Jonathan Mayo and the folks at MLB.com have posted their top 100 prospects list for 2013– complete with an MLB Network announcement-and-making-insane-Barry-Bonds-comps extravaganza– and while, for obvious reasons, there are a lot of names on the list who will be familiar to Jays fans, only two of the club’s prospects actually make this year’s top 100.

They are, it may come as a small surprise, right-handed pitchers Aaron Sanchez, who ranked 35th, and Roberto Osuna, who ranked 90th.

Roberto Osuna

The mild surprise here is Osuna, who was behind Sean Nolin and DJ Davis on the Jays’ organizational list from Baseball Prospectus, though he was behind only Sanchez among the remaining prospects at FanGraphs and Minor League Ball. At just 17-years-old, he’s the youngest player on the list, four months younger than last June’s first overall draft pick, Houston’s Carlos Correa (30), and the handful of other 18-year-olds on the list– Albert Almora of the Cubs (39), Colorado’s David Dahl (58), and the pitcher Washington pulled just from under the Jays’ noses, Lucas Giolito (74).

So, just in case you weren’t clear on the notion that he’s crazy advanced for his age, there you have it. Which isn’t to say that he has that much extra time to blast through his ceiling– it just doesn’t work that way– but it’s still, it’s impressive, and it doesn’t hurt to see in mini scouting report that “his overall command and pitchability … should enable him to continue to be young for his level, even if he’s developed cautiously.”

They give present and future scouting grades on him as well, which rate his fastball a present 6/future 7, his slider a 4/5, changeup a 5/6, his control a 4/5, giving him a 4/6 overall. (For an explanation of the grading system, BP has you covered).

I’ll totally take that. If you want some real glowing praise, though– albeit of the major grain of salt variety, which I think is especially warranted here in the wake of the Jays’ DFA of Sam “best stuff in the organization” Dyson– why not turn to Ismael Cruz, the Jays’ International Scouting Director. He spoke about Osuna, among several other prospects, in an interview posted this week behind the paywall at Scout.com.

“It’s been like watching a Major Leaguer player against rookie (level) guys,” Cruz said of Osuna. “His feel for pitching is extremely advanced. He’s a great kid with a great attitude. Obviously he has a plus-plus changeup to go with an above average fastball and nothing rattles him. It can be the fifth inning with the bases loaded and it’s like the first inning for him. I have a great feeling about this kid. He’s going to be special. Actually he is special right now and he’s going to take off quick.”

And Cruz saved the best line of all for when he was asked what Osuna still needs to work on, quipping, “He doesn’t need anything, just leave him like that. Right now he’s perfect.”

Aaron Sanchez

Moving on, we have Aaron Sanchez, who, at 35, was ranked behind former organization-mates Travis d’Arnaud (6) and Noah Syndergaard (29), though considerably ahead of  Jake Marisnick (70), Justin Nicolino (72) and Adeiny Hechevarria (82).

Their present/future grades are 7/7 for the fastball, 6/6 for his curve, 4/5 for his changeup, 4/5 for the control, and 5/6 overall, but it’s the mini scouting report that’s really going to get the heart racing:

If you wanted to build a prototype of what a big, strong, projectable pitching prospect should look like, starting with Sanchez might not be a bad idea. The Blue Jays had aggressively stockpiled young arms via the Draft in recent years. Some of them were used as trading chips, but Sanchez remains, and for good reason. His pure stuff is outstanding, with a plus fastball and an outstanding curve to give him as good a one-two punch as any pitching prospect. His changeup projects to be at least an average offering. He throws downhill and there’s room for him to add some strength. Sanchez needs to cut down on his walk rate to succeed as he moves up, but he has all the makings of a frontline starter if that happens as the Blue Jays start to take the kid gloves off.

Right?

Org Rankings

Meanwhile, earlier in the week, in wholly unexpected news, the Jays’ reign atop the farm system rankings at John Sickles’ Minor League Ball came to an abrupt end, thanks entirely to the losses of d’Arnaud, Syndergaard, Nicolino, Marisnick, Hechavarria, Anthony DeScalfani, and Wulimer Becerra.

Of course, the ridiculous Cardinals and Mariners systems may have slipped ahead of them regardless, even if they’d kept all those guys, but… yeah, the Jays have completed an astonishing drop, and now rank twenty-second.

