There’s a whole lot more of Jason Parks– whose name I keep mistakenly writing with an “e,” for some reason– and Kevin Goldstein than there is Keith Law in this post, but I’m too lazy to create a new graphic featuring the Baseball Prospectus pair, so… Law on the mountain it is.
Anywho, following the release of BP’s top 11 Jays prospects list, Goldstein and Professor Parks had a nice bit of Jays discussion on their podcast, and Parkes answered a bunch of questions about them in his most recent chat.
Highlights are below, as well as all your Jays-related, and Jays-related-ish, tidbits from Keith Law’s Thursday chat at ESPN.com.
The BP Podcast…
After Goldstein notes that the list of Jays three-star prospects goes 20 players deep, and Parks says that he thinks they’ve got the best system in the game, they get to the nitty gritty. Travis d’Arnaud is “an all-star waiting to happen, year after year after year,” Parks says. “Best catching prospect in baseball,” Goldstein adds. “I think he’s going to be a monster,” Parks says.
“Gose can fuckin’ do everything,” Parks tells us. “If you could go above 80, you could go above it for Gose,” he says of his arm. The hit tool is obviously the issue that might hold him back. “In a perfect world he could be a lot like– another former Blue Jay– I think he could be a lot like Devon White,” Goldstein adds. “A guy with power and some speed and he’d strike out 140 times every year.”
“This guy knows how to pitch at such an advanced level at such a young age,” Parks says of Justin Nicolino, who is the pitcher among the numerous high-end Jays pitching prospects that excites him the most. “He knows how to manipulate a baseball while still throwing strikes.” Goldstein adds that it’s “hard to find 19-year-olds with a 60 changeup.”
“He is able to manipulate his fastball– he’s able to change speeds on his fastball, he’s able to locate his fastball in and out, up and down. He’s able to throw the changeup against both lefties and righties. It’s a true– I never say this about young pitchers, but it’s not 60 projected, I think he actually has a 60 pitch,” Parks says.
“The breaking ball is not there yet, and it may never get there, but it may not have to get there,” he adds. “I think this is a guy who is not going to stumble a lot on the way up.”
Matt Dean is Goldstein’s pick for the most intriguing prospect in the system: “a classic third base profile,” he says, who slid in the draft for signability reasons, and who the Jays went well over slot for. There’s a shortage of third base prospects who look like they will stick at the position and show something with the bat, they add.
The BP Chat…
Xavier (Texas): Bigger offensive upside: Gose or Marisnick?
Jason Parks: Gose lacks the hit tool to project as a plus hitter, although his power is legit and the rest of his tools make me weak in the knees. Marisnick has the potential to hit for both average and power, so Im going to give him the edge.
Ed (Winnipeg): How could you let Goldstein rate Marisnick ahead of Gose? HOW? I thought you were cool, man.
Jason Parks: I really like both players, and Gose obviously has crazy tools, but I think Marisnick is the better prospect right now. He is more balanced at the plate, with a better hit tool that will continue to play as he climbs. Gose is an athletic freak, but I have concerns that the hit tool will limit his success at the plate. In the field, Gose can do just about anything he wants, with tons of speed and one of the strongest arms in baseball. It’s close, but I’d give the nod to Marisnick as well.
Mike (utica): what is your take on noah syndergaard, justin nicolino, and daniel norris. Who do you like the best and what is their ceilings?
Jason Parks: I really like all three, but I prefer the lefties, especially Nicolino. Being able to manipulate the ball while maintaining control is an art that even major league pitchers struggle with. Nicolino might lack crazy great stuff, but his pitchability is quite advanced. Given his projectable frame, I think the stuff will continue to improve as well. He could be a monster. Huge fan.
Kyle Drabek (a deep dark hole): Shoot straight with me. What are my chances of making it?
Jason Parks: Depends on your definition of making it. I think you can pitch in the majors, once you adjust to the failures of the past. It’s one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. I think you can do it. Will you ever be a #1 or #2? Probably not. But you can contribute at the highest level, and that will have value. Plus, you are a Texan. Suck it up and get back on the horse.
C.J. (Milwaukee): Does Anthony Gose’s hit tool have enough #want to afford him the opportunity to showcase those tools as a major league regular?
Jason Parks: It needs to improve, but it only needs to find average utility for the speed/power to elevate his offensive profile. If the hit tool finds a way to play at the major league level, Gose could be an all-star.
tjco1990 (KY): How would u rank these 3 young high ceiling arms….Daniel Norris, Tyrell Jenkins and Noah Syndergaard? Long way to go but their upside in enormous. Thanks Professor
Jason Parks: Norris, Jenkins, Syndergaard
Steve C (Toronto): Fill in the blank: Kyle Drabek will win ___ MLB games in his career.
