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September 3, 2014

The Call-Up

Dalton Pompey

by Jeff Moore and Ben Carsley

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The Situation: With Colby Rasmus slated to hit free agency after this season, Dalton Pompey's rise through the Blue Jays farm system coincides with the team's potential need this offseason.

Background: Known in deep prospect circles as a potential sleeper with room to grow before this season, Pompey erupted (volcano term) in 2014 in a season that has now spanned four levels. His game is still raw, which makes his ascent that much more surprising, but he has continued to successfully handle each new challenge the Blue Jays have thrown at him this year.

Scouting report: Pompey doesn't profile as a middle-of-the-order bat, but he could potentially be a table-setter on a first-division team. A switch-hitter, Pompey will end up being a better hitter from the left side, though his production this season was remarkably similar from both sides. He'll never be a big time power hitter, but he can pull a ball out over the fence from either side of the plate and could hit 15 home runs in a big-league season. Pompey should ultimately hit enough to earn at-bats on a regular basis, but his glove and athleticism are what will make him an above-average player. Pompey profiles as a plus defender in center field and is a plus runner on the bases.

Immediate Big-League Future: As a relatively raw player, Pompey could probably still use some more time in the upper minors to refine his game, especially his bat from the right side, but a strong showing could give the Blue Jays enough confidence in him to count on him as a contributor next year. Ultimately, he could become a Shane Victorino-like contributor on a good team. —Jeff Moore

Fantasy Impact: Pompey's the type of player who really makes all the hours and hours of scouting and research we put into dynasty rankings feel utterly pointless. He's truly erupted (volcano term) onto the scene, going from "who is that player with a Prep School name?" to "top-50 prospect" since the season began, and he's surely bolstered the MiLB rosters of many a savvy dynasty leaguer along the way.

Pompey can hit, he can run and he's not afraid to take a walk: all things that speak well to his fantasy value. Fantasy owners can most readily take advantage of said speed, and that should be the motivating factor for any owner to spend some FAAB on Pompey immediately. He swiped 43 bases in the minors this year and was caught just seven times, which means he should theoretically be valuable in SB-CS leagues, too.

For now, that's probably the extent of Pompey's value. He could see some time against left-handed pitching, given that Colby Rasmus is hitting .193/.295/.261 against southpaws this year, but it’s still unlikely Pompey sees more than 50 PA this season. But should Pompey prove successful in the majors in his limited action, he could position himself quite well for 2015 and beyond.

Both Rasmus and Melky Cabrera are free agents after the season, meaning that Anthony Gose could lose the most playing time to a Pompey since Pliny the Elder (volcano victim). Over the course of a full season, Pompey can make a meaningful contribution in average, runs and steals early in his career, and should threaten for double-digit power as he ages, too. In today's offensive environment, that's a borderline No. 2 fantasy outfielder.

In our most recent rankings, wayward colleague Craig Goldstein listed Pompey as the No. 46 fantasy prospect in the game, and Pompey barely missed my cut for the top 50, too. Depending on the Jays' offseason moves and prospect graduations, Pompey could be a top-25 name when we start compiling prospect lists this offseason, and if for some reason he's not owned in your dynasty league, you should rectify that immediately. He's also Canadian, which I'm legally required to include somewhere in this write-up. —Ben Carsley

Ben Carsley is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Ben's other articles. You can contact Ben by clicking here

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: ... (09/03)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The Call-Up: Joc Peder... (09/02)
Next Column >>
Premium Article The Call-Up: The Other... (09/04)
Next Article >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (09/03)

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