stromantwitter

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.

Comments (60)

  1. Obessing About prospect p0rn is over

  2. Imagine what the system would look like today if we hadn’t taken Jenkins, Mcguire.

    I know i know, hindsight is 20/20 and there probably a few examples of players we took later on that turned out to be prospects but surrounding picks all flamed out. but still those 2 hurt because they were 1st rounders & supposed to be ‘safe’ pics

    • McGuire has to be considered a non prospect now right?

      • Its hard to find anything to have hope in with Deck,

        his numbers across the board have progressively gotten worse, and while his BB/9 rate remains decent his k/9 rate dropped by the 3 last year, repeating AA, as a 23 year old.

        I saw him pitch last year, can’t take much out of one game, but the stats back it up, he is just very very hittable

  3. also, I’m at work and while reading this people walking by saw a very young shirtless black man on my screen… maybe i’ll eat lunch at my desk today

  4. On first blush, having only two in the top 100, none in the top 10, and being ranked 24th overall is pretty demoralizing. But then again, an average team should in theory only have 1 top 30 prospect, 3 in the top 100, and would be ranked around 15th. So considering all of the veteran talent that was brought in, and this year’s 10th overall pick that’s pretty great.

    If this year’s first rounder is a good one, the Jays will have a team that can contend for 2-3 years and above average farm system. Not many teams can say that.

    What a welcome change from the days of having a shitty team and a shitty farm. Well done AA.

    • Mark I was with you until you said that a top 10 pick and a couple years… somehow gives us an above average farm system again. If we make the playoffs or come close, we get even worse picks over the next couple years. And a #10 pick this year is only slightly better than average.

      The only thing you could say is that we are stacked enough over the next 2-3 years at the big league level that we can concentrate on high upside, younger than average draft picks. And have them all coming into their element as our veterans leave.

      • The Jays future org rankings are going to come down to a bit of luck I think. They have quite a number of wildcards, with great but raw tools in the low minors. How many of those pan out will tell the story. I’ll sure as shit take that over “safe” picks.

    • other than the 24th spot or 6th worst and missing a few higherishend prospects not much different from last year. IIRC we had 3 in the top 100 maybe 4…so two taint too fucking bad. We just got rid of the ‘can miss’ prospects and kept all the ‘can’t miss’…right?

  5. RE: “any prospects (top 10 and beyond) who might help the major-league team this year

    I still have hope that Jenkins can turn out into something useful, like a decent bullpen arm or long guy. Doesn’t have a great out pitch to speak of but he has a decent GB rate. I wouldn’t mind seeing him start in the minors, to see how things work out for him in that role. If the Jays need some low leverage innings, or an emergency starter (meaning that guys like Happ, Lincoln or Germano are not available from AAA roster), why not?

    Sean Nolin might be one of the arms we see as he made the big jump from high A ball to AA last year pretty smoothly.

    As for position players, I am surprised that KLaw had no love for Ryan Goins. Was he even mentioned by KLaw at all?

    • Goins name has been kicking around a number of other lists, it’d be nice to learn a bit more about him. I’m wondering where he’ll start the year, would like to get a chance to see him in Buffalo

      • Goins had a nice year at SS with the Fisher Cats, with a triple slash line of .289-.342-.403. Was also a mid-season All-Star.

        My guess is that he will end up in Buffalo at some point and could figure to be a call-up in the event that Izturis goes down to injury or something.

        • Thanks for that Ballsdeep. Does he figure to be able to stick/fill in at short? I’d heard mention of him as a 2b, or maybe it was possible future 2b.

          • Haven’t heard anything about good or bad about his glove other than he can play the SS position obviously. Teams typically don’t stick org guys or prospects at a position they can’t handle at the double A level.

            I am sure he could handle 2B at the more advanced levels like AAA and the MLB. My guess is that Goins’ MLB ceiling would be that of a middle infield utility guy. I am sure the Jays will have him play all over the infield in spring training and in the minors.

  6. The bats and the lack of development of the bats is a big concern. K-Rates are huge throughout the system and BB rates are low. If we are going to keep taking athletes with “projectable bats”, we are going to have to make some serious developmental changes.

    • We are also going to have to show some serious patience as fans. I love how everyone is quick to aknowledge the fact that a lot of the position players they draft are raw as fuck, but then turn around and talk about how the strikeouts throughout the lower minors are a concern. You’ll have to wait at last 2-3 years to get an accurate guage on these guys and start to see results, and a majority of said players (Dean, Smith, Anderson) were in their first full pro seasons. If you expected these guys to hit right out of the shoot, its more of a problem of expectations rather than the developmental process

  7. Did I miss something about Kevin Pillar that makes him such a distinguishable guy? Every time his name is mentioned here, it’s in caps or with !!!’s, and I feel like I’m missing out on a joke or something.

