Oh, hello. Anything interesting happen today?

Ho ho ho. Yes, yes, the Encarnacion deal– which I totally heard about, only… like, three minutes after Parkes had already taken the reins on that post. But it certainly wasn’t the only interesting thing to take place around here today (not that you’d know it based on my level of activity), because Keith Law published his mid-season top 50 prospects list at ESPN.com (Insider Only), and followed it up with a related chat with his readers, both of which were rich with Jays content.

First and foremost, there’s the list itself, which not only– as the title of this post kinda gives away– features Aaron Sanchez listed as highly as we’ve likely ever seen him, but also has Travis d’Arnaud way up in fifth, and Jake Marisnick rounding out the club’s contingent in the 32nd spot.

d’Arnaud’s qualities we know about, though Law gives word to our deepest fears about him, suggesting that his latest injury in a long string may indicate “it’s possible, even likely, he is always going to be an injury-prone player, one who is great when he plays but won’t average 140 games a year the way you’d want.”

Ouch.

But Sanchez is the big one for me, as he’s way up at 25 from being 96th pre-season. To contrast, he made his first appearance in John Sickels’ top 120 list at Minor League Ball earlier in the month, coming in at 49.

Granted, Jim Callis of Baseball America recently ranked the arms in the Jays’ system and placed Sanchez– who “misses bats with mid-90s fastball and curve, just needs command”– at the top, so Law isn’t the only one becoming more and more enamoured of the Lansing righty, but the big jump, I think, is telling.

“He has an electric arm that is loose and easy with life on the fastball and an out-pitch slider,” Law writes. Later in the chat he adds that, long term, he sees him as “a very good #2, a top 30 starter in the majors but not a top 15 guy.”

Um… I’ll take that.

Marisnick “is still a five-tool guy,” he says, “but he did nearly all of his damage in the Florida State League against lefties, so it’s a little surprising to see him moved up to Double-A.” Still, his 32nd ranking– up from 47th– indicates that the bloom is far from off the rose.

Nuggets from the chat…

Steve (Toronto)
Do you see Alex Anthopoulos trading away prospects for 2012 rental players? Which prospects do you think are most likely to be moved?
Klaw
No. I could see them trading a prospect or two for a longer-term asset, though.

Snakes (Philly)
Thoughts on the Encarnacion extension? I like it for Toronto.
Klaw
I do too. Modest enough that it’s not a disaster if he regresses, but offers substantial upside for the club.

Sebastian (Germany)
What do you think of Anthony Gose? Is he coming up this year?Thanks
Klaw
I don’t believe his approach has improved as much as the raw Las Vegas/PCL stat line says it has. I think he’s a plus defender in center who can run, throw, and has a little more pop than you’d expect, but he might be a low OBP guy with a lower ceiling as a result. Very good player, definitely a top 75 prospect.

Erich (CT)
Whats your future projecteed of Aaron Sanchez, a number 1? More of a Ricky Romero like pitcher? I’m just curious because Toronto doesnt seem to have many future aces in the minors.
Klaw
Maybe more of a very good #2, a top 30 starter in the majors but not a top 15 guy. More likely than Syndergaard (still lacks an avg breaking ball) or Nicolino (command guy, very good but no out pitch).

Greg (Toronto)
Marcus Stroman is alleged to be the closer to MLB than any other draftee this yr. Given the nightmares the Jays have had in the ‘pen the past 2 years, would you try and move him through the system rather quickly as a reliver? Or, would a sounder strategy allow for his development as a starter?
Klaw
I’d be fine using him as a reliever this year and revisiting the decision in the offseason. There’s no reason to start him now after a full spring of starting at Duke.

David (Yucaipa, CA)
Within the past 10 years, who is the player that you absolutely knew was a can’t miss guy the first time you saw him?
Klaw
Tulowitzki.

Bahhhhurrrrrrrrrnnnnnn!!!!!

Comments (76)

  1. Like the sound of that “electric arm!” It’s like he’s got an electric eel instead of an arm, lasering pitches at unsuspecting hitters!

  2. I would drink Troy Tulowitzki’s bathwater….

  3. confirmation bias — he would never claim it was someone who isn’t a big time player.

  4. too bad claw wasn’t working with the jays when they passed on tulo…… oh crap

    • What is it exactly that you are trying to imply, eric?

    • Go work on your fielding, Eric.

    • Hasn’t he publicly stated that nearly all the scouts wanted to go with Tulo, but JPR overruled them?

