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These players didn't crack the Batter's Box Top 30 Prospect List but are interesting players to keep an eye on nonetheless.


Adam Amar, 1B/DH
Born: November 30, 1985. Signed as an undrafted free agent

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2006
20
NCAA
210
17 3 10
31
26
2
1
.395
.472
.648
2007
21
NCAA
240
12
2
9
21
25
4
0
.358
.415
.538
2007
21
IND 96
11 0 5 10
12 1
0
.354
.423
.625
2008
22
A-
252
17
0
9
22 28
0
0 .302
.359
.476

Amar's an interesting story. After being bypassed in the 2007 amateur draft, he seriously considered quitting baseball altogether. WIth his Romanian parents understanding very little about the sport, Amar discussed options with his former high-school coach, Frank Viola who encouraged him to play Independant ball and wait for someone to notice him. After receiving workout invites from both Philadelphia and Toronto, Amar decided to sign with the Jays.

As evidenced by the stat lines above, Amar has hit virtually everwhere he's played. The bonus comes in the fact that he also rarely strikes out while also showing a fairly keen eye. While he's obviously going to have to progress fairly quickly to ascend any prospect lists, Amar does seem to have the potential to continue to surprise people.


Bobby Bell, RHP
Born August 25, 1986. Selected in the 18th round of the 2008 amateur draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2006 20 NCAA 18
11
73.1
9.45
0.74
2.58
7.49
4.17
2007 21 NCAA 1
0
0.2
40.50
0.00
0.00
13.50
13.50
2008 22
NCAA 14
0
20.2
4.35
0.87
3.48
12.19
1.31
2008 22
A- 19
0
27.2
4.88
0.00
0.00
12.69
0.98
2008 22
A
2
0
3.0
0.00
0.00
0.00
12.00
0.00

The R. Howard Webster Award winner as the Jays top minor leaguer in Auburn, the Jays may have come up with a sleeper in the 2008 draft. The 6-4, 200 pound righty from Rice rebounded from Tommy John surgery that wiped out most of his 2007 season. He switched back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen for the first two years of his college career but he remained in the bullpen this past season where he proved to be an anchor in the Owls bullpen. He racked up three saves - just two behind club leader and Dodgers draft pick Cole St. Clair. Before his injury, Bell received freshman All-American honours and was an All-Conference USA second team selection during his sophomore season in 2006. He compiled a record of 13-1 over his four-year college career with his only loss coming in his lone appearance in 2007.

Coached by former major leaguer Cecil Espy during his high school days in Fort Worth, Texas - Bell throws a fastball at 89-91 MPH but his low 80's changeup has been his go-to pitch. He also throws a curveball but that is a work in progress as he needs to improve the command of his breaking pitch. Bell is said to have a good wind-up, is fearless on the mound and displays good control. Actually, good is an understatement if you go by his 43-0 K/BB total in his first professional season and he has yet to give up a home run or a walk. Turning 23 next August, the Jays may decide to send Bell to Lansing next season or they may challenge him with a promotion to Dunedin.


Johermyn Chavez, OF

Born January 26, 1989. Signed as an amateur free agent in 2005.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2006 17 R+ 105 9 0 0 9 23 1 2 .276 .371 .362
2007
18
R
176
12
2
6
20
50
7
2
.301
.389
.494
2008
19
A
402
20
2
7
25
128
9
5
.211
.272
.323

The Jays sent an impressive group of hitters to Lansing this spring. While you would expect them to struggle jumping up to a full season league you wouldn't expect to see such a drop as Chavez experienced following a strong GCL performance in 2007 that vaulted him to the #6 spot on last year's Top 30 list. The struggles can be seen here - strikeouts in 32% of his ABs, a deterioration in strike zone judgment and a big drop in batting average. Chavez still managed 29 extra base hits so he didn't completely lose it, but he'll have to pick up the pace considerably to jump back into the prospect mix. He'll likely repeat his summer in the Midwest League next season.


