As the minor league season churns along, some Toronto Blue Jays farm system players continue to impress. While more well-known prospects like Orelvis Martinez have received a lot of attention this year, another intriguing prospect that many Blue Jays fans may not have heard of deserves some recognition.
Outfielder Alan Roden has had a fantastic season for the Vancouver Canadians in High-A ball. After being tabbed as a candidate for a promotion to Double-A, as reported last week by Sportsnet's Shi Davidi, Roden got the call on Monday to pack his bags for New Hampshire.
The 23-year-old Creighton Blue Jay alum has been a big part of the Canadians' success in the Northwest League this season. The team has rolled through the six-team league, easily winning the first half and now, with an overall 51-32 record, currently holds a 7.5-game lead on the season.
Roden came into the season as FanGraphs' No. 29 Blue Jays prospect, with a projected above-average plus hit tool, and his skills with the bat have been on display this season. In his first full campaign, the 2022 third-round draft pick has impressed with a .321/.437/.459 slash line and 147 wRC+ through 69 games.
With only four home runs, Roden doesn't hit for much power. He does, however, contribute in every other way. The 5-foot-11 lefty hitter is a tough out, as his Northwest League-leading .321 batting average and .437 on-base percentages indicate.
As the team's leadoff hitter and with all the time he spends on the basepaths, Roden has been a catalyst for the Canadians' offense, with 15 stolen bases and 57 runs scored while adding 41 RBI. He rarely gets cheated at the plate, making contact at an incredibly high rate.
Roden knows the strike zone and has the discipline to take a walk on the rare times he doesn't wind up putting the ball in play, as shown by his 13 percent walk rate and 9.9 percent strikeout rate this year.
While big power seems to be what everyone wants to see in prospect hitters, FanGraphs' preseason scouting report suggests Roden has the bat-to-ball skills to be an impact player. He can generate enough power with his mechanics, as shown by his 23 doubles, to overcome the lack of raw power.
In the field, Roden has split time between right field, where his above-average arm plays well, and DH this season. While he still has much to prove before becoming a legitimate option for a future role with the big league club, he's well on his way.