Scouting reports on the next wave of international prospects joining the Blue Jays.

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2021-22 International Reviews: Toronto Blue Jays



Toronto's international pipeline is having an obvious impact at the major league level with 2015 signing Vladimir Guerrero Jr. one of the best players in baseball. Outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (Cuba) and catcher Alejandro Kirk (Mexico) are other homegrown international signings on their big league club, Venezuelan catcher Gabriel Moreno is the organization's No. 1 prospect and should join them by the end of the year, and Dominican shortstop Orelvis Martinez is another Top 100 prospect already in Double-A as a 20-year-old.

Top Of The Class

Venezuela has been home to some of the top international catchers in recent classes, including Diego Cartaya of the Dodgers and Francisco Alvarez of the Mets. The Blue Jays—who have shown a knack for signing and developing international catchers themselves with Kirk and Morenolanded one of the premier catchers in the 2021-22 international class by signing Luis Meza out of Venezuela. Meza's hitting ability and defense both stand out. He's agile and flexible behind the plate, getting low to the ground to block and receive well for a 17-year-old catcher. With an arm that grades out as at least solid-average, Meza has a chance to develop into an above-average defender. Offensively, Meza has an advanced approach, controlling the strike zone well with a high contact rate in games and the ability to use the whole field. His swing is loose, easy and handsy, producing line drives all over the field. It's a hit-over-power profile now with gap power, though he has a lot of space to fill out his broad-shouldered frame and grow into more power once he packs on more strength.

Name To Know

Jean Carlos Joseph, OF, Dominican Republic: At 5-foot-11, 160 pounds, Joseph is a wiry, bouncy athlete whose diligence and attention to detail on defense are evident in the way he shines in center field. He breaks well off the bat with good defensive instincts, running well with good range and efficient routes. Joseph has a strong arm too, giving him the building blocks to develop into a plus defender. During the amateur scouting process, Joseph was a skinny, line-drive hitter, and while he still has a lean frame, the spike in his power has added a new dynamic to his game. He has a fairly sound swing and the raw power to drive balls out from center field over to his pull side, with a chance for more coming as he continues getting stronger.

Railin Tejada, OF, Dominican Republic: Tejada isn't that tall, but he packs a lot of strength into his 5-foot-11 frame. That physical maturity leads to impressive damage on contact when he's able to connect, with a power-over-hit profile offensively and a defensive skill set that fits in a corner.

Raudy Gomez, RHP, Dominican Republic: Gomez is an athletic, 5-foot-10 strike-thrower with feel for three pitches. He's not that big but it's a potential starter profile between his delivery, athleticism, control and pitch mix, starting with a lively fastball that has trended up and now touches 93 mph. Gomez has a knack for manipulating both of his offspeed pitches, including a breaking ball with tight spin and a changeup with fading action that he sells with good arm speed.

Sleeper Watch

A Venezuelan third baseman, Kendry Chirinos packs a lot of strength and physicality into his 5-foot-11 frame. His combination of strength and fast bat speed portends impressive power potential, with a strong arm that fits at third base.

Vinnie Pasquantino (Tracy Proffitt/Four Seam Images)

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