Joel Collins, C
Born April 26, 1984. Selected in the 10th round of the 2007 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2007
21
R
70
4
0
7
9
17
0
0
.257
.376
.614
2007
21
A+
1
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
.000
.500
.000
2008
22
A-
141
13
3
3
7
17
0
1
.326
.415
.525
2008
22
A
24
0
0
1
2
7
0
0
.083
.154
.208
2008
22
A+
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
.500
.500
.500

Originally a 50th round pick of the Montreal Expos in 2004, the Richmond Hill native earned some notoriety by Baseball America as a member of its "31st Team" as he just missed making the Jays top 30 prospects in this year's Handbook. The minor league correspondents on this site also gave Collins some love this time last year as he was ranked #11 among our 2007 top 30 prospects - ranking ahead of J.P. Arencibia and Brian Jeroloman. That .614 slugging percentage looked real good to us, a figure that would've ranked Collins second in the Gulf Coast League had he had enough plate appearances. What a difference a year makes, Arencibia and Jeroloman easily made our top 30 list while Collins was nowhere to be found. Also, he's not even the top player named Collins in the system as Lugnuts reliever Tim Collins made our list.

Big things were expected of the 6-1, 195 pound Collins as he started his first full season of pro ball in Lansing but he started the year 0-for-14 before connecting for his first home run. However, Collins wasn't cutting the mustard in the Midwest League and with Matt Liuzza and Jonathan Jaspe battling for playing time behind the dish, Collins eventually resurfaced with Auburn. That's when his right-handed power bat really shone as he slugged .600 in July and hit nearly .400 with an OBP approaching .500 in August. Defensively, Collins threw out 40 percent of base stealers who tested him and he's said to have to receive the ball well, has an average arm and good makeup. However, scouting reports indicate he's a poor runner, lacks athleticism and doesn't project to hit for average as he moves up. Collins will probably try his luck again in Lansing to start 2009 and may go to Dunedin if he gets off to a better start. On an interesting note, his father has been a Jays season ticket holder since 1977.


Alan Farina, RHP

Born: August 9, 1986. Selected in the 3rd round of the 2007 draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2007
20
A-
6
3
11
8.18
0.82
8.18
11.45
4.91
2008
21
A
15
0
29.1
5.83
0.61
4.30
11.35
3.07

Alan Farina started 2008 slowly, pitched like an all-star in May then was injured for most of the rest of the season. Farina had difficulty with his delivery in April, he walked 8 in 10 innings and had a 6.30 ERA. However he did strikeout 14 in those ten innings. In May Farina was excellent, eight hits allowed in 17.1 innings. He lowered his walks to 5 and struckout 23 in 17 innings. Farina looked to be set for a promotion but he hurt his arm and was out until late August.

Farina is still only 22 so he has time to recover. Farina features a low 90's fastball, with a good slider and a developing curveball. The Jays might look to give Farina a shot at the rotation at Dunedin in 2009 to give him regular innings but if not he should be in the Dunedin pen.


Danny Farquhar, RHP
Born February 17, 1987. Selected in the 10th round of the 2008 amateur draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2006
19
NCAA
20
6
62.1
8.09
0.29
2.89
7.94
2.17
2007
20
NCAA
30
6
87.2
8.11
0.21
2.26
11.81
3.08
2008
21
NCAA
14
11
76.1
9.08
1.31
2.83
9.79
4.35
2008
21
A-
12
0
26.1
6.84
0.34
2.05
9.23
2.39
2008
21
A
3
0
6.0
0.00
0.00
3.00
6.00
0.00

Like the other prospects in this feature, Danny Farquhar was one of the 18 players named on one or several individual ballots who didnt make the top 30 list. However, Farquhar may have benefited the most if the voting was conducted two weeks later. A little while after our list was finalized Baseball America came out with their top 20 prospect lists for each of the minor leagues and Farquhar was named the 20th best prospect in the NY-Penn League. He was the only Doubleday on the list aside from David Cooper at number 2 and this might have resulted in him being named on a few more lists.

