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A star for Petal (Miss.) High on a team that won the state title in his junior season, Alford ranked No. 36 on BA's first-ever Top 500 draft prospects list in 2012, edging Alabama prep Jameis Winston as the top two-sport player available in that year's draft. He'd committed to Southern Mississippi to play baseball and football, and the Golden Eagles had hired his high school football coach onto their staff. Area scouts reckoned Alford would go to school, and most clubs backed off. The Blue Jays had extra picks that year, however, and had Alford stuffed up their draft board at No. 10 overall. They waited until the third round to select Alford, understanding he was a risky sign and taking him in the third round, 112th overall. He signed for $750,000 but spent most of 2012-2014 focused on football, spending one season as Southern Miss' quarterback, where he rushed for six touchdowns and threw for two more. (He also was arrested as a freshman on a since-reduced assault charge.) A year later, he transferred to Ole Miss and played defensive back in 2014 before quitting the team in early October. He announced he would pursue baseball full-time and spent last winter getting needed at-bats in the Australian Baseball League. While he struggled there, Alford broke out with a strong 2015 season that finished in high Class A. Alford combines physicality and surprising feel for hitting to profile as a potential impact center fielder. Compact and strong, Alford is an elite athlete with burst and plus-plus speed that plays both on the bases, where he's just scratched the surface as a basestealer, and in center field. What stunned Blue Jays officials and scouts this year were Alford's instincts, which show up in center as he has excellent range that helps make up for his below-average throwing arm. He also has hitting instincts and an advanced approach for a player of his experience level. It's more than just taking walks; Alford works counts, has some idea of a two-strike approach and spoils pitcher's pitches well. He has strength and bat speed to drive the ball to all fields, with the quality of his at-bats remaining consistent throughout the season. He reached base in 45 of 50 games with low Class A Lansing, then 51 of 57 with high Class A Dunedin. Alford's swing starts with a high back elbow that short-circuits his power, but club officials are enthusiastic he can make that mechanical adjustment, improve his swing path and get to his plus raw power. His quarterback background helps make Alford a natural locker-room leader, and he has the work ethic managers love. Once considered a boom-or-bust prospect, Alford has evolved from a football player trying to play baseball to a polished offensive player with potential star tools. How much power Alford can tap into will determine whether he can be a dynamic middle-of-the-order force, or merely a potentially disruptive leadoff hitter who would fit the center-field profile well. He's headed to Double-A for 2016, and with Kevin Pillar and Dalton Pompey ahead of him, the Jays will not rush him.
Greene is the only Blue Jays prospect with his own IMDB page. He's modeled since childhood and has dabbled in acting, with two brief appearances in "Anger Management," a sitcom starring fellow Santa Monica High grad Charlie Sheen. Signed for a below-slot $100,000 bonus in 2013, Greene has started growing into his body, adding about 20 pounds to his listed weight, and broke out in 2015, finishing the season in Double-A. The Blue Jays prioritize tall, loose, athletic, projectable pitchers for the draft, and Greene checks every box, building strength via gymnastics and surfing in the offseason. He adds pitchability and a now-plus fastball. He sat 86-90 in high school but has reached 97 mph as a pro, though he usually pitches off his 92-94 mph heater. He gets good angle to the plate thanks to his delivery and three-quarters slot, making his fastball tough to square up. His changeup has similar angle and sinking life and is his best secondary pitch, helping handle lefthanded hitters (.207 in 198 at-bats) better than righthanded ones (.307 in 309 atbats). Greene's curveball flashes above-average but lacks consistency because it lacks consistent power and location. He's working to add some sweep to it to make it more of a swing-and-miss pitch. Greene's first year in full-season ball went better than anyone expected. He may spend all of 2016 back in Double-A as he tries to polish his curveball and overall command. He has the pieces to mature into a No. 2 starter.
