Blue Jays: Changes to the top prospect rankings after the 2021 MLB Draft

Mar 29, 2021; Clearwater, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays Orelvis Martinez (95) hits a home run during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at BayCare Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2021; Clearwater, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays Orelvis Martinez (95) hits a home run during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at BayCare Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /

Yesterday morning, MLB Pipeline released their new prospect rankings for the top 100 prospects in the major leagues and the top 30 prospects for each individual team. For the Blue Jays, there was plenty of changes across the board due to the MLB Draft and the subtraction of some top prospects at the trade deadline this past July.

There were some minor changes after the trade deadline but this is the first list that has incorporated players drafted this season.

Stacking up against the league

The Toronto Blue Jays had four players in the top 100 list, with Gabriel Moreno leading the charge. The rankings were:

#34 Gabriel Moreno

#44 Nate Pearson

#48 Orelvis Martinez

#61 Jordan Groshans

The Blue Jays do lose a few names off the top 100 because of the club trading Austin Martin (#38) and Simeon Woods-Richardson (no longer ranked) at the trade deadline and the graduation of Alek Manoah and Alejandro Kirk from the prospect list earlier this season. Riley Adams and T.J. Zeuch were also dealt back in July although neither was on the top 100 list and only on the internal top 30 rankings. Patrick Murphy was also on the top 30 list before being designated for assignment and picked up by the Washington Nationals.

Moreno pushes his way to the top spot after a great start to the season before ending up on the IL due to a fractured thumb. Nate Pearson is no longer the top dog in town after a sports hernia injury mixed with poor performances early this season saw him take a step back in 2021.

MLB Pipeline has updated their prospect rankings after the MLB Draft and trade deadline have come and gone, with the Blue Jays top 30 looking a lot different compared to the start of the year.

Orelvis Martinez also shot up the prospect rankings after the prospect led the Low-A Southeast League in home runs (19) before being promoted to High-A earlier this month. Jordan Groshans continues to find himself towards the top of the Blue Jays top prospect list but did take a step back from third to fourth place with the newest update.

Drafted Players Added to the List

After the MLB Draft, the Blue Jays have a few new names added to the top prospect rankings after signing 17 of their 19 draft selections from the July draft.

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Gunnar Hoglund leads the way at #5 on the list, the Blue Jays top pick in the draft this season. He will miss the rest of this season and a good chunk of next year after undergoing Tommy John surgery prior to the draft, setting back his professional debut to most likely the end of next year or possibly the year after.

Drafted in the fifth round, the Blue Jays top high school draftee Irv Carter finds himself at #16. There is a lot to like about Carter, as the right-hander already stands at 6’4″ and has a fastball that could easily reach the mid-90’s as he fills out his frame.

At #17 is left-hander Ricky Tiedemann, the Blue Jays’ second selection this year at 91st overall in the third round. Possessing a low-90s fastball and a plus changeup, Tiedemann has a lot of potential considering he has yet to turn 19 years old and could be a big factor in the future Jays rotation.

Lastly, at #21 is Chad Dallas, a 5’11” right-handed pitcher drafted in the fourth round out of the University of Tennessee. He pitched to a 3.91 ERA through 21 starts at Tennessee and recently added a cutter to his repertoire, a pitch that he goes to frequently and some consider his best weapon. It will be interesting to see where the Jays place him in terms of starter vs. reliever in the long run once he gets assigned to a team in the minors.

Newcomers to the list

With the loss of Martin, Adams, Zeuch, Murphy, and SWR and the graduation of Manoah and Kirk, there were a few spots opening up as well as some players playing their way onto the top rankings.

Victor Mesia – Catcher

Signed out of Venezuela back in 2019, catcher Victor Mesia has joined the top 30 rankings at #19. Mesia is currently down in the Rookie League Florida Complex League and has appeared in 18 games this season and hit to the tune of .294/.387/.431 with four doubles, one home run, and ten RBI with six walks and a .818 OPS.

Scouts rave about his defensive ability behind the plate and will hopefully grow into his 5’9″ frame over the next few years.

Adrian Hernandez – LHP

Making his debut on the rankings list at 21 years old, southpaw Adrian Hernandez finds himself at #24 for the Jays. Making his professional debut back in 2018, Hernandez has shot up the farm system this season, beginning the year in Low-A Dunedin before heading to High-A Vancouver and recently joining the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in AA.

The left-hander has been used as a reliever for most of his pro career and has thrown to a 3.56 ERA through 55 appearances (nine starts) with 175 strikeouts and a 1.21 WHIP through 131.1 innings pitched. With the Fisher Cats this season, Hernandez has been pitching well, throwing to a 2.25 ERA through 8.0 innings and five appearances with 15 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .111 batting average.

Next. Recapping what’s gone wrong in the bullpen this season. dark

Zach Logue – LHP

Drafted by the Blue Jays in the ninth round of the 2017 MLB Draft, southpaw Zach Logue has been splitting his time between AA and AAA over the past two seasons, although he did not pitch in 2020 with the lost minor league season due to COVID-19. He currently finds himself at #29 on the top prospect list.

Right now, Logue is in the Bison’s rotation and has pitched to a 3.51 ERA through 10 appearances, nine of them being starts. He owns a 3.51 ERA with 13 walks, 46 strikeouts, and a 1.17 WHIP on the season.