Jays Journal's Top 30 Blue Jays Prospects - 2024 Midseason Update

Ricky Tiedemann
Ricky Tiedemann / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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18. Connor Cooke- AAA (Previous Rank: 15)
24 y.o / RHP / RP

Cooke looked poised to play an important role in the Blue Jays bullpen this year (and he would've got the opportunity with the amount of injuries the Jays have had there) but he has struggled greatly this year at Triple-A. He has lost the zone completely with a walk rate nearing 20% and his strikeout rate has nearly been cut in half from last year. Cooke's strikeout numbers last year were so ridiculous that this means he's still striking out over a batter an inning this year but it still has been quite the fall off. His wipeout slider, uphill fastball, and solid changeup give him back end of the bullpen potential when his feel for locating is there. There's a precedent of him throwing strikes so there's reason to believe he'll turn the page and reliever performance is notoriously variable month to month.

17. Lazaro Estrada- A+ (Previous Rank: 27)
25 y.o / RHP / SP/RP

Last year, I wrote a spotlight piece on why I think Lazaro Estrada is being overlooked. Since then, he has continued to produce, including a recent no-hitter. His fastball isn't thrown extremely hard (typically low-to-mid-90s) but its combination of extreme ride and his uphill attack angle make it a tricky pitch for hitters to pick up. He has also been known for his strong curveball that tunnels well off his fastball. Estrada has above average control and at least average command. Given his advanced age for the level (which is more a product of lost development years and a visa issue than lack of production) I'd like to see the Jays promote him to Double-A soon. He has more of a reliever profile but I think he can be a really good one in the near future.