2016 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Depth: CF

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Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

A look at Toronto Blue Jays depth at Center field spotlights some of the systems brightest prospects, accounting for 5 spots on the Toronto Blue Jays 2016 Top 30 Prospects List by MLB.com.

Minor League depth is important to building a sustainable winner, something that the Toronto Blue Jays have struggled to do in years past. The Jays hadn’t developed a full-time position player since J.P. Arencibia assumed the role of starting catcher between 2011 and 2013. Before that longtime Blue Jay 1B/DH Adam Lind held that title.

Starting in 2014, Toronto fans started to see a trio of farm hands break onto the scene and two of those prospects were center fielders. CF Dalton Pompey and the underrated (not anymore) CF Kevin Pillar put themselves in a position to challenge for Toronto’s 2015 starting CF job with strong 2014 seasons, with Pillar eventually running away with the role and cementing himself in that position.

Kevin is the first everyday position player produced by the Toronto Blue Jays farm system in a long time, but he can’t let up. The Blue Jays upper minors have a trio of prospects which will challenge Pillar for playing time as soon at this year.

Buffalo Bisons

Dalton Pompey, 23-yrs-old

Toronto’s Opening Day CF struggled in the first month of the season, eventually being demoted to Buffalo and then to Double-A New Hampshire. Dalton turned his season around in NH, putting up the numbers that we expect for the systems top prospect.

Pompey produced well above average in NH with .428 wOBA and 175 wRC+, and above average in Buffalo with .340 wOBA and 114 wRC+. His Triple-A numbers where affected by poor May performances, which saw him hit under .200 in 18 games.

Pompey played 65 games in CF between Triple-A and Double-A, and another 21 games in Toronto. Pompey saw a lot of time in LF, playing 35 games there across three levels. In CF, Pompey posted 2.26 RangeFactor and .967 Fld%, whereas, in LF he posted 2.14 RangeFactor and 1.000 Fld%.

Overall Pompey slashed .307/.383/.421 with an .804OPS, 9 doubles, 7 triples, 7 HR, 40 RBI, 23 SB, 9.8 BB%, 14.7K% and .360BABIP in the minor leagues.

Launching pad- Unless there is an injury, a trade, or release of Toronto’s OF depth, it looks like Pompey is on the outside looking in. Dalton still has tremendous upside, still has options, and is still young; however, he doesn’t have much left to prove in Triple-A owning a .297 BA in 77 career games. Pompey will start the year in Buffalo, with a focus on driving the ball (.071 ISO in Buffalo) and playing some more corner outfield.

Melky Mesa 28-yrs-old

Mesa has re-signed and will play his third season in the Blue Jays farm system. Melky started 100 games in the outfield between Buffalo and New Hampshire. He played all three OF position, but spent most of his time in CF (67GP). He posted 2.69 RangeFactor and .989 Fld% in CF, which was better than his LF and RF numbers.

Melky’s numbers were much better in NH than Buffalo, putting up excellent .349 wOBA and 121 wRC+ in NH and performing below average in Buffalo with .283 wOBA and 74 wRC+.

Overall Melky hit .250/.286/.393 with a .679 OPS, 30 doubles, 3 triples, 8HR, 39RBI, 3.9BB%, 31K%, and .358 BABIP.

Launching pad- Melky will continue to offer OF depth to Toronto’s upper minor league teams.

Next: Roemon or Roamin in New Hampshire