The Blue Jays entry in the Dominican Summer League started play yesterday, and was on the wrong side of a lopsided 17-0 score to the Reds’ affiliate.
The Blue Jays DSL entry has been quite successful the past two seasons. The 2016 entry graduated position players McGregory Contreras, Yorman Rodriguez, Luis de los Santos, and pitchers Elio Silva, Maximo Castillo, Alvaro Galindo, Randy Pondler, and Orlando Pascual to stateside ball. The 2018 entry does not promise to be as full as prominent names as the past two years have been, however.
One name that does stand out is that of SS Miguel Hiraldo, one of the top ranked bats in last year’s IFA class. The expectation is that Hiraldo will eventually move to 3B, but the bat will play, according to Baseball America:
A righthanded hitter, Hiraldo has a compact swing, setting up with his hands at his ears and coming straight down to the ball. Despite the lack of separation in his stroke, Hiraldo is able to generate plenty of bat speed with the explosion in his hands. Some clubs had concerns about Hiraldo’s ability to adjust to secondary stuff and use the opposite field, but he’s a good fastball hitter who makes frequent, hard contact in games, with strong legs and forearms to drive the ball with average raw power.
OF Alberto Rodriguez was thought to be one of the top IFAs for 2017, but had an up and down season that saw his stock dip. There’s athletic potential there, but there’s a lot of swing and miss to his swing, and a line drive approach that doesn’t translate to much power down the road.
RHP Ronald Govea was mentioned in a conversation with Assistant GM Andrew Tinnish last fall. Govea was not on many top prospect lists, but Tinnish says he has, “sneaky upside.” Govea offers a clean, repeatable delivery, an ability to spin a breaking ball, and room for further velo. Tinnish says he throws, “a ton of strikes.”
Venezuelan SS Jose Rivas was called a “sparkplug,” by Tinnish, and BA agrees:
A high-energy, hard-nosed player, Rivas has a tablesetter profile, managing his bats well with a knack for getting on base as a line-drive hitter with gap power. Rivas is a slightly above-average runner who will probably develop as a shortstop but might ultimately fit best at second base.
The league’s Opening Game was broadcast live on YouTube. We’ll update if a schedule is released.