Not Keith Law
Keith Law week continues, as today at ESPN.com (Insider Only) he’s revealed his top ten prospects for each club in the American League. As we learned earlier in the week, the Jays currently have the 24th best system in baseball, in Law’s estimation, with just two players– Aaron Sanchez (19) and Roberto Osuna (87)– among the top 100 prospects in the game. Following behind them in the Jays organization is Marcus Stroman (above), the PED-suspended 2012 draftee who Law, like many others, says could pitch in the Jays’ bullpen this season if they wanted him to (though the Jays seem to want to give Stroman the chance to fail as a starter first, before moving him to the ‘pen permanently).
We’re told this in a new section of Law’s organizational reports, in which he briefly looks at “any prospects (top 10 and beyond) who might help the major-league team this year.” Along with Stroman, he suggests that John Stilson– who is a candidate to pitch permanently in relief, because he “has a SLAP lesion in his shoulder and a violent delivery that won’t hold up in a starting role”– Sean Nolin and HELLO KEVIN PILLAR!!! may see some time in the show this season.
He also singles out a couple of sleeper prospects, including Daniel Norris, whose “season was a disappointment overall, with his stuff still so inconsistent from start to start, but on the right day you’ll see 94 mph with two above-average off-speed pitches.”
As for the rankings themselves, he’s got football player Anthony Alford higher than a lot of lists will have– at six, ahead of DJ Davis, even– and Matt Smoral way up at number four, despite having yet to throw a pitch as a pro. Plus he’s a fan of Chase DeJong and Santiago Nessy, neither of whom were listed among the recent Jays top 20 from MLB.com.
Not that I know any better myself, but the MLB.com lists always seem just a little bit out of step from what some of the other prospect-focused folks are saying, and this one isn’t any different, with two of KLaw’s top ten absent, Dan Norris way up in third, and Deck McGuire actually on a prospect sheet. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong, of course, it’s just… odd.
And the MLB.com list still has tremendous value, in that it’s not paywall’d, and offers the same type of decent-length scouting reports on each of the organization’s top 20 prospects as they did for each player on their Top 100 list, which we looked at last week. It’s particularly illuminating for guys we don’t hear nearly as much about, such as last year’s closer at Dunedin, Danny Barnes, and Adonys Cardona, who they say has a future 70 fastball on his hands, and “and he’s shown a better feel for a changeup than most his age,” though he still struggles mightily with his breaking stuff.
There’s a lot there to have a look at. If, y’know, you’re into that sort of thing.
Image via Twitter.