Archive for the ‘Keith Law’ Category

Keith Law week continues with the release of his top 100 prospects today over at ESPN.com (Insider Only) and… hang on. What’s this? While Law has his top Jays prospect, Aaron Sanchez, way up at 19th, he has the now ex-teammate who is usually ranked about the same or better all the way down in 97th.

Noah Syndergaard, now a part of the Mets organization that Law obviously hates so much he ranked Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud 13th and 14th respectively, barely cracks the list. Mind you, this isn’t inconsistency from Law. He’s been a big fan of the Jays’ selection of Sanchez since draft day in 2010– he’s told me as much– and it’s not as though Syndergaard tumbled once out of the organization, as he didn’t make the 2012 top 100.

That’s not to say that Law doesn’t find a lot to like about Syndergaard, as in his scouting reports he cites a good delivery, excellent fastball, an above-average changeup and his prototypical frontline starter size as working in his favour. What worries him, however, is Syndergaard’s lack of a breaking ball, given “reports this year grading it as average at best, and often coming in below that or saying it came and went.” For it to still be so lacklustre after two years in the organization, he says, does not bode well.

“At worst he should be a solid fourth starter,” he explains, “very durable with above-average control, and still has that No. 2 starter upside if the curveball comes along.”

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Last year we waited in breathless anticipation for Keith Law to release a project that had first been pitched to him during a September appearance on Bill Simmons’ podcast, bringing to us in early December the top 50 players in the game who had exhausted their rookie eligibility, but had yet to complete their age 25 season. And it was worth the wait, with a top ten ranking for Brett Lawrie, a nice write-up on Colby Rasmus (43), and an admission in the chat that followed that he still wasn’t ready to give up on Travis Snider, and had briefly considered putting him at the bottom of the list as well.

Yeah… about all that…

This year’s version of KLaw’s list hit ESPN.com (Insider Only) today, and it’s been stripped of most of its Jays content, partly by the fact that it’s now been shortened to a top 25, but mostly because, apart from Brett Lawrie, all of the best talent on the club’s big league roster has plenty of experience.

It still feels weird to consider that, huh?

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It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper laying down of the law around here, mostly– I suspect– because the Jays weren’t a particularly interesting team to talk about for the majority of October and November, and also because he does his local radio hits on TSN radio now, and their archive is so much more frustrating to work with than the Fan 590′s is.

But with the Jays being perhaps the biggest mover and/or shaker of them all so far this off-season, all kinds of Jays content made it’s way into KLaw’s latest chat with readers over at ESPN.com, and I was there (or… well, I am now) to scoop it all up. (Though, of course, you should read the whole thing, and subscribe to ESPN Insider for all of Keith’s outstanding work.)

Ron (NYC)
Klaw, do you see TDA continuing at C long term, or do the Mets need to think of him in the outfield or first base (and trading / mivng Ike Davis). If he can stay healthy and at C, the Dickey trade was a no brainer for the Mets, but if not …

Klaw
d’Arnaud is a catcher. He’s not Posey where the bat might play elsewhere and still make him a star.

Iain (Toronto)
So where do you rank Toronto’s farm system now? 1-30

Klaw
I haven’t done firm rankings yet, but top of my head I’d say 16-20 range.

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Keith Law had a chat with readers today over at ESPN.com, and… actually there wasn’t a single Jays-related nugget to be found. Fortunately for us, though, we aren’t without our weekly dose of KLaw, as earlier in the week he gave some insight into the Jays’ managerial situation– or, at least, why the Red Sox might be so damn interested in John Farrell, despite little resembling accomplishment during his two years here.

Asked this directly on Tuesday’s Baseball Today podcast, Law replies…

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Because it’s Friday and I don’t feel like doing anything more than some copy-and-paste work, here we’ve got all the Jays-related nuggets from yesterday’s Keith Law chat at ESPN.com– with added bonus nuggets from Jim Callis at Baseball America in his recent chat (er… from last week), and some stuff from BA’s latest top 20 prospects lists for the various minor leagues.

So… um… here we go!

KLaw

Grant (Toronto)
Gose and Hechevarria seem to have similar profiles in that they are plus defenders at premium positions with questionable hit tools. However, Gose is frequently referred to as one of Toronto’s top prospects with all-star potential, while Hechevarria seems to be known as John McDonald 2.0 unless he learns to hit. Not that either comps are necessarily wrong, but why is there such a disparity between their “prospect statuses”?
Klaw
Gose has a better swing with a little more raw power. He’s also 16 months younger.

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Though I already sent a link in Bob Elliott’s direction in the Afternoon Snack, his piece from today’s Toronto Sun on Lansing’s Aaron Sanchez, Justin Nicolino and Nose Snygen probably needs a little extra exploration, if only because– as I said at the time– it’s providing a nice bit of warm light in what’s been a dark and ugly week of a dark and ugly season.

Aaaaaand… also because there isn’t a whole hell of a lot to write about at the moment, and Keith Law didn’t include enough Jays-related tidbits in his latest chat with readers at ESPN.com to make a full post of it– though what he did say, I’ll provide below.

First up, however, is the key stuff from Elliott’s piece, which come, with one exception, from his most reliable source: his anonymous drinking scouting buddies!

“No wonder they didn’t trade Sanchez,” a ‘veteran evaluator’ tells Elliott. “We heard they had all kinds of offers for him at the deadline. They did the right thing holding on to him. He’ll be the best. You phone me if he’s not the first one of the three to make it.”

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While we were slightly distracted by something over here back on Friday afternoon, ESPN was trying to slip a bunch of Jays-related content past us. Or… at least that’s how I aim to view it (even if one of the items was most certainly posted on Thursday).

However it went down, I’m pretty sure it behooves me to point out that the Jays showed up in the top 25 of the Worldwide Leader’s Uni Watch Power Rankings, got some play in Keith Law’s weekly chat with readers, and most impressively, ranked fifth in baseball, and second in the AL East, in this year’s version of ESPN’s MLB Future Power Rankings.

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