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Baseball America released their annual Blue Jays Top 10 prospect list today.   

The Baseball America List looked similar to the Batter’s Box Top 10 with 9 of our top 10 picks appearing in their top 10 as well.  We had Kevin Pillar in our top 10, but he didn’t crack the BA top 10, instead they choose for Alberto Tirado.  Perhaps a strong AFL lead them to choose Sanchez over Stroman, as Stroman edged out Sanchez by inches for our top spot.


The top 10 Baseball America list was:

1.       Aaron Sanchez

2.       Marcus Stroman

3.       DJ Davis

4.       Mitch Nay

5.       Franklin Barreto

6.       Daniel Norris

7.       Roberto Osuna

8.       Alberto Tirado

9.       Dawel Lugo

10.    Sean Nolin


Check out their full report at Baseball America

View our top 10 here

What does everyone think of their list?

Baseball America's Blue Jays Top 10 Prospects | 39 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 02:07 PM EST (#281555) #
DJ Davis as the #3 prospect in the organization is, um, a typical choice.  He is behind where Anthony Gose was at age 19 (in the Sally League)- Davis is striking out more and at a lower developmental level.  I guess the power/speed/draft position combination is too tantalizing for BA.
bpoz - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 02:33 PM EST (#281556) #
I have always liked Tirado's power arm. I hope he is in Lansing next year.
Lylemcr - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 02:40 PM EST (#281557) #

Well let's look at 2011

1.Kyle Drabek, rhp2.Deck McGuire, rhp3.Anthony Gose, of4.Travis D'Arnaud, c5.Zach Stewart, rhp6.Asher Wojciechowski, rhp7.J.P. Arencibia, c8.Carlos Perez, c9.Aaron Sanchez, rhp10.Jake Marisnick, of

So, when I compare our current top 10 to that top 10, I am happy that we have an infielder, but we are not "Flush" with catchers anymore.   There are a couple players on the new list I am very optimistic about.  So, I like it.

Also, The heavy international recruiting that the Jays have done seem to be paying off.  We talk about the draft choices so much, but the international players have always been a key to the Jays success over the years.  I like how we have come back to that.


Lugnut Fan - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 03:32 PM EST (#281560) #
I agree with your DJD assessment Mike.  I'm also surprised Tirado is not ranked higher.
Gerry - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 03:37 PM EST (#281561) #

As a reminder here is how the Batters Box list looked with the BA ranking after the player name:


1. Stroman (2)

2. Sanchez (1)

3. Osuna (7)

4. Nolin (10)

5. Norris (6)

6. Barreto (5)

7. Nay (4)

8. Davis (3)

9. Pillar (teens)

10. Lugo (9)

12. Tirado (8)


The lists were very similar.  Nine of the ten names were the same, BA did not have Pillar in their top ten and they included Tirado who we had at #12.


The biggest differences of opinion were on DJ Davis where BA always likes the toolsy players, and the same in reverse for Sean Nolin.  Batters Box was more confident in Roberto Osuna's recovery while BA likes Alberto Tirado's potential.


In summary, good job by the BB crew.


bpoz - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 06:05 PM EST (#281563) #
BA's 2011 list and article say that Zack Stewart has the best fastball in the system.
When he played for the Jays his FB seemed to be 91mph. It is too bad that he lost so much on his FB.
greenfrog - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 06:14 PM EST (#281564) #
DJD has the advantage of being a CF. In contrast, Nay is really going to have to hit to be a big-league starter, given his position, speed and defensive abilities.
bpoz - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 06:56 PM EST (#281566) #
I really like Andy Burns. He seems to have a lot.
Ryan Day - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 07:03 PM EST (#281567) #
Davis is only 18, so he still has plenty of time to improve, and he's still largely being evaluated on his tools, as opposed to his performance. But you'd think that tools alone would help him perform better in rookie ball. He got caught 8 times in 21 attempts stealing - how does that even happen? It's not like he's facing a lot of pitchers with finely honed pickoff moves. The strikeouts and low average are concerning, too. (Though there's also the possibility the Jays are challenging him to change things up, and he's experiencing some short-term troubles for long-term gain.)

