Starting spots for Blue Jays' Top 30 prospects

April 4th, 2019

With the 2019 Minor League Baseball season getting underway, here's a look at where the Blue Jays' Top 30 prospects are starting the year. We also identify the prospect who just missed the Top 30 list, a player who didn't make the big league Opening Day roster but should make an impact this year, a prospect who is ready to break out in 2019 and the team's best defensive prospect.

  1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (MLB No. 1), 3B -- Dunedin Blue Jays (rehab)
  2. Bo Bichette (MLB No. 11), SS -- Buffalo Bisons (AAA)
  3. Danny Jansen (MLB No. 64), C -- Toronto Blue Jays (MLB)
  4. Nate Pearson (MLB No. 75), RHP -- Dunedin Blue Jays (A Adv)
  5. Eric Pardinho (MLB No. 96), RHP -- Lansing Lugnuts (A) -- IL
  6. Jordan Groshans, SS -- Lansing Lugnuts (A)
  7. Kevin Smith, SS -- New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)
  8. Adam Kloffenstein, RHP -- Extended spring training
  9. Sean Reid-Foley, RHP -- Toronto Blue Jays (MLB)
  10. Cavan Biggio, 2B -- Buffalo Bisons (AAA)
  11. Anthony Alford, OF -- Toronto Blue Jays (MLB)
  12. Orselvis Martinez, SS -- Extended spring training
  13. Miguel Hiraldo, SS -- Extended spring training
  14. Trent Thornton, RHP -- Toronto Blue Jays (MLB)
  15. T.J. Zeuch, RHP -- Extended spring training -- rehab (lat strain)
  16. Hector Perez, RHP -- New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)
  17. Leonardo Jimenez, SS -- Extended spring training
  18. Griffin Conine, OF -- Suspended
  19. Patrick Murphy, RHP -- New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)
  20. Rowdy Tellez, 1B -- Toronto Blue Jays (MLB)
  21. Gabriel Moreno, C -- Extended spring training
  22. Chavez Young, OF -- Dunedin Blue Jays (A Adv)
  23. Reese McGuire, C -- Buffalo Bisons (AAA)
  24. Samad Taylor, 2B -- Dunedin Blue Jays (A Adv)
  25. Ryan Noda, 1B -- Dunedin Blue Jays (A Adv)
  26. Yennsy Diaz, RHP -- New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)
  27. Elvis Luciano, RHP -- Toronto Blue Jays (MLB)
  28. Alejandro Kirk, C -- Lansing Lugnuts (A)
  29. Cal Stevenson, OF -- Dunedin Blue Jays (A Adv)
  30. Juan de Paula, RHP -- Dunedin Blue Jays (A Adv)
    Complete list »

Just missed the Top 30: Kevin Vicuna
The slick-fielding shortstop receives plus grades for his defense and is regarded by some club officials as the organization’s best overall defensive prospect. At the plate, the 21-year-old employs a contact-first approach but offers little in the way of power. It’s the profile of a utility infielder, one who stands to achieve a regular role if he can surpass expectations with his hitting ability.

Impact Prospect: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
A strained left oblique ended Guerrero’s chances of cracking Toronto’s Opening Day roster, though he was likely ticketed for Triple-A regardless of his performance. Once he finally arrives, the 20-year-old third baseman could quickly become one of the best hitters in the game. Fans should also keep an eye on Anthony Alford (Blue Jays’ No. 11), as the former Top 100 prospect had a promising spring and looks to be back on track after a rocky 2018 campaign.

Breakout prospect: Nate Pearson
Pearson’s first full season lasted only 1 1/3 innings, ending when he sustained a fractured right forearm after being struck by a line drive in his season debut at Class A Advanced Dunedin. But the 6-foot-6 right-hander looked great in the Arizona Fall League, pitching increasingly well as the season unfolded, all while flashing a front-of-the-rotation ceiling with his combination of size, stuff and pitchability.

Best defensive prospect: Vicuna
The Blue Jays felt so good about Vicuna's defense in 2017 that they had the then-19-year-old handle shortstop duties for Class A Advanced Dunedin from April 23-June 1, even though Vicuna previously had never played above the Rookie Gulf Coast League. He's an athletic and, at times, flashy defender, with quick, twitchy hands that help him absorb anything hit his way and a quick release that causes his average arm strength to play up across the infield.