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Break out the sunscreen, unfold the lawn chair in the backyard, and settle down to some heavy summertime reading. The July Blue Jays Farm Report Ė all 11,000 words of it Ė is here.

Not even a report this large is going to contain all the minor-league players who could warrant a mention; generally, Iím only looking at those players who have posted particularly interesting stat lines, or longtime prospects who are either making their way up or fading to black. If Iíve missed someone youíre interested in, let me know in the Comments section.

Injured players, as usual, are not on this list, basically because if a player has been on the DL for the month, I figure thereís nothing new to say about him. So Jason Arnold isnít here, nor is DJ Hanson or other players still in the trainerís room. (Arnold, however, is scheduled to get the start for Dunedin today, which hopefully will yield some good news.)

A word about Auburn and Pulaski: Iíve included a lot of the players from these two squads, largely because many of them have posted remarkably good numbers in their first month or so of play. Nonetheless, take a lot of these results with a grain of salt, especially for players in the 21-22-year-old range: theyíre up against younger and inferior opposition. Also, the sample sizes are necessarily small for these teams, so their performances to this point should not be mistaken for sure signs of things to come; some players donít make the cut at all because of so few AB or IP. Have I qualified that enough?

Iíll occasionally use OPS in these reports, and recent objections to that stat impel me to recommend caution. Itís a bit of a junk stat, really, since it isnít a fully accurate measure of offensive prowess; itís a shorthand way of demonstrating more or less how a batter has performed. I use it mostly for comparison with a previous monthís stat line. Also, if anyoneís wondering what KBF% means, it stands for ďstrikeouts per batter faced,Ē and is used as a measure of a pitcherís dominance. Starters should be in the high teens at the very least, preferably in the low 20s; relievers ought to be in the mid-20s. The lower you are in the system, the higher those KBFs should be if youíre a legitimate prospect.

And as always, a reminder: these are not scouting reports, nor are they based on first-hand impressions. These are updates and assessments of playersí progress through the system, based almost entirely on their basic statistical output, ages and levels. First-hand info and scouting reports from those whoíve seen these and other players will be welcomed.

All statistics are current to August 1, 2004.






AAA Syracuse Skychiefs




Russ Adams, SS, Born August 30, 1980
2004 Syracuse
353 AB, 38 R, .283/.353/.399, 31 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 36 RBI, 37 BB, 41 K, 4 SB, 2 CS


Steady as she goes for the 2002 first-round pick, the subject of much discussion here at Batterís Box. Few Jays prospects engender such a wide and strongly held range of opinions among the teamís fans. Iím at the bullish end of the spectrum when it comes to Adamsí prospects, while others are far less sanguine about his chances. Iíll repeat what Iíve said before: I have no concerns about his bat, which should post a .350-.370 OBP in the majors with at least 30 doubles a year, to go with very good baserunning instincts and the ability to swipe 25 bags a season, if permitted. Defensively, itís all about his arm strength and how well he adjusts to playing shortstop in the big leagues. There has already been talk (perhaps idle) that JP Ricciardi is going hunting for a proven shortstop this off-season, such as Orlando Cabrera. While I donít think Cabrera is the answer to any question the Jays might pose themselves in 2005, I also donít make the decisions. In this respect, the very good news, from Ricciardi himself on the radio last night, is that Adams will be brought up to Toronto in September to work with Brian Butterfield on his fielding. I take that as an excellent sign that Adams is in the teamís plans. But whether for the Jays or another franchise, Adams will certainly be a solid and useful major-league infielder and leadoff man.


Gabe Gross, RF, 10/21/79
2004 Syracuse
357 AB, 47 R, .289/.377/.445, 25 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 43 RBI, 51 BB, 77 K, 3 SB, 5 CS


The rehab on his injured elbow has progressed so well that Gross is back playing the outfield - an unexpected turn of events, considering there was fear that he might have to DH all season long; this bodes well for his athleticism and powers of recuperation. Nonetheless, Gross cooled off somewhat in July, and appears to be hovering in the .285/.365/.440 region. One reason for this may be the dreadful state of the Skychiefs offence (only three true position-player prospects make the grade this month), but thereís no disguising the fact that Gross was expected to be showing more power by now.

A useful illustration at this point may be the player to whom Gross is often compared, ex-Yankee stalwart Paul OíNeill. OíNeill was a high-school draftee and he rose rapidly (perhaps too rapidly) through the Redsí system, debuting at 22. Accordingly, when he was 25 (Grossís age next spring), he had already spent parts of four seasons in the bigs. Nonetheless, that 1988 campaign was his first full season, and in 485 AB that year, he managed just a .252/.306/.414 line, with 25 2Bs, 16 HRs and a 38/65 BB/K rate. In fact, OíNeillís OPS cracked 800 only once in Cincinnati; he didnít really break out until going to New York in 1994. OíNeill has never displayed the kind of patience in the minors that Gross has done, and Gross does have power (15 HRs in 208 AB his senior year at Auburn). I think that if Gabe Gross gets 400 AB (mostly against righties) in Toronto in 2005, he will surpass OíNeillís debut performance (a 102 OPS+, for those wondering about context), and should advance steadily from there.


Aquilino Lopez, RHP, 07/30/80
2004 Syracuse
1-5, 7.33, 4 Sv, 20 G, 0 GS, 27 IP, 33 H, 7 BB, 17 K, 4 HR, 13.9% KBF


You know, nothing like this has ever happened to Aquilino Lopez. His worst season as a professional was 1999 in the Northwest League, when he posted a 3.80 ERA with a 30/93 BB/K rate in 87 IP. This year, opposing batters are hitting .303 against him, and he seems to have lost his command of both his fastball and his slider. Something has clearly gone very wrong, but whether Lopez has an injury, or he has for some reason lost his confidence or concentration, or what, I have no idea. It may, however, be worth mentioning here that Lopez pitched in winter ball this past off-season Ė reportedly against the wishes of team management. The Jays may well be planning for a 2005 Blue Jays bullpen that doesnít include Lopez, and fans ought to be doing the same thing.


Julius Matos, SS, 12/12/74
2004 Syracuse
163 AB, 26 R, .331/.373/.491, 12 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 23RBI, 11 BB, 11 K, 1 SB, 1 CS


At 29, heís no prospect, but Matos is putting up such good numbers that he merits a mention here. The widely traveled infielder is having a career season for Syracuse, perhaps the only really bright spot on offence for the snake-bitten Skychiefs. He has had two consecutive fine AAA seasons for the Royals and Padres organizations, and in brief major-league action, he posted a .244/.278/.310 line in 242 AB over two years. Heís so hot right now that he would certainly better those numbers were he called to the majors, but this organization knows better than to promote a minor-league veteran from a longstanding minor-league franchise thatís struggling badly and canít afford to lose its one hot hitter. Kudos nonetheless to JP Ricciardiís scouting team, who lifted Matos from the Expos organization. As bad as things have been for Syracuse (and Toronto) this year, imagine how much worse would they have gone without Matos, Gregg Zaun, Bobby Estalella, Marvin Benard, Ryan Glynn, Stubby Clapp, Sean Douglass and Mike Nakamura Ė all acquired for Syracuse since the start of the season. Iíll say it again: Torontoís scouts have some of the sharpest eyes for talent in the business.


Dave Maurer, LHP, 02/23/75
2004 Syracuse
0-0, 3.75, 36 G, 0 GS, 48 IP, 42 H, 21 BB, 51 K, 6 HR, 24.1% KBF


Signed as a minor-league free agent in the off-season, Maurer started slowly in April and fell under the radar; at 29, he wasnít considered a prospect anyway. But heís been steadily improving since then and is now arguably the best arm in Syracuse. Maurer was a more promising pitcher before Tommy John surgery, and now it appears that his recovery from that procedure is just about complete. He may get a look in the big-league bullpen sometime this season, although as Gerry McDonald points out, lefties are actually hitting .308 against him, versus .210 for righties, so he doesnít profile as a LOOGY. Nonetheless, heís another smart off-season acquisition by the front office.


Adam Peterson, RHP, 05/18/79
2004 Toronto
0-0, 16.88, 3 G, 0 GS, 2 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
2004 Syracuse
2-2, 12.91, 8 G, 0 GS, 7 IP, 13 H, 8 BB, 6 K, 3 HR
2004 New Hampshire
2-2, 2.54, 27 G, 0 GS, 28 IP, 20 H, 10 BB, 38 K, 1 HR, 33.3% KBF


I have no inside information, but Iím betting that the two-level promotion of Peterson from New Hampshire to Toronto is one that the Jays would like to have back. I wasnít fully clear on the rationale at the time Ė possibly the team wanted to see what he could do, and they were certainly short on arms Ė but Petersonís premature arrival didnít do him or the parent club much good. Heís been struggling since his demotion to Syracuse, but that was going to happen regardless of the side trip to Skydome: his command isnít all the way there yet, and anyway, he has a history of slow adjustments to a new level. Peterson will always retain the honour of being the first Ricciardi draftee to hit the majors, but itíll be a little while yet before heís back in a Toronto uniform.


