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Welcome to the annual installment of Batter's Box's Top 30 Blue Jay prospects.

The minor league system seems to be stronger than it has been in years. This year there were 48 different players that got at least one top 30 vote from the 6 voters in the top 30 prospects. Today we present players #30 to #21.


30. Marcus Brisker, OF
Born August 21, 1990. Selected in the 6th round of the 2008 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2008
18
R
108
4
0
0
11
22
13
4
.306
.370
.343

High school players generally struggle in their first exposure to pro ball as the high school players from the 2007 draft class showed a year ago. However, Brisker had no such problem. The speedy 6'4" 200 lb OF was able to hit over .300 over the course of the season, and upped his OPS from .604 to .607 to .862 from June to August. This was especially impressive considering that he was not as experienced as most high school draftees. Up until his senior year Brisker had also been playing basketball which cut into the beginning of the baseball season. He's considered to have plus bat speed, but, given his inexperience, an uneven approach at the plate. Brisker was listed as a CF upon being drafted, but with his size he'll probably end up in a corner OF spot. A trip to the NY-P League is likely next year, although if Brisker continues playing well through the spring he could possibly jump straight to the full season Midwest League.


29. Andrew Liebel, RHP

Born March 22,1986. Selected in the 3rd round of the 2008 amateur draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2007
21
NCAA
25
6
101.1
8.7
0.5
1.7
5.3
2.84
2008
22
NCAA
15
15
117.1
8.0
0.6
1.5
7.5
2.22
2008
22
A-
7
1
14.2
11.7
1.2
1.2
11.7
3.68

Originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 47th round of the 2004 amateur draft, Liebel opted to go to Long Beach State instead. He was a reliever in the first 2 1/2 seasons of his college career before joining the Dirt Bags starting rotation late in the 2007 campaign. It was after the '07 season that Liebel focused on improving his arm strength by doing long toss as well as changing his workout routine and dietary habits. That helped him improve his fastball. After posting a 59-19 K/BB ratio in 101.1 innings in 2007, Liebel improved that figure in '08 to the tune of 97-19 in 117.1 innings in his senior season. He threw two complete game shutouts against U-C Davis and U-C Santa Barbara, had a scoreless innings streak of 19 and won 8 of 12 decisions with a 2.22 ERA as the ace of the Long Beach State staff. He worked seven innings in every start, except for one when he could go only go six innings thanks to a rain delay. Liebel won the Big West Player of the Year award and earned consideration for the Roger Clemens and Golden Spikes Awards. Considered by some to be the best college senior pitcher in the draft next to Seattle first round pick Josh Fields, Liebel received a $340,000 bonus from the Jays. He began his pro career in August with Auburn, posting a 1-2 record in seven appearances, six in relief.

Scouting reports say Liebel's stuff is average but his command of his four-pitch mix is above average. His fastball is in the 88-91 MPH range with the occasional 92 or 93 and his slider checks in at 79-80 MPH. He also throws a changeup and curveball. Liebel is said to have a bulldog mentality on the mound, wants the ball, has a good idea of how to pitch, works fast and works easily with a quick, loose arm action. He also holds runners well. The 6-1, 195 pound righty was compared to Yankees prospect Ian Kennedy by Baseball America. Some scouts aren't as high on Liebel as they feel his lack of stuff will slot him in middle relief in the majors. Turning 23 next season, the Jays may decide to push Liebel to Dunedin at some point. The question will be whether he makes a pit stop in Lansing first. If things go really well, Liebel has a shot to return to his roots with a visit to AA ball as he was born in Manchester, New Hampshire.


28. Antonio Jimenez, C
Born May 1, 1990. Selected in the 9th round of the 2008 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2008
18
R
47
2
0
0
3
16
5
2
.191
.255
.234

An elbow injured dropped Jimenez several rounds in the 2008 draft. The Jays ended up taking the Puerto Rican in the 9th round hoping that the injury was just a short term issue. Jimenez, at this point, is known mainly for his defensive skills behind the plate as he has good athleticism allowing him to receive and block well. His defense is also helped by a plus arm. While his bat is a question right now he has shown some raw power. He didn't hit particularly well in the GCL over his 47 ABs, but it's quite an adjustment coming from a foreign country as a teenager and one shouldn't read too much into that. Jimenez will probably move slowly through the system, particularly with the Jays depth at catcher, and is likely to get another shot at the GCL next year.