No need to panic, obviously, but there are a few caution flags.
ayjackson - Friday, December 13 2013 @ 07:04 PM EST (#281568) #
BA put a 70 raw power rating on Nay.  I think that's more than BP thought would materialize.
uglyone - Saturday, December 14 2013 @ 10:55 AM EST (#281575) #
Our system is dang tough to rank, and all the prospect lists show that. Aside from stroman and sanchez on top, the rest of BA's, BP's, and Fangraph's lists are wildly different.

BA: 1.Sanchez, 2.Stroman, 3.Davis, 4.Nay, 5.Barreto, 6.Norris, 7.Osuna, 8.Tirado, 9.Lugo, 10.Nolin
BP: 1.Stroman, 2.Sanchez, 3.Tirado, 4.Norris, 5.Nolin, 6.Jimenez, 7.Barreto, 8.Davis, 9.DeJong, 10.Labourt
FG: 1.Sanchez, 2.Stroman, 3.Nay, 4.Norris, 5.Osuna, 6.Tirado, 7.Jimenez, 8.Davis, 9.Smoral, 10.Nolin

Guys that made 3 lists: Sanchez, Stroman, Norris, Tirado, Davis, Nolin
Guys that made 2 lists: Nay, Osuna, Barreto, Jimenez
Guys that made 1 lists: Lugo, DeJong, Smoral, Labourt

The guys that only made one list are all interesting, but might not even make the top 25 on other lists. And there's a ton of other names like that in the system who could legitimately crack a top 10 and legitimately miss a top 20.

Combining those three lists, we get this ranking:

1. Sanchez
2. Stroman
3. Norris
4. Nay
4. Tirado
6. Davis
7. Barreto
7. Osuna
9. Jimenez
10. Nolin

My biggest objection to that list is that imo osuna's being punished far too much for an injury with a 99% recovery rate.

There's lots of other names that i think could easily replace guys in this top 10 but they're all very arguable and far from clearcut. In a few years, though, i doubt we find much difference between the success of the 3-10 guys here and the rest of the top 20.
ayjackson - Sunday, December 15 2013 @ 06:09 PM EST (#281586) #
A lot of Osuna's value was in his how advanced he was for his age.  With this injury he lost most of 2013 and effectively all of 2014. He'll be back on the radar in 2015.  I'm fine with him in the 7-14 range.
Beyonder - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 03:48 PM EST (#281637) #
Not sure who among you had the chance to read this, but Clint Longnecker at Baseball America conducted one of the longest, most comprehensive and insightful chats about Blue Jays Prospects I have ever seen. Not just the big names either.

In the spirit of the holidays, here is a brief summary of what it is he had to say about each prospect (in no particular order). Here is the link if you have a BA subscription. This is a greatly condensed version of an excellent chat.

The system overall: He said that he Jays had an “embarrassment of power arms at the lower levels”. Going forward, he stated that the team’s depth was amazing: a testament to strong commitment building through the draft and international avenues. Not unreasonable to say that they could have a top 3 farm system in 2-3 years -- especially with this years’ extra first-rounder.
Phil Bickford: Would have fit into the 8-10 range of the top 10 had he signed.

Jake Brentz: Did not challenge for top ten, but has the potential to be that kind of talent once he finished making mechanical adjustments to his delivery.

Chase DeJong: An exciting guy, ranking 11th in the system. Already features a plus fastball and curveball and his changeup is getting better quickly. Could rise very quickly. Has plus control with a projectable frame. Didn’t add as much weight as some though he might during the year. An opposing pitching coach described his curveball as having “the potential to be one that defines a pitcher’s career.”

Clinton Hollon: A great athlete who can touch 96 and sits in the low-to-mid 90s. Plus slider with potential for two more plus pitches (curveball and changeup). Ceiling of at least a #3 guy, with potential to be a #2. Later said that he had the potential for 4 plus pitches.