Guillermo Quiroz, C, 11/29/81
2004 Syracuse
160 AB, 17 R, .225/.321/.388, 12 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 21 BB, 32 K


Back from the disabled list, Quiroz has hit the ground running. I donít mean the batting average, which clearly has some climbing yet to do. I mean the patience and the power -- his BB/AB rate is well above 1/10, and half his hits have gone for extra bases. If the average continues to rise and he maintains his batting eye, Quiroz will be beating a path to Skydome. With a capable lefty-hitting mentor like Gregg Zaun or Greg Myers to ease him into active duty, Quiroz could get more than 300 AB and a lot of backstop duty as early as Opening Day 2005.


Cam Reimers, RHP, 09/15/78
2004 Syracuse
1-3, 7.77, 5 G, 5 GS, 24 IP, 38 H, 8 BB, 9 K, 3 HR, 7.6% KBF
2004 New Hampshire
7-3, 2.69, 14 G, 14 GS, 87 IP, 81 H, 20 BB, 40 K, 9 HR, 11.2% KBF


You could see this coming. Reimers was in a comfort zone in New Hampshire, anchoring the fledging franchise rotation throughout its playoff-clinching first half, but his K/IP rates were dismal and signalled trouble ahead. Sure enough, heís been battered and bruised by the veteran hitters of the International League. It would be nice to see Reimers returned to New Hampshire in time for the playoffs, so that he can finish what he started. With the disaster that the Skychiefs season has turned out to be, a demotion like that would probably be welcomed.






AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats




Josh Banks, RHP, 07/18/82
2004 New Hampshire
2-4, 5.33, 11 G, 11 GS, 54 IP, 53 H, 19 BB, 36 K, 6 HR, 16.0% KBF
2004 Dunedin
7-1, 1.80, 11 G, 11 GS, 60 IP, 49 H, 8 BB, 60 K, 4 HR, 26.1% KBF


Banks had a rough-and-tumble introduction to the Eastern League Ė an 8.39 ERA after six starts Ė but nobody was really that worried about him. Banksí July performance has demonstrated why: 30 IP, 25 H, 5 BB, 19 K, 2 HR and a 2.78 ERA. Those strikeout numbers are going to improve over time Ė Iíve heard that heís restricting his repertoire somewhat to protect his arm Ė and everything else is falling nicely into place. Banks remains the most promising pitching prospect in the system, although a healthy Francisco Rosario could be very tough to beat out for that title.


Gustavo Chacin, LHP, 12/04/80
2004 New Hampshire
12-2, 3.45, 21 G, 21 GS, 114 IP, 103 H, 40 BB, 83 K, 15 HR, 17.1% KBF


Iíve been quite skeptical of Chacin almost from Day One of my study of Blue Jays prospects: this year, heís doing his best to prove me (and others) dead wrong. After struggling through 3 1/2 seasons at Double-A (he was almost certainly rushed there as a 19-year-old), Chacin is back in the rotation and putting up the best numbers of his career. A new willingness to let the batters gets themselves out, as well as more confidence in his catcher, has given Chacin a new lease on life at only 23 years old. He is now probably the best left-handed prospect in the Jaysí system.

Nonetheless, there are caveats. His K/IP rate is still quite low, and heís only striking out twice as many men as heís walking Ė not a strong ratio. His ERA is slightly deceiving, as only 44 of his 52 runs allowed have been earned (though at the same time, one 10-run outing earlier this year has also skewed his numbers). And 15 homers is a lot to be giving up in 114 innings. Chacin is showing signs of true prospectdom, but heís going to have to turn quite a few walks into strikeouts, and keep the ball in the park consistently, before he steps inside the circle of Jaysí top pitching prospects. Weíll keep an eye on him.


Jordan DeJong, RHP, 04/12/79
2004 New Hampshire
3-2, 3.11, 43 G, 0 GS, 55 IP, 58 H, 26 BB, 41 K, 2 HR, 15/9% KBF


Apparently, De Jongís last name is pronounced ďDe Young,Ē as in former Styx lead singer Dennis. Ever since learning that, I end up with the opening strains of Desert Moon stuck in my head whenever I come to write about him. And since I have to suffer, so do you. De Jongís July performance was just about as unexciting as De Youngís solo career, and itís appearing safe at this point to classify Jordan as a dependable minor-league reliever. At least he wonít be replaced by Gowan anytime soon.


Tyrell Godwin, OF, 07/10/79
2004 New Hampshire
393 AB, 63 R, .254/.326/.379, 17 2B, 7 3B, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 38 BB, 81 K, 32 SB, 9 CS


In what appears to be one last drive to maintain a place in the Toronto organization, Godwin raised his OPS 25 points in the last month and continues to swipe bases at a rate not seen anywhere else in the system. But Godwin has not shown much more than gap power, and at his age, you have to wonder if he ever will. After a series of pitching-heavy drafts, the Jays have turned their sights to hitters recently, and thereís a wave of young outfield talent surging up through the system. I donít think Godwin is going to survive it.


John-Ford Griffin, LF, 11/19/79
2004 New Hampshire
337 AB, 51 R, .240/.332/.448, 16 2B, 0 3B, 18 HR, 60 RBI, 46 BB, 93 K


Now weíre getting somewhere. Maybe it was the injury, maybe it was the home ballpark, maybe it was the dismal showing of Jersey Girl at the box office, but Griffin couldnít get anything going up until the last month or so. In July alone, his SLG jumped more than 50 points, he cranked 7 home runs, and he posted a much more respectable 12/21 BB/K rate in 105 AB. Only Glenn Williams has more homers in the Jays system, and itís an even bet that Griffin will hold the organizational HR crown before the season is out. If he can keep pushing the batting average up, then Griffin will open 2005 as the starting first baseman in Syracuse and will have a legitimate shot at eventually working his way to what will probably be a wide-open first base in Toronto.


John Hattig, 3B, 02/27/80
2004 New Britain
281 AB, 56 R, .295/.410/.527, 21 2B, 1 3B, 14 HR, 40 RBI, 50 BB, 76 K, 3 SB, 3 CS
2004 New Hampshire
17 AB, 3 R, .294/.400/.647, 0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 8 K


Donít say Terry Adams never did anything nice for the Blue Jays. Hattig was a prospect that the Red Sox reportedly refused to trade away initially, but some perseverance on the part of the Ricciardi gang paid off, and Hattig is now perhaps the best third-base prospect in the organization. Whether heís major-league material is another matter. Hattig sported a 900+ OPS when he arrived in New Hampshire, with 48 walks, 21 doubles and 12 homers in just 270 at-bats; those are extremely nice numbers. Then again, he also had 72 strikeouts, and heís never batted .300 in any extended stay in the minors; after spending 3 Ĺ years in A-Ball, Hattig will face the reality of being a 25-year-old with a questionable glove next spring training. If heís going to have more than a minor-league journeyman career, he needs to maintain and increase this current pace. The odds are in his favour right now: Ricciardi has an excellent eye for position players, and power and patience are two very good skills to have. I brought up three names when the Jays first acquired Hattig: Shawn Fagan, Simon Pond and Kevin Youkilis. The closer Hattig end up to those latter two names, the happier the Jays will be.


Aaron Hill, SS, 03/21/82
2004 New Hampshire
369 AB, 57 R, .287/.370/.393, 18 2B, 0 3B, 7 HR, 58 RBI, 48 BB, 43 K


Whatever Griffin has been drinking, Aaron Hill has been having a glass as well. A red-hot July has seen the former number-one draftee crank his average up 27 points and push his SLG up 50 points. He also remains the only prospect above short-season ball with more walks than strikeouts (cf. Nick Thomas). Hill is often considered to have two strikes against him: his power and his glove. On the first point, heís 22 and playing against older competition in just his first full pro season; the power will come and will eventually top out at around 20 or so HRs a year. On the second point, he made 4 more errors in July, about even with his season rate, and thereís still reason to think that shortstop wonít be his eventual major-league position. Who cares? The Blue Jays will find a place for this guy on the big-league roster: he can hit, he can play, and he can lead.


Brandon League, RHP, 03/16/83
2004 New Hampshire
4-3, 3.42, 2 Sv, 34 G, 3 GS, 71 IP, 57 H, 25 BB, 52 K, 2 HR, 17.5% KBF


Earlier this season, the Blue Jays raised a lot of eyebrows when they moved League from the rotation to the bullpen; presumably, those eyebrows have lowered again with Leagueís return to every-fifth-day action. Iím not sure what prompted the switch back, although it may be that League simply wasnít getting consistent work and sufficient innings to continue his development. While I suspect the bullpen is Leagueís ultimate destination Ė heís still really only mastered one pitch Ė I do think the rotation is the best place for him at the moment, in order for him to develop the consistency and techniques heíll need to succeed later on. I think weíll see League move back to the pen one more time, perhaps as early as next season in Syracuse, but that should be the last role switch he has to undergo. And once again, remember that this young man is just 21 years old.


