Baseball America recently released their new prospect rankings for the 2023 season (subscription required).
We've covered prospects three through ten in the Toronto Blue Jays system so far.
Editor's note, each player on this list will move up one spot eventually due to the trading of Gabriel Moreno, the No. 1 Jays prospect:
No. 10 Nate Pearson (story link)
No. 9 Hayden Juenger (story link)
No. 8 Cade Doughty (story link)
No. 7 Tucker Toman (story link)
No. 6 Orelvis Martinez (story link)
No. 5 Addison Barger (story link)
No. 4 Brandon Barriera (story link)
No. 3 Yosver Zulueta (story link)
Today, we move on to the No. 2 prospect in the Blue Jays system, lefty Ricky Tiedemann.
For those worried about pitching depth in the Blue Jays farm system, note Tiedemann is the third pitcher in the top five following Zulueta and Barriera, and is also the second highest ranked left-handed pitching prospect on the BA list, ranking 28th overall in their final re-ranking of the top 100 list for 2022.
Tiedemann, who just turned 20 in August, was the third-round pick out of Golden West Junior College by the Jays in the 2021 MLB Draft. Like Barriera, he may have a slight chip on his shoulder after being a top player in the 2020 draft class out of Lakewood High School in California, but went undrafted after teams didn't meet his bonus demands in the shortened five-round draft that year. He decommitted from San Diego State University, and enrolled at Golden West JC to make himself available for the 2021 draft.
The big, athletic lefty - at 6’4’ and 220lbs - has rocketed up the prospect rankings after an outstanding 2022 season, which included three different levels in the minors, culminating in a promotion to the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats on August 5th. Overall he pitched to a 2.17 ERA over 18 starts and 78.2 innings, including a 2.45 ERA in 4 starts covering 11 innings at AA. He also racked up 117 strikeouts (13.4 K/9 innings) against 29 walks, including 14 Ks against much older competition in AA.
Tiedemann introduced himself to the fans last July with a perfect inning in the All-Star Futures Game at Dodger Stadium, and at the time of his promotion, he was the youngest active player in the Eastern League and second-youngest active player at the Double-A level.
His fastball velocity spiked soon after the Jays drafted him, from the 89-92mph range to a mid-90s offering in 2022. As per Baseball America’s latest scouting report (subscription required), “Tiedemann mixes three pitches, topped by a plus mid-90s fourseam fastball with heavy armside run. His sweeping slider sits 80-82 mph with a foot of horizontal break and is another plus pitch he mostly throws against left-handed batters. His changeup is a plus-plus mid-80s offering with tumble and fade that plays off his fastball and annihilates righthanded hitters.”
He can definitely improve his control from the 3.3 BB/9 innings he posted in 2022, but it typically takes young left-handers more minor league innings to hone their craft. With only 18 minor league starts and 78.2 innings under his belt, he’ll also have to increase that 4.1 innings per start average, which will mean facing batters for a second and third time through the order.
He definitely should progress to Triple-A in 2023, and will merit a promotion to the Blue Jays 26-man roster at some point next year if his development continues on its current arc.
BA has Tiedemann’s scouting grades on the 80-grade scale as follows: