shortstop duties to other fast-risers.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit: 80 – Guerrero
Power: 70 – Guerrero
Run: 60 – Anthony Alford (Samad Taylor)
Arm: 60 – Chavez Young (Guerrero, Jordan Groshans, Kevin Smith, Griffin Conine)
Defense: 60 – Reese McGuire
Fastball: 75 - Pearson
Curveball: 60 – Eric Pardinho (Trent Thornton)
Slider: 55 – Reid-Foley (Pearson, Adam Kloffenstein, Hector Perez)
Changeup: 55 - Kloffenstein
Control: 55 – Pardinho (Thronton)
How they were built
Draft: 16 | International: 8 | Trade: 5 | Free agent: 0 | Rule 5: 1
Breakdown by ETA
2019: 15 | 2020: 3 | 2021: 6 | 2022: 5 | 2023: 1
Breakdown by position
C: 4 | 1B: 2 | 2B: 2 | 3B: 1 | SS: 6 | OF: 5 | RHP: 10 | LHP: 0