Blue Jays Prospect Spotlight: Ryan McBroom

As the Blue Jays 15th round selection in the 2014 Amateur Draft (444th overall), Ryan McBroom started his professional career with bang, batting a solid .297 BA, 11 HR, and 59 RBI in 70 games as a member of the Vancouver Canadians.

I’ll admit that I had some doubts. I feel he possessed the ability to replicate his Vancouver success once faced with older competition, since he was nearly a year older than the average age in the Northwest League. I have been proven wrong thus far. Despite my doubts, it was still surprising that the Blue Jays would not be more aggressive with him and have him start the year in Low-A Lansing rather than in Advanced-A Dunedin.


As a key cog of a prolific Lansing Lugnuts lineup, Ryan McBroom has split time at 1st base and designated hitter with Rowdy Tellez in the early goings, before the later was promoted to Dunedin. The 6’3″ 230 lb first baseman, who bats right but throws left (random fact), has collected 130 hits for a .324 BA (2nd), 10 HR(T-5th), 76 RBI (2nd), and 36 doubles (1st); however, I still can’t get over the fact that he’s still competing against competition 1.6 years his junior.

After hitting .416 in June, I thought for sure that a promotion was in the cards, and since he wasn’t, it caused me to ask myself 2 questions:

I looked at his numbers…they all looked good. He hits LHP (.299 with 5 dingers) just as well as RHP (.323 with 5 dingers). He doesn’t strike out too much and walks enough 0.53 BB/K. His numbers haven’t been inflated by a big month. He has banged out 32 multi-hit games and has a decent .170 ISO.

This peaked my interest, so I started watching him more closely. I went back and watched any Lugnuts games that I could on MiLB.tv. This is what I feel is holding him back, but I might be too picky here:

  • He has average power for a 23-year-old in Low-A
  • His glove and defense are average at best
  • His swing can get long and will likely hold him back as he advances and faces better competition.

That’s all I’ve got. It is possible that he can improve his work around 1st, which he has but he still has some awkward movement over there. With some tinkering he could improve his swing; however, it will be his power that will likely hold him back. On the other hand, maybe it is just a matter of leaving him at a level where he can have success and become a leader. He is a surefire winner of the R. Howard Webster Award for the Lugnuts if he stays.

“My power is a work in progress. I am figuring myself out as a player and hitting for power is becoming my identity as a professional,” explained McBroom. “I understand that first basemen are expected to be power hitters and I’m taking the concept to heart of turning into a guy that produces runs by hitting homers. I am more than excited to put in the work to do just that.”(Brian Crawford- full article)

His teammates will have a guy that won the home run derby at this year All-Star game. Also, he recently won the POW for the Lugnuts.

Projections
The product of West Virginia has got his work cut out for him. He will need to leapfrog Rowdy Tellez and Matt Dean on the depth charts. Going into 2015, it was important for McBroom to dominate Low-A ball, which he did, and move quickly to Hi-A ball, which he didn’t. This leads me to believe the Jays minor league instructors see something that is worth holding him back.

With his numbers over the past two season, I’d like to say that Ryan’s chances of cracking this off-season’s Top 20 List of Blue Jays prospects are very good; however, I think that he will get overlooked until he produces in Double-A New Hampshire.

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