The Louisiana-Lafayette product struggled in 2008 when he was moved to the rotation, so the Jays signed him and left him in the bullpen, where he spent his first two years at college. Farquhar uses a couple of different arm angles, both three-quarters and below sidearm. However, something sets him apart from the garden-variety pitcher with a unique delivery who succeeds in the low minors.

As an NL scout told Baseball America, He was scary good. I don't know what he's going to be, but any manager in the country would love to have that guy. I've never seen anyone throw that hard from that low. You can't throw hard from down there it's impossible. But he's not just a raw arm speed guy. He's got pitchability. Farquhar throws a 93-mph fastball and an average curveball from his higher arm slot, but his fastball still hits 90 with life from sidearm. He also throws a slider in the low 80s from below sidearm that is very tough on right-handers and can show a passable changeup from either slot. His combination of deception and raw stuff could see Farquhar on a Top 30 list in the future and hes a prospect that shouldnt be dismissed because hes not starting in the low minors.

Frank Gailey, LHP
Born: November 18, 1985. Selected in the 23rd round of the 2007 draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2007
21 R
18
0 33.0 8.18 0.55 1.64 7.64
2.45
2008
22 A
20 0
35.2 4.79
0.50 2.02
10.09
1.26

Sure, Gailey's a little old for his league, and he's not a fireballer but any lefty with a WHIP of 0.76 and a K/9 above 10 needs to be noticed at some point. And now's that point.

Gailey was drafted out of West Chester University in the 23rd round of the 2007 draft. After posting decent numbers in the GCL, Gailey made a very brief stop in Auburn before moving up to Lansing where he absolutely dominated opposition hitting. And he certainly finished the year strong by posting a 0.53 ERA over his final 17 innings with a K/BB ratio of 23/0.

Gailey throws four pitches effectively including an 86-89 MPH fastball. While he's not likely to add much velocity as he matures, scouts do note that he changes speeds quite well. 2009 should bring new challenges to Gailey. A trip to Dunedin at some point is quite likely. Now, minor league graveyards are littered with guys like Gailey. Despite his excellent performance in 2008, the odds are against him carving out a prolonged Major League career. However, if he continues to keep guys off the bases, he could move up the organizational ladder fairly quickly. Plus, I hear lefthanded relievers can be a hot commodity.


Trystan Magnuson, RHP
Born June 6, 1985. Selected in the 1st supplementary round of the 2007 amateur draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2008
23
A
24
24
81.2
10.03
0.66
3.86
5.40
5.40

2008 looks like a lost season for Trystan Magnuson, a 5.40 ERA in A ball is nothing to get excited about. However there are some signs of hope for Magnuson. Trystan was drafted in 2007 in the supplemental first round but he didn't pitch in 2007. Magnuson was reliever in college and the Jays immediately remade him into a starter and went to work on expanding and improving his pitching arsenal. It was a rough start for Magnuson, his pre all-star ERA was 5.87. Magnuson is very tall, 6'8", and like many tall players looked to have trouble getting fully coordinated into starting and pitching as the Jays wanted him to. But in mid-season he started to show signs of life and he dropped his post all-star ERA to 3.98, in part by halving his walk rate.

2008 was a learning year for Magnuson, if he can start to put it all together and have more coordination and command he could move up in 2009.


Luis Perez, LHP
Born January 20, 1985. Signed as an amateur free agent in 2003 out of the Dominican Republic.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2007
22 A-
16
16
75.1
8.72
0.12
4.54
8.48
3.70
2008
23
A
28
23
137.1
8.91
0.26
3.34
8.98
3.60


Luis Perez was arguably deserving of being named within the Top 30 prospects, especially considering that he's left-handed, can hit 93 mph and recovered well after a poor start to the season. Pitching in full-season ball for the first time, Perez began the year in A-ball and posted an 8.20 ERA in April. He allowed 30 hits and 17 walks, with just 14 strikeouts, in 18.2 innings. He then went on to finish the year with 136 hits allowed in 137.1 innings, he walked 51 and struck out 137. Perez also allowed just four homers all season and induced three ground ball outs for every fly ball out. Perez, who also features a slider and change-up, does need to improve against right-handed batters, who hit .279 against him (compared to lefties at .229).