Todd Ozias, RHP, 08/19/76
2004 New Hampshire
8-4, 3.46, 17 G, 17 GS, 88 IP, 86 H, 29 BB, 72 K, 6 HR, 19.7% KBF


Ozias has actually improved somewhat in the last month, even though his ERA rose slightly. With Cam Reimers in Syracuse (and struggling), Ozias is now the undisputed ace of the playoff-bound Fisher Cats. For that reason alone, heíll spend the entire year at Double-A: JP Ricciardi has made it clear in recent days that with nothing to play for in either Toronto or Syracuse, most of the best prospects are going to finish their seasons helping their lower-level clubs reach and win the playoffs. Ricciardi is a great believer in gaining championships at the minor-league level: he believes that players who learn to win on the farm bring that attitude with them up the ladder. Thatís a philosophy of which the Jaysí minor-league franchise owners no doubt wholeheartedly approve.


Dominic Rich, 2B, 08/22/79
2004 Hew Hampshire
384 AB, 63 R, .276/.359/.396, 22 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 53 RBI, 45 BB, 49 K


Rich has settled into a groove, and appears to have found his level as an infielder with a fine bat, a great batting eye, marginal power and no speed. Thatís not a recipe for major-league stardom, especially with his 25th birthday looming on the horizon. But Rich could remain helpful to the Jaysí organization. Depending on where Russ Adams, Aaron Hill and Ryan Roberts end up in 2005, Rich could be employed in New Hampshire or Syracuse, or even in another clubís system.


Francisco Rosario, RHP, 09/28/80
2004 New Hampshire
0-2, 4.91, 6 G, 6 GS, 18 IP, 20 H, 8 BB, 12 K, 2 HR, 15.3% KBF


Perhaps needless to say, the numbers donít look so hot. But this has been a reconstruction year for Rosario, and construction sites are usually messy. He has been in and out of the trainerís room all season, as he continues to work his way back from TJ surgery as well as from the various strains and stresses of getting back into game shape. Rosarioís last July outing ended as scheduled after 70 pitches, but they were four one-hit, shutout innings. The reports on his velocity have been good, so it appears that location Ė the last thing to return after a lengthy layoff Ė is whatís missing. He needs more innings to build up his strength and regain his command (keeping in mind that his control was never pinpoint to begin with; in his last pre-surgery term with Dunedin, he walked a batter every two innings). Rosario is in chrysalis mode right now, and itís impossible to say if heíll emerge as a butterfly or if heíll emerge at all. There is no player in the Blue Jays system who has so much enigmatic potential Ė who has so many people watching him and waiting to see what heíll become.


Jamie Vermilyea, RHP, 02/10/82
2004 New Hampshire
2-1, 2.27, 4 Sv, 10 G, 5 GS, 39 IP, 30 H, 6 BB, 25 K, 2 HR, 16.7% KBF
2004 Dunedin
5-1, 3.09, 18 G, 6 GS, 55 IP, 54 H, 13 BB, 37 K, 4 HR, 16.4% KBF


Not too many pitchers throw a perfect game one month and get sent to the bullpen the next, but Vermilyea shrugged off what other players might have taken as an insult. Equally willing to man the rotation or the bullpen, Vermilyea does seem to have a preference and a gift for relief work. More to the point, the Blue Jays need solid homegrown relievers in the big leagues, and they need them soon; the bullpen is the fast track to Toronto these days, and Jamieís on it. Vermilyea isnít dominating Double-A hitters per se, but neither is he having any difficulty with them. The strikeout rates arenít where youíd like them to be, but heís had three jobs this year Ė starter, reliever and Dunedin Blue Jay Ė and he may simply need a longer stretch in one place. He likely will start 2004 in the Syracuse bullpen (perhaps joined by Brandon League) and that will be his acid test. If Vermilyeaís movement-and-command repertoire can succeed at the Triple-A level, then heís a very short plane ride from the Skydome pen.






High-A Dunedin Blue Jays




Bubbie Buzachero, RHP, 06/13/81
2004 Dunedin
1-1, 2.30 19 Sv, 40 G, 0 GS, 47 IP, 42 H, 16 BB, 47 K, 3 HR, 23.5% KBF


Has he spent too long in Dunedin, or are the batters starting to catch up with him? After an utterly dominant first half of 2004, Buzacheroís July was relatively anemic: too many walks, not enough strikeouts, and a whole lotta baserunners. The presence of Brian Reed might be affecting Bubbieís concentration, but he did rack up 5 saves in July, compared to 1 for Reed, so itís not as if heís in danger of losing his closer position. Buzachero hasnít struggled like this for quite some time, so Iím going to put it down to a bad stretch and I expect him to finish the year on a strong note.


Vito Chiaravalloti, 1B, 10/26/80
2004 Dunedin
375 AB, 51 R, .291/.385/.469, 32 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 65 RBI, 51 BB, 92 K


Big Vito keep on rolling, Proud D-Jays keep on burning. Chiaravalotti has been hampered off and on with an elbow injury, and you can sense from the doubles production that thereís a lot of power there thatís being sapped by the Florida State League, one of the toughest pitchersí circuits around. His patience is still terrific, and thereís every indication that heís retaining his excellent approach to the plate. If thereís any point of concern, itís those strikeouts, which just keep on piling up. It looks as if Chiaravalotti is going to be a 100-K man wherever he plays; however, if heís also a 30-homer, .500+ SLG man wherever he plays, those Ks will be just fine, thanks very much. Heís having an extremely solid 2004, and his 2005 debut at New Hampshire will be among the more closely watched in the organization.


Carlo Cota, 2B, 09/18/80
2004 Dunedin
363 AB, 65 R, .295/.357/.435, 31 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 51 RBI, 36 BB, 71 K


Like Vito, the teammate he seems to be shadowing every step of his pro career, Cota maintained a remarkable consistency in his numbers throughout June and continues to show good pop for an infielder. But Iím a little concerned about the walk rate, to tell you the truth: Cota is just reaching the minimum 1-in-10 BB/AB rate right now, and heís going to find the road tougher in Double- and Triple-A ball. Cota doesnít seem to have the raw power to compensate for an average OBP, so either he has to hope that the FSL is really dampening his extra-base ability, or he has to crank up the on-base numbers. Otherwise, heíll soon turn into Dominic Rich.


Ron Davenport, OF, 10/16/81
2004 Dunedin
341 AB, 53 R, .282/.347/.507, 29 2B, 3 3B, 14 HR, 76 RBI, 36 BB, 52 K


Iíll admit it Ė this guy just snuck up on me. Davenport, a high-school draftee in 2000 (22nd round), is spending his third consecutive year in Dunedin, and this is the first time heís produced anything like a noteworthy stat line. But what a line: Davenport has the highest slugging percentage of any D-Jay, including Vito. And although his walk rate is barely within the acceptable boundaries, heís not striking out nearly as much as youíd expect from those power numbers. Davenport is a tall, lean, lefty hitter, and presumably generates much of his power from bat speed rather than bulk (at 6í2Ē, 190 pounds, he ainít Mo Vaughn). A converted first baseman, Davenport is unlikely to make it with his glove, so he needs to show that this isnít just a case of third-year-in-the-same-league-itis. But Davenport is young enough that he might just be figuring things out now; weíll find out for sure when he joins Vito and Carlo in New Hampshire next spring. If he continues to swing a hot bat, then the Jays suddenly have themselves a quite unexpected outfield prospect on their hands.


Justin James, RHP, 09/13/81
2004 Dunedin
2-4, 4.60, 7 G, 7 GS, 31 IP, 34 H, 13 BB, 27 K, 1 HR, 19.7% KBF
2004 Charleston
5-4, 3.00, 14 G, 14 GS, 78 IP, 67 H, 24 BB, 83 K, 2 HR, 26.0% KBF


One month ago, James and Shaun Marcum arrived in Dunedin with virtually identical records from their Charleston tenures. What a difference a month, and exposure to a higher level, can make. While Marcum has gone on a tear unlike any seen since David Bush still rode a bus between games, James has struggled. The primary enemy has been the strike zone: the vague concern about sloppy walk rates in Charleston has grown into serious worries about whether James can get batters to chase his off-speed stuff. This is a very small sample size, and not everyone makes the level jump seamlessly, so James has plenty of time and opportunity to regain his strong form. But it sure does make you that much more cautious about Sally League stats.


Shaun Marcum, RHP, 12/14/81
2004 Dunedin
2-1, 2.61, 8 G, 8 GS, 48 IP, 47 H, 3 BB, 52 K (!), 5 HR, 27.2% KBF
2004 Charleston
7-4, 3.19, 13 G, 13 GS, 79 IP, 64 H, 16 BB, 83 K, 7 HR, 26.0% KBF


Meanwhile, in an almost identically small sample size, Marcum is getting rave reviews as far away as Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. A 3/52 BB/K rate tends to generate that kind of attention. As overwhelming as these numbers are, theyíre also bound to fall; Marcum didnít become Cy Young just by virtue of taking up residence in Florida. The first real test for young pitchers is always Double-A, and Marcumís success there will determine whether he really is ready to follow directly in Bushís footsteps. Remember that Marcum came to pitching late: a two-way player in college, heís only been on the mound full-time for a couple of years. That offers some tantalizing possibilities for just how good this young man can be.


