Jays From the Couch highlights the quick ascent of Blue Jays 2016 fourth round draft pick Joshua Palacios, recently promoted from Vancouver to Lansing
In years past it seemed like Alex Anthoplous and Co. used every pick on pitchers. Obviously they didn’t, but it felt that way. So when Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro picked 5 position players in the first 7 rounds, I was like….what just happened?
It appears they knew what they were doing as several of this year’s picks are making an immediate impact with their respective team(s). One such player is former Auburn Tiger, Josh Palacios.
With the success Joshua Palacios is having in his first professional season you’d never guess he suffered a wrist injury in April. The wrist ultimately cut his College season short. Despite the shortened season, he managed to show enough for the Toronto Blue Jays to select him in the 4th round of this year’s draft (2016).
A native of Brooklyn, New York, Palacios signed a minor league contract on June 17th receiving a signing bonus of $438, 100.
It’s a blessing learning from a legend ???? https://t.co/VJMFgNm7qJ
— Joshua Palacios (@P_lo21_) August 21, 2016
Joshua was assigned to the Blue Jays Gulf Coast League affiliate, debuting July 2nd. He went 0-for-4 with 2 runs batted in in his first game as a pro. Palacios lasted 13 games with the GCL Blue Jays before heading to the Northwest League to play for John Tamargo’s Vancouver Canadians, skipping the Bluefield Blue Jays.
It’s clear that his stop over with the GCL Blue Jays was more for the Blue Jays to assess the health of his wrist than development. Not that Palacios didn’t play well during his time in the GCL, but a batting average of .265 with 3 doubles, no home runs, and 4 RBI doesn’t scream promotion. There are other guys putting up better numbers, yet remain in the GCL.
With the C’s Palacios hit .286 in July and .387 in August, while splitting his time between RF (11) and CF (16) posting a 1.77 RF and 1.000 fielding percentage. Joshua absolutely destroyed LHP, batting .500 with a 1.254 OPS in 38 at-bats. Manager Tamargo utilized him at the top of his order batting him in the lead off (11), 2nd (6) and 3rd (9). The talented young man sprays hits all over the field, not showing any tendencies to get pull happy.
Get to know this up and coming Blue Jays prospect
— Jesse G-S (@jgoldstrass) August 28, 2016
His best game with the C’s came on August 4th in a 8-4 Vancouver win over the Eugene Emeralds. In 5 at-bats Palacios went 3-for-5 with 2 doubles, 2 runs batted in, a run scored, a walk and a strike out.
The 21-yr-old outfielder’s pre-draft ceiling was that of a 4th outfield. He lacks the power of a corner outfield, but was thought to lack the speed and reactions to become an everyday major league center fielder. After posting a .432 wOBA and wRC+ 160 with Vancouver, scouts may need to re-evaluate Palacios ceiling.Power remains an issue for Joshua, posting a .118 ISO with Vancouver. However, he can overcome a lack of power as he ascends through the minors if he maintains his solid 11.1 BB% and 13.5 K%. A .419 BABIP is clearly unsustainable, so some regression is expected.
With Palacios on fire, the Vancouver Canadians season a disaster, and the Midwest A-Ball Lansing Lugnuts fighting for a playoff spot Joshua was promoted to the Lugnuts on August 27th.
Lugnuts manager John Schneider will have options aplenty in the outfield. The Lugnuts already have the luxury of running out a pretty solid outfield. Toronto native and team home run leader Connor Panas in left field, Mid-Season All-Star and team stolen base leader Andrew Guillotte in center field. On top of Panas and Guillotte, Schneider also welcomed Lane Thomas back from the DL in early August. Factor in the recently promoted Palacios and fellow draft stand out J.B. Woodman and the Lugnuts have a very crowded outfield.
But if you think that Joshua Palacios is about to complain about a lack of playing time in Lansing, you better think again. This kid will find his way into the lineup and he’ll surely make an impact when he does. Just like he’s done in his first two games with Lansing. The 6’1″ OF is closing out his first professional season with a bang, hitting .385 over the past 10 games, reaching base safely in all but 3 of his 43 games. He’s riding a 16 game hit steak and 29 game on-base streak.
Palacios should start looking for an apartment in Lansing for 2017, as this will be his launching pad next season.
*Featured Image Credit: Kris Robinson UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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