There is no doubt Toronto’s farm system is loaded with high ceiling arms; however, the same can’t be said about the crop of position players. With the amateur draft behind us I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at some of the outfielder options the Jays have, or might have, at the upper level of their system that may be called on to contribute in 2015.
Alex Anthopoulos has a tough decision to make in the off-season with respect to the future of the Toronto Blue Jays outfield. Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera are both set to become free agents and I don’t think that both will be re-signed, but I am hopeful. Moving forward Jose Bautista, Kevin Pillar and Anthony Gose are under contract for next year and should be with the Blue Jays for the foreseeable future. I don’t see many starting pitchers shaking in their booties at the sight of Pillar and Gose. I know it sounds like I’m bashing Gose and Pillar, but I don’t see either as future All-Star outfielders like Jose Bautista and Melky Cabrera have been and Colby Rasmus could be…maybe
Let’s make a couple of assumption: first, all players on the minor league roster will be back with Toronto’s minor league system in 2015; secondly, the Blue Jays will make no trades or free agent signings to fill a potential hole in the outfield in the offseason or at the trade deadline; third, one of Pillar or Gose will be the starting LF/CF for the Jays next season in place of either Rasmus or Cabrera or at the very least be the teams 4th outfielder.
So which minor league outfielder currently playing on the Buffalo Bisons, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, or Dunedin Blue Jays has what it takes to head up the next wave of outfielders to come through the Jays farm system. In this edition I am going to highlight the current outfielders patrolling the Bisons outfield.
The Bisons currently have a solid veteran presence in the outfield in Darin Mastroianni (28), and Brett Carroll (31). They have two potential late bloomers in Kenny Wilson (24) and Brad Glenn (27). Mastroianni and Glenn have been doing very well in AAA.
Mastroianni- A prototypical 4th outfielder who can hit some, might run into a pitch from time to time, can steal a base, and is a solid defender.
Glenn- Doesn’t hit for enough power for an everyday corner outfielder, but doesn’t have enough range to play in CF. Glenn has been impressive since his promotion to Buffalo. He has hit .414/.452/.586 with a home run, and 11 RBI in 16 games….too small a sample size to make any definitive conclusions on Glenn’s future with the Blue Jays organization.
Kenny Wilson– A speedster with good defense, he has the ability to become an impact player in the major leagues, but just can’t make enough contact. Wilson has struggled with the same facets of the game that have caused Anthony Gose to bounce between Toronto and Buffalo over the years. There is very little doubt that Wilson will eventually get a cup of coffee as a 4th outfield one day, but will it be with the Jays?
Brett Carroll isn’t even close to being a viable option, so I am not even going to spend the time there.
Which of these players do you think could be a regular contributor or a 4th outfielder in 2015? The problem that I have with this crop of outfielders is that they all remind me of Kevin Pillar and Anthony Gose. None of these guys will hit for a high average or hit many home runs. At the end of the day all these guys could play an important role in the Blue Jays future but the Jays can’t win with all of them on the team at the same time.
In the next edition, I will look options currently with the Toronto Blue Jays Double-A affiliate New Hampshire Fisher Cats.