Archive for the ‘Keith Law’ Category


Me a bad athlete? ME?? A bad athlete??? I just… I’ll have him eaten for that! By me. After brunch.

Once again this week, after the release of his mid-season top prospects list, which we discussed in the previous post, it seems a worthy venture to once again lay down some Law, as there were a few Jays-related tidbits in today’s Keith Law chat with readers at

As always, I have not read any of Griffin’s answers.

Erich (CT)
How do you project AJ Jimenez’s future in the majors? Average regular? Star? I ask because I cant take Arencibia behind the plate anymore.

This seems, generally, to be the take on Jimenez. Kiley McDaniel tweeted the same sentiment yesterday, as well. However, at Baseball Prospectus, Jason Parks had a different take– albeit, with a caveat:

I thought his batting practice was outstanding, as he showed off more power than I expected, sending rockets to the pull side and making the “sound” off the ball that I originally confused for another player. I like the bat a lot. The glove was good, but the arm action on the throws was long and the throws lacked zip. Limited sample.

Works for me, so… I’m just going to go ahead and believe the guy who’s telling me what I want to hear.

Speaking of what I want to hear, this isn’t it:

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We haven’t done this in a while, but it’s Friday and there were a number of Jays-related tidbits in yesterday’s chat between Keith Law and his readers at, so… uh… yeah. Let’s lay down some law!

Bret (Toronto)
I know you were never a big Bickford fan, but if the Jays don’t sign him, that would have to leave them with the worst draft relative to what was available to them, no?
Possibly – I haven’t looked at all of the classes now that we’re almost done with signings, but they will probably leave without a true first-round talent. By the way, I want to reiterate what I said on Twitter: The Jays have NOT specified or ruled out any reason for their failure to come to an agreement with Bickford. It could have been money, medicals, a change of heart by the player, or something unexpected. We just do not know.

James (WV )
What is up with the Jays? How could they pass on talents like Shipley, Peterson, and Renfroe to take Bickford, without being 100% sure that he would sign? Is AA’s job in trouble? Between this, the Jays season, and the Dickey trade, he’s had a bad year..If they finish below .500 is he toast?
You’re making a large assumption that they weren’t 100% sure he would sign. What if he agreed to a number and then changed his mind? Would you reward that by paying the player more, thus signaling to all agents and players that you will cave if challenged in that way?

Hard to disagree with anything here. Mike Wilner touches on the Bickford situation in a post up at Sportsnet, noting that at the bare minimum the Jays will have made an offer of $1.2-million– because clubs need to have offered 40% of slot in order to get a compensation pick the next year. Interestingly, that’s exactly the percentage of slot second rounder Clinton Hollon signed for– though, assuming there’s nothing wrong with Bickford’s arm, I’d have to believe they offered even more. Whatever the number, Law agrees with a real sharp cookie on Twitter about the whole mess:

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There are all kinds of interesting reactions to last night’s selections by the Jays of prep arms Phil Bickford and Clinton Hollon with the tenth and forty-seventh picks in the 2013 Rule 4 draft respectively, but since I’m lazy and spent way too much time digesting today’s roster moves, let’s just focus on what all Keith Law, who was a fan of neither pick, had to say.

Eschewing the concept of “winners” and “losers” that just doesn’t make sense given the vast uncertainty surrounding all things to do with the draft and how far off we are from realistically being able to call anything a losing pick, Law posted a piece in the early morning hours revealing his “Winners and questions” at (Insider Only). The Jays were one of the questions.

Law has been clear all along about his issues with Bickford and his lack of secondary stuff, as I noted in yesterday’s Draft Day Primer post. He takes issue with the selection of second rounder, Kentucky high schooler Clinton Hollon, as well, explaining that he “has first-round stuff but not command or control and has had arm trouble that wiped out most of last summer.”

Perhaps even more troubling, in the “Winners and questions” post, Law tells us that “both kids also earned negative makeup comments from scouts with whom I spoke.” So… perhaps they took a deep look into Clinton Hollon’s (apparent) Twitter feed. Ugh.

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KLaw Week continues over at, and this afternoon Keith has had his second of two chats with readers in the wake of the release of his Top 100 prospects list, and all the goodies that go with it. So, here are all the Jays-related nuggets from both Tuesday’s chat and today’s chat– but, of course, all the non-Jays stuff is gold too, so you should probably check them both out in full. I mean… what else are you going to do? It’s damn February.

Kyle (Toronto)
Noticed Syndergaard was ranked relatively low on your list compared to most top prospects list, reasons?
Those other lists are wrong, obviously.

Ben (Leland Grove)
Why did James Paxton miss out?
Poor command, lack of an average third pitch, walked a man every other inning as a 23-year-old in AA.

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Not Keith Law

Keith Law week continues, as today at (Insider Only) he’s revealed his top ten prospects for each club in the American League. As we learned earlier in the week, the Jays currently have the 24th best system in baseball, in Law’s estimation, with just two players– Aaron Sanchez (19) and Roberto Osuna (87)– among the top 100 prospects in the game. Following behind them in the Jays organization is Marcus Stroman (above), the PED-suspended 2012 draftee who Law, like many others, says could pitch in the Jays’ bullpen this season if they wanted him to (though the Jays seem to want to give Stroman the chance to fail as a starter first, before moving him to the ‘pen permanently).

We’re told this in a new section of Law’s organizational reports, in which he briefly looks at “any prospects (top 10 and beyond) who might help the major-league team this year.” Along with Stroman, he suggests that John Stilson– who is a candidate to pitch permanently in relief, because he “has a SLAP lesion in his shoulder and a violent delivery that won’t hold up in a starting role”– Sean Nolin and HELLO KEVIN PILLAR!!! may see some time in the show this season.

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Keith Law week continues with the release of his top 100 prospects today over at (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 (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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