Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid-Season Prospect Countdown: 10-1

The last article in the series, featuring players ranked 10th to 1st!

Here are all the other articles and if you want to do the countdown the right way, you can click the article title below to read them first.
Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid-Season Prospect Countdown: The Players Who Just Missed The Top 60 List
Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid-Season Prospect Countdown: 60-51
Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid Season Prospect Countdown: 50-41
Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid Season Prospect Countdown: 40-31
Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid Season Prospect Countdown: 30-21
Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid-Season Prospect Countdown: 20-11
As in each of those articles, I’ll be using clips of players in High A, Double A, and Triple A throughout the series of articles. For players in Dunedin, I’ll be using exit velocities numbers, pitching velocity as well as clips from the three series on MiLB TV.
For players in the Rookie Leagues (Florida Complex League and Dominican Summer League), we’ll strictly be using the season numbers. Furthermore, the year is done for those individuals.
Also, the most important aspect to me when evaluating players is their statistics, as it quantifies what players do with the tools. Afterward, their ceiling/floor is important, while proximity to the MLB matters for some, especially closer to 60.
Starting with our tenth best prospect.
#10 Yosver Zulueta:
This one may be surprising to you, but while I think Yosver Zulueta could be a mid-rotation starter or a high-leverage reliever, there are some issues that push me away from placing him higher up in this article.
Signed in 2019, Zulueta missed 2020 due to COVID (and Tommy John) and 2021 due to an ACL tear.

Zulueta just fanned his first runner throwing…
100 mph!!!!!!#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/RjpNT5v6Jl
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 7, 2022

The 24-year-old started his first full professional season with the Dunedin Blue Jays, posting a 3 ERA and a 1.41 FIP in 12 innings pitched. He had an incredibly high 45.1 K% in those 12 innings while limiting walks to 5.9%.
He was promoted to High A Vancouver, where he posted a 3.80 ERA and 3.37 FIP in 23.2 innings pitched. Zulueta’s K% dropped to 30.4, while his BB% increased to 10.8, a worrisome sign as he started to pitch against players his age.

Zulueta has a pretty nasty slider as well.
K thread.#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/neNOJCuYiK
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 24, 2022

Zulueta continued to rise up the levels of the minor leagues, as he pitched 10.1 innings with the Double A Fishe …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Inside the Leafs’ development pipeline: Report from the Rock

The following article contains excerpts from an interview originally conducted in November 2020.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, like any team aiming for long-term success, have heavily invested in prospect development. And in a flat salary cap world, the versatility of good players being able to slot into a lineup for close to league-minimum is more valuable than ever before.
Following in the footsteps of what the Pittsburgh Penguins established years ago with the Wheeling Nailers, the Leafs made a commitment when they established an affiliation agreement with the Newfoundland Growlers in 2018 that the ECHL club would be seen as a true development program for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and beyond. This agreement made the Growlers the entry-level point of a true three-tier development system, as opposed to just another ECHL team where careers would go to die, or players banished from an AHL club would wind up to play out their contracts in obscurity.
The process is slow, naturally, but it has begun to bear fruit. Defenceman Kristians Rubins played three games for the Leafs this past season after beginning his tenure within the organization on an ECHL contract with the Growlers in the team’s inaugural season. Timothy Liljegren is technically a Growlers alumni, as he played a single game with the tea …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

The Mark Shapiro Era Draft Retrospective: 2021

The last article of this series will focus on the 2021 draft, which saw the Jays have two top 100 picks.

The Blue Jays lost their second rounder and some international money due to the signing of George Springer. While this was absolutely worth it, this article may be shorter than the rest in this series.
Due to this article only having two players featured, I included a fourth player in yesterday’s article who the Jays took 106th overall. The link for all previous articles can be found at the bottom of this article.
Gunnar Hoglund:
This section of the article was actually written all the way in early March, as Gunnar Hoglund was going to rank as one of my Top 20 prospects. Unfortunately for me, he was traded ten days after I wrote this, so it’s been sitting on the backburner. I think I’ve finally found a use for it, as Hoglund has yet to return.
Pitching for Ole’ Miss in 2021, Hoglund pitched 62.2 innings and posted a 2.87 ERA with a K/9 of 13.8. However, his BB/9 increased to a high of 2.4 (which isn’t very high.) In mid May 2021, the then 21-year-old suffered a tear in his UCL, resulting in Tommy John surgery. 

all 14 K’s from Gunnar Hoglund’s excellent Friday night vs. ULM: https://t.co/zs27rgY5BO pic.twitter.com/WCtuUFxc2A
— Céspedes Family …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Mark Shapiro Era Draft Retrospective: 2019

Another day, another article focusing on past drafts, as we’re now a week away from the 2022 MLB draft.

I’ve said it before, but I peaked in 2019. I was in shape, I was in school and things were looking up in the last year before COVID. In my opinion, the Jays picked the best player in the draft, who we’ll be looking at first.
They also drafted a player involved in a 2020 trade, which was a win for both teams involved. Lastly, the high schooler they picked in the third round has had a great start to his 2022 season.
Alek Manoah:
We all know about Alek Manoah, who was drafted with the 11th overall pick. The 24-year-old has developed into the ace of the Blue Jays staff, which is quite surprising considering he only pitched 35 innings in the minors.
He started his professional career with the short season Vancouver Canadians, posting a 2.65 ERA and a 2.48 FIP in 17 innings pitched. He struck out plenty as he had a K/9 of 14.29, while he kept his BB/9 down at 2.65.
He developed a ton in the alternate site during the COVID season, which led to a start in Triple A in 2021. Manoah dominated, and I don’t say that lightly. He posted a 0.50 ERA and a 2.25 FIP in 18 innings pitched. Big Puma had a K/9 of 13.50 with a BB/9 of 1.50, this led to a call up in May.
While Manoah didn’t quite dominate the bigs like he did in Trip …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation