With a new season comes an updated prospect rankings list for all 30 MLB teams. The Blue Jays top prospect rankings as per MLB Pipeline heading into the 2022 campaign is surely going to look different compared to last season, especially with Austin Martin, Simeon Woods-Richardson, Patrick Murphy, and Riley Adams no longer with the organization.
The top of the list remains the same with Gabriel Moreno, Orelvis Martinez, and Jordan Groshans occupying the top three spots respectively. This makes sense as Moreno is projected to be the next prospect to watch and should make the jump to the MLB this year. Martinez overtook Groshans on the rankings list last season and has been one of the hotter prospects to watch after a strong season in A ball. Groshans is closer to knocking on the big league door and should begin the season in AAA compared to Martinez in A/AA but all eyes have been on the Dominican product early this year.
Pitching-wise, Ricky Tiedemann jumps to #6 and with Gunnar Hoglund traded to the Oakland Athletics last week, the right-hander now becomes the club’s top pitching prospect. This will be his first full season with the Blue Jays after being drafted in the third round last year and is gaining quite a bit of buzz early this spring. Right on his heels are Sem Robberse and CJ Van Eyk at eight and nine, with Robberse looking to improve this season to potentially make AA by year-end while Van Eyk will be on the sidelines after undergoing Tommy John surgery late last year.
Hiraldo drops from #5 to #12, as he took a step back in A ball last season with his .249 average, .727 OPS, and 111 strikeouts, eventually leading to the club not protecting him for the Rule 5 Draft (which was eventually cancelled due to the lockout). Kloffenstein also had a rough 2021 campaign, posting a 6.22 ERA through 101.1 innings, struggling with his command to the tune of a 5.4 BB/9. Infielder Estiven Machado saw a drop as well from #7 to #13, however, he should see a full workload this season and could see his rankings improve with a strong campaign. Outfielder Dasan Brown also drops from #17 to #27.
The biggest drop however belongs to catcher Victor Mesia, as he finished the 2021 campaign at #16 but is now off the rankings list altogether.
Irv Carter and Chad Dallas (#10 and #22) were both drafted last year and will get their first taste of big-league action this season while Dominican-born Manuel Beltre slots in to begin the season at #9.
With a new season comes new prospect rankings, with some new faces joining the Blue Jays top prospect rankings and some switching of positions on the board.
Some of the biggest jumps on the list include:
Yosver Zulueta: 2021 – #28 / 2022 – #19
Hagen Danner: 2021 – #27 / 2022 – #17
Bowden Francis: 2021 – #25 / 2022 – #15
The Blue Jays also have some newcomers on the list, with:
Luis Meza – #20
Hayden Juenger – #26
Dahian Santos – #28
Spencer Horwitz – #30
Meza was the Blue Jays’ top international free agent signing earlier this year, signing out of Venezuela for $2 million. He was the 33rd ranked prospect heading into the free-agent period and one of the top catchers on the board. Juenger was drafted in the sixth round last year and finished the season with the High-A Vancouver Canadians, posting a 2.70 ERA with 34 strikeouts through 20.0 innings as a reliever. Look for him to be a potential candidate to run through the farm system this season.
An international free agent signing out of Venezuala in 2019, Santos posted a 5.58 ERA while spending a majority of the season in Rookie Ball with two games starting with the Dunedin Blue Jays in Low-A. He projects to return to Dunedin this season.
Horwitz joins the list after a strong 2021 season that saw the Maryland product earn a .862 OPS with 66 RBI and he walked more than he struck out (70 vs. 68). While he earned a late-season promotion to AA, Horwitz also participated in the Arizona Fall League where he continued to crush the ball, sporting a .375/.460/.484 slash line with a .944 OPS through 16 games.