Castillo Perez, RHP
Born August 20, 1987. Signed as an amateur free agent in 2006 out of the Dominican Republic.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2008
20
A-
15
14
69
9.13
0.52
2.87
8.87
3.39


Castillo Perez, no relation to Luis, is another Dominican pitcher who does an excellent job of keeping the ball on the ground and was the only Latin player to make his North American debut in the New York Penn League after impressing the Jays staff in extended spring training. He held his own during the season and allowed just four homers in 69 innings. He also showed improving command of his three-pitch mix, which features an 88-93 mph fastball, a slider and a change-up. The right-handed pitcher was actually better against lefties (.228 vs .283). Perez does get rattled in tight situations, as he allowed 27 hits in 19 innings with runners in scoring position (.355 average). He should pitch for Lansing in 2009.


David Smith, OF
Born January 12, 1981. Selected in the 15th round of the 2002 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2005
24
A+
391
24
2
14
35
73
4
2
.294
.349
.473
2006
25
AA
483
33
1
19
40
118
7
4
.253
.317
.443
2007
26
AA
463
35
1
24
53
105
4
5
.276
.359
.512
2008
27
A
39
3
1
0
5
11
0
0
.231
.333
.359
2008
27
AA
279
26
1
12
39
81
1
1
.265
.362
.495
2008
27
AAA
53
2
0
3
11
10
1
1
.302
.422
.500


David Smith isn't generally considered when thinking about prospects. He'll be 28 at the beginning of next season and has spent, primarily, the last three years in NH. However, he put up solid numbers across the board for the Fisher Cats for the second straight year with both good power and on-base ability in a hitter's environment. In an abbreviated stint with Syracuse he hit even better. As expected, he hits LH pitching better than RH pitching but he shows more than the typical split (.777 vs RHP in AA versus 1.085 vs LHP). If Kevin Mench can get a shot in Toronto as a lefty masher, why can't Smith? Is there a minimum hat size requirement for that role?


Joe Wice, LHP

Born: September 1, 1985. Selected in the 22nd round of the 2004 draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2005
19
RK
10
10
45.0
11.00
3.00
2.00
7.00
5.40
2006
20
RK
20
1
36.0
8.75
0.50
2.25
10.50
3.75
2006
20
A
1
0
2.0
0.00
0.00
0.00
9.00
0.00
2007
21
A-
23
1
40.1
9.15
0.22
0.67
11.38
3.12
2008
22
A
26
0
50.2
5.68
0.36
1.60
9.06
1.78

Joe Wice was picked in the 22nd round in the 2004 draft, where Baseball America reported that he leapt into prospect status as a freshman after going to undrafted out of high school. Baseball America reported that he can throw three of his four pitches for strikes, including an 88-89 mph fastball and an above-average curve. Despite that, Wice has moved slowly, spending two years at Rookie ball and not making it out of A-ball after four seasons of professional baseball. However, he struggled in 2005 with a strained UCL.

Wice has a unique delivery, with a minimal wind-up and an upright delivery. Wice is six-foot-five and 210 pounds, so you wont confuse him and Tim Collins. His large frame likely makes his delivey more deceptive, as it usually does with left-handers. Wice also reportedly throws a deceptive change-up along with a slider. He changes speeds well, which hell likely need to do without any standout pitch or any pitches that sit in the low 90s. This year Wice didnt maintain as strong ratios as he did posted in Auburn, except for the dramatic drop in H/9. Whether this illustrates an improvement in his pitches or was mostly a fluke is something that only time will reveal. The Jays might send to Wice to Dunedin, but move him quickly to Double-A if he posts good numbers.

