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Yesterday, we looked at prospects #30-#21. We move on today to players who are more familiar.




20. Anthony Hatch, 3B
Born August 30, 1983. Selected in the 13th round of the 2005 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2004 20 NCAA 195 14 1 8 23 28 12 3 .379 .448 .585
2005 21 NCAA 107 11 0 6 10 9 1 1 .393 .438 .664
2005 21 R+ 128 11 2 5 9 30 0 1 .273 .331 .508
2006 22 A 230 22 2 9 32 36 4 2 .309 .401 .539
2006 22 A+ 8 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 .500 .600 .750

Fortuitously, Anthony Hatch and Ryan Roberts sit next to each other in our lineup. Hatch's 2006 season reminds me of Ryan Roberts' 2004 in low A Charleston (see below), but there are some differences. Hatch is a year younger, and struck out and walked somewhat less often than Roberts. Roberts made his conversion to second base before 2004, whereas Hatch's conversion attempt will perhaps take place this off-season. Hatch's build, 6'4", 185 lbs, is also quite different from Roberts'.

With the bat, there is a lot to like here. The ability to make contact and to hit for power portends well for Hatch's future. A left-handed hitter, Hatch hit lefties well (.320/.433/.480) in limited at-bats in 2006. If he can make a successful conversion to second base next year in Dunedin, without losing too much at the plate, he will find himself much higher on our 2007 list. (MG)




19. Ryan Roberts, 2B
Born September 19, 1980. Selected in the 18th round of the 2003 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2004 23 A 226 9 0 13 55 50 0 0 .283 .440 .496
2004 23 A+ 205 1 1 7 36 51 0 3 .239 .350 .356
2005 24 AA 338 19 3 15 55 94 5 1 .272 .379 .479
2005 24 A+ 164 9 0 9 24 27 6 1 .287 .380 .506
2006 25 AAA 362 28 1 10 30 86 5 3 .273 .330 .439

That Roberts ranked this low shows the discrepancy between members of the minor league crew in their opinion of prospects and what factors they place the most emphasis on when composing their lists. He had one of the highest standard deviation scores of any prospect in the system and in two lists of the six lists submitted he ranked in the top 12; in two others he was left completely off the ballot.

Prior to 2006 Roberts had never posted a sub-.800 OPS, aside from a half-season in Dunedin and this year he came very close with a .784 OPS in Syracuse. Those arenít earth-shattering numbers, but theyíre fine numbers for a middle infielder. Unfortunately, Roberts only has struggled at times defensively at 2B or 3B and doesnít project as a shortstop. What was worrying about his season this year is that prior to 2006 Roberts walked in about 14.5% of his minor league trips to the plate. This year Roberts only walked in 7.9% of his plate appearances. Prior to this year Robertsís eye was pretty consistent, so this might be a one-year fluke.

In any case, Roberts is in limbo this offseason. Heís demonstrated that he deserves a shot to make an MLB roster, but heís at a disadvantage because he canít play short. That isnít a huge problem with Hill able to play the position, but Hillís much better at second. Roberts projects as a reserve, but in the end his status for 2007 will depend a lot on (a) who the Jays bring in to challenge Adams for a starting job and (b) whether the team wants MacDonald to return as a backup infielder. Heíll be in the mix next year, but many of the circumstances will be beyond his control. (T)




18. Eric Fowler, LHP
Born March 18, 1983. Selected in the 5th round of the 2005 amateur draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2004 21 NCAA 15 9 59 9.45 1.22 3.05 8.69 5.80
2005 22 NCAA 15 11 81 7.60 0.99 2.42 10.35 3.09
2005 22 A- 15 10 56 6.67 0.15 4.60 8.73 3.02
2006 23 A+ 28 27 149 9.90 0.60 2.17 7.00 3.74

Some who thought Fowler's upside was a mere LOOGY might have been dissuaded by his 2006 season. While he gave up quite a few hits, that K/BB ratio is quite nice and he actually held righthanded batters to a line of .268/.308/.357. (His numbers against lefties are in too small of a sample to be meaningful, and they're driven by a .380 BABIP anyway).

Fowler's another lefty with a fastball in the high 80s, though he has a really good curve that is apparently equally effective against lefties and righties, which probably accounts for his reduced platoon splits. At Fowler's age, though, he really needs to do well enough in New Hampshire next year to get a look in Syracuse. I wouldn't imagine he's on the fast track, but you can never have enough pitching, especially lefties. (R)




17. Jamie Vermilyea, RHP
Born February 10, 1982. Selected in the 9th round of the 2003 amateur draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2004 22 A+ 18 6 55 8.78 0.65 2.11 6.02 3.09
2004 22 AA 20 6 57 6.75 0.31 1.88 6.12 2.51
2005 23 AA 27 4 66 9.18 0.69 2.19 7.13 2.60
2005 23 AAA 16 4 35 12.48 1.53 2.82 6.15 5.60
2006 24 AA 5 1 16 8.26 0.00 0.00 3.85 1.65
2006 24 AAA 25 17 114 10.12 0.70 2.19 5.02 3.85

Vermilyea's numbers do not scream top prospect, so what precisely is he doing here? He has more or less had success wherever he has pitched, but that is not really the reason. Rather, it is easy to see a major league role for him and to imagine him succeeding in that role.

