Toronto Blue Jays Top 30 Prospects

February 18, 2024

The 2024 Preseason Top 30 lists are built around the idea of certainty and future Role. Similar to industry projection systems such as Future Value (FV), Overall Future Potential (OFP), and Grade, Role is a way to describe to what degree a player will add value to his organization at peak.

Our scale is a bit more conservative than other grading systems. We take into account recent seasonal performance, proximity to impact, metric/data analysis, and industry conversations to build a case for the most likely outcome for any given player.

It is important to note these Role labels are fluid and can change as a player moves up the developmental ladder. It is not uncommon for a player to change his role projection over even one month. Players jump from a Role 35 to a Role 40 quite quickly.

Things like mechanical adjustments and physical maturation can alter a player’s projection seemingly overnight. Players change. Keep that in mind.

Below is our Role chart used to place future projection on players.

20No organizational value. Non-prospect.
30Organizational value, filler. Likely peaks at Triple-A or below.
35Potential up-and-down, Quad-A prospect. Has some tools. Development necessary to secure prolonged MLB role.
40Back-up at MLB level. No. 5 starter on non-competitive team. Depth.
45Potential starter on contender. Bench player for championship-level team.
50Starter on a championship-level team. Lacks star ceiling. Steady. Potential No. 4 starting pitcher.
55Potential all-star. Some impact. Above average big-league regular. Mid-rotation starter on a contender.
60All-star level player. Impact. Middle-of-the-order bat. No. 2 starter on good team.
70Perennial all-star. Will contend for seasonal awards. Potential MVP/Cy Young upside. No. 1 starting pitcher. Ace.
80Hall of Fame upside. Generational. MVP/Cy Young Favorite some years. Organizational pillar who can carry an entire franchise at times.

You will not find players with a sub-50 Role on our Top 100 Prospect List. You are also unlikely to find any sub-35 Role players on a Top 30 board. Generally, organizations will have at least 30 players with big-league projection.

All rankings and roles by Joe Doyle
Player notes by Jason A. Churchill

The Blue Jays have received very little value from their first-round picks the last 10 drafts, with Alek Manoah ( 2019, 7.8 rWAR) accounting for 100% of the club’s direct value from first-round selections in that span.

Furthermore, the Jays haven’t produced a player that has posted 10 WAR for them since Aaron Hill. That’s four GMs and an entire generation ago.

In recent years, however, the club has made up for that lack of success in Round 1 with key international signings (Vladimir Guerrero Guerrero Jr., Orelvis Martinez, Alejandro Kirk), nailing huge value in other rounds (Bo Bichette, 2nd, 2016; Jordan Romano, 10th, 2014), several trades (Jose Berrios, Santiago Espinal) and free agency (George Springer, Kevin Gausman).

The current state of the club’s farm is dependent on how one looks at it. From one angle, 2023 was not a good trend for a large group of their best talents. Outside Martinez, it was a stagnant year or worse, though one can see Ricky Tiedemann‘s year and see the light.

So it’s redemption time for Gabriel Martinez, Dasan Brown, Tucker Toman, and others.

Last year’s first-round pick Arjun Mimmala, a potential power-hitting shortstop is a high-end additions to the system, though.

1Ricky TiedemannLHP55
2Orelvis MartinezSS/3B50
3Arjun NimmalaSS50
4Brandon BarrieraLHP50
5Kendry RojasLHP50
6Davis Schneider3B45
7Yosver ZuluetaRHP45
8Addison BargerSS/3B45
9Leo Jimenez2B/SS45
10Juaron Watts-BrownRHP45

Tiedemann shoves a deceptive low three-quarter slot, hiding the ball until release, and rushing it to the plate in a hurry — often into the mid-90s.

Left southpaw has two quality secondaries in an 81-84 mph slider and a mid-80s changeup, both of which can miss bats.

He’s athletic and uses his lower half pretty well, but the arm path is a bit long, causing his front side to finish too early for consistent release points. This has led to poor control, even after it appeared he’d taken a step forward in 2022.

