Notes on Blue Jays’ IFAs from Extended

The lousy weather that hit much of the northeastern part of the continent meant that there wasn’t a lot of minor league ball to watch this weekend.  However, Jason Woodell (@JasonAtTheGame on Twitter), who scouts prospects in Florida and contributes to several sites as well as his own, took in some Blue Jays Extended Spring Training action, and posted a number of videos.

First, some video and notes about SS Miguel Hiraldo, the top-ranked hitter in last July’s International Free Agent class:

Blue Jays Assistant GM Andrew Tinnish, who oversees International ops for the club, said in an interview in December that Hiraldo has, “A compact build, sneaky athletic ability, and quick hands.”  The most impressive part of his game, according to Tinnish, is his bat:  “it’s a compact swing, he hits a lot of line drives (and) uses the whole field, is a smart hitter, and there’s a lot of projection there.”

Tinnish said that Hiraldo may eventually outgrow SS and shift over to 3rd.  Woodell’s observations suggest that maybe there’s more there defensively than was originally thought.  The Blue Jays will likely keep him at short until he plays himself off of it.  Hiraldo will begin the season in the Gulf Coast League.

RHP Alejandro Melean was the 32-ranked IFA last year, and was a player Tinnish mentioned as one to watch.  A bit undersized, Melean was impressive at Instructs last fall, sitting 90-94 with his fastball, and an ability to spin a breaking ball.

Melean likely starts in the GCL as well.

C Hagen Danner was not an IFA, of course, but he was a highly regarded two-way prep player who the Blue Jays decided to have focus on Catching last year.  Danner struggled in his first pro season, hitting .160/.207/.248, with a 26.5% K rate.  The news from Florida is encouraging:

Vancouver will probably be Danner’s destination when short season play begins in June.

And finally, while he’s not a Blue Jays prospect, there’s a pretty strong connection here:

Halladay is draft eligible this June, but has committed to Penn State.

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No Blue Jays Crack BA’s Top 20 GCL Prospects List

 

Baseball America recently released their Top 20 Gulf Coast League prospects, and after Bo Bichette made the list at number 4 last year (despite missing a month of the short season), no Blue Jays were to be found on the list this time around.

BA’s Ben Badler said that SS Luis De los Santos received consideration, but his pitch recognition needs some work.  He also listed P Emerson Jimenez as a sleeper.  Jimenez appeared in 9 games, fanning 23 in 15 innings.  Originally signed by the Rockies as an infielder, he failed to pass AA, and was released in May.  The Blue Jays signed him a month later, and converted him to Pitching.

OF Dom Abbadessa, who won the league batting title, probably received consideration, but repeating the GCL probably did not help his cause in the minds of the BA panel.  P Maverik Buffo, who dominated hitters likely was viewed as a bit advanced for that level – the list leans more toward projection than it does being an All-Start team.

Top draft pick C Hagen Danner struggled at the plate, and likely didn’t factor in the list.  The 2nd rounder was Toronto’s lone high school draft pick until 1B Patrick Morris was taken in the 14th.  The GCL is typically stocked with teenagers, either from the recent MLB draft, or international players getting their first taste of stateside play.