Jays From the Couch explores the outlook for our No. 7 Blue Jays Prospect, Sean Reid-Foley
It’s that time of year again! We’re counting down our Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects for 2019. We’ve selected our Top 20 and will be profiling each one. You are bound to find many of these lists in your travels, which makes for great conversation. The basis for rankings varies even more than the number of lists you’ll find. Some prefer to look at how close to “big league ready” a prospect is, while others look at “stuff” or “tools”. To construct our list, we have scoured over scouting reports, numbers and a lot more to finalize our 2019 Top Prospects list. Feel free to weigh in on each selection in the comment section! It’s part of the fun!
As we climb higher up the board of Blue Jays top prospects, we become more familiar with the players. Today’s No. 7 prospect, Sean Reid-Foley, is one I’ve been following closely in his five years as a Blue Jays farmhand, and one that Blue Jays fans were introduced to in the summer of 2018 when he made his seven-start debut.
Reid-Foley, a second-round pick from 2014, stands 6’3″ and comes in at a solid 220 lbs. He features a standard mix of fastball (92-96), slider, curve and change-up, with the curve and fastball having the makings of plus pitches. The slider and change-up have a way to go, and his success hinges on the location of his fastball, which he can use up in the zone to over power hitters, or leave out over the plate for easy crushing.
Reid-Foley’s debut was up-and-down, and at the end of a smoldering 2018 he had posted a 5.13 ERA in the MLB across 33 1/3 innings after just a 3.90 ERA in 85 1/3 innings at Triple-A Buffalo. Much of SRF’s issues came down to control, as he walked 5.7/9 at baseball’s highest level, which was way up from his 3.2/9 in Triple-A. Keep in mind that this was a huge jump for a 23-year old to make, but the walks numbers are still concerning.
So Reid-Foley struggled in his MLB debut in 2018. This has been standard for his progression, stumbling upon reaching a new level before adjusting. This bears for his 2018 performance as well, as after he was blown up by Cleveland on September 8th for six earned runs over 4 2/3 innings, he went on finish the season with just three earned runs over this last three starts, spanning 12 1/3 IP.
Projections for Reid-Foley in 2019 aren’t entirely optimistic, as is standard with pitchers who have command-control issues. Most projections have him with a mid-4.00 ERA, a good K/9 around 8.5-9, but a poor walk rate at around 4.00/9.
It turns out the Blue Jays might be viewing him the same way. With the club adding Matt Shoemaker and Clayton Richard to the rotation for 2019, it’s likely that Reid-Foley will start the season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. There, he can work on his command issues and polish his secondary offerings, in hopes of returning to the roster later in 2019 as a more well-rounded and matured pitcher.
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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.