Here’s something we haven’t done for a while, mostly because we haven’t had a Keith Law chat at ESPN.com quite as jam packed with Jays-related tidbits as his most recent one: some… uh… Law Layin’. Let’s do this!
Hello Keith! Do you see Dalton Pompey and Tom Robson as legit major league prospects? I hear a lot about them, but wonder if they might be overhyped on this side of the border because they’re Canadian.
I think it’s a bit of both. Pompey’s very interesting – an athletic kid who’s put on about 20 pounds since signing and has always had an idea at the plate. Leadoff profile rather than a power/corner bat. Robson was more interesting when he was getting more groundballs.
Canadian prospects getting extra hype from Canadian outlets? Well I never!
Interesting, though, to see Pompey’s name start to break through into the legit, top-end prospect conversation. If you missed it earlier in the week, BP also had a rather glowing write-up of him, as well, calling him a player whose “name was in the running for the Jays top 10 list, and after falling short of that distinction he was in the running (but not chosen) to be named a prospect on the rise in that organization. The omission is our mistake—and a foolish one at that—as the 21-year-old outfielder has blossomed into arguably the top position prospect in the Blue Jays organization, a toolsy dream of a player who is finally healthy and putting the pieces together on the field.”
Syndergaard has struggled. Is he still a number 2 or 3 starter in your eyes?
Five of six starters in Las Vegas, a brutal environment for pitchers. Relax.
I think he’s missing the word “struggle” in the first half of the sentence there, and Law is, of course, right about the Vegas effect — as we all know too well from the Jays’ years with the 51s as their affiliate. But, y’know, just so you know, y’know? Syndergaard isn’t setting the world’s balls on fire: he’s got just 28 Ks and 12 walks through 32 innings in the desert, with a 3.94 ERA and a 4.20 FIP.
Keep dreaming if you think Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman wouldn’t be similarly struggling out there, but I figure that Syndergaard looking human, even if only for a 32 inning stretch in his first taste of triple-A, is worth pointing out.
I know it’s a small sample size but from what we’ve seen in Matt Boyd, is he for real? What does he project to be?
Senior sign last year, average stuff, good command. 23 in the FSL with four years of experience in a good conference, so those five starts there don’t tell us much. Probably a 5th starter/middle guy, unless something changes with his offerings.
Reba here takes her one chance and doesn’t let me down, even if the projection on Boyd — believable as it is — sort of does.
Has Taijuan Walker lost any projection with you this season so far?
He did last year, when he shortened his stride and started finishing very upright, while his new cutter superseded his curveball (which got worse because he shortened his stride etc.). I’m legitimately concerned about his shoulder, because that type of delivery is correlated with higher risk of arm injuries.
Not exactly Jays-related, but this one is notable because these are the same kinds of concerns that KLaw pointed out last fall about Aaron Sanchez’s delivery/stride/finish, and, of course, because Walker’s shoulder is currently euchred.
Any early reports on Phil Bickford (sigh)?
Terrible. Upper 80s at times, still no breaking ball. I criticized the Jays for taking what I saw as a second round talent at best with the 10th pick, but the end result will probably be OK for them.
Whoa. OK, then. I’m not exactly thrilled that another of these tidbits is of the “isn’t it great that this guy is struggling” variety, but… um… that’ll play. Now don’t fuck up the pick this year, Jays.
Bryan (Montclair, NJ)
From a scout’s perspective, what have you thought of d’Arnaud this season? He looks like he’s made some adjustments at the plate over the last 10 games.
I think his numbers this year are quite skewed by starting the year 0-for-15 … I doubt it’s adjustments so much as the normal variation we see over small samples. I’m much more worries about him staying healthy than him hitting.
Oh yeah, d’Arnaud is struggling, too. Or, at least, he was badly to start the year, and his numbers haven’t really made their way back to normal. He’s currently sitting on a .291 wOBA and a wRC+ of 86. You’ll still want to bet that he’s fine as long as he stays healthy, though. But, of course, cue: meat heads attempting to shit on the Jays’ player development anyway.
Mayday Malone (Boston)
Alex Meyer or Kevin Gausman? Both big clubs need these guys now.
No, they don’t. Stop looking at every minor league like he’s going to come to the majors and perform at his peak level right away.
Hint hint, Stroman salivators.
Lastly, one more for the premature Schadenfreude set:
You can’t stop Mookie KLAW, you can only hope to contain him. What would you do with him in 2015 if you were Red Sox GM?
I’d leave him at 2b for the time being and let him continue to hit, including a solid length of time at AAA. At least take the year to see how Pedroia bounces back after thumb surgery – he wasn’t good last year, and in a tiny sample he’s been worse so far this year. If Pedroia does bounce back, I’d consider moving Betts to the outfield.
Now… let’s not go nuts with thoughts of Pedroia’s demise — especially with, as is the whole point of the question, an excellent prospect behind him — but it’s not untrue that he hasn’t been quite himself of late. After posting a wRC+ of 129 in the first half of last year, he was a league-average-ish 95 in the second half, and — as Law says — has been an even worse 84 over 130 plate appearances so far this year.
Rings, though. Also: seriously, let’s not go nuts.