Boston Red Sox Introduce John Farrell

Welp. This should be interesting. In a post at, Evan Drelich provides us with some quotes from John Farrell, who answered questions at a seminar this week, including some about his time in Toronto and the differences between the two organizations.

To wit:

“We can have a seminar on this question — not just because it’s Toronto and Boston,” Farrell said. “There are very distinct differences and it starts, I think it starts, at the top. And the reason I say that: I found Toronto to be a scouting-based organization, which to me is on one plane, one-dimensional. You’re looking at tools. Here, it’s a player-development based system. It’s the paths of the individuals that are running the organization. And that’s not to be critical.

“We all know that there’s three different veins in this game that people advance (through): baseball operations, scouting, player development. Well, in the player-development vein, you’re going to look at things in three dimensions: mentally, physically, fundamentally to address and develop people, or develop an organization. I think as a scouting base, you go out and you evaluate the physical tools. And that’s kind of where it ends, or that’s the look at that time. That was my experience, that was my opinion.”

Now, Farrell is a player development guy, so obviously that’s the prism he sees the world through– and, in fact, that’s kinda what he was supposed to bring to the Jays. He was billed as something of a front office executive on the field, so I’m not sure if we can separate the Jays’ failures in player development during his tenure from his failures. And that assumes there are failures– and assumes that Farrell’s comments actually make sense– which I think is a little bit disingenuous, given the overhaul of the organization that took place when Anthopoulos came in, and how little fruit it could have been expected to bear during the time Farrell was here.

Also, obviously he’s going to be slobbering all over the balls of his new employers, not making waves by praising the organization he obviously had some ill will towards, after they kept him once from his “dream job,” which he only was able to recapture after the disasterfuck of Bobby Valentine’s year in Boston– and after the Jays decided they didn’t really give a shit if he stayed or left. So… there’s that.

But it’s certainly interesting to hear what, in the grand scheme of sports quotes, seems a pretty unvarnished take. And I think those who do wonder sometimes about the Jays’ heavy emphasis on scouts and whether they have struck the right balance– among whom I occasionally count myself (no, really)– will certainly cling to as more evidence that this organization is maybe in a little over its head.

I don’t say that to suggest that whatever Farrell is saying has anything to do with the disasters of this year and the way the club’s trades have so painfully backfired, and maybe the exact point of being heavily focussed on tools is that those are the kinds of things other teams salivate over when you’re making deals. But it’s not like the Red Sox have been short on toolsy prospects, or players sought-after enough to get deals done.

I know it’s hard to believe him, espeically from where we sit, but if it is a problem here like he says it is, hopefully Alex Anthopoulos doesn’t get his back up about it and heeds Farrell’s words. Being more like Boston, in an organizational sense, would seem to be a pretty good idea.

Comments (94)

  1. Dear John,

    You were and still are a one-dimensional manager. That dimension? Your shittiness.

    Blue Jays fans

  2. Definitely some validity to what farrell is saying. You can critique his in game management all you want but the guy is and was on the inside. Especially when you consider the jays have really struggled to develop farm grown good pitching. The only thing is AA was a scout himself and thats what he knows so its not surprising he has led the organization that way. Some more balance would be useful though.

    • @afdg


      I agree with Farrell that the Jays have not been good at developing players & too focused on scouting.

      Virtually the entire team arrived through trades.

      JPA,Romero & Lind are homegrown. That says a lot.

      • True, those players are homegrown. But AA’s tenure is a little short to be able to decide whether we are developing major league caliber players or not. In fact, to truly be able to develop these players on a regular basis, you need to have the scouting and developmental departments to grow within the team vision. AA had to build from the ground up, therefore it is only natural that the system itself needs time to develop. Epstien had years to build the Sox system(scouts and development coaches), and it took a few years to bear the fruit that is Pedroria, Ellesbury, Bucholz and Lester.