-----------

That concludes the minor league coverage for the 2008 season.  We hope you enjoyed the coverage as much as the Minor League Crew enjoyed bringing it to you.
Prospects To Watch | 39 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
fozzy - Thursday, October 09 2008 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#193243) #
Great reviews guys, it's awesome to get to see the future of the team, especially when it's in as great a detail as these reports.

So is 2009 the year of the ' Free David Smith campaign' - how does his defence look; can he be 4th OF material ?
Lugnut Fan - Thursday, October 09 2008 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#193245) #

Great review guys, but I have a question.

Where Cody Crowell and Randy Boone an oversight from these lists or was there a reason that they weren't mentioned?

John Northey - Thursday, October 09 2008 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#193247) #
Love these lists, just too lazy to dig through all of the minors to do any ratings myself.

Cody Crowell at 23 is a bit old for a guy in A/A+ ball. He did well overall though, 85 SO in 66 IP but 36 BB shows a bit too much wildness for a reliever at that level and that age. He catches me as someone who could shift to major leagues from non-prospect fast though. If he figures out how to throw strikes more consistently (this is where some pitch f/x stuff would be very valuable - is he really wild or just hard to call for minor league umps) then with those K's he could jump multiple levels. However, there have been many, many, many pitchers like that over the years who never gained the control needed to make it.

Randy Boone is in his first year here, with 40 BB and 97 SO in 143 IP between A/A+ but that low a K total (6.1 per 9) doesn't suggest a fast growth potential unlike Crowell. 2.5 BB/9 is good, but not enough to make him stand out, especially when the Jays are buried in pitching prospects. He needs a big year to switch from filler to prospect and at 23 he doesn't have much time to do it.

Good to see guys like these two being in the 'non-prospect' section though. Even if they don't shift to prospects they will push the others and force quality performances from younger pitchers before they get promoted.
jerjapan - Thursday, October 09 2008 @ 02:40 PM EDT (#193248) #

These minor league reviews are always excellent - nice work!

Is it just me, or does it seem like the depth in the organization is starting to look promising?  Not necessarily many high-ceiling prospects, although I like the ones we do have, but it appears that we could graduate a number of cheap contributers to the big league team in the next few years - tons of relievers, back end starters, platoon catchers and fourth outfielders, with some backup / leage average infielders in the mix as well. 

John Northey - Thursday, October 09 2008 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#193249) #
Agreed jerjapan. Those back end cheap guys can save the team a bit in the years to come. Our pen right now has 1 expensive guy in BJ, one semi-expensive in Downs, one above $1 mil in Frasor and a bunch of sub-$1 million guys. Right now I think the Jays could dump BJ and save $10 mil, or at least Frasor and anyone else arbitration eligible to save a couple million. Mix in cheap replacements for non-starters to clear out more expensive guys like McDonald, Scutaro, and Bautista and suddenly the Jays might free up enough cash for a solid everyday guy or front line starter.

A million here, a million there, it all adds up. In JP's first year, 2002, we had over $2 million being paid to relievers Escobar (closer) & Plesac, plus over $1 million to Felix Heredia and Pedro Borbon. This year $2+ went to Ryan and Downs, $1 mil+ to Frasor and $700k or less to each of the others. This is the way to cut costs without hurting the team. Same with AAA backups.

Now, the Jays aren't there yet (as proven by Bautista, McDonald, Scutaro, and Frasor not to mention Zaun/Barajas) but this is what we want to see happen. Tons of decent players saving the Jays cash for the top notch talent.

Of course, one successful Rios type deal can save far more, or one Wells type deal could cost far more, but the key is to keep working on saving wherever you can in these days of tight budgets.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, October 09 2008 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#193250) #

A million here, a million there, it all adds up.

You SO could never work for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac!

Seriously, I read that line and flashed back to trying to picture someone saying that in 1977, when the Yankees "bought" a World Series ring with Reggie and all the others. Times do change!

