Toronto Blue Jays Prospects

The Rule 5 Draft: How former Blue Jays are performing this spring

LAKELAND, FLORIDA - MARCH 04: General view of baseballs in the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen during a spring training game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 04, 2021 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
LAKELAND, FLORIDA - MARCH 04: General view of baseballs in the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen during a spring training game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 04, 2021 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /
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DUNEDIN, FLORIDA – MARCH 02: A general view from the outfield at TD Ballpark during a spring training game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies on March 02, 2021 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
DUNEDIN, FLORIDA – MARCH 02: A general view from the outfield at TD Ballpark during a spring training game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies on March 02, 2021 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Minor League Phase

Round 1, 12th selection (MIA): Jake Fishman – LHP

Drafted by the Blue Jays in the 30th round of the 2016 MLB Draft, left-hander Jake Fishman has spent the past four seasons with the Blue Jays organization, starting in the Rookie League and spending most of the 2019 season split between Class A Dunedin and AA New Hampshire.

For his minor league career, Fishman sports a 2.97 ERA with 183 strikeouts over 166.2 innings of work, appearing in 113 games and putting up a 1.152 WHIP. Utilized as a reliever, the left-hander has 13 saves to his name throughout his minor league career and would end up being selected by the Miami Marlins during the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft this past off-season.

So far this spring, Fishman has appeared in two games and has thrown just 1.1 innings, pitching to a 6.75 ERA with one earned run, one walk, and two strikeouts in his first big league spring training campaign.

Round 1, 21st selection (OAK): Zach Jackson – RHP

Selected in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of the University of Arkansas, relief pitcher Zach Jackson was one of the Blue Jay’s higher drafted prospects to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft in 2020.

Spending the past four seasons in the Blue Jays farm system, Jackson reached the AAA bullpen in 2019 and for his career sports a 3.07 ERA with 234 strikeouts, 123 walks, and a 1.272 WHIP in 199.2 innings of work out of the reliever role. The Oklahoma native was a former top prospect in the organization back in 2017 and would be selected by the Oakland Athletics during the draft.

This spring, Jackson finds himself in the spring training bubble but can be utilized in major league spring training games, appearing in two games so far this spring. The right-hander is currently sporting a 0.00 ERA, but has yet to strike out any batters while also experiencing control issues, walking five batters in just 1.2 innings of work. The two outings he has appeared in have both been to finish each respective game, as he also has one save on record.

Round 1, 23rd selection (SND): Yorman Rodriguez – C/1B

The only position player to be drafted this off-season, catcher/first baseman Yorman Rodriguez joined the Blue Jays back in 2014 and has spent the past five years in the organization.

Signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela, the right-hander has never played past A ball and had stints with both the Class A Lansing Lugnuts and the A- Vancouver Canadians back in 2019. For his professional career, Rodriguez sports a .324/.369/.432 slash line with 13 triples, 14 home runs,195 RBI, and a .801 OPS in 1268 plate appearances across the various Blue Jays Rookie Leagues and Class A leagues over the past five seasons.

The catcher turned first baseman was selected by the San Diego Padres during the AAA portion of the Rule 5 Draft this past off-season and has not appeared in a game for the Padres during the 2021 spring training campaign. Known for his ability in the batter’s box, the Blue Jays could not keep him around due to the smorgasbord of catching talent on the 40 man roster in Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, Gabriel Moreno, Riley Adams, and Reese McGuire.

Round 2, 31st selection (NYM): Justin Dillon – RHP

The last Blue Jays player taken in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, starter Justin Dillon was selected by the New York Mets and is the only starter to be stolen from the Jays.

A 10th round selection by the Blue Jays in 2017, Dillon saw almost every level of the Blue Jays farm system, pitching four games for the AAA Buffalo Bisons in 2018 before spending a majority of the 2019 season with the Dunedin Blue Jays (Class A+) and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA).

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For his minor league career, the right-hander has a 3.94 ERA with 39 games started (63 appearances) along with 189 strikeouts, 66 walks, and a 1.211 WHIP over 242.0 innings of work. Similar to Rodriguez, Dillon has not appeared in a spring training game this year.

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