Matt Dean: will likely see most of his time at first going forward. Made large mechanical adjustments this year (shortened stride), that helped him handle breaking pitches. Kept a log in dugout of every single pitch he faced this year, so appears to be a diligent student. Needs to cut down on K%. As many posters here have noted, the big difference between nay and Dean is in their strikeout percentages. Ranks in back half of the top 30. Strong arm wasted at 1st base.

Kevin Pillar: Exceeded expectations at every level. Ceiling of a second division regular. Versatile defender – can play all three outfield spots. Plus intangibles and one of the most compact and direct swings you will ever see. One evaluator in describing Pillar: “Although a big league club might want to look at somebody with bigger tools, in the long run players like Pillar will end up with a better career than many of those guys because he knows how to play the game.” It will be fascinating to watch him over the next few years.

Matt Smoral: In top 30. Needs to improve strike throwing ability and control. Working on speeding his arm out of his glove. Jays want him to work on compacting his arm action so he can work downhill more. It may take him a while to develop. He has a body type and profile that is rarely seen, but ceiling is high and dream big. His ceiling remains what it was in prior years, but what has changed is 1) the amount of time it could take him to reach the ceiling and 2) the probability that he reaches it.
Anthony Alford: Only saving grace is that he does not appear to be draft-worthy in the NFL, so could be back to baseball soon.

Rowdy Tellez: Ranked in the teens. Could be a potent left-handed bat. Has 70 power. His power has a chance to play because of his hit tool, hand-eye co-ordination, and ability to drive the baseball. Jays made early adjustments to his swing that enabled him to have more success in the latter half of his season.

Aaron Sanchez: Recent changes to delivery came about as a result of his problem throwing strikes. Jays thought he was getting under the ball, leaving too many up high in the zone or missing arm side. So he shortened his stride to eliminate lateness in his foot strike. The shortened stride reduced some of the variables in his delivery. He expects Sanchez to eventually increase his stride length back to where it was.

Richard Urena: Has the best chance to stay at SS of fellow BJ prospects Lugo and Barreto. Smooth and agile with good quickness and lithe body. Questions about bat though. Has very low set up of hands.

AJ Jimenez: Should have a long career because of strong defence. Arm was rounding back into shape this year. Ranked in the 96th percentile when it came to throwing runners out. Has hitting potential too. Plus bat speed and power, but his line-drive swing will limit production. Right now profiles as a back-up. But has missed so much time due to injuries that he could potentially grow into more than that.

Andy Burns: Breakout year for Burns, but evaluators differed in their views. Some say he’s an above-average defender at 3rd with at least an average hit tool. Others say he is a fringy regular.

Miguel Castro: Tough to evaluate (little exposure in America), but could be a stud. A body you can dream on: 6’5, very lean, and projectable. Can touch 96 and has a pretty good changeup.

Dwight Smith Jr: Might be the most consistent offensive player in the org. Arm used to be below average, but is now at least average. Uses speed well on bases. Unfortunately, does not have plus power, which limits him. Will need to hit all the way through the minors to get a chance.
Jairo Labourt: Glowing reports. Pitches 92-93, touches 95 with above average life and sink. Slider and change are plus. Could be a number 3 starter.

Alberto Tirado: Potential is immense. Just needs to keep doing what he did this year over 100+ innings and he will move quickly through the ranks. Has below average control and some effort in his delivery.

Franklin Barreto: Ceiling of a first division regular. Likely will proceed on a very slow development arc.

Dawel Lugo: Has better chance of staying at short that Barreto. Slower first step than Barreto, but better hands and footwork.

Shawn Nolin: Does not have impact potential, and has very few roles if his stuff slips so much as a tiny bit. Fly ball tendencies could hurt him.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 06:56 PM EST (#281641) #
Thanks for the above-and-beyond(er) summary of that chat.

While we're at it, here's an excerpt from Jason Parks's BP chat today:

David (Montreal): Where would you rank the Blue Jays farm system? Also, which Jays will you rank in top 101?

