It’s Tough Being Blue Jays Rowdy Tellez

 

Labeled by Blue Jays fans as Toronto power hitter of the future, Rowdy Tellez doesn’t get the same love scouts.

 

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

 

It’s that time of year again. Time to rate and rank the Toronto Blue Jays prospects. PS, I hate Prospect Lists, most of the time they are a crap shoot, but you gotta keep up with the Jones’.

 

Going through the system, looking at the Blue Jays prospects, cross referencing with other sites. It occurred to me. It’s tough being Rowdy Tellez. He either gets too much love or not enough. With Edwin Encarnacion off to Cleveland, the fan base is hanging their collective hopes and dreams for a middle of the order bat and first baseman dreams on the 21-yr-old.

 

Many scouts have pointed out a lack of premium bat speed and so-so defense. Scouts feel that Tellez may not generate enough home runs in the Major Leagues to develop into the middle of the order bat the Blue Jays fan base expect him to become.

 

Here’s Baseball America’s Josh Norris on why Rowdy Tellez was left off of the Eastern League Top 20 Prospect List,

Josh Norris: He was close, but was removed at the end. Some evaluators noted he doesn’t have the bat speed to portend the big power necessary to profile as a major league first baseman. Almost all of his power, too, is to the pull-side. He’s not a particularly deft defender, and was aided by New Hampshire’s short porch in right field. (link)

 

When Baseball America did their Best Tools for the Toronto Blue Jays farm system, Tellez was nowhere to be found. Best Power Hitter went to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Best Strike-Zone Discipline went to 2016 Draftee Cavan Biggio. Lastly, Best Hitter for Average went to another 2016 Draftee Bo Bichette.

 

MLB Pipeline has Tellez ranked 10th on their Top 10 Prospects per position, giving him an overall score of 50. By comparison, Pittsburgh Pirates Josh Bell was ranked number 1 and received an overall score of 55. Tellez scored lower with 45 arm, 40 fielding, and 50 hit. Seattle’s Dan Vogelbach was the only other 1st baseman to receive lower marks in the field with a 40 arm and 30 field score, yet still managed a ranking of 8.

 

I know, for a guy that thinks ranking prospects is a waste, why split hairs?

 

Here’s why:

 

Rowdy Tellez 2016 stats

Year Age Lev G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2016 21 AA 124 514 71 130 29 2 23 81 63 92 .297 .387 .530 .917
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/12/2017.

 

Dan Vogelbach 2016 stats

Year Age Lev Aff G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2016 23 AAA CHC-SEA 133 563 79 134 25 2 23 96 97 101 .292 .417 .505 .923
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 1/12/2017.

 

Where’s the difference?

Vogelbach played in Triple-A and made his MLB debut after getting traded to Seattle. Okay, I give him that. He is also 3 years older than Tellez and has two more professional seasons under his belt. Let’s throw Tellez in the Pacific Coast League and see what his HR numbers look like. Does anyone remember the offensive numbers floating around the PCL when the Las Vagas 51s where the Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate? I do…..INFLATED.

 

I’m not picking on Dan Vogelbach. He may well become a very good 1st baseman/DH for Seattle. I could have picked on 5th ranked 19-yr-old Josh Naylor. I get it, the kid has huge power potential, but he hasn’t even played a full season at Advance-A and he doesn’t control the strike-zone like either Tellez or Vogelbach.

 

Rowdy Tellez surely deserves a better ranking. Or, does he?

 

Maybe I am just being a typical fan, defending a prospect that I hope will be my team’s starting 1st/DH for the next 5-10 years. The problem is Baseball America’s Josh Norris is the first to voice concerns about the Blue Jays burly future first baseman. The consensus is that Tellez, not an elite prospect, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be an everyday MLB player.

 

For the haters of Rogers and Shapiro/Atkins, Rowdy Tellez represents a cheap, cost-effective, homegrown alternative to losing the E5.

 

This leads me back to my dilemma and why it’s tough to be Rowdy Tellez. Rowdy Tellez will undoubtedly fall within the top 5 of every Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospect List. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s ranked as high as No.1 by some sites, but can he live up to the lofty expectations of a city that will certainly compare him to Edwing?

 

 

 

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: Buck Davidson UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0– cropped from original

 

 

 

 

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Ryan Mueller

Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn't cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I'm more right.