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.
Shortstop is the premium infield position that many players are drafted or signed as but few can remain there as higher and higher competition expose their defensive deficiencies. As you’ll see, there are fewer “true” shortstops in the system as we get closer to the big leagues.
Another no brainer. The Jays may bring in a utility infielder, a la Eric Sogard, to add depth with major league experience, but Bo Bichette is the man. Urena is out of options so he might stick with the Jays coming out of spring training so as not to lose him on waivers.
Espinal hit well in Buffalo in a limited audition towards the end of 2019 but I also think the Jays are going to sign a couple of minor league free agents to help fill some roster spots and add depth for infielders.
I think we’re going to see a continuation of the competition between the two shortstops the Blue Jays drafted early on in 2017. Logan Warmoth started strong in 2019 but cooled off facing Double-A pitching before finishing strongly in the Arizona Fall League while Kevin Smith had spurts where he’s crush the ball but ultimately finished with a horrible run in the AFL. Will either emerge as a potential big league shortstop? I also think Kevin Vicuna will be around to back up.
I think Otto Lopez, who had a great year with the bat in Lansing (winning a batting title) but made 29 errors in just over 100 games with 25 of them coming at shortstop, will get the bulk of the playing time at short in Dunedi. Navarro will likely be a backup.
Jordan Groshans will start the season at Lansing (but probably won’t end there) after a foot injury wiped out what started out to be a promising season. Groshans will probably have Rafael Lantigua around (although I think Lantigua could move up) while Tanner Morris will also get some playing time after making his pro debut last year in Vancouver. Ronny Brito could also get more time in Lansing but extended spring training is certainly a possibility.
|Luis De Los Santos||VAN/LAN|
I sometimes think that the Vancouver roster is a crapshoot to predict before the draft but I have a feeling that these three players will be there. That said, all three could start the season in Lansing but for Miguel Hiraldo and Leonardo Jimenez, two highly-regarded prospects who will fill up either side of the second base bag wherever they go, I think they’ll get some time in Vancouver in 2020.
While the sexiest name on this list is certainly Orelvis Martinez who had a great professional debut in the GCL in 2019, Addison Barger is certainly interesting. The former sixth-round pick by the Blue Jays in 2018 was off to a terrific start in Bluefield before he was placed on the restricted list. I have yet to see public mention of a suspension by MiLB, so it may have been an internal suspension or he may have left the team or intend to retire despite the face that he’s still quite young, thus keeping the option of his return open.
|Rikelvin De Castro||GCL|
De Castro was the Blue Jays’ big international free agent signing this past July, taking home $1.2 million. I think we’ll also see Glenn Santiago who was drafted out of Puerto Rico in the 2019 in the 10th round.
|Angel Del Rosario||DSL|
Without having heard much about the infielders the Jays signed in the international market, here are all of them (aside from De Castro). I’ve heard more about Yege and Machado and they could be the principal shortstops for the DSL Blue Jays with the rest moved around to other positions.
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