Tag: Toronto Blue Jays

Prospect Call Up – Josh Naylor – 1B/OF – San Diego Padres & Cavan Biggio – 2B/OF – Toronto Blue Jays

Cavan Biggio
Cavan Biggio. Courtesy: Aaron Whelan

There is plenty to watch for in Toronto tonight as both Josh Naylor and Cavan Biggio are expected to make their big league debuts on opposing clubs.

I have been on record stating Naylor might be my favorite person in baseball right now, as he regularly has the entire dugout laughing and does a great job keeping a clubhouse loose, but he is a heck of a ballplayer too. Originally drafted 12th overall in 2015 by the (then) Florida Marlins, he was dealt to the San Diego Padres along with Luis Castillo, Jarred Cosart, and Carter Capps in exchange for Andrew Cashner, Collin Rea, and Tayron Guerrero. He has a .285 average in his minor league career, although he has improved upon his average every full season thus far and already has 10 home runs this season.

At 5’11” and 250 lbs., he has every bit the power you would expect and still has plus raw power to tap into, but he is much more athletic than his body type would suggest. He has a lot of moving parts in his swing, but the load always ends up in the same place allowing him to get to the ball quickly with a good line drive swing. In the field he is a quality first baseman but has a strong arm that has allowed the Padres to give him more time in the outfield. He probably fits best as a left fielder, but the arm will allow him to play just fine in right, making him a valuable piece than can legitimately play three of the four corners. It should come as no surprise he doesn’t exactly have a ton or range nor is he a burner on the bases, in fact he is well below average in both categories, but he can get a good head of steam once he gets going and will get some doubles on balls that are borderline.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays call up son of Hall of Fame Craig Biggio and one of the top second base prospects in the game, Cavan Biggio. Like his father, he can play multiple positions as he has seen time at first, second, third, left, and right this season as the Blue Jays hope he can be a super utility-man at the big league level, although he may be able to hit his way into regular playing time this season. While his dad was an excellent bat at the top of the lineup, Cavan is more of a power first bat who hit 26 home runs a season ago while posting a batting average that was just north of .250. The bat can get a little long but it creates the launch angle to hit for power where he can be a 20+ HR guy at the big league level.

His best tool after power would be his arm, which is strong enough to play right or third, where he might profile best as he is fringy with range and glove at second. If Cavan does become an everyday player, it will be a win for the Blue Jays, although him being a guy who gets a couple starts a week spelling players at multiple positions is a more likely long term role.

Trade Report – Juan De Paula – RHP – Traded to Toronto Blue Jays

Trade Report – Juan De Paula – RHP – Traded to Toronto Blue Jays

Juan De Paula is just 21 years old but is now headed to his fourth organization since signing with the Seattle Mariners on July 2, 2014. He was sent to the New York Yankees in 2016 along with fellow pitcher Jio Orozco in exchange for Ben Gamel. Then last year, in another waiver deadline deal, he was sent to the San Francisco Giants along with Abiatal Avelino as the Yankees added Andrew McCutchen for the stretch run. On Tuesday morning De Paula was dealt for another outfielder, Kevin Pillar, as he will head to the Toronto Blue Jays, who also get Derek Law and Alen Hanson in the deal.

De Paula is a quite lean 6’3” right handed pitcher who can sit 94-96 consistently with a good downhill plane. He has decent balance in his delivery but does not repeat the arm slot and speed well, always coming out of a lower 3/4 slot but with varying bend at the elbow. The inconsistency and late effort does lead to some command trouble that will likely prevent him from sticking as a starter in the long term. The arm slot does allow the fastball to have a ton of run when it is at is best, making it an above average offering. The curve is his best secondary offering, sometimes showing 12-6 but more often an 11-5 break. It hangs too often and comes with bend in the arm that makes it easy to read, but when he really snaps it off there is plenty to like about it and is a future average offering. He also has a change but it is far from polished, easy to recognize, and lacks movement, so it gets hit hard often.

