2015 Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects: #19 Matthew Dean
It’s that time of year, where the team here at Jays Journal once again discusses the Top 20 prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays system. This year, we took a mixed approach to our rankings. Not only did we take a ranking from each member of our writing staff, but we also figured in the rankings from other publications as well, including MLB.com, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and Minor League Ball.
Basically, we wanted to create the most all-inclusive Blue Jays prospect ranking out there.
Kyle Franzoni got the ball rolling with our #20 selection– A.J. Jimenez.
Here is our #19 selection:
Name: Matthew Dean
Date of Birth: 22/12/1992 (22)
Acquired: 13th round of 2011 draft
High School: The Colony HS (The Colony, TX)
Height/Weight: 6’3″/215 lbs
Awards and Accomplishments:
- Previously ranked #16 on Jays Journal 2014 Top Prospects List
- 2014 Mid-Season All Star with the Lansing Lugnuts
- 2013 Post-season All Star with the Bluefield Blue Jays
Stats & Analysis:
After a bit of a rough 2012 season, the Blue Jays organization decided that Dean would need another year in Rookie ball. He put up a solid 2013 season that saw him moved up to Lansing. And, in 113 games in 2014 he had another good season. He was helped out by a first half that saw him hit .319/.365/.456 with 25 RBI. He had collected 50 strike outs in 47 games to start the season.
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Unfortunately, he could not maintain this performance and his numbers dropped off in the second half. In 66 games, he hit .256/.309/.410 and struck out another 67 times. The concern comes from the fact that in total he had 117 Ks to just 27 walks all season.
Dean spent most of his time in the middle of the order for Lansing, but seemed to have excelled when the pressure of the 3/4 spot was removed. In the 5th spot, he hit .333 and .300 in the 6th hole. His lefty-righty splits were fairly close with .307 against southpaws and .275 versus same handed pitching.
Defensively, Dean only saw 16 games at the hot corner. In those 16 games, he committed 3 errors. Meanwhile at 1B, he was credited with 11 miscues in 603 chances.
Outlook & ETA:
It is difficult to predict the outlook for Matt Dean. At one time, he was thought to provide a good glove at 3rd while making good contact at the plate with some power. That seems to be in question now. The switch to 1st base and the number of errors suggest that the glove is not working out as well as the organization had hoped. Having said that, there is nothing to suggest that Dean cannot rebound and adjust. In fact, his range factor (RF/G) 9.25 suggests that he should be just fine at 1B.
Offensively, the 29 doubles, 5 triples and 9 HR from last season are impressive. His OBP of .332 is encouraging. The only question is whether others ahead of him in Dunedin like Mitch Nay and L.B. Dantzler will see movement. At 22 years old, we should be seeing a progression in his development. He has the tools to be a valuable commodity. With a strong 2014, we can expect Dean to at the very least start the 2015 season in Lansing with an eye toward Dunedin. After that, there are a number of corner infielders ahead of him upon whom his future may depend.