I didn’t want to reveal too much of the gold behind the Baseball Prospectus paywall, but… actually, I don’t think this is behind the paywall. Regardless, Kevin Goldstein’s journey through each team’s farm system finally made its way to the Jays today, and as you might expect, there was some gold in there.

Oh. Wait. I already said that.

Anyway, here are my highlights– which, of course, should be no substitute for reading the whole thing.

- Just a couple days after Marc Hulet of FanGraphs ranked Jake Marisnick seventh among Jays prospects, Goldstein has him way up at number two, following the club’s only other five-star prospect, Travis d’Arnaud.

- The other big surprise, I think, is eleventh-ranked prospect, three-star outfielder Christopher Hawkins. Um… think it’s maybe a stretch to say that this guy hasn’t been noticed the way some of the others in the system have? The 2010 third-rounder will play for Lansing in 2012, and according to Goldstein, many feel he’s due for a breakout. “Hawkins is athletic and projectable,” he wriets. “He has plenty of bat speed, and could develop average power as his game matures. He’s a tick above-average runner who should become a good corner outfielder.”

- Goldstein also has 2011 draft pick Kevin Comer higher than most lists I’ve seen, checking in at number ten. But don’t get all excited just yet, as he gives an ETA of 2016 on him, explaining that “Comer won’t move quickly through the system. He has far less experience than most high school arms due to his cold-weather upbringing, and has had little need for a changeup. He’s more of a thrower than a pitcher, and needs to learn the intricacies of his craft.”

- Speaking of distance to the big leagues, of the top eleven, Goldstein thinks Travis d’Arnaud– a rare catcher who can hit in the middle of the order, he says– is closest to the Majors, placing his ETA at late 2012. Anthony Gose, Drew Hutchison and Deck McGuire are right behind, with 2013 seen as more realistic goals– though not if you hear some of the talk from the organization about Hutchison. On the other end, along with Comer, Adonys Cardona is looking at something like 2016 arrival.

- As is always the case with prospecting, as good a job as Goldstein does, there’s not a whole lot concrete we can take away from it all: checking the archives, the Jays had a pair of five-star prospects in 2011, 2010 and 2009 as well: Kyle Drabek (twice), JP Arencibia (twice), Travis Snider and Brett Wallace. Yikes.

- Lastly, we get a list of the club’s best players under 25, among whom Brett Lawrie easily stands out, though “there still needs to be some brakes hit here. Expecting him to repeat his .373 on-base percentage or .580 slugging once advance scouts find his holes is foolish.” Henderson Alvarez, perhaps surprisingly, comes in fourth, behind d’Arnaud and Marisnick, while Goldstien has this to say about the high-profile, high-level potential busts: “Drabek, Rasmus, and Snider are all hedges. You could do anything with them on this list and not be wrong. All three could be All-Stars in three years, or two could be in Japan. Drabek’s inability to turn things around after a demotion to Triple-A was especially troubling, but his raw stuff is still there. Rasmus was supposed to turn it all around once he got out of an uncomfortable situation in St. Louis, but instead he was worse, to the point of unplayable. This will be Snider’s final appearance if he doesn’t produce. It’s finally time to do something with his 877 major-league plate appearances.”

- Ahhh… and lastly, it’s a dig at Rogers and the Jays, who “need to stop being the bridesmaids with elite free agents.” Ugh.

Comments (58)

  1. Jason Parkes (Goldstein’s co-hort on the UP & In Podcast) also had a chat today,  discussing many of the Jays prospects.

  2. KG answers quite a few questions in the comment section, by the way.

  3. Lol @ 2009 with Cecil a better prospect than Romero

  4. …stop being the bridemaids with elite free agents.”  Owned.

  5. “to the point of unplayable”  - perhaps because he was injured??? Just a thought.

  6. That Parkes can fuck off too.

  7. Im hearing great things about Marisnick. Hes coming up quick. Hope he pushes Bautista to 1B

  8. Chat link is here http://www.baseballprospectus….

  9. Syndergaard has an ETA of 2015?  Nooooo he doesn’t!!!

  10.  He’s pitching in A-ball.  2015 could be very accurate.

  11. One thing I don’t understand is everyone knocks Vegas’ park for being a bandbox and even the Jays acknowledge it’s hard to pitch there (holding Drabek back in AA). Why the hell don’t they move the fences back 20 feet?? Why don’t they change the park dimensions to produce normal numbers? Teams change parks and with that the dimensions all the time. The Tigers moved their fences in 20 feet because it was impossible to hit a home run there. This isn’t something you’re not allowed to do.

