Eager to know why you’re here.
At Minor League Ball, John Sickels lists his top 20 Jays prospects for 2014, with Aaron Sanchez coming in at the top, and a rather aggressive ranking for Mitch Nay, who he says he sees “as a huge breakout candidate.”
Allan Simpson of the Canadian Baseball Network tells us that Phil Bickford is projected by Perfect Game as the number one prospect for the 2016 draft, which… being a top ten pick who didn’t sign, isn’t particularly surprising. He’ll be one to watch, though, over the next few years. Something of a Young Beedah 2.0.
Speaking of prospect stuff, MLB.com names Aaron Sanchez the ninth best pitching prospect in the game right now. Noah Syndergaard is third. Gregor Chisholm has a follow-up piece on Sanchez alone, over at BlueJays.com.
Speaking of Sanchez, Ben Nicholson-Smith spoke to him for a piece over at Sportsnet from late last week.
Former prospect Justin Jackson may be a prospect again, now that he’s moved from the infield to the mound. Brian Crawford of Jays Prospects looks at the progress the former sandwich pick made in his first season on the hill.
On the former prospect tip, there’s also Ricardo Nanita, who has returned to the organization on a minor league deal according to a tweet from the Jays’ official account.
MLBTR passes along the latest on Masahiro Tanaka, including a report from Bruce Levine of Chicago’s 670theScore, who says that a source tells him the Cubs will outbid the field in terms of years and dollars, and yet also that none of the teams knows what the others have bid for Tanaka as yet. So then… how could the Cubs do that, exactly? Anyway, interesting.
In the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin swallows whole the Nikkan report about Tanaka being down to five suitors, and throws in some nonsense about the Jays not being a possible landing spot because of the non-existent policy about contract length. Come on.
Of course, that isn’t to suggest I think the Jays aren’t massive long shots here. At Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith ranks the suitors– including the Jays, for now.
Two more from Benny Fresh at Sportsnet, as he looks at AA’s recent comments about needing to strengthen his club’s bench, and also takes us through the arbitration process, which the Jays avoided with all three of their arbitration-eligible players back on Friday.
Interesting stuff from Jays Journal, as they comb through the past for calls in Jays games that may have been impacted had the new replay system been in place at the time. They also try to make the case for Johan Santana (not sure why he’d sign here, given the ballpark, league, and competition for back-end places, not that I’d be interested in a broken-down name anyway), and somehow come to the conclusion that the Jays are going to stand pat.
Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs looks at some data on “catching up and catching down” — meaning: the ability to receive high and low strikes — and it looks like it might be yet another reason to think the Jays did pretty well for themselves in picking up Erik Kratz. The sample size on him is small, but only seven of 102 catchers had a higher percentage of low strikes called for them, and only 25 had a higher percentage (with 11 of those being within 1% of Kratz’s number). He’ll be the backup if he can catch the knuckleball and the Jays know what’s good for them.
The Tao Of Stieb takes questions from the unwashed masses in his latest Tweet Bag.
Baseball players playing saxophones? Baseball players playing saxophones.
Lastly, interesting stuff from Nick Ashbourne of Bluebird Banter, as he takes a look at John Gibbons’ bullpen usage in 2013, which was predictably reasonable.