The Blue Jays had Guerrero Jr., the son of the 2004 American League MVP, in their Dominican complex for the first time when he was 14, seeing a pudgy, immature body and precocious power. Trained by his uncle Wilton (also an ex-big leaguer) and showing some of his father's tools if not his athleticism, the junior Guerrero became the top prospect in the 2015 international class. The Blue Jays traded prospects Chase DeJong and Tim Locastro to pick up extra bonus pool room and signed Guerrero for $3.9 million, the second-largest bonus in franchise history. Where his father was wiry and an untamed athlete with premium power, Guerrero is thick-bodied, with a corner profile. He stands out for his bat control, bat speed, hand strength and hand-eye coordination that could make him a bad-ball hitter and power plan like his father, who hit 449 home runs in the majors. Ostensibly a left fielder when he signed, the Jays tried him at third base in instructional league after asking Guerrero what his favorite position was. His arm strength, fringy in the outfield, improved to average with the shorter arm stroke. He may outgrow third, but the club will send him out at that position in 2016, believing his hands are suited for the spot even if his range is short. One club official compared Guerrero's overall package to a bigger version of 1989 National League MVP Kevin Mitchell, who played infield early in his career but was ultimately a bat-first left fielder. Guerrero fits a similar profile and may wind up at first base or DH. The Jays will be OK with that if his power pans out as they hope. He should start 2016 in Rookie ball, either in the Gulf Coast or Appalachian leagues.
Signed for $725,000, Urena had a strong first full season as he ranked second in the organization and third in the low Class A Midwest League in home runs, even though he opened the season as the 10th-youngest player in the MWL. He earned a July promotion to high Class A but went back to Lansing in late August for the Lugnuts' playoff run, which ended in the MWL semifinals. Urena has physical projection remaining but has some whip and strength in his swing already with quick wrists that help him produce solid-average power that he'll get to more if he can improve his strike-zone judgment. In his second year as a switch-hitter, he struggled with his new righthanded swing, batting just .205 from that side with one homer, but the Jays plan to give him more time to work on it. He has the requisite middle-infield tools with smooth actions, soft hands and easy plus arm strength. He became more efficient defensively with just 23 errors in 120 games after committing more than 20 errors each of the two previous years in short-season ball. As he matures physically, he'll slow down to being an average runner if not a tick below, which could push him off shortstop. Urena could benefit from the organization's likely slower promotion path under new team president Mark Shapiro, as he needs to mature physically and mentally. He'll head back to Dunedin for 2016, and with Troy Tulowitzki signed through 2020, he's one of the Jays' best remaining trade chips.
Born in Guam while his father, a chief warrant officer in the Coast Guard, was stationed there, Reid-Foley grew up in Jacksonville, Fla. His older brother David, a converted catcher signed as a nondrafted free agent, pitches in the Dodgers system. The younger Reid-Foley fell in the draft after being projected as a first-rounder and signed for $1.128,800. He finished his first full season in high Class A. The ball comes out of Reid-Foley's hand with life, power and angle to the plate. His fastball has touched 97 mph and often sits 92-95, and at his best he can pitch to both sides of the plate. He has the athleticism to repeat his delivery, which is more drop-anddrive than the average pitcher. He loses command of the strike zone and gives up big innings when his arm is too late at foot strike; his arm drags and he loses his release point. His slider flashes above-average as well with depth and low-80s power when he's on time. His changeup lags behind, and he hasn't shown the ability to make corrections on the mound himself. From his Jacksonville background to his intense demeanor and power repertoire, Reid-Foley evokes comparisons to Jonathan Papelbon. The Blue Jays intend to develop him as a starter, returning him to high Class A Dunedin to start 2016, but he fits the closer profile well.
