MLB.com revealed their Top-100 prospects list on Saturday night and, as with Baseball America’s recent list, three Toronto Blue Jays prospects found their way into the top 100.
The same three Blue Jays minor leaguers feature on MLB.com’s list as did on Baseball America’s although the MLB.com staff doesn’t appear to be pounding the drum as loudly for the second and third Jay prospect on the list.
Unsurprisingly, Nate Pearson, who was previously ranked by MLB.com as the #2 righthanded pitching prospect in the game, is the top Blue Jay on the list, coming in at #8, just one rank behind where he featured for Baseball America. MLB gives Big Nate an 80-grade on his fastball while hanging a 60 on his slider, a 55 on his changeup and 50 on his curveball, giving him 55 for control and an overall grade of 65.
MLB is effusive in their praise of Pearson, calling his upper-80s slider “the best in Toronto’s system and highly effective against hitters on both sides of the plate.” They also noted that “Pearson’s changeup was his most improved pitch in 2019 and now projects as at least above-average, and he understands how to steal early strikes and keep hitters off-balance with his top-to-bottom curveball.” Finally, they sum up by saying that “it shouldn’t be long until the right-hander, who has as high a ceiling as any pitching prospect in the game, becomes a fixture in Toronto’s rotation.”
While shortstop Jordan Groshans landed at #29 on Baseball America’s list, he doesn’t appear on MLB.com’s list until #75. He gets a 55 overall grade with a 55 for hitting, 55 for power, 50 for running, 60 for his arm and 50 for fielding. MLB writers note the he combines “plus bat speed with a balanced swing and a knack for barreling the baseball.” He “has no problem turning around quality velocity and employs an approach that’s advanced for his age.” Like many other writers, the folks at MLB feel that he “isn’t a lock to stick at shortstop,” noting that he doesn’t have a ton of quickness.
Finally, while Simeon Woods Richardson ranked #61 for Baseball America, he just sneaks onto the list at #98 for MLB.com. MLB gave him grades of 60 for his fastball, 55 for his curve, 55 for his slider, 50 for his changeup, 60 for his control and a 55 overall grade. The writers like the fact that he is “an excellent athlete with a fast arm who repeats his clean delivery well” and that he can touch 95 mph “with riding life” on his fastball and also features a “two-seamer that eats up right-handed hitters with its arm-side run.” They note his advanced command (especially for someone who won’t turn 20 until after the 2020 season) and the fact that he can “induce whiffs with two distinct breaking balls: a top-to-bottom, downer curveball in the uppers 70s that flashes plus, and a sharp low-80s slider that he adeptly locates down in the zone.” They also like his fourth pitch, “a fading changeup that he throws with fastball-like arm speed.” They like a lot about Richardson, particularly his size, makeup and command of four pitches, especially so young and they peg his ceiling as a #2 or #3 starter.
What do you think about where the Blue Jays feature on this list? Would you rank Groshans and Woods Richardson as high as they appear on Baseball America’s list or would you sink them down to where they are on MLB.com’s?
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