I don’t want to steal too much of the excellent paywall’d content from Baseball Prospectus, and I know that I already wrote about the latest in slobbering all over Noah Syndergaard this week, but I think I would be remiss if I didn’t continue to give Jays fans– and, presumably, the front office (hi!)– palpitations by passing along a tiny bit of the glowingest of glowing reviews of the now-traded Jays draftee from the man whose twitterings were at the centre of things.

But actually, I’m not going to do that! Zach Mortimer’s report on Syndergaard in today’s Eyewitness Accounts piece certainly is favourable– and I’d encourage you all to put away the sharp objects and subscribe, so you can see the whole thing– but I’m actually more intrigued by the key knock on the potential ace, as it… it hasn’t really changed from everything else we’ve heard and made us feel not quite so bad about considering him the second-best of the former Lansing Three. [Italics mine]

Weakness: Will leave changeup elevated; sequence can be predictable; curveball still has to take a step forward to be a high level weapon.

Well well well. Seems like ol’ Syndie still isn’t quite a finished product. I mean, so what if Mortimer says that his “near elite arsenal” is “complete with no major weaknesses, and secondary offerings still have room for projection moving forward”? Or that he puts an overall future potential on him of 70, and a number one starter, with a medium risk factor. Right? Right????

Or maybe we just shouldn’t care so much, and heed the words of a wise man who, back when Snydergaard’s name first popped up as potentially being included in the deal (when we thought for sure it then meant that some kind of decent prospect must be coming back the other way), said this:

Expanding the deal to include Syndergaard isn’t going to do anything to make those losing their minds at the thought of giving up d’Arnaud feel any better, but so what? Their hissy fits at this juncture are just collateral damage in the Jays’ grand scheme of hoarding and lionizing prospects– thereby building a prospect-frothing fan base– then dealing from this massive pool of strength in order to improve the big league club in ways, and on a timeline, they’d have been incapable of doing otherwise. The club has shifted gears, acting like the Yankees and the Red Sox used to– with a supreme confidence that whatever gets depleted from the system will be built back, and that the pipeline is so strong as to be unshakable.

That’s not to say it doesn’t hurt to think of what may be headed to New York, but the big league club is so ridiculously better for it in the near-term, and with at least Dickey (presumably), Buehrle, Romero and Morrow locked in for the next few years– and possibly Johnson before all is said and done, too– the necessity of holding a Syndergaard in the hopes that he can break through into their midst likely is lessened, given the fantastic short-term gain, and the host of other lottery ticket arms the Jays are still holding.

It’s horribly reductive to make blanket statements against a deal like this by pointing out that all prospects are unproven and the attrition rate is staggeringly high– you really need to look at each player you’re referring to on his own, I think– but it sure is funny to see so much consternation over these guys possibly being moved, so soon after the Jays got Brad Stinkin’ (see what I did there?) for Travis Snider– as stark a reminder of how hard prospect value can fall as we’ve seen around here in a long, long time. I’m certainly not saying Syndergaard and d’Arnaud will bust– I think there’s a good chance that they don’t– but this is by leaps and bounds a better return than the club got by holding onto their Great White Hope, and these prospects are certainly no more “can’t miss” than he was.


I don’t know. But what I do know is that there really are other prospects in the Jays’ system, even if in a lot of cases they’re still pretty far away, and not necessarily about to end up on anybody’s top 100. But neither were guys like Syndergaard or Sanchez, at one point!

Heading into 2012, Baseball America had Sanchez and Syndergaard as the Jays’ sixth and seventh best prospects– behind d’Arnaud, Gose, Marisnick, Daniel Norris and Nicolino (!!?!). Baseball Prospectus had Syndergaard 5th and Sanchez 12th at that point. FanGraphs had them six and ten. Keith Law had Sanchez as the club’s second-best arm, behind Drew Hutchison, after the previous year he was third-best, behind Kyle Drabek and Zach Stewart.

In other words, this stuff isn’t exactly an… um… exact science. And the Jays’ system isn’t necessarily as bereft of talent as every fucking clown with the ability to dial up a radio call-in show seems to want to believe. There’s Hutchison– who, FYI, is only a year older than Marcus Stroman and eight months younger than Sean Nolin– plus Drabek, Jimenez, Stroman, Nolin, Sanchez, Norris, Nessy, Osuna, Barreto, Lugo, Davis, Nay, Dean, Tirado, Hollon, Labourt, DeJong, Robson, Urena, Tellez, Alford, Brentz and Smoral, to name but a few.