        To be honest, I don’t know if AA is taking this team in that direction, but I do know that we are better off with him than without him. Riccardi left little in prospect value, but he also left little in regards to scouting and development assets within the company, which made AA’s job more difficult than just injecting promise into a once dismal farm system. It will take time to build the non player staff that will strengthen this team for years to come. Whether that is on AA’s watch is to be seen, but I think it takes 6-7 years before we can determine whether this system is flawed, but the gap from being an equal system to develop players like the Sox is much smaller today, than the day AA took over. And if AA can’t succeed here, the adjustments made by new management won’t need to be as drastic as we’ve seen recently.

        • Good post Digital Jays Fan The only thing I would add is that if AA does get canned (either mid or post season 2014, but hopefully long after ) that Beeston hires a guy with the exact same philosophy as AA so he can get the job done.

      • And those guys are not good quality players

  3. It’s almost refreshing to hear blunt talk like that from a sports figure instead of the usual cliches. However, its also pretty easy to lob grenades when your in first place.

  4. Everything I’ve ever heard in the past year from people “in the know” is that very old school baseball guys are very much in AA’s ear. Guys like Brown, LaMar, Beattie and then a know it all legacy guy that thinks he knows baseball because his Daddy told him he knows it all, in Perry Minasian. I was one of the guys who thought at one time, it’s great that he has so many experienced baseball guys around him, that’s when I thought AA was a very saber friendly guy.

    • All saber can tell you is what happened yesterday and might happen tomorrow. It can’t turn a big raw kid into Fred McGriff. You need Cito for that.

      • I don’t know how he did it, but Cito seemed to have some sort of magic for turning young potential into offensive machines. Obviously the players deserve a lot of credit, but it can’t be coincidence that so many players flourished under his guidance.

        • It’s simply too early to judge AA on player development. The Jays have some talent in the pipe and should get two top players in the draft this coming June. The upcoming draft class is considered very strong.

        • Travis Snider

  5. It’s hard to argue with him.

    The Jays seem to be good at stockpiling tools but don’t know what to do once they have them. The fundamentals thing is annoying as a critique of the Major League team (as Stoeten has made clear), but I do worry that the minor leaguers aren’t being taught the intricacies of the game.

    • I agree. I have become worried this year about the Jays player development team. While there is a high rate of prospect failure, it seems to me organizational prospect development is a bit of a bell curve, with some teams on one extreme continually turning out above average regular everyday players, while others on the other end constantly struggling with prospects. Recently the Jays have had a number of can’t miss prospects that simply never lived up to their potential – Snider, JP, Gose, Hech, Drabek and the list goes on. It has been a long time (a decade or so?) since the Jays system has turned out a homegrown above average player. Of course not being in the know I/we cannot condemn the entire system, but the proof is in the results and I think it is enough that we should be concerned.

      • In what world were Gose, JPA, Hech, and Drabek “can’t miss prospects”. I’ll give you Snider, but that was well before AA’s tenure. Calling all those guys can’t miss implies to me that any prospect you hear anything positive about or gets a sniff of the majors, you consider to be a can’t miss. In any year, there are only a few can’t miss prospects.

        • I am not going to argue over the semantics of how you define a can’t miss prospect, that’s not what I was trying to say, you can switch can’t miss for A prospect and the argument still stands. The Jays have not developed an above average in house player in almost a decade. You would have to look back to who…Alex Rios? Even those guys were far from being consistent. Sure guys have had good years here and there (Hill, Lind) but even those were close to five years ago. The point of my argument is that it has been a decade since the Jays turned out a home grown player who was consistently above average over multiple seasons. That in itself is bad.

    • Agree with what Robbie says here.

      Forget the source of the statements. The CONTENTS seem pretty bang on to me when you look at the washout of homegrown talent (i.e. only Lind, JPA, Pillar (obviously this one is waaay too early to tell one way or the other), Cecil, and Janssen (?) are the only drafted/developed by Jays players currently on the MLB roster. Basically no impact bats and no starting pitching.

      The lack of a ‘total’ approach to player development is something to be seriously examined in the next 12 months…it may affect AA’s employment as much as the 2014 AL East standings.