The Blue Jays drafted Harris in the 33rd round out of a Missouri high school and followed as he attended Missouri State, where he became a weekend starter as a freshman. Harris helped the Bears to a school-record 49 wins in 2015. Projected as a top 15-20 selection, Harris tumbled on draft day, and the Jays were as stunned as anybody. They signed him for slot with the 29th overall pick. In a college draft class light on starting pitching, Harris impressed scouts for his athleticism, projectable frame, sound delivery and four-pitch mix. He still has strength gains to make, more important to maintain his delivery and the quality of his stuff than to add velocity. He pitches with an above-average fastball in the 90-93 mph range and has touched 95 with life to the fastball, particularly standing out for its armside life. He'll spin both a 12-to-6 curveball and a slider that has some depth as well, and his changeup gives him an average weapon. The Blue Jays attribute Harris' poor debut to fatigue; they weren't happy about it but aren't panicking either. Harris has to get stronger and prove he has the durability to fulfill a mid-rotation ceiling. He should spend 2016 at Class A with his workload likely to be closely monitored.
While the Blue Jays failed to sign first-rounder Phil Bickford in 2013, they already had made some above-slot signings later in the draft, including Tellez. His $850,000 was the largest bonus in their class this year, and he'd moved slowly until 2015. He earned a midseason promotion to high Class A Dunedin, where his season ended in early August due to a hamate injury. Tellez combines feel for hitting and power potential in a burly body that he'll have to continually monitor, as he's prone to get big. He works at it, though, and club officials like that Tellez derives motivation from the criticism and plays with an edge. He has a feel for the barrel and using the whole field, with natural strength to drive the ball to the opposite field and not just pull power. He's aggressive but not to a fault, starting to trust his hands and hang in better against lefthanders. Tellez remains raw defensively and won't remind anyone of Keith Hernandez but has worked to improve and should be a fringe-average defender in time, though his poor speed could make him a baseclogger in time. Tellez was the bright spot of Toronto's Arizona Fall League contingent after returning from his hand injury, hitting .293/.352/.488 with four homers. He should be ready for Double-A and profiles as a second-division first baseman who could become a first-division player if his power keeps developing.
The best player in Kennesaw State's Division I history, Pentecost was an unsigned seventh-rounder out of high school who didn't sign with the Rangers in part due to concerns about his elbow. The 2013 MVP of the Cape Cod League powered the Owls to their first regional title in 2014 en route to becoming the highest-drafted player in school history. Since signing for slot at $2,888,300, Pentecost has played just 25 games, including none in 2015, while recovering from two shoulder surgeries. When healthy, Pentecost showed a tantalizing combination of athleticism and hitting ability for a catcher. He has a sustained track record for hitting thanks to a quick, short swing that he repeats well with modest effort. He has flashed plus raw power in the past, though club officials see him as a hit-first, power-second player. His first surgery repaired a partial tear in his right labrum; the second corrected problems from the first procedure. He's still rebuilding arm strength from the surgeries, and a return to his previous plus arm strength will take patience and hard work. He'll need plenty of reps to hone his receiving and blocking skills while working with pro pitchers. Pentecost runs well enough to move to the outfield long-term if he can't catch, and the Jays have indicated he will paly some first base and DH in 2016 to get needed at-bats. His health and spring-training performance will decide his assignment, but the Jays hold out hope he can still become a first-division catcher.
The starting quarterback and punter, Maese threw for more than 5,000 yards and 38 touchdowns for Ysleta High in El Paso. He's from a baseball family, as his older brother Carlos wound up pitching collegiately at West Texas A&M and taught him a slider. He signed for $300,000, less than half of the slot value, then excelled in his pro debut, including a 10-strikeout, six-inning effort in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League playoffs. Athletic and live-armed, Maese delivers from a low three-quarters delivery that helps him impart excellent sink to his fastball. His velocity came and went during the spring, which led to his draft stock rising and falling, but when he stays on top of the ball in his delivery, he can push 96 mph with plus sinking life. He'll sit 89-93 mph most of the time but could fill out and hold higher velocity longer down the line. He has work to do to polish his changeup and slider, which at times flashes pus with mid-80s power. Maese had an exceptional groundball rate in his debut (2.58 grounds per airout) and profiles as a power sinkerballer if it all works out. He should be ready for a jump to low Class A Lansing in 2016.
