We are almost two weeks into the MLB and MiLB 2022 Regular Seasons and it is time to see how some of the Blue Jays’ top prospects are making out to start their 2022 season.
Gabriel Moreno – Buffalo Bisons
Over the last few seasons, there has always been a prospect that has caught Blue Jays fans’ attention and led them to wonder when he’ll jump to the big league club, whether it was Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Nate Pearson, or Alek Manoah. This year, it is 22-year-old catcher Gabriel Moreno who is ranked #7 among the Top MLB prospects by both MLB and Baseball America.
Due to Visa issues, Moreno was unable to get into Spring Training action outside of one plate appearance in big league camp and he has started his season with Triple-A Buffalo. Through his first four games, he has been impressive at the plate going 7 for 18 (.389) with a pair of doubles and five RBI. He went the first three games without a strikeout before striking out twice on Sunday. Behind the plate, he has allowed two passed balls but has thrown out the only runner attempting to steal on him.
Otto Lopez – Buffalo Bisons
Otto Lopez got a long look in Spring Training this year but collected just one hit in 15 opportunities, however, he showed his speed as he collected three stolen bases and only struck out once. Lopez was assigned to the Buffalo Bisons but due to an oblique strain, he was placed on the 7-day injured list on April 5.
Samad Taylor – Buffalo Bisons
It was almost five years ago that the Blue Jays acquired Samad Taylor in a deal for Joe Smith and the now 23-year-old has continued to improve over the years. Taylor has started the year with Triple-A Buffalo where he is 10 for 33 (.303) with 11 walks for an OBP of .489 and is five for six stealing bases. Tayor has started seven games at second base and has yet to make an error in 27 opportunities. He has also played three games in the outfield.
Orelvis Martinez – New Hampshire Fisher Cats
The prospect that caught the most attention in Spring Training this year was Orelvis Martinez, who got into eight games and went 4 for 13 (.308) at the plate, with all four of his hits being for extra bases (two doubles and two home runs). This was after a 2021 season that saw him collect 26 doubles and 28 home runs in just 98 minor league games.
Martinez is starting the year in Double-A New Hampshire and through nine games he already has four home runs and a pair of doubles as he has gone 8 for 32 (.250). He has struck out 11 times to one walk and has an OBP of just .294 at this time. Martinez, who is a natural shortstop, has played six of his games in that position making a pair of errors on 17 opportunities, while also starting two games at third base.
The 2022 MiLB Season has started and here is a look at how Gabriel Moreno and Samad Taylor among other prospects are starting out the season
Jordan Groshans – New Hampshire Fisher Cats
The Blue Jays used the 12th overall pick in the 2018 MLB June Amateur Draft on High School infielder Jordan Groshans. He has remained one of the top prospects in the organization and finished 2021 playing 75 games posting a slash line of .291/.367/.450 and earned an invite to Blue Jays Spring Training camp.
Groshans got into four games this spring, going 1 for 7 (.143) but was shut down in late March due to an oblique injury and missed the rest of camp. Groshans was recently assigned to the Florida Coast League from the New Hampshire Fisher Cats to rehab his injury as he gets game ready.
Leo Jimenez – Vancouver Canadians
The Blue Jays added Leo Jimenez to the 40-man roster this year to avoid him being potentially claimed in the Rule 5 Draft. The now 20-year-old was signed in 2017 as an international free agent and has started the 2022 MiLB season with the High-A Vancouver Canadians. Jimenez has started two games as the DH and four games at shortstop so far and has made one error in 13 opportunities. At the plate, he is just 4 for 20 with one double but has walked four times already for an OBP of .385.
Ricky Tiedemann – Dunedin Blue Jays
The highest-rated pitching prospect in the organization, Ricky Tiedemann has started his professional career after being selected as an 18-year-old out of Golden West College in the 2021 MLB Amateur Draft.
The 6’4” left-handed pitcher had his first professional start on April 8 which resulted in his first win as he tossed five innings, surrendering just two runs on three hits and striking out eight. Tiedemann had an even more impressive start his next time out, again striking out eight over five innings but this time he did not surrender a run. Through two starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and striking out 16 over 10 innings.
Adam Kloffenstein – Vancouver Canadians
After a disappointing 2021 season, Adam Kloffenstein is looking to bounce back in 2022 and has started the season back in Vancouver. Kloffenstein has started two games so far for the Canadians, pitching four innings in both of his outings, allowing four runs in his first appearance while cutting that in half his second time out. The downside is Kloffenstein has allowed 25 base runners over eight innings through his two early starts of the season.