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Here, for your enlightenment, enjoyment, or whatever, is info on every Blue Jays hitting prospect I could think of since the dawn of recorded time. Needless to say, this project grew to be rather larger than expected! (Eventually, I'll do the pitchers too, but not right away.)

I've divided the list into two parts - A-K and L-Z - as I don't want to choke a single thread. Hopefully the formatting will work out - I tested it in another thread, and on two browsers, before posting it here. Scream if there are any problems!

Each player has a Buzz Factor listed, which is a non-scientific estimate of the amount of hype the player generated, from 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

Hope you find some of this useful, and enjoy!

Brent Abernathy
Buzz Factor: 3
In many organizations, this guy would have been a barn-burning prospect after his 1999 season, but the Jays also had Izturis, Lopez and Hudson, so they could afford to trade Abernathy for Mark Guthrie and Steve "ZZZZZ" Trachsel in 2000. His major league numbers seem to show that he just wasn't quite good enough. Is it more of a tragedy to make it 95% of the way to the dream of your lifetime, or to stop well short? In his dreams, he rolls the clock back four years, to when he seemed to have the world by the tail.

Russ Adams
Buzz Factor: 7
We'll need a year or so to know more. But it's too early to get excited - compare Adams' AA stats to those of Alex Gonzalez. He and Aaron Hill are very similar players, but it looks like Hill is just a touch better. Strikeout rate is low, which is a good sign.

Jimmy Alvarez
Buzz Factor: 3
Has good plate discipline, but high strikeout totals. This looks like a case of Cruz Junior Syndrome: there's pitches he can't hit, and he's learned to lay off them. Unfortunately, as he climbs higher, more pitchers throw the pitches he can't hit. Not really a prospect; might be a throw-in in a deal sometime, like Abernathy.
200222Knoxville-AA.27849732386979121201113 sac bunts
200323Syracuse-AAA.25734213742545921159 sac bunts

Jesse Barfield
Buzz Factor: 8
A broad base of skills, including very high triples totals. Had high walk totals and strikeout totals, which suggests somebody who waited for his pitch, but didn't always hit it when he got it. This is exactly the player that Barfield became in the majors. One of the few players to become successful in The Show despite high strikeout totals in the minors.
198020Knoxville-AA.2404331281465571131122 weeks on DL in August

Kevin Batiste
Buzz Factor: 2
Famous for being caught packing a gun in his suitcase when boarding a flight with the Jays in 1989. Ran like a scalded cat: he stole 70 bases at Dunedin in 1987. Not really ever a prospect.
198922Knoxville-AA.22227988125408120--triples a typo?

Howard Battle
Buzz Factor: 4
Third-base prospect who was loudly cheered when he appeared in a few games as a late-season callup in 1995, which gives you an idea how highly Ed Sprague was regarded in Toronto. Traded to Philly in the deal that brought Paul Quantrill to Toronto; failed there, and kicked around for a while in the high minors, briefly surfacing in Atlanta.

Kash Beauchamp
Buzz Factor: 2
Outfield prospect whom I'd completely forgotten about. Coulda been a leadoff man (or a contender) but was stuck behind Bell, Moseby, Barfield, Shepherd, Webster, Campusano, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. In baseball, like in comedy and life, timing is everything.
1985??Knoxville-AA.276497145434606325-J.P. would have loved him
1986??Syracuse-AAA.26319811172113446-or maybe not

Derek Bell
Buzz Factor: 8
I've never met the man, but I suspect that his major problem was that he was as thick as two planks. A smarter man would never have invented "Operation Shutdown". In 1991, he led the International League in virtually everything (AVG, R, 3B, RBI). When young, played on a team that went to the Little League World Series three consecutive years.
198920Knoxville-AA.24251322616752692157free swinger!
199021Syracuse-AAA.2614021357562375217two hammy pulls
199122Syracuse-AAA.3464572212139357692711RHW winner

George Bell
Buzz Factor: 7
You know all this stuff already. Stomped all over A-ball pitching as an 18-year-old in the Philly system; injuries and a Rule V year cost him three years of development. I'm told that the Phillies fired somebody (their scouting director?) after the Jays drafted him.
198222Syracuse-AAA.2001255431914222injured; BB total a typo?
198323Syracuse-AAA.2713171141559235453called up midseason

Jossephang Bernhardt
Buzz Factor: 5
Not one of Gord Ash's better ideas. 'Nuff said.

Geronimo Berroa
Buzz Factor: 6
You've probably forgotten about this guy. Would have been a star prospect everywhere but Toronto, after mashing Southern League pitching into a pulp, but found his way blocked by Bell, Moseby, Barfield, and, ulp, Campusano, which undoubtedly discouraged him. Eventually donated to the Atlanta Braves, who often served as a dumping ground for players that the Jays no longer wanted. After an off-year with the Braves, he proceeded to pound Triple-A pitching in three different leagues before finally getting a shot with Oakland. Was called up in September of 1987, but Jimy Williams never used him, so the collapse wasn't his fault, unless he cheered poorly or something.
198722Knoxville-AA.287523333361084610421RHW winner
198823Syracuse-AAA.260470291864388875where did my HR swing go?

Casey Blake
Buzz Factor: 4
Square-jawed third base prospect who hit .350 or better at two minor league levels in 1998, which is the way to get everyone's attention. Was optioned to the New York-Penn League for one game in 1999. It's not clear why. Was voted the best defensive third baseman in the International League in 1999; it's too bad they don't allow you to hit with your glove. Still hovering around, trying to hook on with a team here and there.
199824Knoxville-AA.3721721547382225100alien possession?
199925Syracuse-AAA.2453871622275618200nice power

Pat Borders
Buzz Factor: 5
Wasn't a particularly good catcher coming up, which is understandable, since he was originally a third baseman, and then a first baseman. He finally moved behind the plate in 1986. I seem to recall that he was good at blocking pitches, which is probably what got him here so quickly. The 1990 media guide lists Borders' baseball hero as Pete Rose.
198724Knoxville-AA.2923491411151205625old for his league
198825Syracuse-AAA.24212080314162200in Tor first half; rehab

Rich Butler
Buzz Factor: 8
Considered a better prospect than his older brother, as he was bigger and had more power. Had one good season at Syracuse, which led to his being plucked by the Devil Rays in the 1995 expansion draft. He crashed and burned in his first year in Tampa in 1998, and dropped off the major league radar screen shortly after.

Rob Butler
Buzz Factor: 7
Somewhere, there's an alternative universe in which Butler The Elder had a long career as a leadoff man. In this world, for reasons which became tragically obvious many years later, Butler never could get his game together. (Butler was abused by a babysitter as a child, which took him years to recover from.) Shot through the system very quickly: hit .358 in Dunedin in 1992, and was in Toronto one year later.

Francisco Cabrera
Buzz Factor: 6
Probably still can get free drinks in many bars in the South. Traded to Atlanta in 1989 as part of the deal that brought Jim Acker back to Toronto. Signed by Epy Guerrero. At 6'4", was probably too tall to be a successful catcher; Phelps and Delgado, who both started as catchers, are also big men. Organizations should probably move the big guys to the outfield or first base early, to give them a chance to develop defensive skills. Cabrera might have had more of a career had the Jays done that.
198921Syracuse-AAA.29942830597120724-homers became doubles

Sil Campusano
Buzz Factor: 9
Jays fans of a certain age are wincing already. What I didn't realize about Jimy's Folly was that he had good plate discipline in the minors. This, combined with his relatively low batting average and high strikeout totals, suggests a case of Cruz Junior Syndrome: as he moved up, more pitchers found his weaknesses, and he never adjusted. I strongly suspect that Campusano's age was a baseball fiction, as his growth path is atypical, but I have no way to prove this.
198518Knoxville-AA.303178906291432104also 88 games in Florence (A)
198821Syracuse-AAA.21062300322012unhappy camper
198922Syracuse-AAA.242356194630448117--the bloom is off this rose

Kevin Cash
Buzz Factor: 8
I am beginning to think that Tennessee is a hitter's park. It's too early to write Cash off, of course, but lots of people have hit .277 in AA and stalled out higher up. Has some power and some plate discipline, which are the Holy Virtues, so it's worth giving him a full shot. He's been old for his levels, though, so becoming a marginal regular is the best he can hope for.
200325Syracuse-AAA.270326282837298110K/W ratio worse - oh oh

Domingo Cedeno
Buzz Factor: 3
Light-hitting infielder who unexpectedly got hot in 1996, basically forcing Cito Gaston to play him until his bat inevitably died. There's no way around this problem: you can't bench somebody who's hitting .350. Epy Guerrero signing.
199122Knoxville-AA.22333676126297811612 sac bunts

Felipe Crespo
Buzz Factor: 5
The standard stathead orthodoxy of the late 1990's was that Crespo deserved to be the club's second baseman. He actually won the job in 1996, but pulled a hamstring in spring training (apparently while stretching in the on-deck circle); while he was out, Domingo Cedeno got hot. Eventually, the Jays decided that Crespo couldn't play second. Spent a week as the regular third baseman in 1997 after Sprague and Evans got hurt, but then got hurt himself. Finally wound up on the roster in 1998 as a bat off the bench and occasional outfielder, but didn't hit or field.
199522Syracuse-AAA.29434720513414156127on DL with leg contusion
199623Syracuse-AAA.28235525085856391011great K/W ratio
199724Syracuse-AAA.2592901201226463877I can hit HR now, too!

Juan De La Rosa
Buzz Factor: 2
I'd completely forgotten about him. In fact, I still don't remember anything about him. He had a good season in 1992, but that was repeating the league. A Dominican who was not signed by Epy Guerrero, as far as I can tell - at least it's not mentioned. Had more extra-base hits than RBI's in 1992 - how do you do that? Swung at absolutely everything, which is why I don't remember him.
199223Knoxville-AA.3295083212125315941612RHW winner

Carlos Delgado
Buzz Factor: 10
Without question, the most highly-touted prospect in Jays history, as he started appearing on radar screens in 1991 after pounding 18 home runs at Myrtle Beach. When he dismantled Florida State League pitching in 1992, batting .324 with 30 home runs and 100 RBI, people were starting to name their children after him. (He won the Baseball Weekly Minor League Player of the Year award that year, and was the first player in eight years to reach the 100 RBI plateau in the FSL.) Jays' management have been accused of keeping Carlos in the minors too long, but the problem they faced was that they had no position for him. They didn't want him to catch, he couldn't play the outfield, and first base and DH were occupied by John Olerud and Paul Molitor. Had he been able to play the outfield even a little bit, he would have come back up in 1994. Played in one game for the 1993 Jays. Won the R. Howard Webster award three times.
199320Knoxville-AA.303468280251021029810310 SB's!? League MVP; RHW
199522Syracuse-AAA.3183332342274457804nothing left to learn here

Rob Ducey
Buzz Factor: 8
Widely heralded because of his nationality: he was the first player from Ontario to play for the Blue Jays. Something I'm beginning to look for in a prospect is one or more specific superior skills: what is this guy capable of doing better than virtually anyone else in the league? In Ducey's case, there isn't any such skill. He doesn't have much power, which puts his teams at a disadvantage compared to teams with outfielders who do have power. While he had good plate discipline, he wasn't as good at leading off as some other teams' outfielders, who ran better and reached base better. Ducey did have enough skills to put in a serviceable career as a spare part, and was better than some players who did get fulltime jobs. Had his career derailed in 1989 by a freak knee injury sustained on the SkyDome's outfield fence; I believe he wound up filing a lawsuit over that. Fascinating fact: he played his first game of baseball (as opposed to softball) at age 16.
198823Syracuse-AAA.256317144742438176holding pattern

Tom Evans
Buzz Factor: 6
Projected as the Jays' regular third baseman at one point, but injured his shoulder in 1996, 1997 and 1998, earning the nickname "Mr. Lucky" from the regulars on the Blue Jays Usenet newsgroup. (Hi, Spooky, if you ever read this - I hope you're writing something for somebody, somewhere.) Had good plate discipline, and one year in which he drew a freakishly high number of walks, thus sending the good folks at Baseball Prospectus into a frenzy of praise. (To be fair, it was a pretty good season.) Good defender - the difference between him and Sprague at third was noticeable even to the casual observer. After being cut loose by the Jays, Evans earned a job as the Rangers' starting third baseman, and was doing well before, yes, injuring his shoulder.
199621Knoxville-AA.282394271176511511340Bat glued to shoulder?

Shawn Fagan
Buzz Factor: 2
How can a player draw so many walks at AA, but so few at AAA? The answer, I would guess, is that Fagan has Cruz Junior's Disease: high walks plus high strikeouts equals noticeable weakness equals no prospect.