Vermilyea throws a sinker, a slider and a change, and is tough on right-handed hitters. He possesses the Chien Ming Wang profile. Good control, strikes out between 4 and 5 batters per 9 innings and induces ground ball after ground ball. How many ground balls? 64% of balls in play this year. With a good infield defence and a catcher who controls the running game behind him, Vermilyea would probably succeed in a middle relief role. He would be more sensitive than many pitchers to changes in the environment, although he is not particularly vulnerable to the home run.(MG)




16. Ryan Klosterman, SS / 2B
Born May 28, 1982. Selected in the 5th round of the 2004 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2004 22 NCAA 263 15 8 7 26 36 16 3 .346 .414 .544
2005 23 A 452 26 4 13 62 99 30 4 .241 .343 .403
2006 24 A+ 321 27 3 12 24 78 15 0 .287 .350 .502
2006 24 AA 137 5 0 4 17 37 7 2 .248 .348 .372

After not cracking the top 30 list last year Klosterman moved up the ranks following a solid all around season. In Dunedin this year he showed a fair amount of pop, hitting 42 extra base hits in 321 ABs Ė good for a .502 slugging percentage in the pitcher friendly league. Klosterman struggled initially following his promotion to New Hampshire in July, but adjusted to the level of competition in August.

July Ė 55 ABs: .164/.299/.273 .571 OPS
August Ė 82 ABs: .305/.400/.439 .839 OPS

Interestingly, the right handed hitting Klosterman has reverse platoon splits. It may be a sample size issue (85 ABs against LHP), but it held up in both Dunedin and NH.

LHP - .668 OPS (Dunedin)
LHP - .361 OPS (NH)
RHP - .893 OPS (Dunedin)
RHP - .821 OPS (NH)

Klostermanís value doesnít end with his hitting. Heís quite proficient on the base paths, going 22-23 in steals this year. This makes him 70-77 in his minor league career. Klosterman is also known as a good gloveman.

If he continues a normal development Klosterman could be a reliable utility player. If he cuts back on his strikeouts he has a decent chance to be a solid starting middle infielder. (P)




15. Chip Cannon, 1B
Born November 30, 1981. Selected in the 8th round of the 2004 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2004 22 NCAA 232 20 2 17 71 49 3 1 .358 .514 .681
2004 22 A- 210 15 1 10 22 55 0 0 .271 .338 .495
2005 23 A 168 9 2 11 20 47 0 0 .268 .351 .542
2005 23 A+ 112 4 2 14 16 32 0 1 .384 .465 .830
2005 23 AA 170 13 1 7 10 58 2 0 .247 .293 .459
2006 24 AA 475 25 1 27 51 158 0 2 .248 .335 .476

Box favourite Cannon led the Eastern League in homers, but the season must still be considered a disappointment for him. Striking out as often as he did, he would have to hit 35-40 homers to be on track. Cannon has below average speed, and is at best an average defensive first- baseman. His game is power, and he is going to have show more of it to make it to the Show. Oddly, the left-handed hitting Cannon hit lefties better than righties in 2006, despite striking out much more often against portsiders. He hit particularly well at home, and in clutch situations in 2006.

Cannon turns 25 in November, and he still has work to do. The odds are not in his favour, but determination and the ability to hit home runs has carried more than a few players to solid major league careers. Those are precisely Cannon's assets. (MG)




14. Josh Banks, RHP
Born July 18, 1982. Selected in the 2nd round of the 2003 amateur draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2004 21 A+ 11 11 60 7.35 0.60 1.20 9.00 1.80
2004 21 AA 18 17 91 8.77 1.48 2.76 7.49 5.03
2005 22 AA 27 27 162 8.82 1.00 0.61 8.05 3.83
2006 23 AAA 29 29 170 9.70 1.84 1.47 6.64 5.17

Josh Banks allowed 35 home runs in 2006, but 26 of them were before the all-star break in 19 starts; 9 came after the all-star break in 10 starts. Banks has always been a pitcher who is around the plate, somewhat like Shaun Marcum, and he doesn't walk many hitters, but he often catches too much of the plate and the result is often a long ball. Because Josh doesn't overpower hitters he has to fool them and he has found that what fools hitters at one level doesn't always work at the next level. Josh needs to improve his control and his pitches before the Jays will promote him. Banks is working on a cutter and will return to AAA in 2007 to refine his reportoire to fool more hitters before trying his stuff at the major league level.(G)