The 17th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Davis nonetheless was behind Anthony Alford on the Blue Jays' board and has fallen behind his fellow Magnolia State prep product even though Alford took a two-year football detour. The Jays knew Davis was raw--another reason why they took Marcus Stroman with their second firstrounder that year--and had him repeat low Class A in 2015, and he responded with significant improvement across the board. Davis had bad habits and no idea how to right the ship in 2014, but started to figure it out with more experience. His tools remain significant--he's a blazing 70 runner who remains raw on the basepaths, though he made progress there. He has plus raw power and plus raw hitting ability that he's unlikely to fulfill. He's a free swinger who doesn't always recognize offspeed stuff, particularly changeups, and doesn't trust his hands, manipulate the barrel or employ subtle hitting arts, such as the bunt, to take advantage of his speed. He's a fringy defender with similarly graded arm strength best suited to left field. The true boom or bust pick, Davis has time and encouraged club officials by showing improvement after a disastrous first try at full-season ball. He could be a late bloomer and still reach a Carl Crawford-type of ceiling, but it may take 2,500 minor league at-bats. He's headed to high Class A Dunedin for 2016.
Pruitt was making plenty of noise himself as a prospect, thrilling scouts with his speed and defense in showcases. However, scouts who came to see him in 2015 were more wowed by prep teammate Tyler Stephenson, a catcher drafted 11th overall by the Reds. Pruitt's inconsistent spring and Vanderbilt commitment clouded his signability, but the Blue Jays got him for $500,000 in the 24th round, the highest bonus ever for a player drafted in that round. Toronto wanted him for his athleticism and center-field profile. He runs the 60-yard dash in 6.5 seconds and is a burner whose speed plays in center field with range and on the bases with stolen bases. Pruitt's solid-average arm, to go with his range and instincts, should make him a true plus defender in center in time. He'll have to try to fit the top-of-the-lineup profile because he lacks physicality and strength to produce more than below-average power. Pruitt's swing and approach are inconsistent, and he may need 2,000 minor league at-bats for his bat to develop. He figures to start 2016 in extended spring training before heading to Rookie-level Bluefield.
Hollon was a lottery ticket when the Jays made him a second-round pick out of a Kentucky high school and signed him for $467,280, and he's still that same kind of prospect now. The highest-drafted player to sign with the Jays in 2013, he's made limited progress thanks to two significant setbacks. The first was Tommy John surgery in 2014, which cost him that entire season. Second was a 50-game suspension in August 2015 for amphetamine use that ended his comeback season after just 12 starts and will push back the start of his 2016 season. When he returned from Tommy John, Hollon showed his stuff was on its way back as well. His fastball had reached 94-96 mph, though not consistently, as he was pitching more in the low 90s. He'd shown all four pitches, keeping his plus slider and solid-average curveball distinct. His changeup missed the development time he lost to surgery. While he's athletic, Hollon still needs to repeat his high-energy delivery more consistently. He should head back to low Class A Lansing when his suspension is over. Hollon still has rotation upside.
The Blue Jays' fastest farmhand, Fields took the long route to pro baseball. He played basketball and football before trying baseball in high school, but caught the eye of a coach named Ken Wilson, then at Yakima Valley (Wash.) CC, who convinced him to play junior college baseball. After two years there, Fields transferred to NAIA Bethany (Kan.), where he ran track and played baseball. He wasn't drafted but signed with the Jays in August 2013 after playing for another coach from Yakima Valley, Marcus McKimmy, in an international event called the World Baseball Challenge, which was played on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Fields hit the ground running, stealing 48 bases in his pro debut at short-season Vancouver in 2014, then reached Triple-A Buffalo for six games in 2015 and played in the Arizona Fall League. A pure, easy runner, Fields has easy outfield range, with a fringe-average arm. Offensively, he makes contact with a slap-and-dash approach but has some gap power and a line-drive swing. He has well below-average home run power. He battles pitchers at the plate and has quality at-bats, though he needs to draw more walks. Fields' best-case comparison is Dave Roberts, who reached the big leagues at age 27. More likely, he'll be a fourth outfielder or pinch-runner in the Quintin Berry mold.
