2014 Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects: #22 Santiago Nessy

santiago nessy

Toronto Blue Jays catching prospect Santiago Nessy. Credit: MLB Prospect Portal

After the trade of Travis d’Arnaud and the cut ties with J.P. Arencibia, A.J. Jimenez has been appointed the in-house heir to the catching throne. Because of his placement in the system (at AAA) this is a fair assessment but by no means the long-term answer. Santiago Nessy has the talent and the tools to be the next great catcher in the Blue Jays system but given the track record of the Blue Jays developing top-tier catching talent, that definitely remains to be seen.

Name: Santiago Nessy
Position: Catcher
Date of Birth: 12/08/1992
Acquired: Signed as a 16-year-old Undrafted International Free Agent July 2, 2009 ($750,000 USD)
Home Town: La Victoria, Venezuela
College: N/A
Height/Weight: 6’2″/230 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R

Stats and Analysis

Year Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2010 DOSL 44 162 141 15 35 12 0 2 17 14 44 .248 .327 .376 .703
2011 GULF 35 144 134 12 41 7 0 3 19 8 29 .306 .347 .425 .773
2012 2 Lgs 51 203 182 30 43 9 0 9 26 16 54 .236 .305 .434 .739
2013 MIDW 61 242 224 23 54 15 0 5 23 13 59 .241 .293 .375 .668
4 Seasons 191 751 681 80 173 43 0 19 85 51 186 .254 .314 .401 .715
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.
Year Lg G CG Ch PO A E Fld% PB SB CS CS%
2010 DOSL C 31 228 196 29 3 .987 10 43 14 25%
2011 GULF C 35 304 266 28 10 .967 8 58 14 19%
2012 2 Lgs C 44 334 285 37 12 .964 7 39 21 35%
2013 MIDW C 54 451 398 46 7 .984 18 55 18 25%
4 Seasons 171 1317 1145 140 32 .976 43 195 67 26%
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2013.

The Blue Jays assigned Nessy to the Dominican Summer League in 2010 where he hit a respectable .248 and a decent OPS of .703. His next move for 2011 was with Gulf Coast League Blue Jays where he hit a robust .304 and continued to show some plus power potential with a .773 OPS and only 29 strikeouts in 134 at bats. His receiving skills started to develop more and he cut down his passed ball rate but his arm needed some work after throwing out only 19% of potential base stealers. It was enough of a progression that he was assigned to rookie ball in Bluefield of the Appalachian League.

His batting average dipped to .256 but he began to show more power and discipline at the plate with a .776 OPS. Now we started to see what true potential this kid had. He was rewarded for a decent season with a promotion to Vancouver late in the season. He only had 22 at-bats and hit all of .091 but to be part of a championship team in Vancouver was an intangible that could reward itself down the line. Off of this good season he started to move up the organizational depth chart and started to catch the eye of more scouts and front office staff alike. So much so that he was promoted to full season Single-A Lansing for the 2013 season.

2013 started off pretty well for Nessy but three weeks into his season he suffered a concussion that kept him out until mid June. Defense that scouts were raving about after his work with catching guru Sal Fasano started to slip. The raw power he possessed was there but Nessy hadn’t taken that next step forward where he was driving the ball consistently with authority. He was left unprotected for the Rule 5 draft and there were no takers. It was perhaps surprising given his raw ability but was maybe evident of how far Nessy still has to go to become a regular on a MLB team 40 man roster.

Scouting Report and Outlook

Video Credit: MLB Prospect Portal

With his size and ability to be coached there is a chance Nessy could be pushing for a big league job in 2016. He must prove that he is over the concussion he got this past year and it is essential that he take that next step forward and increase his walk rate, reduce his strikeout rate (which stands about 3:1 lifetime) and bring that raw power consistently into each game. The minors are riddled with journeyman type catchers and unless Nessy is able to put it all together for a full season he may be one of those. A guy with potential never fully realized. There is definitely a spot for a catcher of the future with Dioner Navarro signed for only 2 years. We may see Nessy moved up to Class A-Advanced Dunedin to start the year or he may repeat again in Lansing. Will he make strides at the plate in 2014? Next year will be an important season for Nessy to prove he has what it takes to be our next home-grown catcher.

Topics: 2014 Top Prospects, Santiago Nessy, Toronto Blue Jays

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  • JaysHopeful

    A young guy who has only once in four years in the minors hit .300 and thrown out +30% of base-stealers seems a concern if he’s plying in the show in two seasons. I’m not saying the Jays won’t do it, I think they shouldn’t. Sure he’s got power and maybe he’s a good glove guy, but he’s just 21 at a skill position.

    If he reminds us of JP, then he should remind us of a guy who wasn’t ready for the majors. His glove wasn’t there, and he hadn’t proven that he could consistently hit for average and take a walk in the minors. Remember that Cito knew it in 2010. Instead a guy with a lot of potential but without the skills and discipline failed to succeed in the majors and we lost him early.

    Beware the hype Nessy! Hit .300 and throw out +30% a year for the next 3 years. 24 is a great age to be a rookie, and the major aren’t going anywhere.