JFtC aren’t just about Top Prospects. We cover all the Blue Jays prospects. Keep an eye on these two 23-yrs-old outfielders
If you are a Top Prospect List enthusiast than you already know the likelihood you’ll come across Joshua Palacios and Rodrigo Orozco on any Blue Jays list. Their names won’t appear in any Top 20, Top 30, or Top 40. You would need to find an extensive Top 50 list and even then I still have found Orozco scribbled on any of them.
This pair of outfielders are not known for their ability to send the ball soaring into the night sky with Palacios posting a .126 ISO and Orozco posting a .085 ISO.
Making his rookie debut in the Blue Jays organization back in 2013, Orozco has shown he can get on base consistently. The 23-yr-old owns a career OBP of .372, eclipsing that mark with a .375 OBP in 112 games with Dunedin. He owns a career batting average of .283 which he also eclipsed in 2018 with a .304 mark. Unfortunately, Orozco has only hit 10 HR, 1 in 2018, in 399 minor league games. He has some speed, stealing 18 bases in 22 attempts in 2018 but only swiped 8 in 2017, 5 in 2016 and 2015.
The native of Panama shared the honors of Batting Champ with teammate Ivan Castillo in 2018. He finished third in the Florida State League with 88 hits while leading the league with a 26.6 LD%. In the chart below (MLBfarm.com) the purple-blue dots indicate line drive singles, the yellow dots are line drive doubles, and one black dot represents a line drive triple.
In the age of when players are selling out high K% for greater launch angles and exit velocities, Orozco continues to post near-identical BB% and K% year after year. In 2018, Orozco walked 9.4% and struck out 12.5% of the time. He finished with a 0.75 BB/K and a very good .352 BABIP.
The 5-foot-11 switch-hitter should be heading up a level to Double-A New Hampshire in 2019 where he will attempt to build off his .357 wOBA, 124 wRC+ numbers of a year ago. After posting a career low .320 wOBA in 2015, Orozco has seen his wOBA climb as he continues to climb through the ranks.
Orozco turns 24-yrs-old in April and will once again be Rule 5 eligible at the end of the 2019 season. It will take a lot for Rodrigo Orozco to push his way onto the 40-man roster in 2019. He would need a .300+ with 10HR 20SB season. If he isn’t added, he could Harold Ramirez.
The former 2016 4th rounder has quietly become one of the systems better hitters, batting .294 over the past three seasons. Palacios’ power game jumped in 2018. After going homer-less in 2016 (wrist injury) and hitting just 2 home runs in 2017 as a member of the A-Ball Lansing Lugnuts, Palacios cracked 2 home runs in April en route to a career-high 8.
Palacios’ home run to flyball ratio was an outstanding 9.9% considering his 60.8 GB% was the highest in the FSL and his 21.6 FB% was the lowest of those qualified. His 2.81 GB/FB was almost 1.00 higher than Jose Gomez (Phillies) who had the 2nd highest GB/FB rate at 1.94. That is a tonne of groundballs. Below you’ll see the results of all those groundballs.
Despite hitting a lot of groundballs, Palacios led the FSL with 148 hits and 78 RBI. He also finished 2nd with 30 doubles. The D-Jays leadoff man got on base a .357 clip, walking 8.4% and striking out 22.2%. His K% rate combined with a high GB% makes Palacios frustrating to watch at times and a tad streaky.
Palacios got a late-season call-up to Double-A New Hampshire and helped the Fisher Cats win the Eastern League Championship. In 3 postseason games, Palacios batted .333 in 9 at-bats with a pair of RBI, a walk, and a pair of strikeouts. Palacios will return to New Hampshire in 2019 where he will surely benefit from the short porch in LF.
In 2019, Palacios will look to continue his strong play extending his .300+ wOBA and 100+ wRC+ seasons to four. Palacios will be Rule 5 eligible for the first time at the end of the 2019 season.
These outfielders may not get Top Prospect attention or scream major leaguer. Heading into this season, they are just two steps away and could make some noise if they could turn some line drives into home runs or groundballs into flyball. What we can expect is, Palacios and Orozco will both be productive members the defending EL New Hampshire Fisher Cats come April.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of Ryan 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.