Blue Jays: A look at prospects having strong starts to the season

CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 19: Orelvis Martinez #79 of the Toronto Blue Jays in action against the Philadelphia Phillies in a Spring Training game at BayCare Ballpark on March 19, 2022 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA - MARCH 19: Orelvis Martinez #79 of the Toronto Blue Jays in action against the Philadelphia Phillies in a Spring Training game at BayCare Ballpark on March 19, 2022 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Blue Jays have some elite prospects coming up through the pipeline and after looking at the progress three weeks ago, here is a look at which prospects are playing some solid baseball.

Gabriel Moreno – Prospect #1 – Triple-A – Catcher

The most popular prospect and the top-rated prospect in the organization is 22-year-old catcher Gabriel Moreno.  He is currently playing at Triple-A and is 4 ½ years younger than the average of the league.  Moreno has played in 23 games this year and has posted a slash line of .296/.354/.352 to start the season and has thrown out 10 of 22 base runners for a 45% success rate while allowing just two passed balls behind the plate.

In the month of May, Moreno is 14 for 41 (.341) while having three 3-Hit games.  He is yet to hit a home run this year but has five doubles and 17 RBI in 96 plate appearances.  The Blue Jays have the luxury of having Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk back healthy in the line-up, but if one goes down again, Moreno is going to start pushing for a spot on the 26-man roster.

Orelvis Marintez – Prospect #2 – Double-A – SS/3B

Many fans were introduced to Orelvis Martinez when the 20-year old got into eight Spring Training games earlier this year and collected four extra base hits including a pair of home runs.  Martinez hit a combined 28 home runs in 2021 split between Vancouver and Dunedin in just 98 games and looks like he is going to try and go for a bigger number this year.  So far through 28 games in AA, he has hit 10 home runs, along with four doubles and 21 RBI.  He does have a big swing and miss bat as he has struck out 34 times in just 113 plate appearances but the power is there when he connects.

In the month of May, Martinez appears to be getting stronger at the plate as he has cut down his strikeout rate down to 10 strike outs in 46 plate appearances.  He is hitting 12 for 40 (.300) this month with four home runs to raise his average from .188 at the end of April to .231.  Martinez has had four multi-hit games so far this month.

Jordan Groshans – Prospect #3 – Triple-A – SS/3B

Jordan Groshans started the season on the injured list before reporting to the Dunedin Blue Jays for a rehab assignment.  After five games in Dunedin, he was moved up to the Buffalo Bisons and has been putting on a hitting clinic.

In the month of May, Groshans has posted a slash line of .342/.435/.368 as he has gone 13 for 38 and has struck out just three times.   Half way through the month, Groshans has five multi-hit games but is still looking for his first home run of the season.

The Blue Jays have been a strong prospect pipeline, specifically on the left side of the infield as well as on the mound led by Ricky Tiedemann.

Leo Jimenez – Prospect #5 – High-A – SS

Happy 21st birthday to Leo Jimenez who turns 21 today.  Jimenez had a rough start to the season through April and then missed a week of baseball but came back in May a lot stronger.  Since his return on May 4th, Jimenez has gone 12 for 31 (.387) with five extra-base hits.  Unlike the other prospects higher on the list who have been splitting time between short stop and third base, Jimenez is playing primarily at short stop for the Vancouver Canadians.

Ricky Tiedemann – Prospect #6 – Single-A – P

The Blue Jays used their third-round selection in 2021 to select Ricky Tiedemann from Golden West College.  After being featured in the first round of prospect updates, Tiedeman continues to shine to start the season.

The 19-year-old has made six starts so far this season and has gone five innings in each outing.  In his most recent start, he set a new professional high with 10 strikeouts and has struck out 49 batters in just 30 innings while surrendering just 11 hits.  Tiedmann currently has a 3-1 record with a 1.80 ERA and 0.80 WHIP, which makes it easy to see why he is rated as the top pitching prospect in the organization.

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Adam Kloffenstein – Prospect #11 – High-A – P

Adam Kloffenstein had a bit of a hiccup in 2021 and to start this season but he is slowly turning things around with the Vancouver Canadians.  Kloffenstein has put together three consecutive strong starts pitching a total of 14 innings while surrendering just two earned runs and striking out 15.

Walks were always his issue, but he has improved on that part of his game this season as he has allowed more than one in just two of his six starts.  After starting with a 6.75 ERA through his first three starts this year, the right-hander has been able to drop it down to 3.81 on the season.