In this brave new minor league world we’ll hopefully see sometime in 2021, MLB organizations will have some decisions to make.
With only four full season affiliates, many teams will face something of a roster crunch when it comes time to finding places to play for their prospects.
The Blue Jays have released over 40 players since the abrupt end to last spring training in an attempt to cull their minor league rosters, but there will still be a challenge for the player development department in finding a place for the remaining players to get reps.
It will be interesting to see if Toronto’s promotion philosophy changes in this new minor league era. Typically, advanced players were skipped over Lansing in favour of Dunedin to start their full season careers. That may not be the case in the future.
With all of that being said, the rotation of the Dunedin Blue Jays in the newly reclassified Low A Florida State League should look something like this:
Eric Pardinho RHP
Pardinho underwent Tommy John surgery last February after having been shut down in mid-August 2019. The team will want him close to their medical and rehab staff as he returns to action.
Sem Robberse RHP
Robberse is one of the most keenly-awaited prospects in the organization; just ask the Pirates, who tried to pry him away from the Blue Jays last off season.
Nick Fraze RHP
Fraze acquitted himself very well in the Northwest League in 2019, and should easily make the jump to full season ball.
Trent Palmer RHP
Blue Jays amateur scouting director Shane Farrell on the 2020 3rd rounder:
He’s a guy from a mid major who really came on in the Cape league last summer. He has really good arm speed and arm action, and can hit 97 with his fastball. He has a plus slider as well, and has a chance to become a starter with a couple of intriguing pitches.
Still new to starting, Palmer could move quickly.
Nick Frasso RHP
A premium athlete who is still relatively new to pitching, Frasso has considerable upside.
Dahlian Santos RHP
Blue Jays VP of International Operations Andrew Tinnish called Santos “an absolute steal,” when they signed him in 2018. Santos has yet to pitch professionally, but the team is very high on his mix of pitches, spin rates, and velo bump since signing. He might be under the radar, but it would not be a surprise to see him start the year in Dunedin.
Jiorgeny Casimiri RHP
Casimiri was in the shadow of his more heralded countryman Robberse, but he was no less impressive in a short 2019 GCL stint.
You’ll quickly notice the lack of southpaw starters in this mix, which might mean a space will be there for Naswell Paulino or Rafael Monsion. Lefty rotation guys are a bit of a rare commodity in the organization at the moment, at least at the lower levels.