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John Sickels has been posting top 20 prospect lists over at his website. The Jays top 20 prospects list is his most recent one.  His summary:
The Blue Jays In One Sentence: Toronto has two outstanding bats, but the system drops off quickly after that, as the pitchers with the best stuff lack command, and the pitchers with the best command lack stuff.

As you can tell by his grades Sickels is really high on both Lind and Snider. I was a little surprised that he went as high as he did with both. I thought Lind might get knocked down a bit for his defense and I thought Snider might not have enough of a record to be that high. I can't think of too many instances where Sickels has rated given an A- to a mid first round draft pick in the year he was drafted.

On the down side Sickels isn't a Rosario believer, ranking him a grade C and #16 overall. I think he's a B- player, and is at least a top 10 player in the system. Looking at the Minor League Crew's voting there were 3 that had him 5th, 1 at 6th, 1 at 7th and one at 10th, placing him 6th overall.

Sickels on the Jays | 80 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
smcs - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 01:03 AM EST (#160526) #
He also did not mention Balbino Fuenmayor who, although he has yet to play a game in the Jays system, looks promising.
Ron - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 01:19 AM EST (#160527) #
What happened to Leance "Bonus Baby" Soto? I believe the Jays paid $600,000 to sign him.

I feel like Lind is more of a B/B+ prospect than a A- prospect. When asked to compare Lind to a MLB player, JP said the Cat. Lind is a DH although the Jays are trying to see if he can handle LF. He has a weak arm and I see him as a 15-20 HR guy. Just like the Cat, I expect Lind to bat .290-.310 every season.

Jdog - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 01:45 AM EST (#160528) #

As far as I remember Soto was last seen in Pulaski striking out about 60% of the time. He has been a flop thus far.

Mylegacy - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 01:56 AM EST (#160529) #


Lind is going to be Molitor or Mattingly. He is going to surprise with his power, possibly he will be Olerud with McGriff's power. He will astound!


timpinder - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 08:08 AM EST (#160532) #

As I said in the other post, I was surprised to see Rosario ranked #16 with only a C rating.  Sickel's explanation was that he couldn't throw stikes, but his 2.79 BB9 to 10.71 K9 in AAA last year was quite impressive, and a nice improvement on his BB9 rate.  Who cares if you walk 2.79 guys per 9 IP if you strike out 10.71 per 9 IP and you only allow 6.21 H9.  His WHIP was 1.00.  That's fantastic and he should have been ranked a grade higher in my opinion.

I'd agree that Lind should be a B+.  He may hit .300/.360 with 20-25 homers every year, but his weak defense should bring him down a notch. 

I was expecting at least an honerable mention for Ismael Ramirez.  I know he's 25 years old now, but he dominated A+ on 2004, was good in AA in 2005, and dominated AA in 2006 to the tune of a 2.08 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.

No mention of McGowan, is he still considered a prospect?


lexomatic - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 08:15 AM EST (#160533) #
this quote from the same Sickels post deals with the Rosario issue. I think not referring to it is a little misleading
here is a HUGE amount of uncertainty on this list, and what ends up in the book may look different. The Grade C+/C guys are interchangeable depending on what you want to emphasize. For example, you can make a case for Rosario in the Top Ten or even the Top Five, but I just don't think he will ever throw enough strikes to live up to his potential.
personally i don't see why everyone's so upset.
slitheringslider - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 08:49 AM EST (#160535) #
Despite being flattered that John Sickels rated Adam Lind and Travis Snider so high, I really do think they probably should be B+ instead of A-. Lind should be a solid major leaguer but I don't think he is going to be a perennial all-star and it is too early to tell on Snider. Considering Orioles prospect Bill Rowell was only rated B+ (who was drafted a couple spots ahead of Snider, and plays good defence at 3rd), I don't really see why Snider would be a A-)
Pistol - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 09:52 AM EST (#160536) #
What happened to Leance "Bonus Baby" Soto? I believe the Jays paid $600,000 to sign him.

It obviously hasn't worked out at all.  But that's equivalent to 2nd/3rd round money which has a low success rate.  For whatever reason international signings seem to get more attention than draft picks.

When asked to compare Lind to a MLB player, JP said the Cat......I see him as a 15-20 HR guy. Just like the Cat, I expect Lind to bat .290-.310 every season.

