Toronto Blue Jays hype train: Rowdy Tellez edition


Blue Jays first base prospect Rowdy Tellez is earning some high praise from outside of the organization as the powerful lefty gets a taste of the big camp

Rowdy Tellez is an easy prospect to get hooked on.

The hulking Californian stands 6’4″, 245 pounds, and at 20-years-old, is getting a taste of major league camp in Dunedin.

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A 30th round pick of the Blue Jays in 2013, Tellez was lured away from the University of Southern California by a record over-slot bonus.

Last season with the Dunedin Blue Jays and Lansing Lugnuts, the left-hander posted a slash line of .289 / .347 / 454 with 14 home runs and 77 RBI. He’s also worked to improve his defence at first base, helping him to maintain some level of roster flexibility going forward.

Now looking to leapfrog himself into the 2017 conversation with another big year at the plate, Tellez is grabbing eyes from outside of the Blue Jays organization, as well.

Blue Jays fans have learned some hard lessons about falling in love with power prospects, however. Tuesday’s spring opener against the Philadelphia Phillies brought back memories of J.P. Arencibia, while the clobbering minor league days of Travis Snider are still fresh in the mind.

In Tellez, however, while the ceiling is still up for debate, the Blue Jays could be looking at a bat with a higher professional floor. His ability to barrel up the ball on both sides of the plate should transfer well through the upper minors (key word: should), while his potential to use all fields should give him a batting average tool that can buoy lower home run totals if that tool still takes time to develop.

Essentially, it’s likelier that Tellez develops into a .290 hitter with 25 home runs than a .240 hitter with 45 home runs. And that’s absolutely fine.

Expect to see Tellez get in to some more games in the major league camp as the Jays try to get a handle on just how advanced his bat is. Especially when facing veteran pitchers with stronger off-speed and breaking pitches.