Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Good results are rewarded in the Blue Jays' organization, and quickly. As first noted by R Billie in the Advance Scout thread, the club has promoted the following players, with more to follow:

- Dustin McGowan from High-A Dunedin to AA New Haven
- Simon Pond, Chris Baker and Scott Wiggins from AA New Haven to AAA Syracuse

Baker and Wiggins look like pen filler for the Chiefs, but McGowan and Pond are moving up on their merits. Tim Young was released from the Skychiefs, which makes some room at Triple-A. The big questions are: who joins McGowan at New Haven? The most likely answer is fellow flamethrower David Bush. But note: the Jays also signed former Red Sox prospect Juan Pena, recovering from arm surgery, and sent him to New Haven. And: who replaces these guys at Dunedin? Brandon League could be coming up from Low-A Charleston, but maybe someone's coming down from AA. Stay tuned for developments.

Here's some more info on two of the guys who moved up:

Dustin McGowan, RHP, 21
Dunedin 2003
5-6, 2.85 14 G, 14 GS, 76 IP, 62 H, 25 B, 66 K, 21% KBF
Charleston 2002
11-10, 4.19, 28 G, 28 GS, 148 IP, 143 H, 10 HR, 59 BB, 163 K, 25% KBF

McGowan has struck out fewer batters this year, but also has allowed fewer baserunners, a sure sign of a maturing pitcher learning his craft. He's really turned it up a notch his last few starts.

Simon Pond
New Haven 2003
228 AB, 44 R, .338/.440/.513, 17 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 39 BB, 33 K
Dunedin 2002
401 AB, 58 R, .284/.357/.479, 25 2B, 7 3B, 13 HR, 46 BB, 73 K

Pond's OPS on April 30 was 1.138; on May 31, it was 1.030; today, it's .953. We should be quite satisfied if he posts solid if unspectacular numbers at Syracuse.
Promotions | 13 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gitz - Friday, June 13 2003 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#100207) #
Earlier Robert had mentioned that David Bush (23) is a bit old for A-ball. This trend may become more and more common with teams like Toronto and Oakland drafting primarily college players. Assuming they all sign, where do you place them? A good college program -- like LSU or USC -- is essentially AA level, but not all of the recent draftees can start in AA or AAA; many will have to go to the lower minors, where they will perhaps be well ahead of the competition, as Bush apparently is.

An ancillary benefit of drafting college players, and one which I have not seen addressed often (maybe because it's "unmeasurable"), is the experience of playing in high-level competition for at least three years. (Unlike NCAA football, college baseball players are not eligible to be drafted until after their junior season.) In addition to his overwhelming repertoire, Mark Prior, who pitched in the College World Series, had the advantage of pitching in high-leverage situations against comparable AA talent -- indeed, the best AA talent, since Prior pitched in the Pac Ten, a very strong baseball conference.

Jordan has mentioned before that the step from AA to the majors is a large one, and, as usual, he is spot on. But that step is a bit smaller when a player has already spent, more or less, three years playing in AA, as Prior did.
_Spicol - Friday, June 13 2003 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#100208) #
Assuming they all sign, where do you place them? A good college program -- like LSU or USC -- is essentially AA level,

Interesting assumption. I would have considered the best college conferences to be the equivalent to High-A at best but I really don't have anything to back that up. Has any analysis equating college to a minor league ever been done?
Gitz - Friday, June 13 2003 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#100209) #
I seem to recall hearing (from Bill James?) that college was roughly AA equivalent.
Coach - Friday, June 13 2003 @ 09:25 PM EDT (#100210) #
My impression is that the very best college players (Prior, Teixeira) are obviously AA calibre. I'd be more inclined to agree with the High-A comparison, except for one thing: there are fewer easy outs in the full-season minors than on most college teams. Even the schools competing in Omaha this weekend have several players who will never have pro careers. Drafted players from competitive NCAA programs should dominate 19-year-olds in short-season leagues, but I don't think the CWS champion would have the depth to fare well in the Florida State League. A college all-star team might eventually hold its own in AA, but they'd need a period of adjustment; for the vast majority of players, that's an enormous jump.

