Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of, with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Afternoon Snack… er… Afternoon Hangover… er… links!!!

I really don’t get the sense that Anthony Alford is bluffing about being a seriously tough sign, based on his comments to WDAM.com in Laurel, MS. “I wasn’t expecting to go in the top three rounds. I got a call earlier that they wanted me to be their number one pick, but I turned it down,” he says. “I told them I wanted to go to college, and I thought they’d pick me probably the tenth or eleventh round…I was surprised.” He adds that he’s “going to sit down with my family and talk about it. We’re going to discuss the pros and cons, but we’re not really going to make a decision. I mean, I’m still going to school regardless.”

At ESPN.com (Insider Only), Keith Law reviews the drafts of AL clubs, saying of the Jays’ drafting of numerous college seniors, that he “thought this was the most obvious strategy to employ in the current system if you had extra picks, and the Jays executed it extremely well.” He adds that 58th pick Mitch Nay “should sign very soon,” that Marcus Stroman is better than his draft position suggests, that 60th pick Tyler Gonzales has “a violent delivery and his command is poor,” and that the Jays “took a few backup tough-sign options after the 10th round.” There are, of course, many other nuggets in there as well.

In another piece for ESPN.com (Insider Only), Law suggests where each team’s best newly-drafted prospect would rank in their current system, and for the Jays, he’d have Marcus Stroman at number four, ahead of Anthony Gose, Noah Syndergaard, Dan Norris and others.

MLBTR passes along a Jon Heyman tweet where the CBS Sports reporter suggests that rival GMs think there’s a decent chance Matt Garza is traded, despite the Cubs’ efforts to re-sign him, and that it may be a race between the Yankees, Red Sox and Jays to get him.

At the National Post, John Lott talks draft strategy, college seniors, and all that good stuff, with comments from Andrew Tinnish, and some of the club’s recent draftees– of both the high- and low-end types. He adds another piece on just Matt Smoral and Tyler Gonzales.

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet talks to Andrew Tinnish, and tells us that the tough work for the Jays starts now, as they try to get everybody signed, and make all the money work.

Chris Toman of MLB.com writes about how the Jays’ risk-taking draft strategy has reshaped their minor league system.

Want to read something depressing? Then take a trip through Dave Schoenfield’s positional rankings for the AL East at ESPN.com– a role-by-role recap of how the Jays really kinda aren’t the best at anything (well… except in right field and when it comes to their number two starter).

The Jays made Daniel Devonshire the third ever Kiwi to be drafted by a Major League club, says Stuff.co.nz. He went in the thirty-seventh round.

Lastly (wait, really? that’s it?), at the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin speaks a little of the Jays’ development of a more athletic, more versatile roster. “The Blue Jays have a plan that involves becoming more athletic and more versatile on their major-league roster,” he says. “It’s part of the reason why their DH, Edwin Encarnacion, learned to play first base and a little left field. It’s part of the reason why the relatively unathletic Adam Lind was sent down, and it’s a large part of the reason 24-year-old Yan Gomes is back in the majors.” [Note: Wait... what???]

The rest of the piece sorta veers from this premise, however– did whoever wrote the headline only read the first two paragraphs???– into more basic stuff about the lineup, including Edwin Encarnacion’s progress as he tries to return from a hand injury.

“Just in talking to Eddie and seeing the look on his face when he goes through some of those strength tests, he’s more encouraged today than he was at the time of being hit,” said John Farrell. “First and foremost, no fracture, a good thing. When you still can’t see the knuckles on the back of his hand, there’s swelling in there.”

Yikes.

Comments (37)

  1. Some interesting nuggets on Gregor Chisholm’s blog too from discussions with Andrew Tinnish . . .

    http://gregorchisholm.mlblogs.com/2012/06/07/tinnish-talks-about-the-draft/

    Interesting reading Davidi’s comment that DJ Davis might sign for under-slot money. It does make me wonder in some ways if the Jays selected Alford partly to pressure Davis with a similarly skilled player? Man, it would be interesting to sit in on the strategy discussions . . .

  2. Two things… first: let’s hope Alford is keeping up on NFL news – 2000 players suing the league for negligence. Trust me Anthony, you want to play baseball…
    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/07/2000-players-unify-in-suing-nfl-over-head-injuries/?hpt=hp_t2

    Second, those ESPN rankings are kinds fun to chew on, but they’re totally subjective.. no real surprises in a ranking system that pegs us a notch below NY, Boston & Tampa though.

    • He should play both like Deion and Bo. The world needs another multi-sport pro athlete.

    • If Schoenfield used the WAR rankings in that ESPN piece, the Jays would be much different. Johnson, Lawrie and Encarnacion are all first in WAR at their position. Drabek and Alvarez are not in last place by WAR either. Bautista and Romero slip a few spots but Rasmus goes up to a tie for second.

      I’m thinking if he went by WAR, maybe the overall rankings of the teams are even closer, just like the standings suggest.

      • He showed WAR, but clearly was being subjective in his rankings.

        Would be more interesting to see a full on statistical breakdown with weighted stats based on position.

  3. It’s hard for me to believe that people are taking a university education over a good signing bonus in todays economy. There’s hundreds of thousands of educated people out of work. Some might think that they’ll get more money if they wait the 3-4 years but they are gambling with injuries then. Crazy imo.

    • This is a bit of an oversimplification, n’est pas?

      • But if the bonus alone approaches $1M (will it for Alford?) you can easily put away enough for school.

