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Today we are wrapping up the American League East with one of the most interesting farm systems in baseball in the Toronto Blue Jays. There might not be a farm system in baseball with a better top pairing than this one, especially for fantasy purposes. Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are two of the most elite up-and-coming fantasy prospects in baseball and should be owned already in most leagues.

The depth tapers off, but there is some solid talent in this farm system that make it an interesting one to follow. It probably ranks third in the American League East in terms of overall talent behind the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.

This is the final team to be covered from the AL East. I have already covered the  Baltimore OriolesBoston Red SoxNew York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. Later, I will delve into the AL Central. To read more about my prospect coverage, click here.

Editor's Note: Stay on top of our MLB off-season news and fantasy analysis all year round. Read our daily fantasy columns about MLB prospects, dynasty outlooks, player outlooks and much more. It's always fantasy baseball season here. Let's Go!

 

Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects for Dynasty Leagues

Top Overall Talent: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Top Prospect to Debut in 2018: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

It takes a lot of talent and production for people to start asking seriously if an 18-year-old is already destined to join his father in the Hall of Fame. That is the case with Guerrero. The third baseman burst onto the scene in 2017, walking well more than he struck out while easily hitting over .300 and flashing extreme raw power. All this while playing at Class-A and Class-A Advanced, two levels well above someone of his age. Scouts are calling him one of the best pure hitters in the minors in several years and think that there is a chance Guerrero reaches the majors at age 19 due to his incredibly patient approach and impressive tools. Nothing should be put past Guerrero at this point and if you happen to have a chance to grab him in your dynasty league, do not pass the offer up.

Top Prospect who won’t debut in 2018: Bo Bichette

It’s difficult to have a better season than Bichette had in 2017. He slashed .362/.423/.565 with 14 home runs and 22 stolen bases in just 110 games. He walked at an 8.4 percent clip while only striking out 16.2 percent of the time. While Bichette did not impress as much as Guerrero in 2017, the son of former Colorado Rockie Dante Bichette demonstrated one of the most explosive bats in the minors that should translate into an annual .300-plus batting average. He also showed himself off to have above-average power and at least average speed. In most systems, Bichette would be viewed as one of the top prospects in baseball. Unfortunately for him, Guerrero might be the best pure hitter in the minors. Bichette could debut in 2018, but he will have to really dominate as he did in 2017. For some, that is easier said than done, but Bichette is an elite prospect with the chance to be one of the best hitters in the game in a few seasons.

Biggest Boom or Bust: Sean Reid-Foley

The stuff has never been a question with Reid-Foley. Scouts have always seen a pitcher who can mix and match one of the best repertoires in baseball against hitters and a guy who is just one tool away from becoming a future major-leaguer. Unfortunately for Reid-Foley, that missing tool has been control. His walk rates have typically been near 10 percent every year, and he often misses out over the plate which leads to him getting hit hard. He has missed plenty of bats through his minor-league career though and is still only 22. Reid-Foley could start to put it together and become a future No. 3 starter with strikeout upside. He just needs to locate better.

Biggest Sleeper: Logan Warmoth

Warmoth in college put up some of the better numbers from a shortstop in all of the 2017 season. That’s why by the end of the year, he was the highest drafted among them in a class that was admittedly weaker than it has been in past seasons. Warmoth slashed .349/.417/.569 with nine home runs and 18 stolen bases in his junior year at UNC en route to being drafted 22nd overall. Scouts aren’t entirely convinced his tools will translate to major-league production, and some just view him as a future glove-first shortstop who is best served as a utility player in the majors. But if Warmoth can start to hit for more power and maintain the speed he showed in college, he could be a solid sleeper shortstop to own.

 

Top Prospect Hitters

Best Power Hitter: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Most Likely to Hit over .300: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

As discussed earlier with Guerrero, he is perhaps the best pure hitter the minors have seen in many years. Not only did he hit .323 as an 18-year-old last season, but he walked 14.4 percent of the time to just an 11.8 percent strikeout rate. He also hit 13 home runs in 119 games, which might sound unimpressive until his age is factored into the numbers. Scouts project Guerrero to generate his well plus-plus raw power into 30-plus home runs on an annual basis with the chance for more. They also see him as a guy who should compete for batting titles moving forward. Guerrero is one of the game’s best young hitters and appears on track to be a middle-of-the-order bat for many years to come.

