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Welcome once again to the annual installment of Batter's Box's Top 30 Blue Jays prospects. This list is never an easy one to assemble but it was even tougher this year as the organization has infused a great deal of talent this season through a strong draft, various trades, and a growing international presence. The Top 30 list was compiled and written by eight Batter's Box contributors.


30. Michael McDade, 1B
Born May 8, 1989. Selected in the 6th round of the draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2008
19
A-
191
8
1
3
22
53
1
0
.257
.333
.287
2008
19
A
216
13
0
2
11
63
0
0
.194
.236
.282
2009
20
A
408
27
1
16
32
109
0
0
.277
.336
.466
2010
21
A+
480
22
1
21
27
141
2
0
.267
.315
.448

After a decent year in A ball in 2009, McDade had a consolidation year in 2010, putting up decent numbers in the tough on hitters Florida State League. A big (and I mean big) switch hitting masher, McDade doesn't make a ton of contact and when he does the ball usually is traveling pretty fast. When he isn't hitting the ball hard it isn't pretty though, as he has never walked much and was particularly bad in 2010. His strikeouts are also trending upwards, which is probably not a good sign. He is still relatively young at 21, but  has never really had a "wow" season to put him on the radar as a serious prospect. He figures to start 2011 in Dunedin again (barring a surprise promotion) and will need to improve upon his plate discipline if he is to have any chance of continuing to advance through the system.


 

29. Marcus Knecht, OF
Born June 21, 1990. Selected in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2010
20
A-
231
18
3
5
26
48
7
1
.268
.345
.437

The Blue Jays drafted North Yorkís own Marcus Knecht in the 3rd round of this summerís draft. Knecht comes to the organization via the Ontario Blue Jays, Oklahoma State, Connors State (in Oklahoma) and the Team Canada juniors. He initially went to play college ball  at OSU, but received only 12 plate appearances in 2009. He subsequently transferred to Connors State in 2010, where he hit .353 and joined a host of other Canadian alums, including former Blue Jays farmhand and Etobicoke native Kyle Gilligan. Knecht had been on the Jays radar even before a strong 2009; Scouting director Andrew Tinnish saw Knecht win the Hit-Run-Throw program as an 11-year-old and also has connections to Knecht through the Ontario Blue Jays.

After signing Knecht was sent to Auburn and played in 61 games for the Doubleday, hitting .268/.345/.437 with 18 doubles, 3 triples and 5 home runs, good for fourth best slugging percentage on the team. He has good speed,  having been clocked in at 6.54 seconds in the 60-yard dash, and displayed good instincts on the bases, stealing successfully in 7 of 8 attempts. Knecht played left field exclusively at Connors State but played mostly in right for the Doubledays, starting 25 games there and splitting the other 16 games between centre and left. His arm is apparently mediocre, so his likely position in the majors is left field.

If Knecht is going to make the big leagues it will be his bat that carries him; despite mixed prior reports his power emerged as a viable major league tool in 2010. He possesses gap power, as his double total attests, and he has a reasonably strong batting eye, although he can get over-aggressive, as was reportedly the case at Oklahoma State when he was pressing to get playing time. He has good bat speed and an aggressive swing, though it can look long and is somewhat unorthodox. One potentially positive note is that, as a Canadian, Knecht has less baseball experience than many of his American and Latin American teammates, so there may be more room for him to develop. Knecht will probably begin the year in Lansing, with a chance to progress to Dunedin by the end of the year and he should continue to move through the system as long as he keeps hitting.



28. Gustavo Pierre, SS
Born December 28, 1991. Signed as an international free agent in 2008.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009
17
Rk
174
10
4
4
3
45
8
5
.259
.272
.431
2010
18
A-
250
12
3
3
17
64
8
4
.236
.283
.344

The Blue Jays signed Pierre (pronounced pee-a-ray) out of the Dominican Republic in 2008.  Shortly thereafter Pierre needed Tommy John surgery and his professional debut was pushed back to 2009 in the GCL.  In 2010 Pierre was assigned to Auburn in the NYPL and he had a good season there for an 18 year old.  He started slowly and had an OPS of .437 in July but in August Pierre bumped that to .732 and finished his few September games with an OPS of .783.  Plate discipline was a big part of his improvement at the plate; Pierre walked five times in his first thirty-seven games and twelve times in his next twenty-four.