The Blue Jays signed Borucki away from an Iowa commitment for a $426,000 bonus as a 2012 15throunder, even though he was diagnosed with a tear in his elbow in March of his senior year at his Illinois high school. He had Tommy John surgery, then was waylaid in 2015 by early elbow soreness and later shoulder pain that prompted the club to shut him down after July, including for instructional league. Borucki has pitched just 69 innings as a pro, but club officials still consider him one of their top pitching prospects. He has the system's best changeup, a double-plus pitch that he throws with tremendous arm speed and confidence, and he can locate it even when he's had long spells of inactivity. He sits 88-92 mph with his fastball, which jumps on hitters thanks to the deception in his delivery and excellent extension out front. His slider needs refinement, but mostly Borucki just needs to stay healthy. He has yet to take the mound for a full-season club, so his 2016 season at low Class A Lansing will be an important step.
The first player drafted out of Puerto Rico in 2015, Espada has a chance to continue a recent string of Puerto Rican pitchers who have had success in pro ball. Espada is different from predecessors such as the Twins' Jose Berrios and the Brewers' Jorge Lopez. He is more polished at a similar age but has less pure velocity or projectability. Espada was an infielder previously and has retained that level of athleticism. He has a good delivery that won't need an overhaul. Those two factors give him good command for his age of a fastball that sits 88-91 mph and has touched 93. He should add a tick or two as he matures physically and adds strength. He throws a slider and changeup now, but the Jays like his arm slot better for a curveball and will try to teach him one in 2016. Espada already is an excellent defender at the position. The Blue Jays have him ticketed for extended spring training followed by a likely engagement at Rookie-Bluefield.
Dragmire was a three-sport athlete at Sacramento's Bradshaw Christian School, where ex-big leaguer Greg Vaughn is an assistant coach. He won a section title in baseball and was a 2,000-yard rusher in foot- ball, plus a double-digit scorer in basketball. A $250,000 bonus as a 17th-round pick signed him away from a Nevada baseball scholarship in 2011, and he has progressed enough for the Blue Jays to protect him on the 40-man roster. Dragmire produced ugly numbers at high Class A Dunedin in 2015, but his fastball has become a plus pitch. Aside from 92-94 mph velocity, including occasional peaks at 97, it has bowling-ball sink that has helped him give up just three home runs in 140 innings the last two seasons. His changeup is his best secondary pitch and at times mirrors the sink on his fastball, and he had nearly three times as many groundouts as flyouts in 2015. Dragmire's slider grades as below-average, but club officials believe his sinker alone can get him to the big leagues as a middle reliever in the Seth Maness mold. He will head to Double-A New Hampshire in 2016, and the Jays hope improved infield defense leads to better results.
Mississippi State went to the 2013 College World Series finals, and the Blue Jays selected Bulldogs in the eighth and ninth rounds that year. Kendall Graveman, the ace of that team's rotation, signed for $5,000 and already has reached the major leagues after being traded to the Athletics in the Josh Donaldson deal. Lefty reliever Girodo, who also signed for $5,000, has reached Triple-A Buffalo and resembles Jays big league lefty Aaron Loup in some ways, and he could fill a similar role in the future. Girodo fires from a low-slot, sidearm delivery with a three-pitch mix that includes an 88-91 mph fastball that he commands and locates to both sides of the plate. He's especially tough on lefthanded batters, who went just 7-for-73 (.096) off him in 2015. His Frisbee slider generally has short, late break and serves as an effective chase pitch. He's working to improve his fringy changeup to better combat righthanded batters, but he's close to ready to fill a lefty specialist role, particularly after a successful Arizona Fall League stint. He should start 2016 at Triple-A Buffalo.