Jason Parks: I might show some sack and rank them in the top 10 in baseball. Not sure yet. It's a strong system, but its also a very high risk system. I like ceilings, so I'll probably blow them up a bit.

Jays in the top 101? Stroman, Sanchez, Tirado, Norris.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 17 2013 @ 07:45 PM EST (#281645) #
Yes Beyonder that was an excellent chat. Towards the end I sent him a non-question thanking him for spending so much time answering questions.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 12:30 AM EST (#281657) #
I'm officially calling dibs on Castro and Dawson as under the radar pet prospects.

Castro's a 17yr old 6'5" beanpole that already throws mid-high 90s with great command and dominated three levels last year? Sign me up.

Dawson's a 19yr old lefty topping out around 90 with a good change, decent curve, excellent pitchabiility and elite control who put up the best line in the org despite being young for his level? Sounds a lot like nicolino to me.

I call dibs.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 12:34 AM EST (#281658) #
And nice to hear that Smith's arm might be good enough to stick in CF after all. That changes his prospect profile quite a bit imo.
China fan - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 06:13 AM EST (#281661) #
"....Not unreasonable to say that they could have a top 3 farm system in 2-3 years -- especially with this years’ extra first-rounder..."

And we have Jason Parks saying that the Jays might already be a top-10 farm system in baseball.

I hope this alleviates some of the exaggerated concerns that Anthopoulos is "giving away the farm" in some sort of desperate bid for short-term success.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 07:31 AM EST (#281662) #
Given how AA traded to get more cap space for international free agents it suggests he is still in growth mode (ideally you are both growing prospects and contending) which would mean he isn't fearful of losing his job anytime soon.  Given the Jays increased attendance and ratings last year despite being in last place the number crunchers at Rogers should be happy.  They could be happier, but they still got what they needed from the Jays (cash flow and hype to use with other products such as SportsNet and the like).
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 09:20 AM EST (#281663) #
This club has lots of young players with lots of upside in the low minors, and a track record of superior development.  Whoops!
Thomas - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 11:00 AM EST (#281666) #

China Fan, I think you're conflating two concerns here, at least in terms of how I view the criticisms and potential criticisms of AA's trading of prospects. One is that, over the past year and a half, Anthopolous has overpaid in prospects for upgrades to the major league trade (which could apply to the Happ deal, Dickey deal, Johnson deal or any combination, depending on the poster's belief). Second is a concern that, given the fact AA keeps speaking about making upgrades via trades instead of free agency, he will overpay with prospects in the short-term future for presumed upgrades to the major league team.

I don't see how the current depth of the system undermines either concern in and of itself. The second has always been more of a concern over what may happen rather than a criticism that he has given away the farm already. And whether you want to call it "trading away the farm" or "overpaying in prospects" or whatever, I don't the concern would be any less valid just because some prospect evaluators are high on Tirado and DeJong if AA went and, for example, traded Stroman, Norris and Nay for Brett Gardner (to use an extreme example and not that I think he'd do that).

jerjapan - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 11:20 AM EST (#281668) #
Thanks Beyonder!  nice to have an antidote for some of the doom and gloom around here.  Am I the in the minority when I say that AA is a top-ten GM in baseball?
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 11:21 AM EST (#281669) #
Those aren't my criticisms of him.  I don't think that he is a particularly good judge of talent.  Unfortunately, that is probably the single most important quality required for the job. 
China fan - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 11:24 AM EST (#281670) #
Thomas, the point is that AA was able to trade away prospects last year to upgrade the major-league team without gutting the farm system. He traded away a lot of prospects last year (in the Happ trade, the Dickey trade, the Marlins trade, and the Santos trade) and yet the farm system remains at least average, if not better-than-average. It is highly unlikely that he will trade away so many prospects in the future. He will probably trade away 2 or 3 prospects in the next few weeks -- it's inevitable that prospects will be included if you are trading for useful players for the major-league team -- but the system continues to be replenished with international acquisitions and draft picks. And future trades of prospects will not be as numerous as the trades of 2012, which the system has survived without severe damage. The goal is to keep a balance between new prospects and traded-away prospects, but there can't be an equal balance at every moment. Like a bank account, the balance will always fluctuate up and down, but it shouldn't be in overdraft permanently, it should always have something to draw up, and I think that's what the Jays are doing.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 11:42 AM EST (#281672) #
Most of the talent is a long way from the majors.  By the time this new talent is ready, Encarnacion and Bautista will be gone.  Reyes and Lawrie will be left, but they are not likely to amount to much of a core.  The thing about Syndergaard and d'Arnaud is that there is a decent chance that one of them can be a major contributor in the next couple of years (and thereafter).  Actually, the Mets do look to be an organization that knows what it is doing...
uglyone - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 11:45 AM EST (#281673) #
I actually thinks prospects are overrated in general. the vast majority of them bust.

