MLB Pipeline has released their 2021 Blue Jays top 30 prospects list. This is an exciting time, as fans get the opportunity to see an updated ranking of some of the best young players in the Jays farm system and get to see what’s in store for the future of this franchise Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the Jays’ new top 30 prospect list:
Breakdown: The Blue Jays new top 30 prospect list is composed of 14 RHP, 8 IF, 3 OF, 2 IF/OF and 3 C.
New Additions To The Top 30: Manuel Beltre SS, Yosver Zulueta RHP and Josh Palacios OF
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Largest Rise: Joey Murray +10 (28-18)
Largest Fall: Kevin Smith -10 (20-30)
Best Tools Position Players
Best Hit Tool: SS/OF Austin Martin 65 Grade
Best Power Tool: SS Orelvis Martinez 60 Grade
Best Field Tool: OF Dasan Brown and SS Rikelvin De Castro 60 Grade
Best Arm Tool: SS Jordan Groshans, SS Orelvis Martinez and IF Kevin Smith 60 Grade
Best Run Tool: OF Dasan Brown 80 Grade
Highest Overall: SS/OF Austin Martin and SS Jordan Groshans 55 Grade
Best Tools Pitchers
Best Fastball: RHP Nate Pearson 80 Grade
Best Slider: RHP Nate Pearson 60 Grade
Best Command: RHP Simeon Woods Richardson 60 Grade
Highest Overall: RHP Nate Pearson 60 Grade
Player To Watch Out For in 2021: SS Orelvis Martinez
Martinez was the 7th ranked international free agent back in 2018 and got a massive 3.5 million dollar signing bonus from the Jays because of this. So far, he’s lived up to that paycheck, as in his first season of pro ball, Martinez put up an impressive slash line of .275, .352 and .549 as a 17 year old in the Gulf Coast League. A big 2021 from Martinez will almost ensure the Dominican native a spot on next year’s top 100 prospect list, and is the reason why I am so excited to see what he’ll do this season.
An Under The Radar Name To Look Out For: RHP Joey Murray
The Jays have a wealth of mid level pitching prospects and Joey Murray has the potential to be the best out of all of them. Murray saw a jump in velocity last year, as his fastball went from sitting in the upper 80’s to the low 90’s. The Kansas State product always had great spin rate, which made his fastball “invisible” according to evaluators, so this added velo will make his heater nearly impossible to hit.
In 2019, Murray posted a 2.75 ERA across three different levels, finishing at AA. What was so impressive about this season was his workload, as he managed to throw 137.1 innings which is close to what a big league starter is asked to log in a season. With the added velocity, I think that Murray is in store for a big year, which could help him debut at some point in 2021.
Overall there wasn’t a lot of change from Pipeline’s 2020 top 30 list to this year’s edition. The top 10 has the same names in it, with a slight shift as Alek Manoah dropped from 5 to 7 and Alejandro Kirk and Orelvis Martinez both bumped up a spot going from 6 to 5 and 7 to 6 respectively.
The most exciting part of the update top 30 for me was seeing the new names on it. Manuel Beltre was a big signing on the international market and is going to be a fun player to watch delope and Yosver Zulueta is a player that I have had a lot of interest in over the past year after hearing Blue Jays Director of Amateur Scouting, Andrew Tinnish, talk about him on Sportsnet’s ‘At The Letters’ podcast.
With how little the personnel change on Pipelines updated top 30 I see it as more of a reminder about how good the Jays farm system is and how bright of a future this team has