Blue Jays traded one of their top outfield prospects. How will the loss of an outfielder effect the minor league outfields? Re-evaluate time
Heading into the weekend, the Toronto Blue Jays acquired INF Aledmys Diaz from the St. Louis Cardinals for minor league outfielder J.B. Woodman. While I am never fond of seeing prospects leave the system, this was a good trade for the Blue Jays.
There are a bunch of articles covering what Aledmys Diaz will bring to Toronto’s roster and how he adds roster flexibility, team control, and the ability to develop into a super utility player for manager John Gibbons.
This isn’t another one of those articles. I’m going to look at how subtracting one of Toronto’s top outfield prospect and potential power bat will shuffle the Top 5 outfield prospects and the minor league outfields.
In my Highlights and Lowlights of J.B. Woodman’s 2017 season, I wrote that the Woodman came into the season as the Toronto Blue Jays 13th ranked prospect. Unfortunately, an uninspiring 2017 saw his stock fall to 28th in a farm system.
Toronto’s top 5 outfield prospect prior to the trade:
Teoscar Hernandez is no longer considered a prospect and he will likely compete for the starting RF job in the spring. According to MLB Pipeline Dwight Smith Jr. is also not considered one of the system’s top 5 outfield prospects. For the sake of this article, let us agree with MLB Pipeline’s assessment of the system’s outfield prospects.
So naturally, we would expect Harold Ramirez to move up a spot to number four and the addition of a new name to slot in at number five. Once again, according to MLB Pipeline, this is not the case. Harold Ramirez holds steady as Toronto’s 5th ranked outfield prospect with previously unranked Jonathan Davis being catapulted past both Ramirez and Palacios to number 3.
Davis broke out in 2016 with the Dunedin Blue Jays. He produced in 2017 as a member of the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats and is expected to join Anthony Alford, Dwight Smith Jr., and Ian Parmley (maybe even Harold Ramirez) in Triple-A Buffalo for the 2018 season.
Jonathan Davis improved his prospect ranking with a strong showing as a member of the Arizona Fall League champions Peoria Javelinas. Davis provided the Peoria lineup with a top of the order bat, with the ability to get on base and the speed to get himself into scoring position.
I think Palacios has a higher ceiling than Davis. It is possible that MLB Pipeline placed Palacios lower on the list because of his injury history and a slow start in Lansing this season. Palacios did finish strong, batting over .330 over the final two months. As his injured wrist gets stronger, the power should improve.
Toronto’s top 5 outfield prospect after to the trade:
- Anthony Alford
- Edward Olivares
- Jonathan Davis
- Joshua Palacios
- Harold Ramirez
I expected Woodman would join Edward Olivares, and Joshua Palacios in the Florida State League to form one of the best outfield trios in the system. Who will take Woodman’s spot in Dunedin’s outfield?
Joined the Blue Jays system late last season. He spent most of 2017 in Advanced-A as a corner outfielder. I expect the 23-yr-old to move up a level and join the Fisher Cats but it’s possible he is held back for a month or two after playing just 61 games in 2017.
Almonte has a lot of projection; unfortunately, the results have been slow to follow. Injuries and poor performance have held Almonte out of the lineup every day. With good health and a vacant spot in the D-Jays outfield, could 2018 be Almonte’s year?
If I were a betting man, Orozco is where I’d place my money. The 22-yr-old out of Panama doesn’t hit for power but puts the ball in play, controls the strike zone, hits for a high average, and can play all three outfield positions.
Speed is the name of the game for Sinay. He does a good job of getting on-base but didn’t hit for much of a batting average in 2017. He could grab an everyday job in Dunedin but it’s more likely that he will return to Lansing or fill in as Dunedin’s 4th outfielder in 2018.
Noda dominated the Appalachian League, splitting time between 1st base (49 GP) and the OF (12 GP). Jay Blue from Jays From Away informed me Noda is likely to see more time as a corner outfielder in 2018. A strong showing at Instructional League and Extended Spring Training could see Noda bypass Vancouver and Lansing.
The 21-yr-old Lundquist had a strong playoff for the C’s. He showed excellent extra-base power in as Vancouver’s primary RF. Dunedin would be a stretch but it’s possible.
The 22-yr-old Norberto Obeso is very similar to Orozco. Obeso saw his BA drop in 2017 as the C’s everyday LF but finished strong with a .301 batting average in August. Not much power to speak of with just 8 doubles and 2 HR in 62 games but a solid .364 OBP could allow Obeso to bypass Lansing.
Thank you, J.B. Woodman, for two productive seasons. Hope the new glasses help cut down the K’s.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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