Rodney Medina, OF, 10/17/81
2004 Dunedin
196 AB, 30 R, .260/.322/.388, 8 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 16 BB , 20 K, 2 SB, 5 CS


Has he peaked already? Medinaís slugging percentage has fallen back below .400, and a .322 OBP, even in the FSL, isnít going to impress many people. A month ago, Medina was accelerating in his recovery from injury and doing a reasonable job of keeping up with fellow D-Jay outfielder Miguel Negron; this slight fallback is no reason to give up on him, but it is reason to inject a note of caution into this production. His bat control remains outstanding, but heís simply going to have to get on base more often. Down here in Dunedin, heís a lot closer to the rising wave of outfield talent than Ty Godwin is, so heíll feel the impact first.


Miguel Negron, OF, 08/22/82
2004 Dunedin
286 AB, 41 R, .273/.351/.416, 10 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 38 RBI, 32 BB, 56 K, 2 SB, 1 CS


And speaking of outfield fallbackÖ. After cranking out 6 homers in June, Negronís home run bat has fallen silent, and in the XBH category, he produced only 3 doubles and 2 triples in June. Power outages are of course not unknown in this circuit, but this no-homer month hints that Negron may be a bit of a streak slugger, and that the power is not a new and permanent addition to his game. On the plus side, however, Negron maintained his BA and OBP rates almost perfectly from June 30 to July 31, easing concerns that his home run binge may have led him into bad habits. Negron has misplaced his home run stroke, but at least heís keeping a solid approach at the plate. That said, the home run power is what made him particularly intriguing; without it, heís Rodney Medina writ large. Letís see what he does in the heat of a Florida August.


Vince Perkins, RHP, 09/27/81
2004 Dunedin
1-4, 3.97, 11 G, 7 GS, 47 IP, 47 H, 23 BB, 45 K, 2 HR, 21.8% KBF


This was looking promising, at least before he went back onto the disabled list a couple of weeks ago, this time with whatís being called an ďelbow tweak.Ē Shaking off the rust of his first lengthy injury layoff, Perkins posted some excellent numbers in July and was showing signs of turning that long-awaited corner. The control is still far from pinpoint, but the H/IP and K/IP ratios are rounding into shape very nicely. It never seems to come easy for our Canadian fireballer, but at least it was starting to come. Heís still among the younger arms in the full-season leagues, and if he returns to health and finishes strong, he could be set up for a 2005 debut in New Hampshire. Weíll keep an eye and some crossed fingers on his health.


Ismael Ramirez, RHP, 03/03/81
2004 Dunedin
11-5, 2.84, 22 G, 21 GS, 130 IP, 121 H, 22 BB, 100 K, 3 HR, 19.0% KBF


5-0, 47 IP, 27 H, 4 BB, 42 K. I donít know, I think thatís a pretty good month, how about you? Ramirez has always had fine control, but heís never had an utterly dominant stretch like this before. His career Achillesí heel has been a relatively unimpressive K/IP rate and a few too many hits allowed; in July, at least, that problem was solved. This remarkable run reminds me of what DJ Hanson did when he caught fire last summer. I trust this wonít have the same unhappy ending, and since Ramirez has been healthy and has kept his workload to an efficient minimum, that doesnít seem likely. Pitchers can have outstanding months as easily as they can have terrible months; every dog has his day. If Ramirez continues to post a nearly 1/1 K/IP ratio Ė Iím not so worried about the hits allowed Ė then we can start thinking about upgrading his potential from Triple-A reliever to something more.


Brian Reed, RHP, 03/06/81
2004 Dunedin
2-1, 3.38, 1 Sv, 14 G, 0 GS, 18 IP, 21 H, 3 BB, 19 K, 2 HR, 23.1% KBF
2004 Charleston
1-0, 0.35, 10 Sv, 25 G, 0 GS, 26 IP, 17 H, 5 BB, 28 K, 28.0% KBF


Another good arm grows in Dunedin. Reed lost his closer position when he was promoted from Charleston, and heís getting knocked around a little more often in the FSL, but his BB/K rate is still reliably strong. For now, Bubbie Buzachero is getting the lionís share of the ninth-inning duty, but that doesnít mean Bubís the more highly regarded prospect; frankly, Iím quite surprised Buzachero hasnít been kicked upstairs to New Hampshire already. Whichever of these two guys open 2005 as a Fisher Cat will tell you how theyíre viewed by the front office. Meanwhile, Reedís looking good.


Ryan Roberts, 2B, 09/19/80
2004 Dunedin
125 AB, 19 R, .280/.376/.368, 0 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 21 BB, 30 K
2004 Charleston
226 AB, 38 R, .283/.440/.496, 9 2B, 0 3B, 13 HR, 39 RBI, 55 BB, 50 K


Roberts has not been overmatched by Florida State League pitchers, and thatís a very good sign. His walk rate, which was stupendous in the Sally, is still quite strong. His strikeouts are a little high, especially since the power he displayed as an Alley-Cat hasnít made the trip south with him. But remember that the Jays switched him from 3B to 2B at least in part because his raw power didnít profile well for the hot corner. Nonetheless, Robertsís power has come in streaks before, and it wouldnít surprise me to see him rip off a few multiple-extra-base-hit games in August. Generally, Dunedin is not a place for hitters to flourish; itís a place for them to survive. If Ryan can make it to New Hampshire next spring and start pounding out those XBHs again, heíll be onto something.


Raul Tablado, SS/3B, 03/03/82
2004 Dunedin
238 AB, 43 R, .298/.351/.571, 17 2B, 0 3B, 16 HR, 51 RBI, 19 BB, 63 K


Itís a very pretty line, to be sure, but Iím seeing some warning signs here. Tabladoís OPS has dropped 130 points in the last month; his batting average is down from .341 to .298, and while that lofty number could have been expected to fall, his 8/29 BB/K rate in his most recent 106 AB concerns me more. Heís still pounding out the power, and that kind of pop from a shortstop (if thatís where he remains) is always welcome; Mike Green points out that his ďmanifest powerĒ (a Dudek original) is comparable with what Josh Phelps did in 1999 ĖTabladoís a year older than Phelps was, but heís also a shortstop. Nevertheless, he needs to make sure he doesnít lose the improved plate discipline that buoyed the early part of his season. His career BB/K rate coming into this season was just 139/417 in 1,335 AB, and that inability to select the right pitches to swing at is primarily whatís kept him in the lower minors. Tablado needs a solid August to reassure skeptics (like me) that heís the real deal.


Tracy Thorpe, RHP, 12/15/80
Dunedin 2004
3-2, 3.60, 1 Sv, 50 IP, 32 H, 25 BB, 43 K, 3 HR, 20.4% KBF


Thorpe continues to make his way back from injury rehab and rust. Batters are having a very tough time making contact off Thorpe, but his command is still not where he needs it to be (8/11 BB/K in 16 July innings). It might be best to view 2004 as a shakedown cruise for Thorpe, as he relearns the art of pitching. A stint in the Arizona Fall League, if heís healthy, could help him in this regard. He gets a mulligan for his injury, but heís getting up there in age and needs to come out of the gate strong in 2005 to fully regain his prospect status.


Jayce Tingler, OF, 10/28/80
Dunedin 2004
349 AB, 59 R, .252/.386/.295, 13 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 30 RBI, 64 BB (!), 21 K, 3 SB, 4 CS


That really is a simply unreal walk-to-strikeout ratio. Hey, itís an unreal walk-to-anything ratio: Tingler has more walks than runs scored, for Ashburnís sake. The power is non-existent, and we should expect no less from a singles hitter in the Florida State League. But itís the continued inability to make contact that is starting to raise serious concern here. A walk rate like that is fabulous, but Tingler has to hit at least .280 in the FSL if he wants to climb much higher. His college career is littered with mid-.300 batting averages, so heíll get another crack at regaining his stroke. But as weíve said before, the system is starting to fill up with position players, and the outlook for outfielders who tread water is not great.






Low-A Charleston Alley-Cats




Jermy Acey, 2B, 05/24/81
2004 Charleston
96 AB, 10 R, .271/.320/.323, 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 26 K, 3 SB, 2 CS
2004 Auburn
10 AB, 4 R, .400/.538/.500, 5 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K


His first hundred South Atlantic League at-bats havenít been a smashing success for the smallish second baseman who posted quite promising numbers at Pulaski last season. After a very brief debut at Auburn, where he scalded the ball in 3 games, Acey has found the Sally more challenging, and his plate discipline took the month off altogether. As a late-round pick (23rd) in 2003, Acey doesnít have huge expectations, and heíll be allowed a slow start in full-season ball. A 2005 debut at Charleston seems likely, but if he doesnít impress in minor-league spring training next year, a return to Auburn is possible.


Danny Core, RHP, 07/17/81
2004 Charleston
6-7, 3.53, 21 G, 21 GS, 117 IP, 108 H, 40 BB, 90 K, 12 HR, 18.7% KBF


Core had something of a slide-back month in July: 36 IP, 35 H, 15 BB and 25 K. The hitters seem to be catching up to him, and the strikeout rate continued to fall. He just turned 23 a couple of weeks ago, which is an age at which you donít want to be taking backward steps in the South Atlantic League. Heís making it harder on himself to get noticed.


