Blue Jays IF/OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is a polished prospect with versatility
Gurriel was acquired by the Blue Jays in the international free agent market. There is traditionally a bonus pool allocated to players which acts as a soft cap, but the Jays managed to wait until he turned 23. That way, this did not use any space within that cap due to his age.
He signed for 7 years, $22M and it’s worth noting that that figure sits as more of a guaranteed value. He has the option to opt out into arbitration should he be performing well.
Name: Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Position: OF/SS Age: 23
Height: 6’2″ Weight: 185 lbs
Throws: Right Bats: Right
Acquired: International Free Agent Signing (November 12th, 2016)
The main value Gurriel brings is being able to play multiple positions. He is a middle infielder/outfielder who can be used in a pinch at third. It is a question whether he will be able to play all those positions well at the MLB level. With his history in Cuba and his tools, it’ll likely depend on where they want to use him. An outfield assignment would likely mean we could see him sooner, as outfielders seem to be plugged into the Major League outfields quicker as it takes less time to adjust.
The big question surrounding Gurriel is how well his game will translate. In his last year in Cuba he was very effective, slashing .344/.407/.560, but he’s now over a year removed from that. Scouts have already questioned him against live pitching in recent workouts, although it likely had more to do with him not playing in a registered league in 2016.
Gurriel’s ranking on this list is a bit confusing. He easily is one of Toronto’s more polished prospects. Given the fact he has never faced a registered pitch in North America, there is some potential for a bust. Overall, it is likely he will be a utility type player in the very least, with the potential to play every day depending on his development.
He will likely start the season in AAA, and considering he is already on the 40-man roster, he will most likely be called up in September assuming he doesn’t hit his way up before that.
Top-30 Blue Jays prospect rankings:
#30: RHP Jordan Romano #29: RHP Yennsy Diaz #28: CF Reggie Pruitt
#27: 1B Ryan McBroom #26: CF Roemon Fields #25: 2B Cavan Biggio
#24: RHP Jose Espada #23: RHP Patrick Murphy #22: C Danny Jansen
#21: OF Dwight Smith Jr. #20: RHP Zach Jackson #19: RHP Francisco Rios
#18: OF Harold Ramirez #17: C Max Pentecost #16: Ryan Borucki
#15: OF Joshua Palacios #14: OF J.B. Woodman #13: C Reese McGuire
#12: RHP Conner Greene