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

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!


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