Robinzon Diaz, C, 09/13/83
2004 Charleston
326 AB, 44 R, .267/.314/.344, 15 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 34 RBI, 17 BB, 23 K, 7 SB, 2 CS


Donít look now, but yet another catching prospect is hitting his stride for the Blue Jays. Diaz, who was selected for the Futures Game last month, has really come on strong lately, raising his OPS 45 points and striking out just 7 times in 80 at-bats. Of course, his walks still appear to be entirely accidental, but he doubled his season-long doubles total in one month and heís really started to drive the ball lately. The best part? Diaz wonít turn 21 till the season is over. And yes, those are seven stolen bases at the end of his stat line. Put him on your long-term radar, because youíll be seeing his name in future.


Kurt Isenberg, LHP, 01/15/82
2004 Dunedin
2-5, 5.61, 14 G, 14 GS, 61 IP, 73 H, 20 BB, 40 K, 6 HR, 14.3% KBF
2004 Charleston
0-1, 5.11, 4 G, 3 GS, 12 IP, 12 H, 4 BB, 11 K, 2 HR


A trip to Charleston and to the disabled list, as unpleasant as they must have been, seem to have done wonders for Isenberg, whoís posting a 8 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 8 K line in very limited action since his return from the trainerís room. Isenberg will probably stay in Charleston for the balance of this season Ė the Alley-Cats could use the help Ė but in 2005, heíll be expected to hit the ground running in Dunedin.


Clint Johnston, 1B, 07/22/77
2004 Charleston
369 AB, 70 R, .279/.387/.463, 29 2B, 3 3B, 11 HR, 62 RBI, 65 BB, 100 K


Letís take one last look this season at the Old Man of Charleston. Johnston continues to pound the ball regularly and take more than his fair share of free trips to first base. Iím not sure what the Blue Jays will do with Johnston next year; Iím not sure if even they know. I think heíll be able to help virtually any team in the farm system right up to Syracuse for as long as he wants the work; I expect the decision will be as much his as the organizationís.


Tom Mastny, RHP, 02/04/81
2004 Charleston
7-3, 1.91, 20 G, 20 GS, 113 IP, 93 H, 32 BB, 100 K, 2 HR, 22.2% KBF


To the extent Iíve been a non-believer in Tom Mastny, itís been because his strikeout rate was low compared to his former rotation mates Justin James and Shaun Marcum. Well, Mastny posted a 30 IP, 24 H, 6 BB, 29 K line in July, and you canít ask for a whole lot more from a pitcher than a 1/1/1 line (thatís a 1.00 WHIP and a 1/1 K/BB rate, for those scoring at home). Mastny still looks more likes James than Marcum to me, but based on his numbers up to this point in his career, he must be taken seriously as a prospect. Heíll anchor Charlestonís staff throughout the playoffs, but I expect him to be a member of Dunedinís rotation next spring.


Joey Reiman, C, 12/20/80
2004 Charleston
296 AB, 42 R, .294/.384/.426, 22 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 34 RBI, 33 BB, 61 K, 3 SB, 5 CS


This time last month, I said of Reiman, ďDonít forget about this guy.Ē In July, this guy cranked out 10 doubles, 4 homers, posted an 11/23 BB/K rate in 94 AB and raised his OPS 95 points. I still donít have any reports on his defence Ė Iíd welcome some first-hand accounts Ė but unless heís leading the Sally in passed balls, you can add yet another catcher to the Jaysí keeper lists. His main weakness is his age; heís actually a year older than Guillermo Quiroz. But if he can keep his bat humming and gets an opportunity at higher levels, he could impress.


Davis Romero, LHP, 03/30/83
2004 Charleston
3-4, 2.66, 1 Sv, 29 G, 11 GS, 84 IP, 60 H, 23 BB, 89 K, 5 GS, 26.0% KBF


My favourite pitching sleeper in the organization, now fully awake, continues to impress. Moved to the rotation earlier this summer, Romero has seen his dominant numbers revert to merely very good: 31 IP, 27 H, 11 B, 29 K, 3 HR last month. But his starts have been solid Ė he often has just one bad inning before settling down again Ė and a degree of adjustment was to be expected from such a young, slight pitcher. I doubt heíll ever have the stamina to be a rotation horse, but some time as a starter now, building up his strength and endurance, will pay off down the road in his future career, be it starting or relieving.


Felix Romero, RHP, 06/18/80
2004 Charleston
9-4, 2.88, 3 Sv, 39 G, 0 GS, 68 IP, 56 H, 19 BB, 94 K, 4 HR, 33.3% KBF


The older Romero (it seems unfair to call him ďthe other RomeroĒ), on the other hand, keeps rolling right along in his relief role: a 3/26 BB/K rate in 18 July IP. Felix certainly ought to get a crack at High-A ball in 2005; if he can maintain a strong performance in Dunedin, heíll probably get a chance to advance higher; if not, heíll probably reinforce what appears to be the organizationís view that his ceiling his not terribly high.


Christian Snavely, OF, 05/07/82
2004 Charleston
249 AB, 39 R, .257/.372/.474, 17 2B, 2 3B, 11 HR, 42 RBI, 45 BB, 85 K, 4 SB, 2 CS


Five doubles, two triples and six homers in one month will jump-start the olí slugging percentage in a hurry. Snavelyís power is emerging rapidly, and at such a young age, thatís a very promising sign. He even raised his batting average and posted a solid 13/24 BB/K rate in 85 AB. Heíll need to have his on-base skills honed for the trip to Dunedin thatís almost certainly awaiting him next spring, but if he can prosper there as a 23-year-old outfielder, heíll be in very good shape.






Auburn Doubledays




Chip Cannon, 1B, 11/30/81
2004 Auburn
127 AB, 21 R, .307/.348/.543, 10 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 23 RBI, 8 BB, 31 K


A great first professional month for Cannon, although for a guy who posted a 71/49 BB/K rate in his senior year at college, Iím sure he was expecting to walk more often than this. But that power looks terrific, and I think weíll see more OBP out of him in August as he continues to adjust to the pro game. Sorry, Bubbie, but Chip now owns the ďBest NameĒ Award in the Blue Jaysí system, and Iíll be surprised if he gives it up anytime soon.


Dewon Day, RHP, 09/29/80
2004 Auburn
0-1, 1.17, 7 Sv, 16 G, 0 GS, 15 IP, 15 H, 5 BB, 16 K, 0 HR


A fifth-year senior drafted in 2003, Day was the closer at Pulaski last year and is holding down that job at Auburn so far in 2004. However, his secondary numbers arenít very exciting, and far more importantly, heíll be 24 in September and does not figure to be a major contributor at the higher levels of the system. Still, every team needs a closer, and Day is a key member of a very powerful team.


Vinny Esposito, 3B, 08/22/80
2004 Auburn
119 AB, 17 R, .252/.350/.395, 12 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 25 RBI, 15 BB, 40 K


It only seems like the Auburn Doubledays are populated entirely by 2004 draftees. Esposito showed decent power and patience in his Pulaski debut last year, and the 2003 22nd-rounder is holding his own in Auburn this year. That said, he turns 24 this month, and I think only the most optimistic outlook pegs him as a major-league prospect. But organizations need guys like this, and more importantly, rookie-laden teams need someone with an older and hopefully wiser head to break them in to the pro game. Esposito hasnít yet been reduced to mere organization man, of course: he can still hit and can still play. But a playerís value to his team, especially in the minors, isnít always measured by his numbers.


Brian Hall, 2B, 02/01/82
2004 Auburn
136 AB, 26 R, .294/.386/.493, 7 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 26 RBI, 21 BB, 30 K, 2 SB, 3 CS


A fabulous start for the 2004 10th-rounder: Hall has displayed power, patience and a solid bat in his first exposure to the pro game, perhaps a tribute to the sophisticated Stanford program that produced him. One month is just one month, of course, and weíll see what August and 2005 bring. But if he can keep up this type of production, heíll draw comparisons to Ryan Roberts; he may already be in Carlo Cota country.


Casey Janssen, RHP, 10/17/81
2004 Auburn
2-0, 2.21, 4 G, 4 GS, 20 IP, 17 H, 4 BB, 18 K, 0 HR


Heís a fourth-round pick in the 2004 draft out of UCLA, and I think Janssen is going to be associated with the term ďworkmanlikeĒ throughout his career. After a steady college career in which he posted very strong BB/K marks, Janssen is off to a good start at Auburn as well. His stuff is not overpowering, and neither are his K/IP numbers; then again, interestingly enough, no Doubledays starter has a K/IP ratio higher than 1-to-1 at this point.


Ryan Klosterman, SS, 05/28/82
2004 Auburn
147 AB, 37 R, .313/.399/.490, 8 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 16 BB, 24 K, 9 SB, 1 CS


Batting average, patience, and power: this will rapidly become a familiar theme in this report, but Auburn has a lot of hitters who are off to fast starts in these three categories. Klosterman, who drew comparisons by JP Ricciardi to Rich Aurilia on Draft Day, also leads the team in steals, and has maintained his excellent SB% from Vanderbilt, from whence he was selected was a 5th-rounder this past June. Collegiate 5th-rounders are supposed to perform well in Rookie League, of course, and Klosterman has come as advertised so far.