Physically Pierre is a big strong kid who shows power potential in batting practice.  As with many young players his power had not shown yet in games but the projection is there.  Defensively Pierre made a lot of errors in 2010, twenty-nine.  This is not unusual for a young shortstop prospect but observers feel that Pierre is not playing defense with a lot of confidence and he has played tentatively. More professional experience might alleviate that concern.  Ultimately some scouts believe Pierre may end at third, where his bigger size and strong arm can be an asset.

Pierre will likely play next season in the Midwest League as a nineteen year old.  As long as his offense progresses Pierre should move up this prospect list.

27. Griffin Murphy, LHP
Born January 16, 1991. Selected in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2010
19
HS
15
---
73.0
5.67
--- 2.47
12.82
1.35

Murphy was the 61st overall selection in the 2010 amateur draft from Redlands East Valley High School in California. He turned down a scholarship from the University of San Diego to sign a deal with the Jays that included an $800,000 signing bonus. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound lefty won 11 of 12 decisions with a 1.35 earned run average and a save in his senior season, striking out 104 batters and walking just 20 in 72 2/3 innings. He also batted .333 with three home runs and 21 runs batted in. Baseball America rated Murphy the highest-rated prep southpaw for the 2010 draft and placed him on its 3rd Team High School All-America squad.

Various scouting reports have said he throws a fastball in the 89-93 MPH range and possesses an average to above-average curveball and changeup. Baseball America says Murphy can command his fastball to both sides of the plate by running it in, running it away, sinking it and turning it over. His curve is said to have good sweep with two-plane movement but he does tend to leave it up and needs to improve its depth. Though none of his pitches are graded as plus, his mechanics are described to be ďrelatively solidĒ. The 19-year old is said to have a delivery that is similar to Angels lefty Scott Kazmir and a build like Phillies southpaw Joe Blanton.

Murphy also has a good work ethic off the field as he laundered his teammates clothing to earn extra spending money and he plans to take online courses to obtain a university degree while he pitches in the minors. Projected as a mid-rotation starter in the bigs, Murphy will probably launch his pro career in the Gulf Coast League.

  

26. Dickie Joe Thon, SS
Born November 16, 1991. Selected in the 5th round of the 2010 draft.

Dickie Thon Jr. was a surprise signing in the 5th round. He apparently came with a strong commitment to Rice University, and an agent-father who didn't like the way MLB clubs were approaching his son. "What upset me was the gamesmanship, how they didn't shoot straight... I don't like the way Toronto treated him in the draft."

Well, maybe former all-star Thon Sr. was engaging in a little gamesmanship of his own, because the Jays shelled out $1.5 million, more than 12 first-rounders received, to pry his son away from Rice.

We won't likely be seeing Thon at the big league level for many years - several analysts consider him raw and, before signing, suggested that college development would be good for him. Regardless, he clearly has excellent tools to have received such a high bonus, and some of those tools mentioned by prospect gurus include speed and arm strength. Despite his size (6'2"), most scouts seem to think he can stay at shortstop, and perhaps be above-average defensively. He's an "above-average hitter" (whatever that means - above average for a Puerto Rican high school player?) but his pitch recognition could use some refinement.

All in all, your classic toolsy high school project. Seeya in 2016, Dickie Joe!

