Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Former top prospects take a step back in the rankings

Mar 1, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays Austin Martin (80) throws to first base against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the top of the second during spring training at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2021; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays Austin Martin (80) throws to first base against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the top of the second during spring training at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /
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Just two months ago, the Blue Jays had five players on the top 100 list, with Nate Pearson (#10), Austin Martin (#17), Jordan Groshans (#35), Simeon Woods-Richardson (#73), and Alek Manoah (#95) leading the charge. Fast forward to mid-August and the rankings list has not only been updated but two of the above-mentioned players are no longer with the team.

Looking to make a splash at the trade deadline, general manager Ross Atkins packed up Martin and Woods-Richardson to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for starter Jose Berrios. With the Blue Jays looking to contend and with Berrios having an extra year of control, the price for the right-hander cost the club two of its top prospects and fans were very on the fence with the trade, to say the least.

Since then, Berrios has appeared in four games for the Jays and has thrown to a 3.80 ERA with 19 strikeouts, eight walks, and a 1.45 WHIP through 21.1 innings. His first two starts with the club were great, yielding one earned run through 12.0 innings. However, the most recent road trip saw Berrios get hit around, as he put up a combined eight earned runs through 9.1 innings with seven walks and six strikeouts.

Since being traded by the Blue Jays, both Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson have dropped on MLB Pipeline’s newest addition of the prospect rankings.

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Now with the Wichita Winds Surge, the Twins AA affiliate, Martin currently owns a .250/.458/.365 slash line with three doubles, one home run, seven RBI, and a .824 OPS through 15 games and 72 plate appearances. Woods-Richardson is also with the Wind Surge but is currently on the development list as the right-hander was recently with the United States national team at the Tokyo Olympics. He has yet to play a game for his new club.

Looking at the updated MLB Pipeline rankings list, which now takes trade deadline players, recently drafted players, and mid-season performance into account, the Blue Jays still have four players who have made the list with Gabriel Moreno now being the club’s #1 prospect at 34th spot overall.

Examining the Twins prospect rankings, Martin has now fallen to #38, compared to when he started the season with the Blue Jays at #17, while SWR has completely fallen off the top 100 list after a recent rough stretch prior to his Olympics call-up saw his ERA rise to 5.76 through 11 starts with a 1.50 WHIP and 67 strikeouts through 45.1 innings.

Martin’s drop in the rankings is very slight in only 21 spots but is most likely attributed to the recent addition of some of the top names of the past MLB draft class being added as well as his overall play with the Jays, in which he posted a .281/.424/.383 line with 10 doubles, two triples, and a .807 OPS but only had two home runs and 16 RBI to his name through 55 games as the club’s leadoff hitter.

Within the Twins organization, Martin ranks as the club’s #2 prospect while Woods-Richardson slots in at #4, similar to how they both ranked within the Blue Jays system before they were both traded.

Next. Potential for history this weekend against the Detroit Tigers. dark

It will take a few years to realize who won this trade overall but there is always an associated risk when trading top prospects in that they could turn out to be perennial all-stars while the veteran player the Jays acquired could be a flop and a waste of a trade.

Berrios has done well so far, with his two most recent starts hopefully being more outliers than a trend of what is to come.

If he can pitch like he did his first two games with the club, Blue Jays fans who were high on Martin and SWR might feel a bit better considering what was given up for one and a half years of Berrios, especially if the Jays can find a way to make it into the playoffs this season.

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