Jason Parks: 50
Bobby (Toronto): I’m very disappointed in the Jays off-season due to having horrible owners. Give me 3 reasons why I should spend my hard earned money to buy season tickets this year. [Note: Waaaahhhhh!!!!]
Jason Parks: Reasons 1,2,3: The team has talent and will be competitive despite not landing Darvish or Fielder.
John (Denver, CO) [Note: really?]: How would you compare/contrast Rosario, Mescadoro, and D’Arnaud?
Jason Parks: D’Arnaud is the complete package and the best of the bunch. He could be an all-star on a regular basis. Mesoraco and Rosario are close for me, with Mesoraco getting the edge because of his dreamy eyes.
Andrew Stoeten (drunkjaysfans.com): [Note: Not me, just presumably some failure of a shitstain hoping to embarrass me after I didn't quibble with Mike Wilner giving Alex Anthopoulos a B+ on the radio last week.] What letter grade would you give AA’s performance as a GM so far? What would you like to see him improve?
Jason Parks: GMs can always improve, which isn’t to say that AA’s performance has been bad. I think he is an intelligent, creative GM that is trying to remain competitive in one of the hardest divisions in the game. I love the org”s approach to amateur talent acquisition.
Mike (Utica, NY): Can Nicolino become a Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels type pitcher if he hits his ceiling?
Jason Parks: CLiff Lee only became Cliff Lee after he failed and then made the necessary adjustments. The basic answer is no. Those guys are aces and its unlikely that Nicolino develops to that level. He has a huge ceiling, but there are very few aces.
Nolan (San Jose): Is it fair to say the Jays have the best farm system in baseball?
Jason Parks: I happen to think they have the best system, but I love high-ceilings and toolsy projections.
Mike (Utica, NY): If Marisnick can stay in center, can he become what Rocco Baldelli should have been?
Jason Parks: Not bad. Some people think he can stick and some think he slides to RF. He’s certainly a legit five-tool talent.
jhardman (Apex, NC): Can you give me your thoughts on the long term value of these third base prospects: Moustakas, Chisenhall, Olt, Lawrie. And whether they will stay at 3B.
Jason Parks: Lawrie has made himself into a better defensive player, but its never going to be great. My rankings: Lawrie, Moose, Chisenhall, Olt.
Zooey (LA): The Jays make the playoffs at least once in the next 3 seasons, True or False?
Jason Parks: I’d like to say true, but I believe the answer is false. Sorry.
Layin’ Down the Law…
Any hope for a Drabek rebound in 2012?
I think so. Vegas was really not the right spot for a guy who was overthrowing when he got into trouble – the harder he tries to throw, the worse his command, and the worse the breaking ball gets.
Jose Bautista recently said in a interview that he’s been tested for PED’s 16 times since his 2010 season but only 3 times prior. Is MLB going to start burning suspected witches soon too?
I just saw that this morning – MLB should be ashamed if that’s true. They’re falling prey to that same thinking about how you can tell who’s using PEDs just by looking at the back of his baseball card.
Brandon (OC, CA)
Keith… really enjoy your columns, podcasts, food tweets. I’m particularly looking forward to your prospect article… without giving too much away, does it seem to you that AAA and AA are much thinner in talent and depth than in years past? Keep up the good work.
They absolutely are. I’m finding my top 100 is loaded with high-upside guys from A-ball or below.
can’t believe people are still defending the howard contract. whatever. what’s your opinion on the 6-7 year pitching contracts that hamels is in line for?
I can’t imagine ever giving a pitcher 7 years. I suppose there’s some situation where you are in a short window, and figure you’ll go for it over the next two years and will live with the risk … and if your owner is OK with that, sure. But it flies in the face of everything I believe to be true about player valuation and projection.
Is it reasonable to project Anthony Gose to become similar to the player BJ Upton has been the past few years?
They’re not that similar.
sweat (Calgary, AB)
Do you think AA and the Jays are on the right path to providing a team that can compete for a playoff spot for years to come? A lot of the local ‘reporters’ seem to be furious the Jays didn’t sign Fielder.
Yes, they’re on the right path. You need to ignore those reporters more or less permanently, because that is straight-up rabblerousing.
JJ (Liberty Twp, OH)
Worst free agent contract given out this winter?