25. Brian Jeroloman, C
Born May 10, 1985. Selected in the 6th round of the 2006 draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2008
23
AA
226
15
0
6
47
47
0
0
.270
.396
.416
2008
23
AAA
75
2
0
0
11
17
0
0
.200
.302
.227
2009
24
AA
364
16
1
6
62
120
1
0
.217
.330
.316
2010
25
AA
245
16
0
7
69
92
0
1
.261
.429
.412
2010
25
AAA
19
3
0
2
8
10
0
0
.316
.519
.789

Despite vastly increased depth in the system, Jeroloman managed to break back into the Batters Box Top 30 with a strong 2010. Our number 16 prospect in 2007 (between Justin Jackson and Chi-Hung Cheng) and number 12 prospect in 2008 (between Eric Eiland and John Tolisano... remember those guys?), Jeroloman struggled mightily in 2009, hitting .217/.330/.316 in his second go round in New Hampshire, walking less and striking out more, 14.4% and 33.0% of the time, respectively. Jeroloman has never put the ball in play much, and 2010 continued that trend, as he boosted his walk rate to an otherworldly 21.6%, while his strikeout rate also continued to an outsized level, hitting 37.1% for the year. Cumulatively he put the ball into the field of play (i.e. not a homer, K, BB or HBP) 146 times in 319 plate appearances, or 46% of the time, and he had 57 hits, for a BABIP approaching .400.

While his numbers are certainly not sustainable, Jeroloman value has never been tied up in his average, and he has definite major league skills as a good defender and an on base machine. In 1036 AA plate appearances he is a .244/.379/.371 hitter, and has essentially established what kind of player he will be at this juncture - a low average hitter with a great eye and a bit of pop - a decent backup or a stretched starter in the bigs. While he figures to open 2011 in Las Vegas, Jeroloman may have to go elsewhere to get his chance to make the show. There are 4 other catchers well ahead of him of him in the prospect rankings, including J.P. Arencibia, who figures to open next year in Toronto and (hopefully) stay there for a while, so a trade may be Jeroloman's only chance to break into the majors.

 

24. Trystan Magnuson, RHP
Born June 6, 1985. Selected in the supplemental 1st round of the 2007 draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 FIP
2008
23
A
24
24
81.2
10.03
0.66
3.86
5.40
4.50
2009
24
A+
38
0
61.2
8.17
0.29
3.94
6.57
3.67
2009
24
AA
5
0
10.0
3.60
0.00
0.90
6.30
2.10
2010
25
AA
46 0
73.1
8.59
0.12
1.23
7.33
2.15

The 25 year-old Vancouver native took another step closer to big league employment in 2010. Mel Queen, the Jays senior advisor of player development, got the 6-foot-7, 200 pound righty to throw a split-finger fastball like a fastball instead of a changeup. As a result, Magnuson now throws a cutter, a splitter, a two-seam fastball in the 90-94 MPH range along with a slider. That helped Magnuson put up an excellent season at Double-A New Hampshire where he posted a 3-0 record, a K-BB ratio of over 6:1 and allowed just one home run all season. His performance with the Fisher Cats earned him a berth on the World Team for the 2010 Futures Games in Anaheim. Magnuson has come a long way from his pro season in Lansing in 2008 when he posted an 0-9 record as a starter.

In a National Post article earlier this season, he attributes his never-say-die attitude on the mound to his late uncle, former Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Keith Magnuson.

ďMy uncle was not the most skilled player but he played hard and wanted to win. They needed an enforcer so he fought. That was his role. He lost a lot of fights but he always got right back up and continued to do his job. Iíve had bad outings where I havenít been effective and it hurt my ERA, but I have not taken a loss. (Keith) went after people every night with everything he had. Iíve lost a lot. I got cut in high school, but I keep coming back and will always do everything it takes to win.Ē

Magnuson had spent five years in Louisville and was the closer for the Cardinals College World Series squad in 2007. The 56th overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft signed for a $462,500 bonus, but did not begin his career until 2008 as he had a sore elbow. He is now pitching for Team Canada at the Pan Am Games qualifying tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Given the uncertainty of who will be in the Jays bullpen in 2011, a good spring could see Magnuson begin the year in Toronto. If not, the engineering graduate will probably be ticketed for the bullpen at Triple-A Las Vegas.


