Join Jays From the Couch, as we look at five of outfielders that didn’t make this year’s Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospect List
Every year baseball fanatics put their heads together in an attempt to separate Top Prospects from Organizational Fillers. What should be an easy task, quickly turns into an internal struggle, especially for me. You see I am very very biased when it comes to prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays system. I think they should all be on they should all be on Top Prospect Lists, therefore, I spend more time moving names up and down lists that I should.
It is because of this internal struggle that I feel it is my duty to fully inform/introduce the Jays From the Couch readers of those prospects which don’t show up on our Top Prospect List. I can’t list every prospect, that’s crazy. The prospect I will cover, either had good years, have appeared on other Top Prospect Lists, or I think are worth recognizing.
Part 1 (LINK HERE) covered a trio of outfielders that stand a much better chance of making an impact with Toronto in 2017 than our next set of outfielders.
Likely the biggest and best breakout season that I’ve seen for a while. Despite dominating the Florida State League, Davis would be hard pressed to crack many Top Prospect Lists this offseason. Another strong season is required for that to happen. Where did Jonathan Davis come from? The 15th round pick, out of Central Arkansas, been in the organization since 2013. His problem has always been staying on the field. The 24-yr-old almost tripled every one of his previous career highs. Davis displayed a blend of speed and power. A blend which allowed him to lead the D-Jays in hits, triples, BB, and SB.
2016 Stats– .252 BA, 21 2B, 8 3B, 14 HR, 54 RBI, 70BB, 111 K, 33SB
2017 Outlook– Without a doubt, Jonathan Davis will be heading to New Hampshire in ’17. The 5-foot-8 speedy outfielder will be tested in Double-A. He should have another good season if he remains healthy. At 24-yrs-old and not considered a high-ceiling prospect, Davis could be pressed into a 4th outfield role.
Some guys put up solid numbers and don’t get promoted. Some guys consistently put up horrible numbers, yet continue to climb the ladder. Josh Almonte found himself in Dunedin despite batting just .221 in Lansing. Josh struggles with pitch recognition and hasn’t figured out how to turn his power into game power.
Almonte is raw and has great projections. He has shown improvements in many areas but still, has ways to go. Josh Almonte has spent the winter playing for the Canberra Cavalry in the ABL, putting up some solid numbers (.306, 6 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR).
2016 Stats– Lansing- .221 BA, 7 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 9 BB, 53 K, 9 SB.
Dunedin– .162 BA, 4 2B, 1 3B, 14 RBI, 4 BB, 35 K, 2 SB
2017 Outlook– The 6 foot 3 Wesley Chapel, Florida native should remain in his home state. A full year with the D-Jays. I am afraid that Almonte may get lost in the shuffle, as more OF seem destined to overtake him……sooner than later. Look for another low BA, low BB, low HR season.
Oh D.J., what are we going to do with you. When you look up high-risk, high-reward 1st round draft picks, there’s a picture of D.J. Davis. After responding well to repeating 2015 with the Lansing Lugnuts, Davis started the year in Dunedin. The former Top Prospect put up UGLY numbers in Advanced-A. Like, really bad. So bad that I’m surprised he wasn’t demoted, which would have been a career killer. DJ landed on the DL on June 25th and didn’t return until July 21st. The one area of his game to see improvement was his base stealing.
2016 Stats– .197 BA, 9 doubles, 3 triples, HR, 15 RBI, 36 BB, 99 K, 22 SB
2017 Outlook– Davis responded by hitting .282, after hitting just .213 when he was forced to repeat A-Ball. I expect that he will respond as favorably as he will remain in Dunedin.
Lane is another highly talented prospect. It appears that he will stick in CF after playing 2nd base in 2015 and 3rd before that. Injuries continued to be a problem for the 21-yr-old. He spent almost two months on the DL or rehabbing in 2017. When he was on the field, Lane Thomas struck out too much, flashed power potential and an ability to impact the game with his legs.
2016 Stats– GCL- .429 BA, 5 doubles, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K, 2 SB
Lansing– .216 BA, 14 doubles, Triple, 7 HR, 27 RBI, 45 BB, 107 K, 17 SB
2017 Outlook– IF Lane Thomas can figure out how to stay on the field in 2017, he will be on all the Top Prospect Lists next offseason. He possesses the ability to hit 15 HR and steal 30 bases when healthy. With his health in mind, Lane should start the year close to the Blue Jays training staff in Dunedin.
A 32nd round pick in the 2015 draft, Guillotte came close to winning the Vancouver Canadians MVP award that year. In 2016 with the Lansing Lugnuts, the 23-yr-old was a doubles machine and a presence at the top of the lineup. Guillotte played 14 with the D-Jays, but didn’t have the same success. Small sample size. He split his time between CF (54 GP) and LF (24 GP).
2016 Stats– Lansing- .253 BA, 27 doubles, 3 Triples, 4 HR, 44 RBI, 39 BB, 77 K, 20 SB
Dunedin– .152 BA, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 9K, SB
2017 Outlook– The 5-foot-8 OFer will head to Dunedin. Guillotte will be competing for at-bats with DJ Davis in LF and Lane Thomas in CF, both of whom project higher ceilings. He could play some RF, but is faced with Josh Almonte. It is also possible that JB Woodman skips A-Ball and heads straight to Dunedin, which would further complicate things. I’d challenge the 23-yr-old Moss Bluff native with a Double-A assignment.
*Featured Image Credit: Joel Dinda UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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