27. Joel Carreno, RHP
Born March 7, 1987. Signed as a non-drafted free agent.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2007
20
RK
12
12
65.1
8.27
0.55
1.79
8.82
2.62
2008
21
A-
15
13
76.1
8.72
0.71
2.24
10.02
3.42

In 2007 Carreno led the Gulf Coast Jays in innings pitched, wins and strikeouts. He appeared on Baseball Americaís Top Blue Jays 30 prospect list, although he didnít make the Top 30 on the Box. This year Carreno was assigned to Auburn and also led the team in innings pitched, but he went further than that and led the teamís starters in H/9, BB/9 and K/9.

Carrenoís best pitch is a strong sinker with movement that sits in the low 90ís. He also throws a plus changeup, which heís been able to control better this year than last. Carreno succeeds in large part by mixing his pitches and keeping hitters off balance and his improved K/9 ratio despite jumping a level suggests Carreno's learning more about the art of pitching. In terms of weaknesses, Carrenoís slider is still a work in progress and he sometimes struggles with his mechanics. Heíll likely begin next year in Lansing and, if things break right, it looks like he could develop into a back-of-the-rotation innings eater.


26. Robert Sobolewski, 3B
Born December 24, 1986. Selected in the 4th round of the 2008 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2007
20
NCAA
255
26
1
8
17
56
14
2
.345
.395
.510
2008
21
NCAA
257
16
1
8
27
49
6
4
.311
.375
.475
2008
21
A-
133
5
0
1
4
32
0
0
.256
.283
.316

When the Jays drafted Sobolewski with their fourth round pick, it was thought he'd be a tough signing. Many experts suggested that a strong year could propel Sobolewski into the top ten selections for the 2009 draft. However, the Jays were able to lure him away from the University of Miami with a signing bonus of just $65,000.

Sobolewski's stats show that he is still an incredibly raw talent and he will likely spend most of 2009 back in Auburn. However, he did show flashes of his promise at times, including a five-hit game in July. Scouts rave over Sobolewski's raw power, especially to the opposite field. And while his defense at third is currently below-average, his strong arm suggests he could quickly improve with better positioning.


25. Moises Sierra, OF
Born September 24, 1988. Signed as a non-drafted free agent.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2007
18
R 143
5
1
5
5
39
2
2
.203
.230
.357
2008
19
A
451
16
5
9
26
115
12
11
.246
.287
.364

Jays fans who are too young to remember the 1980s and the awesome arm of right-fielder Jesse Barfield could be in for a treat in a few years. Moises Sierra is a strong-armed Dominican outfielder who spent the 2008 season in Lansing at the age of 19. He was rated as having the best outfield arm in the Midwest League and some scouts feel it may be the best arm in the minor leagues.

Although Sierra can gun down even the fleetest-of-foot base runner with three steps to spare, his other defensive skills need polish as he made 10 errors in the outfield. Sierra was originally signed to a six-figure contract in 2006 as an international free agent and he then spent one season in the Dominican Summer League and one season in Rookie Ball before the 2008 season.

His stat line doesnít look that impressive on first blush Ė .246/.297/.364 Ė but many expected him to spend the year in short-season ball again. His biggest issue was a lack of patience at the plate as he swung at too many bad balls. He walked just 26 times (5.5%) with 114 strikeouts (25.3%) in 451 at-bats. The Midwest League also took a bite out of his power numbers (a drop in ISO from .154 in 2007 to .118 in 2008), although he still possesses intriguing raw power. He also struggled with men on base and hit just .154 with the runner standing on second or third base. Sierra likely showed enough improvement in 2008 to earn consideration for Dunedin in 2009 if he has a good spring.


24. Kenny Wilson, CF
Born January 30, 1990. Selected in the 2nd round of the 2008 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2008
18
R
162
6
2
0
20
60
25
3
.210
.319
.272

1990 birthdates make me feel incredibly old. In any event, Wilson's calling card is his speed. According to his draft profiles, Wilson's 60 yard time is in the 6.4 range, which is roughly 25x faster than Rod Barajas. This was evident in 2008 as despite rarely getting on base, Kenny managed to steal 25 bases.

