The Blue Jays middle infield depth allows for a patient approach when a prospect struggles, like Logan Warmoth did in 2018.
“Logan is a very polished player all around, His greatest strength is probably his hitting ability but really his strength is having that all-around game. He’s a solid defender at shortstop and we’re excited about what he’ll do.”
At the time, Warmoth was ranked as one of the Blue Jays top 10 prospects. The talented infielder was expected to head the next wave of infielders entering the Blue Jays upper minor levels. The hope was the former Tar Heel would post something close to his 2017 Vancouver numbers (.306 BA, 112 B, 2 3B, 1 HR). Instead, Logan Warmoth hit a speed bump in 2018…..hard.
The 23-yr-old struggled with the Blue Jays Advanced-A affiliate Dunedin Blue Jays, spending time on the disabled list as well as not producing when wealthy. Unfortunately, these lists can be fickle as his ‘stock’ plummeted all the way down to the 20s on many lists.
For those of you who know me, you already know how much stock I put in ‘Top Prospect lists’, which is to say I think they aren’t worth poo. Not all prospects follow the same linear timeline in their development; therefore, struggles should be anticipated when building these bloody lists.
Logan Warmoth is not the first 1st rounder in the history of baseball to struggle in his first full season nor will he be the last. Several things have happened last season and in the offseason, which in my opinion, will aid in Warmoth’s development.
First, Kevin Smith had a breakout season with Lansing and Dunedin in 2018.
Third, the addition of Freddy Galvis to the major league roster on a one year deal (plus an option).
You might be asking yourself how two prospects, who play the same position as Warmoth, having solid 2018 seasons could possibly benefit his development?
Easy, it takes the pressure off the Blue Jays to move him up a level which has the potential to further compound his struggles. Without Kevin Smith‘s breakout season or the addition of Santiago Espinal, the Blue Jays might have rushed Warmoth up a level to take over the Fisher Cats vacancy at shortstop left by Bo Bichette.
The addition of Galvis allows the Blue Jays to slow the development of all middle infielders in the system. This includes infielders like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Richard Urena who have already reached the major leagues, as well as high and low minor league infielders such as Bo Bichette and Leonardo Jimenez. Other than repeating Triple-A, repeating a level is never ideal but not being rushed is huge when developing prospects.
When Alex Anthopoulos ran the Blue Jays, the system was criticized for its inability to develop prospects. The current FO, like them or not, has repeatedly stated they are invested in the development of their prospects by not rushing them through the ranks.
I painted a picture of Warmoth being able to take his time developing. I painted a picture where Warmoth could treat a 3-for-30 stretch nonchalantly. That isn’t the case. As a 1st rounder, Warmoth does have a longer leash than most; however, the strength of Toronto’s system is at the middle infield position, therefore, there are several prospects a level or two behind him who could make things very uncomfortable if Warmoth can’t conquer Florida State League pitching. Guys like Kevin Vicuna and Yeltsin Gudino or newly acquired Ronny Brito as well as 2nd basemen Samad Taylor and Otto Lopez.
Fans of the Blue Jays minor league system, be patient with Logan Warmoth. After all, he batted .359 over his final 10 games and finished the season going 4-for-5 with 2 RBI and 3 stolen bases and 3-for-4 with 3 RBI September. Baseball is a game of adjustments, here is hoping Logan has made the necessary adjustments.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe images
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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.