Overall, De Paula has a ceiling of a solid middle reliever with a 55 grade fastball and 50 grade curve, although the command and delivery concerns land him with an OFV of 45. He may be well traveled, but it means there are teams that like what they see in him. I expect him to start briefly in extended to get familiar with the Blue Jays organization, but quickly get out to Low A and earn a promotion to High A this season.

2019 Preseason Top 150

Carter Kieboom
Carter Kieboom. Courtesy: Aaron Whelan

Before I even got this posted Alex Reyes exhausted his rookie eligibility (needed a single out to do so and pitched an inning on Friday) so I updated my top 150 before it went live. Reyes was at 22 but is now removed making room for Ryan Weathers, giving the Padres two more than any other team with 12 players making the top 150.  15 players on the list open the season in the big leagues, with 14 of those in the top 80 and the Padres and Mariners both starting with two players in the big leagues.

 

Player Position Team Rank
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B Toronto Blue Jays 1
Fernando Tatis Jr. SS San Diego Padres 2
Eloy Jimenez OF Chicago White Sox 3
Forrest Whitley RHP Houston Astros 4
Victor Robles OF Washington Nationals 5
Jo Adell OF Los Angeles Angels 6
Royce Lewis SS Minnesota Twins 7
Wander Franco SS Tampa Bay Rays 8
Nick Senzel 2B/3B Cincinnati Reds 9
Jesus Luzardo LHP Oakland Athletics 10
MacKenzie Gore LHP San Diego Padres 11
Bo Bichette SS/2B Toronto Blue Jays 12
Kyle Tucker OF Houston Astros 13
Taylor Trammell OF Cincinnati Reds 14
Keston Hiura 2B Milwaukee Brewers 15
Brendan Rodgers SS/2B Colorado Rockies 16
Sixto Sanchez RHP Miami Marlins 17
Cristian Pache OF Atlanta Braves 18
Carter Kieboom SS Washington Nationals 19
Luis Urias 2B/SS San Diego Padres 20
Casey Mize RHP Detroit Tigers 21
Joey Bart C San Francisco Giants 22
Austin Riley 3B Atlanta Braves 23
Keibert Ruiz C Los Angeles Dodgers 24
Pete Alonso 1B New York Mets 25
Brendan McKay LHP/1B Tampa Bay Rays 26
Michael Kopech RHP Chicago White Sox 27
Hunter Greene RHP Cincinnati Reds 28
Mitch Keller RHP Pittsburgh Pirates 29
Andres Gimenez SS New York Mets 30
Brent Honeywell RHP Tampa Bay Rays 31
Nick Madrigal 2B/SS Chicago White Sox 32
Jonathan India 3B/SS Cincinnati Reds 33
Sean Murphy C Oakland Athletics 34
Alex Verdugo OF Los Angeles Dodgers 35
A.J. Puk LHP Oakland Athletics 36
Matthew Liberatore LHP Tampa Bay Rays 37
Mike Soroka RHP Atlanta Braves 38
Nolan Gorman 3B St. Louis Cardinals 39
Ian Anderson RHP Atlanta Braves 40
Francisco Mejia C/OF San Diego Padres 41
Luis Robert OF Chicago White Sox 42
Dylan Cease RHP Chicago White Sox 43
Chris Paddack RHP San Diego Padres 44
Ke’Bryan Hayes 3B Pittsburgh Pirates 45
Vidal Brujan 2B Tampa Bay Rays 46
Touki Toussaint RHP Atlanta Braves 47
Brusdar Graterol RHP Minnesota Twins 48
Justus Sheffield LHP Seattle Mariners 49
Kyle Wright RHP Atlanta Braves 50
Yordan Alvarez OF Houston Astros 51
Alex Kirilloff OF Minnesota Twins 52
Jesus Sanchez OF Tampa Bay Rays 53
Yusei Kikuchi LHP Seattle Mariners 54
Yusniel Diaz OF Baltimore Orioles 55
Khalil Lee OF Kansas City Royals 56
Jarred Kelenic OF Seattle Mariners 57
Triston McKenzie RHP Cleveland Indians 58
Danny Jansen C Toronto Blue Jays 59
Jazz Chisholm SS Arizona Diamondbacks 60
Adrian Morejon LHP San Diego Padres 61