Like most 18 year-olds, Wilson is still obviously very raw. At only 165 pounds, he doesn't project to have much power, however his speed and ability to hit from gap to gap should allow Wilson to rack up a fair amount of extra base hits. In the field, Wilson's defense is a work in progress. His speed allows him to get to balls that many outfielders can't reach, however his arm remains a liability.

2009 will likely see Wilson repeat the Gulf Coast League with the hope for a promotion to either Auburn or Lansing in 2010.


23. Jonathan Talley, C/1B/DH
Born February 18, 1989. Selected in the 13th round of the 2007 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2007
18
R
75
3
0
1
4
21
0
1
.227
.275
.307
2008
19
R
140
7
1
6
8
45
1
0
.300
.348
.493
2008
19
A
2
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
.500
.667
.500

The Jays gave Talley a $70,000 bonus (plus a college allowance of $64,000) after playing high school ball as a catcher at Carlsbad High School in California, the same school that former Jay Troy Glaus attended. Demetrius Pittman, the Jays scouting supervisor for Southern California, described Talley as a power bat and the premier big bat in the region at the time he was drafted. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds - the scouting report on Talley is that he has good size and strength, is a physical left-handed power hitter with a sound approach at the plate and has the ability to hit for average and power. Even though he throws well, it's believed that Talley is not athletic enough to remain behind the plate and will probably be moved to first base or DH. He has spent time at all three positions since his pro career began.

Talley endured a rough introduction to pro ball as he started his career in the Gulf Coast League by going 0-for-10 while mustering just four extra-base hits in his first season. However, Talley did hit .345 in August 2007 and that strong finish carried over in his return to the Gulf Coast in 2008. Talley hit just .118 for June but rebounded to finish the campaign at .300 thanks to a .369 July and a .296 August. His power began to show as he racked up 14 extra base hits, more than tripling his '07 output. Talley still needs to improve on making contact and drawing a few more walks as he has struck out over 25 percent of the time in his career while drawing just 8 walks. However, one of those free passes came in a late-season call up to Lansing when he singled and walked in three plate appearances. Talley should be calling Lansing his baseball home to begin 2009.


22. Davis Romero, LHP
Born March 30, 1983. Signed in 1999 as an non-drafted free agent.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2006
23
AA
14
14
84.0
7.50
0.54
2.57
7.93
3.43
2006
23
AAA
18
3
44.2
9.27
0.60
1.41
7.25
3.83
2006
23
MLB
7
0
16.1
10.47
0.55
3.31
5.51
3.86
2008
25
AAA
25
23
106.2
9.03
0.84
2.45
7.42
3.71

An injury forced Davis Romero to miss the 2007 season. However, he showed no long-term effect from the injury, at least as far as his stats are concerned. Romero spent most of 2008 in Syracuseís rotation and finished with ratios very similar to those he put up in 2005 and 2006. Romero faced about twice as many right-handed batters as left-handed batters this year. Not surprisingly, Romeroís ratios are better against lefties, with 7.78 K/9 and 1.34 BB/9 compared to 6.66 K/9 and 2.34 BB/9 against right-handers. He also got infield flies on 22% of his fly balls against lefties, versus 10.4% of fly balls against right-handers.

After the 2006 season Romeroís future seemed to lie, at least in the short term, in the bullpen. However, 24 months later the future isnít so clear anymore. Romero missed a year to injury and spent 2008 proving his health, while the Jays bullpen saw the continued development of Brian Tallet and the surprising emergence of Jesse Carlson, to give the team four quality left-handers. The lowest ERA+ that any of those four posted was Ryanís 146 and even if any of them are not with the team for 2009, the Jays also have Fabio Castro, Reid Santos and possibly other minor league free agents in the mix.

Meanwhile, Torontoís rotation has several questions for next year with the injuries to McGowan and Marcum and Janssenís post-surgery status unclear at this point. Romero final stats at Syracuse werenít outstanding, but he did improve as the season went on, posting his worse numbers in May and June, so it is possible Romero didnít return to full health until midway through the season. He might be a dark-horse candidate for the rotation, but the Jays probably prefer him as an injury-only option, as opposed to being pencilled into the rotation on opening day. This may leave Romero on the outside, looking in, as his numbers and stuff are solid, but nothing spectacular, and may mean heís unable to force himself onto the team and Romero may very well get caught in the roster crunch next year.