“Another system gutted by recent trades by a team pushing to win in 2013,” writes Sickels, referring also to the Kansas City Royals, who rank just ahead of the Jays. “Remaining strengths: pitching, with Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna, Marcus Stroman, and underappreciated Sean Nolin a nice quartet at the top and more live arms behind them. Weaknesses: they have a lot of tools guys who haven’t shown they can play baseball yet. If they pan out, the Jays will move back up the list quickly.”

So… it’s not all bad news. Remembering that the Jays have the tenth overall pick in next year’s draft will help replenish the system as well should help ease the pain, but better still, I think, is contemplating all the ridiculous current MLB talent the Jays used those prospects to acquire. And shit, if even that doesn’t do the trick, just pretend it was actually Nicolino in the Mets trade, and Syndergaard in the Miami one. Feels a bit better, doesn’t it?

 

Image via the Vancouver Courier. Crotch grab in the direction of @stivbators for the Scout.com tip and Sonic Reducer.

Comments (79)

  1. Do the jays have any positional prospects who are close to the higher ups of the minor leagues (outside of gose)?

    • AJ Jimenez is likely to start in AA.

      • Is he kind of the catcher of the future or will that come from outside the org

        • He’s a plus-plus defensive catcher, and had an insane caught stealing rate before he got injured at like…I think it was 57 percent. The bat is solid, no homers though.

          Source: Summation of every scouting report I’ve read on him.

  2. Stoeten whatever happened with Adonys Cardona? Havent heard much of him in a long time

    • When you’re pitching 15-30 innings a year, you’re not going to get recognized. Now that he’s 18 though, I’d keep an eye on him this year.

      • Cardona was born January 16, 1994 in La Sabana, VE (Age 19).
        He pitched in the GCL in both ’11 and ’12. Not great results but it’s early still.

  3. Pretty impressive that 7 prospects in the top 100 are/were drafted by the Jays.

  4. A lot of people (looking at you fairweathers on the jays forum) were whining that AA chose improving the Jays over improving the minor league affiliates and keeping the prospects.

    I didn’t know the purpose of this organization was to win the minor league championships.

    Heck, do people even remember that we won the Eastern League Championship awhile back? I sure don’t.

    • @josh

      I dont think anyones disappointed to see the major league talent brought in at the expense of all the prospects given up.

      Granted some thought perhaps too much was given up for Dickey but that happens in virtually every trade.You cant please everybody. However as a whole I thought pretty well everyone on here was stoked with the prospects for major league talent trades.

      • Not only that, but characterizing fans who like prospects as wanting to win minor league championships is just a bit disingenuous. It’s about patiently building a championship calibre Jays team by developing prospects.

        Although, yeah… I think pretty much everyone is on board with the prospect sacrifices that have been made.

        • there was a bunch of people on here saying they would only give up cooper and sierra and maybe brett cecil for dickey… I think a lot of people got with the program after it became popular to get with the program.

          • Guilty.

          • Yeah I think if everyone searched their hearts they’d admit it…I dont know if it the sequence of trades was reversed whether I’d agree.. ie: If AA went after Dickey 1st with D’Arnaud and Syndergaard.

    • Your post confuses me.

      Since when do fairweather fans care more about talent in the lower levels than talent in the highest level?

      And you clearly state that you in fact do remember the Eastern League Championship victory.

      My head hurts.

    • All I know is I watched Vancouver win two championships while I was here and now that I’m moving back to Toronto, I’m looking forward to continuing to watch championship calibre ball.

    • So is it bad that I remember the ECL championship? I’m confused…does that make me a fair weather fan?

      I’m sure glad Josh was able to stop by with his time machine and make us all feel bad. The FUCK Josh?! or is it David? Yes, I’m sure the Cooper, Sierra and Sisel was a genuine comment.

  5. A guy i like who has put a couple decent years together but does not get much prospect porn is Ryan Goings 2b . He has put together a couple very nice years including being NH MVP last year. Believe he was a second rounder in 09 or 10

    • 4th round, 2009. He had a pretty good stretch if I remember, but at 24 years old and with his numbers I think his ceiling seems to be a part-timer at best. Apparently his coaches love him but he doesn’t have much power, is just a little above average on the basebaths etc. Seems kinda like a Mike McCoy.

