With the oldest roster in all of baseball, over the next few years the Blue Jays will desperately need for a good number of their top prospects to step-up and prove they can get things done at the big-league level.
Dwight Smith Jr. is by no means a stand-out in any area of the game. What he is however, is consistent, a well-rounded player, and one of the few Blue Jays to come up from the minors lately and play as if he belongs. When pretty much all other outfield prospects have struggled with the Blue Jays, Smith has managed to hit for a .333 AVG (19 for 57) and .397 OBP.
Had you asked me this off-season who the future left-fielder of the Blue Jays would be, I would have said Anthony Alford without question. And this may still very well be the case. I’m not going out on a limb to say that Smith has now become the front-runner to be starting in left-field come 2019, but it sure would be nice if the most talented prospects in this organization played as well as he does during their brief stints in the majors.
Where the Blue Jays have been failing in recent years is to help develop their prospects during the final stages of their time in the minor leagues so that they’re ready to hold their own in the majors. Not since Kevin Pillar (a 32nd round pick mind you) has Toronto developed a starting position player…and that was three years ago.
One of the great things about having decent depth in your farm system is that it’s only natural for this glut of players to develop some competition amongst one another. Which in turn should push them to become even better players. It’s fun to root for these young players as they work towards their ultimate goal of one day hopefully becoming big leaguers. But we’re kidding ourselves if the Blue Jays outfield will someday consist of all these promising young outfielders. It’s just not going to happen. It’s during these final stages in their development where the cream really does rise to the top. The big question now is who amongst all these promising prospects has what it really takes to raise their game to where it needs to be for them to remain with the Blue Jays.