Anders - Thursday, October 09 2008 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#193251) #
Fantastic as always, gang. This is always one of my favourite times of the year - the year end rankings - and there was no disappointment in reading the fine work.
Gerry - Thursday, October 09 2008 @ 07:47 PM EDT (#193252) #

I do think the Jays system will be ranked higher this off-season.  I don't know the other teams prospect lists well enough but I would guess that the Jays system would be ranked in the 10-15 range this year.  The system is stronger than last off-season.

I didn't put Randy Boone in my top30.  Boone looked good in Lansing but I didn't see any pitch that was above major league average.  Boone has some good pitches for A ball and he throws strikes but he was more up and down in Dunedin and I think his big test will be the jump to AA.  If the Jays believe in a pitcher they will make him a starter to get guaranteed innings and on that basis relief pitchers are not considered top prospects and it is hard for a reliever to be ranked in the top prospects.  Cody Crowell falls in this category.

Jdog - Thursday, October 09 2008 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#193253) #
Just wondering why Miguel Negron, Y Rodriquez, and L. Soto missed the cut again?
John Northey - Thursday, October 09 2008 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#193254) #
Miguel Negron is no longer a Jay - he is with the White Sox after spending 2007 with the Mets and part of 2006 with the Cubs. All in the minors. He did have a good year this year though hitting 299/381/399 but in AA at 25. His slugging never was higher than 411, OBP of 381 this year was by far his best.

Leance Soto hit just 238/253/344 while repeating A- and is now entering his age 24 season. It is time for him to prepare for the non-baseball world.

Not sure who the Y Rodriguez is that you are mentioning though.
Ozzieball - Friday, October 10 2008 @ 12:17 AM EDT (#193255) #
This guy

That should be a link to Yuber Rodriguez, now with the Reds.

Jdog - Friday, October 10 2008 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#193257) #
I was obviously joking
MatO - Friday, October 10 2008 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#193258) #

Obviously?

Ozzieball - Friday, October 10 2008 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#193259) #
I was obviously joking

If trading Adam Lind and BJ Ryan for Jhonny Peralta and Travis Hafner gets taken seriously on this site, you'll have to do a whole lot better to be "obviously" joking.
John Northey - Friday, October 10 2008 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#193260) #
Heh. We get the full range here - from those who know very little and think Jimmy Key is still pitching here to those who know every player at every level of the minors (I got a life...er...lost that ability around '94). From those who think Richard Griffin is a good sportswriter to those who think he shouldn't be allowed access to a pen and paper let alone a keyboard.

Sometimes the weirdos get things right (how many honestly thought Roger Clemens was coming here in 1997?) but normally standard reality takes over. But that is the fun here and in baseball. On any given day Josh Towers can make Alex Rodriguez look like a minor leaguer, even if in the long run the results will be completely different.
Jdog - Friday, October 10 2008 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#193261) #

Obviously?

Obviously i was wrong in stating my previous statement was obvious. Besides to joke, i brought up those names just because i am finally seeing some toolsy players in our system with upside, that i feel they have a decent chance of attaining. 3 years ago the toolsy player was Yuber Rodriguez who would struggle to break the mendoza line

Here are Yuber's 3 seasons in Lansing

2005       Age 21    .200/.293/.277

2006      Age 22     .223/.305/.288

2007      Age 23     .240/.303/.368

All 3 of those seasons were in lansing in the MWL.  So Eiland who probably put up the worst numbers of the HS draftees, put up a line at  age 19 of .233/.334/.305 (not impressive) but still i can take hope from the fact that its appearing much closer to the successful Alex Rios than the complete bust  Yuber.

Alex Rios     A (Sally League)  Age 20     .263/.296/.354

I know enough to know that we can't expect these kids to become major league regulars, but i also know enough that there is a decent enough chance that they do become regulars and also a slim chance that they become all star typ players. Becoming Miguel Negron is also a very possible endpoint. However I dont really see any Yuber's. Was he really still in the system last year!