Junior Felix
Buzz Factor: 7
Signed by Epy Guerrero at a track meet; Felix hadn't played baseball since he was a child. According to the 1989 media guide, Felix was suspended for the balance of the season on July 15 for "insubordination". While Felix undoubtedly was hard to handle, suspending a star prospect is a sign that a manager can't handle his players. The Knoxville manager that year was Barry Foote; needless to say, he didn't go on to manage in the majors. Still, you have to feel sorry for Foote: his starting outfield that year was Felix, Kevin "Bam-Bam" Batiste, and Glenallen Hill. Boy, it must have been fun to report to work every day. Is on two of my all-time Jays lists: he was my least favourite Jay ever, but was the fastest Jay I ever saw.

Tony Fernandez
Buzz Factor: 10
Except for Delgado, Fernandez was possibly the most-heralded prospect in Blue Jays history. Skipped AA ball entirely, and was playing AAA ball at 18 (!!). Arguably could have been in Toronto in 1983. A free-swinger in his first years in the majors, Tony had good strike zone judgement in Syracuse. Has six brothers and four sisters, including a twin brother, Jose, who was signed by the Jays; Jose batted .272 for Florence in 1983, but with no home runs. Epy Guerrero signing; won the R. Howard Webster Award in both 1982 and 1983; went 4-for-4 on the final day of the 1983 season to make .300.
198118Syracuse-AAA.278115621971595on DL in August
198219Syracuse-AAA.30252321645642312213note K/W ratio
198320Syracuse-AAA.30043718653857273515even better K/W ratio
198421Syracuse-AAA.25594100613913struggling with broken hand

Cecil Fielder
Buzz Factor: 8
The year before the Jays acquired him, Big Daddy hit 19 home runs in 61 games in Single-A ball. Why, exactly, did the Royals trade him for Leon Roberts? Started off behind McGriff on the Jays' organizational ladder, but passed him in 1985 when Freddy got hurt. Basically ate his way to Japan, as the Jays wound up going with the more svelte McGriff at first.
198521Knoxville-AA.294361262188145830074 at-bats in Tor; .311 AVG

Ryan Freel
Buzz Factor: 3
Hustling ballplayer who made a good impression in a brief trial in 2001 before hurting himself and getting sent back to the minors. Now trying to hook on with Cincinnati; may still have a career. There's nothing in his minor league numbers to suggest that he won't, though he does seem to need time to adjust to each level. Spent most of 1999 hurt.
199721Knoxville-AA.202941104191353nice K/W even then

Ray Giannelli
Buzz Factor: 1
Was considered a semi-prospect for a while basically because the Jays didn't have anybody better. 38th round pick.
199226Syracuse-AAA.2292499252248442--good plate discipline; old

Jay Gibbons
Buzz Factor: 4
Never played in the high minors in the Toronto system, but mentioned here because he was Rule V'd by Baltimore. Would never have made it to Toronto, as he would have been blocked by Delgado and Phelps.

Alex Gonzalez
Buzz Factor: 8
One of the things I'd like to know about a prospect is how soon he matured. Early maturers can gain their adult height and weight as much as four years earlier than late bloomers. A-Gonzo looked pretty young when he came up, but I wonder whether he was already fully mature. This may explain why he looked good when he was young, but never got better. Mind you, the high strikeout totals might explain everything, too.
199320Knoxville-AA.2895612971669391103813pretty damn good, y'know
199421Syracuse-AAA.28443722412575392236my God! he even drew walks!

Otis Green
Buzz Factor: 0
Here's stats for an outfield prospect that didn't work out. As you can see, Green did a little bit of everything, but not much of anything.
also in Syracuse in 1989, but, frankly, I'm not gonna bother
198521Knoxville-AA.2904921951168447198injured for a month

Shawn Green
Buzz Factor: 9
Highly touted, even when his minor-league numbers weren't good; many many people said that Green reminded them of a young Ted Williams. Won a batting title at Syracuse at the age of 21. He sure didn't look like a power hitter when he was younger, as he was, basically, scrawny. Note the low strikeout total in his year in Syracuse. Listed as 200 pounds in the Jays' media guide, but 190 pounds in Who's Who In Baseball. Here's Bill James' 1994 Player Ratings Book on Green: "It's too early to conclude that this was a wasted draft pick, since he just turned 21 in November, but he has work to do." I guess he did it.
199320Knoxville-AA.283360142434267249what a horrible SB%
199421Syracuse-AAA.34443327313614054197great K/W ratio; RHW winner

Gabe Gross
Buzz Factor: 8
Extremely photogenic; if he makes it to the show, he'll rack up the endorsements. At this point, I don't project stardom for him - he doesn't have a lot of power or a lot of speed.
200222Tennessee-AA.2384031751054537182good BB, even when slumping
200323Tennessee-AA.319310233751525332.423 OBP; whee!