21. Zach Dials, RHP
Born July 22, 1985. Selected in the 28th round of the 2006 amateur draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2006 20 R+ 15 5 38.0
6.39 0.00 2.61 5.45 1.89
2007 21 A
22
15
85.0
9.64
0.53
2.44
4.55
4.87
2008 22 A+
8
0 8.0 5.63 0.00 1.13
11.25
1.13
2008 22 AA
36 0
36.2
11.05 0.74
3.44
8.84
4.91

Dials was originally used as a starter by the Jays after being drafted in 2006. However after several injuries Dials was converted to a reliever which allowed him to throw harder and made his stuff better. Dials added a couple of mph to his fastball, to 92-95 and his off-speed stuff improved too. Dials' fastball has good movement as does his slider and he also features a good change-up. Dials started at Dunedin but was promoted after eight appearances with a 1.13 ERA. He pitched 36.2 innings at AA before spending most of August on the DL, returning at the end of the season. Dials ratched up his strikeout levels in 2008 as he improved his off-speed pitches. Dials is headed to the Arizona Fall League to get more innings. He has the tools to be a major league reliever, he just needs work. Dials turned 23 in July.

------------------

Tomorrow we will continue the series with players #20 to #11.
Top 30 Prospects: #30 - #21 | 29 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
John Northey - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#193129) #
Thanks guys, I always love these lists. Last years #20-31 is here.

It would be nice to see last years ranking as well for guys who were on the top 30 last year, makes it easy to see how they are progressing in the Jays system. And I too find it scary to see these guys born in the 90's - still remember being a bit weirded out by shortstop Jimy Kelly in the mid to late 80's as he was in spring training as the first guy born in the 70's (signed at 14 back when that was allowed).
SK in NJ - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 10:00 AM EDT (#193130) #

I'm glad I am not the only one a bit freaked out by the 1990 birthdates. Next thing you know guys will be born in 2000 and playing minor league ball. Time flies.

The top 3 should be fairly easy, so I look forward to seeing the 4 to 30 rankings. It's mostly subjective, but still fun to see and look back on.

Jdog - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 10:09 AM EDT (#193131) #
I'd be interested in seeing the six  lists after you are done with the top 30 just to see the different opinions.  It would sure be nice to see Brisker or Talley continue to develop.
MatO - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#193132) #
Romero didn't pitch after August 14.  Any news on his condition?
Flex - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#193133) #
Question: Will Travis Snider be considered eligible for this list? That'd take some of the suspense out of who will be #1, so I'm hoping not.
braden - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#193134) #
Yes, Snider is eligible as he hasn't yet reached 130 at-bats.
zeppelinkm - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#193135) #

Me thinks if Snider is not eligable, the #1 pick will be the guy who is clearly #2 if Snider IS eligable...

His name's Cecil. Brett Cecil. And he's pretty good!

These lists are absolutely awesome guys. It puts all these players on the radar that wouldn't otherwise and gives us more involved fans another aspect of the team to follow.

I was talking about Travis Snider 2 years ago... now my friends are starting to understand!

slitheringslider - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#193136) #
BA doesn't seem to be as high on Cecil as we are on him. He was ranked the #17 prospect in the Eastern League, while his fellow draftmate J.P. Arencibia is ranked the #8 prospect in the Eastern League. My vote on the #2 Jays prospect would still be Cecil but it might not be as clear cut as it seems.
Ozzieball - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#193137) #
Eh.

He's only being judged on his 77 innings in AA and there were some other players there who had some pretty silly years. I'm more surprised by Arencibia's high placing considering that he couldn't draw a walk to save his life.

Also I would be tempted to rank Cecil as #3 being Justin Jackson. Plus (or plus-plus depending on the reports) defence at short, .100 IsoD, and tied for fourth in peak-adjusted EQR in the Midwest league. He's a ways off, which I suppose could put Cecil ahead of him, but he's looking like a pretty high-end guy.

