BA Newsletter: Get Analysis, Rankings Delivered To Your Inbox!

Toronto Blue Jays

Prospects Overview

Top 10 Prospects

Click prospect for player report

Prospect Lists

Best Tools

Top Prospects of the Decade
(Listed with 2020 organization)

Top Draft Picks of the Decade
(Listed with 2020 organization)

Player Reports

  1. 1. Nate Pearson | RHP
    Nate Pearson
    Born: Aug 20, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 245
    Drafted: JC of Central Florida, 2017 (1st round).
    Signed By: Matt Bishoff.

    Fastball: 80. Curveball: 50. Slider: 70. Changeup: 55. Control: 55.
    Track Record: Pearson mostly pitched as a reliever when he was a freshman at Florida International. He transferred to the JC of Central Florida for 2017 and his stock soared as a starter. He was drafted 28th overall, signed for $2,452,900 and quickly looked like a steal. His 2018 season ended early—he didn’t pitch until May 7, then threw 1.2 innings before a line drive fractured his right forearm and ended his season—but he returned with an outstanding 2019 that put him in the conversation for the top pitching prospect in baseball. Pearson made his major league debut in 2020 and made four starts before going on the injured list with a flexor strain in his right elbow. He returned in time to make one relief appearance at the end of the season and made the Blue Jays postseason roster. In his lone playoff appearance, he struck out five of six batters he faced over two perfect innings of relief.

    Scouting Report: Pearson has a huge frame with a power fastball to match. He sits 94-98 mph, touched 101 in the majors and has previously been as high as 104, showing the ability to get empty swings when he elevates. Pearson significantly improved his mid-80s slider during his time in the minors and saw it carry over to the majors. It’s a plus pitch that flashes as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale, with late bite and two-plane depth to dive underneath barrels. Pearson shows the feel to add and subtract from his slider, landing it in the strike zone or burying it for a chase pitch when necessary. Pearson leaned heavily on his fastball/slider combination in 2020. When he keeps his changeup down, it shows flashes of being a solid-average pitch at 86-89 mph. He didn’t throw it much and lacked a consistent feel for it in the big leagues, where it played below-average. He sprinkles in an occasional 75-79 mph curveball, usually early in the count, showing better control of his curveball than he does with his changeup. Pearson showed electric stuff but got into trouble in the majors because of his control. That hasn’t been an issue for Pearson in the past, and his athletic, efficient delivery suggests he should be able to throw more strikes going forward. Pearson has plenty of starter traits, but durability is still a question. His 101.2 innings in 2019 were a career-high, so his 2020 elbow injury and the fact that he throws so hard gives some scouts pause about his ability to handle a starter’s workload.

    The Future: If Pearson shows he can hold up as a starter and throw strikes like he did in the minor leagues, he has the stuff to develop into a true No. 1 starter. He should be an integral part of Toronto’s rotation in 2021.
  2. 2. Austin Martin | SS
    Austin Martin
    Born: Mar 23, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 170
    Drafted: Vanderbilt, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Nate Murrie.

    Hit: 70. Power: 55. Run: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.
    Track Record: Martin was an All-American at Vanderbilt who led the Southeastern Conference in on-base percentage in 2019, putting himself in conversations to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft. The Blue Jays were elated to get him with the fifth pick, signing him for $7,000,825. He spent the summer at the alternate training site and consistently put together the most disciplined at-bats of any hitter in Rochester.

    Scouting Report: Martin is a well-rounded, intensely competitive player with quick hands and a short, direct swing geared for line drives. He has excellent hand-eye coordination which leads to a high contact rate and good plate coverage, with no problems barreling high-end velocity. Martin’s bat speed and swing efficiency allow him to let the ball travel deep before deciding whether to swing which, along with his keen eye for the strike zone, helps him get on base at a high clip. Martin’s offensive value will come more from his on-base skills than his power, but he has solid-average raw power that was showing up more in games before the season shut down. A tick above-average runner, Martin is athletic and was announced as a shortstop on draft day. He spent a lot of time at shortstop at the alternate site but moved around to third base, second base and center field. He played mostly third base in 2020, with hands that work well in the dirt, but throwing accuracy issues prompted Vanderbilt to move him from third base to center field in 2020.

