There are prospects in the Jays system that deserve coverage even though they didn’t make our top 50 list pre-2011. Most of these players are players that we foresee as possibly making the top 50 list in either mid-2011 or 2012. We continue the 25 extra prospect profiles with two young smallish switch-hitting talents who still have some promise…
Out of the Top 50 Jays Prospects: Kenny Wilson
Center Fielder / 21 years old / 5’11” 185 lbs
Born: Jan 30th 1990 in Tampa Florida
Bats: Switch-hitter Throws: Right
Drafted: by the Jays in the 2nd rd, 68th overall, of the 2008 draft
Signed: for $644,000
- Wilson has gap hitting ability, but is below-average power wise.
- He was committed to Florida State before signing with the Jays and was considered a tough sign.
- Defensively, Wilson is well above-average.
Jersey: Wears #15 for the Dunedin Blue Jays
Kenny was taking way too high in the 2008 draft, no question about it. Still, he was also very young and raw when he was taken, so there’s still a chance that he’ll break through at some point and show enough potential to become a viable 4th outfielder at some point. Having never hit above .216 at this point in his career, however, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it to happen.
The potential for Kenny lies in the fact that at some point, somebody has to tell him to pick a side at the plate. If he does that, he’ll be able to hit for better average (he hit a lowly .048 against lefties in HiA) and could then use his speed – his best tool – to his advantage on the base paths. Despite a low OBP, Kenny was able to steal 40 bases in 2010, so imagine what he could do if he got on base more regularly.
Strike out are also a problem for him, as he struck out30% of the time in 2010. I would point out that his strike out rate did go down after being promoted to HiA (25%), indicating that Kenny could have turned the corner and could be figuring some things out at the plate. If he can learn to hit and strike out less often, Kenny could keep progressing. However, it’s more likely that players such as Jacob Marisnick and others will leap-frog him and that he’ll remain in the lower end of the minors or will become a career minor-league outfielder.
With hopes that he can turn it around in 2011 and finally show some of his potential – other than stealing bases – we included him in our out of the top 50 list. But, we do put the chances of his making the top 50 any time soon at a very low percentage.
Expected 2011 Team: HiA Dunedin
Top 50 Range if he makes the list in 2012: #45-50
Chances of making it into the Top 50 in 2012: 30%
Out of the Top 50 Jays Prospects: Oliver Rafael Dominguez
Infielder / 21 years old / 5’9″ 156 lbs
Born: April 23rd, 1989 in Higuey Dominican Republic
Bats: Switch-Hitter Throws: Right
Signed:as a non-drafted free agent in April of 2006
- Has played 174 games at 2B, 21 games at SS, and 8 game at 3B over his 3 seasons in the minors.
- His surprising amount of extra base hits in 2010, 8% of his ABs and close to one third of his hits at 32%.
- One very interesting stat about Dominguez is that his line was .293/.414/.448 when hitting with the bases empty. That makes him a pretty attractive lead off option.
Jersey: #7 for the Lansing Lugnuts
If there’s one prospect within the Jays system that I could see surprising even his most ardent fans, it’s Dominguez. He has developed himself enough to prove that he can hit and get on base, and that he has a surprising amount of power for such a small-framed player. He has learned how to steal bases more effectively as he has gained confidence. While his average wasn’t that great in 2010, his .383 OBP in Lansing was outstanding and proved that he’s ready to take the next step.
His defensive abilities are best used at 2B/SS since he struggled during his short time at 3B (.838 flg% in 8 games).
If Oliver really wants to make it to The Show, it’s important that he continues to get on base at a great clip and that he increases his versatility on the field. If he can prove that he can play 2B-SS-3B effectively at the highest levels, he could earn himself a utility role on a big league club. The biggest reason I believe he can make it that far is that he was able to hit .301/.440/.493 versus RHP in LoA. Most teams will be patient in getting their players used to and more effective in hitting LHP.
While he did get a couple of games in AA last season, he’s more likely to see most of his 2011 action in Dunedin and will be 22 years old for most of the season. I’m pulling for him to continue to progress in the minors, but do temper my expectations of him quite a bit. His time in AA will tell us whether or not his bat is good enough to take him to The Show, and we could see him at that level in late 2011.
Expected 2011 Team: HiA Dunedin
Top 50 Range if he makes the list in 2012: #40-50
Chances of making it into the Top 50 in 2012: 60%