Because it’s Friday and I don’t feel like doing anything more than some copy-and-paste work, here we’ve got all the Jays-related nuggets from yesterday’s Keith Law chat at ESPN.com– with added bonus nuggets from Jim Callis at Baseball America in his¬†recent chat (er… from last week), and some stuff from BA’s latest top 20 prospects lists for the various minor leagues.

So… um… here we go!

KLaw

Grant (Toronto)
Gose and Hechevarria seem to have similar profiles in that they are plus defenders at premium positions with questionable hit tools. However, Gose is frequently referred to as one of Toronto’s top prospects with all-star potential, while Hechevarria seems to be known as John McDonald 2.0 unless he learns to hit. Not that either comps are necessarily wrong, but why is there such a disparity between their “prospect statuses”?
Klaw
Gose has a better swing with a little more raw power. He’s also 16 months younger.

Mr. Whiskers
How much has your opinion changed on Daniel Norris with his less-than-stellar pro debut?
Klaw
I was a bit of a low man on him to begin with, so I wouldn’t say it’s changed.

ben (toronto)
I know it is a small sample size but have you seen any changes in the mechanics or Gose or Hech to be optimistic about there recent offensive upticks?
Klaw (2:04 PM)
It’s September. Don’t get caught up in any player’s “hot” streaks now.

Muzzy (Leicester)
If you don’t mind fielding another Gose question, do you think he’d be best served by repeating AAA in a real minor league park, or should he be in Toronto for his defense and trying to work on the bat as he, um, “goes”? Also, I’d rather listen to Taylor Swift than Mumford & Sons. Cloyingly mannered and affected.
Klaw
I think more time in AAA in a real ballpark next year would help Gose and Hechavarria.

Callis

Dan (Lansing)
Can you give us a brief scouting report on Blue Jays Kevin Pillar? What would his handbook rating and risk factor be?
Jim Callis
The Midwest League MVP was old for low Class A at 23, though to his credit he continued to hit after a promotion. He’s more of an overachieving fourth outfielder type than a regular. Doesn’t have a plus tool but gets the most out of what he has and makes a lot of contact. Below-average power, average runner and defensive tools, hard to profile that package as a regular.

JP (Montreal)
Where do you stand on Travis Snider?
Jim Callis
Still think there can be a solid regular in there somewhere. I liked that pickup for the Pirates.

Cy (Western Mass)
Hi Jim. You guys are right so often in the difficult business of forecasting prospects, that the rare misjudgments stand out. When a top prospect doesn’t pan out, can you always see why, in retrospect? For example, Delmon Young might be explained by lack of patience and pitch selection. What about someone like Colby Rasmus, who seems (seemed?) to have all the necessary tools?
Jim Callis
Thanks for putting that kindly. Rasmus confounds me, too. He showed good plate discipline in the minors and seemed to have all the tools, but he hasn’t controlled the strike zone nearly as well in the majors. Maybe he’s selling out for power? I don’t know.

gerry (Toronto)
How many Blue Jays will be in the Midwest League top 20? Sanchez, Syndergaard, Nicolino, Pillar, Hawkins? I know its a big league and so tougher to make the top 20.
Jim Callis
The first three guys. Tyler Ybarra is a nice sleeper, too.

And, as I said, sticking with BA, they’ve begun releasing their top twenty lists for each of the minor leagues– with companion (paywall’d) chats– and the Jays have a number of guys who’ve been mentioned. My notes in italics:

Gulf Coast League: DJ Davis (3), Alberto Tirado (14) No shame being third to June’s top two picks, Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton.

Appalachian League: Roberto Osuna (8), Santiago Nessy (10), Dan Norris (14) Still some pre-draft shine on Norris, who didn’t have a great pro debut.¬†

Northwest League: Taylor Cole (20) Vancouver was an older team, evidently, and as BA writes, “the top half of this list would have been much stronger had several other notable prospects played enough to qualify.” Osuna is clearly one of those.

More league top 20s will be released over the next couple of weeks. Schedule here.

Comments (10)

  1. I disagree with Law’s dismissal of September numbers. The jays have been facing a lot of teams still in the playoff hunt, especially in their own division save for Boston. The recent surge by Gose and Hech, to me, is very encouraging. They went from looking like incredibly awful hitters, to guys who may be able to actually hit in the bigs one day.

    Its common for guys to break into the league and hit well because pitchers don’t know their weaknesses yet, and they will often come down to earth after they’ve been exposed a little bit a la Lawrie, but if Hech can be a perennial .260 hitter with his glove, to me that makes him a servicable, contributing everyday middle infielder.

    As for Gose, I don’t see him ever being better than a .240 or so hitter with potentially slightly above average power, but if he could learn to take a walk and get his OBP in the high 3′s, he will be a deadly centre or right fielder.

    • I should add, Hech needs to be more disciplined as well to raise his paltry .289 OBP. 4 walks in 118 plate appearances is pretty concerning which is a lot worse than Gose’s 13 in 167 PA.

    • .240 from Gose would be just fine if he was getting on ahead of Bautista, Ortiz and EE.

      Caught stealing stats don’t include pick-offs. Rajai has been picked off 7 times I think. Gose is a way way bigger threat on the basepaths if you factor that in.

      Gose turns every walk or weak single into a potential double or triple (in effect) plus distracts the pitcher.

    • I agree it’s a pretty silly statement to make without looking at the competition and the situations the player faced. Considering it comes from a guy who loves to mock and belittle people who utter similar tropes it’s actually kind of funny.

  2. Yikes, it is really, really early but the top of the 2011 draft is not looking so great.
    Beede- didn’t sign
    Anderson- .575 OPS in Rl
    Musgrove- traded
    Smith Jr- .594 OPS in 2 leagues
    Comer- Traded
    Norris- terrible start

    Hopefully DeSlafani, Stilson and maybe some lower guys like Taylor Cole can keep it up

    • Unfortunately it’s still too early to say but it illustrates what a crap shoot it can be. I always see draft picks as penny stocks. 8 or 9 out of 10 aren’t going to do much for you but 1 or 2 will return a very nice profit.

      The risk is the main thing a lot of people forget when they shit on the idea of actually spending money on a free agent and espouse the draft and only the draft.

      At least the Jays did it right way the last couple of years by getting numerous picks which should increase their odds in finding some winners.

    • Exactly why AA acquired so many supplemental picks…

    • You forgot to include Christian Lopes, who’s ripped up his part of Bluefield and Vancouver, including 2 HR’s in the playoffs.

  3. Hechavarria and Gose haven’t shown nearly enough offensively to be MLB starters next season, so he’s right on the mark there.

  4. Hech basically is Omar Visquel when he broke into the majors

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