Baseball America (subscription required) has updated their Top 30 prospects list for each team for June. The Jays had some new entries, as well as players who saw their rankings either improve or decline significantly.
Top 30 Risers
Seeing a huge jump from 20th to 6th on the list is 20-year old, Cuban lefty Kendry Rojas, who has been dominant at Low-A Dunedin this year. As Baseball America notes, “The 20-year-old lefthander has been the breakout player of the Blue Jays system over the first few months of the season. Rojas has been Low-A Dunedin's best pitcher over his eight appearances, striking out 27.5% of the batters he's faced while walking just 7%. Rojas has added 3 mph of velocity onto his [now mid-90s] four-seam fastball and [now mid-80s] slider, his two primary offerings.”
Toronto signed Rojas for $215,000 during the 2020 international signing period. After first being assigned to the Dominican Summer League, he was assigned to the Florida Complex League Blue Jays on June 28, 2021, and was promoted to the Dunedin Blue Jays at the start of the 2022 season.
As a 19-year old last year in Dunedin, he went 2-2 with a 4.08 ERA is 12 appearances, 10 of which were starts, pitching 39.2 innings with 43 strikeouts and 19 walks. This season he’s improved on that as a 20-year old, with a 3-2 record and 2.84 ERA over ten appearances (6 starts), covering 44.1 innings, with 47 Ks against only 14 walks. He was also part of a 5-0 combined no-hitter for Dunedin over the Tampa Tarpons last August 14th, working the first two innings.
Newly added to the top 30 list is 23-year old, left-handed hitting Alan Roden of the High-A Vancouver Canadians at No. 17. He was drafted in the 3rd round (98th overall) by the Jays in 2022 and signed for $497,500. He’s been solid this year for Vancouver, slashing .282/.398/.413/.811 over 53 games and 206 at-bats, with 40 runs scored, 3 home runs and 31 RBIs. He’s also swiped 13 bases in 15 attempts, and has more walks (30) than strikeouts (25). Baseball America notes that the Creighton Blue Jays product “has plus bat-to-ball skills, above-average or better swing decisions and average impact.”
Also debuting in the top 30 at No. 23 is 24-year old 2B Davis Schneider of the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. Toronto drafted him in the 28th round (849th overall) in 2017. He’s slashing .258/.385/.522/.907 with 14 HRs and 41 RBIs in 59 games and 209 at-bats for Buffalo.
Returning to the list is New Hampshire RHP Adam Kloffenstein at No. 24. He’d ranked as high as No. 9 in 2021, but fell off after a tough stretch. Other completely new names on the list include RHP Connor Cooke of AA New Hampshire at No. 25, Cuban righty Rafael Sánchez of the Vancouver Canadians at No. 28, right-hander Ryan Jennings also on Vancouver at No. 29, and left-handed hitting 1B Peyton Williams of Low-A Dunedin at No. 30.
Top 30 Decliners
With all of the new additions, players including RHP Yondrei Rojas, catcher Zach Britton and RHP Alejandro Melean have dropped off this list. Two names still in the top 30 are notable decliners: LHP Adam Macko and OF Dasan Brown.
Macko falls from No. 10 to No. 26 after a rough start to the season with Vancouver. He was part of the Teoscar Hernandez trade last November with Seattle, but has struggled with his command and has been hit hard. In ten starts, he has a 5.91 ERA over 42.2 innings with a .267 opponents’ average.
Brown, also at High-A Vancouver, falls from No. 13 to No. 20. As Baseball America notes, “Few players have the ability to defend in center field the way Brown does… however, things have regressed again in 2023. In his second extended run at High-A, Brown isn’t getting on base, hitting for power or contact. Without any offensive upside Brown looks like a standout defender and little else.”