Join Jays From the Couch, as we review four corner infielders which 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 than I should.
It’s due to this internal struggle that I feel obligated to fully inform/introduce the Jays From the Couch readers of potential prospects which don’t show up on our Jays From the Couch 2017 Top Prospect List (link). I can’t list every prospect, that’s crazy. The prospects I’ll cover, either had good years, have appeared on other Top Prospect Lists, or quite simply I think they are worth recognizing.
In part 1 we have a look at a trio of minor league veterans who once upon a time had their names appear on a Blue Jays Top Prospect Lists and power hitting 1st baseman that continues to get overlooked.
A 24-yr-old out of San Pedro de Maroris, Dominican Republic, Emilio Guerrero has been in the Blue Jays system since 2011. He’s split his time between SS and 3B, with some time in CF/RF the last few seasons. In 2016 Emilio played 58 games at 3rd, 15 games in right and zero games at short.
Guerrero started the season on the DL, making his season debut on April 17th. He collected 9 hits in his first three games before going hitless over the next 5 games. Saying that Guerrero is a streaky hitter might be stating the obvious.
May saw the 6-foot-4 Guerrero bat .236, then follow it up with a .320 June. This was good enough to earn a promotion to New Hampshire on July 2nd. He would have little problems adjusting to the Eastern League, batting .260 in July, .279 in August and .364 in 3 September games.
Emilio Guerrero may finally be growing into some pop and patience. He set a career high in batting average, HR, doubles, and RBI. He tied his previous high in triples and improved his BB/K numbers.
2016 Stats (2 Levels)
.283 BA, 23 doubles, 3 triples, 13 HR, 56 RBI, 25/67 BB/K, and 6 SB
Guerrero needs consistency. He should get it in 2017. A return to New Hampshire in 2017 will allow him to get more reps at 3rd. If healthy, Guerrero could break the 15 HR mark and may even challenge the 20 HR mark.
After hitting 14 HR with the Dunedin Blue Jays in 2015 Dean was expected to have an even better year with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2016. Unfortunately, that didn’t materialize.
Matt Dean was batting just .215 in 65 games when he landed on the DL on June 29th. Always a sucker for a strike out, Dean struck out like it was going out of style in 2016. Despite putting up career worse K% number he managed to post career best BB% numbers.
Dean never made it back to NH in 2016, playing out the season with the D-Jays after 4 rehab games with the GCL Blue Jays.
2016 Stats (3-ish Levels)
.216 BA, 9 doubles, no trips, 6 Hr, 35 RBI, 30/118 BB/K and 2 SB
My hope is that the 24-yr-old Dean is completely healthy in 2017, that he is finally able to bring his power into game situations and that he can cut down on the strikeouts.
That is my hope.
If healthy, Dean should start the year in NH sharing 1st base duties with Ryan McBroom. He should be able to hit double-digit home runs, but the K will continue to haunt the young man.
The former 2012 Comp A pick hasn’t developed as planned. Know for his power, Nay has never hit double-digit home runs. His career high can in his rookie season with Bluefield when he topped out at 6.
Nay has proven to be a doubles machine, hitting 35 with Lansing in 2014. It looked as though it was just a matter of time before those doubles turned into home runs. In 2015 with the D-Jays, Nay’s double total dropped to 18, but he hit more triples and more HR…by two. The FSL is a tough place to hit home runs, so we can take it easy on the young man.
Expected to be the Fisher Cats starting 3rd baseman when the 2016 season opened, Nay started the season the DL. He remained on the DL until August 15th when he made 8 rehab appearances with the GCL Blue Jays.
.091 BA, no doubles or triples or HR or RBI or walks, but he did strike out 9 times.
To work off the rust, Nay should return to Dunedin. This will also allow the Blue Jays medical staff to keep a close eye on his progress. The 23-yr-old should get his first taste of Double-A at some point in 2017; unfortunately, I’m overly optimistic that his power stroke shows up this year.
McBroom has found success at every level since being selected in the 15th round of the 2014 Draft. Unfortunately for McBroom, his age appears to be causing scouts and fans to undervalue his accomplishments.
The 24-yr-old native of Fredericksburg, Virginia been named to the Post-Season All-Star team in two consecutive seasons. He was named to the Mid-Season All-Star team three years running. In 2016, McBroom was named FSL player of the Month in August while also getting honored with player of the week in the same month.
Ryan McBroom set career highs in total bases, HR, strikeouts, and SB. He saw his batting average, RBI, and doubles take a hit in 2016.
On July 21st, Ryan McBroom was called up to Double-A. He made his New Hampshire debut on July 22nd, going 0-for-4. He didn’t collect his first hit until his 5th Double-A game. He hit his first Fisher Cats HR on July 29th, going 2-for-4 with a solo shot (see video below).
2016 Stats (2 Levels)
.266 BA, 26 doubles, a triple, 22 HR, 85 RBI, 34/112 BB/K, and 10 SB.
McBroom is set to start the season with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. He should split time between 1st and DH but could also see time in LF. McBroom should once again hit 20+ HR, eliminating any doubt that he could contribute at the Major League level. Strikeouts could become a concern if they continue to increase without a slight increase in production as well.
Feel free to let me know how you feel about the 4 gentle discussed in this article. Do they fit into the Blue Jays future or not?
*Featured Image Credit: Manchester City Library UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER @JAYSFROMCOUCH AND INSTAGRAM. LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE LATEST FROM JAYS FROM THE COUCH RADIO