Join Jays From the Couch as we review the highlights and lowlights of Toronto Blue Jays top prospect Joshua Palacios 2017 season
Expectations for Joshua Palacios were high heading into the 2017 season. A wrist injury suffered in his draft year in Auburn, allowed Toronto to scoop Palacios up in the 4th round. With the wrist fully healed, the hope was for Palacios to start the season in Lansing and finish the year with a couple Double-A games on his resume.
The 22-yr-old outfielder didn’t get his season started until April 17th as a member of the Lansing Lugnuts. It may have been rust or he wasn’t fully healthy or both but the Brooklyn native stumbled out of the blocks. Following a horrendous April, May, and June, Palacios found himself back on the disabled list on June 12th and re-activated on June 17th. Joshua looked like a completely different player upon returning from the DL in mid-June, turning his season around and finishing strong.
MLB Pipeline had the nephew of ex-MLB catcher Rey Palacios ranked as the Blue Jays 15th best prospect heading in the 2017 but now have him ranked 11 spots lower at 26th.
Joshua Palacios Career Stats
The 6-foot-1, 193 lbs Palacios is considered one of Toronto’s better-hitting prospects. Scouts rave about his smooth swing, advanced feel for hitting and strike zone command. These skills allowed the Lugnuts outfielder to post a 10.0 BB% and finish with a .337 wOBA and 109 wRC+.
After a slow start, Joshua Palacios was one of hottest hitters in the Blue Jays system after July 1st. Heading into July, the Lansing RF/CF was batting a miserable .198. He would go for 10-for-15 in the first three July games and never look back. He batted .340 with 7 doubles, and a triple and finished July with a .250 batting average.
Joshua was batting .272 by the end of August and finished the year with a solid .280 batting average. Over the final 2 plus month of the season, Palacios batted .348 with a .422 OBP thanks to 70 hits, 23 walks, and just 43 strikeouts. He also scored 38 runs, collected 13 doubles, a triple, a home run, and stole 8 bases to post an impressive .836 OPS.
Palacios handled right-handed pitching very well in 2017. According to Baseball America, the left-handed batter produced a .304 BA with 9 doubles, two triples, and a home run off RHP. He also showed excellent plate discipline with a .392 OBP thanks to 30 walks and just 46 K.
Joshua Palacios had his best game on July 16th in a 14-2 drubbing of Wisconsin. Palacios went 3-for-5 with 3 runs scored, and 2 doubles for 5 total bases.
As I stated in the intro, Joshua Palacios did not look good in the opening months of the season. He batted an ugly .198 with a .242 BABIP, .286 OBP, and .555 OPS between April 17th and June 30th.
Palacios has yet to show much power as a professional but his ability to get on-base and have professional at-bats makes him a valuable top of the order hitter; therefore, his 18.6 K% can be viewed as a lowlight for the talented outfielder.
He batted just .235 off LHP and walked just 11 times with 25 strikeouts.
In the field, Josh committed 9 errors while splitting time between all three outfield positions. He played the most games in RF (43 GP), followed by CF (32GP), and lastly, LF (12GP).
Despite his early-season struggles, Joshua Palacios will be heading to Advanced-A in 2018. With his injury problems behind him, Palacios has the tools to excel in the Florida State League. Joshua Palacios can utilize his feel for hitting and gap power to put up career numbers.
The versatile fielder will likely see more time in LF with the D-Jays, as he will be joined by Edward Oliveras in CF and J.B. Woodman in RF.
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