On Thursday, Keith Law had a chat with readers at ESPN.com, and as always, I checked the archive four days later and have exhumed all the Jays-related tibits for your reading pleasure– and this week there were some serious gems. To wit…

Jon Cook (Research in Motion)
Please rank these 3 based on Ceiling. Neil Ramirez, Drew Hutchison and Nestor Molina.
My top 100 (which included the first two but not Molina) is based primarily on ceiling, with probability a secondary factor, so you should always look there first for questions like this. Molina’s either a back-end starter or reliever so he’s not really in this discussion. [The shorter answer is, of course, Hutchison, who was more than 50 spots ahead of Ramirez in the 100.]

Cognitive Dissonance (Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex)
Help! Blue Jays pick Eric Thames over Travis Snider. Signed Dustin McGowan to a two-year, $3 million. Can I still believe Alex Anthopoulos as Wunderkind narrative? Or is being nice to players the marker inefficiency?
I know everything thinks silent AA is a ninja … but neither of those moves made much sense to me. Mcgowan’s injury history should preclude any discussion of a multi-year deal.

Robert (London)
If Henderson Alvarez was eligible, would he have made your top 100 list?
He made it last year, and he didn’t do anything to disappoint in 2011, so…

Steve (San Jose)
Looks like my HS teammate Eric Thames won the starting job in LF for Toronto. I know you’ve always seen him as an extra OF — so do you think he lasts the year as a starter? Is .270/.340/.470 with 15 HR or so attainable?
I’m not sure how that split line comes to be, but I see a below-average defender who only hits fastballs, not an everyday guy.

aaron (boston)
Any prospects outside your top 100 receiving significant rave reviews?
Austin Hedges would be one – and I’ll say again I screwed up by omitting him. Kiley saw Syndergaard throw really well earlier this week. Heard good things on my Cleveland sleeper, Ronny Rodriguez.

Ryan (Fredericton)
RE: David Cooper… everyone knows he has no power, but do you think he could hit .310+ in the majors?
I do not.

Me (Where I am )
Do you expect Brett Lawrie to exploid into a Ryan Braun type breakout or are the expectations based on last years small sample overblown on him?
I think he’ll be a star, and fairly soon, but last year has created unreasonable expectations.

@ryanpicks (Freddy Beach)
D’Arnaud + McGuire for Hosmer … who says no first?
The Royals, with a long list of choice profanities.

Joshua (Vancouver)
Do you see Adonys Cardona as a guy that could be on the top 100 in 2013 or am I rushing things a bit? I believe it was you who said they wouldn’t be surprised if he hit 100 at some point.
Maybe for 2014, but yes, real upside guy, he’ll get to triple digits at some point.

Comments (20)

  1. And now the Reds are signing Votto to a long term extension so we can finally put those rumours to bed. (As if they weren’t ridiculous enough 2 years away)

  2. Not really related, but I was reading an old gem from Stoeten on Keith Law this morning:

    Law: Oh, no, see I vehemently disagree on that one. Because I think what you’re seeing with Bautista, it’s a nice year certainly, but it is so out of character with this guy’s history. He’s 29-years-old, he’ll turn 30 next year, he’s about to enter the decline phase, he’s never going to do this again. This could turn into a great story for the Blue Jays and for Alex Anthopoulos. They picked up Jose Bautista for basically nothing, and if he can flip him for something of real value this week, that’s what the good GM’s do. They don’t fall in love with the player who is having the fluky good year. Just look at his whole history in the big leagues– he’s never done anything like this before.

    McCown: Well but he hasn’t had many opportunities to play full seasons.

    Law: But you know what, even in the part-time opportunities he’s had, he’s never shown this kind of power, and I think it’s very unlikely that he would do so. Look at this, 614 plate appearances in 2007 he hit 15 bombs, he’s already got 28 this season, he ain’t hitting 30 again. [Note: Talk all you want about the home runs in 400-odd at bats in the intervening years, but in the previous years combined since he started getting fairly regular playing time in Pittsburgh in 2006 his SLG was .412. Bautista's SLG this year is .558. Red flag much?]

    McCown: But he also hit 10 in September last year, so the scope of his work is a little bit longer than one season. After getting the opportunity to play every day late last year with the Blue Jays he hit 10 to lead the major leagues in the month of September.

    Law: Yeah, but don’t forget that in September you’re facing a lot of triple-A guys.