23. Drew Hutchison, RHP
Born August 22, 1990. Selected in the 15th round of the 2009 draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2010
19
A-
10
10
45.0
6.80
0.20
2.40
8.80
3.00
2010
19
A
5
5
23.2
6.46
0.38
2.66
7.23
1.52

Hutchison is a perfect example of solid scouting. The Jays organization drafted him in the 15th round of the 2009 draft and gave him an above-slot deal at the signing deadline based on projection. Hutchison throws from a low-three-quarters arm slot with an average fastball (87-92 mph), slurvy breaking ball and changeup. The Florida native didn't toss his first official pro pitch until 2010 but he was impressive nonetheless. He began the year in short-season Auburn (New York Penn League) and posted a 2.60 FIP (3.00 ERA) in 10 starts. He gave up just 34 hits in 45.0 innings. His ground-ball rate of 64% was outstanding. Hutchison displayed solid control, as well, with a walk rate of 2.40 BB/9. He whiffed batters at a rate of 8.80 K/9. Moved up to Lansing, he held batters to a .203 average in 23.2 innings and his walk rate remained solid at 2.66 BB/9. His ground-ball rate dropped to 46% in the small sample size and he should return to the level for 2011.

 

22. Danny Farquhar, RHP
Born February 17, 1987. Selected in the 10th round of the 2008 draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2008
21
A-
12
0
26.1
6.84
0.34
2.05
9.23
2.39
2008
21
A
3
0
6.0
0.00
0.00
3.00
6.00
0.00
2009
22
A+
17
0
17.0
5.29
0.00
5.82
12.18
0.53
2009
22
AA
37
0
45.2
6.11
0.20
5.91
10.05
2.36
2010
23
AA
53
0
76.2
5.87
0.82
4.93
9.27 3.52

Danny Farquhar didnít have a particularly good year in 2010, posting the highest ERA of his professional career, but he remains one of the teamís top relief prospects because of a strong second half and his unique delivery. Farquhar is a sidewinder who throws from multiple arm angles. He throws side-armed in the high eighties to low nineties, over the top, where he can reach 95, and with a three-quarters delivery, which explains the difficulty many hitters seem to have in making solid contact off him.

Going into 2010 Farquhar had only allowed one home run in each of his two minor league seasons. This year, however, Farquhar allowed 7 in 76.2 innings. His true ability is probably somewhere in between the two seasons, as 2% of his fly balls went for home runs in 2009 and 10% of his fly balls went for homers in 2010. Farquharís fly ball rate has been relatively consistent, holding between 31-33% over the past couple of years. His home run rate this year may be somewhat of a fluke, although it may not decrease to previous levels. However Farquhar's ground ball rates did dip in 2010, falling to 46.6% after two years over 50%. In addition, despite never seeming to struggle a great deal with his control during his college season or his first year of professional baseball, his walk rate skyrocketed to 5.9/9 in 2009 and, although it improved, it remained high at 4.9/9 in 2010.

Despite all this the second half of 2010 represented a noticeable improvement for Farquhar and hopefully represents a step forward for the youngster. From April to June, Farquhar threw 36 innings, striking out 35 and walking 29. In July through September, Farquhar threw 45.2 frames, striking out 47 and walking 15. Another positive sign is that Farquhar continued to be difficult to hit, surrendering less than 6 hits per 9 innings for the third straight season. Of all New Hampshire pitchers who threw over 20 innings, Farquharís H/9 was the third-lowest, behind Tim Collins and 29-year-old BJ LaMura. In fact, his H/9 was the fourth-lowest in the entire Eastern League.

While all the caveats about minor league relievers apply, Farquhar will likely have an opportunity to crack a somewhat revamped Toronto bullpen in 2011, whether it is in April or, more likely, in August or September.


21. Noah Syndergaard, RHP
Born August 29, 1992. Selected in the supplemental 1st round of the 2010 draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2010
18
R
5
5
13.1
7.43
0.00
2.70 4.05
2.70

Syndergaard was a fast mover this past spring as his fastball velocity jumped significantly during his senior year of high school. The tall right-hander from Texas also displayed an improved curveball and he continued to work on his changeup in the fall instructional league after signing with Toronto.  Syndergaard signed quickly enough to appear in five games with the Gulf Coast League Jays. He posted a 3.20 FIP (2.70 ERA) in a small sample size (13.1 innings) and showed good control for his age with a walk rate of 2.70 BB/9. His strikeout rate was just 4.05 K/9.  His velocity was down a bit in his debut but he may have tired. Prior to signing, Syndergaard's slightly-altered arm slot would tip off whether he was throwing a fastball or breaking ball. He could stand to incorporate his legs/lower half into his delivery a little more; his delivery - prior to signing - put a lot of stress on his back and shoulder. Depending on his showing in extended spring training, Syndergaard should open the season in either Bluefield (Appy League) or Vancouver (Northwest League). He's likely to be a long-term project.