Mike Green - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#193138) #
Well done, gentlemen.  It does sadden me to see Davis Romero so far down the list, but the ranking is completely understandable in light of his health issues.
greenfrog - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#193140) #
I was a bit surprised at Arencibia's ranking too, but I think it has a lot to do with his position. There aren't many 22-year-old catchers who have decent defensive skills and an OPS of 850 at high A/AA.

Interestingly, Russell Martin had an OPS of 853 at AA in his age-22 season. However, his line of 311/430/423 was probably more valuable than Arencibia's line of 298/322/527. JP walked more in college (.450 OBP in his final year at Tennessee), so hopefully he can regain some of that patience. Sabermetrics aside, I find players who refuse to walk really annoying - especially the ones who are otherwise excellent players. Don't they know how much they're hurting their teams?
Ozzieball - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#193141) #
.327 BABIP with a 14.5 LD% and .024 IsoD on the year for Arencibia. I'm really not particularly high on him yet.
Pistol - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#193142) #
I find players who refuse to walk really annoying - especially the ones who are otherwise excellent players. Don't they know how much they're hurting their teams?

I don't think it's that simple that they refuse to walk.  Pitch and location recognition can't be easy when the ball is moving that fast.
John Northey - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#193143) #
Figured I'd check the top 30 of last year vs this year for matches. As it turns out just 4 guys above qualified (from my quick read of the stat lines) and none were part of the top 30 in 2007.

Moises Sierra - #25
Jonathan Talley - #23
Davis Romero - #22
Zach Dials - #21

Romero was #5 at the end of the 2006 season before surgery.

What is interesting is looking back at the post 2006 top 10 though.

#1: Lind - now the everyday LF
#2: Snider - might be the everyday DH (or LF with Lind at DH)
#3: Thigpen - might be the backup CA in 2009, but we all hope not
#4: Ricky Romero - recovering his prospect status, could be in the rotation at some point in 2009
#5: Davis Romero - hurt again
#6: Francisco Rosario - threw just 2 2/3 IP in A+
#7: David Purcey - now part of rotation
#8: Chi-hung Cheng - made it to A ball but no further
#9: Jesse Litsch - might be our #2 in 2009
#10: Ryan Patterson - trapped in AA

Interesting eh? 3 very useful major leaguers in Lind/Snider/Litsch, another who might be very important in 2009 in Purcey, one still a real prospect in Ricky Romero while Thigpen is no more than a utility player. Wonder how that would rank vs other clubs for their top 10's in 2006?
Denoit - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#193144) #

Even if Arencibia has a MLB season line (not saying next year but in the next couple years) of .270/.300/.480 with 25-30Hrs and 30-40 2Bs he will be a far better offensive catcher than anything the Jays have ever had.

Ill take the Hr's over the OBP especially after the power outage the Jays had this year.

John Northey - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#193145) #
One more fun thing before getting back to work...
Baseball America top Jays prospects in 2002, the year JP took over thus all Ash guys.
36. Josh Phelps, c, Blue Jays
70. Jayson Werth, c, Blue Jays
75. Gabe Gross, of, Blue Jays
81. Orlando Hudson, 2b, Blue Jays
98. Dustin McGowan, rhp, Blue Jays

The numbers are Baseball America's ranking of these guys. Hudson was/is a solid regular with one all star appearance for Arizona. Phelps never held on once he made it, Werth is becoming a solid major leaguer after 3 years as a platoon type guy (300-400 PA's then 482 this year). Gross has had one year over 100 for OPS+ so far, but this year climbed up to 399 PA's thus is at last a semi-regular. McGowan broke through last year but still has an ERA+ of 94.

Those 5 were good players, 2 were good right away (Phelps, Hudson) although one didn't last, 2 became useful role players (Werth, Gross) and might be regulars now that they are in their late prime years, and one took forever to make it but was nice for about a year before injured.

I think the 2006 group of Lind/Snider/Thigpen/Romero/Romero is close though (at a point when JP was viewed as horrid for prospects by most) as we have a ML regular in Lind (might parallel Phelps, but hopefully more a combo of Phelps early with Werth/Gross later), a potential star in Snider (parallels Hudson but at potentially a higher level), Ricky Romero hopefully will parallel McGowan (already has had the frustrating wait period) leaving Davis Romero and Thigpen as hopeful of eventual growth ala Gross & Werth. This years top 5 will include Snider/Cecil/Arencibia I figure and hopefully that group blows 2002's crew out of the water.