  12. It’s more than just moving fences.  It’s the air & climate of Vegas.  It’s arid as fuck …all desert & dry mountain.   The infield dirt of the ballpark is incredibly hard as a result of the desert like conditions – most ground balls not hit directly as someone end up as hits because the field is so damn fast.  

    Certainly, it’s far from ideal but they’re stuck there for now. 

  13. The biggest nugget in this is that Goldstein doesn’t think Lawrie can stick at 3B and will ultimately be an OF corner. Talk about a crowded OF in a few years: Rasmus, Snider, Bautista, Gose, Lawrie, Marisnick, Thames, Sierra.

  14. i’ll see you boys in april. here’s a parting gift: 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

  15. You sonofabitches all have hard ons for prospects. Every time I read comments on this f’en site it makes me wanna puke.

    Let me break it down real simple for you guys.  My wife turns to me and offers up a hand job, or the “prospect” of getting laid I take the hand job every time.

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.. Next thing you know she’s got a headache, or Oprah is on.  My plus tool wife’s prospect of putting out is now zero.

    Jays management needs to stop dreaming about getting laid all the time and bring in a guy like Harden with a strong arm for, well, you know….

  16. Keith Law has said the same thing for a long while now (Lawrie someday in RF).

  17. lol only ugly men have to bargain with their wife for her to put out

  18. if the blue jays were a team they would be an ugly one. the jays are like a guy who hasn’t been laid in nearly twenty years, do they keep waiting for the right time to score, or should they settle for a hand job once in a while?

  19. you’re a fucking cock sucking idiot.. good god

  20. Both Law and Goldstein are almost certainly basing their woefully inaccurate Lawrie prediction on 2010 scouting reports. It should be apparent to anyone that actually saw Lawrie play third last year that he’ll have no problem sticking there. Sickels, who actually scouted Lawrie in 2011, believed he could even be a plus defender at that spot, and I see no reason why that wouldn’t be the case.

  21. You know what?  That attitude is going to get you no where.   I’m out here on the internet pouring my heart out and this is what I get?  I’m telling AA on you.

    And just for the record, didn’t we say that cock sucking thing was between the two of us?

  22. what kind of man are you?

    give your woman half of a bottle of arbor mist and a slap on the ass. it will do wonders for your sex life

  23. The BP guys talked Jays on their most recent podcast. Jason Parks said they’d be his #1 organization. Goldstein wouldn’t reveal his.

    Both gave a prospect they’re enamored with. Parks said Norris, while Goldstein said recent draftee Matt Dean.

  24. Um how about lol at Brad Mills being ranked higher than Romero in the 09 prospects report.  In that one it said Romero’s ceiling was as an ‘innings eater’..

    I’m not shitting on Goldstein here, predicting these prospects must be tough as hell.  Gotta take it with a grain of salt.  Still… I’m fucking excited to see some of these young players..

  25. I think that prospect evaluators are so often wrong with the big prospects that it makes having 20 prospects rated 3 stars or higher even more important.  Our depth is crazy enough that we should expect to see a few all-star level players emerge from this group.

  26. Yeah, anybody that doesn’t think Lawrie can stick at 3B clearly didn’t watch what he did there last season.

  27. When you compare Lawrie to, say, Scott Rolen in his prime, then sure, he’s not that great.  When you compare him to pretty much any other third baseman (perhaps excluding our beloved E5 for fairness purposes), he starts to look pretty damned good.

  28. It is very unlikely that even half of those players become everyday ML players (just because that is how prospects go). Plus, by this time next year Bautista should be the Jays’ starting 1B.

  29. Agreed.

    I didn’t see anything in Lawrie’s game that would suggest he wouldn’t be able to stick at 3B, honestly, so long as he doesn’t get considerably heavier…. but that wouldn’t even be an issue for maybe 10 years.

    I’ve said it before, but the old axiom about 3B is that ”All you need to play third base is a strong arm and a strong chest.”… Lawrie certainly has both of those.

