MLB.com released their list of the top 20 Jays prospects today, along with an accompanying article that provides some basic background on some and adds a couple sleepers– Michael Crouse and Anthony DiScalfani– and predicts the biggest things in the organization this year for Travis d’Arnaud on the hitting side, and perhaps surprisingly, Adonis Cardona on the pitching side.

We’ve been down this road a few times already this off-season– with lists from John Sickels at Minor League Ball, Marc Hulet at FanGraphs, Kevin Goldstein at Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America, among others, and Keith Law’s listings scheduled to hit ESPN.com this week– and there are some rather interesting things that I think we can cull from the similarities and the differences between them.

As you might expect, Travis d’Arnaud tops MLB.com’s list, as he did on all but Hulet’s, where he placed second to Anthony Gose– who is second here, and no worse than fourth on all but Sickel’s list. Jake Marisnick is either third or fourth on each list by Hulet’s (seventh), and at least three of Dan Norris, Justin Nicolino, Drew Hutchison and Noah Syndergaard occupy the four spots from fourth to seventh on every single list– only MLB.com has all four in those spots.

Hutchison is no higher than fourth and no less than ninth on any list. Nicolino ranks between four and seven, Norris always between third and fifth, and Syndergaard between third and seventh.

Other young arms find themselves in similarly narrow bands: Deck McGuire slots between sixth and tenth on all the lists, Aaron Sanchez ranks between eighth and twelfth on all lists but Hulet’s, where he sneaks into sixth, and Asher Wojciechowski is tenth to thirteenth for everyone but Goldstein, who puts him at 18th.

If we discout the really noticeable outliers– Gose at eight for Sickels, Marisnick at seven for Hulet, Sanchez at six for BA– we can come to a pretty reasonable agreement on who the top handful of prospects are and whereabouts the stand.

d’Arnaud, Gose, Marisnick, Norris, Syndergaard, Nicolino, Hutchison, McGuire, Sanchez and then probably Wojciechowski.

After that things get interesting– a thought that struck me when I saw Carlos Perez way up at ninth for MLB.com, despite being 19th and 20th for Goldstein and Sickels, and nowhere to be found on the shorter lists from Hulet (goes to 15) and Baseball America (top 10).

“J.P. Arencibia may get the attention in the big leagues, with Travis d’Arnaud nipping at his heels, but you don’t want to forget Perez, even if it takes him awhile to get there,” Jonathan Mayo writes. “Signed out of Venezuela, the young backstop has shown some ability with the bat, though he took a little bit of a step back numbers-wise during his full-season debut in 2011. He runs well for a catcher, and his athleticism, along with an arm that has thrown out 34 percent of would-be basestealers heading into the 2012 season, should allow him to develop into a solid defensive catcher when all is said and done.”

Sure, catchers are valuable commodities, but that seems a little light for a guy he ranked ahead of McGuire, Wojciechowski, Adonis Cardona, Joe Musgrove, AJ Jimenez, Chris Hawkins, Jacob Anderson, and Adeiny Hechavarria, all of whom rank ahead of Perez on at least two, and as many as four of the other lists.

There are other curiosities: Dwight Smith Jr. and Matt Dean show up in the 14-15 and 16-17 range respectively for Goldstein and Sickels, but don’t tickle Mayo’s fancy as much as Moises Sierra and Kellen Sweeney, and can’t crack Hulet’s and BA’s smaller lists. Kevin Comer shows up on Mayo’s list at 15, Goldestein’s at ten, yet isn’t to be found elsewhere.

What does any of this actually tell us? Fuck if I know. Your guess is as good as mine. Interesting, though, to see it all laid out like this, huh?

Comments (37)

  1. Should be interesting to see KLaw’s list.

  2. What happened to that Thon guy?

  3. Tuna.

  4. Blood infection, supposedly. Should be healthy for next season.

  5. really odd that Hulet thinks so highly of Gose while not that much about Marisnick.

  6. Very interesting.  thanks.

  7. From BA Handbook, remainder of Jays top 31:
    11: Matt Dean 3B
    12: AJ Jimenez C
    13: Adeiny Hechavarria SS
    14. Carlos Perez C
    15. Moises Sierra OF
    16. Dwight Smith Jr. OF
    17. Kevin Comer RHP
    18. Adonys Cardona RHP
    19. Kellen Sweeney 3B
    20. Joe Musgrove RHP
    21. Jacob Anderson OF
    22. David Cooper 1B
    23. Michael Crouse OF
    24. Marcus Knecht OF
    25. Christopher Hawkins OF
    26. John Stilson RHP
    27. Dickie Joe Thon SS
    28. Chad Jenking RHP
    29. Christian Lopes SS
    30. Roberto Osuna RHP
    31. Griffin Murphy LHP

  8. Marisnick hasn’t hit AA yet. It’s a major step to take and this was Marisnick’s breakout year. A repeat of this season will shoot him to the top unless the system is just so loaded.

    Again, this is a loaded system and where a player ranks is not that big of a deal.

  9. Comment about Osuna: The guy was born in 1995 and pitching in the Mexican league in 2011.  That’s insane!

  10. That list is supposed to be coming out tomorrow.  I’m pretty sure he said that his top pitcher for Toronto is Drew Hutchison.

