Matt Boyd throws a pitch for the Lansing Lugnuts against the Great Lakes Loons on August 10, 2013 in Midland, Michigan. Mandatory Credit: Jay Blue
Here we are at the beginning of May. We thought it would be a good chance to take a look at how the members of our 2014 Blue Jays Top Prospects have performed thus far in 2014. A lot has happened since we gave you the list of the Blue Jays Top 30 Prospects. Matt Boyd lit up the Florida State League and earned a promotion to New Hampshire (AA) (check out Jays Journal’s interview with him HERE), Dalton Pompey is raking in Dunedin (Jays Journal also gave you an interview for Pompey- check it out HERE), Aaron Sanchez is off to a nice start for New Hampshire and Marcus Stroman just earned a promotion to the big league club. There is a lot to be positive about within the Blue Jays minor league system.
Our updates will provide you with insight into how the top players are progressing through the Blue Jays organization. We begin our Top 30 Prospects Updates with a look at how the “Honorable Mentions” group is performing. Here we go:
Name: Anthony Alford
Top Prospect Rank: Honorable Mentions.
2014 Stats– N/A It was thought that Alford might start the year with the Lansing Lugnuts (A). That has not been the case. As a result, he has yet to begin the ‘official’ season with the Gulf Coast Blue Jays. In July of last year, though he was sent to Lansing, so perhaps a strong showing in the GCL could prompt a quick move. Here’s a refresher of the kind of numbers he put up last season.
Given that Alford seems to prefer football to baseball, his progression is difficult to predict. Can he develop quickly and well enough in a short amount of time. Yes, he’s 19, but baseball takes more than just raw talent.
Name: Emilio Guerrero
Top Prospect Rank: Honorable Mentions
Guerrero is on, what appears to be, a very stacked Dunedin Blue Jays team. At 21-8, the Baby Jays are rolling over the competition and making it look easy. Guerrero is chipping in at the plate. After last year, where he rose through the low levels of the minors, Guerrero is having a good season. He’s not lighting it up down in Dunedin, but he is holding his own. He will need to increase his walk total, thus OPS, if he is going to make some noise. His K/PA ratio is quite good, though, striking out just 17% of the time. He should use that good eye to work a few more walks. Guerrero has played 3 games at 3B and 20 at SS where he made 6(!) errors. There is lots of room for improvement if he is going to break the Top 30.
Name: Kenny Wilson
Top Prospect Rank: Honorable Mentions
When the Blue Jays claimed Darin Mastroianni from the Minnesota Twins in late April, they designated Kenny Wilson for assignment, thus exposing him to waivers. The Twins claimed him. So, essentially, the two teams traded outfielders. Considering the offensive output of Wilson thus far, it would appear the Blue Jays got the better end of that deal. They Jays picked up a AAA player who is hitting .311 so far this year. Wilson has reported to the Twins AA affiliate in New Britain.
Dawson focuses pre-game (image courtesy of Charlie Caskey)
Well, don’t look too closely! In Lansing, Dawson has not had much success. In 1.2 innings, he has given up 5 walks! Obviously this is a SMALL sample, but this lack in control is going to hurt the 20 year old Canadian’s ability to move to the next level. While he has done well over his previous stops in Bluefield and Vancouver, he’ll have to show some more command if he is going to move up.
As another member of the Dunedin Blue Jays team that is taking over the GCL, Hobson is driving in runs at a pace of 1 per game. He has more walks (14) than strikeouts (12). Yet, the 23 year old is not exactly tearing up pitching. His .218 average is nowhere near performing at a level that might garner a serious look at a promotion. 23 years old and High A? Hmmmm……..He’s got some work to do.
Matt Boyd pitching from the windup. Mandatory credit: Jay Blue
Name: Matt Boyd
Top Prospects Rank: Honorable Mentions
Boyd has been BY FAR the better performer of this group. He had only given up one run in 5 starts for that talented Dunedin squad. He was quickly promoted to New Hampshire where he met his first rough outing. He only went 4 innings giving up 5 hits and 2 runs. His success in the early going of 2014 have not only put him on the map (organizationally speaking), but has also substantially raised his stock. If he can continue his success throughout the season, the Blue Jays may have something special in this 23 year old.