The Toronto Blue Jays next trio of talent earned Top 100 prospect accolades in the latest Baseball America rankings released earlier this week.
The Blue Jays dynamic duo of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette have both graduated to the majors and no longer qualify for the Baseball America Top 100 prospect rankings, however, there are three talented prospects honing their craft in the minors poised to take the proverbial torch.
Pitcher Nate Pearson cracked the Top 10 on the updated rankings heralded as the seventh-best prospect in baseball. The 23-year old flamethrower will in all likelihood make his MLB debut at some point during the 2020 campaign once his service time is no longer an issue.
In 2019, Pearson began the season in High A ball before making stops in both New Hampshire and Buffalo. The big right-hander ended the campaign with a combined 2.30 earned run average while fanning 119 batters in 101.2 innings of work. Pearson sported a 3.00 earned run average in three starts in Triple-A near the end of the season.
Leading into the last season the future ace had only logged 22 innings of work over his first two seasons due to injuries. Pearson will be on a strict innings-cap regardless of where he concludes the 2020 season.
Jordan Groshans climbed all the way to number 29 on the list and would in all likelihood even been higher had he not missed most of last season due to an injury. The 20-year old only suited up for 23 games in 2019 with Lansing but was hitting .337 prior to hitting the injured reserve.
In parts of two seasons in the minors, Groshans is hitting .309/.376/.457 with 83 hits including seven homers in 71 career games. The former first-rounder is a natural shortstop but also has 21 games at third base under his belt.
Groshans may have to make the switch to the hot corner with Bichette firmly planted in the shortstop role with the big club. Look for Groshans to climb the ranks quickly this season if he can remain healthy and continue to hit at every level thrown at him.
The third and final prospect to be recognized was Simeon Woods Richardson who was tabbed as the 61st best prospect. Woods Richardson was acquired from the New York Mets along with Anthony Kay in the much-scrutinized Marcus Stroman trade.
The 19-year old was impressive in his six starts with Dunedin following the trade going 3-2 with a 2.54 earned run average while more than a batter an inning. In 26 starts with the Mets and Blue Jays affiliates last season, Woods Richardson sported a combined 3.80 earned run average while fanning 126 in 106.2 innings of work.
The best is definitely yet to come for the young right-hander who doesn’t turn 20 until September. He is someone to keep an eye out for this season as he continues to mature and harness his control.
All three prospects have the chance to be difference makers at the major league level in the somewhat near future. Pretty impressive when you consider the crop of talent that has recently been promoted to the majors. The cupboard is far from bare as the Jays continue to churn out talent from their farm system.