    The Future: Martin’s future position remains unsettled, but he has the hitting ability and versatility to develop into a plus regular at a multitude of positions. He’s advanced enough to start in high Class A in 2021.
  3. 3. Jordan Groshans | SS
    Jordan Groshans
    Born: Nov 10, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 205
    Drafted: HS—Magnolia, Texas, 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: Brian Johnston.

    Hit: 60. Power: 60. Run: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.
    Track Record: Groshans was the 12th overall pick in the 2018 draft and was crushing the low Class A Midwest League in 2019, but a left foot injury sidelined him after 23 games. He spent 2020 at the alternate site in Rochester, where he led the team’s hitters in home runs.

    Scouting Report: Groshans has a long frame with an athletic, well-sequenced swing and an advanced offensive approach for his age. He has good bat speed, barrels quality fastballs and drives the ball with above-average raw power. With the moving parts in his swing, there are times when Groshans opens early and works around the ball, leaving him vulnerable against breaking balls away. When he stays back and gets into a good hitting position, he stays through the ball and is able to manipulate the barrel and drive the ball from right-center over to his pull side. Groshans reads the ball well off the bat and has a plus arm at shortstop, but his range and quickness will play better at third base, where he would have the tools to become an above-average defender.

    The Future: His foot injury followed by the pandemic have limited Groshans’ development opportunities the last two years, but he has the upside to be a force in the middle of a lineup.
  4. 4. Simeon Woods Richardson | RHP
    Simeon Woods Richardson
    Born: Sep 27, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 210
    Drafted: HS—Sugar Land, Texas, 2018 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Ray Corbett (Mets).

    Fastball: 60. Slider: 55. Curveball: 50. Changeup: 60. Control: 60.
    Track Record: Woods Richardson was one of the youngest players in the 2018 draft class, playing his first season at 17 after signing for $1.85 million as the No. 48 overall pick. One year later, the Mets traded him and lefthander Anthony Kay to the Blue Jays for Marcus Stroman. He spent 2020 at the alternate site in Rochester.

    Scouting Report: Woods Richardson has a strong, powerful build and exceptional polish for his age. He reached high Class A Dunedin in 2019 as a 19-year-old. His athleticism helps him repeat his delivery consistently and locate his fastball to all quadrants of the strike zone, with a chance for plus or better control. He gets good extension out front on his 91-95 mph fastball which has late, riding life when he pitches up in the zone. He mixes and matches three secondary pitches to miss bats, including a tick above-average slider and a deceptive changeup that improved in 2020 to become a plus pitch. Woods Richardson also throws an average curveball, though he goes to his slider more with two strikes.

    The Future: Woods Richardson is advanced enough to start 2021 in Double-A, with a chance to get to Toronto by the end of the year. He has the mix of stuff and control to develop into a No. 2 or 3 starter.
  5. 5. Alejandro Kirk | C
    Alejandro Kirk
    Born: Nov 6, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'9" Wt.: 220
    Drafted: Signed: Mexico, 2016.
    Signed By: Dean Decillis/Sandy Rosario.

    Hit: 70. Power: 50. Run: 20. Fielding: 45. Arm: 50.
    Track Record: It’s easy to overlook Kirk because of his squatty body type, but his track record of hitting continues to sparkle. Signed out of Mexico in 2016, Kirk reached high Class A in 2019 and spent most of 2020 at the alternate training site. He made the jump to Toronto in September and earned regular playing time down the stretch in the Blue Jays’ playoff push.