  8. A year could make a huge difference.

    Nicolino, Syndaguaaaaard, Wojo, Nolin, and Dyson were all drafted in 2010 after Deck.

    Nobody should be the least bit concerned about the franchise rank.

    There should be some concern about the franchise’s complete lack of graduating any decent hitters from the farm system since…Lind/Hill’s 2009??

    • From their own drafts no.

    • Bats are great and all, but nothing like #3 pitching to Ace like stuff. Pitching wins games, ask the rays. Bats can be bought, ask the yanks or Angels. But nothing like drafting pitching that you can control, or trade up with.

      If your pitching can hold teams, ill take 1 run wins (Os of 2012). But if your going to have 12 run wins, whats the point of the 11 runs you scored after the winner, other then state padding and pay rasies?

      Keep drafting high lvl pitchers AA, then trade for some bats or sign some FAs.

      • thats how you get romero instead of tulo,
        you take the best player available.

      • Pitchers are way less likely to provide value to teams in the first couple rounds than batters.

        I couldn’t find the article, but I think Fangraphs did some research on that.

        • Would love to see some stats on that, this is just my opinion, not an expert, but from what i can see of the top teams, its pitching, and drafted Pitching in many cases that make them tops.

          Jays aren’t going to use drafted pitching in their games this year, as only 1 started was drafted here, and the #6 wasn’t either. But they used drafted pitching to get the ones they have now.

          So hey, its ok to be wrong, but im still a believer in drafting pitching, buying bats.

  9. 70 fastball? Hope he’s a knuckleballer. ;-)

  10. There isn’t 23 teams I’d trade minor league systems with.
    There is 10, maybe 12….

    The “experts” get obsessed with garbage prospects who are replacement players at best and overhype them…

    Either way – glad we had the prospects to deal because…..

    FLAGS FLY FOREVER

    • 80% of prospect pan out

    • you could have said our system was overhyped

      yet it brought it dickey, johnson, reyes, buerhle, bonafacio.

      prospects sometimes, are just assets. and other teams, regardless if the players will pan out or not, have better and/or more assets then the jays in the minors.

      for instance, I could name 5 teams for sure and maybe 10 teams who could pull off a trade for david price this year if he becomes available, without using anyone on their roster.

      jays are def not one of them

  11. Thing is the Jays have almost no need to fill holes on the big league roster for a couple years.

    Johnson, Rasmus and Cabrera are really the only potential holes in the next 2 years. Gose can step in for Rasmus. Likely a FA for Cabrera and hopefully some combination of Drabek/Sanchez/Hutchinson can help replace Johnson. This is assuming none of them are extended.

    AA has 2 solid years to build up the farm again with draft picks and international signings. #10 is the highest Pick AAs had since he started (I think) so that’s an asset.

    I really don’t see a lower ranked farm as being an issue.

    • As long as there is depth no issue

    • This.

      AA used his assets to acquire major league talent that should all be entering their prime years at the same time and are all under team control for the next 2-4 years (save for Josh Johnson, in which case, another draft pick will come back if he becomes a FA).

      And if you compare the overall team payroll with other clubs, AA has done an amazing job.

      • agreed, regardless of if we make the playoffs or not, the team is better off long term now, then trying to bank on prospects that could be.

    • I’m not saying it will, but its perfectly reasonable to think that the jays will run in to minor league depth issues, especially if poor performance or injuries occur.

      its not even so much in calling players up, its being able to move a couple prospects to fill a hole that developed mid season. that may become difficult.

      but hopefully the injury bug left with farrell

      • i think there is still good depth in the minors, and there are still lots of FA that can be signed to Minor league deals to add to the depth.

        its not what it was, but when was the last time the jays had this kind of depth from the top down? 95-96, maybe?

  12. AA doesn’t need to restock the farm system. The talent is there to make this a top 10 system again even with normal attrition. But it will take 2-3 years most likely.

    A lot of prospects need to hit the upper minors before being included on top 100 lists. And the Jays traded a bunch of them this winter.

    AA has had 3 supersized drafts so far and the players from the 2nd and 3rd draft need time to make it to the upper levels.

    Let’s not forget that Sanchez, Syndergaard and Nicolino were not a minor league “Big 3″ the moment they were drafted.

    The Jays have a number of pitchers just as talented as the old big 3 with very little pro experience. Just give it time.

  13. It wouldn’t surprise me if Johnson’s agent and AA have has preliminary talks about an extension. If JJ comes to camp healthy and looks good I would think he has a 3 year pact with an option before the season began.

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