    • I agree too, as much as id like to disagree with farrell, it seems clear the jays focus on athletes isn’t producing, and the pitching failures are almost self-evident. And 3+ yrs is enough to start drawing conclusions; in 3 years you should be Starting to see fruits of your labours in the high minors, our aaa and aa teams are basically devoid of prospects and packed with overage and aaaa filler

  6. Seemingly insightful from the same guy who yesterday didn’t put his best reliever (Uehara) in with 2 out, bases loaded.

    But in Farrell’s defense it’s not like the game was on the line, and Uehara was clearly exhausted from pitching twice in the last nine days. and he was “Farrell said Uehara was being held back for a save situation”


    • Hey, I read Drew’s article too! Congratulations…. but what the fuck does that have to do with this topic?

  7. I think it is an interesting point he brings up though I would be looking towards teams like Texas and especially St. Louis that do an excellent job of player development. Guys like Allen Craig, David Freeze, John Jay. They seem to able to take role 5 players and get them to play up.
    The emphasis on speed in this organization baffles me sometimes. Of the 5 tools, it has to be the least valuble.

    • Yep, speed doesnt matter at all when you cant get on base as we’ve seen with bonicrapio and to a lesser extent, davis.

    • what’s the emphasis on speed other than Gose?

      • DJ Davis, Bonifacio, I suppose would fit here too but it doesn’t seem like an obsession.

        • Maybe it’s not speed in particular, but the Jays do seem to obsess put athleticism over present baseball production. They draft athletes over guys with proven hit tools with the idea that they can develop athletes – yet this hasn’t hapened.

          • Yep. Didn’t AA say last year or the year before he’s a sucker for tools and athleticism? I don’t think he was just saying that to hear himself talk.

        • I was also thinking Alford, which may have been the worst move in the draft. Sign a guy( $400,000 I think) who has told you he wants to play football and can only commit very part time to baseball. He has no time to learn the basics at the low levels and will be hurt most of the time.

          Its crazy high risk with very little chance of paying off.

  8. El oh el

  9. obviously Farrell isn’t taking the Pillar era very seriously

  10. Nothing said here by Farrell that isn’t evident in the way AA has operated so far. I think a lot of the surprise will stem from the misconception, perpetrated regularly by the likes of Gregg Zaun, that AA is some sabermetrician bean counter, apparently because he has never played at a high level. Fact is that AA came up as a scout and the Jays as a whole have one of the more barren analytics departments in baseball.

    • Nerds don’t crush fastballs.

      • Pretty sure Joe Sheehan and Tom Tango have been consultants (they might still be, I’m not sure) for the Blue Jays during the last couple of years so I’d say the “barren analytics department” comment is a bit out of line.

        • It’s not out of line at all. The Jays Analytics department is 1 guy and 2 interns. Jays hired consultants to help develop some systems that they use, but they haven’t been updated. In the end the system they prefer for development is a scout’s 2-8 scale which is what I think Farrell was eluding to.

          • I don’t think Farrell was alluding to the analytics department at all; I think he was alluding to the player development department and process. While I don’t work for the Jays, I have to imagine they’re different departments.

        • Joe Sheehan is not the Joe Sheehan you’re thinking of. Tango consults for like half the league. I don’t think he’s involved in a meaningful way. 1 guy and 1 intern is definitely on the lower end of analytics departments around baseball.

  11. This goes to the comment regarding being ‘in over their head’, andd Without being able to leave too in-depth reply, I have wondered about the overall fortitude of the FO with regards to their ability to set a plan and stiick to it, and I wonder how that then translates to how the org treats its prospects. This goes from the handling of Snider, to Romero being shipped to A then rushed backto the bigs, then back to AAA, to Nolin’s questionable spot start to Rogers being iout of the rotation for his own good to being thrown back in it.

    Tonight, top prospects Aaron Sanchez is coming into the game in relief of Luis Perez, a reliever. Now, I ask this question honestly becuase I don’t know, but is that normal? How many non-starting appearances did, say Matt Harvery have?

    Anecdotally, There seems to be a plan in place for players which changes at the drop of a hat. I understand the need to be flexible, but sometimes you have to do what’s best for the player.

