Jays From the Couch 2016 Blue Jays Top Prospects List continues with a look at the possible catcher of the future in the 8th spot.
Jays From the Couch kicked off its inaugural Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects List with a look at a handful of Honorable Mention prospects, which just missed the cut. You can check out the Honorable Mentions as well as the rest of the Top 15 HERE. We now continue our descent through the Top Ten with Toronto Blue Jays 8th ranked prospect, C Max Pentecost.
DOB March 10, 1993
It speaks volumes that the # of 2016 Oscar nominations for Mad Max: Fury Road (10) is infinitely greater than the number of games (0) that our “Mad” Max Pentecost played during the 2015 season. Unfortunately, Maxwell Pentecost has been riddled with shoulder problems since his selection as the 11th overall pick in the 2014 draft. Pentecost was the 2nd catcher drafted in 2014, following Kyle Schwarber. He went under the knife for a third time this past fall, and has played in just 25 combined low level minor league games shortly after being drafted. While the sample size is very small, his results during his brief minor league stint were encouraging and supported draft-related scouting reports on his skill set.
Pentecost has a prototypical build for a catcher and is an excellent athlete for the position. In fact, he hit 3 triples in just 87 plate appearances at Vancouver during his brief MiLB stint in 2014. Scouting reports heading into the 2014 draft pegged Pentecost as having a mature approach at the plate, as his K/BB rate improved significantly in all three of his years at Kennesaw State. Due to his shoulder issues, projecting Pentecost remains largely unchanged from his pre-draft status.
His ascension up the draft ranks commenced following his MVP stint in the Cape Cod League preceding his senior season. He then went on to slash .422/.482/.627 during his senior season, with 24 2B, 9 HR, and a 26/30 K/BB ratio. An interesting pre-draft scouting assessment of Pentecost can be viewed here – I think most Jays fans will be thrilled by his MLB comp!
Outlook for 2016:
In most respects, Max Pentecost enters the 2016 season as a first year professional. This will be his first healthy (hopefully!) spring training and first full professional season. Some scouts pegged Pentecost for a 2016 MLB debut when he was drafted, which is obviously unrealistic now given his injury setbacks. For context, his draft class peer, Mr. Schwarber, debuted in 69 games for the Cubs during the 2015 season, just over a year after being drafted.
Pentecost will surely be stunted some with his injury and time off, and his catching development may be further delayed if reports that he will temporarily shift his position are accurate. A solid year with at least 400+ combined plate appearances would be ideal, with the bulk being at Dunedin a success. New Hampshire? We can only hope Pentecost descends on The Granite State as if he were a US presidential candidate. With Russell Martin signed through 2019, Pentecost could still remain on track to be the Blue Jays’ catcher of the future.
*Featured Image Credit: Dave Nelson UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0