      • http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/newsstand/discussion/richard_dansky_five_for_writing_keith_law/

        “It’s a textbook example of a managerial failure. The consensus of the people who were hired to evaluate players was to take Tulowitzki over Romero. (It wasn’t unanimous, but it was the majority opinion.) The GM substituted his own evaluations, based on one observation for each player and a flawed one at that for Tulowitzki, who was just coming off of a wrist injury. Several of us made the case for Tulowitzki over Romero, myself included, but Ricciardi is not one to change his mind, and I always thought he rather enjoyed digging in his heels when anyone questioned a decision. There had to be a million dollars in salaries sitting in that draft room, and the GM overruled them. If you’re going to hire talented people and pay them all that money, let them do their jobs.”

        • After reading that, I think I may go cry myself to sleep and hope that I never wake up.

          • How many rings has Tulo won? Not a proven winner, he wouldn’t have helped the Jays that much over Romero.

            • my non winning mentality lineup:

              Mauer
              Votto
              Kinsler
              Tulo
              Beltre
              Hamilton
              Trout
              Braun
              Bautista DH
              Greinke P

              > Romero

        • Hindsight is 50/50, but Romero is the only healthy, long term pitcher in our rotation right now. Though Yunel hasn’t killed it yet this year, he remains a solid piece of our roster. Besides, I believe Russ Adams and his prolific bat was already in our system at the time

        • Every one always forgets one thing regarding Ricky vs Tulo. If JPR had drafted Tulo, he probably would have traded him in 2006 for someone like Brad Penny or Joe Blanton.

  5. Sanchez sounds a lot like Brandon Morrow to me. I’ll take that, minus the wonky oblique!!

    • Let’s be serious. You’re talking about a guy that was pitching like a top 15 guy in MLB this year before the non arm-related injury … and comparing A MiLB player to him?

      Absurd.

      Like dating a 12 year old girl because you think she’s going to be hot whe she’s old enough to bang.

  6. hmm.. we could call his curve ball the “Dirty Sanchez”
    I don’t know.. there are a shit tonne of pitchers in the league.. who wouldn’t want a top 30 guy. Hell i would take 5 of them if I could get them.

  7. I wonder if Seatle would move a guy like Felix Hernadez now for some good position players. Felix is owed some pretty big money in the next three years, and with Texas and LA dooking it out for likely the next 3 years, would they go for cheaper younger talent?

  8. I listened to Keith’s ESPN insider podcast on his rankings and he says scouts are raving about Sanchez

  9. Okay, I’m getting mixed signals, so I’m gonna put this out there to see what the hell anybody thinks.
    Is Gose just a potential 5 tool player and Marisnick is the true 5 tool player?I’m reading more and more good things about Marisnick. he’s developing more slowly but the scouts rave about him as having the whole package.Gose has more speed but does Marisnick have a higher ceiling over all?

    • Many people aren’t convinced Gose can hit particularly well. If he can, he’s an all star.

      Sounds like he’s more of a 3 tool player, but he’s a little short on the most important tool (hitting). But he doesn’t really need much power and he walks quite a bit which is encouraging.

      I think what applies to SS applies to CF. It makes little sense to bump solid offensive contributers with plus defense (Escobar & Rasmus) for plus plus defenders with questionable hitting abilities.

      That said, it all depends on how AA feels. Perhaps he disagrees on the consensus. It wouldn’t be the first time (trading Wallace for Gose, extending Bautista etc).

      • @ Jays2010

        So Gose gets the hype but as a 3 tool player, is he going to be Rajai Davis 2.0 with a few more walks?
        I have no doubt at all, that AA AND his team know who they rank with the higher ceiling ( but they aren’t going to tell us ,nor should they).
        Law is ranking Marisnick 32nd but the talk in Jaysland is “wait for Gose”.

        • Davis is not a great, or even particularly good, defender. He’s fast, which makes up for a lack of jump or poor routes. Gose also has a plus arm.

        • Well Rajai is more of a one tool player, isn’t it?

          And I think we’re waiting for Gose (isn’t that a play?) mostly because he’s thought to be closer than Marisnick. It could be we end up with both in a couple of years.

        • I’m just repeating what the prospect gurus say about Gose. It’s not that he just has 3 tools. It’s that he has arguably 3 elite, elite tools.

          If he has Peter Bourjous’ defense he’s very valuable even if it’s as a platoon OF. However, if that’s all he is it’s not good enough to bump Rasmus.

        • @RADAR

          You also have to remember that Gose, being in Triple A, is closer to the show than Marisnick is who was just promoted from high A ball. The talk is about Gose because we will probably see him this year…. and because people love stolen bases.

