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Top 50 Blue Jays Prospects, Jays Journal Edition: #49 John Tolisano

#49: John L. Tolisano

22 years old / 5′11″ 190 lbs

Born: October 7th, 1988 in Estero, Florida

Bats: Switch   Throws: Right

High School Team: Estero H.S.

College: N/A

Drafted: By the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2nd round (85th overall) in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft

Jersey Number #33 for the Dunedin Blue Jays (HiA) in 2010

Quick Facts:

  • Rawlings 1st team All-American in 2007 on Florida’s All Region team
  • 2007 quote after he signed with the Jays: “I had a full-ride [scholarship] to play at the University of Florida, but I wanted to play pro ball all along”
  • Aflac high school All American in 2006
  • In addition to going to Estero High School, Tolisano was home-schooled
  • You can follow him on Twitter: @JohnnyTolisano
  • His favorite baseball player is Alex Rodriguez unfortunately
Yr Age Lg G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG
07 18 GCL 49 183 35 45 5 0 10 33 26 40 .246 .336 .437
08 19 A 120 432 64 99 20 8 6 47 56 110 .229 .315 .354
09 20 HiA 106 401 53 93 19 2 12 58 44 78 .232 .305 .379
10 21 HiA 61 218 39 55 12 3 5 21 29 65 .252 .337 .404

Dunedin Stats Ranking for John Tolisano :

  • Tied for 2nd on the team in triples
  • Finished 4th in walks, including more than teammate Mike McDade in less than 1/2 the games
  • His .741 OPS was 5th-best on the team
  • Was 11th or higher on the team in home runs, doubles, hits, and SLG

Extra Information and previous experience:

  • 2006 high school statistics can be found here. (610 avg, .708 OBP, 1.110 SLG in 30 games)

A shortstop and part-time third basemen in high school, Tolisano was drafted by the Jays as a second baseman. He opted to jump right into professional ball instead of playing ball at the University of Florida.

Tolisano has excellent plate presence, quick hands, and is better from the left side of the plate. He knows what he wants to do when he comes to the plate, and uses the whole field fairly well with his developing power.

In 2007, before he was drafted and signed by the Blue Jays, Tolisano drew some criticism for the amount of muscle he added to his frame. While it definitely helped his ability to hit for power, it apparently took away some of his speed on the base paths. Some scouts even felt that he hit the weights too hard and was maxing out his frame (which drew physical comparisons to Randy Velarde); possibly eliminating any room for growth potential.

Tolisano reported to the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays right after he signed, where he led the team in runs, walks, home runs, and RBI that season. He ended up being ranked as the #5 prospect in all of the Gulf Coast League in September 2007, and drew praise for his fluid swing for the left-side and improvements defensively. His strong showing in the Gulf Coast League earned him a promotion and he started out the 2008 season with Class-A Lansing.

Before the 2008 season began, Tolisano was ranked as the Jays’ 7th best prospect. His season that year with the Lugnuts wasn’t exactly memorable and although he led them in triples that season and finished 2nd in runs, his slash line dipped from the year before. Questions were asked about his defensive abilities at second base, considering he had made the most errors out of any Jays prospect from 2007-2008 (40). Nevertheless, Tolisano got a promotion and started 2009 with HiA Dunedin, where he switched to being a third baseman.

Tolisano didn’t exactly have a 2009 campaign to remember, so he repeated the level in 2010. The move paid off, because he showed his trademark patience at the plate, and was even named the Florida State League’s Player of the Week from June 7-13. When Tolisano received the award, he was leading the team with a .301 average and .857 OPS.

Tolisano also improved defensively, bringing his errors down from 21 in 2009 to 13 in 2010. He played second base, third base, and right field this past season with Dunedin.

Having just turned 22, Tolisano can afford to take some extra time in the Minors to figure things out, but this season will no doubt be pivotal in his development up the ladder of the Jays’ Minor League system.

Just a nice guy overall with a great work ethic, look for Tolisano to put in extra offseason work to do whatever he can to make an appearance at Double-A New Hampshire in 2011.

Expected 2011 Team: HiA Dunedin

Ultimate ceiling if he puts it all together: Utility infielder

Tolisano makes this list as our #49 prospect and he is still relatively young and plays a position that the Jays are lacking players at right now.

I touched on him back in November when I was doing an update on Jays prospects in spring training, and he definitely did not slow down in the Arizona Fall League since then. In 18 games total between three different stints in the AFL this year, Tolisano raked a .409/.541/.639 slash line to go along with 3 HR and 23 RBI. Hopefully he can carry that success into the 2011 season.

Check back soon as Mat will be unveiling #48 on our countdown!

-JM

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Tags: Dunedin Blue Jays (AA) John Tolisano Toronto Blue Jays

  • Mylegacy

    When we got him I remember hearing he had some pop. I agree this is his year – if he’s to have one. I have me doubts.

  • http://jaysjournal.com Mat Germain

    Great write up Jared! I always pull for Tolisano since he was taken in the midst of bad draft years and did notice an improvement in his play when he moved to 3B. Still, I entirely agree with you that I can’t honestly expect him to become a full time player in The Show and that a utility role fits hiis strengths a who lot more versatily and some pop off the bench against RHP.

  • Tim

    Be careful on singing the praises of Tolisano’s defence. In 2009 he had 21 errors in 105 games in the field. He improved his 2010 number to 13 errors in just 55 games in the field. At his 2010 rate, if he plays 130 games in a season, he will have in excess of 30 errors. Nothing to write home about. And it looks like he strikes out twice as much as he walks. To his credit, I’ve seen him play in Dunedin and he did have some pepper at the plate in 2010.

  • http://jaysjournal.com Mat Germain

    Thanks for the comment Tim, and your point does have some validity.

    In John’s defense, hwever, he played 5 different positions in 2010, including a move to 3B that had to be tough for a guy who had only seen the right side of the infield to that point. The fact that 10 of his 13 errors came while he manned 3B is therefore not surprising and something he should improve on in 2011 as he gets familiar with the position.

    If we view John as a utility player, he has a perfect fielding percentage over his 16 games in the OF, a .951 career fielding percentage at 2B with over 1304 chances at the position, and now has experience at 3B. I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to say that for the most part, John plays sound D.

    Of course, that’s just our take on it. Everyone has different takes on what’s an acceptable level of D skills for a utility player to have.

  • http://www.jayjournal.com Jared Macdonald

    Tim, agreed Tolisano’s defence is definitely not breathtaking. He has led his team every year in errors except for 2008 when he finished 3rd behind Kevin Ahrens and Justin Jackson in Lansing (he tied for the lead in 2010 at Hi-A).

    As I stated above, 2011 will be pivotal in his development though, and it really should be interesting to see if he can show off some pop at either side of the plate next year.

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