The Blue Jays added a very exciting perspective to Austin Martin in this year’s MLB draft. How does it compare to the rest of the outlook in Toronto?
Not too long ago, many fans complained about the weakness of the Blue Jays farming system, especially after the “winning now” trades in 2015 and 2016, when Jose Bautista and the boys were contenders for after-season. Much has changed since then with the lineup, but luckily the same can be said of the MiLB pipeline in Toronto.
We’ve already seen potential young stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and many more make their debut in the league, and there are several notable names right behind them. The Blue Jays also took a serious break when Austin Martin fell to fifth overall in this year’s draft, which allowed them to add another impact building block to their attack. It will make what used to be a solid farming system, once again one of the best in baseball.
Is it so good? Well, only time will tell, of course, but several scouts considered him the best player in this year’s draft, notably Keith Law and his notable ranking. The other question I ask myself is how does it rank compared to the rest of the Blue Jays system outlook?
If we take a look at MLB.com’s top 30 hopes for the Blue Jays, we can get an idea of the “competition” he will face on this list. At the moment, I don’t think anyone is going to put him at the top, not as long as Nate Pearson retains his eligibility. That could change as early as 2020 however, provided the Blue Jays end up using Pearson at the big league level, and if it ends up being a season.
From there, it’s pretty hard to tell where Martin would fit. Second on MLB.com’s list is Jordan Groshans, who seems to be a leading prospect in his own right. That said, injuries limited him to just 23 games in 2019, so it’s a shame he probably won’t get a season of any kind this year. He’s certainly not the only one doing it, so look for him to pick up where he left off when he can resume, and the 20-year-old should have an exciting future.
The rest of the top ten (3 to 10) include Alek Manoah, Anthony Kay, Eric Pardinho, Simeon Woods Richardson, Orelvis Martinez, Gabriel Moreno, Miguel Hiraldo and Adam Kloffenstein. I’m legitimately excited about each of the names on this list, but the only one who could compete with the buzz that Martin receives could be Woods Richardson, who moved to # 61 in the top 100 of Baseball America in his last update ( subscription required), where Pearson is 8th and Groshans 29th.
If you ask the Bleacher Report people, they see Martin in a very positive light. Joel Reuters of B / R has published a ranking of the 50 best prospects updated, and you will already find Martin in 38th place. It may be a little generous, but then again, it’s hard to say. For what it’s worth, however, this article had Pearson 8th, and others like Groshans and Manoah outside the top 50.
I’ll be very curious to see how sites like MLB.com and Baseball America view Martin when they next update, however, it’s hard to say what they can base themselves on without a minor league season. However, there are very good screening reports on players these days, so the conversation will no doubt continue, whether or not there is baseball.
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For what it’s worth (and fully admitting that I’m not an expert), I think we’ll see Martin among the Blue Jays’ top five hopefuls, but I don’t know that he’ll be automatically placed in front of someone like Groshans . It is possible however, and some even think it could start in the top 20 of baseball. This reflects the importance of his talent and the type of impact the Blue Jays may have had on their organization with this year’s project.