  30. No one’s mentioned it yet, but… WTF is going on in that picture with Marisnick?  Was there a trampoline just off camera in CF?

  31. yes, AA should treat the Jays franchise the way you treat your frigid wife. That’s exactly the kind of analysis we’ve all been missing. Everyone who disagreed with your position before this is now in lock-step with you.

  32. Maybe there’s just an recognition that who he is today physically isn’t who he’ll be in 3-5 years. He’s 21/22 and built like a brick shithouse. If he fills out much more it’s not entirely unlikely he’ll lose enough to have to switch positions. The flip side of course is that if a guy like Glaus was still semi-capable at SS mid-career it’s hardly set in stone. Just saying you can see him play last year and still wonder whether he’ll be able to stick at 3B long-term, not that he absolutely has to be moved eventually. To be honest, I quite like his chances, but I have to admit that’s probably at least partially due to my rose-coloured fan goggles.

  33. That’s called having hops, my friend.

    Or he climbed the fence.

  34. Yeah…he can stick there if the doesn’t get any bigger…but many scouts feel he’ll fill out considering he’s only 21/22 and once that happens…he might not be able to move as well. Look at Miguel Cabrera. Now clearly he filled out way more than Lawrie probably will…but packing on the muscle will definitely have an impact on Lawrie’s ability to handle the hot corner. Aramis Ramirez is another guy who has gotten bigger and although he still plays 3B, his defense is no longer considered very good.

  35. I really see this year as lets see what we got, there are lots of could be’s and maybe’s Ramus/Lind/Sinder/Lawrie plus most of the pitching staff, if Ramus comes back and Lind starts hitting then I think you have to say its time to get those two or three high free agents if we end up in fourth again then you have to say these guys are not working time to look at other ideas

  36. Lawrie getting too big to play third might happen sooner than 10 years; I’d say it could happen after say another 5-6.  But anyway that’s not for awhile. 

    Sickels was quite high on Lawrie’s defense after scouting him in the minors, thinking he’d be at least average and could be better than that.  Everyone else was really down on it but, after a shaky first few games with the Jays, he got better and better.  He improved to the point that I’m not much worried about his D over there.

  37. I think he climbed the fence using his spikes and the mesh of the fence but still impressive to say the least.

  38. Lawrie drinks Red Bull in the dugout.  Cabrera probably drinks what’s left of his triple-triple after dunking his donuts in there all game.

  39. Actually, I believe Red Bull is now produced in Canada using extracts from Lawrie’s sweat. He is just sampling for quality control purposes.

  40. What’s been lost in all the scouting of Marisnick is that he can fly. Why has nobody mentioned this 6th tool before?

  41. It’s a well-known fact that Florida has lower gravity than the rest of the world. That’s why they have the space program there, and why old people retire there.

  42. Miggy drinks Red Bull in the dugout too…he just mixes it with vodka.

  43. Is it just me, or does it look like Marisnick is getting some massive hang time out there by the centre field wall? Did Michael Jordan teach him that move, or what?

  44. The strides Noah made last year with his pitches including his secondary stuff was massive. He’s polished for a high school draft arm and if he continues to develop like he does. I can realistically see a 2013 call-up in his future.

  45. I’m going to continue pretending there was a trampoline.  It’ll be like Baseball “Slamball” in my mind.

  46. I’ll have to try dunking a donut in a triple Rye. If Cabrera likes it, it’s gotta be good!

  47. He’s going to need more time than that, if for no other reason he threw 60IP last year. I’d guess most of the year at Lansing, maybe late season up to A+, then repeat in ’13 for A+. Even if he’s absolutely killing the competition they have to hold him back a little just to get him innings. I think a 2014 September call-up is the absolute earliest you could hope to see him, barring some very crazy shit happening and that would be lightning fast.

    Take Alvarez as comparison. Low IP at 18, then a year at Lansing, a year a Dunedin, and then he moves as fast as he can. So 2012 is Lansing, 2013 is Dunedin, and if he is still wrecking shit up, then by end of 2014 he’s with the big club. Just because Noah jumped to lowA already last year, doesn’t mean he can continue to move that fast because he needs years to throw and build.

