Yesterday Keith Law had his weekly chat with readers at ESPN.com, and… uh… for lack of a better preamble, here are your Jays-related tidbits…
Is Dan Norris a viable September bullpen option for the Jays?
He’s clearly coming up. No way they promote him to AAA that quickly (too quickly – what did he learn in AA? A little New England geography?) unless the plan was to get him to the majors.
I tend to agree with all of this stuff — the fact that the Jays do seem to be fast tracking Norris to the big leagues so he can help their bullpen, and that it maybe is a little quicker than you’d like to see. Norris had just eight starts in Double-A, with a walk rate of over four batters per nine innings. He walked four guys each in his second- and third-last starts at the level (eight walks in nine innings), but then spun a gem and got moved up. The Eastern League has just twelve teams, and you’d think that if you were more interested in his development, you’d maybe like to see him handle going through each of them a couple times.
On the other hand, if they’ve basically already decided he’s going to be in Buffalo to start next season anyway — which isn’t entirely unreasonable — I can understand why they might have come to the conclusion not to bother, since there’s less than a month left in the Double-A season.
Plus, as I noted in a Daily Duce earlier this week, according to a recent piece at Baseball Prospectus, he certainly already profiles as a guy who could help a big league bullpen. “Norris has ridden his fastball/slider combination all the way to the upper levels of the minor leagues this season, with Buffalo representing his third stop along the way,” they wrote. “He’s missed bats in droves at every stop and showed no sign of slowing down in his first Triple-A start on Sunday. He’s still got a ways to go to become a complete pitcher, including the development of the changeup he’ll need in the majors, but for now he’s able to get by with two potential plus pitches.”
Keith: can you give us a floor and a ceiling on the two new pitching additions to the Sox system: Edwin Escobar, and Eduardo Rodriguez? Thank you.
Escobar’s probably a reliever, slight chance at a back-end starter, real ordinary stuff without a good third pitch. Rodriguez could be a 2, a well above avg starter – up to 97, sits 92-93, projects to have a plus change and avg breaking ball.
Not necessarily Jays-related, but Rodriguez, you’ll remember, is the pitcher the Orioles dealt to Boston for 20 innings of Andrew Miller. As was said by anybody not preoccupied with whinging at the time, they Jays sure could have used a guy like Miller, but that is one hefty fucking price. Norris-like, in fact, which maybe is all the more reason to say fuck trades and start moving him towards that role.
Franklin Barreto is doing well in the Northwest League as an 18 year old. He has a shot at top 25~ for 2015 right?
Top 25 Blue Jays prospects, absolutely.
Pro tip – there can only be 25 prospects in the top 25 and only 100 in the top 100. I’m sorry but that’s math.
Yeah… Barreto sure is doing well, and there is lots to be excited about in that bat, but this is kinda nutty.
What are your thoughts on Pompey and Jimenez? Is Jimenez more of an org guy now with the elbow issues? Secondly where would you start Pompey next year?
AJ Jimenez? Backup for me. Pompey’s a potential regular/leadoff guy – I’d start him back in AA next year.
After his .276/.327/.394 at New Hampshire last year, this season has definitely been a disappointing one for Jimenez — .223/.275/.340 for the Fisher Cats, and .270/.309/.355 at Buffalo — so it’s hard to quibble with the backup knock. Especially since that’s been a thing we’ve heard on him for a long while now. Pentecost gets the dreaded “Jays Catcher Of The Future” label now, I guess.
Pompey stuff is certainly nails, though.
Is Dwight Smith Jr. nearly as good a prospect as D. Pompey?
No. LF only, lacks the power for the position. He’s under 5’9″.
I have nothing to offer on Smith, but this does seem like a good opportunity to share this note on him from Baseball Prospectus earlier in the week, after he went 2-for-2 with three runs scored, a stolen base, and three walks for Dunedin:
“Because of his left-field profile and lack of home run power, this is the kind of production that Smith will need to have to be an everyday player. He’s not going to be perfect at the plate too often, but drawing walks, hitting the gaps, and scoring runs will allow him to make up for not having power at a power position. If not, he’ll be a tweener or fourth outfielder, but one who has a spot on a major league roster.”
Seems to line up.