Whew, that title is a mouthful but adequately describes the nature of Baseball America’s latest Top-100-related article which looks at which prospects their editors might think could break the Top 100 list next season.
Two Blue Jays made their list including catcher Alejandro Kirk and big righty (and 2019 first-round pick) Alek Manoah. BA had each of the editors come up with a free-form list of players they thought could be on the Top 100 list next year and Kirk was specifically noted as someone who was listed by multiple writers.
For Kirk, the comments are very praiseworthy of his hitting skills, noting that he “is one of the best pure hitters in the minors, with a short stroke, good plate coverage and a sharp eye for the strike zone.” While concerns abound about his currently rotund body type, scouts have said that he’s “surprisingly mobile as a backstop.”
As for Manoah, they write that he “has an enormous frame and big stuff to match, with a fastball that can reach 98 mph and a slider that flashes plus.”
I find it really interesting that Kirk, in particular, is getting so much love from BA and from scouts in general. He’s got a short, pudgy frame but he oozes athleticism and hand-eye coordination at the plate and whenever I’ve seen him in action, I’ve loved his smooth actions behind the plate and I think he gets lots of positive reviews for his pitch framing. I’ve talked to pitchers who just love to throw to him.
For Manoah, he’s another guy who could join Nate Pearson in the Jays’ rotation sooner rather than later, particularly if his other offspeed pitches develop over the next year or two. I have him starting 2020 in Dunedin and a strong season can have him within striking distance of the majors by the end of the season.
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