In fact, Baseball Prospectus highlighted a couple of them this week– Franklin Barreto, who showed up in Jason Parks’s Prospects Will Break Your Heart– and Richard Urena, who was in yesterday’s What Scouts Are Saying.

To wit:

“Viewed by many as the top international target available in 2012, Barreto might be small in stature, but his tools can pack a loud punch. While his ultimate role is unclear, his athleticism and overall feel for the game open up numerous possibilities, and his ability to sting a baseball could be his ticket up the prospect lists regardless of his position on the diamond,” Parks writes. “The bat is very good, with a quick trigger and fast hands, allowing him to sting baseballs despite being undersized and extremely young for stateside ball. Barreto is one of the higher ceiling players in the Jays system, and a likely candidate to not only crack the top 10 but push for a spot in the top five.”

Barreto struggled in a 15 game move up to Bluefield, but put up a .415 wOBA in the GCL– good for fifth in that league, and the top line among the league’s seven 17-year-olds.

Richard Urena was the best hitter of the 17-year-old crop on the Jays’ Dominican Summer League club, and while his numbers weren’t as eye-popping– especially at a lesser level– he showed the ability to take a walk, and was otherwise impressive, as evidenced by the comment from the scout spoken to by BP:

Has all the raw tools to be an everyday shortstop at the major-league level. Live-wire body; everything he does is quick and athletic and he has lots of room to grow without losing any of his mobility. He slows the game down defensively extremely well for someone his age. His range is solidly above average and his arm strength is at least plus. His swing has some holes but he has quality bat speed and he can really run. He’s barely played any ball on US soil but I think he could be a special one.

Feeling better now? Not quite so bad as it sometimes feels, huh?

Hey, and there’s even more, as Jim Callis takes questions at (that’s right!), including one about Rowdy Tellez, who he calls “a legitimate second-round talent with tremendous power, which he displayed by besting No. 5 overall pick Clint Frazier (Indians) in the home run derby at the 2012 Perfect Game National Showcase.”

Alright then!


Image via Simon Druker.

Comments (57)

  1. I’d feel a lot better reading this with a cold beer in my hand. 2014 or bust!

  2. I actually don’t feel better at all. This year has crushed my soul and iv’e given up hope of this fucking team ever making the playoffs. This team is obviously cursed and if we would have kept Syndergaard he would have blown out his elbow and washed out of baseball. Don’t you guys remember Chris Carptenter? He was mediocre the entire time he was with the Blue Jays, but the moment he left he wins the Cy Young and becomes a top pitcher. Fans need to realize it doesn’t matter what the fuck the Blue Jays do, they will always be cursed. The Blue Jays could suddenly have the best pitching staff in baseball next year and it wouldn’t mean a fucking thing because they would have the worst offense in baseball. That’s how this team rolls. This team won’t make the playoffs in the next 10 years and it dosen’t matter what the fuck management does because of the curse. Look at the Maple Leafs. Raptors, TFC. This city and all of its professional teams are cursed and the sooner as a fan you accept a lifetime of bad luck, bad breaks and perpetual mediocrity the better of you will be.

    • Uh… Carpenter actually missed a year because he was hurt, had a pretty good year, THEN won the Cy Young, then had another good year, then missed almost two full years AGAIN, before coming back for three more excellent ones.

      Not quite “the minute he left.” But, I mean, obviously this is nonsense.

      • You missed the point.

        • No, I got the point exactly. It’s a crybaby indulging in thoughts a ten-year-old would know better than to entertain.

          • Stoeten is really setting a standard for the amount of corporate dick someone can suck at once.

            • Please tell me you’re not dumb enough to actually think that.

              • Maybe the Toronto cursed thing is a good theory or idea to work with. Remember some New England city had four cursed professional teams at one point; then blamo, they all won championships. Maybe that’s a good omen for us.

          • The entire premise of fandom is at its premise is illogical and somewhat idiotic. Grown adults devoting large swaths of time and resources to following indivduals and teams based simply on athletic endevour. You can apply all the sabremetrics, mathmatics, science and logic to it that you want and call me an idiot for my vents about there being a Toronto sports curse. I was half joking with my rant but its precious the way that so many hipsters think they are so much better and intellectually superior to those they emotional, irrational fans when at the end of the day everyone is watching grown men play with a ball and becoming emotionally invested in the outcome of the playing. Now enough with calling me an idiot and go back to devoting time to writing an article about awesome Mike Trout is because he runs fast and the ability to hit a little ball with a piece of wood and further human civilization.

            • While I believe your initial comment to be rather moronic, it’s always great fun to watch stoeten get worked into a lather by the audacity of someone having a different opinion. Anything that elicits another “one of us” rants is always appreciated.

