Archive for the ‘Prospecting’ Category

osunaCourier

John Sickels of Minor League Ball has his overall top prospects list out today, and even though there’s not a whole lot in the way of commentary about any of the Jays who made the list, it’s of particular interest to fans of the club, I think, because unlike many of the others, he goes 150 names deep. This means we get to see how a couple additional Jays prospects stack up to the rest of the league, as well an idea as how close they may have been to some of the Top 100s that have already been released.

As has been universally the case this off-season, Sickels ranks Aaron Sanchez highest among the Jays prospects, checking in at 42 for Sickels, after having been 19th for Keith Law, 23rd for FanGraphs, 32nd for Baseball Prospectus, and 65th for Baseball America. Not universal, however is whether Sanchez is preferred over Noah Syndergaard, with Sickels joining BP and BA in having the Mets prospect ahead.

Sickels does join Law and FanGraphs, however, in being higher than BP and BA on Roberto Osuna, as neither of those two had him on their list at all. Osuna checks in at the highest position he holds among of these lists, 75, with Law placing 87th and FanGraphs having him at 81.

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stromantwitter

Not Keith Law

Keith Law week continues, as today at ESPN.com (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 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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Jonathan Mayo and the folks at MLB.com have posted their top 100 prospects list for 2013– complete with an MLB Network announcement-and-making-insane-Barry-Bonds-comps extravaganza– and while, for obvious reasons, there are a lot of names on the list who will be familiar to Jays fans, only two of the club’s prospects actually make this year’s top 100.

They are, it may come as a small surprise, right-handed pitchers Aaron Sanchez, who ranked 35th, and Roberto Osuna, who ranked 90th.

Roberto Osuna

The mild surprise here is Osuna, who was behind Sean Nolin and DJ Davis on the Jays’ organizational list from Baseball Prospectus, though he was behind only Sanchez among the remaining prospects at FanGraphs and Minor League Ball. At just 17-years-old, he’s the youngest player on the list, four months younger than last June’s first overall draft pick, Houston’s Carlos Correa (30), and the handful of other 18-year-olds on the list– Albert Almora of the Cubs (39), Colorado’s David Dahl (58), and the pitcher Washington pulled just from under the Jays’ noses, Lucas Giolito (74).

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Prospecting: BP’s Top 10

While there are many, many reasons to have a subscription to Baseball Prospectus, and many posts that will motivate folks to get one, yesterday was one of the big days on the calendar that I’m sure got Jays fans ponying up in numbers– or if it didn’t, it should have, because Jason Parks posted the Jays instalment of his Prospects Will Break Your Heart series, giving us all kinds of scouting gold behind the paywall.

I don’t want to give too much of his excellent work away– he broke down strengths, weaknesses, ceilings and risks for the organization’s top ten prospects, and also looked at some names on the rise (Santiago Nessy could be a top 10 guy next year he says, 2012 second rounder Chase DeJong gets a glowing review, as does small, toolsy 2012 international signing Franklin Barreto), some guys we’ll likely see in the Majors this year, and also gave a ranking of the club’s best talent under 25 (still headlined by Brett Lawrie)– but there are some definite highlights worth… uh… highlighting.

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Kevin Ahrens

Welcome to part two of our offseason prospects series. Today we’ll delve into corner infielders, which is really just a euphemism for third base. I changed the format around a little bit this week—instead of breaking the comments down into neat blocks, I decided to write a single paragraph on each of the players ranked below, incorporating components of the format we used last week. As a reminder, our schedule:

Nov. 29 – Catchers
Dec. 6 – Corner Infielders
Dec. 13 – Middle Infielders
Dec. 20 – Corner Outfielders
Dec. 27 – Center Fielders
Jan. 3 – Right-handed Starting Pitchers
Jan. 10 – Left-handed Starting Pitchers
Jan. 31 – Top 50 Overall: 26-50
Feb. 7 – Top 50 Overall: 1-25

State of the Organization – Corner Infield
Let’s just say it’s nice to have Brett Lawrie around. He may not have met expectations in his first full season, but he’s hardly at risk of being usurped by an emerging third base prospect any time soon. That isn’t to say that Toronto is devoid of interesting prospects at the hot corner, however. Matt Dean and Mitch Nay, two high-profile picks from the last two drafts, are both intriguing but they’re several years away from making any impact in the big leagues. The other three names on this list, all third basemen, all spent time in short-season leagues last summer.

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Because there sure isn’t anything happening on the Jays front at the Winter Meetings– at least, not that we’re hearing about, or that Alex Anthopoulos is admitting to– let’s take a detour into some delicious prospecting, as John Sickels posted his list of the top 20 Jays prospects today at Minor League Ball, giving a brief scouting note on all twenty, and a lengthier discussion of the organization as a whole.

As we’ve come to expect by now, Travis d’Arnaud tops the list– Sickels calls him “not perfect” but “either the best catching prospect in baseball or the second-best behind Mike Zunino”– with few surprises following him among the top tier.

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