Blue Jays Minor League Depth Chart: Part 3, Second Base


Ryan Goins
Ryan Goins


Just like the Blue Jays’ situation at the major league level, the club’s depth at second base in the minor leagues isn’t particularly awe inspiring.



When looking at prospects, second base is similar to first base in that few second basemen are drafted playing that position. Most players who make the big leagues at second base are ones who just didn’t have the range or the arm to handle shortstop at the higher levels of the minors and in the majors. As I’ll discuss in the Shortstop Depth Chart, the Blue Jays have several young shortstops currently working their way up through minors but only one might end up at second base in the long term.


Second base is really a tricky position to find players mainly because teams aren’t as willing to hide poor hitters there as they are at shortstop. Big league clubs want to get production out of their second basemen and are looking for guys who can contribute with the bat while still playing solid defense. The Blue Jays’ organization is particularly thin with offensive-minded second basemen.


Like with the first base depth chart, I’m going to divide this one up into two sections. The first is the list of players who have played second base as their primary position and the other is a list of players who have played it as a secondary or auxiliary position.


2014 Toronto Blue Jays Organizational Depth Chart (projected) — Second Base


1. Ryan Goins – ML
2. Chris Getz – AAA
3. Jon Berti – AA
4. Christian Lopes – A+
5. Timothy Locastro – A
6. David Harris – SS-A/A
7. Alexis Maldonado – SS-A
8. Will Dupont – R+
9. Rolando Segovia – R+
10. Deiferson Barreto – R


You can see how thin the organization is with “true” second basement, particularly at the top of the organization. There really aren’t any home grown prospects within striking distance of the majors. Christian Lopes had a frustrating season in 2013 but I think he’s going to move up to Dunedin regardless. He’s got decent potential in his bat and is a solid fielder. I think that Tim Locastro (nicknamed “The Magician” by his teammates and broadcast crew in Bluefield) jumps to Lansing this season. An excellent defender, Locastro has a very mature approach at the plate as well as some good speed and can be a solid OBP guy for the Lugnuts. I’ll talk about someone else that I think will get time at second base in Lansing in the next section.


Tim Locastro
Tim Locastro


Jon Berti is a guy who I think will take over the every day role at second for New Hampshire. While his offensive stats aren’t mindblowing, he did play in a fairly tough hitting environment last season and, by all accounts, is an excellent defender and has speed to burn. No, that’s not Franklin Barreto at the bottom of the list but his older brother (we think), Deiferson.



Auxiliary Second Basemen


1. Maicer Izturis – ML
2. Brent Morel – ML
3. Munenori Kawasaki – AAA
4. Jonathan Diaz – AAA
5. Steve Tolleson – AAA
6. Ryan Schimpf – AA
7. Andy Burns – AA
8. Shane Opitz – AA/A+
9. Jason Leblebijian – A+
10. Jorge Flores – A+
11. Kellen Sweeney – A+
12. Dickie Thon – A
13. Andy Fermin – A
14. Christian Vazquez – SS-A
15. Angel Rojas – R+
16. Koby Kraemer – R/R+
17. Ronniel Demorizi – R
18. Jean Almanzar – DSL/R


This is actually where things get a bit more interesting because the Jays have a lot of guys who can play second but aren’t necessarily there as their primary position. At the AAA/ML level, the Blue Jays have several possible stop-gaps if Goins shows that he can’t hit at the major league level over the course of a full season. The Blue Jays are going to give Morel the first chance to show what he can do at second, primarily because they can’t send him to the minors without putting him on waivers (which was how they got him in the first place). I’d believe that Munenori Kawasaki gets the next crack at the big league lineup, mainly because he’s shown that he can grind out at bats and play at the top level. Aside from them, the other guys at the Triple-A level will be emergency call ups if everyone gets hurt.


Ryan Schimpf has played quite a bit of second base but will probably be moving around a lot if the Fisher Cats have the infield configuration that I think they will with Burns entrenched at third, Kevin Nolan at short and Jon Berti at second. I think Schimpf will play more in left field than he has in the past but will spell the other guys in a pinch. Burns will probably only play second base in a real pinch because I think he adds too much defensive value at third base.


Shane Opitz could either be a utility guy in Double-A or back in Dunedin while Jason Leblebijian has seemed to fulfill a “send him where we need him” role for the club. Jorge Flores is a decent middle infielder but the question will be whether he’s going to hit enough at the higher level (High-A). Kellen Sweeney is another guy who could inherit quite a bit of playing time at a number of positions mainly because the Blue Jays want to get his bat into the lineup on a regular bases to see if he’s going to be able to hit.


Dickie Thon is probably the most interesting name on this list. Drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 draft, he signed for a high bonus but has been plagued by health issues and injuries. He had a badly-timed ankle injury in 2013 that hit him just when he was starting to really get hot with the bat. Thon is the only person on this list who didn’t play second base last year but I think a position switch is inevitable for him with the shortstop positional depth that the Jays have coming up behind him and moving ahead of him. While some of the shortstops are going to be moved off of the position (leaving some room for Thon if he continues to improve with the bat), I don’t think that’s going to happen in 2014 which means that Thon will have to play somewhere else if he’s going to get playing time.


Of the remaining names, the only one who has shown the potential to really do something special is Ronniel Demorizi. He’ll probably be making his first appearance in the GCL next year but with all of the other shortstops, he might also have to move to get playing time.