Kelly Gruber
Buzz Factor: 6
You've got to give Pat Gillick credit here: Gruber didn't really look like a top prospect when the Jays plucked him from the Cleveland system. Was a Rule V draftee in 1984, but was able to go down to the minors, as the Indians didn't want him back. A lot of people have said a lot of things about Gruber, but he did make the majors, and he was an All-Star once. Poor plate discipline all the way up the line in the minors.
Glenallen Hill
Buzz Factor: 8
All-or-nothing player with ludicrously high strikeout totals: fanned 211 times in Kinston in 1985. Called himself "Thrill" Hill; the 1986 media guide lists his nickname as "Chocolate Thunder", which is not a nickname you can give anyone nowadays. Was outrighted to Syracuse after the 1987 season; after the 1988 season, you could have gotten long odds on his becoming a major leaguer. Made a major adjustment in 1989, and the rest is history.

Orlando Hudson
Buzz Factor: 5
Took a sudden step forward in 2001 - before then, I don't recall anyone mentioning him on prospect lists. I suspect that a good work ethic has played a part here. Again, note the low strikeout totals.

Alexis Infante
Buzz Factor: 3
No-hit middle infielder who probably should have bought, not rented, in Syracuse. One of many Jays donated to Atlanta. Broke his collarbone in 1986.

Cesar Izturis
Buzz Factor: 6
My theory is that he was promoted so quickly that he never learned to master the strike zone, which means that major-league pitchers have eaten him up. His offensive numbers at Dunedin in 1999 were actually quite good. Mind you, his walk totals have been bad all the way along, which suggests that he'll never hit, ever.

Reed Johnson Buzz Factor: 3
His success in Toronto isn't that surprising when you look at his 2001 numbers (though he was old for his league).

Jimy Kelly
Buzz Factor: 8
Was signed in 1985 at the age of 14 out of the Dominican Republic, which basically amounts to the exploitation of child labour. What were they thinking? He was released in 1989 after struggling in Dunedin; I guess that if you hit .185 in Florida, you're not going to hit when you grow up. Theoretically, he's still young enough to play pro ball, as he just turned 33 this summer. Perhaps he and Jossephang Bernhardt are actually the same person.

Jeff Kent
Buzz Factor: 5
I saw him play in 1992, and I never would have predicted he would have a long career as an infielder - he looked sort of blocky out there. Had he bloomed one year earlier, the course of Blue Jays history might have changed, as they might not have traded for Alomar. Once Alomar arrived, there was no point in keeping Kent, as the two men are almost exactly the same age.

Randy Knorr
Buzz Factor: 4
Occasionally thought of as the catcher of the future in Toronto. Spent parts of five years in a Blue Jay uniform. Some statheads claimed that he was given a raw deal, but the stats shown here aren't exactly overwhelming. Actually was treated better in Toronto than elsewhere: he played at least part of eleven consecutive seasons in the majors, from 1991 to 2001, and his career highs in at-bats were 132, 124 and 101 - all with Toronto. He also played for Montreal, Texas, Florida, and Houston (twice). One hopes that he is not a bitter man. According to the 1990 media guide, his baseball hero is Dale Murphy, and his hobbies include reading (good for him).
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Dave Till - Thursday, November 20 2003 @ 09:48 PM EST (#78303) #
A note I forgot to add: "RHW winner" (often found in the Notes section) means "R. Howard Webster award winner".
_Jordan - Thursday, November 20 2003 @ 09:57 PM EST (#78304) #
Good Lord. Dave, this is a monumental piece of work -- what a tremendous job! I've only just skimmed the list, but I'll be going back and looking at it in far more detail in the days to come. Congratulations on a phenomenally thorough research and writing project!
Mike Green - Thursday, November 20 2003 @ 09:58 PM EST (#78305) #
Excellent work, Dave. Cue Barbara Streisand: "Memories..."
Dave Till - Thursday, November 20 2003 @ 10:00 PM EST (#78306) #
Thanks, Jordan! I've been home a lot lately (a nasty bug I can't quite get rid of), so I've had lots of time to work on this.

