Toronto Blue Jays 2015 Top Prospect Wrap Up: Justin Maese


The Toronto Blue Jays 3rd round selection of Justin Maese in the 2015 draft went over with very little fan fare, which mostly rained down on Jon Harris taken in the 1st round. The right-hander out of Ysleta High School may not have the upside that Harris possesses, but you wouldn’t know it from his 2015 numbers.

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After signing for 300K, the 18-year-old Texan was assigned to the Blue Jays Gulf Coast League team, appearing in 8 games making 4 starts. He used an impressive mid-90’s fastball and mid-80’s slider mix to strike out 19 and showed excellent command by walking only 6 batters.

Maese helped the GCL Blue Jays to the playoffs with a 39-19 record, the second best record in the GCL.  Justin led the GCL Blue Jays in wins, finishing the year with a perfect 5-0 record, generating a 1.01 ERA, holding batters to a .234 average but striking out only 4.79 batters/9.

Maese generated a large amount of groundballs (2.58 GO/AO), which you can see in the spray chart below (generated from

Mandatory Credit:

Having never seen the 6’3″ RHP from El Paso pitch live, I can only presume from the large cluster of groundball outs (purple dots) that Maese has excellent sink to his fastball and slider, which many scouting reports have called more of a slurve than a slider.

Justin allowed almost a hit per inning (8.1H/9) with 32 hits in 35.2IP, but limited the damage by doing an excellent job of retiring those base runners with an outstanding 86.8 LOB%. His 1.07 WHIP was helped by only walking 1.51 batters/9.

Left-handed bats (.273BA) had more luck against Maese than right-handed bats (.218). He improved in his second month, holding batters to a .184 BA in August after allowing batters to hit .316 off him in July.

In his only playoff start against the GCL Tigers, a 7-1 Blue Jays win, Justin Maese dominated in the 6.0IP outing. Justin allowed one run on 4 hits, while walking one and striking out 10 batters. His previous high in strike outs came when he struck out 4 on August 5th and again on the 18th.

2016 Projections Pipeline has Justin Maese as the Toronto Blue Jays 15th ranked prospect in the the system and 6th best arm. Maese should by-pass Bluefield and should find himself anchoring a Vancouver Canadians starting 5 with Juliandry Higuera, Taylor Saucedo, Dalton Rodriguez, and possibly Travis Bergen. His ability to control his secondary pitches will decide whether he makes it to Lansing in 2016 and further elevate his status as a Blue Jays Top Prospect.