Best Burner on the Bases: Anthony Alford

Alford gets a bit lost in the Blue Jays’ shuffle these days due to Guerrero and Bichette, but he still offers several tools that are attractive from a fantasy standpoint. Most notably, he stands out as one of the fastest baserunners in the minors who could be a future 30-plus base-stealer. Alford has had to deal with injuries in the past couple seasons, but nonetheless has swiped 37 bags in 173 games over the past two years. The speed combined with a keen eye and ability to make consistent, hard contact should allow him to bat in front of Guerrero and Bichette for years to come.

 

Top Prospect Pitchers

Strikeout Machine: Nate Pearson

Pearson spent just 20 innings in professional baseball after he was drafted 28th overall in 2017, but it was a special 20 innings. He posted a 0.90 ERA with a 1.95 FIP and 36.6 percent strikeout rate. The 21-year-old right-hander flashed the explosive fastball with his average changeup and solid breaking pitches. He will need to develop those three pitches a bit more to stay on track as a starter, but the fastball should mean he will be able to miss plenty of bats moving forward. The question will just become whether those strikeouts are coming from the rotation or the bullpen.

Best Command: Ryan Borucki

The name of Borucki’s game for years has been control. His walk rate typically sits around 5 percent, and it has helped him find success in the minors. Borucki does not overwhelm hitters with his stuff, averaging a low-90s fastball with his changeup being his only plus pitch. That is why Borucki’s command and control have always been so important. He has needed to rely on it to avoid getting hit too hard by opposing hitters. It is for this reason he has a high floor and low ceiling. His control could carry him to a No. 4 or 5 spot in a rotation, but he is not likely to pitch much higher than that in a big-league rotation.

 

Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Toronto Blue Jays

1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B/OF, A+)
ETA: 2018
One of the most advanced hitters for his age to ever play baseball, Guerrero has a limitless ceiling and should be owned in all dynasty leagues.

2. Bo Bichette (2B/SS, A+)
ETA: 2019
Bichette jumped out onto the scene in 2017 and looks like a future batting title contender with some solid power on the side. And with his future at either second or short, his bat is too potent to ignore in any dynasty league.

3. Anthony Alford (OF, MLB)
ETA: 2018
Once considered the top prospect in this system, Alford has since been passed over by a couple dynamic prospects, but Alford’s top-of-the-order profile should make him a valuable own down the road.

4. Danny Jansen (C, AAA)
ETA: 2018
Catchers always have extra value, and Jansen with his plus bat and average pop should make him a valuable fantasy prospect if he can eventually grab the starting catching job this season.

5. Nate Pearson (SP, A-)
ETA: 2020
Pearson has plenty of life to his fastball, but needs to improve his control and secondary offerings to avoid a future in the bullpen.

6. Logan Warmoth (SS, A-)
ETA: 2019
Warmoth does a little bit of everything well, but nothing great. He might run into a few home runs and steal some bags with a decent average, though his numbers will never jump out on the page. He could be a solid deep-league add or better if he starts to put up better numbers.

7. Lourdes Gurriel (2B/SS/3B, AA)
ETA: 2018
Gurriel can make plenty of contact, but hasn’t done much with the contact he’s made through the start of his pro career. He still has improvements to show for him to be more than a pinch hitter.

8. Ryan Borucki (SP, AAA)
ETA: 2018
The control specialist has a high floor and low ceiling as a back-of-the-rotation starter. He has to locate well to prevent his average repertoire from getting knocked around.

9. Richard Urena (SS, AA)
ETA: 2019
Urena has plenty of tools, but hasn’t done much with them. The 2018 season has to be the one he turns around before his stock takes a complete nosedive.

10. Max Pentecost (C, A+)
ETA: 2019
Injuries have hampered Pentecost’s career who should be in Jansen’s position right now, knocking on the door of a starting role. He still has a high ceiling, but now needs to fight Jansen for playing time.

 

Conclusion

This system would not grade well if not for the two at the top. But let’s face it, it’s never a bad thing to be a system with two of the game's elite prospects. Guerrero and Bichette both look like future All-Stars who will be among the best fantasy bats to own for many years to come, while Alford will give them a solid top-of-the-order presence to drive in on a consistent basis. This team also has solid catching depth, but not really any star prospect. Even Jansen is just solid, but probably not a future star.

Outside of Pearson, there aren’t any real future exciting arms to look for in this farm system. The moral of this story is: if you own Guerrero, Bichette or Alford, you’re set. If not, you should look in other farm systems before looking in this one.

 

More 2018 MLB Prospects Analysis





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