Up Next: Prospects 20-11
2010 Blue Jays Top Prospects: 30-21 | 24 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
raptorsaddict - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 07:25 AM EDT (#223609) #
Somewhat surprised Magnusson wasn't a little higher. I would have had him ahead of Syndegaard and Hutchison, but that's based primarily on the fact that I see the likelihood of him actually helping the team as being much, much higher (i.e. in some way he will contribute to our success in the 2011-2014 time period). But, then again, the Hive Mind of Da Box knows more than I. Can't wait to see the discussion over the next few days, it's easily the best part of the end of the season.

China fan - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#223611) #

Interesting to see the suggestion that Magnuson and Farquhar could both have a crack at making the Jays bullpen in 2011.  That seems a bit optimistic to me, but it speaks highly to their talent and potential.

One correction for the data tables:  the SLG numbers for Gustavo Pierre are wrong.  Those are his OPS numbers, not his SLG numbers.

Otherwise, it's a great collection of scouting analysis and data.  Great work.

Anders - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#223612) #

One correction for the data tables:  the SLG numbers for Gustavo Pierre are wrong.  Those are his OPS numbers, not his SLG numbers.

Wishful thinking on our part I guess! The numbers have been fixed.

Gerry - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#223623) #
Reading the McDade write-up I thought he sounded like a member of the parent team, big swings, lots of power when he does connect.  Then I remembered that McDade played several games with the big club in the spring.  I wonder if Cito or Murph had any pointers for McDade to help him out in 2010.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#223638) #
If McDade, Knecht and Pierre are your #30-#28 prospects, your organization is in pretty good shape.  There is a decent chance that one of them will be a valuable major league contributor, but don't ask me to say which once. 

Good start, gentlemen.

Anders - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#223640) #

Somewhat surprised Magnusson wasn't a little higher. I would have had him ahead of Syndegaard and Hutchison, but that's based primarily on the fact that I see the likelihood of him actually helping the team as being much, much higher (i.e. in some way he will contribute to our success in the 2011-2014 time period). But, then again, the Hive Mind of Da Box knows more than I. Can't wait to see the discussion over the next few days, it's easily the best part of the end of the season.

I think this comment speaks to the whole upside vs. certainty angle that is present in all prospect debates. At this point Magnusson is a 25 year old reliever in AA who doesn't profile as a closer... he has some definite skills that seem likely to give him an extended shot at a role in a major league bullpen - he hardly gives up any home runs and he doesn't walk many, but at his best you are looking at someone like a Shawn Camp, someone who has definite value but doesn't make or break your team in any meaningful way. Meanwhile Syndergaard (and to a lesser extent Hutchison) are both young and full of tremendous upside potential, and both are starters.

This debate is even more interesting amongst the organizations catchers. I am 100% convinced that Brian Jeroloman could play for at least the next 5 years in the majors as a backup, but he is the 5th ranking catcher on our charts this year, and with good reason. 2 or 3 of those guys ahead of himmay never reach the majors, but 2 of them could end up being All-Stars, something that seems extremely improbably with Jeroloman. Youjustneverknow.

ComebyDeanChance - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#223641) #
A very attractive piece of work that I too appreciate.