    • You are right!! We need a goat to get rid of this curse!! Who’s with me?!?

    • Ya, this year has been soul crushing and it’ll be a long time before there is sincere belief in the Jays again. The type of prospect hope from last year and big trade hope from this year is gone.

      Too much hype, too much went wrong, and too many other Toronto teams suck to turn attention elsewhere for awhile. This year changed things for many fans and not for the better.

    • Let me guess, you also believe in Chem-Trails?

    • fucking idiot
      i saw your twitter man you are a horrible person

    • Yes nostradamus, please enlighten us with more of your knowledge, what will happen in th world next year?

      Stop acting like a immature person please
      (directed at seancole22)

    • If the Blue Jays are cursed, it’s the curse of the magnitude felt by a large portion of the fan base constantly wavering on whether or not they support this team. And please don’t put the Jays anywhere near in the same boat as the Leafs and their die hard fans. I say die hard, but not in the traditional sense.

      • Well, Leafs fans ARE pretty die hard, if you mean it in the loyalty sense. Personally I think it’s to the point of absurdity some times, but you’ve got to give them credit– they are ready, willing and able to go down with that ship year after year. Not a whole lot of garbage swearing off the team, like the nonsense we’re hearing here.

        Shit, I’ve always trolled Leafs fans for it, but there’s a kind of honour in staying loyal despite watching the people in charge hilariously continue to fuck it up (talking more in the JFJ years here)– like, as much as one guy, or one crew of inept buffoons has the power to fuck it up, I can appreciate the notion of being like, “Fuck you, I’m going to stay a fan of this team and not let you take this away from me through your unbelievable stupidity that’s damned us to years of being a laughingstock.” You know? Don’t give a fucking moron agency over your fandom.

        I think it can be pretty counterproductive in ways though– like, if fans wanted to keep their season tickets and yet still protest the club’s awful, just stop showing up to eat your damn sushi and network and they’ll get the idea, which I don’t think we saw enough of when that team was slightly worse than how bad it is now. But… who knows, really?

        • Yeah, you have a point. Leaf fans find many ways to die hard, and keep coming back for more. Like the last game they played in Boston.

        • It’s almost like Leaf fans are breed for it. Mind you, I grew up in the 80′s, and was a huge Oiler’s fan, still am, but for Leaf fans who stuck with there team through the Ballard years, then you must have some thick skin and bleed blue. I feel the same way about my Jays, and to lesser extents, Oilers and Raptors. I’ve never understood the negativity of the Toronto sports media, and don’t know if that has contributed to the attitude of fans, but the negativity, sorry, constant negativity gets old and tiresome. The fans were calling for AA to trade some of the bevy of prospects, and are know castrating AA for stepping up. Baseball can be very cruel sport, and the variables are endless.

          I still feel with the offense healthy for most of next season, with maybe one new bat in the lineup, we could be dangerous and not need starting pitching. Dickey could still make that deal worthwhile, and Buerlhe is a valuable pitcher, not what he’s getting paid. Then if the majority of starters in the top part of the system stay healthy, then their will be internal competion for just a few spots. They will know that if they can’t perform, there is someone waiting in the wings, waiting for their chance to show what they are capable of.

          As disappointing this season has been, I’m still looking forward to next year. The only thing I really hope happens, is something behind the plate, for the love of baseball, please.

    • Yeah, the Jays definitely have a “curse”, that’s why nobodies like Bautista and Encarnacion come here and turn into stars. Give you head a shake. It happens to every team and to all sorts of players.

    • Your right we made a deal with the devil to win back to back championships 92, 93 now all of our professional sports teams will suck the bottom dwelling dick you sir are retarded go jays go

  3. I always thought Syndergaard would turn out best from that trio, merely because he has the best name of the three. Ask yourself: what sounds like the best baseball name? Sanchez? Nicolino? Or Syndergaard?

    • I don’t know, Sanchez sounds like he’d be pretty filthy.

      HEYO! I’m here all week. Try the fish.

      • +1

        But, really. I can’t get behind te pay wall but implied that Syndengaard was called the 2nd best of three and then all that praise was heaped on. I’m trying to parse through for some positives but that’s gotta mean good things for Sanchez.
        What’s better than a 70 with only medium risk?

        • Poor, poor English but the sentiment is there.

        • Yeah, but that was heading into 2012. We’re about to be heading into 2014. Things can change, and Sanchez didn’t have a great year.

    • If this is how it works I can’t wait for Rowdy Tellez to hit the bigs.

      Best. Hitter. Ever.

