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John Sickels' top 20 Jay prospects are up. For comparison, here is Jordan's top 30 from September.

Brandon League and David Purcey are the top rated prospects on John Sickels' list. Aaron Hill and Josh Banks rank 1, 2 on Jordan's.

Despite the different names at the top, the lists are very close. Tools/ceiling vs. performance emphasis probably accounts for these modest differences.

One area of weakness in the Sickels' ratings (you'll have to buy his prospect book for the rationales behind many of them) is his reliance on H/IP ratios in small samples for pitchers. For instance, he comments that Shaun Marcum's H/IP ratio of 74/69 in Dunedin was below average, despite the fact his career H/IP ratio, as well as his K/IP ratio is excellent. Hits allowed are significantly affected by defence and context; for this reason, small sample H/IP is not a reliable indicator of future pitching success. Similar comments were made in Baseball America about David Bush's innings in Syracuse last year.

That concern aside, Sickels' prospect book is well worth purchasing, and his top 20 list merits a look-see. He continues to marry performance and tools analysis in a most agreeable way.

Sickels was a strong supporter of Gabe Gross. He downgrades Gross from a B- to a C+ on the list, and jokes that now that he has lost faith, Gross will probably get hot for the first half of the season. He's got a leg up on that one!

John Sickels' Top 20 Jay prospects | 18 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Jordan - Wednesday, March 09 2005 @ 03:29 PM EST (#105341) #
Sickels ranks David Purcey #2 in the Jays' system, which is incredibly high praise for a pitcher with only a handful of professional innings in short-season ball. I had Purcey at #10, and while that may have been a little on the conservative side, I have a hard time seeing him as Toronto's second-best prospect. But you have to like the confidence that both Sickels and BA place in Purcey at this point.

Beyond that, I think he's done an excellent job with ranking these prospects. I won't argue with Brandon League at #1, and his reasons for rating Quiroz at #8 are reasonable -- Guillermo does have a few things yet to prove with the bat. I share some of his concerns about Gustavo Chacin's ratios, though I still think Chacin deserves a much higher berth than #17 -- that cut fastball does appear to be working. Overall, a very good job by one of the best in the business -- I'm looking forward to my 2005 copy of The Baseball Prospect Book arriving in the mail any day now.

Skills - Wednesday, March 09 2005 @ 03:41 PM EST (#105343) #
One thing that struck me about Sickels' list was the absence of Raul Tablado. Not that he is by any means a consensus pick, especially if you acknowledge whatever discipline problem he had last season. However, he did put up some pretty impressive numbers last season.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 09 2005 @ 03:45 PM EST (#105344) #
My copy of the Prospect Book arrived about 2 weeks ago, and it's already well thumbed.

It is particularly valuable for the prospect evaluations for other organizations.
Pistol - Wednesday, March 09 2005 @ 03:57 PM EST (#105346) #
Sickels ranks David Purcey #2 in the Jays' system, which is incredibly high praise for a pitcher with only a handful of professional innings in short-season ball.

Well, in fairness he has seen him pitch in college, and does bring more of a scout's perspective to his lists.

Thomas - Wednesday, March 09 2005 @ 05:40 PM EST (#105357) #
Not that I'd expect anything less from Mr. Sickels, but the book is well worth the purchase?
kpataky - Wednesday, March 09 2005 @ 07:36 PM EST (#105365) #
Cover boys: The Blue Jays are on the cover of the most recent Sports Illustrated, a nod to senior writer Tom Verducci's five-day stint with the team. The article, entitled "I was a Toronto Blue Jay ... For Five Days," will detail Verducci's full immersion in Spring Training drills with the rest of Toronto's outfielders.

Verducci, the first writer pictured on the magazine's cover, is dressed in full uniform and flanked by Reed Johnson, Vernon Wells and Frank Catalanotto. Toronto hasn't been on the cover since July 2000, when ex-Jay David Wells was featured.
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 09 2005 @ 11:04 PM EST (#105374) #
What's interesting to me is that Sickels rates McGowan as a B- prospect (he does describe him as a premium RHP, if he recovers from surgery). Before his injury, everyone absolutely loved this guy.

I think 2005 will be a revealing year, one that will separate a lot of once-touted prospects from suspects. We seem to have so many guys who could go either way--Rosario, McGowan, Banks, Marcum, Vito, to name a few.
Ron - Wednesday, March 09 2005 @ 11:30 PM EST (#105376) #
One interesting development that I've seen so far in camp that hasn't been discussed by the media or Da Box (unless I missed it)is the Jays using Rosario in the bullpen.

