Blue Jays Top-30 Prospects: Honorable mentions, part one

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Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

LHP Shane Dawson
22 years old  –  6’1″, 200 pounds
Draft: Round 17, 2012

The further we dive into these Honorable Mention names, the worse I feel about certain young players being left on the outside looking in. But, such is the nature of this uniquely crowded 15-to-50 group in Toronto’s prospect rankings. Alberta’s Shane Dawson represents a lefty arm that survived the great purge of late-July, and continues to produce as he moves through the system.

Now 22, Dawson was drafted in 2012 and has since advanced through Lansing and up to Dunedin. Across those two levels this past year, Dawson pitched an impressive 127.2 innings and earned 15 (!) wins. Dawson also recorded a 3.03 cumulative ERA, and his 3.38 ERA from Lansing in 2014 remains his highest single-season mark. Not bad at all.

He’s put up some impressive strikeout numbers thus far in his career, but those could taper off somewhat as he faces stronger competition at the higher levels of the minors given his velocity. He managed a cumulative K/9 of 8.5 last year, just below his career minor league mark of 9.1.

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Dawson’s fastball sits in the neighborhood of 90MPH, but he does have a very impressive changeup that he likes to play off of that. Scouts are also impressed by his curveball usage, and from speaking with him on the Jays Nest Podcast in 2015, Dawson seems to be a young pitcher very aware of the mental side of the game. This will serve him well as he continues to outsmart hitters.

The coming year will be all about keeping the ball rolling for Dawson. Uniquely, he’s missing a muscle in his left rotator cuff. This has raised questions about his long-term health and durability, but so far so good. His ceiling potential is likely that of a back-end MLB starter, but if he continues to put up numbers in the quiet manner that he has, his climb up the ladder could be quicker than some think.

Next: Alright, another lefty. This one a 2015 draft pick!