13. Ismael Ramirez, RHP
Born March 3, 1981. Signed as an amateur free agent in 1998.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2004 23 A+ 28 27 165 8.22 0.27 1.36 7.13 2.72
2005 24 AA 27 27 151 9.26 1.13 1.92 7.49 4.12
2006 25 AA 20 19 108 7.06 0.83 2.65 6.23 2.08
2006 25 AAA 3 3 18 8.00 1.50 1.50 4.00 4.50

Ismael Ramirez started nineteen games in AA and held opponents to a .218 batting average. Ramirez gave up 85 hits in 108 innings on his way to a 2.08 ERA. It was Ramirez' second go-round at AA and had he not been injured he could have been in AAA by mid-season. Izzy was finally promoted to AAA for his last three starts and batters hit .242 off him. The issues facing Ramirez' prospect status are his injury record and his lower strikeout rate. Ramirez has missed time due to elbow problems in the last two seasons and his delivery has been described as stressful by some observers. In 2005 Izzy's K rate was 7.47, in 2006 it dropped to 6.23, a little lower than we would like. Ramirez throws a 91-92 mph fastball, a slider and a change-up. Ramirez has a tendency to come out of his delivery and drop his arm, thereby flattening his pitches. In some games he cruises through several innings before losing his delivery and getting hit. Ramirez will start 2006 at AAA and if he pitches well will get a chance to face major league hitters before the end of 2007. (G)




12. Kyle Yates, RHP
Born January 8, 1983. Selected in the 13th round of the 2004 amateur draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2004 21 NCAA 28 0 41 8.71 0.22 4.57 9.80 3.05
2004 21 A- 9 0 9 8.68 0.00 4.82 10.61 6.75
2005 22 A 14 14 81 9.07 0.66 2.10 8.96 4.43
2005 22 A+ 14 14 75 8.24 0.48 2.28 8.03 1.91
2006 23 A+ 4 2 14 5.14 0.00 0.00 8.35 0.64
2006 23 AA 28 18 127 8.34 0.70 2.68 7.20 3.75

Kyle Yates took the double A test in 2006, and the results were so-so, with a falling strikeout rate the main problem and a trip to the pen the outcome. Twenty-three year old pitchers do get second chances, and so it is likely to be for Yates in 2007, with a spot in the New Hampshire starting rotation still likely. Yates had a reverse platoon split this year; righties put up a .275/.325/.430 line including 20 doubles in 61 innings. We will see how he does in that department in 2007.

The good news is that Yates maintained his control despite his struggles, and so a career in the pen remains a reasonable possibility even if he is unable to replicate his earlier successes at higher levels. (MG)



11. Ty Taubenheim, RHP
Born November 17, 1982. Acquired in a December 2005 trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2004 21 A 47 0 92 7.89 0.97 1.65 10.33 3.61
2005 22 A+ 16 16 106 7.30 0.59 2.20 6.36 2.63
2005 22 AA 11 11 64 9.00 0.98 3.37 6.18 4.36
2006 23 AAA 18 14 75 8.92 1.07 2.14 5.70 2.85

I don't think I'm breaking any privacy laws when I share a line from a fellow minor league reporter who was somewhat relieved to see Taubenheim at #11: "surely Ty is not Top 10 material." Dangerously close to the Michalak Line against lefties, Taubenheim was nonetheless effective enough to put up the numbers you see there. He's a decent groundball pitcher whose overall opposing batting line of .261/.312/.422 gets park-adjusted to .247/.295/.392, according to MinorLeagueSplits.com. I don't know if I'd give him a rotation spot next year, but he definitely deserves a look somewhere with the big club in Spring Training. (R)


Tomorrow, it's the top 10.
2006 Post-Season Top 30 Prospects- #20-#11 | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Flex - Tuesday, September 26 2006 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#155998) #
Blegh. Now I know why so many are so down on the Jays system. Every year you hope to see some pleasant surprises in the middle ranks, and it's quite disappointing to see so little to be enthused or even hopeful about here.

Top ten can't get here fast enough for me.

Paul D - Tuesday, September 26 2006 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#156035) #
First off, technical issue:  if you click on the reply button that follows each quote, it takes you to the home page.  You have to click on the button below the main article to reply.

Secondly, has there been any explanation of why the Jays dropped a farm team?  You'd think this would be big news, but I haven't seen anything on it.  Someone tell someone at the Star to figure out what's going on.

Pistol - Tuesday, September 26 2006 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#156042) #
Gerry had an interview with Dick Scott that will address Pulaski.  This will run on Friday.
2006 Post-Season Top 30 Prospects- #20-#11 | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.