Toronto Blue Jays: 2024 Midseason Top 30 Update


Disappointment has been the overarching theme for the Blue Jays this year. The organization seems like it’s on the verge of selling before the trade deadline and a reset looks to be in order. 

On the farm, injuries have devastated their pitching ranks as young starters Brandon Barriera and Landon Maroudis both underwent hybrid elbow surgeries that combine Tommy John surgery and an internal brace. Top prospect Ricky Tiedemann’s injury woes have continued, as he’s rehabbing yet another injury. Promising lefthander Kendry Rojas has dealt with shoulder soreness that put him on the injury list.

In all, it’s been a disappointing season for the Blue Jays with few bright spots. 

Baseball America subscribers can see the full updated Blue Jays Top 30 here. Notable risers, fallers, new additions and injury updates are below.

Notable Risers 

Josh Kasevich, SS

The 2022 draft set up as a potential windfall for the Blue Jays, as they had five picks inside the top 100. So far, only Kasevich and Alan Roden have remained bright spots. Kasevich lacks over-the-fence power, but he’s been one of the most difficult outs in the Eastern League so far in 2024. He has an advanced hit tool with the ability to provide average-or-better defense across the infield. 

Spencer Horwitz, 2B

After three seasons of showing advanced bat-to-ball skills and approach, Horwitz has broken through to the Blue Jays’ lineup. Since Horwitz was promoted on June 8th he’s been one of the top-performing hitters for Toronto. The advanced plate skills Horwitz has shown for years are passing the test at the game’s highest level. 

Notable Fallers

Brandon Barriera, LHP

With two lost seasons, Barriera faces a long recovery from Tommy John surgery. Even prior to the injury, Barriera was showing inconsistent and, at times, depleted stuff. 

Notable New Additions

15. Ryan Jennings, RHP

BA Grade/Risk: 45/High

Track Record: Jennings spent five years playing college baseball, beginning his career with two all-conference seasons at Wharton JC (TX). He then transferred to Louisiana Tech, where he played two seasons for the Bulldogs. The Blue Jays drafted Jennings in the 4th round as a senior-sign money-saver. Jennings was assigned to High-A Vancouver to begin 2024.

Scouting Report: Jennings is an undersized righthanded starter who’s found success on the strength of his fastball. Jennings mixes a four-seamer with a curveball, slider and changeup, with his fastball seeing nearly 60% usage. Jennings’ fastball sits 94-96 mph  and shows heavy armside run and more vertical break than you’d expect from his tilt arm slot. Of his three secondaries, Jennings relies most heavily on his mid-80s gyro slider and low-80s curveball. Both miss an above-average number of bats, and he shows average command for both. Jennings uses his changeup infrequently.

The Future: Long term, Jennings will likely head into a relief role  where his fastball and combination of breaking balls will play.

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 30 | Control: 45

22. Eric Pardinho, RHP

BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

Track Record: Signed out of Brazil for $1.4 million during the 2017 international signing period, many considered Pardinho the top pitcher available that year. He impressed in his pro debut in 2018 but missed all of 2019 and 2020 with an elbow injury and subsequent Tommy John surgery. He returned to pitch in 2022, making three appearances in the Florida Complex League. Pardinho spent all of 2023 with High-A Vancouver working in relief. He broke camp with Double-A New Hampshire to start 2024, seeing promotion to Triple-A on June 18th.

Scouting Report: After five years of injuries and inconsistent performance, Pardinho has found success as a power reliever in 2024. He mixes four different pitches in a fastball, slider, curveball and changeup. Pardinho’s fastball sits 93-95 mph and has been up to 98 mph this year, showing above-average ride and run from a low release height. His primary secondary is a mid-80s cut-slider that’s seen nearly one-to-one usage with his fastball. Pardinho’s changeup has been his best swing-and-miss pitch, getting his highest rates of swings, whiffs and chase swings. Pardinho also throws a curveball, but it’s rarely used. Overall, Pardinho shows fringe-average command of his arsenal.

The Future: Pardinho is a one-inning power reliever who could make his debut later in 2024.

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 55 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 45

29. Riley Tirotta, 3B

BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

Track Record: Tirotta was drafted in the 12th round in 2021 out of Dayton and signed for $125,000. He slowly progressed up the minor league ladder, breaking out in 2024 and hitting his way to Triple-A by late May. At the halfway point of the season, Tirotta was among the leaders in wRC+ among all qualified minor league hitters.

Scouting Report: Behind Tirotta’s 2024 breakout are adjustments to his swing that have resulted in better angles and top-tier contact quality. His contact is below-average, but he limits swings and misses with above-average-to-plus swing decisions. His ability to get on-base and hit for power drives his profile. He’s a fringe-average runner and a below-average defender that’s seen time at third base, first and the outfield corners. His arm is above-average, allowing him to play multiple positions without a true home.

The Future: The Blue Jays have had success with productive minor league hitters with a lack of position, and Tirotta figures to be another bat-first utility type.

Scouting Grades: Hitting: 40 | Power: 55 | Speed: 45 | Fielder: 40 | Arm: 55

30. Connor O’Halloran, LHP

BA Grade/Risk: 40/High

Track Record: A three-year member of Canada’s U-18 national team, O’Halloran is an Ontario native that took home the Big 10 Conference pitcher of the year award in 2023. The Blue Jays selected O’Halloran in the fifth round and assigned him directly to Dunedin. He began 2024 back in Dunedin before receiving promotion to High-A Vancouver after seven starts. O’Halloran’s father, Greg O’Halloran, is a former big leaguer who saw 11 at bats with the Marlins in 1994.

Scouting Report: O’Halloran is a deceptive lefthander with a trio of pitches: A four-seam fastball, slider and changeup. His primary pitch is a slider, which he uses over 50% of the time. It sits 79-82 mph with gyro shape, and he has an uncanny ability to land it where he wants. His fastball is his second-most used pitch. It sits 88-90 mph from a five-foot release and has below-average movement. He also mixes in a changeup in the low-to-mid-80s with heavy armside run. O’Halloran shows plus command of his slider but below-average feel for his fastball and changeup.

The Future: O’Halloran looks likely to develop into a slider-first reliever that gives lefties fits.

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 40 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45

Significant Injuries

Brandon Barriera, LHP

The concerns around Barriera’s health escalated to red flag territory this season when he needed a hybrid elbow surgery. The procedure is a combination of Tommy John surgery and an internal brace procedure. 

Landon Maroudis, RHP

One of Blue Jays’ bright spots from minor league spring training, Maroudis was injured on April 21st. An elbow injury was announced, and a few weeks later it was reported that Maroudis underwent a hybrid elbow surgery in the same fashion as teammate Brandon Barriera. 

Kendry Rojas, LHP

Shut down in April with shoulder soreness, Rojas is still working his way back from injury. He’s made two rehab starts and is expected to rejoin the Vancouver rotation this month.

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