It’s frontline stuff, however, and even fringe-average strike throwing gets the club’s top prospect into the majors in 2024.

Martinez still is just 22 years of age despite it seeming he’s been in the Toronto system since the San Francisco 49ers last won a Super Bowl.

He’s always had plus raw power and it didn’t take him long to show it in games as a pro, hitting 28 homers in his first full season. He’s been hurt each of the past two seasons, but the power has been prominent with consistency when he’s in the lineup.

Martinez’s ability to hit enough came into question in 2022 when he batted just .203/.286./.446 with a 29% strikeout rate in Double-A. Most chalked it up to being young for the level, and he was at just 20 years of age, but he struggled to hit for average in Double-A again a year ago (.226).

The difference is he made consistent contact, drew more walks, and maintained the pop, then went to Triple-A and put up his next two-month stretch in three years.

He’s not a surefire, out-of-the-gate option in 2024, but the chances Martinez will force the Jays’ hand is growing. Seven more long balls, by the way, will be 100 in the minors for the right-handed batter, and that’s come in just 1418 at-bats.

Schneider is 25 but already has made an impact in the majors, posting a .276/.404/.603 slash in 141 PAs last season, including eight home runs.

He was a 28th-round pick in 2017 and twice now it’s seemed as if perhaps he’s run out of development steam only to turn it up a notch and advance to the next level on both occasions.

The New Jersey product hit his way into roster consideration for this season, though it’s unclear where the club will use him in the field.

Watts-Brown is looking to get his fastball velocity back, but he’s a projectable right-hander with a promising slider and changeup. There’s reliever risk, but a mid-rotation ceiling if the stuff comes back.

11Alan RodenOF
12Connor CookeRHP
13Enmanuel BonillaOF
14Dahian SantosRHP
15Landen MaroudisRHP
16Josh KasevichSS
17Tucker Toman3B
18Spencer Horwitz1B/OF
19Nick GoodwinSS
20Adam MackoLHP
21Hayden JuengerRHP
22Damiano Palmegiani3B/1B
23Connor O'HalloranRHP
24Chad DallasRHP
25Cade Doughty2B/3B
26Hagen DannerRHP
27Sam Shaw2B
28Devereaux HarrisonRHP
29Irv CarterRHP
30CJ Van EykRHP

Cooke, a pure reliever, has missed bats consistently since he was the club’s 10th-round pick in 2021, reaching Triple-A last season. He’s also thrown strikes — except for that nine-appearance sample in Buffalo — though he’s allowed seven homers in 55 innings above Low-A, suggesting locating should be a focus.

He’s 93-97 mph with some carry, setting up a plus slider. Cooke profiles as a middle reliever, but better command and an improved changeup could push him into some high-leverage spots.

Santos has yet to find the strike zone enough to warrant more than a back-end starter projection, but he’s just 21 and has a chance at three major-league offerings.

His size — not just his height at 5-foot-11 — could become an issue, however. He was signed at 150 pounds and he doesn’t appear to be more than 170 now, though it’s been an effort for the last two years.

Kasevich, a second-round pick in 2022 out of Oregon, swinging for hard contact, but without top-end bat speed or the kind of approach that produces a lot of extra-base hits.

In High-A last season, Kasevich batted .284/.363/.365 with nearly as many walks (9.9%) as strikeouts (10.7%), and rarely a swing-and-miss of any kind.

He’s a fringe shortstop at best, but he could play some second, third, and outfield in a contact-based utility role.

Doughty, 23 in March, has hit both years since he went No. 78 overall in 2022, but he struck out in nearly 30% of his plate appearances in High-A last season to toss a red flag at his otherwise solid .264/.342/.459 season that included 18 homers.

It looks like there’s enough power for third base, but he’ll check into Double-A New Hampshire looking to remedy his contact issues with better strike zone judgment.

Joe Doyle
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