Chris Leonard, LHP, 10/09/80
2004 Auburn
3-1, 3.12, 2 Sv, 13 G, 4 GS, 34 IP, 31 H, 12 BB, 34 K, 2 HR


The 2002 8th-round draft choice hadnít pitched a single inning for the organization since he was drafted, thanks to Tommy John surgery immediately after his last college season. The Jays took a chance anyway, snagging him in the 8th round when some people thought a healthy Leonard was suitable second-round material. After his lengthy layoff, Leonard is back and throwing darts, although his command, as is usually the case post-surgery, needs work. Heís in Auburn to get his mechanics and feel for the game in tune; once heís straightened out, the Jays will move him up in a hurry to see if he can help them.


Adam Lind, OF, 07/17/82
2004 Auburn
155 AB, 22 R, .290/.357/.419, 11 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 15 BB, 19 K


I have a feeling weíre only scratching the surface of what Adam Lind is going to show us; that 1117 OPS his final year in college is just one reason. Lind is hanging in very well and is starting to heat up as he adjusts to the pro game. Expect more of the same from him as time goes on.


Jarad Mangioni, OF, 02/08/84
2004 Auburn
81 AB, 15 R, .309/.404/.506, 5 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 11 BB, 20 K, 2 SB, 1 CS


While previewing the short-season teams last year, I thought Mangioni was going to be a breakout candidate; turns out I was a year early. After a disappointing 2003, when he repeated Rookie-League ball and hit .226, the very young Australian has moved up a level and attacked the NY-Penn League with a vengeance. Heís a tall, right-handed drink of water who will probably add more power as he adds more pounds: what heís shown so far is pretty darn impressive. It was his plate discipline that betrayed him in his first two pro seasons, and while itís better so far this year, itís still not terrific. But for a 20-year-old, one of the youngest Doubledays on the roster, this is a really good start.


Aaron Mathews, OF, 05/10/82
2004 Auburn
166 AB, 30 R, .289/.364/.355, 9 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 20 RBI, 18 BB, 29 K, 5 SB, 4 CS


He hasnít shown much power yet, and his strikeouts are accordingly a little high. But Mathews, a terrific outfielder who plays with heart and hustle, was widely considered to be draftable much higher than the 19th round in which the Blue Jays snagged him in June. His batting eye has been pretty good so far, and his game, which appears to be extra-base hits and bat control, should translate well to the pro context. Worth watching.


Michael MacDonald, RHP, 10/29/81
2004 Auburn
4-1, 1.55, 8 G, 8 GS, 46 IP, 30 H, 6 BB, 30 K, 2 HR


Excellent command was MacDonaldís signature at the University of Maine, where the Jays took him in the 15th round in June. True to form, heís issuing few walks and keeping runners off the basepaths in his role as early-season Auburn ace. As a relatively late-round pick, MacDonald will have his work cut out for him to stay in the organizationís sights; a few more strikeouts would help a lot. His college record at Maine was excellent, so thereís definitely something here.


Casey McKenzie, RHP, 07/26/82
2004 Auburn
4-2, 3.35, 9 G, 9 GS, 45 IP, 43 H, 9 BB, 38 K, 4 HR


Another low-round draftee from 2004 (27th), McKenzie is posting pretty good numbers of his own for the Doubledays. McKenzie gave up a lot of hits in his senior season at the University of Tampa (95 in 86 innings), but complemented that with an astounding 17/101 BB/K rate. Heís showing much the same pattern in the early going at Auburn.


Joey McLaughlin Jr., RHP, 02/11/82
2004 Auburn
3-0, 2.82, 13 G, 0 GS, 22 IP, 17 H, 10 BB, 27 K, 0 HR


Really, I think weíve all had enough fun at Joey Seniorís expense, and I donít think we need to visit that upon his son any longer. From this point on, McLaughlin Jr. will be treated as just another pitching prospect. Yet another late-rounder Ė the Jays seemed to save their pitchers for the lower rounds this year Ė McLaughlin is throwing some very good strikeout numbers on the board, but his control is a cause for concern. In a bullpen role, heíll have to sharpen his command to make strides in the organization.


Joey Metropoulos, 1B, 10/07/83
2004 Auburn
80 AB, 18 R, .275/.396/.475, 10 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 11 BB, 24 K


The power is mostly in doubles form so far, and heís striking out in about 1/3 of his at-bats, but Metropoulos has been coming on strong lately and showing why the Jays thought so highly of his potential. He had an off-year in his senior season just before being drafted, and there may be some lingering effects there. The walks are good, and the pop is promising; there should be more to come.


Eric Nielsen, OF, 11/04/81
2004 Auburn
128 AB, 22 R, .297/.391/.469, 7 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 15 BB, 26 K, 0 SB, 4 CS


Relatively unheralded when drafted in the 12th round this past June out of UNLV (I still think of Jerry Tarkanian and that damn towel whenever that school is mentioned), Nielsen is off to a good start, showing (wait for it) batting average, patience and some power. Heís not considered a plus defender in the outfield, so his bat will have to make his case for him. One of the interesting things about this Auburn squad, as opposed to last yearís, is that the contributions are spread over many more players. Last year, Big Vito was the undisputed offensive cog on this team, with a few others playing strong supporting roles; so far this year, thereís no single outstanding player in terms of production, but nearly everyone is playing well and the team is prospering as a result.


Erik Rico, RHP, 01/21/80
2004 Auburn
5-1, 1.27, 2 Sv, 15 G, 0 GS, 28 IP, 24 H, 4 BB, 22 K, 2 HR


Heís much older than your average NY-Penn Leaguer, but Rico is far from average: he started off his Jays career as an outfielder. When that clearly wasnít working, the organization ďsuggestedĒ that Rico try his hand at pitching, and so far the results are very promising. His command in particular is excellent, and thatís the kind of thing that gets a reliever promoted Ė as Rico has just been, to Charleston.


Curtis Thigpen, C, 04/13/83
2004 Auburn
86 AB, 11 R, .267/.323/.453, 7 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 7 BB, 13 K


After a white-hot start to his pro career, perhaps still riding the energy of the College World Series, Thigpen has returned to earth, though thereís still only so much that 86 at-bats can tell you. Heís definitely got power to spare, and although he hasnít walked a lot so far, heís showing excellent bat control with so few strikeouts. Watching Thigpen develop is going to be one of the more enjoyable aspects of the Blue Jaysí farm system these next few years.






Pulaski Blue Jays




Charlie Anderson, OF, 10/02/81
2004 Pulaski
105 AB, 25 R, .343/.435/.600, 9 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 18 BB, 25 K


After leading the University of Detroit-Mercy in virtually every major offensive category, Anderson was a 35th-round draft choice of the Blue Jays this past June. When he was drafted, his college coach inadvertently damned him with faint praise by calling him ďa special hitter and an increasingly good overall player.Ē From that, Iíll infer that Anderson isnít yet gifted with the glove. But thereís no doubting that this man can hit: his .622 slugging percentage in his first 100 at-bats leads everyone in the Blue Jays system. Everythingís working for him right now; letís see what his numbers look like at the end of the year. Anderson also represents the end of a line: he was the very last player drafted from Detroit-Mercy, which shut down its baseball program after this past season.


Graig Badger, 2B, 07/14/80
2004 Pulaski
36 AB, 15 R, .306/.537/.333, 1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 17 BB, 9 K


Here comes Jayce Tingler v 2.0. I really shouldnít be including him after just 36 at-bats, but these numbers are so remarkable as to warrant a mention. Badger was a 2001 graduate of Rutgers University whom the Blue Jays signed as a free agent before the season. In his final year at Rutgers, he posted a .364/.502/.485 line with a 44/29 BB/K rate; the year before that, he hit .318 with a 56/38 ratio. As you can tell, Badger has hardly any power (not surprising, at 5í9Ē, 165 lbs), and like Tingler, that could cause him some problems when he gets to higher levels. As a 2001 grad, heís also clearly too old for Rookie League, so weíll wait to see what he can do against stronger competition.


Jonathan Chappell, UT, 04/10/80
2004 Pulaski
54 AB, 11 R, .296/.406/.537, 7 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 8 BB, 17 K


Heís the son of Australian cricket star Greg Chappell, and he was signed to a free-agent contract by the Blue Jays in 2001, but he only made his professional debut in North America last month. That seems like an awfully long lead time, but the wait has so far been worth it: Chappell is off to an excellent start with the bat. Although he was drafted as a catcher, heís played the field only sparingly, at numerous positions. Heís the archetypal rookie, so until we see some more evidence of how he can do against more advanced competition, Iím not going to go overboard.


Chi-Hung Cheng, LHP, 06/20/85
2004 Pulaski
2-1, 2,68, 8 G, 8 GS, 40 IP, 35 H, 17 BB, 48 K, 3 HR


If this were an ordinary pitching line, I would say the prospect shows great K numbers, has some command issues, and had a misleading ERA (12 earned runs, 6 unearned runs so far this season). But of course, Cheng is far from ordinary: just turned 19, heís the youngest person in the system, and is no doubt dealing with a fair degree of culture shock even as we speak. His fastball supposedly is only in the mid-to-high 80s, and it will pick up speed over time. That said, his breaking stuff is his strength right now, and heís probably overmatching Rookie League hitters with that. Wait a couple of years and a couple of levels before getting too excited.