Griffin Canning RHP Los Angeles Angels 62
Dustin May RHP Los Angeles Dodgers 63
Luis Patino RHP San Diego Padres 64
Alec Bohm 3B Philadelphia Phillies 65
Estevan Florial OF New York Yankees 66
Jon Duplantier RHP Arizona Diamondbacks 67
DL Hall LHP Baltimore Orioles 68
Nate Pearson RHP Toronto Blue Jays 69
Josh James RHP Houston Astros 70
Drew Waters OF Atlanta Braves 71
Bryse Wilson RHP Atlanta Braves 72
Nolan Jones 3B Cleveland Indians 73
Gavin Lux SS/2B Los Angeles Dodgers 74
Travis Swaggerty OF Pittsburgh Pirates 75
Matt Manning RHP Detroit Tigers 76
Oneil Cruz SS Pittsburgh Pirates 77
Luis Garcia SS/3B Washington Nationals 78
Garrett Hampson 2B/SS Colorado Rockies 79
Adonis Medina RHP Philadelphia Phillies 80
Ryan Mountcastle 3B Baltimore Orioles 81
Kristian Robinson OF Arizona Diamondbacks 82
Brady Singer RHP Kansas City Royals 83
Monte Harrison OF Miami Marlins 84
Logan Allen LHP San Diego Padres 85
Nico Hoerner SS Chicago Cubs 86
Michel Baez RHP San Diego Padres 87
Isaac Paredes SS/2B Detroit Tigers 88
Victor Victor Mesa OF Miami Marlins 89
Trevor Larnach OF Minnesota Twins 90
Brandon Marsh OF Los Angeles Angels 91
Heliot Ramos OF San Francisco Giants 92
Brandon Lowe 2B/OF Tampa Bay Rays 93
Ronny Mauricio SS New York Mets 94
Will Smith C/3B Los Angeles Dodgers 95
MJ Melendez C Kansas City Royals 96
Dane Dunning RHP Chicago White Sox 97
Ronaldo Hernandez C Tampa Bay Rays 98
Hans Crouse RHP Texas Rangers 99
Jonathan Loaisiga RHP New York Yankees 100
Corbin Martin RHP Houston Astros 101
Cole Winn RHP Texas Rangers 102
Luiz Gohara LHP Atlanta Braves 103
Leody Taveras OF Texas Rangers 104
William Contreras C Atlanta Braves 105
Seuly Matias OF Kansas City Royals 106
Lucius Fox SS Tampa Bay Rays 107
Corey Ray OF Milwaukee Brewers 108
Spencer Howard RHP Philadelphia Phillies 109
Jahmai Jones 2B Los Angeles Angels 110
Jordyn Adams OF Los Angeles Angels 111
George Valera OF Cleveland Indians 112
J.B. Bukauskas RHP Houston Astros 113
Justin Dunn RHP Seattle Mariners 114
Michael Chavis 3B Boston Red Sox 115
Mark Vientos 3B New York Mets 116
Daz Cameron OF Detroit Tigers 117
Bubba Thompson OF Texas Rangers
Josh Naylor 1B/OF San Diego Padres 119
Colton Welker 3B Colorado Rockies 120
Daulton Varsho C Arizona Diamondbacks 121
Evan White 1B Seattle Mariners 122
Peter Lambert RHP Colorado Rockies 123
Taylor Widener RHP Arizona Diamondbacks 124
Julio Pablo Martinez OF Texas Rangers 125
Kevin Smith SS/3B Toronto Blue Jays 126
Miguel Amaya C Chicago Cubs 127
Andrew Knizner C St. Louis Cardinals 128
Tyler Nevin 1B Colorado Rockies 129
Hudson Potts 3B/1B San Diego Padres 130
Sandy Alcantara RHP Miami Marlins 131
Shane Baz RHP Tampa Bay Rays 132
Tyler Stephenson C Cincinnati Reds 133
Eric Pardinho RHP Toronto Blue Jays 134
Franklin Perez RHP Detroit Tigers 135
Jordan Groshans 3B/SS Toronto Blue Jays 136
Dakota Hudson RHP St. Louis Cardinals 137
Nate Lowe 1B Tampa Bay Rays 138
Elehuris Montero 3B St. Louis Cardinals 139
Luis Oviedo RHP Cleveland Indians 140
Tony Santillan RHP Cincinnati Reds 141
Triston Casas 1B/3B Boston Red Sox 142
Adbert Alzolay RHP Chicago Cubs 143
Ethan Hankins RHP Cleveland Indians 144
Beau Burrows RHP Detroit Tigers 145
Brice Turang SS Milwaukee Brewers 146
Brent Rooker 1B/OF Minnesota Twins 147
Alex Faedo RHP Detroit Tigers 148
Deivi Garcia RHP New York Yankees 149
Ryan Weathers LHP San Diego Padres 150