The Blue Jays wanted Rodriguez enough to trade for more 2013-14 international pool money and sign him for $330,000, just before he turned 17. Rodriguez attracted suitors for his fastball, which had touched 95 mph before signing, as well as a projectable frame, and the Blue Jays considered him polished enough to push him straight to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League in 2014. He struggled significantly with that assignment but had more success when repeating the level in 2015 as part of a talented GCL rotation that also included 2015 draft picks Justin Maese and Jose Espada as well as intriguing Latin American arms Lupe Chavez and Yennsy Diaz. Rodriguez has added at least 20-25 pounds according to club officials and has gained strength that has helped him add velocity, giving him one of the better fastballs in the organization. He has touched 98 mph at times, though his mechanics remain inconsistent. He has a fast arm and some hand speed that gives hope for improvement with his slider. He has a changeup as well, but both of his secondary pitches are below-average. Rodriguez is more thrower than pitcher at this point, but his arm strength is undeniable. He should earn a spot at Rookie-level Bluefield in 2016.
Diaz wasn't the highest-profile member of Toronto's 26-man international signing class in 2013-14, which was headlined by a $1.6 million bonus given to Venezuelan righthander Juan Meza. While Meza has struggled to throw strikes, Diaz has joined Hansel Rodriguez among the emerging power arms from that signing class. Diaz is short but athletic and has long limbs and extremities, with looseness in his arm that produces electric stuff. He's twitchy but has body control and has excellent arm speed, producing fastball velocity in the 95-97 mph range at its best. Diaz sits in the lower 90s, and he threw enough strikes with his fastball to dominate the Dominican Summer League in 2015 and move up to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. He got better with each GCL outing, finishing with five scoreless innings against the Yankees. He's shown an ability to spin a curveball and flashes an average changeup, though both are raw. Some Jays officials are excited about Diaz despite his modest size. He should be advanced enough to jump to Rookie-level Bluefield for 2016 and is a strong breakout candidate.
The Blue Jays purchased Chavez's contract from the Mexican League's Quintana Roo franchise on July 2, 2014, and he was advanced enough to move up from the Dominican Summer League to the Rookielevel Gulf Coast League by the end of 2015. Chavez is a converted outfielder with a longer, leaner body that has projection remaining, but he still has polish and pitchability for his age and experience level. He has a low-maintenance delivery and commands his upper-80s fastball that peaks at 91 mph. His best present pitch is a changeup with plus potential, while he spins a curveball that he locates well but needs more power. The Jays hope to adjust Chavez's delivery as he gains strength, incorporating his lower half more to improve his velocity. Chavez has the raw ingredients to develop into a mid-rotation starter, but he's a long way away. He will open 2016 in extended spring training and could push for a spot at Rookie-level Bluefield if he proves too advanced for the GCL.
Born just south of Vancouver, Robson thought he had left the city behind in his march up the Blue Jays farm system after seven strong starts in the short-season Northwest League in 2013. Tommy John surgery in 2014 prompted Robson to make two more short starts for the Canadians in 2015. Robson came back from his surgery well and was healthy enough to make nine starts--plus he pitched in instructional league. He still has some crossfire in his delivery that gives him deception, but he has to stay online in his delivery more consistently to locate his stuff. His fastball has returned to its previous 89-94 mph velocity and has decent plane from his high slot. He has improved the timing in his delivery as well, which previously was off and helped lead to his elbow injury. He has regained the feel for his mid-80s changeup, which was his best secondary pitch previously, and fringy slider. Now that he's healthy, Robson should return to a full-season rotation, most likely at high Class A Dunedin.
