Rowdy Tellez– 1B
.270/.340/.425, 22 doubles and 13 home runs in 393 at bats (AAA)
.314/.329/.614, 9 doubles, 4 home runs in 70 at bats (MLB)
If you were still watching the Blue Jays in September of last year then you saw of one of the more impressive performance of Rowdy Tellez’s career. The once highly rated first base prospect had a tough 2017 season while he dealt with family issues at home (his Mom tragically passed away last year), but 2018 was a lot better for the left-handed slugger, and he capped it off with a nice performance in Toronto.
It’s hard to say what the Blue Jays have planned for Tellez for the 2019 campaign, but it’s entirely possible he starts the year in Buffalo again and has to wait for a call-up. The Blue Jays still have Justin Smoak on the roster and under contract for the 2019 season, and may or may not have room to carry both him and Tellez on their 25 man roster. They may also want Tellez to see everyday at bats, and that could be tough to fit in with Smoak and Kendrys Morales still kicking around in Toronto.
2019 could be an important year for Tellez to prove his place with the Blue Jays going forward, and something tells me he’s going to get plenty of opportunity one way or another.
Ryan Noda– 1B/OF
.256/.421/.484, 24 doubles, 20 home runs, 14 stolen bases
One of the more underrated hitters in the Blue Jays system, Ryan Noda has been a solid producer throughout his MiLB career thus far. His on-base percentage of .421 over 527 plate appearances really sticks out, as he’s shown a mature approach at the plate for a young hitter. The soon to be 23 year old spent last year with the Lansing Lugnuts in Low-A, and will likely advance to the next level in 2019.
He split last season almost evenly with 57 starts in the outfield and another 60 at first base, representing another above-average hitter with defensive versatility in the system.
Chad Spanberger– 1B/OF
.298/.355/.538, 22 doubles, 27 home runs, 21 stolen bases
I figured I’d keep the other first base prospect alongside Tellez, although Chad Spanberger also has the ability to play in the outfield as well. He did spend the majority of his time at first base last season though, and that’s definitely his strongest position.
He was acquired from the Colorado Rockies in the Seunghwan Oh trade and has the potential to be a great pickup for the Blue Jays. He struggled a bit in a short 22 game stint in High-A last year, but still managed to reach base at a .348 clip, slashing .231/.348/.372 in 78 at bats. Chances are pretty good that’s the level he’ll start at this season as well, but he’ll be a candidate to keep an eye on after a strong 2018 performance.