With the MLB Pipeline revealing the Top 30 Toronto Blue Jays prospects in the organization yesterday, one of the newest prospects to join the Blue Jays also finds himself on the rankings for the first time as well.
Signed by the Toronto Blue Jays at the start of international free agency back in January (it was shifted from mid-Summer to the Winter due to Covid-19), Manuel Beltre found himself being featured on the Blue Jays prospect rankings at 20th overall. The youngest player to be featured on the list at 16 years old, Beltre is currently at the Blue Jays Dominican complex where he will most likely be playing in the Dominican Summer League in 2021.
Featuring as a middle infielder, Beltre spends a majority of his time at shortstop and has found himself playing stateside over the past few years with Perfect Game and various travel teams while also representing his country at the international level with the U14 and U15 teams. During the free-agent period, Beltre was ranked as the 24th prospect before signing with the Blue Jays.
Scouts rave about his work ethic and his ability at the plate, where his short step and quick hands in the box help him hit for both contact and power. With his repeatable swing, the right-hander is able to hit to all different areas of the diamond and was considered one of the most experienced hitters in the 2021 international draft. Defensively, Beltre will most likely project to stay up the middle given his fielding ability and throwing arm, both of which are considered above average combined with his above-average speed.
Considering his young age and that he has no professional games under his belt, the fact that Beltre is already on the Blue Jays Top 30 prospect list is a telling sign that this player is one to keep an eye on. He will most likely spend a year or two in the Dominican Summer League before making the jump stateside to join the Rookie League Gulf Coast Blue Jays where he will be one of the younger players on the roster, similar to how fellow prospect Orelvis Martinez made his debut in the Rookie League in 2019 at 17 years old.
Given that Beltre is only 16, you won’t be seeing him in a Blue Jays uniform for quite some time. Slated for an estimated time of arrival in 2025, the shortstop will continue to develop both in baseball and physically as he grows older, which should add some pop to his bat and some power to his arm from the shortstop position.
Following his social media accounts, you can see that Beltre is not only ecstatic to be a member of the Blue Jays but also spends a lot of time honing his skills through various batting and fielding drills. With lots of development ahead of him, you will most likely see Manuel Beltre not only progress through the Blue Jays farm system but also up the MLB Pipeline rankings over the next few years, spearheading the next wave of middle infielders in the organization.