  48. Anyone get Insider ?  I’d really like to read Cameron’s take on rebuilding, or at least get the main points……

  49. No reason they can’t jump him right to AA for 2013. There’s little to no point in having him dominate A ball for an entire season. Wouldn’t surprise me if arms like him, Norris and Nicolino take the same path as Hutchison. If they continue to dominate they can all be moved fairly quickly. The Jays have a great core of position players in place now and will have more next year. They’re just lacking the high ceiling arms. I’m betting a couple of them while not exactly rushed, will still be hurried.

     Hutchison is a perfect example of how they can boost Snydergaard’s innings from the 60′s to 150′s this coming year. Hutchison threw 68 innings in 2010 and 149 in 2011. He’s now in line to pitch roughly 180 this year and hopefully 200+ in the majors next year.

    I’m also pretty stoked to see who they draft this coming year and what direction they go as far as position players vs pitchers. They could sure some high ceiling guys at 2nd base and 1st base. Pity this years draft class isn’t going to be as strong as last years, at least according to Keith Law.

  50. If Lawrie does get too big there’s always first base or left field. However, after watching him last year I’m not worried about his defense.

  51. I think the concern is that when Lawrie grows “man muscles”, he’ll be way too big to play third considering his size already. 

    But if Miggy is a third basemen now, then I assume Lawrie’s going to be able to stick there no matter what.

  52. Hutchison is moving EXTREMELY fast because of his advance command and feel for pitching.  It’s pretty unreasonable to use that as the expectation for guys like Syndergaard, Norris and Nicolino instead of the ceiling.

  53. Two full additional seasons in the minors should be plenty for a high ceiling advanced guys like Syndergaard and Nicolino. 4 years in the minors is more than enough time for any top prospect that wasn’t a major work in progress. Depending on what happens with other prospects come the trading deadline it wouldn’t surprise me to see Syndergaard in AA at the end of 2012 if he continues to dominate.

    As for their ceiling, read the scouting reports there’s nothing to say that either are lacking in command at all. Unless they get hammered or have injury problems there should be nothing stopping them from making a 2014 debut or even a late 2013 appearance in September.

    “Nicolino stands out for his polish and the maturity of his game. He has
    above-average fastball velocity for a left-hander, and the pitch plays
    up due to movement and outstanding location. He already has an advanced
    changeup that he’ll throw at any point in the count, and an average
    curveball. He uses both sides of the plate, attacks hitters, and gets
    them to chase.”

    “This projectable right-hander began to project at an accelerated rate.

    The Good: Syndergaard has already added significant
    velocity from his high school days; he now sits in the mid-90s with
    plenty of upper-90s every time out. He’s more than just a power arm;
    he’ll flash a plus curveball, and has some feel for a changeup. His
    frame is nearly ideal for a power pitcher.”

  54.  Where in Syndergaard’s report does it say anything about advance command or feel?  I didn’t say it was poor, but all it says is that he has good stuff and size.

  55. More than a power arm, plus curveball and some feel for a changeup.

    You honestly don’t think two additional years and nearly 250 innings will be enough for a guy with this ceiling to be ready? Not sure why you’d want him to continue to waste away those innings in the minors. Remember, everything I’ve said is still predicated on the fact that he’ll continue to dominate. If he doesn’t then he’ll stay down longer.

    Here’s one more quote regarding Syndergaard:

    “When asked if the organization was surprised how quickly Syndergaard
    moved in 2011, a Jays official told me: “…Not surprised because of the
    combination of fastball velocity and command. His fastball is a weapon.
    When I saw him… he gave up one hit. (He) didn’t throw a fastball under
    93 (mph)… Sat 95-96 getting and as high as 99, all the while showing the
    ability to command the ball to both sides of the plate.””

    Yes Nicolino has more polish at the moment according to scouts but not the better stuff. I just hope both continue to do well along with Norris.

     Just take a look at the young trio Seattle has got. In two years they’re probably going to have 4 monster arms in that rotation if all goes well. Seattle could easily be looking at another Oakland situation from the early 00′s when they had Hudson, Zito and Mulder.

    Hopefully the Jays have that in place and ready to go by 2014. If none of them get traded you could see something like Romero, Morrow, Alvarez, Hutchison, Syndergaard and Nicolino with others like Norris that are ready to go.

  56. His right foot is obviously touching the fence.

  57. Only in Canada? Fucking Yanks can’t take their medicine…

  58. He said Nicolino, not Norris.

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