    McCown: I know, I know, I get it. But it is what it is. Everybody’s facing triple-A guys, somebody has to hit the most and he did. And he plays very solid defence, he’s got as good an arm as anybody in the outfield– it’s both strong and accurate– and, most importantly, I’m told that he’s really good in the clubhouse, and especially good with some of the young players.

    Law: I’m looking at a guy who came into this season with over 2,000 plate appearances in the big leagues, and no performance that was anywhere close to what he’s done this season, particularly in the power department, and if I’m a GM, that absolutely is a sign to me that I’ve got to trade this guy now. He may go somewhere else and hit another 10, 12 bombs this season. You have to, as a GM, be willing to stomach the possibility that he’ll continue to hit like this at least through the end of this year. And maybe he does a little bit next year, although I highly doubt it, but he’s not a long-term property for the Blue Jays, and there is so much risk that this guy heads right back next year to what he was in year’s past. You want to cash that guy in, even if it’s just one quality prospect. I have a feeling there’s a chance they’ll get more than that, and I think Anthopoulos will hold out for more than that as long as he can.

    • That’s what proper analysis gets you: occasional misfires back up by completely sound reasoning. What of it?

      • My thoughts exactly. I’m sure you’d get 99.9% of people in baseball saying the same thing at that point in time.

        • if ANYONE knew he was a mechanical adjustment from being the best hitter in baseball he wouldn’t have been traded for robinson f’n diaz.

          it wasn’t just klaw… pretty much everyone in the sport was wrong on bautista.

          good on the jays for getting it right… but it is hardly a reasonable indictment of anyone else.

        • Yeah. While Parkes analysis of the Bautista extension did irk me a little (I felt he seemed a bit too certain of what to expect from Bautista’s future production) it’s hard to blame Law or him on forecasting Bautista’s career incorrectly.

          It’s probably safe to say Bautista has had one of the most unusual career paths in MLB history.

      • Thought it was an interesting read in light of how far Jose has come.

        Pretty weird that everyone instantly jumps up to defend Law even when nobody is attacking him.

        • It is weird, yes. Some sabermetricians are angry, insecure and defensive when it comes to their heroes.

          But not all!

        • “Pretty weird that everyone instantly jumps up to defend Law even when nobody is attacking him.”

          lol, you’re a funny guy. You CLEARLY weren’t trying to say anything about Law with your comment.

      • 60% of the time it works all the time?

      • No one is perfect, but isn’t Keith Law supposed to be an expert?

        I think we have to take whatever he says with a grain of salt just like any other analyst.

        However, we have to to critically analyze what the jays are doing & expose the lies that Rogers was trying to tell the fans.

        The reality is that the cost of a top 1B will be 200 million. Look at Votto,Gonzalez,Fielder,Teixera.

        Lind is a bargain basement 1B & i hope he gives us a decent 2012.

        Votto & Fielder are gone, so who’s left to get in 2013?

    • Yeah, I wouldn’t knock anyone for being wrong on Bautista…considering most everyone was. However, AA does deserve a ton of praise imo.

  3. Good lord I am ashamed to be from Freddy Beach…

    • No kidding! Terrible.
      Lawrie + Syndergaard and then Royals might not hang up on your immediately (even then I don’t pretend to know if that would be enough)

      • the best part is that they just locked up sal perez for 5 years or something… d’arnaud as the main piece? really?

  4. Royals have a catcher, so i guess that d’arnuad wouldnt be that attractive to him.

    but if they didnt I see a hard time them rejecting the trade? an allstar catcher outranks an a good 1B any day of the week

    • the thing is that d’arnaud isn’t an all star catcher yet…

      he could be… at which point it is probably a reasonable offer. (if the royals needed a catcher)

      • Agreed. I think AA is smart enough to not rush & trade JPA because D’Arnaud is a highly rated prospect.

    • Eric Hosmer could become an all-star 1st baseman, and that is saying a lot in the American League, home to stars like Pujols, Fielder, Texiera, etc. etc. etc.

      Trading a AA all-star catcher and a meh pitcher like McGuire won’t get you very far to get a bat like Hosmer. The Royals would ask for Alvarez, then d’Arnaud and some other elements, at a very minimum.

  5. It’s not that Law is wrong like a lot of other baseball “experts”, but he talks about things as if he’s 100% sure that’s how it’s going to be, i.e “…he ain’t hitting 30 again.”

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