    Scouting Report: Built like a shorter Pablo Sandoval, Kirk matches Sandoval’s innate ability to barrel the baseball. He has short arms, a short swing and makes frequent contact, striking out just 10% of the time in 2019 and showing the bat control that translated in his brief big league callup. He has a small strike zone and stays disciplined within it, tracking pitches to drive fastballs and breaking pitches to all fields, especially fastballs at the top of the zone. He has average raw power that he accesses in games because of his ability to consistently find the sweet spot. Kirk’s detractors worry about his body and question his defensive skills behind the plate, while others think he receives well, does a solid job with blocking and works well with his pitchers. He has an average arm.

    The Future: Kirk made a big jump to the majors at the end of the season, so more minor league time would be reasonable. Still, his performance catapulted him into the 2021 big league picture.
  6. 6. Orelvis Martinez | SS
    Orelvis Martinez
    Born: Nov 19, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 188
    Drafted: Signed: Dominican Republic, 2018.
    Signed By: Alexis de la Cruz/Sandy Rosario.

    Hit: 60. Power: 60. Run: 45. Fielding: 40. Arm: 60.
    Track Record: Martinez signed out of the Dominican Republic for $3.51 million, the largest bonus for any 16-year-old in the 2018-19 international class, and ranked as the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League’s No. 1 prospect in his first season. After training at home in the Dominican Republic. Last summer, he joined the alternate site for a week, homered there, then hit four homers in his first two weeks of instructional league.

    Scouting Report: Like several other Blue Jays prospects, Martinez does a good job incorporating his whole body into his swing. He has to keep those moving parts in sync, but generally does so to generate fast bat speed and easy plus power. He uses his hands well at the plate, driving the ball with impressive carry to all fields. Martinez makes frequent contact and has an advanced approach for his age, shrinking his lower-half movement when he gets to two strikes. He gets himself in trouble when he’s too aggressive early in the count. Martinez has a plus arm and good hands at shortstop, but he needs to improve his footwork. The Blue Jays still think he has a chance to play shortstop, but his range is already iffy there, and with how much bigger he’s likely to get, his best fit long term is probably third base.

    The Future: Martinez has the upside to develop into an all-star on the left side of the infield, but he is still a teenager yet to make his full-season debut. He is likely to begin in low Class A in 2021.
  7. 7. Alek Manoah | RHP
    Alek Manoah
    Born: Jan 9, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'6" Wt.: 260
    Drafted: West Virginia, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Coulson Barbiche.

    Fastball: 60. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 50.
    Track Record: Manoah split time between starting and relieving his first two years at West Virginia. He had an outstanding summer in the Cape Cod League in 2018, then carried over that success in 2019 as a junior, propelling him to become the 11th overall pick and sign with the Blue Jays for $4,547,500.

    Scouting Report: Manoah is a power pitcher with a gigantic frame. Built like Aaron Harang, Manoah will need to stay on top of his conditioning, but he leverages his size into a high-octane fastball. He sits at 93-96 mph with tailing life and can dial it up to 98. His slider flashes plus and is his putaway pitch. Manoah primarily relied on those two pitches at West Virginia and in the short-season Northwest League, where he continued to rack up strikeouts. His changeup lagged behind and was a developmental priority in 2020 at the alternate training site. It flashes enough movement that it could develop into an average pitch. Manoah is more athletic than his body suggests, which helps him throw strikes, though he does need to tighten his fastball command.

    The Future: Manoah has the stuff to develop into a mid-rotation starter with a chance for more. Even with the shutdown, he could be in position to pitch in Toronto by the end of the 2021 season.
  8. 8. Gabriel Moreno | C
    Gabriel Moreno
    Born: Feb 14, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 160
    Drafted: Signed: Venezuela, 2016.
    Signed By: Francisco Plasencia.

    Hit: 55. Power: 45. Run: 30. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.
    Track Record: Signed out of Venezuela for $25,000 in 2016, Moreno has ascended to become one of the top catching prospects in the lower levels of the minors. He arrived at the alternate site in Rochester in mid August and quickly impressed some of the veteran players there, posting one of the top offensive performances in his brief stint.