I assume you're referring to JP's quote after the draft which was 'Cat, with more power', not just like Cat.  Regardless of that he hit 26 HRs last year and 39 doubles (including 10 in 60 ABs with the Jays).  I think  his NH line this year is pretty reasonable to expect - .310/.360/.540.   He doesn't look like he'll hit for power (physically), but the ball seems to fly off his bat.
Jordan - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 02:38 PM EST (#160541) #
I think A- is a good grade for both Lind and Snider  -- if you can hit major-league pitching, nobody much cares about your defence. Lind has done it and he'll continue to do it -- that .310/.360/.540 line Pistol quotes (which he should achieve by mid-2008 at the latest) puts him in Paul O'Neill or Cliff Floyd territory. Snider can mash, and he'll be in the majors as soon as his maturity and ability to recognize breaking pitches arrive -- he won't turn 19 till February. And if Snider only maxes out defensively as a DH, well, Frank Thomas' contract happens to run out at the end of 2008.

I can understand Sickels' skepticism about Rosario -- it feels like he's been on the prospect lists forever, with little to show for it -- but during Rosario's first extended action with the Jays this year, I really liked his approach to hitters. He kept the ball low, worked on location, and challenged batters with high heat when the situation called for it. I'm pretty confident he'll be a contributor in the bullpen this season.

With the others, we can only wait and see -- Marcum and Janssen are the poster boys for the control-and-command batch of pitchers the Jays drafted the first few years under Ricciardi, and their progress (or lack thereof) may be an omen of how the likes of Banks, Yates and Litsch do.
Ron - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 03:07 PM EST (#160542) #
I just looked up Soto's stats and they're ugly. But all international and draft bonuses for prospects are so low, even if they don't pan out, it's not a big blow to the team. Hopefully Balbino Fuenmayor develops into a solid player.

Next year is going to be a make or break year for David Purcey. He's going to be 24 years old next season (and start the season at AA). If he doesn't improve his command, It's almost time to right him off as a prospect.

Jordan - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 05:03 PM EST (#160543) #
Nice 1980s Jays logo on Sickels' site, BTW. I'm surprised his prospect list didn't include Sil Campusano and Alex Sanchez.
King Ryan - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 06:51 PM EST (#160547) #
It's become fairly clear that, like it or not, roster members and ex-roster members get their comments featured by default. 

Anyway, I hope that John is correct about Ricky Romero rebounding.  I'm worried that every single one of our once vaunted pitching prospects is going to flop, excluding successes they may have as relievers.  It almost seems like the Jays just can't catch a break with their prospects: Phelps, Quiroz, Hinske, Adams, McGowan, Purcey, etc. etc. 

Chuck - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 07:20 PM EST (#160548) #
Hinske may indeed have been a disappointment, but he wasn't a Blue Jay prospect, per se, having been drafted by the Cubs and having spent a year in AAA for Oakland before joining the Jays as a major leaguer.
Chuck - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 07:27 PM EST (#160549) #
Is ever an addictive site! Following up on King Ryan's comments, just check out Quiroz's age-21 season in AA. Just a reminder of how prospects are gonna break your heart more often than not.
King Ryan - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 08:08 PM EST (#160551) #
Maybe I should have said "young players" rather than prospects.  Still, you have a 24 year old who hits 279/.365/.481 in the majors in his rookie year, and you expect that to be a player you can build around.   And while Quiroz's stats may be a little heartbreaking, they don't crush me nearly as much as looking at Josh Phelps.

We looked to be in great shape back in 02/03 what with Hinske, Phelps, Quiroz and Rios having the years they did. That's just baseball I guess.   I cross my fingers that the Rios we saw at the beginning of last season is the "real thing."
Chuck - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 09:12 PM EST (#160554) #

Maybe I should have said "young players" rather than prospects.

I hear you. I didn't intend to come off as pedantic. Hinske's rookie season was certainly cause for optimism, especially given the broad range of offensive skills that he demonstrated.

Interesting that you referenced the Phelps thread. In it, I was the crotchety one citing Phelps' age and K rate as cause for concern. That he suffered such a rapid and dramatic demise hardly makes me prescient -- I was cautiously optimistic, not overtly pessimistic, so I'll hold off on the self-congratulation. I do recall also being cautiously optimistic about Hinske, given that he, too, was a 24-year old rookie.

I'll stick by my position in the Phelps thread: old rookies who succeed are an exception. Show me a 24-year old rookie who did well, and I'll show you a player with theoretically only a handful of seasons of growth left in him.

Chuck - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 09:17 PM EST (#160556) #
old rookies who succeed long term are an exception
King Ryan - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 09:33 PM EST (#160557) #
Travis Hafner. 

