Blue Jays: Nate Pearson graduates from the Top 30 prospect list
After being called up to the Blue Jays when rosters expanded on September 1st, right-hander Nate Pearson is officially no longer a prospect in the eyes of MLB Pipeline. The club’s top prospect arm and former #1 prospect has graduated from the Top 30 list, with names starting to shuffle down the board with his absence.
While this season has been one Pearson would like to forget given his 7.00 ERA through seven appearances and a sports hernia injury that has sidelined him for a good chunk of the season, the hard-throwing pitcher did accumulate five appearances with the big league club last year. Those games combined with his move late this campaign have essentially seen him no longer be considered a top prospect and more of a player to keep an eye on at the major league level. Other notable names to graduate from the list this year are Alejandro Kirk and Alek Manoah.
Catcher Gabriel Moreno still occupies top spot in the organization and was recently promoted to AAA, who is currently in the midst of the ‘Triple-A Final Stretch’ playoff featuring 10 games across the entire league. Orelvis Martinez and Jordan Groshans follow Moreno to round out the second and third spots respectively.
The Blue Jays MLB Pipeline top prospect list got shuffled around with the recent graduation of Nate Pearson from the rankings.
The top pitching prospect for the Blue Jays is Gunnar Hoglund, a right-handed starter who was drafted in the first round of this year’s MLB Draft. The Mississippi alum underwent Tommy John surgery earlier in May and will be sidelined until most likely the end of next season, so fans will have to pump the breaks on seeing Hoglund any time soon. Adam Kloffenstein is the next arm on the list at #7 and has struggled this season with the High-A Vancouver Canadians, posting a 6.22 ERA through 23 starts at 101.1 innings of work.
Cracking the top ten is Manuel Beltre, the Blue Jays top international signee of the 2021 class where he was ranked 24th by MLB Pipeline. The infielder has been spending this season in the Dominican Summer League (Rookie Ball) and is posting a .234/.392/.364 slash line with ten stolen bases, two home runs, and 24 RBI with a .756 OPS through 44 games.
With Pearson being promoted from the prospect list, another Blue Jays minor leaguer cracks the #30 spot and that honour goes to Trent Palmer, a right-handed pitcher currently with the Dunedin Blue Jays in Low-A. Palmer made headlines this past weekend when he pitched his second 7-inning no-hitter of the season and currently owns a 3.00 ERA through 16 starts and 63.0 innings, striking out 83 batters on his way to a 1.19 WHIP. The Jacksonville alum was drafted in the third round in last year’s COVID-19 shortened five-round draft.
As the minor league season begins to wind down, the next rankings will most likely come out prior to the start of Spring Training as nobody on the list is currently on the active roster and prospects potentially getting traded during the off-season. Ninth-ranked Kevin Smith would most likely be the next in line to graduate from the list as he does have 32 at-bats with the Blue Jays this season and has been playing well in AAA.