My computer is surrounded by old media guides! Whee!
_Young - Thursday, November 20 2003 @ 11:01 PM EST (#78307) #
Wow, excellent stuff.
_Cristian - Thursday, November 20 2003 @ 11:05 PM EST (#78308) #
Great work Dave. Now can you sort them all by buzz factor? I'm kidding of course. I too can see myself referencing back to this many times during the off-season.
Mike D - Thursday, November 20 2003 @ 11:08 PM EST (#78309) #
Bang-up job as always, Mr. Till. Were this a book, I would say I "couldn't put it down."

What a great read!
_A - Thursday, November 20 2003 @ 11:53 PM EST (#78310) #
Geeze, Dave when you said you've been working on something big, I didn't think you meant a Masters' thesis-length thing. This is incredible.
_Callum - Friday, November 21 2003 @ 12:01 AM EST (#78311) #
Come on now, Gruber deserves a little more respect. During that all star season he burninated the peasants by winning a gold glove and silver slugger in the same season. His career was hampered by injuries the whole way through by playing with his heart and soul... when he wasn't water skiing ;)
_Cristian - Friday, November 21 2003 @ 12:31 AM EST (#78312) #
All this burnination talk has got me thinking that someone on the Blue Jays ought to be given 'Trogdor' as a nickname. Imagine the possibility for signs and chants at the Skydome. There has been so much good work done by the Batter's Box crew. However it is time to use the power of the Box for evil. In the future, I envision Batter's Box annointing many players with obscure nicknames.

Vernon 'Trogdor' Wells - Try the name on for size. You may like it.
_Rob Andrew - Friday, November 21 2003 @ 01:25 AM EST (#78313) #
Wow, this is a epic post. Great work.

The two oddities that jump out at me are Derek Bell and Kevin Cash, who you have both at an 8 for hype. I'd have Bell at 10 and Kevin probably around 5. Derek was rated as the top prospect in Baseball in 1992 and he'd been Minor League Player of the Year in 1991. I was fairly young then, so maybe my recollection is faulty, but I seem to remember him being hailed as a can't miss superstar - more so than even Delgado or Alex Gonzalez. The only "buzz" around Kevin Cash seems to be "will this guy ever hit enough to be useful?"
_A - Friday, November 21 2003 @ 02:55 AM EST (#78314) #
Vernon 'Trogdor' Wells - Try the name on for size. You may like it.

Is it one of those things that'll grow on me? I wouldn't call this love at first sight :s
robertdudek - Friday, November 21 2003 @ 08:12 AM EST (#78315) #
Except that the Jays had plans to make Kent a third baseman - which would have saved us the trouble of playing Ed Sprague there. But then David COne was dangled before our eyes and the rest is history ...
_Gwyn - Friday, November 21 2003 @ 09:34 AM EST (#78316) #
I am sure there's some significance to the fact that the 1/3 of the current Jays starting hitters had a buzz factor of 5 or under.

No idea what it is though.
Mike Green - Friday, November 21 2003 @ 09:56 AM EST (#78317) #
One thing that seems clear from the study. Results arise from both ability and opportunity; opportunity is often largely outside a player's control. The examples of Berroa, Cabrera and Fielder illustrate the point nicely.

I am quite sure that one or two of them would have made it in Toronto had Cito Gaston been manager a year or two prior. Fielder definitely would have gotten an opportunity. Oh well, it all worked out in the end.
_Matthew Elmslie - Friday, November 21 2003 @ 10:46 AM EST (#78318) #
The thing I remember about Knorr was Gaston's comment about him one time. He said, "If we made him a regular now, he'd probably hit about .240 with 20 home runs." Since the Jays regular at the time was Pat Borders, who was currently hitting .230 with no power, my immediate reaction was, "Then why don't you do that?!"
Dave Till - Friday, November 21 2003 @ 10:49 AM EST (#78319) #
I should add that I'm missing some media guides, including the period from 1994 to 1997, which is why there are some holes in my data. There weren't many prospects from 1994 to 1997 anyway, so it's just as well.

Fielder definitely would have gotten an opportunity.