A former Jacksonville recruit, Jansen hails from Appleton, Wis., where his parents served as a host family for low Class A Wisconsin players. He signed for $100,000 as a 2013 16th-rounder and opened 2015 as the everyday regular at low Class A Lansing. He broke a bone in his left hand when he was hit by a swing in late May on a catcher's interference play and missed most of the season. He returned to play in late August and in instructional league but lost critical development time. A gym rat whose work ethic endears him to club officials, Jansen knows the strike zone and uses a strength-oriented swing to give him solid-average pull power. He doesn't have a pure feel for hitting but draws walks. Defensively, he has above-average potential as a receiver and blocker, but he must get better at calling games. He has fringe-average arm strength but good-enough throwing technique to produce average pop times in the 2.0-second range on throws to second base, and he caught 29 percent of basestealers in 2015. Jansen may return to Lansing to open 2016 but could jump to high Class A Dunedin during the season.
Nay, whose grandfather Louis Klimchock played 711 big league games over 12 seasons, still hasn't gotten over the hump in three seasons since signing for $1 million. He was signed for his hitting ability, and tried to adjust at the plate in 2015 and pull the ball more, but he doesn't have the feel for hitting or plus bat speed to punish mistakes. Nay hits more groundballs than he should, with his 18 double plays ranking third in the high Class A Florida State League in 2015, and has given up hitting for power to make contact. He has natural bat-to-ball skills and plus raw power thanks to his strength, but he plays with tension and carries bad games with him longer than he should. Nay has improved defensively. He has plus arm strength and has improved his footwork and body since becoming a pro, though he remains a fringy defender. After missing out on the Arizona Fall League due to a late-season leg injury that developed into a staph infection, Nay may have to start 2016 back at Dunedin.
While he wasn't rewarded with a spot on the 40-man roster, Dean had his best season at high Class A Dunedin in 2015, tying for first in the Florida State League with 14 home runs. He was signed for a well above-slot $737,500 in the 13th round, mostly for his power potential, but he had to make more consistent contact first. He still has trouble with offspeed stuff, particularly from lefthanders, but he has improved his approach and brings a consistent mentality to the ballpark every day. He has length to his swing with the leverage and strength to drive the ball to all fields when he makes contact. Dean has moved down the defensive spectrum from third base to first as well, though he returned to the hot corner after Mitch Nay got hurt at Dunedin. He's athletic and has plus arm strength but struggles with footwork and the speed of the game at third, which prompted the move to first. Dean has earned a spot at Double-A New Hampshire for 2016.
The Blue Jays have gone to the College of Charleston in each of the last two drafts for the left side of the Cougars' 2014 infield, signing Gunnar Heidt and now Wise, who signed for $450,000 as a 2015 fourth-round pick. Wise had a strong junior season, belting 12 home runs and ranking sixth in NCAA Division I with 70 RBIs. He's strong-bodied (and strong-limbed, with big forearms) and has tried catching in the past before a thumb injury moved him back to third base. He's a below-average runner with limited range who may try left field or first base if he can't stay at third, though he has an average arm. He combines strength and leverage for plus raw power. Whether he'll get to it enough against quality pro pitching is the issue. He has some swing-and-miss issues and needs to be more flexible, both in his swing and defensively. Wise will move up to low Class A Lansing in 2016.
Perdomo is one of the last pitchers from Toronto's 2011 international signing class to still be in the organization aside from Roberto Osuna. Among those traded from this class: righthanders Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco (to the Rockies for Troy Tulowitzki), righty Alberto Tirado (to the Phillies for Ben Revere) and lefthander Jairo Labourt (to the Tigers for David Price). At 6-foot-6, Perdomo is bigger than all those pitchers, with long levers that took time for him to contain in his delivery. He started to put things together in 2015, earning a late-season promotion from Rookie-level Bluefield to short-season Vancouver. Perdomo has strength gains to make, which will help him maintain his delivery. He has some funk to his mechanics, some crossfire action that gives him deception, but has a clean arm that produces 92-93 mph velocity. He ditched a curveball and settled on a slider that flashes average potential when he stays on top of it. He throws a changeup but it's a distant third pitch. His fielding and holding runners need polish. Perdomo gets weak contact with his fastball and should stay in the rotation for 2016 when he moves up to low Class A Lansing.
