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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16. Victor Arias- A (Previous Rank: Unranked)
20 y.o / LHH / OF

Arias is one of the few hitters in the lower minors that is producing well at a level that he is young for. The 20-year-old left-handed outfielder hasn't been a world beater but he has been well above average in a league where offense is hard to come by. He has been walking at a high clip and actually managed to slash his strikeout rate coming from the complex league which is a promising sign. Arias has above average, maybe even plus bat speed that he uses to scorch hard line groundballs and line drives to all fields. That raw power comes with some limitations due to his flatter swing. Arias has split time between center field and left field. His stockier build is better suited for a corner outfield spot long term.

15. Brandon Barriera- A (Previous Rank: 5)
20 y.o / LHP / SP

Barriera struggled through an injury plagued 2023. He looked healthy and in form to enter the year before the ticking time bomb went off and he needed elbow surgery. Barriera got a hybrid surgery that will keep him out all of 2024 and most likely most of 2025. He'll likely be just 21 when he returns so there will be time to make up for lost time but this is clearly a massive blow to his stock. Below is part of his profile to enter the year.

As far as performance goes, Barriera looked quite good in 2023. He was capable of dominating lower minor hitters with his sweeping slider alone which flashed double-plus with huge sweep and sharp bite. His two-seamer was only 93 MPH but it got above average swing and miss and did an amazing job generating weak contact and groundballs. Barriera's overall groundball rate is one of the highest in all of minor league baseball. He's largely a two-pitch pitcher right now but his changeup has shown enough promise to take on a bigger role as he faces better hitters. Barriera's control was fringe average which isn't unusual in a young pitcher dealing with injuries throughout the year. His command of his fastball and slider specifically was closer to average and he's still projecting to be an average strike thrower.