Toronto Blue Jays draft pick Austin Martin is currently ranked 20th according to MLB Pipeline.
Over the past few years, the Toronto Blue Jays front office has built a strong farm system that has ranked at the top of the league. There’s been Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, Nate Pearson, and many others that have made up a strong farm system.
In the most recent draft, the Blue Jays selected Austin Martin out of Vanderbilt in which many were surprised that he was available when the Jays were on the clock with the 5th overall pick as he was projected by many to go 2nd overall to the Baltimore Orioles.
Once the draft is completed, MLB updates their prospect list to include the most recent players that were drafted on the list if they deserve to be there. Austin Martin made the list and debuted as the 20th best prospect in all of baseball. He won’t be there for long though as soon enough, he’ll shoot up the rankings.
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One reason why he’ll move up the ranks is that he simply is a very good player. This is what MLB Pipeline had to say about him:
"“The best pure hitter in this year’s Draft, Martin has outstanding feel for the barrel and effortlessly makes hard contact with a short, quick right-handed stroke. He’s not overly physical and may not possess more than average raw power, but his uncanny hitting ability allows him to make the most of it. He controls the strike zone very well and uses the entire field, showing no weaknesses at the plate.”"
Another reason why he’s gonna get a higher ranking is because of the situation of players ahead of him. 10 players that are ranked higher than 20 have already made their MLB debuts and are soon going to be off the prospect list completely. Those guys are: Gavin Lux (2), Luis Robert (3), Jo Adell (6), Casey Mize (8), Nate Pearson (9), Jesus Luzardo (13), Cristian Pache (14), Joey Bart (15), Brendan McKay (16) and Dylan Carlson (18).
To be eligible to be considered a prospect, a player must have not have done the following: Exceed 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched, or be on the active roster for more than 45 days although disabled list stints do not count.
Heading into games on August 23rd, Robert needed 32 more at-bats to no longer be considered a prospect. While he has yet to be called up this year yet, Lux only has another 55 at-bats until he loses his prospect eligibility. Assuming they all stay healthy and get regular playing time, Adell, Bart, and possibly Pache and Carlson should lose their eligibility too.
On the mound, Luzardo needs to throw 11 more innings until he finds himself off the prospect list and he’ll for sure get there soon enough. The same may not go for Pearson and Mize as Pearson just landed on the disabled list and Mize will probably see an innings limit. Meanwhile, McKay has been shut down for the remainder of the season.
While more than half the players ahead of Martin have made their major league debuts, there are nine guys who have yet to reach the big leagues. Some of those players like MacKenzie Gore and possibly Andrew Vaughn should see major league action sometime this season. This would carry them over on the prospect list into the 2021 season but their stay would be relatively short.
There’s also Royce Lewis who has an estimated time of arrival (ETA) of 2020 although barring an injury to the current Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco, he may not be up in the big leagues this season although he should be there in 2021.
Ahead of Martin, there are four guys with ETAs of 2021 including Vaughn. Those are baseball’s number one prospect Wander Franco, Adley Rutschman, and Jarred Kelenic. These guys are expected and should make their big league debuts next season.
Like Martin, that leaves three guys with ETAs of 2022 in Spencer Torkelson, Bobby Witt, and Julio Rodriguez. Once all the prospects above make their major league debuts, this would set Martin up to the 4th best prospect in baseball.
Although, he could be ranked higher including getting the number one spot. As there are no minor league games being played this season, next season will help MLB Pipeline determine where each prospect should be ranked. To note, Martin was determined to be the best hitter in this year’s draft, ahead of Torkelson who was the number one pick.
It will be very exciting to watch Martin ascend his way to the major leagues.