All across baseball you can find some diamonds in the rough. Before making the leap to the Majors they have to go through the pipeline. Here is a better look at some of the Blue Jays prospects and when to expect them in the Majors.
Austin Martin, SS, 21
Austin Martin was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays with the fifth-overall pick of the 2020 MLB Draft. Martin played for Vanderbilt University in the SEC. In 16 games this season he batted .377 with three home runs and 11 RBIs. Martin was predicted to go either first or second in this year’s draft but somehow he fell to the Blue Jays with the number five pick. Martin is a very versatile player, who can thrive in most positions on the baseball field. At Vanderbilt, he played four games at first base, 13 games at second base , 56 games at third base and 12 games in centre field, according to Baseball Reference. He led the NCAA Division 1 in runs with 86, while leading the SEC in batting average (.392) and OBP (.486).
Expected MLB Arrival: 2022 MLB Season
This top prospect was supposed to go top-two in the draft. I think the Jays will give him two-three years in the minors to adjust to different styles and pace of play and then he will be up in the majors for the 2022 season.
Nate Pearson, RHP, 23
Nate Pearson is the Blue Jays top prospect according to MLB.com. The right-handed pitcher accelerated through the Blue Jays minor league system and started last year in High Class A and finished it off pitching at the AAA level with the Buffalo Bison. Pearson is ranked by MLB as the number 8 prospect in all of baseball, and rightfully so. At just 23 years of age, Pearson has recorded in-game fastballs at 104MPH and even 105 in the off-season. Putting a little perspective to that the fastest pitch recorded is at 105.1MPH by Yankee’s closer Aroldis Chapman. Across three levels, in 2019 Pearson went 5-4 in 25 starts with a 2.30 ERA and a .885 WHIP, tacking on 119 strikeouts, while facing 338 batters last year. Pearson will become the Blue Jays ace this team has needed since the departure of David Price. He is already one of the hardest throwing pitchers in baseball and averaged 10.5 SO/9.
Expected MLB Arrival: 2021 Season
With the uncertainty about the 2020 season and if it will be played I decided to say 2021 because no one knows how long this season will be if there is one but I will be shocked if Nate Pearson isn’t in the Jays full-time rotation for the 2021 season.
Alejandro Kirk, C, 21
Alejandro Kirk is ranked the fifth best Blue Jays prospect by the MLB. Kirk has played two seasons in the Jays farm system and has put up stellar numbers in Rookie, Class A and High Class A. Kirk has had two healthy seasons after he re-aggravated a hand injury in 2017 which originated in a car crash. The Jays signed him directly from Mexico in 2017; he played one game before he reaggravating his hand injury. At the plate is where Kirk shines the brightest, in both seasons he played he had more walks than strikeouts and OBP greater than .400, according to Baseball Reference. Kirk was a non-roster invite to Spring Training this year for the Blue Jays where he played in eight games batted .500, with an OBP of .667 and scoring 4 times. Kirk is not a huge power hitter but he will get on-base with either a hit or a walk. Kirk almost was recording a hit per game on average last season with 56 walks. Kirk is an exciting prospect and perhaps one of my personal favourites.
Expected MLB Arrival: 2022 Season
Kirk has already displayed great plate discipline, and hitting abilities in High Class A. I think he will start 2020, if there is a season, in AA and be able to climb the ladder to AAA Buffalo by the end of the year and possibly a September call-up. Depending on how Reese McGuire and Danny Jansen fare in the MLB I believe that Kirk could leapfrog one of them on the Depth Charts and be a main catcher for the Blue Jays by 2022.