The Jays have drafted several pitchers who should do very well in Pulaski and Auburn, and the ones who have the most success might warrant late-season promotions to Charleston or even Dunedin. Aaron Hill, the star of a top-ranked team, should also be allowed to get his feet wet as a pro before being challenged; assigning him to Low-A would be a huge compliment.
_R Billie - Friday, June 13 2003 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#100211) #
Apparently Tony Gwynn on an ESPN broadcast of college baseball commented that Aaron Hill and Michael Aubrey in his estimation were capable of jumping directly to the majors as John Olerud did. That of course is not going to happen with the ultra-conservative Jays player development...but Hill might move quicker than Adams. JP estimated three years to the majors for him and I think he was just being on the safe side. It might not be out of the question to see Hill with the big club some time in 2005.
robertdudek - Saturday, June 14 2003 @ 12:19 AM EDT (#100212) #
I think that's right. The top players on the best college teams are about A+ calibre or in a few exceptional cases AA - the bottom end would have trouble in Rookie+ level (they don't even get drafted).
Coach - Saturday, June 14 2003 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#100213) #
That's high praise indeed for Hill from Coach Gwynn, who you might expect to be partial to his own players, including his son. It's going to be a very strange feeling for us fans if Hill and Adams both arrive in another year or two, presenting the Jays with the problem of too much talent in the middle infield. We shouldn't write off Dominic Rich, either, just because of an injury-plagued slow start this season. He led the FSL in hitting last year and looked great in spring training.

Dave Gassner made a fine start for New Haven last night, though the Ravens lost in extra innings. The lefty allowed three hits and two walks, fanning six in seven shutout innings. Juan Pena, whose recent signing as a minor-league free agent was beneath the radar of everyone but Jordan, worked a perfect frame in his first relief appearance. The 6'5" righty was awesome in two starts for the Red Sox as a 22-year-old in 1999 before getting hurt; he's another low-risk, high-upside pickup by the Jays.
_Duder - Saturday, June 14 2003 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#100214) #
Is it possible that Simon Pond at 26 is a late bloomer ala Tom Wilson?? Or would he be lucky to just make the majors? I mean Marcus Thames who the Yanks just traded is 26 and he was called a prospect......
_John N. - Saturday, June 14 2003 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#100215) #
Simon Pond is hitting 1.000 in Syracuse! Enjoy it while it lasts!
_John N. - Saturday, June 14 2003 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#100216) #
Great synopsis, Jordan.

Speculation (post 6 on this thread) that Sandy Nin might be on his way to Dunedin seems to have been ruled out by:

1. Sandy Nin started for Charleston last night.
2. His line was 4.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 0 HR, 2 BB, 1 K

The obvious choice for a promotion (assuming that someone is getting promoted), as Jordan said, would be League. Hanson's walks are high, and Ramirez's high-wire act is falling apart. Trying to find a Charleston hitter who deserves a promotion is a proverb for futility. What's even worse is that many of these guys (Dragicevich, Hassey, Owens, Schneider, Waugh, Zinsman) are 2002 college picks. If they were high-schoolers you could at least perhaps plead youth in their defence. And yes, I know that none of these guys was a high pick.

The only other guy who I could see getting promoted is Ryan Houston. He was up with Dunedin earlier in the year in relief (15.1 IP, 13 H, 1 HR, 11 BB, 13 K, 1.76 ERA), but has become a starter since moving to Charleston (9 G, 3 GS, 24.2 IP, 12 H, 1 HR, 7 BB, 29 K). I'm not arguing that Houston deserves a promotion based on 24-plus innings, but he has been on the Charleston-Dunedin shuttle before.
Craig B - Saturday, June 14 2003 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#100217) #
Marcus Thames who the Yanks just traded is 26 and he was called a prospect...

He's not a "prospect" in the sense that that term is normally used, which is someone who might be a good regular or a star. He's a "prospect" in that he was a Yankee property and therefore better-hyped than most. Thames has a chance, albeit a very slim one, to be a real good bench player, but I'll give 3-2 odds that Thames had his career year in 2001, in Double-A. Outside of that, he hasn't hit well since the '97 season in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League.

Thames's MLE this year (adjusted to a neutral park) before the trade was .260/.310/.376, much better than last year. A player who does that at 26 isn't a "prospect". Thames will never be a regular.
_Jordan - Saturday, June 14 2003 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#100218) #
Here's a fun stat line: David Bush's brief professional career (22 IP at Auburn, 90 IP at Dunedin):

112 IP, 89 H, 18 BB, 123 K, 27% KBF, 1 HR every 14 IP
_John N. - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#100219) #
John Sickels' latest "Down on the Farm" column has a section about Simon Pond (down at the bottom).

On account of Pond's age and poor defense, Sickels is pessimistic about his chances of getting to the Show.
Promotions | 13 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.