Brian Grant, RHP, 08/16/84
2004 Pulaski
3-0, 2.57, 6 G, 5 GS, 28 IP, 27 H, 9 BB, 17 K, 1 HR


Drafted in the 7th round in 2002, Grant is that rarest of commodities: a high-school pitcher taken in the upper rounds in the Ricciardi regime. Donít expect to see that happen too often. Nonetheless, after two learning-on-the-job seasons, Grant is rounding into form in his third trip through the Rookie Leagues. His strikeouts levels are still unimpressive, but heís minimizing his mistakes and keeping runs off the board. Heís still at least a year away from producing meaningful results, but his climb continues.


Adrian Martin, RHP, 10/02/84
2004 Pulaski
2-1, 3.89, 11 G, 5 GS, 34 IP, 40 H, 4 BB, 35 K, 1 HR


Yeah, that BB/K rate is pretty good, especially for a guy who wonít turn 20 till next month. Martin is also a rare creature: a draft-and-follow signing out of a Florida high school, taken in the 19th round in 2003 and signed this past May. He already has a good curve and his fastball should get more mph as he matures. But what he clearly has is superior command, and an ability to locate his pitches. For a teenager, that bodes really, really well.


Yuber Rodriquez, OF, 11/17/83
2004 Pulaski
140 AB, 28 R, .329/.418/.593, 9 2B, 5 3B, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 19 BB, 37 K, 3 SB, 2 CS


Last year, in his pro debut at Pulaski, that BB/K rate was 4/39 in 128 AB. So I call this yearís 19/37 ratio a distinct improvement. And those other numbers arenít shabby, either. The young Venezuelan is undeniably talented Ė heís reportedly a marvelous defensive centerfielder Ė and has speed to burn, though it hasnít translated into stolen bases yet. He might well be the best CF prospect in the system after Miguel Negron, and if he keeps improving, heíll move up the depth chart.


Derek Tate, LHP, 12/19/81
2004 Pulaski
2-0, 1.10, 1 Sv, 11 G, 3 GS, 32 IP, 22 H, 4 BB, 41 K, 1 HR


I donít know about you, but I didnít see this coming. In his final year at the University of San Francisco, Tate went 6-7, 3.77, 117 IP, 122 H, 20 BB, 79 K, and his previous season, in far fewer innings, wasnít that much better. The Jays took him in the 34th round in June, and heís putting up by far the best number on Pulaskiís staff, so much so that heís just been promoted to Auburn. Heís a compact package (5í11Ē, 185 lbs), but heís also 22, and by most accounts, doesnít threaten the high 80s on the radar gun. Heís obviously off to a very nice start, but weíll see what Auburn holds.


Nick Thomas, 1B, 02/02/83
2004 Pulaski
100 AB, 20 R, .290/.433/.510, 7 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 24 RBI, 25 BB, 24 K


My pre-season Rookie Ball sleeper pick is making me look smart. We talk about the potential of Shaun Marcum, who was primarily a shortstop coming through college and is only recently a convert to the mound. Well, Thomas was drafted as a pitcher out of Sacramento City College in 2002 and has only recently become a full-time hitter. The results have been terrific, especially considering his age. Thomas rightly couldíve started 2004 at Auburn, and Iím sure thatís at least where heíll start 2005; Iím actually hoping he gets a look at Dunedin before this season is out.


Jordan Timm, LHP, 01/15/81
2004 Pulaski
2-1, 3.34, 6 G, 6 GS, 32 IP, 32 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 5 HR


A big, bruising lefty (6í6Ē, 230 lbs), Timm has the Appalachian League at both an age and a size disadvantage. He had very good ratios at the University of Wisconsin (Oshkosh) and was taken in the 14th round in June. Frankly, weíll have to see how he does against batters his own age before we can draw many conclusions.


Aaron Tressler, RHP, 03/28/82
2004 Pulaski
2-1, 1.71, 3 Sv, 13 G, 0 GS, 21 IP, 10 H, 6 BB, 27 K, 1 HR


Yet another late-round choice from the 2004 draft (32nd), Tressler had a solid senior season at Penn State before coming to the Blue Jays organization and has been pitching well in very limited action. Few of these late-rounders are as good as their stats make them appear; in fact, they might all be short-season Rookie Ball illusions. But at the moment, itís further testament to the very good scouting department the Blue Jays have assembled.
Farm Report: July 2004 | 41 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#45435) #
Jordan, are you sure this is comprehensive enough? :)

Well done, as usual.
_Mylegacy - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#45436) #
Jordan, great work.

It's interesting to see our "post-op" team: Maurer, Leonard, Thorpe and Rosario. Except for Rosario they seem to be progressing reasonably well.

Next year HOPEFULLY we can also monitor McGowan and Mulholland. Are there any others I've missed?
_Mylegacy - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#45437) #
Cam Reimers. I read recently (just in the last week I think) that Cam threw his "new" curve ball in a game for the first time. (I 've tried to find the "link" no luck, sorry)

If so this will be interesting. Cam's a journeyman at best BUT give a guy like him a new GOOD pitch and who knows. Remember, Loaiza picked up a pitch and suddenly was a contender.
_Blue in SK - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#45438) #
Absolutely amazing work. Thanks.
Mike D - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#45439) #
Must-read as always, Jordan. How's Danny Hill doing in Auburn?
_Nigel - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#45440) #
Jordan, outstanding work as usual. The one guy I think that everyone overlooks as a prospect is Sequea. There have been endless debates about Adams' future value and role and almost no discussion about Sequea. Now he's actually a few months younger than Adams and last year posted comparable if not better numbers than Adams at a higher level. This year he got off to a slow start and then was injured. He has subsequently started getting back on track. Right now Adams has about 30-40 points of SLG (not insignificant) on Sequea but otherwise their numbers are pretty comparable. If Adams is a prospect (which he is) then Sequea is one as well. As I've said a few times, I believe Adams will only play as an everyday player if his defense is above average (because his offense won't be outstanding unless he reaches a new level from what his numbers have been to date) and the same if not more may apply to Sequea, but either way I believe they both will play major league baseball (as utility infielders if nothing else).
Mike Green - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#45441) #
Danny Hill's pitched 1 inning, so far. I don't think that there has been any official word from the organization concerning his status, but I am worried. Perhaps Gerry knows more.
Mike Green - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#45442) #
Nigel, you are right that Sequea is a prospect. He's young and he can hit and field well enough to be a capable utility infielder. It certainly wouldn't shock me if he has that role on the big club next year. The hopes for Adams are definitely higher, and it does seem that he's now got a better bat.
_Jordan - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#45443) #
Nigel, I like Sequea's chances too, and I think he'll re-establish himself next season (assuming the organization keeps him around). I thought he had a chance to make the big club this past spring as a utility guy, but he got hurt, and then Menechino became available, and that was that. I seriously doubt that Dave Berg will be back next year -- really, the only certainty in that middle-infield mix is Hudson -- so Sequea will never have a better chance than next spring to make the club. If he can stay healthy, he could do it.
_joemayo - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#45444) #
wow. nice work! that was an enjoyable read to say the least. I'm looking forward to big Vito's progression through the ranks. He looks like an Adam Dunn type ... only with fewer K's and HR's. Dunn is developing into a beast at the plate but with an outrageous number of K's.
Gerry - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#45445) #
Great work as usual Jordan.

Danny Hill is injured but not seriously. When I was there a couple of weeks ago they thought he would be back soon.

Cam Reimers does have a new curveball although he did not use it a lot on Tuesday. Marty Pevey said that Cam's fastball, slider and change all come in on the same plane and are not different enough to give another look to the hitter. The curve is an attempt to have Cam mix it up a little. Cam's results at AA this year were excellent but his stuff is fringy, he is the kind of pitcher who needs another year at AAA to develop pinpoint control if he has a chance in the big leagues.
_jim854 - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#45446) #
A GREAT report, Jordan!!! It is one I will reread several times to digest fully.

I enjoyed every word and like you am looking forward to the results at the end of the year to make comparisons. I saw big Vito play 3 games at the start of the season and have high hopes for him.

Thanks again!
Thomas - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#45447) #
Outstanding work. It was a great read.

It could have been a bit more thorough.....
_Ducey - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#45448) #
Allow me to point out one error. The farmhand with the best name is not Bubbie or Chip but is light hitting Pulaski catcher Gooby Gerlits :-)
_Smack - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#45449) #
How are JFG's splits?

Hope he doesnt just mash righties, we really need an everyday slugger for the future.
_Ryan01 - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#45450) #
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/minors/stats/2003/eastnewhavenltrt/
I don't know about this year but COMN for JFG's splits last year. It's only 100 AB against lefties but the numbers are pretty even.
robertdudek - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 07:13 PM EDT (#45451) #
In defense, let me note that Tingler played almost all of last year in Pulaski, so Dunedin represents a three-step jump for him.
_Anthony - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#45452) #
This is also Tingler's first full season. Most of the players at this level have already played several full seasons. His defense remains strong, although he does have a couple errors in the past few weeks.

I don't see too many promotions from Dunedin to NH this year. I think that they will try and keep the team together through the playoffs. You may see some temporary promotions during the Olympics.

