Fangraphs.com dropped their top 100 Prospects Monday, we take a look which Toronto Blue Jays made the cut and which were slighted.
While you were sleeping in Monday morning after staying up all night watching the World Baseball Classic, the good folks over at Fangraphs released their 2017 Top 100 Prospects list. Prospects were graded, as per usual, on the 20-80 scale. Grades were given for current rating and future – with the latter being the determining factor in the rank. Cuban Yoan Moncada topped the list at #1, with some teams earning more spots in the list than other. The Blue Jays, which is why you’re likely all here, were featured not once, not twice, but thrice – filling out spots #24 – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., #79 – Anthony Alford and #96 – Sean Reid-Foley. We’ll discuss them below.
24. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
18 Years old, 6’1″, 250 lb
- Hit 35/60
- Raw Power: 60/70
- Game Power: 40/60
- Run: 40/30
- Field: 40/45
- Throw: 60/60
Ahh, Guerrero. Your first reminder that this list is based on Fangraphs’ Future Value, which you can read a bit about here. Guerrero’s inclusion here is the least surprising, as his exceptional raw power (60/70) is truly something to behold. Scouts are impressed enough with Guerrero to place a future 60 on his Hit tool, reminiscent of that of his father’s, though as is always the caveat on these pages, they are two different hitters. However, his Hit tool as a future 60 is based upon his incredible strength (seriously – he’s 18!) and elite bat speed, which makes up for swinging at pitches out of the zone. Sounds familiar.
Unfortunately, Guerrero the Younger will not live up to his father’s fielding prowess. His 40/45 Fielding tool is below-average, but his 60 arm might keep him around the hot corner up until the majors, where his fielding ceiling will likely land him in a corner outfield spot, first base or probably most realistic: designated hitter. That 40/30 Run tool is also a bit discouraging – likened more to an elder Molina.
79. Anthony Alford
21 Years old, 6’1″, 215 lb
- Hit: 35/40
- Raw Power: 60/60
- Game Power: 40/50
- Run: 70/70
- Field: 45/55
- Throw: 40/40
Taking a fall in the rankings, we have Anthony Alford at #79. Alford lost some development time playing football from 2012 to 2014 before joining the Blue Jays full-time in 2015, the team that drafted him in 2012. Most prospect ranking groups are high – but not very high – on Alford. While he possesses a plus tool in raw power (60/60), his real skill is in his plus-plus running ability (70/70), which can strengthen his other tools through some magical baseball osmosis.
Alford has shown the ability to walk in the minors, so hit Hit (35/40) isn’t too much to be concerned with. If he can get on base at a .349 clip like he did in the Arizona Fall League in 2016, he should be just fine, and his average fielding (45/55), coupled with the speed and power, to stick in center field for a while.
96. Sean Reid-Foley
21 Years Old, 6’1″, 215 lbs
- Fastball: 60/60
- Slider: 50/50
- Curveball: 50/55
- Change-up: 40/45
- Command: 40/50
Sean Reid-Foley has charged up the Blue Jays prospects rankings since his breakout season in 2016. Much of his success last season was the result of an increase in command (40/50), likely the result of an improved throwing motion. Reid-Foley already possessed a good fastball (60/60) and an average slider (50/50), but it seems now that scouts are watching the development of his curveball (50/55) as another weapon. There’s still plenty of hope for his command to develop a bit more, and his 2.51 BB/9 posted in 2016 with Lansing certainly hints that it might be better than it grades out – but keep in mind, these are Single-A hitters he’s facing, and that number is likely to climb with every level.
His change-up rates the lowest at a below-average 40/45, but as the Fangraphs article goes: “The change-up needs to develop. With a new and improved arm action, it’s more likely to.”
There’s likely a few names not on this list that Blue Jays fans may be concerned with. Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. likely won’t see many top prospects lists until after he plays a full season within the ranks of the Blue Jays, and it’s not yet known where he’ll be placed on the field. Conner Greene is another that Jays fans are salivating over that has been left off this list, as well as Rowdy Tellez, Richard Urena and Jonathan Harris. Again, this list was based on Future Value, and while many top Blue Jays prospects didn’t make the list, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a hint at a bright future for these baby Blue Jays.
Jays From the Couch recently completed our Blue Jays 2017 Top 15 Prospects list
*Featured Image Credit: Buck Davidson UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Roy’s earliest memories all involve baseball from the early 90’s and the Blue Jays dream teams. He became a Blue Jays fan while watching Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green evolve in Syracuse, NY at the run-down confines of MacArthur Stadium, nestled between highway and swamp. A lifelong baseball player, Roy still plays (P, C, 2B, 3B) in the 25+ Syracuse MSBL for the Liverpool Mets. He watches almost all games with his best buddy Sebastian, a five year old Pug, who could care less.