DJ Davis Scouting Preview And Other Blue Jays Prospects
Toronto’s farm system is rapidly improving. Teenage prospects are beginning to reach full season leagues and Lansing is THE destination for Blue Jays prospect hounds. A DJ Davis scouting report is a must this season, but third baseman Mitch Nay and infielder Franklin Barreto are also excellent “gets”. Eight Blue Jays top prospects are expected to play for the Lugnuts in 2014, more if Barreto is promoted from Bluefield and Roberto Osuna returns from Tommy John surgery.
DJ Davis Scouting Preview
Since being drafted No. 17 overall in the 2012, Davis has received rave reviews for his raw talents. However, underdeveloped, “toolsy” players like him come with significant risk. Davis has 80-speed, but 38 steals in 58 attempts is an issue. Elite speed is ideal for a center fielder, but route running is an problem area. Will DJ Davis scouting reports from the MWL show progress?
Davis’ 2013 Appalachian League performance was uneven. He posted a 10.1% walk rate and .178 isolated power (fueled by seven triples and six home runs). Is a solid on-base percentage and 10-15 home runs possible at the Major League level? Developmental milestones to watch in 2014 begin with his hit tool. A .240 batting average and 29.5-percent strikeout rate is dreadful for a lead-off hitter. The DJ Davis scouting book includes question marks about his ability to handle breaking balls and make consistent, quality contact. To take full advantage of his speed, he must sharpen his base stealing and route running abilities.
Other Blue Jays Position Prospects in Lansing:
Mitch Nay, 3B – A 2012 supplemental 1st-round pick, Nay is Toronto’s best shot at developing a No. 4-5 hitter with power. If he can continue to limit his strikeouts and get on base, Nay will move rapidly up prospect ranks.
Matt Dean, 1B – Though he repeated the level, Dean was named an Appalachian League all-star in 2013 after leading the circuit in batting (.338) and OPS (.909). Since moving across the diamond from 3B, Dean has raised his defensive profile and projects as a solid defensive first baseman.
Blue Jays Pitching Prospects in Lansing:
Chase DeJong, RHP – Through 68 pro innings, DeJong has made a strong impression with a 7.36 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The 6-foot-4 right-hander still has room for projection and will focus on consistency with a developing changeup and curveball.
Jairo Labourt, LHP – Since signing Labourt as an international free agent in 2011, the Jays have moved the southpaw up one level at a time. He made big strides last year, cutting his BB/9 in half, resulting in a 1.03 WHIP. Labourt’s fastball has been clocked up to 95 mph, but his secondary pitches need work.
Tom Robson, RHP – Robson has a more conservative ceiling than the other arms on this list, but has a good chance to develop into a reliable No. 4-5 starter. A 6-foot-4 Canadian, Robson is a ground-ball pitcher who throws strikes.
Alberto Tirado, RHP – Tirado has struggled with command in two pro seasons, but everything else has been spectacular. He has an electric arm, featuring a mid-90s fastball with late movement, multiple breaking balls and a promising changeup. After pitching parts of 2012 and 2013 in Bluefield, the Dominican is ready for a full-season assignment.
Early on, Rowdy Tellez and Dawel Lugo will join Barreto in extended spring training. When short season assignments are made, the trio may be bumped to Lansing. Lugo and Barreto are the top middle infielders in the Jays’ system with impressive athleticism and tools. On the other hand, elite raw power is the 6-foot-4 Tellez’ calling card. The 19-year-old first baseman lacks athleticism and will need to remain fit if he is going to have defensive value. One pitcher to remember from rookie ball is Clinton Hollon, a right-hander with a promising fastball/slider mix.
A year ago, Daniel Norris was the only highly-rated Jays prospect to spend most of the season in Lansing. When The Lugnuts take the field a week from today at Lake County, it will be a different story. Lansing is regarded as the must-see affiliate in the system, with Davis the headliner. Expect DJ Davis scouting reports at ROTOscouting in 2014, with others covered via YOUscout.
28 Mar 2014 / Bob Usselman /
Tags: Blue Jays
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