    • you, of course, realize that Sanchez has been the listed starter for the last three days, because of rain-outs. Also, you’re probably aware that, this season, any rehabbing major leaguer (Perez) always get to start the game for an inning or two before the minor leaguer takes the mound. It has sort of been very consistent at Dunedin. Not sure why, but that’s been the plan, so this just may be a pitcher timetable thing.

      • “you, of course, realize” ….

        ” Also, you’re probably aware that”

        1) Sanchez was not starting any of the games.

        2) I guess you missed the part where I wrote “Now, I ask this question honestly because I don’t know” , but thanks for being a complete douche about it.

  12. Well it’s all horse shit like everything else that comes out of that man’s mouth. I haven’t read one scouting report on our prospects saying they aren’t being taught fundamental baseball.
    I have read reports praising the Jays on the way the Lansing 3 were being managed and we’ve had no shortage of suitors for our top prospects.
    Shit happens and for the Jays it’s been a slippery slope for the last two years. I’m sick and fucking tired of listening to that square jawed prick telling everyone why Boston is better.
    They made some great pick ups in the FA market and it all worked out for them. Next year could be a complete reversal of fortunes for these two teams that’s the beauty of the game.
    Just had to get that off my chest

  13. I don’t know if its true. But it’d be hard to say, they seem to be developing young pitchers well (Noah Aaron Justin), position players don’t jump out, but it’s early to judge player development on guys scouted and picked by anthopoulus. You can say there is an emphasis on toolsy scouting, and that it seems to be bearing more fruit for pitchers (without the hit tool athleticism alone hasn’t born out a great position prospect), but the rest while may be true is hard to judge up to this point.

  14. AA makes decisions based on fangraphs, that’s why the jays are so fucked up

  15. Overall, I think the Farrel comments are a tad specious. Without a doubt, under AA, scouting has been very toolsy focused, but to suggest that it ends there with little regard for player development… pfft, blow it out your ass, John.

    Just a couple of days ago, an interview with Doug Davis was posted on this site. That whole thing was about “player development.” Of course player development matters to the organization; it’s what happens after the scouts have made their toolsy picks. After scouting, player development is step two.

    One can debate the results, but to suggest that it is not addressed in the organization is a joke. And at the least, an insult to Doug Davis and the like – Sal Fasano, Tim Raines, etc. – the bevy of guys who tour around the minor leagues as roving instructors (including the new weighted-ball guy).

    Frankly, if it wasn’t for the prospect purge last winter, everyone would have a different take. Are we to believe that only the Mets could have tightened Syndergaard’s curveball… bollocks.

    Remember, the cupboard was left very bare by Ricciardi, and the purge of last winter. If you want to see what toolsy meets development looks like, at its nascence, start paying attention to Bluefield… my oh my!

    • There’s a big difference between caring about something and doing something about it. I care about global warming but, I’m not really capable of doing anything substantive about it.
      I’m sure the Jays really wished JPA could call a game and hit 265 with 30hr power. I think it’s pretty obvious that Farrell is referring to the actual skill sets in the FO and its pretty obvious that he’s right

    • Your comment was badly needed in this thread, thank you. To say an organization focuses on scouting raw tools only, drafts the player, and then sits on their thumbs hoping they magically turn into Mike Trout is absurd. That was lost in Farrell’s comments.

      But the concept of ‘player development’ is really interesting. Why does an organization like St. Louis regularly churn out studs and overachievers using ‘The Cardinal Way’? Why is Tampa Bay a pitching factory? And what is so different about their approaches from Toronto’s? We hire from the same pool of coaches with similar experience, similar approaches, and get different results. Do we lack a ‘Blue Jay Way’? Is there not buy-in across the org? I know creating a big leaguer is complex, but the success of St. Louis and Tampa is not due to luck. I would love to learn more about what happens to a player after he’s drafted by Toronto.

  16. I don’t doubt what he’s saying, and he’d certainly have a sense of it from his time spent with the Jays, but isn’t it possible that there’s a sample size or recency effect happening here? Of Boston’s top 10 prospects coming into this year, only 1 was lower than AA. JBJ and Boegaerts came in to their system as relatively advanced players. Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster, who’ve both debuted this year, came from LA in the Crawford/A-Gon/Beckett trade. I don’t doubt that he loves the farm system he has been gifted in Boston, but it’s an apples to oranges comparison as the Jays system wasn’t anywhere near that in terms of big league ready players when he was with them, nor is it now. That doesn’t mean it won’t ever be, though.