Signed for $250,000 after sitting out as transfer from Kentucky to Arizona, Burns had gained momentum the last two seasons. But his first trip to Triple-A Buffalo in 2015 proved difficult as his power numbers and stolen-base totals dipped. The Colorado prep product sacrificed power for contact and set career highs for batting average (.293) and on-base percentage (.351), and he remains versatile. Burns has above-average arm strength, with athletic ability and nimble footwork that allows him to move all over the infield, even shortstop for short spells. He fits better at third base and second, and his average speed is sufficient for him to mix in time on the outfield corners. He stays inside the ball with a line-drive swing at the plate that lacks loft, and he hit into 17 double plays to rank third in the International League. Burns' defensive versatility and competent, if low-impact, bat makes him a potential utility infielder. Unprotected on the 40-man roster, he'll head back to Buffalo in 2016.
Smith's father Dwight Sr. spent parts of eight seasons in the majors, finishing second in the National League rookie of the year race with the Cubs in 1989. Dwight Jr. had his best season as a pro in 2014 at high Class A Dunedin, when it seemed his above-average hitting ability was allowing his power to come through. Smith has to hit, because his other tools are all modest. He's just an average runner and defender who fits best in left field thanks to a fringe-average arm, though he remains capable of filling in as a center fielder. That gives him the potential to be a fourth outfielder, his saving grace if he doesn't pick it up offensively. Smith generally controls the strike zone and stays short to the ball, traits that should help him handle lefthanders and thrive against righthanders. That didn't happen in 2015, when hit just .265 with seven home runs at Double-A New Hampshire, albeit with strong walk and strikeout rates. He doesn't have great raw power and uses a gap-to-gap approach. Left off the 40-man roster and thus exposed to the Rule 5 draft, Smith probably will move to Triple-A Buffalo in 2016.
Burden had a tremendous junior season at NCAA Division II Chowan (N.C.), leading his conference in both home runs (eight) and saves (five) while ranking third in batting (.407) and stolen bases (19). A strong athlete, the Blue Jays liked him for his arm strength and signed him for $70,000 as a 2015 20thround pick despite the fact he pitched just 48 innings in three college seasons with a 9.87 career ERA. Burden is raw but has started improving his delivery while maintaining the arm strength that produces 92-95 mph fastballs with late life. He also has shown some ability for a hard, low-80s slider that shows some bite. He's a hard worker who has dived headfirst into being a full-time pitcher, and his delivery has plenty of energy that he may have to tone down. He fits the short, power reliever prototype and could move quickly, seeing as he finished 2015 at short-season Vancouver.
Smith was not a consensus high draft pick in 2013, but the Blue Jays liked what they saw at the 2012 East Coast Pro Showcase as well as his development the following spring. They took him in the fourth round of the 2013 draft and signed him for a below-slot $350,000 bonus, saving nearly $100,000 on their pool. Smith has developed slowly but has developed nonetheless and is ready for full-season ball. He changed pitching styles in 2015, shifting from emphasizing a four-seamer to a two-seam approach. At 220 pounds, he has the power to throw hard, touching 94 mph, but usually sits 88-92 and tries to get early contact with his two-seamer and slurvy breaking ball, which is more slider than curve and needs tightening. He's just learning the feel for a changeup. With a durable frame and fairly clean arm action, Smith remains raw clay to mold and is ready for a full-season role in 2016 at low Class A Lansing, where he should be part of the rotation.
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