The fun of course is debating the rankings. I found it surprising that Murphy, Thon and Syergaard were ranked this low in this system. It may be nothing more than wishful thinking, but I'd have thought they would have been above this range. I suspect that debate may heat up when we see the rankings (if any, they may not make the list) for Cooper, Jenkins and a few others.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#223645) #
I am 40% convinced that Jeroloman could be a fine platoon catcher, getting 400 PAs a season with 350 of them against RHP.  That might have more value than is commonly acknowledged, but the Box' ranking of him looks to me to be about right.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#223654) #
I'd have to think that this years draft picks will largely be determining their places on a Batter's Box list after they've had a full season. Until a guy gets time in the minors it is really hard to judge them unless you are a scout who has seen them a lot. I'm hoping Cooper doesn't make the list as I don't see him as a strong prospect anymore, or at least not as strong as the guys listed today.
Jdog - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#223657) #
I dont think Jeroloman would be in my top 30. He was horrible last year in a repeat of the eastern league and all that changed this year is he got incredible lucky, the dude is not a good hitter. At best he is on the level of Kevin Cash or all the other catchers that are available every year. Like you said his BABIP took a huge spike over his career avg this year, he really has no value to me. He is 25 already. I would much rather take McDade and Cooper. I am not sure if you left Cooper off of your lists but if you did he is going to make you pay next year. His BABIP was way below his career norms and he showed increased power and is 23. Long Live David Cooper.
Jdog - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#223659) #
I also can't see the case for Syndergaard over Hutchison right now. Hutchison has good numbers, good stuff and is not light years away. I don't think there ceilings are any different and Syndergaard is still raw like beef shashimi.

Just nitpicking to generate some discussion, nice list overall so far, Im interested in whats to come to see if u suprise me
Marc Hulet - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#223664) #

I wrote up both the reports for Hutchison and Syndergaard and the latter has a higher ceiling, which is probably how he ended up getting ranked a little higher... plus he has better pedigree as a No. 1 supplemental pick, whereas Hutchison was an over-slot signee in the middle rounds.

Personally, I prefer Hutchison because he has more of a proven track record (Syndergaard's velocity increase was pretty recent prior to the draft) but both pitchers are pretty close at this point.

Gerry - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#223666) #
Hutchison is a control pitcher with a great change-up who hits 90.  Syndergaard is in the mid-90's as a 17 year old.  Syndergaard has greater potential, Hutchison has a greater probability due his already reaching A ball.
Flex - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#223667) #
Not exactly on topic but I don't know where else to put this question. Do we know where the Jays will be selecting in next year's draft? I would have thought 18th, given where they ended the season. But Mop-Up Duty has them selecting 21st overall, which has me scratching my head.

http://mopupduty.com/index.php/2011-blue-jays-free-agents-arbitration-and-payroll/

Marc Hulet - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#223669) #
Keep in mind that 3 teams will receive first round comp picks for failing to sign 2010 first rounders (Milwaukee, San Diego and Arizona).
TamRa - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#223671) #
you are forgetting the three compensation picks for unsigned 2010 draftees, all of which come before the jays pick.
Mylegacy - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#223678) #
I LOVE this stuff!

I've got 48 "prospects" and with a couple of older-sort-of-prospects Loewen and Bowman I get to 50. It'll be interesting to see which of my 20 guys don't make it to DaBox's Top 30 List.

I LOVE this stuff!
TheBunk - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#223681) #
Pretty reasonable list, I'd rearrange a couple prospects but I don't feel strongly enough about the changes i'd have made to make a fuss, that says a lot about a top prospect ranking.

One thing I do take issue with is that McDade starting in double a would be a surprise, the florida state league has been death on hitters and McDade comes in with the 10th best OPS in the league. I'm not sure if I feel strongly regarding starting him in either league but I certainly don't think it would be a surprise to see him in New Hampshire starting next season.
TheBunk - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#223682) #
I also don't think Griffin will start in the GCL next year, I'd peg him for Bluefield, he's too mature of a pitcher to be beginning his career in the Gulf.
CeeBee - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#223684) #
Can't say I disagree much with the rankings though till i see the whole top 30 I may feel differently. Also, a big thank you for the time and effort you guys put into doing this! I think I'd be lost without the battersbox and I hope you continue to be the best Jays info site on the web for many more years. :)
Twilight - Tuesday, October 05 2010 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#223698) #
For a high OBP guy, Jeroloman strikes out a lot. His 08 looks bad enough with a K in 33% of his at bats, but this year he must be setting a new record... 410 K in only 19 AB in AAA?!? ;)

I assume that's a misprint of course. Seriously though, thanks so much for the research that went into this (and other upcoming) articles! I'm anxiously awaiting the next two... and real excited about some of the prospects in this organization.

