FanGraphs joined the slew of websites releasing their Top-100 prospects in baseball and the Blue Jays landed four players on the list, one more than had been charted by Baseball America and MLB.com.
Leading the pack, as expected was Nate Pearson, coming in at #8. Fangraphs put a 60-grade on his future value and their quick summary states that “Pearson averaged 97.5 mph with the fastball last year and, through a healthy year of starts, showed his secondary stuff is also electric.”
Pearson’s future grades include an 80 for his fastball, a 60 for his slider, a 55 for his curveball and 60 for his changeup while his command is a future 50 value. Eric Longenhagen noted that a source told him that “Pearson also remade his body and has gotten a little leaner.”
Bodes well for the future.
Changing up the position, Simeon Woods Richardson was the Blue Jays second-ranked prospect, coming in at #76.
Longenhagen’s summary suggests, “He’s not nearly as projectable as most teenage arms, but Woods Richardson already throws hard and his second stuff is tough to identify out of his hand.”
Let’s unpack that a bit. When he says that Woods Richardson is “not nearly as projectable,” he means that SWR has mostly filled out his body at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds and that he’s not likely to add much velocity, noting that he’s sitting 92-94 mph and topping out at 97. As we can see, Longenhagen rates his fastball as a 55 grade, which puts it as above major league average (which is a 50 grade). His curve, change, cutter and command all get 55 grades for future value and that’s pretty darn good, to have a 19 year old who projects to have four above-average pitches to potentially above-average command.
Longenhagen is concerned about Woods Richardson’s ability to move his fastball inside and outside but his ability to throw his changeups and breaking balls at this stage is pretty well-developed.
Coming in at #80 for Longenhagen is shortstop Jordan Groshans, noting that “Groshans looked good while he was healthy last year but the severity of his injury concerns some teams.“
Longenhagen writes that scouts had put a Josh Donaldson comparison on Groshans coming out of high school and rates his tools as 50 potential for hitting, 65 for raw power, 55 for game power, 50 for running, 50 for fielding and 60 for throwing. That said, I think the current 30 value that Longenhagen puts on his hit tool is a little low from what I’ve seen from the 20-year-old infielder. He also suggests, like many have, that his best position might be third base.
Finally, the fourth Blue Jays name on Longhenhagen’s list is 18-year-old Orelvis Martinez. Playing in his debut in the GCL as a 17 year old, Martinez gets some high praise. Longenhagen wrote, “Were Martinez a little more physically projectable, he’d be higher on this list. He has plus bat speed and should stay at shortstop.“
Now 18 and coming into his second professional season, Longenhagen has concerns about his contact skills, which he grades as a 20 now and a 45 for his future value. He writes that the concerns remain “due to wild variation in the way Martinez’s lower half works during his swing. His footwork is all over the place and he takes a lot of ugly hacks.” They project him for a 60 grade on raw power, 50 grade for game power, a 40 grade for running, 45 for fielding and 55 for throwing.
Those grades don’t really suggest he’ll stay at shortstop, assuming that Longenhagen’s 45-grade is fringe-average as a shortstop. That, combined with a 45-grade for contact (which, in my opinion, is the most important tool for a position player) really doesn’t suggest that Martinez should even be on this list, except for his raw power.
What do you think of the names on Fangraphs’s list?
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