There weren’t a whole lot of Jays-related tidbits in yesterday’s Keith Law chat at ESPN.com, but that’s actually OK, because I totally meant at some point to pull out the numerous ones from Keith’s chat the week before and managed to not. So here a double dose of… er… Law layin’. Or something.

Mike (Dublin)
Any thoughts on Brett Lawrie’s recent resurgence?
Fully healthy. This is more like the player I thought he’d be. But again, SSS applies.

Full heath definitely helps, but I do believe he’s slowed some of his excess pre-pitch movement and straightened himself up a bit in the box– which, I suppose, could have to do with actually being healthy enough to not hunch over quite as much. Whatever it is, it’s working. By fWAR Lawrie’s second half so far has been worth 1.5 wins, tying him with Paul Goldschmit, Evan Longoria, Brandon Belt, Bryce Harper, Jonathan Lucroy, Elvis Andrus, and Aaron “how the fuck did the Jays not ever figure him out” Hill for the 16th highest mark among all hitters in baseball.

Kevin (Chicago, IL)
The 2014 draft is __% better than the 2013 in terms of talent.

Aaaaand suddenly missing on Phil Bickford and having a disasterfuck of a season (according to MLBTR’s Reverse Standings they’re currently in line for the eighth overall pick) doesn’t seem quite so bad.

Well, maybe it does, but that’s at least something.

JP (Winnipeg)
Apologies for re-posting, but better Blue Jays prospect: Matthew Dean or Mitch Nay? Or neither, I suppose… ?
Nay for me.

I’ve obviously not seen either of them, but while Dean has much better numbers this season at Bluefield, he’s in his age 20 year, and his Bluefield numbers last year weren’t nearly as good as Nay’s are this year, as a 19-year-old. Plus, Dean has moved over to first base this year, with Nay manning the hot corner, which I likely reflects the organization’s view of their defence, as well. Still a ways off, both of them, though. So… yeah.

Scott (Lincolnshire)
Best collection of talent in the AFL in past 10 years?
So far, although I’m trying to remind myself that we always lose some talent before the league actually starts.

I seriously kinda want to find a way to go check out the AFL, but I don’t know if I really believe that all the key guys who’ve been announced will show up there. But maybe. Aaron Sanchez has been hurt and so far hasn’t thrown as many innings this year as he did last, with the season’s end fast approaching. Marcus Stroman missed 50 games with his suspension. Sean Nolin has thrown less than ten innings more than he did in 2012, and only a couple more than at Lansing in 2011. A.J. Jimenez has only played in 67 games after recovering from Tommy John surgery. They could all use some extra time, so… maybe?

From last week:

Jesse (Lansing)
What have you heard about Daniel Norris’s renaissance/turnaround this summer?
Haven’t heard anyone refer to a turnaround or something of the like. Consensus still seems to be a reliever future due to lack of command and trouble repeating the delivery.

Well that’s somewhat disappointing. But there definitely has been some kind of change for Norris this year, at least if you look at the numbers– which, admittedly, doesn’t tell the whole story. He had a 2012-like 9.93 ERA after his first seven starts at Lansing, with 34 hits, 13 walks, and 16 strikeouts in 22.2 innings. Since then his ERA is 2.12 with 50 hits, 30 walks, and 83 strikeouts in 63.2 innings.

The Jays’ minor league field coordinator, Doug Davis, told DJF this about Norris two weeks ago: “Daniel, I think, has made leaps and bounds this year from a standpoint of where he’s been the last couple of years. There’s no comparison from the way he’s throwing the baseball now to the way he was, from a command standpoint. Every outing he goes out there now he’s going to work deep into the game and the only reason he doesn’t is because he’s on a pitch count. So his command has dramatically improved, and I think if it continues to improve like it has this year, you’re going to see that walk per inning continue to go down and the strikeouts continue to incline. It’s just been a great year for him. It really has. I’m very proud of the way he’s worked and what he’s done and what he’s accomplished, and, you know, I think he’s one of the success stories in the organization this year.”

Of course, we know who he draws a paycheque from, so several grains of salt are probably needed there.

Bret (Toronto)
Kyle Drabek is rehabbing from Tommy John, and one positive in the small sample size is that he’s avoided walks. Anthopoulos has said that the Jays are optimistic that his awful command/control could have been caused by the need for Tommy John, and that with it behind him, his command should rebound. Is that just wishful thinking or could their be something to it that leads to Drabek reaching some of his potential?
His explanation is plausible, but I don’t think we’ll know for sure until he reaches the majors.

Yes, please. And we’ll probably get a chance to see him in the Majors at some point in the next month, too. Fingers crossed… not, y’know, that you can bank on getting him a spot in the 2014 rotation, but still!

Chris (NYC)
If you’re Alderson, do you make any of the current Mets prospects “untouchables” in your quest to find a bat this offseason? Syndergaard seems to be getting a ton of pub but you gotta give to get.
I’d be willing to deal him or Montero in a package for a corner bat. If Syndergaard is necessary to get you Stanton, for example, don’t you do it?

That sound you hear is Drew’s heart breaking.

Ed (Dunedin)
Aaron Sanchez to AA soon?
Probably to start next year. Heard they were trying to get him to throw a sinker – no idea why they’d do that, no reason to fix what isn’t broke – and the result was that late-July start when he couldn’t get out of the first. Don’t see the need to rush him anyway.

