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Max Pentecost's Power Comes With A Catch



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Baseball America Prospect Report (Oct. 30)

BA Prospect Report, with stats and notes from last night's games.

A promising Arizona Fall League stint ended in disappointment for Max Pentecost when a recurrence of shoulder pain led to his shutdown for the final week of the season.

The catching prospect, selected 11th overall from Kennesaw State in 2014, was behind the plate eight times in 21 days from Oct. 11-31 with Peoria, which was his heaviest workload at catcher since his injury troubles began three years ago.

Pentecost caught one more game, Nov. 7, before missing the final eight games.

"He was shut down from throwing at the end of the season,” general manager Ross Atkins said. "We’re continuing to work hard to help Max be in the best possible baseball shape he can be in. He’s worked tirelessly with our high performance and player development departments to have a very, very strong 2017.

"Having said that, we’re still experiencing times when we have to pull back and he is not at the point where he can play at 100 percent, and there are times when we have to have him DH instead of catch on a regular basis.”

The setback for the 24-year-old Pentecost came after he logged 19 games at high Class A Dunedin. The action was his first behind the plate since 2014, when pain in his right shoulder began soon after he signed. That led to shoulder surgeries that fall, then in spring 2015 and again the following fall.

Pentecost returned as a DH in 2016 and his work behind the plate in 2017 was parceled out carefully between time at first base and DH. An advanced hitter, he hit .276/.332/.434 with nine home runs in 71 games in the Florida State League.

Though the Blue Jays didn’t explicitly say it, the uncertainty over his future no doubt helped them decide to leave him off the 40-man roster, thus making him eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Two other catching prospects—Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire—were added instead.

"Ultimately, we have to decide what we feel is the best chance for us to keep the most talent in our organization,” Atkins said. "We’ll have plenty of time for (Pentecost) to become that person for us.”

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