There were three Blue Jays’ prospects on the MLB Pipeline’s Team of the Week, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Kevin Smith, and Zach Jackson.
When Alex Anthopoulos traded away a glut of prospects in 2015, many people felt it would be years before the Blue Jays’ minor league system would recover. While they did trade away a great deal of talent to the Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies, and previously to the Miami Marlins, and New York Mets as well, the system has recovered nicely in fairly short order.
The latest example of this weeks’ MLB Pipeline “Team of the Week”, which features three Blue Jays on the list this week. Pitcher Zach Jackson, shortstop Kevin Smith, and wonder-kid Vladimir Guerrero Jr. all earned the honours for their performances.
Jackson made his first appearance on the list after a great week out of the bullpen for the Dunedin Blue Jays. He struck out 10 of the 12 batters he faced, and held opponents scoreless throughout the week. In fact, he’s got a streak of seven straight appearances without allowing a run, and has only given up five singles throughout that period.
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The Blue Jays have a lot of high end shortstop prospects, so someone like Kevin Smith doesn’t get the attention he deserves at times. That wasn’t the case this week, as the 21 year old tore the cover off the ball for the Bluefield Blue Jays in Rookie ball. He had seven doubles and a pair of home runs, which was the most production from any of the top 30 shortstops on the prospect list. Smith was chosen in the 4th round this year, and has looked promising in his brief stint thus far.
And that brings us to the most talked about prospect in many years, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. The Blue Jays’ top prospect continues his assault on minor league pitching, producing three home runs, 11 RBI, and a slash line of ___ in 6 games last week. Throughout the week he had multiple hits in five games, and his three home runs came in consecutive games. Still just 18 years old, it’s hard to imagine him taking more than another year or two before he reaches the highest level. His season slash line of .322/.425/.484 to go with his increasing power has Blue Jays’ fans salivating at the thought of a future with him in the lineup. It should be a lot of fun.
The list also included outfielders Scott Heineman of the Rangers, Khalil Lee of the Royals, and Ronald Acuna of the Rangers’ systems. The infield was rounded out with Scott Kingery of the Phillies at second base, Brent Rooker of the Twins at first, and Connor Wong of the Dodgers behind the plate. The other pitchers to make the list were Kyle Cody of the Rangers, and Logan Allen of the Padres.