With the second half of the 2023 campaign underway, Prospects Live have released their top 100 midseason prospects. From a Blue Jays' perspective it wasn't particularly encouraging, with just one representative on the list.
The player in question is Ricky Tiedemann, who was ranked 23rd. The Blue Jays have high hopes for their top-rated prospect, who has the genuine potential to be a number two starter in the Majors.
Prospects Live's ranking for Tiedemann is certainly more encouraging than MLB.com's, who currently have him placed 31st. (For the record, MLB.com also only have the one Blue Jays prospect in their top 100.)
As with most analysis, Prospects Live rave about the 20-year-old's fastball, which can reach 99 mph. His changup isn't far behind as his second pitch however, capable of reaching the mid-80s.
The Blue Jays have been making a point of being patient with Tiedemann, who looked excellent during spring training. In truth though, some of this patience has been necessary due to durability issues.
In this respect, the southpaw was shut down briefly during spring training, due to shoulder soreness. More recently he suffered left biceps inflammation, which has kept him out of action since early May.
This was frustrating for all concerned, after Tiedemann had looked promising -- albeit still a work in progress -- during four starts for Double-A New Hampshire. He had been particularly impressive showing off his velocity, highlighted by 23 strikeouts in 12.2 combined innings.
While you could argue it was too early for a promotion to Triple-A even before the latest injury, Blue Jays manager John Schneider is extremely confident in his young pitcher. As reported by Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun following Tiedemann's first start of the season, Schneider said:
"I don’t know what else he needs to do in Double A. He’s an impressive dude. For a young kid, he’s so grounded with his routine and what he’s trying to do."
Patience remains key
Given the concerns surrounding Tiedemann's health, the good news is that he is scheduled to return to action in the early part of August. He has looked strong during live batting practice sessions, although the Blue Jays are understandably being cautious.
Prior to this season, the 2021 third round draft pick was projected to be Major League-ready at some point in 2024. Whether this remains the case will understandably depend on his health moving forward, but he remains a valuable and promising part of the Blue Jays' future.