DaveB - Wednesday, October 06 2010 @ 02:07 AM EDT (#223701) #
Nice job. Not many quibbles about the first installment of 21-30. All are prospects, all have big question marks.

Regarding McDade repeating the FSL, that might be preferable for him but it also points out how weak the position is in the system. No other candidate for 1B in New Hampshire unless they jump the older Ochinko ahead of him. Perhaps they give Loewen a 1B glove and one more year? Unlikely but there aren't a lot of obvious candidates besides McDade.

I wonder if McDade's size/conditioning is a factor, especially considering the demanding conditions in Florida. He had a great May but declined every month after that. He was abysmal in day games (.212/.246/.303 in 18 games). Nonetheless, McDade's my favorite prospect among those in this group of 10 with professional experience. His BB/K ratios were similar to his first season in Lansing, so you can either view it as a disappointing lack of progress or the precursor to a much better performance next year should he return to Dunedin.  AA has mentioned the benefit of consolidating development before moving up a level and McDade seems to be a good fit to that philosophy considering his youth and low walk totals. The same might apply to Gose. Another factor to consider for McDade: he has much better splits and peripherals right across the board as a LH hitter (including an .801 OPS, 19 HR in 364 AB) than RH (.643 OPS) and I consider that a big plus for his potential. He had a similar split disparity in 2009: .853 LH OPS vs .661 RH. He'll either learn to hit RH or be able to spend all of his time in the batting cage LH; either way it's going to be positive for him. Based on two consecutive years of good LH production, and him being described as the best defensive 1B in the system, I think he could rank quite a bit higher and I have him in my Top 20 (just). Will be interesting to see if the switch-hitting continues next year.
TamRa - Wednesday, October 06 2010 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#223746) #
I'm not getting an up close look obviously but from afar, i'd send Cooper to Vegas if I had a decent hunch his second half was real, I'd send McDade to NH - he might suck the first time through but i'd rather him repeat AA as a league that was SUCH a pitcher's league (McDade actually looks pretty good when you compare him to other players his age in that league)

and I'd skip Durham up to Dunedin, or give the 1B job there to Ochinko full time - probably the former because i don't think I'd undermine ochinko's versitility this soon.

also, the Loewen at 1B idea is one i've mentioned before. i don't know what kind of defensive OF he is but having that big a target to throw to at 1B has to have it's advantages, doesn't it?


DaveB - Wednesday, October 06 2010 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#223753) #
i'd send Cooper to Vegas if I had a decent hunch his second half was real, I'd send McDade to NH - he might suck the first time through but i'd rather him repeat AA

It's a bit of a puzzle at 1B in the system, but I take it as a given that Cooper will be in Vegas from the start of the year and could even get a long look by the Jays at spring training, depending on what they do in the off-season. Cito has said he is high on Cooper. He's improved his power production and had a solid finish to the AA season, so I still consider him a legitimate prospect at a position of need.

You could be right Will that the best thing for McDade is to move up to New Hampshire with the idea of him spending two years there, if needed. There's that short RF corner fence and the overall playing environment is much better than Dunedin.

also, the Loewen at 1B idea is one i've mentioned before. i don't know what kind of defensive OF he is but having that big a target to throw to at 1B has to have it's advantages, doesn't it?


Loewen is an excellent athlete and a decent defensive outfielder with a good arm. He might be able to pick up the 1B basics pretty quickly. He's lefthanded and tall, long arms, so it's not the craziest idea in the world. The bigger problem is the bat. He simply doesn't make enough contact. If he did, he would project much better as a corner outfielder than at 1B.  I'd rather do the right thing for the best prospect (McDade) and fill in the gap above him with a temporary solution or perhaps acquire someone in a minor league trade. Ochinko doesn't have a good defensive position yet but he may have shown enough with the bat to be a jack of all trades at New Hampshire.



2010 Blue Jays Top Prospects: 30-21 | 24 comments | Create New Account
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