    Maybe he’s talking about it from a strictly philosophic standpoint and that doesn’t apply, but I have a hard time believing that the fact that the Sox are flush right now at AA/AAA doesn’t influence his thinking about their player development chops.

  17. Farrell player development = PEDs

  18. “Being more like Boston, in an organizational sense, would seem to be a pretty good idea.”

    Hold on – you mean like going to the media and throwing your manager under the bus by saying that he has a pill-popping problem because he couldn’t keep his marriage together?

    • Yes. I’m sure that’s what he was talking about. Not at all referring to the success Boston has had on the field over the last decade or so.

  19. To be fair, Boston has had success for the past decade because of player development yes, I agree but don’t forget they spent a lot of money too on the big league roster while the Jays spent 50-80 million per year…half of Boston’s payroll most years.

    • I don’t terribly buy that as the big reason for their success. They have developed lots of players internally (Pedroia, Buchholz, Lester, Ellsbury) and have had the resources to lock up those guys in addition to others like Ortiz. Plus, remember the big salary dump last season? The Jays have spent money in the past, even in lower payroll years, to lock up their best players. So, not sure this is as big a reason as people want it to be.

  20. As much as I dislike Farrell, I have to agree with him. The Blue Jays have guys with amazing athletic ability, but not sense of a winning and baseball smarts. Throwing, catching and hitting are difficult for this team on a game to game basis. Fundamental development is lacking and needs improvement.

    • This is sarcasm, right?
      “Sense of winning?” – could you please be more specific on the number of things one has to win in order to gain such a sense? Or is it more like a percentage basis?

      • Lets put it this way, Reyes and Buehrle are the only guys I would keep on this team and maybe Kawasaki as a bench player for pinch hitting. I am not saying tear apart the team or start the rebuild, but it is missing some players that can bring this together.

        • Yeah Edwin gives no fucks the bum.

          • I would like to see Edwin’s production without Bautista in front of him. Also Edwin has never carried this team to first place. He is a good player and I would keep him, but if he could give me a good pitcher in a trade, I would be listening.

            • Not hard since Jose missed pretty much the whole second half last year.

              .932 post all star, .883 in August, .889 in September when he was basically the only guy in the lineup who could do any damage so teams could pitch around him.

              Gutting the lineup to possibly improve something that can be improved though other means would be a bad idea.

        • Kawasaki for pitch hitter????? WTF are you smoking? because if you could share it would seriously help make the next month and a half of baseball a lot more bearable.

    • Gose is a good example, look at his pathetic attempt at a bunt yesterday and penchant for striking out. A player with his speed and Size needs to be taught contact and putting it on the ground. If the jays arent, theyre clueless and if gose cant learn the lesson, hes useless and certainly doesnt belong in the majors now, if ever

  21. Farrell has a point. I wonder, if the Jays had more of a “developmental” system, focusing not only on baseball tools but on other parts of the game (mental, psychological), would this have helped Ricky Romero, Adam Lind, Josh Johnson? We can argue that part of their struggles were mental, so a team with a whole-player developmental approach might well have been able to help these guys out… even other players with lesser struggles, like RA Dickey, Colby Rasmus, Emilio Bonifacio… would they have benefited from a different approach? It’s worth talking about.

  22. I think people are missing what Farrell is really trying to say. He’s really saying the Jays value tools to the point where they are taking guys who dont have baseball skill to begin with and therefore there trajectory towards developing into useful players is going to be haphazzard. The Red Sox, he claims, have a more balanced approach…taking players who have a good combination of characteristics such that they are more amenable to being developed.

    He’s not saying the jays pick players and then dont concentrate on developing them…more like they draft players that are unlikely to develop because they only value physical tools in a vacuum

    • I think your correct, that’s exactly what I take from Farrell’s comments as well.