      • Doesn’t make it untrue. Even for really smart, hard-working people who come out of high-earning programs at top schools, it takes years and years to earn $1,000,000 gross. And how many of these guys are going to be engineers, doctors, dentists, vets, investment bankers and White Shoe firm lawyers. In any case, you can always go back and do those things later. Hard-pressed to see an argument where a 4-year degree is worth a guaranteed $1 miilion.

        • It keeps his NFL options open.

        • I kind of doubt his dream is to go to school, but rather to play football at a college. Would you give up your dream for $1,000,000? Who’s kidding who, I would in a heartbeat. However in his case, the money will likely still be there in 3 years, but not likely to be there in my situation.

      • “n’est-ce pas?”. Missing -ce. Elegant usage though.

    • If you’re talking about Beede, yes, completely agreed.

      Alford is a horse of a totally different colour though. He’s not trading guaranteed money for a college education, he’s trading guaranteed money for the chance to be the saviour of a moribund football program in his home state, where he’s going to be the big man on campus as the biggest recruit at the school in recent memory, will have his choice of college co-eds to bang for the next several years, and at this point, looks like might have a legit chance at the NFL (although much can happen in 3 years).

  4. This snack left me still hungry.

  5. The ESPN AL East position rankings are pretty interesting. I agree with most of them but I will argue that Arencibia and Rasmus should both be ranked higher. I think Arencibia is the third best catcher in the division, above Russell Martin (arguably second if Saltalamacchia wasnt hitting so well of late), and Rasmus should be the fourth best centerfielder in the division, above BJ Upton

    • Rasmus should AT LEAST be ahead of Upton. All the starting centre fielders in the AL East are pretty respectable (Ellsbury, Granderson, Jones) but Rasmus has been hitting exceptionally lately after a slow start. Upton ain’t too shabby either, but I’d easily take any of those other guys over him.

      It’s such a subjective piece though, at the end of the day. Those are 5 pretty good players. But if we go by WAR alone, Rasmus is much closer to the top.

    • escobar too. he hasnt hit this year like he can, but hes still putting up more value than jeter.

  6. Is it just me, or did that ESPN article read like he picked the names of the players he could remember on the list and then googled who played that position for the other teams?

  7. Kids say No to school, when someone offers you a couple millions dollars to stay out…

  8. I liked that Tinnish and his scouts liked what they saw in the college seniors they took, sure they picked them in the early rounds to save money towards other picks but Tucker Donahue throws 95 according to Tinish and another one throws 92 and feel he has more to give.
    There’s a slim chance one of these college guys I’m thinking the 95mph guy can maybe make it to the mlb one day as a reliever but I no it’s not likely. It sounds like Tinnish feels there’s a chance they could develop one of these seniors into something.

    • I’m sure they liked those College Seniors even more when they signed for $5,000 saving them $200,000-$300,000 each for the other guys…

      • Agreed. What’s he going to say? Everyone is already in agreement that the thing is a farce. No need to draw more attention to the charade by stating that the shitbags they drafted are shitbags. That wouldn’t benefit anyone here and would probably just make the league work faster in closing this loophole.

        It’ll be a massive upset if Donahue makes the majors. Numbers-wise, he’s probably the worst senior they drafted. The guy had an ERA over 5.00 with a BB/9 over 6.0. The guy is the definition of a shitbag. He’s lucky to get $5,000 or whatever and he knows it.

  9. I would take the money. If you flame out, then you’re out of baseball at 25 and can go to college then. I think a pro-football career is a long shot.

  10. Some wizard named JaysFanToronto at Blue Bird Banter did a completely over the top/admirably thorough breakdown of signing possibilities from the draft. One option I hadn’t seen elsewhere is a two-way contract for Alford, which would have him play in the Jays system in the spring/summer, and leave him eligible to play football at Southern Miss. This option could, theoretically, also lower his asking price.

    http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2012/6/6/3067295/blue-jays-2012-draft-crunching-the-numbers

    • That would be badass. Keep him around the organization so when his pro football prospects fade away, or his dick falls off from sleeping with the wrong cheerleader, he’s ready to step up to the plate

    • Thanks for pointing that one out! Very interesting read . . .

  11. How can Stroman go ahead of Gose? I assume Law’s top 3 are D’Arnaud, Marisnick, and Sanchez, but I can’t read insider only. Stroman vs. Norris or Syndergaard I can kind of see as it’s just so subjective with those recent H.S. arms that I can’t quibble and Stroman is college so he’s easier to project and trust, but 3 years in a system A+ through AAA with a .360+ wOBA at every level and all the nice speed/defense premium position accompaniment and I have a very hard time with him slotting Stroman ahead. Upside vs. readiness is always the downfall of prospect rankings, but in this case it just seems absurd to have him that high as Gose has been doing it consistently across professional levels and isn’t far away at all.

    I guess it’s just a complete lack of trust in LV numbers (fair enough) and he’s just setting himself up to say I told you so if he’s up with the big club by the end of the year. Still, you can’t honestly tell me that 99% of the fans (who cares I know), reporters (they might even rank lower than fans on the care scale), and even GMs (okay, so everyone’s retarded and we shouldn’t go by them either) would deal Gose for Stroman straight up.

    • I think Law is dubious about whether Gose can hit at MLB level. That’s my recollection/best guess.

  12. Wow… the fact that Law puts Stroman ahead of Syndergard, Norris and Gose kind of puts it in perspective.

    That’s pretty damn cool!

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