It’s time to take a look at the Blue Jays’ organizational depth chart as it sets up heading into the offseason. We’ll go position by position and hope to chart out the Blue Jays’ minor leaguers to see who stands where.
I’ve ordered the following list by projected 2020 starting level. The higher the player is on the list within each level means that I think that player will get more playing time.
I think with these players, not much is going to change, unless the Blue Jays non-tender Maile. I actually think that they’re going to do just that, non-tendering him and then re-signing him to a minor league deal with a major league option.
|Michael De La Cruz*||BUF|
With a solid 2019, I think Riley Adams will be the every day catcher in Buffalo but both Patrick Cantwell and Michael De La Cruz can probably elect free agency (we might know as soon as today). That said, Alberto Mineo could move up from New Hampshire, where he played last year and the Jays could re-sign Maile to a minor league deal to split playing time in Buffalo, or they could sign another catcher to a minor league deal.
While it may not be at the beginning of the season, I think that Alejandro Kirk will likely be the regular catcher in New Hampshire next year, testing his hitting skills, which, so far, have proven to be excellent. Mineo could be in Buffalo and I think there’s a player who I’ve got slated for Dunedin who could be a back up in New Hampshire if needed.
Wherever he begins 2020, Gabriel Moreno is going to get a chance to play every day, likely catching every other day with DH duties added in to get his bat into the lineup. Christopher Bec may move up to Double-A after a full season in Dunedin in 2019 and that would leave backup time for Ryan Gold and Javier Hernandez.
The Jays’ ninth-round pick of 2019, Philip Clarke, is probably going to suck up the most at bats in Lansing next year while Hagen Danner will be given a chance to cut down on strikeouts and continue to hit the ball hard probably while playing a fair bit of first base. Jesus Lopez is still working on his conversion to being a catcher but should be back in Lansing in 2020 while Brett Wright didn’t play much in 2019 but wasn’t bad when he did play with Vancouver.
Now we’re starting to get a little speculative as the rosters from Vancouver down will also get a boost from the 2020 draft. That said, one of the best offensive players in the Blue Jays’ organization in 2019 was catcher Ryan Sloniger, a 2019 draftee who outclassed the opposition in Bluefield. While he could be in Lansing, I think he might get a chance to play every day in Vancouver, where he played a little bit in 2019. Scotty Bradley didn’t catch at all in 2019 but he told me when I visited Bluefield that the plan was to spend 2019 working on things like flexibility and then do more catching in 2020. Andres Guerra has been a useful backup for several years.
Again, there will likely be a catcher (or two) who gets drafted in June joining this group but Anthony Morales was a non-drafted free agent in 2019 who played sparingly with the Bluefield club in 2019. Javier D’Orazio was really good in the DSL but struggled in the GCL so he could start 2020 in the GCL but a good extended spring training could land him in Bluefield.
Again, now we’re speculating but most of the players listed above didn’t really perform well in the GCL and are slated to repeat in 2020. Geyber Jimenez didn’t get a lot of playing time but was pretty good in a small sample size. Gustavo Ruiz has had two years in the DSL and could get a bump up to the GCL despite not having had the most success at the plate.
The first two players listed would be repeating the DSL level if they return in 2020. Neither hit particularly well although David shows a bit more potential so far. The final three players on the list are all new signees who will make their debuts in 2020.
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