Because there sure isn’t anything happening on the Jays front at the Winter Meetings– at least, not that we’re hearing about, or that Alex Anthopoulos is admitting to– let’s take a detour into some delicious prospecting, as John Sickels posted his list of the top 20 Jays prospects today at Minor League Ball, giving a brief scouting note on all twenty, and a lengthier discussion of the organization as a whole.
As we’ve come to expect by now, Travis d’Arnaud tops the list– Sickels calls him “not perfect” but “either the best catching prospect in baseball or the second-best behind Mike Zunino”– with few surprises following him among the top tier.
There’s Syndergaard ahead of Sanchez– and always mildly interesting to see who has which of the remaining “big two” ahead– with Robert Osuna jumping way up to fall in behind them, despite not being “classically projectable due to mature body at age 18.”
Sean Nolin (6th) gets a nice note, as Sickels wonders “why this guy doesn’t get more attention. He’s big (6-5, 235), has a solid fastball, good curve, change coming along, throws strikes, great performance record. Just needs to stay healthy.”
Dan Norris (8th) makes the top ten, because despite the “dismal statistical performance, scouting reports remain pretty positive, pointing to plus fastball, changeup,” while some perhaps-surprises in that they missed out on not just the top ten, but the whole top twenty are Anthony Alford (wonder why), Matt Dean (“who didn’t look anything in the Appy League like the player he was supposed to be”), and Ryan Goins.
All of those guys are hitters, and the Jays lack of success with them seems to be the overriding message here.
“They have strongly emphasized tools and youth recently in the draft and international market,” he writes. “That’s a good thing of course, but frankly they don’t have a lot to show for it yet, possessing a collection of premium athletes who have raw and/or doubtful baseball skills.”
“All of these guys are young enough to improve,” he adds, “but they are starting from a pretty deep hole.”
A collection of Anthony Goses it is! Which… I guess is exactly what Alex Anthopoulos signed up for.
Interestingly, Mike Wilner tweeted last night that the Jays have welcomed back an old employee as their minor league hitting coordinater: Mike Barnett, who was the club’s hitting coach from 2002 until he was fired and replaced with Mickey Brantley just a month into the 2005 season.
Anyway, definitely give John’s full piece a read– there’s a lot more there than I’ve touched on, and it’s great stuff, as always.