Join Jays From the Couch as we highlight some lowlights. A look at some struggling prospects in the Blue Jays system
Here at Jays From the Couch, we are huge fans for the Toronto Blue Jays minor league. We have a tendency or bias towards reporting mostly positive results. As a longtime follower and blogger of the Blue Jays system, I’ve developed the ability to temper my expectations when it comes to analyzing minor league stats.
While stats are a good indication of success. It is not always a good indication of future success. Below are several prospects who are a year removed from putting together seasons which had many fans of the system licking their chops.
Rule of thumb when it comes to getting overly excited about the potential of a prospect to become a legitimate ‘top prospect’ is when they succeed in Double-A. That is my rule of thumb. This does not mean we shouldn’t get excited about the performances of Alejandro Kirk (.313BA with 3HR and .940OPS between Lansing and Dunedin) or Otto Lopez (.288BA with 6 doubles, 9SB, and .716OPS).
The 21-yr-old had a solid game on Wednesday but they’ve been few and far between for the talented outfielder in 2019. In 2018, Young had very little trouble with Midwest League pitching batting .285 with 33 doubles, 9 triples, 8 HR, 44SB, and .808OPS. He finished with an impressive .368wOBA and 129wRC+ in 125 games.
Unfortunately, Young has yet to figure out how to consistently hit Florida State League pitching. In 20 games in April, Chavez Young batted .217 with a pair of doubles, a triple, and a home run. He’s struggled in May, batting just .189 with 2 doubles and a HR in 11 games. Overall, Young owns a .258wOBA and 63wRC+ with a .208 batting average in 31 games.
Another member of the 2018 Lansing Lugnuts. The talented infielder struggled to make consistent contact in 2018, finishing with a .228 batting average. He did walk 10.8% of the time and owned a .319 OBP. When he did get on-base or collect a hit, Samad Taylor utilized his speed swiping 44 stolen bases and collecting 32 doubles and 7 triples.
As a member of the 2019 Dunedin Blue Jays, the 20-yr-old infielder batted just .220 with 4 doubles, a HR, and 5-for-9 in stolen base attempts in 20 games in April. In 19 game in May, Taylor owns a .100 batting with 2 doubles, and 2-for-4 in stolen bases. Overall, Samad Taylor is batting just .160 with a .263wOBA and 67wRC+.
Acquired last year for Curtis Granderson from the Milwaukee Brewers, the 22-yr-old former 4th rounder split 2018 between A-Ball and Advanced-A in the Brewers system. He batted a combined .248 with 20 doubles, 6 triples, 12HR, and 22SB in 126 games.
The outfielder was asked to repeat Advanced-A in 2019. I expected more but in 34 games, Demi is batting just .197 with 4 doubles and a 11/44 BB/K ratio. Orimoloye is batting .200 over his last 10 games but he’s not walked and struck out 11 times, including a 3K game.
The power-hitting 23-yr-old 1st/RF was acquired from the Colorado Rockies along with Forrest Wall for Seunghwan Oh, hit 27 home runs in 123 games between A-Ball and Advanced-A in 2018. He finished with a combined batting average of .298 with 22 doubles, 4 triples, and 90 RBI with a .538 slugging percentage.
After just 22 games at Advanced-A, Spanberger was assigned to Double-A to begin the 2019 season. Through 39 games, Spanberger has just 4 HR and owns a .126 ISO. He’s hit two long balls in the past 5 games and he’s batting .256 over his last 10 games but is still batting just .199 with .267wOBA and 69wRC+.
In my opinion, the performance of Kevin Smith ranks as the biggest disappointment in 2019. Smith split 2018 between Lansing and Dunedin, soaring up the Blue Jays top prospect list. In 129 games, the 22-yr-old batted .302 with 31 doubles, 6 triples, and 25 home runs while also stealing 29 bases.
Despite striking out 23.7% and walking just 6.2% in 83 games with the D-Jays, Kevin Smith was assigned to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats roster in 2019. In 37 games, Smith continues to put up high strikeouts (26.8K%). He’s been unable to make consistent contact off Eastern League pitching batting just .174 with a .299 slugging percentage, .129 ISO, and a .211BABIP. Smith has collected just 6 doubles and 4 home runs while stealing 4 bases. The former 4th rounder is batting .216 over his last 10 games to push his batting average up from .153.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include at least one pitcher. Sean Wymer gets included because I had high expectations for him in 2019. A 4th round selection in 2018 who was considered to have an advanced feel for pitching for an A-Ball pitcher, Wymer has not done well as a member of the Lugnuts rotation….at all.
The 22-yr-old righty allowed 1 run on 7 hits over 6 innings in his 2019 debut. Since then, Wymer has allowed, 4, 3, 5, 6, 5, 2, 9, and 6 earned runs for a 8.79ERA. Prior to Wednesday’s start, Sean Wymer owned a 4.07FIP and 4.65xFIP suggesting he’s pitched better than his ERA would suggest. Opponents are batting .348 and he owns a 52.8LOB% to go along with a .397BABIP.
*Featured Image Credit: R.Mueller
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Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.