Still the only prospect we gave up that burns me is Syndergaard. Even fan faves like D'Arnaud and Marisnick are unlikely to be more than average MLBers, if they even get that far.

In general building up great groups of prospects and then trading them for quality proven MLB talent can probably be a great strategy in building a long as you're acquiring the right MLB talent, and not guys like Happ and Johnson.
China fan - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 11:50 AM EST (#281675) #
"...The thing about Syndergaard and d'Arnaud is that there is a decent chance that one of them can be a major contributor in the next couple of years (and thereafter)...."

Isn't there a decent chance that the Jays will find at least one "major contributor" from its current stash of near-major-league-ready talent? Sanchez is not far behind Syndergaard in terms of development, and he could be nearly at the same level, or arguably even better in terms of potential. Then there are Stroman, Nolin, Hutchison, JImenez, Burns, Pillar, etc. From that list, I'm sure there will be at least one major contributor, although it might be hard to predict which one.

I agree with the point that the majority of the Jays prospect talent is at lower levels of the system, but that's probably true for most systems. I think there's enough talent at the high levels that there will be at least one or two significant contributors from among them.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 11:59 AM EST (#281676) #
In general prospects flame out at a high rate, yet the Rays have been very successful at identifying the right prospects and preparing them to succeed in the majors. Instead of assuming that the ratio of prospects acquired to successful major-leaguers produced has to be very high, it would be worth finding out how to get that ratio down.

As Longoria said not too long ago, there is a certain "look" to a Rays starting pitching prospect. The organization seems to work in a concerted way to acquire talent with high potential and then successfully hone that potential into productive talent.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 12:09 PM EST (#281677) #
Flipped back through some old BA top-10 lists, because I remember they used to try and project lineups a few years into the future.

Looks like they projected the lineup 3 years into the future (so for example this 2013 lineup was projected in 2010, and so on):


CF Wells
RF Marisnick
LF Snider
3B Ahrens
SS Jackson
2B Hill
1B Cooper
C Arencibia
DH Lind

SP Halladay
SP Stewart
SP Jenkins
SP Alvarez
SP Romero

CL Roenicke


CF Gose
RF Wells
LF Snider
3B Bautista
SS Hechavarria
2B Hill
1B Lind
C D'Arnaud
DH Arencibia

SP Drabek
SP Romero
SP Morrow
SP McGuire
SP Marcum

CL Stewart


CF Gose
RF Marisnick
LF Rasmus
3B Lawrie
SS Hechavarria
2B Escobar
1B Lind
C D'Arnaud
DH Bautista

SP Romero
SP Morrow
SP Norris
SP Nicolino
SP Sanchez

CL Santos


CF Gose
RF Marisnick
LF Rasmus
3B Lawrie
SS Hechavarria
2B Lopes
1B Encarnacion
C D'Arnaud
DH Bautista

SP Syndergaard
SP Sanchez
SP Morrow
SP Nicolino
SP Romero

CL Stroman
Thomas - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 05:00 PM EST (#281684) #

 The goal is to keep a balance between new prospects and traded-away prospects, but there can't be an equal balance at every moment.