Ideally prospects provide high level talent (ala Hudson) and a few cheap role players (ala Phelps, Werth, Gross). A shame more of that crew didn't burst out though. Funny how the bottom 2 of the top 5 ended up (most likely) the best.
ramone - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#193146) #

Interesting choice for the Jay's new minor league hitting coach:

Mottola new Jays minor-league coach

http://www.torontosun.com/sports/baseball/2008/10/06/6991976-sun.html

Glevin - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#193147) #
"Wonder how that would rank vs other clubs for their top 10's in 2006?"

From a very cursory glance at the top-10 lists (http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/features/05top10s/index.html)., I would say they were near the middle of the bottom 3rd in the league in talent. (These Baseball America ones were done after the 05 season as opposed to before the 06 and so, no  Snider). Most teams have had someone become established major leaguers and a bunch of teams have had a few really good young players, even stars, develop. The Jays list looks very unlikely to produce any All-Star calibre players while having a few useful ones. I'd take one Nick Markakis over a bunch of decent prospects.

Boston was incredible- Andy Marte was their #1 prospect and 2 years later probably the least valuable player on the list. The rest of the list has Lester, Papelbon, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Shoppach, Bucholtz, Delcarman, Lowrie, and Craig Hansen. I knew the Brewers would be good, and they do have Fielder, Braun, Hart, Gallardo, and Nelson Cruz. Dodgers have Kemp, Martin, and Billingsly. Arizona had Drew, Jackson, and Quentin. Texas had Volquez, Danks, Kinsler, Galaraga, and Teagarden. (3 useful pitchers, none with the Rangers...) Interestingly, the Yankees probably have the worst group of the 2006 prospects.
92-93 - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#193148) #
However, 24 months later the future isnít so clear anymore. Romero missed a year to injury and spent 2008 proving his health, while the Jays bullpen saw the continued development of Brian Tallet

There is absolutely no reason to keep guys like Tallet and Frasor around and pay their arbitration raises when you have a bullpen of Ryan, Downs, League, Accardo, Carlson, Janssen, Wolfe and numerous other options like Parrish, DRomero, Richmond...
Denoit - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#193149) #

Funny how the bottom 2 of the top 5 ended up (most likely) the best.

I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that was because the other players were a bit older and more Major League ready. Hudson and McGowan probably made the list because of their higher ceiling.

hootie110 - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#193150) #

Wow...I guess Mattolla must be someone the Jays think highly of. He certainly is not as experienced as Al Lebeauf or Ken Joyce but got the job over them. Seems like Lebeauf and Joyce have done a decent job...anyone know any reason why they were passed over?

Thomas - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#193151) #
There is absolutely no reason to keep guys like Tallet and Frasor around and pay their arbitration raises when you have a bullpen of Ryan, Downs, League, Accardo, Carlson, Janssen, Wolfe and numerous other options like Parrish, DRomero, Richmond...

While salary should be a consideration, the Jays shouldn't lose a serviceable/valuable reliever over a couple of hundred thousand. The Jays lost Trever Miller after the 2003 season because of a dispute over an extra hundred thousand. Miller signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent and posted an ERA+ of 146 the following year. He has since posted ERA+s over 100 every year except for 2007. Meanwhile, in 2004 the Jays had Jason Kershner and Valerio de los Santos as their primary lefties.

Furthermore, the Jays actually paid a higher major league salary to Parrish than they did to Tallet this year, because of Parrish's past major league service time. Not to mention the fact Tallet's been better than Parrish each of the last three seasons.

I understand your point, but if Janssen is slower to recover from the injury than expected, Carlson's rookie dust loses its shine and another reliever falls victim to injury, which is very possible given their history and attrition rates, suddenly that bullpen looks much thinner than you'd like. This might especially be a problem given how shallow the rotation looks for next year.
92-93 - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#193152) #
While salary should be a consideration, the Jays shouldn't lose a serviceable/valuable reliever over a couple of hundred thousand.

