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Baseball America, despite the lost minor league season, is continuing to provide us with coverage of baseball’s prospects and have released their 2021 Top 10 prospects for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Since he didn’t pitch much in 2020, Nate Pearson remains the Blue Jays’ top prospect. We all know what he can do and that he has the talent and stuff to be an elite starter but he hasn’t shown that in his limited reps in that role in the big leagues, but, to be fair, his elbow injury might have influenced his poorer outings and he was electric coming out of the bullpen at the end of the season and in the playoffs.
BA ranks the Blue Jays top 2020 draft pick as their #2 prospect as Austin Martin probably would have been ranked #1 had Pearson stayed healthy and pitched all year. Most writers thought that Martin would have been long gone by the time the Blue Jay selected with the #5 pick in the draft but he wasn’t and the Blue Jays capitalized. He’s considered to be an elite contact hitter with developing power and can be a very solid (if not better) third baseman although he has a lot of defensive versatility.
For spots three to five, the writers at BA just shifted the players in the two to four slots from last year one spot down each, with Jordan Groshans coming in at number three, Simeon Woods Richardson coming in at number four and Alejandro Kirk, who made his major league debut in 2020 with aplomb, at number five.
Orelvis Martinez remains at numbers six as the slugging Dominican shortstop got into some action at the Blue Jays’ Alternate Training Site in Rochester at the end of the season and is reported to have hit four homers in the first two weeks of the instructional league.
There was a little bit of shuffling towards the bottom of the top 10. Alek Manoah, who was ranked number five before last season, drops two spots to number seven and was noted that his changeup was his priority at the Alternate Training Site in Rochester. Gabriel Moreno, now ranked eighth, also drops a spot but was one of the more exciting hitters in Rochester. Asked about him by Doug Fox at Future Blue Jays, minor league hitting coordinator Hunter Mense noted Moreno’s exceptional bat-to-ball skills and dropped a Bo Bichette comparison on Moreno.
Now ranked number nine (up one), Adam Kloffenstein pitched in the independent Constellation Energy League this summer, throwing 21 1/3 innings with 20 strikeouts and 12 walks and a 4.64 ERA and apparently saw a bump in velocity this year. The 21-year-old righty has been working on his changeup and will likely be in A ball in 2021.
Finally, dropping two places is Miguel Hiraldo, ranked 10th this year. Hiraldo was not brought over to the Alternate Training Site this year and trained at home in the Dominican Republic and apparently looked leaner in the instructional league in 2020.
How does the top 10 look to you? Who do you think should be there? Who do you think shouldn’t?
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