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.
This could be the darkhorse of the 2016 Draft. Jacob mixes power, contact, and plate discipline and he is a lefthanded bat. There isn’t much of a scouting report out on the 32nd round select, but he did make some noise in 2015 by setting a single-season batting average record (.400).
Jacob signed on June 14th with the GCL Blue Jays, made his professional debut on June 24th (1-for-3). He hit his first HR in his 4th game. Drove in 4-RBI in his 7th game, with another 3-RBI the following day. He also recorded 14 multi-hit games and reached base in all but 6 of his 48 games.
He struggled against LHP, batting just .195 versus .342 against RHP.
On September 1st David Jacob was promoted to Vancouver, where he played 2 games to close out a successful rookie season.
2016 Stats (2-ish levels)
.304 BA, 10 doubles, a triple, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 21/25 BB/K, and 3 SB
A lot of what David Jacob does this spring will determine where he starts in 2017. I expect the 21-yr-old to remain in extended spring training with an eye at being the Vancouver Canadians starting 1st baseman. It would surprise me to see him get a couple at-bats with Dunedin, then return to the extended spring training squad.
The 19-yr-old Lizardo had an okay season with the Vancouver Canadians in 2016. The Santiago, D.R. native played 62 games at 3rd, committed 13 errors, and posted a .921 FPCT.
Lizardo is a switch hitter, so take that into consideration when viewing his stats. As a left-handed bat versus RHP Lizardo hit .211, but as a right-handed bat versus LHP Lizardo hit .240.
The 6-foot-0 3rd baseman didn’t have any really good months, but he did have a really bad month in July. Bryan Lizardo’s batting average took a hit thanks to his .196 July batting average.
.220 BA, 15 doubles, 2 triples, 3 HR, 21 RBI, 20/71 BB/K, and no SB
Lizardo is still very raw, but he has shown a good eye at the plate, potential power and could stick at 3rd if his arm strength improves. I expect the 19-yr-old to return to Vancouver but the organization could decide to challenge him early in the season with a Lansing assignment, then move him to Vancouver once the short season begins.
Signed as an IFA on July 2nd, 2014, Rodriguez has split his time between 1st and catcher during his first two seasons. As a 17-yr-old with DSL Blue Jays Yorman batted a healthy .335 with 9 doubles, 5 triples, and 2 HR.
Despite his strong 2015 stats, it made sense for the 18-yr-old to return to the DSL in 2016. However, Rodriguez forced the Blue Jays hand when he batted .324 through the first 2 months.
On August 1st Yorman Rodriguez was US bound, making his GCL debut (0-for-4) on August 2nd. In 21 games with the GCL Blue Jays, the 18-yr-old 1B/C hit .296 with a triple and 2 HR.
He didn’t show any splits batting .344 against LHP and .314 off RHP. His offensive production wasn’t affected by which position he played.
1B- .321 BA
C- . 312 BA
DH- .333 BA
2016 Stats (2 Levels)
.318 BA, 14 doubles, 3 triples, 3 HR, 40 RBI, 16/22 BB/K, and 14 SB
It is tough to love this guy after two strong seasons, but it is just Rookie-Ball so I’ll remain optimistically pessimistic. The Blue Jays can afford to take their time with Yorman Rodriguez, so expect him to start 2016 with the Bluefield Blue Jays. The question remains, will he play 1st or catch?
After a strong rookie season with the DSL Blue Jays in 2015 as 17-yr-old, Guzman started the year with the GCL Blue Jays.
He had a strong July, batting .281 with a pair of HR. He was unable to follow it up with a strong August, as he struggled to a .196 BA.
In the field, Sterling Guzman has made 87 starts at 3rd with 9 starts at 2nd. The 19-yr-old native of Santo Domingo, D.R. stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 175 lbs.
Sterling Guzman saw his ISO climb from .109 in 2015 to .143 in 2016 while his 9.0 BB% and 22.9 K% were down from 2015. Guzman provided the GCL Blue Jays with above average production from 3rd with a .321 wOBA and 102 wRC+.
.214 BA, 6 doubles, no triples, 4 HR, 19 RBI, 13/33 BB/K, and 1 SB
Guzman will return to the GCL Blue Jays, seeing more than 36 games. With more consistent playing time he should show more well-rounded stats. From the little I’ve heard about the young man, he possesses average tools and is considered a grinder and gritty player.
Thanks for joining Jays From the Couch as we reviewed some the Toronto Blue Jays up-and-coming prospects at the corner infield position. If you missed parts 1 and 2, follow the links provided above and leave a comment in the comment section if you have something to add or just want your opinion heard.
*Featured Image Photo Credit: 3dpete UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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