To my mind, the goal is to win. Some teams do it by rarely trading away any prospects, such as Tampa, and some teams do it by trading away prospects. The presence or emergence of Tirado and Labourt doesn't impact my analysis of whether those trades were a success or not. I don't see the fact that AA "hasn't gutted the farm system" as a particularly compelling reason to change one's analysis of any trade in isolation and I don't see how a balancing of prospects should ever be a goal in and of itself.

China fan - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 05:19 PM EST (#281685) #
Thomas, can we see your assessment of the individual trades then?
bpoz - Wednesday, December 18 2013 @ 07:52 PM EST (#281688) #
Thanks Beyonder. Very nice Christmas present.
finch - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 09:27 AM EST (#281693) #

I agree...excellent post beyonder!!

Many are critical of AAs trading of prospects but I always refer to the rumors that Arizona wanted Travis Snider and Kyle Drebek for Justin Upton. Nothing with prospects is a gaurentee.  Unlike before, now I'll take the closer to a sure thing, the young controllable player in the majors over top prospects. I'm sure looking back, we would ALL do that trade. At the time, I was against it too but now, I would do those trades in a heartbeat, if the talent is that of a special-type of players. For argument's sake,Jeff Samardzija is not a player I would target. When AA took over, he went on record wanting high-risk, high-reward players. I'm sure somewhere along the line, either through his own observations or the observations of his minor league level scouts, that the prospects that he traded away had a ceiling that of not a elite player at said position. Trading the likes of  Wojciechowski, Musgrove, Carlos Perez, David Rollins, Justin Nicolino, Kevin Comer, DeSclafani, Syndergaard, d'Arnaud etc doesn't hurt the organization because, like I said, it's doubtful that AA sees them as top of the line type players for their position, perhaps even second division type starters. On the other hand, his reluctance and unwillingness to move Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman indicate, to me, that he's labelled this 2 players as top of the rotation, first division regulars or players elite at their position in the future.

Beyonder - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 12:03 PM EST (#281695) #
Was happy to do it guys. Usually by the time I've read something on the internet it's been fully discussed by the posters here. This was the rare exception.

What I would really like for Christmas though, is a function on this site that enables me to use some kind of formatting.
Gerry - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 01:50 PM EST (#281698) #

It's a slow news week so here is some reading that I found to be interesting.  Conor Glassey used to work for Baseball America.  He has written a story looking at BA's misses in their top 100 rankings.  It's an interesting read and points out the uncertainties in rating prospects.


CeeBee - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 02:37 PM EST (#281700) #
Thanks Gerry. That certainly is an interesting and worthwhile read. I've always liked the underdog.... hello Reed Johnson, but we all get caught up in rankings, draft positions and stuff as if it's all that matters. This year my money is on Ryan Goins. I know MG doesn't like him much(can't hit) but to me he just looks like a baseball player. I'm pulling for him, thats for sure.
Thomas - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 04:34 PM EST (#281701) #

China Fan, I believe I was fairly critical of the Astros trade at the time the trade was made, thought the inclusion of Syndergaard made the Dickey trade an overpay, supported dealing Molina for Santos given Santos' contract situation and was supportive of the trade with Florida on the assumption that there would be an increase in payroll on ongoing basis. There are probably comments on the Box to that effect.

As I noted, I'm not going to change my opinion on the inclusion of Sydergaard simply because Stroman has taken an additonal half-step forward this year that I probably didn't expect.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 04:55 PM EST (#281702) #
Conor Glassey's article is interesting and helpful.  Thanks, Gerry.  I agree with most of it, but the idea that "age is just a number" could easily lead evaluators into serious error.  It's a damn important number, especially if one is talking about the difference between a 19 year old and a 21 year old say.  It's so important that it is probably best to have a prospect's age to one decimal place.  

Chuck - Thursday, December 19 2013 @ 06:47 PM EST (#281703) #
It's been thirty years that Bill James debunked the "age is just a number" way of thinking. Age holds a great deal of predictive value, much bigger still than many appreciate. A handful of counter-examples, which detractors are quick to cite, don't refute what is a generally very strong argument.
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