  4. kind of ridiculous to say as soon as someone leaves toronto they become a star, therefore the jays are cursed….. we sort of have jose and edwin as superstar players that were totally given up for nothing prior to finding their swings in toronto. Are the pirates and the reds cursed?

  5. Antonio Jimenez no jugara en la AFL como habia sido anunciado. Fue enviado a descansar hasta dic. por ordén de los Blue Jays. @cangrejerospr— Joshua J. Vázquez (@JJVAZQUEZZ) September 13, 2013

    Wasn’t sure if you were aware. AJ Jiminez’s new twitter account retweeted this. Translation: Antonio Jiminez will not play in the Arizona Fall League like it was previously announced. He was sent to rest until December by order of the Blue Jays.

    So, no Jiminez in the AFL. Bummer.

  6. How much slobbering over ex-Jays prospects are we going to do? I dont want to hear about how awesome Snygen is anymore. For real.

  7. Is Alford still considered a prospect? I mean, i haven’t heard much about him baseball-wise lately.

  8. Um, Stoeten. I know you’re trying to, gulp, make us all feel better about things in some (perverse way). But it’s really not working. Could we just agree (collectively, and not just you) to refer to Syndergaard as “The Prospect Who’s Name We Shall Never Mention Again”? The wound is too fresh, the cut too deep, especially since this God forsaken season refuses to fucking end.

    • Valdegaard

    • Can you at least wait for him to do something at the major league level. He is a prospect, many have come, many have gone, few lived up to the hype. If he goes out and puts up Stratsburg number next year, then the feelings your feeling now, would be much more understandable. Right now, it’s a matter of opinion, and for all of what it may be worth, the one’s with opinions are wrong, more than they are right. Right now he is just a prospect with upside. Chances are that the Mets rush him to the show next year, and who knows what that will do for his development. jury is still out on this one.

      • Ya, no. No, I can’t. Watching the drafting and development of prospects is a major part of my interest in pro sports. It’s not just about the major league product to me because, let’s face it, in the Blue Jays case that’s been pretty disappointing for quite some time now. (Like 20 years or so.)

  9. Has played 11 games in the last two years. I don’t know if this is because of ncaa eligibility, or what. Either way, he still hasn’t committed to one sport yet, and he would have gotten a very valuable first full year of playing and instruction. He’s sitting out a year, so it may be another year or two before he decides which sport he is going to play. Looking at his college numbers, though…. dude, pick up a bat and get rid of the shoulder pads. Your future should be baseball.

    Just found this on him, though…

  10. [...] Oh well, at least some of our prospects are working out.   Check out Andrew Stoeten’s latest piece highlighting the Jays system might not be quite as bad as many believe. [...]

  11. There is something really satisfying about watching a young player come up and become a star. The Jays have had their fair share of those types of players but it’s been a while and trading NS and TD’ for a 38 year old knuckleballer is bound to hurt. Are we lamenting the loss of Noah or criticizing AA for making the trade?

    “If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let ‘em go, because man, they’re gone.” Jack Handy

  12. [...] Andrew Stoeten does some prospecting at DJF and reminds us that although Noah Syndergaard looks like he could be the next Justin Verlander the Blue Jays aren’t exactly in bad shape with Drew Hutchison, Kyle Drabek, Marcus Stroman, Sean Nolin, Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna, Daniel Norris, Matt Smoral, Franklin Barreto, Richard Urena, Dawel Lugo, Mitch Nay, Clinton Hollon and Rowdy Tellez to name a few. I still find the R.A. Dickey trade a bit of a tough pill to swallow giving that the Jays gave up their number one and three prospects according to Baseball America and based on principle alone I never like the idea of a team trading that much potential talent for a 38-year old player coming off a career season. But hindsight is 20/20 and to be fair we probably need more time before we can judge who was the absolute winner of the deal. [...]

  13. Imagine the Jays had kept all their prospects and had a contending team in 3 years? That would’ve been swell.

  14. Hey guys people go see MLB Jays, Dickey is superior 2 prospects. Stop about whining of lossed talent . AA pitching talent is significant , add Drabek and Huch, gives a greater foundation instead of AAA of 2013

    2014 -Sierra or Gose, Rasmus is CF which we require. Cabrerra , maybe LF maybe no

    We do require a 2b and we clean up the extraneous and move forward. JJ , I believe is no as significant with all he players in AAA or will be next year

  15. Navel gazing at the prospects we’ve traded away needs to stop! This is what happens when you trade a prospect – sometimes it works sometimes it dosn’t. Enough already.

    • I’m pretty sure the main point of the post was the “There’s still lots of talent here” stuff in the second half.

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