Why couldn't Phelps have turned into him? *cries*

Chuck - Sunday, December 10 2006 @ 10:14 PM EST (#160558) #

Hafner appears to be following the Giambi development curve. Start late (in Hafner's case, real late), and keep getting better until you hit 30. Not a traditional path, though of course in Giambi's case there may have been, ahem, contributing factors.

Of course, for every Hafner you can scare up, there's a Maas, a Charboneau, a ...

Mike Green - Monday, December 11 2006 @ 10:36 AM EST (#160577) #
I agree with John Sickels' summary of the system. 

I do have some specific niggles.  Ryan Patterson had a rough time in New Hampshire and in the winter league.  Given his age and position, he should be a little lower.  Davis Romero, Francisco Rosario, Kyle Yates and Jesse Litsch should all be a little higher.  The command and control guys have been a tad underrated, in my view.  Each to his taste.

The Bone - Monday, December 11 2006 @ 01:08 PM EST (#160585) #

I was happy to learn from Jordan that roster members have set it up so that their comments are featured automatically.  I'll admit I have been quite frustrated lately that none of my comments were ever featured, especially because the response to my comments by roster members often would become featured.  But it appears this was just a function of their comments being automatically featured and a downturn in going through and manually featuring other comments.  I've always felt that the roster can run this site however they like and I owe them a debt of gratitude since I spend literally hours here each week, but I couldn't help but feel a little bit slighted before I learned of the automatic settings.

Mike Green - Monday, December 11 2006 @ 02:41 PM EST (#160594) #
The Blue Jays top 5 prospects in 2003 were Rios, Quiroz, McGowan, Bush and Gross.  Two (Rios and Bush) seem headed to be significant contributors.  Gross is likely to be a useful player at least.  McGowan's future is unknown, and only Quiroz is truly a major disappointment at this point. 

In the meanwhile, Brandon League and Shaun Marcum have risen, while Jason Arnold has fallen.  Position players (with the exception of catchers) tend to be more predictable than pitchers. 

#2JBrumfield - Monday, December 11 2006 @ 02:52 PM EST (#160596) #

Off topic here but it does have to do with a Jays minor league affiliate and more specifically, a name change.  The Syracuse SkyChiefs are now once again the Syracuse Chiefs.  You can visit the team website at for a peek at the new logo.

Matt Michael of the Syracuse Post Standard also has an interesting blog article on the new logo.

If they were going to change it, they've should gone back to the old Chiefs logo.  I liked the name SkyChiefs personally and the logo was pretty decent. 

With the Jays introducing that joke of an alternate cap at the Frank Thomas press conference and now this, it hasn't been a good off-season so far with logo changes in the Jays system.


actionjackson - Monday, December 11 2006 @ 05:01 PM EST (#160606) #
As I was saying when I idiotically hit the "submit comment" button instead of the "preview" button, Eric Hinske has never hit .310 at any level, save 20 AB in '98 at Rockford when he hit .450 and 8 AB in '03 in Syracuse when he hit .500. Not that batting average is the best metric out there, but when a player is always over .300, it indicates an ability to drive the ball or put the ball in play and use your speed and I think we know from watching him that he possesses the former talent. Also, comparing the two of them shows that at every level Hinske has struck out more frequently. Hinske definitely showed more homerun power of the two in the lower levels of the minors, but it appears Mr. Lind found his man-strength last year. Lind will probably never walk as much as Hinske, but when you're outhitting a guy by potentially 50 points (Hinske's career average is .260), you don't need the walks as much as he does. An average walk rate will do, and Lind is average to slightly below average. I see Adam Lind as a left handed hitting Vernon Wells (v.2003 + v.2006), rather than a Don Mattingly as some (most enthusiastically Mylegacy) have suggested, sans defence, which at the moment appears to need work.

I object to the first premise or assumption of your attack though, which is that Hinske sucks or is a bust. When Hinske faces LHP for even 1 AB during the season, he is being misused and thus exposed because he can't hit lefties. But, that does not mean he has no value or is a bust. When Hinske is used properly he becomes a good hitter as he was in limited playing time last year before being dispatched to Beantown. Is he overpriced? Yes. Has he been used incorrectly by his managers? You bet. Against RHP in his career he's a .270/.351/.456 hitter, which is not Silver Slugger material, but it gets the job done. It certainly is not bust material. Bust material is Joe Charbonneau post-1980, or Kevin Maas post-1990, or Bob Hamelin post-1994. This is a decent role player, who can play all the corner positions and will become even more valuable as teams like the Yankees begin to tinker with the 13-man pitching staff (*shudder*).