 

Toronto Blue Jays 2019 Preseason Top 10

Vladmir Guerrero Jr
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the Arizona Fall League, Courtesy: Aaron Whelan

1)

Player: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Position(s): 3B Opening Day Age: 19 2018 Highest Level: AAA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height:  6’1” Weight: 200 lbs.
Quick Report: The best-known highlight from Vladdy Jr. thus far was his walk-off home run in Montreal to end Spring Training last season, but his immense power isn’t his best tool. He has the best hit tool in years and has the upside to lead the league in average year after year. Don’t let that hit tool fool you though, he also has the power to lead the league in home runs. There is some question as to whether he can stick at third base, but he has the arm strength and has shown he may not be a liability there, so he just might get the chance to stay there long term.

2)

Player: Bo Bichette
Position(s): SS/2B Opening Day Age: 20 2018 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’ Weight: 200 lbs.
Quick Report: The Blue Jays are loaded with talent with big league bloodlines, and Bo Bichette is another of them. His hit tool would be tops in practically any system that doesn’t feature Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He possesses raw power and excellent doubles power that may turn into more home runs in the future. Bichette will never win any gold gloves in the infield, but there is a real chance for him to stick at short, although a move to second isn’t out of the question.

3)

Player: Danny Jansen
Position(s): C Opening Day Age: 23 2018 Highest Level: MLB
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’2” Weight: 225 lbs.
Quick Report: Jansen is the cream of a deep catching crop in Toronto, and he was able to break into the big leagues for 31 games last season, where he struggled to find his rhythm. Despite a dip in batting average at the big-league level, he still showed a good eye at the plate and managed to keep his OBP 100 points better than his average. There was a time he was thought to be a bat first catcher, but he has really worked to become a solid receiver with a solid arm that will allow him to at least remain an average defensive back stop.

4)

Player: Nate Pearson
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 22 2018 Highest Level: High A
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’6” Weight: 245 lbs.
Quick Report: The real question with Pearson is whether he is a future starter or reliever. If he is to make it as a starter, he will need to prove he can handle the workload, something he hasn’t done throwing just 42 innings in 15 career pro games, all starts. He would also need to develop a quality third pitch, something he has struggled with as he has shown a curve and a change, but neither have been impressive. As a two-pitch pitcher, he can be a dominant reliever. His fastball can reach triple digits with run and big downhill plane thanks to his tall frame. He also has a slider that isn’t as sharp as you want, but it has good velo and has the potential to become a plus pitch.