    Scouting Report: Moreno jumps out for his athleticism and elite hand-eye coordination. He has excellent control of the barrel and his body, striking out just 11% of the time in 2019. He has incorporated bigger, more athletic movements into his swing since signing to help him drive the ball with more impact, something that started to pop in 2019 and gives him a chance for 15-20 home runs. Moreno is adept at squaring up good velocity, though he still has chase tendencies he’s working to tighten and become more selective on borderline pitches. Moreno has a slightly above-average arm, a quick release and his athleticism is an asset behind the plate, but his blocking and receiving still need improvement.

    The Future: Moreno continues to show positive trends with his bat. As long as they continue, he has a chance to develop into an average or better regular behind the plate.
  9. 9. Adam Kloffenstein | RHP
    Adam Kloffenstein
    Born: Aug 25, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 243
    Drafted: HS—Magnolia, Texas, 2018 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Brian Johnston.

    Fastball: 55. Curveball: 50. Slider: 55. Changeup: 50. Control: 50.
    Track Record: A third-round pick in 2018, Kloffenstein was one of the top pitchers in the short-season Northwest League as a teenager in 2019. Instead of going to the alternate training site or instructional league in 2020, Kloffenstein stayed home in Texas to pitch in the independent Constellation Energy League, where he had a 4.64 ERA with 20 strikeouts and 12 walks in 21.1 innings, throwing no more than three innings per appearance.

    Scouting Report: Kloffenstein has the extra-large frame similar to other pitchers the Blue Jays have drafted highly in recent years. It’s his touch and feel that sticks out more than overpowering stuff, but he also saw a slight velocity bump in 2020. He’s a strike-thrower who sits in the low-to-mid 90s with sink and now reaches 97 mph. He pairs it with two breaking pitches that he has natural feel to spin. Both his slider and curveball are average pitches with a chance to be plus, with his slider typically the more reliable of the two. His changeup, a developmental focus for Kloffenstein in 2020, has good fade and gives him a chance to develop another average pitch once he throws it more.

    The Future: Between his control and arsenal, Kloffenstein has the ingredients to remain a starter, with a chance for his stuff to tick up even further. There’s mid-rotation potential, with low Class A likely next.
  10. 10. Miguel Hiraldo | SS
    Miguel Hiraldo
    Born: Sep 5, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 170
    Drafted: Signed: Dominican Republic, 2017.
    Signed By: Luciano del Rosario.

    Hit: 55. Power: 55. Run: 45. Fielding: 45. Arm: 55.
    Track Record: Several clubs considered Hiraldo one of the best hitters in the 2017 international class when he signed with the Blue Jays for $750,000. He came as advertised in his first two seasons, including a strong showing in the Rookie-level Appalachian League in 2019. The Blue Jays did not bring him to their alternate training site in 2020, so Hiraldo instead trained at home in the Dominican Republic before coming over for instructional league looking leaner than he did in 2019.

    Scouting Report: Hiraldo has an innate feel for barreling the baseball with a short, direct swing and a knack for being on time. His hands are so quick he’s able to generate impressive bat speed, even though he doesn’t get much separation with his load to start his swing. He gets his lower half into his swing well and generates solid-average raw power that could increase. Hiraldo is a good fastball hitter, but his approach can get pull-heavy and leaves him vulnerable on the outer third of the plate and against breaking pitches. His hands and solid-average arm fit at shortstop, but his range points to a future position change, with a skill set that would work well at third base.

    The Future: The Blue Jays have a wealth of shortstops to find playing time for in 2021. Hiraldo is ready for one of Toronto’s Class A levels and could possibly move around the infield to get him into the lineup regularly.

Are you a member?

In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account. 

Login or sign up  


Additionally, you can subscribe to Baseball America's newsletter and receive all of our rankings, analysis, prospect insight & more delivered to your inbox every day. Click here to get started. 

of Free Stories Remaining