FanGraphs’ Top 31 Blue Jays Prospects list features some significant surprises

Which promising prospects within the Jays organization appear wrongfully ranked by Fangraphs?
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In a recent article by FanGraphs, they took an in-depth look at and ranked the top 31 prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays organization based on their Future Value (FV). In doing so, the rankings of the Jays’ prospects came out a bit different from that found in MLB Pipeline in 2023, but for a select few, the ranking that they received turned out quite surprising to say the least. 

Among them was right-handed pitcher T.J. Brock. Brock was selected by the Jays in the sixth round of the 2022 MLB Draft. Not ranked within the top 30 in the organization during 2023 according to MLB Pipeline, Brock produced some solid results with the Jays’ High-A affiliate Vancouver Canadians when he went 4-0 with a stellar 1.77 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, along with 31 strikeouts in just 20.1 innings pitched. That performance gave him a well-earned promotion to Double-A New Hampshire. But it was there where he began to struggle to finish off the season. With the Fisher Cats, Brock was often hit hard as he posted a 6.68 ERA and 1.61 WHIP, but somehow managed to maintain his strikeout ability with 56 punchouts in 32.1 innings of work. 

However, FanGraphs have him ranked as high as 6th overall in the Jays’ system, which is a lot higher than expected. Brock was even ahead of top prospects such as Yosver Zulueta, Brandon Barriera and Josh Kasevich. There is no doubt he has the stuff to make him a dominating flamethrower when he eventually makes the big leagues. But he still has a lot of work to do, as he will need to make the right adjustments to miss bats more often as he progresses through the minor league system. 

Another shocking ranking was that for promising outfield prospect Alan Roden. Ranked as high as 7th by MLB Pipeline last year, the 2022 third round pick by the Jays had a breakout season during 2023 when he hit an impressive .317 with an .890 OPS, along with 92 runs scored, 29 doubles, 10 home runs, 68 RBI and 24 stolen bases in 115 games split between Vancouver and New Hampshire. More importantly, he showed great plate discipline for his age as he walked more than he struck out during the entire season. 

With his solid progression and maturity in his game, he could even have an outside shot in making his debut in the big leagues by the end of 2024. However, even with that huge potential, FanGraphs has Roden ranked way lower than expected in the 19th position, putting him behind the likes of Chad Dallas, Connor Cooke, Landen Maroudis and even Enmanuel Bonilla. Perhaps Roden can set his sights on an even bigger year in 2024 just to prove his doubters wrong.

Finally, infielder Damiano Palmegiani had an outstanding 2023 season in which he spent the majority of his time in New Hampshire, while earning a promotion to Triple-A Buffalo by the year’s end. In 128 total games, Palmegiani compiled a .255 average, .842 OPS, with 70 runs scored, 33 doubles, 23 home runs and 93 RBI. He even continued his successful year in the Arizona Fall League by posting a solid .263 batting average with a .941 OPS, 22 runs scored, 6 home runs and 21 RBI in just 22 games. But somehow, FanGraphs has Palmegiani in the 25th spot in the Jays’ organization, just ahead of players such as Fernando Perez, Aneudi Escanio, and Sam Shaw … yes, exactly. Nevertheless, that can certainly help motivate Palmegiani for the 2024 season to show everyone what he can bring in his game.