I have to admit it: after seeing Brock Lundquist, the Blue Jays’ 6th round pick from Long Beach State last summer in person and online with Vancouver, I did not come away impressed.
I found his swing to be long, and his pitch recognition lacking, making for some lengthy swings-and-misses. In the Northwest League playoffs, he did seem to show a better ability to barrel up pitches, hitting .385 and helping lead the C’s to their fourth NWL crown as a Jays affiliate.
Sent to Lansing to begin 2018, he began to tap into that power, posting an .817 OPS which included 13 HRs for the Lugnuts. Lundquist earned a promotion to Dunedin mid way through the season, and continued to hit, posting an impressive .337/.401/.483 line in 49 games for the D-Jays.
The Florida State League is a black hole for those who watch their minor league ball via an internet connection. Luckily, there are a bevy of sources in Florida who sent glowing review’s of Lundquist’s performance with Dunedin, including Jason Woodell (@JasonAtTheGame), who named him the Blue Jays 30th prospect at prospectslive.com:
He flashed plus power in the Midwest League and after a promotion to the Florida State League, he was different hitter. Against more advanced pitching, Lundquist’s swing was short and quick, spraying line drives all over the field.
The only opportunity to watch Lundquist with Dunedin was a late August series in Bradenton against the Pirates affiliate. He was in the midst of a late-season tear in which he was seeing the ball exceptionally well, hitting .400 over his final ten games. His swing appeared no less lengthy than it had with Vancouver and Lansing, although Lundquist did appear to have shortened his stride. He made a lot of contact in the series, much of it of the line drive type. Improved pitch recognition was largely responsible for that improvement.
After a four-hit game in early August, Lundquist admitted to milb.com that he probably benefitted from the presence of Josh Palacios (.357 OBP), Rodrigo Orozco (.375), and Kevin Smith (.468 SLG) ahead of him in the lineup:
“I’ve just been swinging it pretty good lately,” said Lundquist. “I’ve been doing what I can to get on base. We just came off an eight-game winning streak. A lot of it is, guys get on base and set up some momentum for the team getting a rally going and we get more runs. I’m going up to the plate and finding ways to get on. I got a couple of good pitches to hit today and was able to hit it where they weren’t and find a gap to get on base.”
The Blue Jays have to be encouraged that Lundquist began to tap into his power this year. After hitting groundballs at a 50% clip last year, he began to put the ball in the air more in 2018 (41% FB rate vs 35 in 2017). His BABIP of .390 with Dunedin is not sustainable, but does suggest some hard contact. His whiff rate was still around 12% as it had been in Vancouver, but he was barreling up more pitches and finding the gaps as a result.
At 5’11″/190, the stocky Lundquist has enough athleticism to man a corner Outfield spot. He lacks one outstanding tool, and profiles as a 4th OF. He doesn’t have much left to prove in High A, and should begin 2019 with New Hampshire.