TORONTO -- When it comes to the Blue Jays' Minor League system, 2017 has turned into the year of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette.Toronto's promising duo was named to the MLB Futures Game earlier this year and now they are climbing MLBPipeline.com's rankings for the top prospects in all
TORONTO -- When it comes to the Blue Jays' Minor League system, 2017 has turned into the year of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette.
Toronto's promising duo was named to the MLB Futures Game earlier this year and now they are climbing MLBPipeline.com's rankings for the top prospects in all of baseball. In the midsummer update, Guerrero has climbed to No. 6 overall, which is up from No. 34, while Bichette slots in at No. 30 after not being ranked in the top 100 prior to the start of the season.
Blue Jays outfielder Anthony Alford made the list at No. 49, which is up from the 70th overall spot in the preseason rankings. Shortstop Richard Urena (previously No. 94) and right-hander Sean Reid-Foley (previously No. 64) fell out of the top 100.
The ranking of baseball's top prospects is done by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 23 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
MLBPipeline.com also updated its top 30 prospects for every Major League Baseball team. Guerrero held onto his top spot for Toronto while Bichette moved up from No. 9 to No. 2. Alford held strong at his No. 3 preseason ranking after making his Major League debut earlier this season before a broken hamate bone in his left wrist led to a lengthy stint on the disabled list.
Shortstop Logan Warmoth, who was taken in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft, entered Toronto's list at No. 4 while right-hander T.J. Zeuch moved up two spots to No. 5. Reid-Foley, right-hander Nate Pearson, catcher Max Pentecost, catcher Hagen Danner and Urena round out the Blue Jays' top 10. Other notable moves, include first baseman Rowdy Tellez dropping out of the top 10 while international pitching prospect Eric Pardinho slots in at No. 15.
Bichette survived a bit of a scare on Monday night after he was hit by a pitch on his right hand. The 19-year-old was sent to the hospital for X-rays, which were negative, and he was back in Dunedin's lineup on Tuesday night as the designated hitter. Bichette was recently promoted to Dunedin, but spent most of the year at low Class A Lansing, where at the time, he led the league in batting (.384), total bases (177) and OPS (1.071).
Guerrero was promoted to Dunedin at the same time as Bichette. The son of former Expos outfielder and potential Hall of Famer Vlad Guerrero was batting .316 with 45 RBIs and an .888 OPS at Lansing prior to moving up.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.