Vito(32), Cota(31) and Davenport(31) are all approaching the Dunedin record of 36 doubles.
Pistol - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#45453) #
I believe that Hattig played for Portland and not New Britain prior to joining NH.
Pistol - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#45454) #
Also, Metropoulos was a college junior this season.

Anyway, great stuff. The monthly minor league report is my favorite feature at Da Box and this certainly didn't disappoint this year.
Pistol - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#45455) #
With all of these prospects coming up through the system the Jays will be having problems keeping all these players in the organization as there will be many Rule 5 candidates, if not this year, then most likely next year.

I mean, there's 70+ profiles in this update. Even if only half are any kind of prospect the Jays will have issues.

Given that, the Jays would be wise to package some of these players in trades before they lose them for nothing.
Pistol - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#45456) #
this certainly didn't disappoint this year

I mean month.

OK, I promise no more consectutive posts.
_DW - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#45457) #
Badger is a 2004 grad (Rutgers, 5th yr senior, NDFA), though certainly old for the Appy.
_JohnnyS99 - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#45458) #
Way to old for the Appy, most of the guys were high school picks or Juco picks in the appy. Tingler should be released if he is hitting the same this time next year. Tingler is old for Dunedin, and was college senoir draftee, most college senoirs drafted for the first time are not prospects but organization fillers.
_Rob - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#45459) #
Hey! I only counted 10685 words. I was cheated!

I'm obviously kidding, great work as usual.
_Rob - Thursday, August 05 2004 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#45460) #
First-hand info and scouting reports from those whoíve seen these and other players will be welcomed.

Let me reiterate that I'll be at an upcoming Syracuse @ Rochester game. I believe it is the 19th, two weeks tonight. If anyone wants me to check out certain aspects of the Syracuse team, I can do that.

I'll be following Adams, Gross, and GQ closely, as they seem to be the only hitters who will spend a lot of 2005 with the big club. Any and all pitchers who appear in the game will be "covered" as well.

This thread seemed like as good a place as any to ask if there's anything else people would like a first-hand perspective on. I leave on my Lake Ontario-circling trip on Wednesday, so get in your requests to the Super Scout now. ;)
_Anthony - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 12:53 AM EDT (#45461) #
Tingler old for Dunedin? That makes Vito, Cota and Roberts also old for Dunedin. Tingler has been doing his job as a leadoff hitter getting on base (OBP .381). With Vito and Cota hitting better than they were in the first part of the season, he is scoring when he gets on base. Tingler has shown some signs of regaining his early season form. Hopefully he will continue to improve in the last part of the season.
_Ron - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 01:40 AM EDT (#45462) #
Holy top notch farm report Batman:)
Craig B - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#45463) #
Way to old for the Appy, most of the guys were high school picks or Juco picks in the appy.

Not true. Taking three teams at random, Princeton, Elizabethton and Kingsport. Elizabethton's roster has 19 players aged 21+ and and 12 players 20 or less. Kingsport has 22 players who are 21 or older and 7 who are 20 or less. Princeton has 16 players aged 21+ and 19 aged 20 or less.

Overall, then, exactly 60% (57/95) of the players in my sample were 21 or older.

Pulaski, incidentally, have 12 players aged 20 or less and 25 aged 21 or older, so they're slightly above the average age from my sample. Badger is 23; he *is* older than average, and should be producing at a high level against this competition. "Way too old" is a relative term. He's way too old for a prospect in the Appy, but 5th-year free agents aren't, generally speaking, prospects.
Craig B - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 08:57 AM EDT (#45464) #
As for Jayce Tingler, he is 23 and just about the average age for a FSL player.
_Jordan - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#45465) #
Pistol and DW, thanks for the corrections. It was indeed Portland, not New Britian, where John Hattig started his season; I don't know why I switched the Twins' and BoSox' Eastern League teams. And my info on Badger came from a Website that turned out to be incorrect; I couldn't find any official team data on him.

Rob, when you count the introduction, it's 11,134 words. :-) And we'd welcome your first-hand accounts from the Rochester game!
Craig B - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#45466) #
OK, so we've seen the Report; how about we lay down our cards and talk about a top 10 prospects list?

I'll throw out some names...

McGowan (TJ surgery or no, he still needs to be considered)
Adams
Gross
Peterson
Quiroz
Banks
Chacin
Hill
Griffin
Godwin
League
Rosario
Vermilyea
Chiaravalloti
Cota
Marcum
Davenport
Negron
Perkins
Ramirez
Roberts
Tablado
Mastny
Reiman
los dos Romeros
Diaz
Snavely

Nobody from the short-season leagues has thrown himself forward. Maybe Cheng.

Anyway, my top three would be Quiroz, Hill, and McGowan. Adams, Gross, and Vermilyea are in my top ten, Chacin is probably there, and Banks. Rosario and League, perhaps, and maybe Vito, and Mastny is moving up too.
_Nigel - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#45467) #
Craig - I'll give you my take. Unlike last year, I think the list is incredibly hard. There haven't been any outstanding years from the upper level prospects (unlike last year with Rios, Quiroz, McGowan and Bush). There have been some great performances from lower level prospects who haven't previously shown much (Tablado and Davenport). All in all, you can have a great debate about this list.

1. Quiroz
2. Hill
3. Banks
4. Gross
5. Marcum
6. Tablado
7. Adams
8. Hattig
9. Chacin
10. League

Honorable mention to Vito; Vermilyea; JFG and Roberts

I may have Hattig too high, but frankly no Jays prospect above Dunedin has put up numbers like his so he jumps in at 8 for me.

I find it very hard to rank pitchers below high A. I know this does a disservice to someone like Davis Romero, who has a chance to be special. I have even more trouble with McGowan. Just like Rosario before him, you just don't know what you are going to get post-surgery. Fingers crossed.
_Jordan - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#45468) #
1. Hill
2. Quiroz
3. Banks
4. Adams
5. Gross
6. Marcum
7. League
8. Chiaravalotti
9. Peterson
10. McGowan

Bubbling under: Tablado, D Romero, Roberts, Vermilyea

There's very little separating the Top 5, and GQ is also a reasonable #1. All Gross needs is power, all Adams need is glovework, and all Banks needs is time.

By way of comparison: here's my pre-season Top Ten:

1. Rios
2. McGowan
3. Quiroz
4. Bush
5. Gross
6. Rosario
7. Adams
8. Hill
9. Arnold
10. Peterson

Rios and Bush are in the majors; McGowan's injured; Quiroz, Adams and Gross are on the edge of joining The Show; Arnold got hurt (and was an optimistic ranking anyway), Peterson and Rosario are struggling. The rising bullet is Hill, who can hit, can walk, is gaining power, can play the infield, and from the reports I've heard is a born leader.

This is an early August ranking, of course; it'll be much different when I do another Top 40 next spring.
_mendocino - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#45469) #
on potential alone one of or both purcey and jackson should crack the top 10.
Craig B - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#45470) #
1. Quiroz
2. Hill
3. McGowan
4. Gross
5. Banks
6. Adams
7. Chacin
8. Vermilyea
9. Marcum
10. League

I'm not happy with this list, but it will do for now. Vito's #11 and Peterson #12.
_Nigel - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#45471) #
As I said, these lists are great for debate. Craig and Jordan, any thoughts on Hattig? Is it his age and glove that trouble you? McGowan's the hardest of all for me. If he's healthy then he's number one on the list, if he's not healthy then I just don't see him having a spot. Interesting choice anyway you look at it.
Mike Green - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#45472) #
My top 10 of the moment:

1. Quiroz
2. Hill
3. Banks
4. Marcum
5. Gross
6. Adams
7. Tablado
8. Vermilyea
9. League
10. Davis Romero

Peterson, Chacin, McGowan, Rosario and Negron are all lurking somewhere close. The ranking of Banks, Marcum and Vermilyea is fascinating; they were Auburn's best last year and I'll bet if you charted their course over this year, there has been a lot of up and down movement.
_Jordan - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#45473) #
Nigel, I like Hattig's bat, but the combination of his glove and his age make me cautious. Top 20 for sure, but for me at least, not Top 10.

I'm probably out in the cold on Gustavo Chacin, and after two no-hit efforts this season I'm really looking bad, but I'm still not sold on him. I think his upside is Dave Gassner, and much as I liked and rooted for Dave, he was not one of even the Top 15 best prospects in the system when he was in the organization. And the system is a lot stronger now than last year.

Purcey and Jackson are very promising, but I won't rank any player till he steps on a field in uniform.
_Jordan - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#45474) #
Oh yeah, McGowan. I normally don't like ranking any player who's recovering from serious surgery, especially a pitcher. I put him at #10 as kind of a default ranking. Rosario's struggles this year should make us quite cautious about if and when Dustin will be back at full steam (though McGowan was further along than Rosario when injury struck).
_Rob - Friday, August 06 2004 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#45475) #
I will only rank 9 players, since I couldn't decide how to rank McGowan; I didn't want to put people ahead of him or exclude him completely.

1. Hill
2. Quiroz
3. Banks
4. Gross
5. Adams
6. Vermilyea
7. League
8. Tablado
9. Marcum
Farm Report: July 2004 | 41 comments | Create New Account
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