  11. Interesting that there’s not a bunch of players who played AAA last year.A ton on the lists aquired by AA and not JPR.

  12. most disappointing  prospect for me is 
    Adeiny Hechavarria  , was signed on a $10m deal and I am sure the Jays would have expected  him to be near the top the prospect assessors charts. Still young though.

  13. I’m saying as things stand now Gose will have the better year at AAA than d’Arnaud. Just my totally subjective views of course. A lot of people forget how young the guy is. He’s 1.5 years younger than d’Arnaud and if they take the restrictions off him this year I think his K rate will decline and his OBP will rise.

  14.  By better year do you mean his numbers will be better or that he will show more improvement?

  15. Going out on a limb and saying he’ll have a higher wRC+ than d’Arnaud this coming season.

  16.  Wow.  Bold.

  17.  I agree about the K rate/OBP…but it would be a giant leap for him to surpass d’Arnaud offensively. He’s not even close; they are at a totally different level at this point. In two years that may be different…or he may prove me wrong, but that’s my subjective view.

  18. I remember last June when the Jays were drafted both Beede and Norris.  Many figured that the Jays had zero chance to sign them as they both had strong college commitments.   Lo and behold, Norris signs a contract to play pro ball (and for less than many had expected).   Neat trick by the Jays scouting department.  Would have loved to hear the Jerry McGuire speech in Norris’ family room.  Beede played the greed card and lost out.  Hope he likes college.

    Norris was ranked as the top prep school lefthander in last year’s draft.  But I doubt he was on many radar screens, especially in an emerging minor league system as deep as the Blue Jays. 

    Good on Norris and good on AA and his scouts for a job well done. 
     

  19. Hulet said something like there was very  little separation between Marisnick and #3 Norris and just could not ignore the upside of all those Pitchers.  Might have been in his fangraphs post/comments or on the Getting Blanked podcast interview.

  20. Something I remember Goldstein talking about on the Up and In Podcast a while back is how political these lists are. Evaluators will deliberately put certain players higher or lower on the list based on their personal feelings toward the player. For instance (and Goldstein says he does this as well), someone may put Carlos Perez higher on their list because they want to be the guy who gets it right first.

    Goldstein recently said he did this when writing about the Angels’ system when he ranked John Hellweg 3rd. That way IF Hellweg turns out to be an All-Star player, it looks good on him.

  21. Osuna is already like 230 pounds. Yikes.

  22. Yeah, that’s why BA isn’t pegging him as a future front of the rotation guy.  Not a lot of physical projection.  He’s a BIG boy.

  23. In that case D’Arnaud is a lock to be a perennial all star.

  24. Yeah agreed. Beede couldnt have screwed the pooch worse if he’d had a script written out for him. They (the Jays) went , cash in hand and laid it out for him : 2.5 mill (I read somewhere) which was x% over slot and an accompanying explanation that there wouldnt be a “next year’ due to the new CBA. The kid screwed up.

  25. I think under the tutelage of Chad Mottola, and the AAA environment, they should both be pretty good.

  26. I’ve been watching for a while now and no one is even mentioned his fall from the headlines. I’m not worried though. Escobar has more than met and surpassed just about every expectation. I really want to see what he can do under Mottola at AAA but I’d also be willing to sell short if the right trade came along: say for a number 2 rotation guy.

  27.  That was my question.. thanks @yahoo-25TBEK2Z5OJA4LRMKNNZOJK4NI:disqus

  28.  He’d have to REALLY start hitting in the minors to be worth being a piece of any significance in a package for a no. 2 starter. 

  29. These lists are OK..but the first three names on all three lists should be

    1. Justin Jackson.
    2. Kevin Ahrens.
    3  John Tolisino

  30. is Carreno still considered a prospect? Sickels has him at 18 but doesn’t get a mention in the other lists

  31. We’ll likely have to look at more peripheral #s, though…  we all know the inflationary effect Vegas can have.  K%, BB% and the like.

  32. But, where’s John-Ford Griffin?

  33. Robinzon Diaz is the catcher of the future.

  34. Those guys have simply disappeared and there’s 2 main reasons: 1) because JP and his scouts werent very good (or numerous) and 2) Jackson, Ahrens and Tolisano werent very good either.

  35. I wonder what the odds are on the former?

  36. The aggregate rankings of these 5 are:
    1. d’Arnaud
    2. Gose
    3. Marisnick
    4. Norris
    5. Syndergaard
    6. Nicolino
    7. Hutchison
    8. McGuire
    9. Sanchez
    10. Wojciechowski
    11. Cardona
    12. Jiminez
    13. Anderson
    14. Hawkins
    15. Hechavarria
     
    based on my Excel skills and assigning a score of 24 pts for 1st, 23 for 2nd, etc.

  37. “Those guys have simply disappeared and there’s 2 main reasons: 1) because JP and his scouts werent very good (or numerous) and 2) Jackson, Ahrens and Tolisano werent very good either.”
    Those same scouts, in the same draft, also took Arencibia, Cecil, and Zep along with McDade, Farina, and Magnuson (much more marginal guys but not complete wash-outs either) – that’s actually a pretty good outcome for a draft.

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