For a while there the baseball world was pretty quick to belittle the Blue Jays farm system. Their argument being that with the exception of 4 or 5 solid prospects, Toronto was lacking the depth that other organizations could boast.
After being ranked by Baseball America in July as having the 3rd best farm system, the Blue Jays are beginning to get the recognition deserved of their vastly improved stock of prospects. Not only does their Top 30 prospects put most other clubs to shame, but they also have a very promising group of relatively unknown players in the lower levels of their system.
Here’s a look at three of those players to keep tabs on next season…
Alejandro Kirk is a very intriguing young catching prospect who hails from Tijuana, Mexico. For starters, at 5-9 220 lbs, he’s built like a tank. Body talk aside, he also proved to be a proficient hitter in his first full year in the minors. Putting-up a slash line of .354/.443/.558 with the Bluefield Blue Jays. Kirk also led Bluefield in HR (10), and led the entire Appalachian League with 57 RBI in 58 games. At just 19 years of age, he’s likely to begin 2019 with Single A Lansing where he’ll look to build on what was a fantastic rookie campaign.
If Kirk supplied the power for the Bluefield Blue Jays, Cal Stevenson was responsible for supplying much of the speed (20 SB in 21 attempts). Having just turned 22 and coming off 4-years of college baseball, Stevenson was probably a bit advanced for Rookie ball. That still shouldn’t take away from his .359 AVG and gaudy .494 OBP. If that isn’t impressive enough, he had 53 walks to just 21 SO. With considerable experience at the college level, don’t be surprised if the talented Stevenson progresses quickly through the lower levels of Toronto’s farm system.
The name Travis Bergen should be a little more familiar to Blue Jay fans than that of Kirk or Stevenson. Injuries delayed his progression through the minors during his first few seasons. Which is why the 24-year old left-handed reliever didn’t make it to Double A until the second half of 2018. Bergen put to bed any doubts regarding his health by posting a 0.95 ERA in 56.2 innings with High A Dunedin and Double A New Hampshire. Having already spent four years with the Blue Jays organization, Bergen will need to be added to the 40-man roster or risk being taken in the Rule-5 Draft this December.