5)

Player: Kevin Smith
Position(s): SS Opening Day Age: 22 2018 Highest Level: High A
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’1” Weight: 188 lbs.
Quick Report: Smith is a versatile defender, having seen time at short, second, and third while showing solid at each position. He is a natural shortstop and can certainly stick there given his athleticism and arm strength but will never be one to make the highlight reel plays. At the plate he could stand to improve his contact rate, but he has shown some improvement in swing, shortening up the once long bat path. He has better than average raw power that has translated to game action thus far, as demonstrated by his 25 home runs across two levels last season.

6)

Player: Eric Pardinho
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 18 2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 5’10” Weight: 155 lbs.
Quick Report: Pardinho is a truly unique talent given he has the upside of being a front of rotation starter despite being just 5’10” and coming out of Brazil. He has an incredibly controlled and smooth delivery that gets all the extension he can out of the smaller frame and pumping a fastball into the mid-90s. He has long had a curve that flashed plus although his slider is quickly surpassing that as his best secondary offering. He began working in his change in his first pro season last year, and already shows good feel for it. There is little doubt he is a future starter, the only question is whether he settles in the middle of a rotation, or develops into an option as a number one starter.

7)

Player: Jordan Groshans
Position(s): SS/3B Opening Day Age: 19 2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height:  6’3” Weight: 178 lbs.
Quick Report: Currently a shortstop, Groshans future is likely at third base, especially as he fills out his 6’3” frame. After being selected 12th overall last season, he absolutely raked in the GCL earning himself a call up to the Appy League. His bat is quick to the zone and has some loft to it, suggesting there is above average power to come, which will play well at third. Despite the bat plane being one of a power approach the quickness of the bat will allow him to hit for a solid average. I expect him to be handled aggressively this season, starting at Low A with an opportunity to play his way all the way up to High A.

8)

Player: Sean Reid-Foley
Position(s): RHP Opening Day Age: 23 2018 Highest Level: MLB
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 6’3” Weight: 219 lbs.
Quick Report: At first glance at the numbers, one might think Reid-Foley has decent command given he has only walked four per nine innings in his Minor League career, but his command is actually his main concern. He has three above-average pitches and a change that solid, but the delivery is inconsistent and whippy, allowing him to throw strikes, just not spot them so well. He is a starter now and has all the stuff to stay in the rotation, but the most likely future is as an elite reliever with three pitches that could possibly play to plus in short outings.

9)

Player: Cavan Biggio
Position(s): 2B Opening Day Age: 23 2018 Highest Level: AA
Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’1” Weight: 204 lbs.
Quick Report: Biggio currently plays second base, but his future is probably more of a corner outfielder. He has the baseball instincts to make up for his below average speed, but plenty of arm to play in right or third, a spot he has seen some time. Unlike his small-statured leadoff hitting dad, Craig, Cavan is a power hitter before contact. The bat can be long and looping, but he can drive the ball to both gaps and pull side.

10)

Player: Miguel Hiraldo
Position(s): 3B Opening Day Age: 18 2018 Highest Level: Rookie
Bats: Right Throws: Right Height: 5’11” Weight: 170 lbs.
Quick Report: Currently, Hiraldo has a very busy swing with a big bat wrap and leg kick. Despite this, he gets the bat head to the ball surprisingly well and has real plus power upside thanks to the strong frame and natural lift to the swing. His glove will never be a strong suit, but he has plenty of arm to stick at third. He already has a mature body, so there is some concern over a lack of projectability, but the raw power and bat path still give him the upside of an impact bat.

Others of Note:

Adam Kloffenstein – RHP – 18 – Rookie
Hector Perez – RHP – 22 – AA
Orelvis Martinez – SS – 17 – DNP
Anthony Alford – OF – 24 – MLB
Billy McKinney – OF – 24 – MLB
Rowdy Tellez – 1B – 23 – MLB
Griffin Conine – OF – 21 – Short Season A
T.J. Zeuch – RHP – 23 – AA
Trent Thornton – RHP – 25 – AAA