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Four Toronto Blue Jays prospects were included MLB.com’s list of the Top 100 this week, fewer than on Baseball America’s.
The four players included are not really surprising. Nate Pearson clocks in at number 10 overall while the Jays’ first-rounder in 2020, Austin Martin is at #22 while Jordan Groshans is at #46 and Simeon Woods Richardson is at #87.
Looking a little closer at the scouting reports, Pearson gets an 80 grade on his high-octane fastball that’s topped out at 104 mph (in a relief role) while his slider gets a 60 grade, his curveball a 50 and his changeup a 55. They also rank his control at 55 and his overall grade at 60.
They write that “Pearson can be untouchable when he’s firing on all cylinders” but there were some concerns with his ability to throw strikes in the major leagues as well as his durability. The authors conclude by saying that he “has all the ingredients needed to become a front-of-the-rotation starter, and he’s already shown that he can dominate big league hitters coming out of the bullpen.”
Austin Martin is the Jays’ #2 prospect, getting a 65-grade hit tool, 50 for power, 55 for running, 50 for arm and 50 for defense with a 55 overall grade.
Martin, who was drafted fifth overall out of Vanderbilt last year, signing for over $7 million, went to the Jays’ alternate training site for the summer. Scouts have always liked Martin’s bat with MLB writing that they felt that he “was the top hitter in his Draft class. He has an outstanding feel for the barrel and effortlessly makes hard contact with a short, quick right-handed stroke.” They seem to think that, while he doesn’t have terrific raw power, he has the ability to make the most of it in games.
There are “concerns about his arm and questions about where he’ll find a defensive home.” Apparently he was playing all over the diamond at the alternate site, getting reps at third, short, second and center field. that leads me to believe that the Jays aren’t really ready to commit to one position for him.
Jordan Groshans comes in next, getting an overall 55 grade with a 55 hit tool, 55 power, 50 run, 60 arm and 50 field. Also a former first round pick, Groshans has missed a ton of time due to injury but was apparently one of the top young players at the alternate training site.
MLB writes that “Groshans has all the raw ingredients to become a plus hitter with plus game power,” noting that the ball “jumps off his right-handed bat” and “consistently hits hard line drives.”
Scouts are liking Groshans’s defensive skills at shortstop although some think he’ll be better suited to third base.
Finally, there’s Simeon Woods Richardson. Just 20 years old, the righty gets an overall 55 grade with a 60 fastball, 55 curveball, 55 slider, 60 changeup and 60 control.
Acquired in the trade that sent Marcus Stroman to the Mets, Woods Rchardson “gets great extension over his front side,” which give his “91-95 mph four-seam fastball riding life” and MLB notes that he started locating the pitch better at the alternate training site in 2020. They also note that in addition to two distinct breaking balls, he has a “plus changeup that is regarded as the best in Toronto’s system.”
Overall, they think that his “size, stuff and pitchability at a young age all bode exceptionally well for his future development.
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