Blue Jays have a wealth of catching prospects in the minors

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 16: Major league baseballs sit in a glove as the Seattle Mariners warm up before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 16, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 16: Major league baseballs sit in a glove as the Seattle Mariners warm up before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 16, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Blue Jays have a wealth of young, talented catching prospects honing their craft throughout the various minor-league ranks.

The Blue Jays were fortunate to have the tandem of Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire waiting in the wings to take the proverbial torch from veteran backstop Russell Martin. However, even with the pair’s recent promotion to the majors, the organization still has a plethora of promising prospects vying for the opportunity to don the tools of ignorance.

Alejandro Kirk and Gabriel Moreno appear to be the pair garnering the most praise but don’t sleep on Riley Adams, Philip Clarke or recent International signing Victor Mesia. It is crazy to think the team has five legitimate catching prospects below Jansen and McGuire on the depth chart.

There is chatter already around the baseball world that Kirk may eventually unseat Jansen for that number one role. The 21-year old Kirk is a big-bodied catcher that stands at only 5’9″ and hails from Mexico. Last season, the receiver hit .290/.403/.475 with 39 extra-base hits including seven homers in 92 games between Dunedin and Lansing.

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Kirk may have to tighten up his conditioning to endure the rigors of a full season behind the dish, however, the catcher is sound technically and has the tools to remain at the position for the long term.

Moreno is just 19-years of age and already has parts of three solid seasons of professional baseball under his belt. Last season, Moreno hit .280/.337/.485 with 34 extra-base hits including 12 round-trippers in 82 games for Single-A Lansing. Through his first 154 career games, Moreno sports a .294 average with 16 homers and 105 runs batted in. Not bad for a kid who hasn’t turned 20 years of age yet.

The Blue Jays selected Philip Clarke in the 9th round of the 2019 amateur draft from Vanderbilt University. Clarke was ranked much higher than a 9th round selection but he was deemed a tough sign and many teams passed on him assuming he would remain at school. The Jays gave him nearly $350,000 over slot to coax him to take their $500,000 signing bonus.

Clarke struggled initially in his first taste of pro ball hitting .257/.359/.333 with 37 hits and two home runs in 37 games with Vancouver. Expect big things from the 21-year old this season now that he has gotten his feet wet.

Riley Adams appears to have been passed on the depth chart by Kirk and Moreno but the 23-year old is still a legitimate and promising talent. In 2019, Adams hit .261/.366/.443 with 14 homers in 100 games between Dunedin and New Hampshire. Don’t be surprised if Adams reasserts himself on the organizational rankings and forces his name into the conversation in 2020.

Victor Mesia is a little know 16-year old Venezuelan backstop signed during the 2019 International signing period. Mesia is a long way off but his scouting report from Ben Badler of Baseball America sounds promising.

"He’s 5-foot-10, 175 pounds with power and explosiveness to his actions. He has a compact swing, fast bat speed, a knack for the barrel and makes hard contact with an all-fields approach. He shows flashes of above-average raw power right now, giving him a chance to hit and hit for power at a high clip for a catcher. Mesia has strong legs, is athletic for a catcher and projects to stay behind the plate, with a strong arm that flashes plus now and projects to be there consistently soon."

On the most recent MLB Top 30 organizational prospect rankings, four catchers were featured on the Jays list. Moreno at #8, Kirk at #12, McGuire at #25 and Adams at #27.

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Needless to say, the future is very bright at the catcher’s position for years to come.

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