In conclusion, Eric Hinske isn't a bust in the first place and Adam Lind should be a very good hitter, barring unforeseen injuries and other potential off-field mishaps. Please don't make off the cuff remarks without giving some data to back it up. It's enough that our GM can't control his tongue, we don't need other Bauxites to share in his foot-in-mouth disease, although the discussion about the GM has been hashed and re-hashed. I just wish he'd think before opening his mouth and that's all I ask of other posters on this fine website.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 12 2006 @ 06:09 PM EST (#160681) #
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats finally have a new manager.  Bill Masse joins the Jays having been the manager of the Trenton Thunder in the Yankees system for the last two years.  Masse was let go by the Yankees in October because he put winning ahead of development, or because of a personality clash, depending on whose side you want to believe.
actionjackson - Tuesday, December 12 2006 @ 09:02 PM EST (#160702) #
Umm Axil, in case you haven't noticed, there's quite a gulf between Frank Catalanotto and Frank Thomas and David Ortiz. I'm not sure I recall anyone telling Adam Lind to get his best threads ready for induction day 2030 or thereabouts. Here are the minor league numbers for the fab four because the minor leagues are all we can reasonably judge Lind on thus far:

Catalanotto:  .287/.364/.434  ISOP  .147

Lind:  .319/.382/.511  ISOP  .192

Ortiz:  .310/.382/.530  ISOP  .220

Thomas:  .304/.445/.502  ISOP  .198

I love the Cat, but in cases like this you've got to break out that old Sesame Street song, you know: One of these things is not like the other one, one of these things just doesn't belong... Ahem, where was I? While it is always possible that Lind will wind up being overrated because the road to becoming a solid major leaguer is strewn with the corpses of many great minor leaguers who could not cut it: Chris Donnels, Willie Greene, Mike Kinkade, and David McCarty to name a few. It is also probable that he will hit at or close to his minor league numbers as the three examples you cited have. Here are their major league numbers so far in their careers:

Catalanotto:  .297/.362/.454  ISOP  .157

Ortiz:  .283/.374/.550  ISOP  .267

Thomas:  .305/.424/.566  ISOP  .261

In fact, all three have improved ever so slightly on their minor league numbers, though it's probably not statistically significant, so we'll just call it even. At some point big league pitchers are going to make adjustments to Lind and how he reacts to that will go a long way to determining how his career will go. He'll probably start in Syracuse barring a trade involving one of the 3 starting OF, but once he gets called up, hopefully he'll be here to stay. As with any other prospect we don't know how it's going to go for him, but I for one am going to enjoy watching him develop. I sense that you're frustrated with J.P.'s drafting record, which has definitely been below average, but don't take it out on Adam Lind. Instead sit back and watch him develop because most likely it's going to be fun.

Oh, and if you want to find out how badly every GM screws up the draft (some more than others) check out, where you can find every draft going all the way back to Rick Monday in 1965. Find the stars and the has beens and the never weres that were drafted in front of them. I guarantee you that every GM that has ever worked under the draft has had an embarrassing draft that equals Russ Adams over Scott Kazmir in 2002. What about the 12 teams that passed on Manny Ramirez before the Indians snagged him in the first round of the 1992 draft? Were they all fired for incompetence? No. It's as much a part of the game as any of the other goofy stuff that happens in a game where even the best fail far more than 50% of the time and how do the sane survivors keep going? They delete it from their memories and say: "We'll get 'em tomorrow."

Chuck - Wednesday, December 13 2006 @ 08:44 PM EST (#160880) #

I was recently reviewing Casey Janssen's splits with Toronto last year.

I haven't looked at this, so I'm just speculating. But rather than trying to make too much of Janssen's home/road and indoor/outdoor splits, perhaps his good-offense/bad-offense splits should be examined. If memory serves, and it does so less with each passing year, Janssen seemed able to bamboozle impatient offenses, like the Angels', but not so much the offenses that made him throw more pitches. While most pitchers figure to have a decent-sized good-O/bad-O split, I'm wondering if that wouldn't be more pronounced in the case of someone like Janssen. As I said, this is just speculation. I could be way wrong.

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 13 2006 @ 09:13 PM EST (#160883) #
Actually, what is most noticeable about Janssen is how much he pitched against poor offences.  The teams that roughed him up were Florida, Seattle, Texas, Baltimore and the Mets.  He did well against Anaheim, Oakland, the White Sox and Philly.  He threw 63 innings against Baltimore, Tampa, Anaheim and Texas and none against the Yankees and Red Sox. By contrast, Marcum threw 29.2 innings against the Yankees (and was roughed up) and Red Sox (and dominated) and nothing against the D-Rays.  When not facing the Yankees, Marcum had a respectable home run rate. 
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