Toronto Blue Jays Top-30 Prospects #12: Mitch Nay
Continuing the Blue Jays Top 30 Prospects list we have Mitch Nay, the former first-round pick still looking to fully tap in to his plus offensive potential
Hon. Mentions Part 1 Hon. Mentions Part 2 #30: Freddy Rodriguez
#29: Evan Smith #28: Deiferson Barreto #27: Chad Girodo
#26: Roemon Fields #25: Rodrigo Orozco #24: Reggie Pruitt
#23: Joe Biagini #22: Carl Wise #21: Tom Robson
#20: Matt Dean #19: Andy Burns #18: Guadalupe Chavez #17: Ryan Borucki
#16: Jose Espada #15: Dan Jansen #14: Dwight Smith Jr. #13: D.J. Davis
Mitch Nay finally hit his first snag in professional baseball last season but still has a very bright future ahead of him.
The former 1st round pick had earned a late season promotion to the next level each of his first two pro seasons. Last season, he became a fixture in the Dunedin Blue Jays line up. Nay sports some very good tools and will continue to refine his game as he will continue to rise through the Jays organization.
His coaches praise his work ethic and his drive to want to become an everyday Major League player, with his high school coach calling his shortstop a gym rat in his senior year of high school just prior to Nay being drafted. Nay has since moved from short to third which has allowed him to show of a plus arm.
Name: Mitch Nay
Position: 3B Age: 22
Height: 6’3” Age: 200 lbs.
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Acquired: 1st round pick (2012)
Mitch Nay flew through his first 2 levels of professional baseball. He has even earned some hardware for his hard work thus far. In 2013, Nay was named the North Western League Playoff MVP once he was promoted to the Vancouver Canadians. He was promoted from the Appalachian League Bluefield Blue Jays after an impressive showing in which he batted .300 with 11 doubles, 6 homers, and 42 RBIs in just 64 games.
Nay would start his 2014 season in Lansing where he continued to impress with his bat. After 120 games Nay batted .278 with 57 runs scored, 34 doubles, 3 triples, 3 homers, and 59 RBIs. This earned him another promotion to catch a cup of coffee in Class A+ Dunedin.
Last season, he played full time with the D-Jays and hit his first wall as you look at his overall performance. His triple slash looked pretty average at .243/ .303/ .353. It looks even worse when you compare it to the year prior in Lansing were he produced a .285/ .342/.389.
This shows me that the level of play has finally caught up to Nay, which is something that eventually happens to most young prospects. This has been the first challenge that he has faced and this is where his hard work will pay off. The league knows Nay and has adjusted to him so he now has to find a way to adjust himself. Nay has shown that he can hit at the level it is just a matter of keeping it consistent. In the month of July he was able to put it all together and bat .333/ .369/ .469 over 26 games.
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Nay has raw talent that could make him an impressive force at the plate. He has great gap power that could eventually turn into pure power. The amount of doubles he hits shows this fact because he has never been the fastest guy on the team. Scouts remain high on his ability to his for power, so if you have a chance to get to the ballpark early you may want to see it first hand. His power has not transitioned into games yet but his quick hands have shown some pop. The hard line drives could turn into bleacher creature souvenirs soon enough.
On defense, Nay has shown improvement. He has never been a gold glover at third but has been above average in the field. His canon for a right arm has made up for some for having average range. Last season in 100 games he 51 put outs and 173 assists while committing 19 errors. This would be good enough to collect a .922 fielding percentage. If Nay’s bat clicks while he plays average defense, he can still be a fine baseball player.
Next: Blue Jays number 13 Prospect D.J. Davis
Nay might be starting the season in Dunedin until he shows he can handle Class A+ pitching. There is a chance that he could get called up to AA New Hampshire due to lack of depth, but this could hinder his confidence and development if he continues to struggle, so look for the organization to make him earn it.
Hopefully he will get off to a great start for the D-Jays and show that he can rake at the level. Once that happens a starting job for the Fisher Cats will likely be opened up for him. His talents should carry him up to the AA level at some point this season as long as the consistent plate performance continues.