      • yeah. He gets invited to ST every year and does well. But the sense I get is AAAA. Btw it’s Ryan Goins…no “g”

        • Goins is perhaps a shinier version of Mike McCoy. Good organizational depth for the middle infield.

  6. I have no problem with what we gave up in terms of what we got, but it still stings a bit to see that org drop, and to see some of those other guys in the top 100. But then I just remember the attrition rate of baseball players and I stop hurting.

    • Yeah but look at it this way, the Jays have 3 years to replenish the system.

      • Also, keep in mind how organization can fast track rebuilding their organization – trading ML players.

        In a few years time, after the Jays have raised a couple of flags into the rafters, they can trade some of the players with post-world series hype for prospects and replenish either throught their own system or FAs with all of their new shiney dollar coins.

        • They may not even have to wait that long for their system to replenish. Obviously there are a lot of question marks with players just drafted, but the 2012 draft was pretty well regarded. You have to at least have hope for D.J. Davis, he showed a little promise last year. Stroman looks to be at least a #7 or #8 man in the bullpen. Actually look at their top 7 picks if 2 or 3 turn out to be legit prospects they will be alright. There is a lot of young talent in the very low minors that has yet to emerge. Obviously many will fail but there will surley be a few to pan out.

          • This is a very good point. We also cleared some of the logjam in the AA level, with most of our talent in single A or lower now. In three to four years, we could have some decent talent ready for the Majors when we need them.

      • True…but they’ll be drafting a lot lower than they were in those 3 years if all goes according to plan. Not that that would guarantee anything anyway, but still.

  7. Syndergaard gets traded to New York. All of a sudden his power curve has above average potential. Fuck haha.

    • And Travis d’Arnaud is suddenly compared favourably with Johnny Bench. New York hype machine… GO!

      • Pretty sure comparisons like both of those were made before the trade too, which is part of the reason the Mets agreed to it.

        • Never underestimate the AA hype machine. I wouldnt be surprised if every team did it. NY just has more writers eating it up.

  8. For those who are interested, Visquel is now the infield instructor for the Angels: http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/mlb/story/_/id/8896440/omar-vizquel-joins-los-angeles-angels-infield-instructor-according-report

  9. I hope all of our former prospects do well. If they do then it means we have a quality scouting system and we will gain a reputation for having quality prospects. This will only enhance AA’s position in trades in the future. I’d love for the Jays to become known as the team to deal with if you’re looking for prospect value.

  10. Not sure why people are upset. We are told we dropped but have underpreforming toolsy players. Which means if they pick up without any new picks we can easily move to the top 10

    • They made good trades don’t complain jeez

      • and really who knows if any of those guys would pan out to be as great as they where hyped to be, at least the jays get proven big league talent, someting that people like me would bitch about the lack there of

  11. “Some Prospects With Very High Hitting Scores: Daric Barton, Alex Gordon, Conor Jackson, Howie Kendrick, Delmon Young. ”

    heheh. 2006.

  12. “Some Prospects With Very High Power Scores: Prince Fielder, Ryan Harvey, Brandon Wood, Delmon Young. ”

    heheheh. 2006.
    Delmon!!

    • Still rather have young than derosa

      • Hardly comparable.
        And I’d rather have neither and give a chance to an org depth guy like McCoy, Sierra, etc…. but whadayagonnado.

        • Why have you not seen enough from McCoy already?

          And Sierra is better off playing everyday in Buffalo than riding the pine in the majors.

          • they could use mike mccoy if all those pitchers get injured in a game

          • McCoy is what he is, which is a 25th man/ swing man…. So is DeRosa, but McCoy’s cheaper and younger. I think he might as well ahve gotten the shot.
            And I disagree about Sierra. He’s a future 4th OFer anyway. Let’s get him some ML at-bats (though not too many!)

      • We’re talking about a guy who’s probably never going to play. Guys who get a chance to play usually take the chance to play over the probability of rotting on a bench.

        Vizquel got 153 ABs last year. That’s 153 despite the fact we had one starter on the field at one point last season, and that’s with management telling the coaches to play Vizquel more.

        So again, moot point, no?