    • I think that’s a really good point, but further to my comment above, I can’t help but wonder if that perception isn’t colored by the fact that the Jays’ top prospects are much further away than Boston’s. Boston certainly hasn’t been afraid of taking high risk, high reward players in the draft, and I’m a bit leery of the idea that their scouting department is consistently better at finding the right mix of intangibles than others.

      It may be entirely true that the Jays under AA have focused too much on tools, but I think it’s entirely too soon to say that with only 2 of their top 10 prospects coming into the year being at AA or higher.

  23. While I have nothing against John Farrell, it’s an extremely easy claim for him to make that can never really be proven or disproven.

    There’s an argument the Jays have “developed” Lawrie, Rasmus, Bautista & EE in recent years.

    If we’re talking purely prospects, there’s an argument the Jays did a better job of “developing” Lawrie than Milwaukee did.

    And there’s also the argument that the Jays “developed” Pastornicky, Chavez, Stewart, Thames, Hech, Alvarez, Marisnick, Nicolino, TDA & Syndergaard to the point where they could be traded for ML help.

    People need to come to grips with the fact that Ash left a lot more for Ricciardi than Ricciardi left for AA.

    And that the lack of young major leaguers has a lot to do with what Ricciardi left and the fact that AA has drafted/traded for a lot of players that are further away from the majors with bigger upside.

    Could the Jays be making a unique mistake in player development? Sure. But who the fuck knows?

  24. I would think it would be impossible for Anthopoulos – like Ash before him – to have quite as much confidence in his own ability to assess talent as men like Gillick and Ricciardi, who actually played pro ball. That’s just human, and it would be natural for Anthopoulos (like Ash) to lean more heavily on the judgement of his “baseball people.” And Ash, for all his shortcomings, has a pretty decent drafting record – it beats hell out of Gillick’s, that’s for sure.

  25. Well, ya. If Farrell was managing a 60-70 win team like the Red Sox were last year, his comments would have no weight.

    It’s an interesting comment — AA drafts people with amazing skills but player development is short. I have no idea if it is true or not. We complain about one-time occurrences like Gose’s inability to bunt, but you gotta look at the long term. And the fact is that it’s been a very long time since the Jays developed a Derek Jeter, a Jacoby Ellsbury, a Dustin Pedroia, a Manny Machado (or Evan Longoria), or any serious pitching talent.

    Our best example of a homegrown player still playing for the club is Adam Lind.

    • Best example of a homegrown player would actually be Delgado. Regardless of the fact he no longer plays, the man was a stud.

  26. While I honestly feel that when Farrell mentioned the Jays as a “Scouting based” org the best example is the decision to give JPA a full slate of AB’s and to trade TdA. JPA is very much an older scouts catcher and this org I really think believes he’s an adequate MLB catcher. In my constant defense of TdA, which I’ll admit at this point is probably biased to a point as I have defended him in every way and have watched him (both AB’s and behind the plate) more than any minor leaguer in my life, I found these numbers. while the sample sizes are similar I will admit the levels are very different but still it’s probably worth a head scratch and something to make me look further.

    TdA in 1016 PA’s away from the Jays org

    K-Rate 16.0%, BB Rate 8.76

    TdA in 1061 PA’s with the Jays Org

    K-Rate 21.3, BB Rate 6.79

    • You really can’t directly compare what he did in Rookie ball and LoA to what he did in advanced leagues, pretty much every players K rate goes up as they move up levels. His rate has also been even worse this year with the Mets than it was with the Jays.

      • his K-Rates in a very small 150 PA sample size with the Mets is 17%. I’m not trying to conclude anything off of one player but there is now a pretty big sample size of minor league players who have moved to other teams, d’Arnaud went from a 13.9% K-Rate in a full season of A ball to a 21.5 over 1.5 seasons of High A. That’s a big jump…he has to be a 18 ish K-Rate to be a successful guy in the majors IMO (unless the new BB rates are close to legit).

        I’d never make a judgement about an organization based on one player but I will look further into the minor league players moved in, and the minor league players moved out. After all we have heard several people in this organization say that they don’t care about strikeouts.

        • I did my quick math based on AB rather than PA which was a mistake.