Fielder and McGriff platooned at DH in 1987, as I recall, and were considered roughly equal as prospects. The Jays were hoping to play both of them, but neither of them could play any position but first base. They tried Fielder at third in spring training once - they televised one of those games, and it was fun to watch Cecil cheerfully wave at balls as they went by him.

Fielder put on a lot of weight in 1988, so the Jays went with McGriff. Cecil was so heavy that no team would take him; he had to go to Japan to revive his career.

Vernon 'Trogdor' Wells - Try the name on for size. You may like it.

Naah - V-Dub is more like Strongbad. I'd give the nickname "Trogdor" to a fireballing closer, if the Jays ever get one.

Billy Koch might have made a good Trogdor, as all he could do was try to burninate his opponents with his fastball.

Except that the Jays had plans to make Kent a third baseman

Could Kent play third? I saw him play there, and he seemed to have trouble reacting quickly enough.

I am sure there's some significance to the fact that the 1/3 of the current Jays starting hitters had a buzz factor of 5 or under.

I didn't spend a lot of time on my Buzz Factors, so don't read too much into them. :-)
Dave Till - Friday, November 21 2003 @ 10:55 AM EST (#78320) #
And one more:

The two oddities that jump out at me are Derek Bell and Kevin Cash, who you have both at an 8 for hype. I'd have Bell at 10 and Kevin probably around 5. Derek was rated as the top prospect in Baseball in 1992 and he'd been Minor League Player of the Year in 1991.

A Buzz Factor of 8 is pretty good, actually. (I should have given Rich Butler a lower Buzz Factor.) I only gave 9's and 10's to players that were talked about for years before they arrived.

Cash gets a high Buzz Factor because everybody raves about his defense. Buck Martinez wanted to keep him with the big club in 2002, and the Baseball Prospectus guys love watching him work.

But, like I said, don't read too much into these numbers.
Mike Green - Friday, November 21 2003 @ 11:24 AM EST (#78321) #
Dave, in 1987, Willie Upshaw (.269/.334/.455) played 1b and had 570 PAs. In 1985 and 1986, Upshaw had gone .275/.342/.447 and .251/.341/.368.

McGriff had 355 PAs in 1987 and hit .247/.376/.505, and is listed as the DH in Fielder had 195 PAs and went .269/.345/.560. Both McGriff and Fielder were 23 years old.

Fielder was blocked by Upshaw, not McGriff, and frankly, it is very hard to understand the decisions that were made then. Cito was asked about it in the early 90s and said something like: "it was not my decision".

Again, this is a truly fine piece of work. It would be great if it could be added to the side of the home page like the farm reports are.
_Jonny German - Friday, November 21 2003 @ 01:59 PM EST (#78322) #
I remember reading a quote from Pat Gillick, where he was asked who had been the hardest player to trade away. He said McGriff from a talent standpoint, Upshaw from a personal one. But given that Cecil had to go to Japan to get a job, you can't really blame the Jays specifically for undervaluing him.

Excellent work, Dave.
_Magpie - Sunday, January 25 2004 @ 11:40 PM EST (#78323) #
Sil Campusano - There were so many maddening things about the whole 1988 fiasco, and one of them is that Ducey actually outplayed Campusano that spring. But they were so determined so force him into the lineup that they had to move two regulars out of position just to accomodate him...and meanwhile Cecil Fielder is the guy who can't get any at bats while this nonsense is going on...

Junior Felix - I remember George Bell complaining about Junior's attitude! (George helped Cito out as a kind of unofficial batting coach, especially with some of the Latin players, when Cito took the big job in 1989.) Did we ever find out how old he really was? He was supposed to be 21 when he came up, but I think he's older than McGriff...

Randy Knorr - I remember he could hit the long ball, but Gaston did not like his defense. Not at all. And oddly enough, catcher was the one and only position where Gaston required defense over offense.
_Rob Thurston - Thursday, February 19 2004 @ 11:48 PM EST (#78324) #
Hello I was impressed with your compilation. I went to school with Greg David who was the number 1 draft pick in 84-85 for the Jays. There is no mention of him here. I wondered why?

Mike Green - Friday, February 20 2004 @ 08:57 AM EST (#78325) #
I noticed that there is an important detail missing. Jeff Kent drew 80 walks and struck out 104 times in Knoxville in 1991. COMN. He was the prototypical Billy Beane prospect.
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