I thought it was the blister that sunk– see what I did there?– that outing, so this is somewhat interesting. Can’t hurt, I guess, but… yeah weird to hear that, and about the conflicting report. Shit, if this season hadn’t beaten me into such a pulp I might even care to look into it.

Alex A (Toronto)
Still like Sanchez over Syndergaard despite Noah’s complete domination of AA this year?
Yes, because, for about the millionth time, it’s not just a ranking of performance.

I will never get tired of hearing this.

Bill (Chicago)
Keith just wondering, who are the two players ever that uve been most wrong on? (Flamed after u thought they’d star or starred after u thought they’d flame)
Not sure about most, but I thought Brett Wallace would be way better, and didn’t see Goldschmidt doing anything like this.

Bob (Springfield, MO)
RE: prospects that you miss on. Since you are big on process, does a player like Goldschmidt or Wallace ever cause you reevaluate your process? Or do you just accept that human beings can’t always be predicted?
Absolutely changed process after Wallace. Larkin talked about Goldschmidt’s power on BBTN last night – he’s pretty unusual in that he doesn’t have a ton of loft in his swing, but hits the ball so hard that he ends up with plus power anyway.

Hey, but at least Anthopoulos spun Wallace into Anthony Gose, right? Right???

Comments (21)

  1. Brett Wallace or Anthony gose right now?

    • I still take Gose, because he’s younger and has more value (for me) to a contending team as, at worst, a 4th outfielder with plus speed and defense. I don’t think Wallace would have much value for an American League contending team at all. Maybe a National League pinch hitter. But (personally) I don’t think he could ever be an above average Major League First Baseman. (But I woulda said that about Chris Davis last year too. And Edwin two years ago. So, you know, what the fuck do I know.)

    • Gose for me too. I’d rather have Gose and Goins up here next year instead of Jayson Nix or Ben Franciso or Visquel or whatever random “depth signing” the Jays make this offseason.

    • I’ll take whoever they trade Gose for this off season :)

  2. For the record, Baseball America has called Norris’ turnaround “impressive”. Also, Tellez and Pompey were written about in today’s Hot Sheet. The chat there starts at 3pm. Hopefully some Jays related tidbits this week. (Usually there is when some of their players were mentioned in the Hot Sheet.)

    • Yeah, the KLaw’s answer about Norris seemed a little lazy to me. It had the “I gave this answer two months ago” feel to it.

  3. I spoke to C’s pitching coach Jim Czajkowski last night (there’s a whole post in there somewhere) who had Norris at end of last season. Didn’t mince words, said he was crap last year and crap at the beginning of this season (was up in Lansing for vacation cover). Was great in bullpen and on side, but mechanically disintegrated as soon as he got on mound. Is obviously improving that aspect. Is still only 20 and no one questions his stuff, so don’t think we can earmark him for bullpen just yet.

    • Thanks for sharing. It’s nice to hear an honest review instead of someone just pumping his tires. Hopefully more reps will help him improve mechanically over time.

  4. anyone else here wonder why the jays werent in on miguel alfredo gonzalez? the phillies signed him for only 3 yrs $12 million!

  5. Just read Hulet’s chat over at fangraphs. Says Sanchez’s stuff is so good that if he doesn’t get better command, he could still be a number 3 starter cause his stuff is that good.

  6. I , for one, would like to see more Rajai, his speed creates chaos and his bat has come around a bit, I wonder if he could ever play 2B?

    • No, forget 2b ( among other things, Rajai has a tuff time remembering how many outs there are at any given moment) But I could live with him in LF if it meant we had improved the SP somehow and he was moved up to the NO 3 OF position,
      Could happen if we unload Rasmus or Gose or both.
      Must admit ,though, that it looks like he”ll be departing as a FA at the moment


        That would be a huge mistake. I did a 180 on “Talkin ‘Bout Trucks” this year, I say they should lock him in LONG-TERM, he looks like he could be a superstar.

        • Lawrie and Rasmus are the next half-decade’s Bautista and EE.

          • This seems plausible to me.

          • No, that’s a lazy comparison, because both will be better defensively then either of those two, and neither will be the same tyoe of hitter. Both will have some power, but not as much as EE or JB.

            I think Jones lite and Machado lite are good comparisons. Neither will be as good as those two, but not too far behind. Definitely will have a few AS appearances between them.

            You try to lock up Rasmus now. It boggles the mind that there are some people still on the “dump Rasmus he sucks” bandwagon. clearly they haven’t looked at a statsheet since late April.

            • Have you looked at a stat sheet? Rasmus still does not have very good peripherals – They’re just as bad/have regressed from last season, except his ~.350 BABIP. He’s done that once before in his career, as well as walking less this year. UZR likes his defence a fair bit more than previous years as well. You’re relying on him being a true talent .350 BABIP player, which is… just as unlikely as likely. He is likely to regress a bit.

              He is definitely a player that you consider trading this off-season, as his value is at its highest, and he is going to be very expensive to lock up. You don’t have to though, as with his defence and regression in BABIP he’s probably about a ~3-3.5 WAR guy the rest of his career, with inconsistencies But if you can fool another team into thinking he’s better than that, well I think AA should get on it..

  7. Rasmus will go on to do some thangggs

  8. [...] review is worth a post alone, so let’s end this diatribe with two positives.  As per this ‘Layin’ Down the Law’ piece over at Drunk Jays Fans, Keith Law is still high on the right-hander, saying he’d take [...]

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