          Of course, unless we assume TDA is going to walk 200 times a year we can’t take too much into account from this years stats yet, wow.

  27. A few thoughts:

    1. Wouldn’t a talented scouting department be critical to getting your draft picks to pan out and become every day big leaguers? It strikes me as odd that when people are complaining about the team’s inability to develop talent that they point to the fact that the draft picks haven’t panned out, as though they’ve drafted talent and simply haven’t been able to develop that talent through the system. Isn’t it just as reasonable that their inability to draft talent has left the player development department with a lousy group of guys to work on? If they’d drafted me at 17 years old no amount of St. Louis/Tampa Bay/whoever player development would have turned me into a baseball player, because I lack the talent.

    2. Anothopoulos’ reign has been too brief to reasonably attribute ANY success/failure to player development that would turn a young prospect into a player over a few years. In five years we’ll have the hindsight to be able to draw a conclusion, but it’s simply too soon for that.

    3. Didn’t the Jays turn a mediocre fringe player into an MVP candidate in Bautista? Didn’t they develop an underachieving CFer (albeit a very talented one) into a very nice piece in Colby Rasmus? Didn’t they just promote the 745th round pick in Kevin Pillar? Sure he’s not raking in the big leagues, but why are we rushing to measure him on that when we’re talking about a guy drafted that late? What about Encarnacion, Lawrie, Arencibia? These guys have come through our development system, had changes made, and proven themselves capable of being every day ballplayers (OK, JPA doesn’t belong in the big leagues, but he has still climbed a long way, no small accomplishment). I would argue that everyone in the lineup who hasn’t been a bust (Izturis, Bonifacio, Melky), and not named DeRosa or Reyes, as well as JPA, have been developed in some capacity by the Jays which has led them to contribute meaningfully to the team.

    4. Farrell has said that the team doesn’t emphasize player development, and that this is their failure. First of all, as I’ve noted above, I’m not sure it’s something they’ve failed at, and secondly who says you need to develop your own talent to win? Who says you can’t trade that talent away for other, more mature/proven talent and win with that? I’m willing to accept that Farrell has the team pegged – that player development isn’t their central focus and that scouting is – but I’m unconvinced that this is a bad strategy, and one that can’t work.

    5. This seems like yet another attempt by folks to make sense of the incredibly disappointing year by the Jays. It’s a grasp at a weak explanation for failure. The failure for this season is on the mound, primarily amongst the starting pitchers. The Jays rank in the bottom five in the league in Home run rate, home runs per fly ball, ERA, FIP, and xFIP. It’s not a lack of fundamentals that is killing them, it’s not the hole at second or catcher or left field, it is the incredible inability of this amazingly talented staff to perform to their career norms, let alone exceed them. Much has been made of the success of the bullpen this season so it’s tough to point much of a finger at many of them.

    All in all, having better starting pitchers in place for the next few seasons, while the window is still open has to be priority number one. Developing or scouting to get that improvement isn’t important, in my opinion.

  28. Farrell’s bang on. The Jays’ player development record over the past 15 years speaks for itself. Only the most pig-headed amongst us (where’s Jays 2010?) would disagree.

    The fact of the matter is that the Jays struggle more than most teams do to extract replacement to average level MLB players from their farm system, much less stars. Combined with the lack of free agents interested in going to Toronto, the team is far too dependant on trades. Which in my mind is the hardest way to build a team because it’s the only of the three player acquisition routes (draft, trade, free agency) where you have to give up something to get something. But that’s another issue all together.

    I think the fact that this IS the case is clear. I would find it far more interesting if anyone actually had any insight into WHY this was the case. Do the top minor league coaches not want to work for the Jays? Do the Jays make any effort to attract them? Are the resources available to their minor league teams poor in comparison to other teams? We’ll probably never know, but you’d think at some point some one in the media would start digging for answers.

  29. Blue Jays Player Development = Weighted Ball Program

  30. Fuck John Farrell

  31. […] Speaking of John Farrell being stupid, remember last year when he was quoted comparing how the Jays’ development is so inferior to Boston’s? […]

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