There is one open spot left in the pen (2 if Koch doesn't make the club) and when Gibbons listed off his candidates (Chulk, Miller, Gaudin, etc...)Rosario was listed as one of them.

I'm just wondering if the Jays brass have given up on him as a SP? I know the final spot is suppose to be for a long innings reliever but I still found it odd Rosario was placed with that group.
TamRa - Thursday, March 10 2005 @ 01:05 AM EST (#105378) #
Perhaps the undisclosed discipline problem with Tabledo is related to this story on BA's site:

C. Oliver - Thursday, March 10 2005 @ 07:41 AM EST (#105385) #
The stock of John-Ford Griffin continues to drop...
Gerry - Thursday, March 10 2005 @ 09:07 AM EST (#105388) #
Tablado is not Dominican, he is from Florida.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, March 10 2005 @ 09:10 AM EST (#105389) #
Tablado is from New Jersey and went to school in Florida, so he was not a part of the marriage problem. Besides, he is in spring training and those players involved in the marriage scandal are not being allowed into the States.
Ryan Day - Thursday, March 10 2005 @ 09:32 AM EST (#105390) #
I remember a lot of people pointing out that Rosario was a relatively little guy who might not be able to handle starting, and that his future was probably as a reliever. This might just be the natural progression for him, or it could be a way of watching his workload.
Jordan - Thursday, March 10 2005 @ 09:56 AM EST (#105394) #
Rosario isn't actually all that small anymore -- he bulked up while on rehab and is now, according to Baseball America, 6'0" and 197 lbs. By way of comparison, Roy Oswalt is listed at 6'0", 185 lbs.

That said, I've been saying for awhile that the bullpen is a likely destination for Rosario if he tops out at two pitches. He's got the fastball and change-up, though he needs to sharpen his command of each post-surgery. If he never develops anything more than that, he could be a lights-out closer. If the Jays are waiting for anything, it's probably to see whether he can perfect a breaking pitch. If he can add, say, a slider to his fastball and change, you're looking at ace potential. But keep in mind that 6.59 ERA from the AFL this past fall; Francisco still needs time.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 10 2005 @ 10:16 AM EST (#105397) #
Rosario has been inconsistent since his surgery. He was extremely good at the end of last season in double A and in the playoffs, but was off his game when he returned to single A early in the year and in the AFL.

Whether as a starter or as a closer, he needs to work on developing consistent command of his pitches. I'd feel a lot better about that if he worked these things out in the high minors. The Jays have plenty of other good options for the major league bullpen.

There was some suggestion in the media when Rosario was promoted from single A to double A last year that he needed to be challenged. I found that suggestion a little offensive. Recovery from arm surgery for a pitcher is routinely difficult, and it is still fairly uncommon for a pitcher to simply pick up where they left off.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, March 10 2005 @ 10:33 AM EST (#105400) #
You can't read anything into the fact that Rosario is pitching out of the pen in spring training. The Jays might have 12 starting pitchers in spring training and can't possible get them all starting assignments, or no one would get their work in. All it says is that the Jays don't expect Rosario to be in their rotation to start the season. That said, I would highly expect Rosario to be a future reliever in the majors.
R Billie - Thursday, March 10 2005 @ 12:28 PM EST (#105414) #
Rosario is still viewed as a starter. His slurve isn't a lights out pitch, his command still isn't where it needs to be, but he added another pitch in the off-season when he learned the cutter from Chacin.

I wouldn't read too much into his relieving in the spring or possibly long relieving in the majors. Long relief is often a stepping stone for young players to develop in the majors without the pressure of a starting job as Santana had his first couple of years in Minnesotta.

He could go either way but IMO there's no reason to count him or McGowan or League for that matter out of a starting role. In fact if I'm looking at a guy to start I'd rather he have a better changeup than a breaking ball. Though it's important to have at least an average breaking ball for the added variety.
rtcaino - Thursday, March 10 2005 @ 04:08 PM EST (#105443) #
I wonder what the possibility of the Jays acquiring a solid young first baseman is. I guy like say... Adrian Gonzalez from Texas. Sickles gave him a B rating, and ranked him their 5th highest prospect. Obviously you need to give up something to get something, so I propose we offer a package of Hinske and Batista... guys, I'm messing with you. In all seriousness though, what would it take to acquire such a guy? Perhaps pitching prospects like a Marcum or a Vermilyea??

Sickles had this to say about A-Gon;
"Adrian Gonzalez is blocked at first base and also pops up in trade talks. He needs an opportunity, and if he doesn’t break through somewhere this year the ticking on the clock will get much louder and his grade will treadmill."
John Sickels' Top 20 Jay prospects | 18 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.