    • The main difference is that Marisnick has produced with the bat in the minors more than gose has, but it was in A ball – so we’ll see how he does now that he’s been promoted to AA which is supposed to be a big step forward in skill

      • To be honest, I was surprised that they promoted him so aggressively. His wOBA of .366 in a pitcher`s league was encouraging, but the 126 wRC+ could have been better.

        I guess we`ll let the second half of the MiL season dictate if he was perhaps rushed a bit.

        • “I guess we`ll let the second half of the MiL season dictate if he was perhaps rushed a bit.”

          Boo! No fun. We don’t need ‘data’ to make claims about a guy we’ve never seen play. You loser!

        • I believe that was 17th overall in the FSL at the time of this promotion which shows just what kind of a pitchers league it is.

        • To quote Kevin Goldstein:

          “Do we really need minor league wOBA?”

  10. stroman got bombed in his debut

    .2ip 3hits 2er 1bb 0k

    • Before you get too worked up, it’s his first time pitching versus real competition since the spring season at Duke. Give the guy a break.

    • Recap doesn’t sound as bad as the line looks:
      From milb.com (http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_log&gid=2012_07_12_vanasx_boiasx_1):
      Boise Bottom of the 6th
      Pitcher Change: Marcus Stroman replaces Jonathan Lucas.
      Lance Rymel grounds out, third baseman Kellen Sweeney to first baseman Balbino Fuenmayor.
      Gioskar Amaya singles on a fly ball to right fielder Carlos Ramirez.
      With Marco Hernandez batting, Gioskar Amaya steals (5) 2nd base.
      Marco Hernandez grounds out, first baseman Balbino Fuenmayor to pitcher Marcus Stroman. Gioskar Amaya to 3rd.
      Stephen Bruno walks.
      Jeimer Candelario singles on a ground ball to left fielder Nicholas Baligod. Gioskar Amaya scores. Jeimer Candelario to 2nd. Stephen Bruno advances to 3rd, on throwing error by left fielder Nicholas Baligod.
      Bijan Rademacher singles on a fly ball to left fielder Nicholas Baligod. Stephen Bruno scores. Jeimer Candelario scores.
      Pitcher Change: Matt Johnson replaces Marcus Stroman.
      Xavier Batista strikes out swinging.

  11. Soo….sort of a crappy night for some of our better prospects..

    Shittiest Line of the night:

    Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
    Aaron Sanchez (L, 8-1) 1.1 3 5 5 2 2 2 1.41

    Excusable shitty line of the night due to inactivity:

    Marcus Stroman 0.2 3 3 2 1 0 0 27.00

    Meh…not terrible but not great line of the night:

    John Stilson (L, 2-2) 5.0 4 3 3 3 1 1 3.33

    So , yeah..noone did really well and Sanchez got bombed. Shocking really..hadn’t given up a dinger all year and now gives up 2 in 1+ innings..im sure we’ll hear that he’s having tommy john soon. (I kid.. I kid…..errrrrrr do I?)

  12. I’m considering getting a Lansing Lugnut baseball cap. Will hat make me look like a cool hipster or a mechanic that works exclusively on farming equipment?

    • I went to a Lansing game last weekend and got one. They’re pretty sweet. Go for it, you cool hipster!

  13. I think we’ve all brushed over the key part of that EE extension news conference.

    I don’t remember the exact quote, but it was something like “with EE’s extension out of the way, I can now focus all my attention towards getting us some pitching.”

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/07/al-east-notes-orioles-longoria-encarnacion-bosox.html

    Wait, what?

  14. So I doubt the Jays are picking up Greinke or Hamels, because a rental isn’t Anthopoulous’ style. Garza will probably be too expensive. So who does that leave?

    Might I suggest Wandy Rodriguez?

    Sure, he’s expensive; but if we agree to absorb his entire contract, we might get him for close to free. He’s a decent enough pitcher, young, and controllable.

    Kevin Millwood is another name. Yes, he’s a rental, so AA might not be looking this way; but unlike Greinke/Hamels, Millwood would be cheap.

    • I’m thinking AA has something less conventional up his sleeve. The most likely move in my view is a lateral MLB ready position prospect for MLB ready pitching prospect with maybe some added value going the way of the ready now pitcher.

      Something like Gose and Escobar for Bauer and Drew sounds about right. Then something like McDade for Guthrie still makes sense as a filler.