      • “Still rather have young than derosa”

        Why? Delmon cant play any positions and DeRosa can play all but pitcher and catcher.

        Ya, a positionless DH is every championship calibre teams 25th man.

        Just fuck off.

        • If the games on the line who would you rather have step into the box, darosa or young? While I agree that derosa fits better with this team, telling someone to fuck off because they’d rather have a good hitter than mark derosa as the 25th man is just fucking stupid.

  13. “Some Prospects With Very High Motivational Speaking Scores: Mark DeRosa. ”

    1942.

  14. “And shit, if even that doesn’t do the trick, just pretend it was actually Nicolino in the Mets trade, and Syndergaard in the Miami one. Feels a bit better, doesn’t it?” Holy balls, that actually makes it seem way better to me.

  15. The Miami trade was much worse in terms of value we gave up vs. value we got back than the Mets trade. Two top prospects is the price for a cheap 3 years of an ace. So I’m not sure why you want to shift the balance the other way

    • I disagree, the Jays got back arguably the best SS in the game, a potential ace, a number 3 starter and very versatile depth guy and a shitttty backup for A pariah with attitude problems, an all glove SS prospect, A lefty with potential for only average stuff, A toolsy CF with question marks about his swing, a young controllable pitcher with no out pitch, Descalfini who no one ever talked about and a sssshiiiiiittttttyyyy back up catcher… I like what the Jays gave up.

      • Ya, it’s all great if you completely ignore the impact of contracts on a player’s trade value. Buehrle has close to zero trade value, and Reyes at $100M has value for sure, but not much more than Escobar at $5Mil and Hech combined, and we only got one year of Johnson.

        3 cheap years of Dickey is worth more than all of that combined, imo

        • I can agree with most of that. The Buerhle contract is nasty.

        • “Reyes at $100M has value for sure, but not much more than Escobar at $5Mil and Hech combined”

          So, you’re saying Escobar and Hech should have been enough for Jose Fucking Reyes?

      • I’d rather have Mathis than Buck, but on the whole I agree with you on the trade… the equalizing factor being the $ of course.

        • we also traded Halladay for what turned out to be Gose, D’Arnaud, & Drabek, so trading D’Arnaud & Syndergaard for Dickey is not all that bad… It’s like we traded Halladay for Gose & Dickey. to my way of thinking anyways.

          And at this time Dickey can be like Halladay for the next 3-4 years (on an even cheaper contract, as hard as that is to believe, seeing as Halladay was modest), and we also picked up an impact CF of the future in Gose. Not bad all around.

  16. That ssshhhhiiiiiittttttttyyyy catcher was the key to the miami deal happening or falling thru.

    Happy with both deals but for me the Dickey trade stung a lil more than the miami deal

    • When we traded for Mathis did you ever think you would say “He was the key to the miami deal happening or falling thru”? Hilarious isn’t it!

      • @Dumps

        Ya its wild when ya think of how much salary and how many quality players and prospects were involved that Mathis would be the missing link.

        And judging by AA interviews it really stung to hafta let him go. Scoscia shared the same despair when he left Anaheim. Must be a quality guy

  17. @dumpy bucks salary discrepancy with Mathis is the reason why the trade almost fell apart

  18. @EastTOJays Well it doesn’t matter now! He’s long gone and replaced by a much younger and better player in Thole (if he doesn’t play like last year) who gives us some depth behind Aaron Cibia and Blanco.

  19. “Remembering that the Jays have the tenth overall pick in next year’s draft will help replenish the system…….”
    That’s exactly it isnt it? They pick ahead of 2/3′s of MLB every round this year. That’s huge. That plus the scouting network that AA set up, plus the guys he ‘s bringing in this year via trade, will keep them contending for a few years.

  20. I’m happy with the current major league team. But how does switching those players around make me feel better about the trades???

  21. If you examine the two trades together, it looks great for the Jays.
    If you isolate the two, the Miami trade looks great for Jays, the Mets trade looks like we paid a steep price. If you do the player switch, the price doesn’t seem as steep.

    Personally, I don’t care which team “won” the individual trades. I just want to win a championship and obviously post trade the Jays are in a way better position, if not the favorites. If Jays win one, let alone two WS in the next 4 years, I’d be happy if every player we gave up goes to the Hall of Fame. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but you know…

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