Archive for the ‘Prospecting’ Category

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game - World Team v United States

Several of the usual suspects have posted updated prospect rankings over the past week or so, and as always it’s a fascinating exercise to see how the players the Jays have brought into their system are doing. Of late the scouting stuff been all the more intriguing, of course, not because of our salivating on the arrival dates on some of these kids, but because of the ones that got away in this off-season’s wheelings and/or dealings.

Naturally, the most contentious comparison is between Aaron Sanchez and Noah Syndergaard, the club’s top prospect and the top prospect they dealt over the winter, and there is definitely some divergence of opinion on the two.

That’s nothing new, obviously, but what does seem to be new is that in more eyes than we’re used to– at least as far as I can remember– Syndergaard seems to be separating himself from Sanchez and moving up some of the lists. Does that mean a whole lot? I don’t think so, apart from the fact that Sanchez has been hurt and has struggled with command and health a bit this year, I think.

What it makes one wonder, though– or, at least, it makes me wonder– is whether the much-lauded concept of the Jays having a shit-tonne of scouts is maybe a bit flawed. I mean, aren’t there always going to be voices from the scouting department saying one thing, and always voices saying the other? And might that not turn every decision into an either-or proposition in which there essentially is no right answer? I suppose that’s probably be true of scouting departments regardless of size, though, so perhaps I’m overreacting to concerns about Syndergaard having been the true keeper among the Jays’ former “Big Three”– especially since there’s still a lot of love out there for Sanchez.

So… let’s see who is saying what among the five big, recent mid-season top prospect rankings– the ones from John Sickels at SB Nation’s Minor League Ball, Keith Law at ESPN.com, Mark Hulet at FanGraphs, the staff at Baseball America, and Jason Parks at Baseball Prospectus.

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hollon

Clinton Hollon

Jim Callis of Baseball America has been tweeting out a wealth of draft-related stuff pertaining to all teams over the last month, but over the weekend, his tweets took a decidedly Jays-related turn, with several tidbids surfacing as the idea of the Jays making a serious run at a couple of big talent late round prep guys who were passed over due to signability concerns and strong college commitments grows stronger.

Don’t believe me? See for yourselves.

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tellez

Rowdy Tellez

Here’s something that I nearly added as simple scuttlebutt on tonight’s Game Threat, but which expanded enough to make me reconsider and give it a post of its own.

From a tweet by Jim Callis of Baseball America, the Jays have signed second round pick Clinton Hollon– and, rather crucially, have done so at 40% of his slot recommendation ($467,280, to be specific), because of elbow issues. In particular, there was a UCL problem in his MRI, though the fact that Hollon has been hurt was known at the time he was selected.

Chris Crawford of MLB Draft Insider tweets that “With the Hollon signing, the Blue Jays have a crap-load (official term) to spend on their remaining picks.” He continues in a later tweet that “If they signed Bickford for $3 [million], they could still offer Brentz, Lauer, Tellez, etc. over-slot deals. Very interesting.”

FYI, Tellez is the one I’ve been most curious about, and not just because his first name is Rowdy. He’s a big prep bat at first base out of high school in California and ranked 49th on the top 50 draft prospects list at Baseball America heading into the draft.

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Who Is A.J. Jimenez?

ajjimenez

If you read this week’s Griff Bag post, you have noticed I tried to be maybe a little more hopeful than in weeks past about J.P. Arencibia and his future here in Toronto. Or… well… yeah, a little.

About his closest competition in the minors I wrote:

A.J. Jimenez is back in Double-A after missing most of last year with Tommy John surgery, and he has some promise– a defence-first guy with not much pop but a decent hit tool, from what I’ve been led to believe– but even though he’s getting closer, don’t expect him to displace Arencibia to start 2014 or anything.

I still think that’s pretty accurate, but… um… about Jimenez…

Microscopic sample size alert, of course. And this is, let’s net forget, a guy with just 35 games above A-ball, and who put up an OPS of just .666 in 27 games last year. Aaaaand he’s walked just 65 times 1247 minor league plate appearances. But he’s also not Jim Negrych, either.

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treyball

Indiana high schooler Trey Ball

We’re just about three weeks away from MLB’s annual Rule 4 draft, aka the amateur draft, and with the tenth overall pick– though nothing in the way of extras this year, for the first time in… forever– the Jays have a chance to see a nice bit of high end talent fall their way, and we’re starting to see that in the mock drafts that are filtering out.

Two of those showed up in the ol’ digital inbox yesterday, with John Sickels of Minor League Ball coming out with his second version, and Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider Only) revealing his first mock.

Both of them link the Jays to two-way Indiana high school prospect Trey Ball, who was profiled today at Baseball Prospectus. Sickels evidently thinks the Jays are more inclined to take him than Law, as Keith actually has the Jays passing on Ball– though obviously things are very fluid at the moment.

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prospecting

Visual approximation of Jason Parks

Last week Jason Parks had himself a monster, eight hour chat over at Baseball Prospectus, and– as is likely to happen when someone is talking about baseball for that long– the Jays came up several times, and I’m here to scoop up all those delicious mentions for you! Or at least most of them.

I say only “most” because, damn it, I haven’t pulled out these specific quotes just so you don’t have to go and read the whole, massive, awesome, bloody thing for yourselves. In fact, I’ll let you know that missing from my compilation is: a spitballed 2014 top ten including Aaron Sanchez; analysis of Wulimer Becerra, the far away prospect also sent to the Mets in the Dickey deal; a second mention of former Dodgers GM (and BP writer!) and current Jays scout, Dan Evans; an additional Travis Snider comment; something positive about Miles Jaye, who the Jays dealt to Chicago last winter to regain Jason Frasor; a comparison of Sean Nolin and Mike Foltynewicsz; plus probably some other Jays stuff that I missed, and a whole lot more outstandingness from around the league.

So go check it out, and stop making me feel guilty about “borrowing” content already.

Erix (Brooklyn):
Zack Mortimer spoke very highly on Lansing catcher Santiago Nessy. He mentioned that he had ++leadership. What is your thoughts on him? Does he #shimmer?
Jason Parks:
He has the kind of qualities you want to see in a field general, and I’m very high on that. Big questions about the bat, but it takes time to develop on both fronts, so its too early to say he won’t hit.

tlheard12 (Canada):
Can Alberto Tirado be a top 101 prospect next year?
Jason Parks:
Yes. I think he will. He needs to clean up the delivery, but the stuff already belongs in the 101 discussion.

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sanchez--alexisbrudnicki

To answer the question posed by the title, apparently so. At least, according to this cock-ripplingly fantastic tweet from Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus:

So you’re telling me there’s a shoot!

Parks later clarified that he was indeed talking about Ricky Romero’s soon-to-be Dunedin teammate. So… uh… maybe we’re not quite over the whole prospect thing yet?

Speaking of Sanchez, he got a– glowing, as usual– mention in BP’s Notes From The Field piece today by Zach Mortimer, as did no less than 20 other Jays prospects on whom scouting notes are provided.

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