I understand the premise of your argument, but I don't agree. Sure, "a couple of hundred thousand" might be mere percentage points of a 100m+ payroll, but you often read about how the Jays go after more "affordable" players in the draft and international scouting. Heck, Pedro Alvarez had a whole controversy over what amounted to 400k. Clearly these "couple of hundred thousand"s make quite the difference when it comes to finding your new young talent, and I'd hate to see any of the team's money wasted on arbitration raises like Frasor or Tallet, back end bullpen options, and then hear the Jays complain about their financial situation relative to other teams in the division. If you need to be prudent, be prudent across the board, and don't waste dollars on marginal upgrades in the bullpen or 5m each offseason on the likes of Ohka/Thomson/Zambrano or Eckstein. A team like the Jays needs to cut costs wherever they can and spend all their dollars in the right places ; the 6th and 7th spots in the bullpen are not those places.
Mike Green - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#193153) #
Frasor is the tough one. He struggled under Gibbons, and didn't have the confidence of the manager.  His stuff remains very good, but his pacing, command and presence on the mound (and probably consequentially his control) have suffered the last few years.

He didn't do well under Cito, and after three years of in and out performance, Frasor's case is one that the manager should have a lot of input on.  He made $1.125 million last year, and if he expects an increase, that would obviously be a factor.

Thomas - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#193154) #
but you often read about how the Jays go after more "affordable" players in the draft and international scouting.

I understand your point, but I don't think that's the choice the Jays are facing. The Jays refuse to break draft slot recommendations because ownership has chosen to stay on Selig's good side and follow MLB's preferred policy. I don't think if the Jays had never signed Eckstein this offseason that they would have instead invested that money in the draft. That money would have just sat in Mr. Rogers' pocket.

I fully support the Jays investing more in draft bonuses and international scouting, but I think the choice of Tallet/Frasor/Eckstein/Zaun, etc... or more money in international scouting is a false dichotomy. The Jays aren't going to become the Yankees or Tigers in the draft, regardless of what their payroll is, unless ownership makes a conscious decision to go against Selig's policy and they've shown no signs that the team is willing to do that.
John Northey - Monday, October 06 2008 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#193155) #
Hate how the 'reply' feature doesn't work when certain characters are in the title.

As to the hitting coach, if a guy has been in the minors forever as a hitting coach one wonders why he has been. The Jays AAA team's results sure wouldn't be a plus for Le Boeuf as it seems to be where prospects go to die (offensively). Probably isn't his fault, but it doesn't look good when guys like Thigpen, Adams, Jeroloman, Cannon, and Diaz all have major problems at that level. Well, Adams kind of alternated between awful and great but the point is there.

Ken Joyce is a bit odd to have not got it given his record as a past recipient of the Toronto Blue Jays Bobby Mattick Player Development Award.

Might just be the Jays feel Joyce is best left as a hitting coach at a single level while Mottola would give a new POV on the entire system. Coaching is one of those areas that no one has found an effective measure for, so this is more art than science I suspect.
Ron - Tuesday, October 07 2008 @ 04:22 AM EDT (#193158) #

I would prefer to have the exact quotes, but Paul Godrey was on OTR a few weeks ago, and when the subject of how the Jays should spend more on the draft was brought up, Godfrey replied about did you see how much Pedro Alvarez (this was before all the Iís and Tís were crossed) and Tim Beckham received. He said the Jays didnít have the money for these types of players. Now of course if a gun was pointed at Ted Rogers head, Iím sure he could come up with the cash to pay these types of bonuses but the bottom line is to not expect the Jays to go over slot or make a big splash in the international market. Itís obvious with Godfreyís comments, the Jays donít view this as a wise financial decision. I personally believe itís foolish to not go over slot (if the player/agent demands it) when a premium talent falls in your lap or to heavily invest in the international market, but Iím just a powerless Joe Six Pack fan.

Mike Green - Tuesday, October 07 2008 @ 08:49 AM EDT (#193162) #
Joe Six Pack fan

Couldn't you find another turn of phrase, Ron?  Ordinary Joe, Say it aint so Joe, Joe Freaking Strummer, anything but Joe Six Pack fan...[/Palin rant]
MatO - Tuesday, October 07 2008 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#193166) #
I'm sure he was just kiddin ya Mike.
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