  15. Does anyone else get a huge steamer looking at this potential rosterbation for next year?

    3B Lawrie R
    CF Rasmus L
    RF Bautista R
    DH Ortiz L
    1B Encarnation R
    LF Upton R
    2B Escobar L
    C D’Arnaud R
    SS Hechavarria R

    • Assuming, of course, the Jays can sign the DH the most in demand on the market (if he even gets to free agency and doesn’t accept arb.), trade for a 24-year-old All-Star who by all reports numerous other teams also want, convince Escobar to move positions despite his initial reluctance, and promote two prospects, one of whom is currently injured and the other whose bat is uncertain.

      About as realistic as any other ‘bation, I suppose.

      • I’d prefer not to bring logic into my posts. Just dreams.

      • I think we should also get Escobar to bat from the left side.

        Actually, considering how he’s been swinging from the right side lately, it might not be a bad idea…

    • sadly, the biggest challenge with putting that lineup together, wouldn’t be signing Ortiz or trading for Upton. It would be to convince Escobar to play 2nd without moaning.

      • In this case, I really don’t give a shit where Escobar or Hech play. If Escobar whines, I’d be fine playing Hech at second for a year or two. Both would be above average defensively at their posistion, so keeping Escobar happy would probably be the best move from a managerial standpoint.

        • Hech has to play short. That’s where his value is. If you want a weak hitting 2B put McCoy in there (horror!). It’s like the argument for keeping Cletus in centre for max value. If Hech is gonna play then it’s gotta be SS so Escobar gets moved under this scenario.

          • If Hech and Esco are BOTH playing on the field at the same time, is it not interchangeable?

          • There is a valid argument in stating that if you have a SS on the team that hits like a 2B, and a 2B that hits like a SS, you end up equal in the end.

            However, I’m assuming the reason why you want your best defender at short is because most batters are right handed, most batters will pull the ball, and thus the shortstop will get the most groundballs batted to them of any infielder.

            There is some validity to the earlier expressed sentiment, which said that since Lawrie has a huge range, often getting to balls Escobar would’ve gotten; and if you stick Hech at 2B he too would grab some of Escobar’s balls; then it doesn’t matter, in theory, if you leave the weaker defender in SS. It’s an interesting idea, anyways.

            2B isn’t exactly an offensive position these days anyways. There’s only three 2B OPSing over .800 right now.

    • That boner is quickly made flacid by looking at this pitching staff:

      -Morrow
      -Romero
      -Alvarez
      -Cecil
      -Laffey

      that lineup is going to be an absolute requirement to make up for this piss poor pitching staff.

    • Nothing about Hech’s bat gives me a boner at all. And one of these years, Ortiz is going to start shitting the bed. If it’s not next year, it’ll be the year after. I’d rather not take the chance.

      • I’ve been saying that about Martin Brodeur for like 6 years….

      • the cost is only money and the jays payroll is low. i would take that risk anyday for big papi.he is pissed off with the sox management and friends with jose so i think he sticks a dagger in sox nation.it would be worth it if he just trounces the sox and shits the bed on everyone else.and papi is really focussed on his diet and wellbeing.how can anyone in their right mind not take an elite player when the cost is only cash and it is easily absorbed to profit. you are crazy

        • I think the sox would get the Jays first round pick if Ortiz sign in Toronto. Not sure if AA would be willing to do that

          • Hypothetically, it shouldn’t be a tough decision. Next year’s draft isn’t really all that strong. Just about as weak as this year’s. If you expect Ortiz to produce the kind of value he’s been putting up for the last few years, you take the chance of forfeiting an amateur prospect.

  16. If Travis d’Arnaud doesn’t average 140 games a year, I don’t think that’s the end of the world… I’d rather see my stud young catcher only catching 120 games a year as to maybe add a couple years to his catching career.

    • In this case, I really don’t give a shit where Escobar or Hech play. If Escobar whines, I’d be fine playing Hech at second for a year or two. Both would be above average defensively at their posistion, so keeping Escobar happy would probably be the best move from a managerial standpoint.

    • I’d be more worried about D’Arnaud if his injury problems were a reoccurrence fo the back issue that pestered him a couple years ago.

      Instead they seem like a couple “fluke”, acute injuries: a torn thumb ligament and a torn knee ligament from a slide. These aren’t like he swung a bat and hurt his shoulder or back…. something had to happen to him for this to occur.

      • The concern is probably that he is getting wear and tear catcher injuries and that he can’t handle a full-time workload.

  17. ugh.. watching the live@score guys talk about baseball is pretty painful.

    the red hair’d guy’s never seen a jays game if he thinks pitching decisions are completely “computerized.” no fucking computer anywhere would suggest putting Cordero in the situations Farrell did

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