 

 

John Northey - Friday, October 10 2008 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#193262) #
Finally got a chance to compare to last years lists...

First year as a Jay
Adam Amar, 1B/DH
Bobby Bell, RHP
Danny Farquhar, RHP
Castillo Perez, RHP
Trystan Magnuson, RHP

First time on list
Alan Farina, RHP
Frank Gailey, LHP
Luis Perez, LHP

Was a 'Watch' guy last year
Joe Wice, LHP

Was a top 30 last year
Johermyn Chavez, OF - dropped from #5 to 'watch' - ugh.
Joel Collins, C - dropped from #11
David Smith, OF - dropped from #22

A few big time drops there for Chavez and Collins. A few guys who better do something soon or be totally forgotten. Nature of the beast I guess.
Bankertuck - Friday, October 10 2008 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#193267) #
I am impressed with the excellent job and the amount of work Pistol puy in the 30 plus prospects/ratings.Has anyone Heard anything about the sixteen year old Gustavo Pierre?
Pistol - Friday, October 10 2008 @ 07:05 PM EDT (#193268) #
The top 30, and the prospects to watch, were done by the 6 members of the minor league crew.  So each of us had 7 players that we looked at.
Chuck - Friday, October 10 2008 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#193269) #
Nowhere else to post this. BTF has the Blue Jays' 2009 ZIPS up. If you thought 2008 was a rough offensive year... wow!
Gerry - Friday, October 10 2008 @ 10:46 PM EDT (#193270) #
Look for some feedback on Gustavo Pierre on Monday in Da Box.
ayjackson - Saturday, October 11 2008 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#193271) #

Brad Emaus is raking in Hawaii.  Through 8 games, he's batting .400/.531/.640 with 6 walks and no strikeouts.

Is that basically an A league or is it closer to AA in qualitly?

Mike Green - Saturday, October 11 2008 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#193272) #
The ZIPS projections look pretty reasonable to me, and don't provide good news of any type for 2009.
92-93 - Saturday, October 11 2008 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#193273) #
Their projection of Vernon Wells is ridiculous. If he's healthy, he'll hit better than that.
Ozzieball - Saturday, October 11 2008 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#193274) #
Their projection of Matt Watson as an above-average corner outfielder does not inspire confidence in their projection methods.
Chuck - Saturday, October 11 2008 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#193275) #

Their projection of Vernon Wells is ridiculous. If he's healthy, he'll hit better than that.

But why assume perfect health? Wells has had numerous health issues over the past two seasons and the model simply incorporates them and the fact that Wells is entering his thirties into the forecast.

Their projection of Matt Watson as an above-average corner outfielder does not inspire confidence in their projection methods.

The Watson forecast is, admittedly, a silly anomaly, but it shouldn't be used to categorically dismiss the entire projection system (though I'm not suggesting you are doing this).

The model is predictably bearish on the veterans, particularly Overbay, Rolen, Wells and Inglett. But it also doesn't see great things afoot in 2009 for either Lind or Snider. I do feel that Lind is overrated in these parts with his upside being an inexpensive league-average performer (which is hardly a disparaging appraisal). Conversely, it's difficult not to be brimming with optimism over Snider's future, but I would like to see him spend age 21 at AAA.

John Northey - Saturday, October 11 2008 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#193276) #
What is funny, and I commented on BBTF about it, is that 4 of the Jay regulars project to be _above average_.

Rios, Rolen, Wells, and Hill are are listed as above average for their positions.

Scutaro is just below the line for SS, Inglett is slightly below average for a second baseman.

Overbay and Lind are below average for their positions but above average for a CF/3B/2B/SS/CA so they aren't exactly the sucking holes we had in Wilkerson/Mench/Stewart/Thomas.

Projected below average for any position are...
Snider at just 251/304/411 (variability here must be massive)
Barajas at 242/298/401 (sounds right to me)

Our backup catchers are ...
JP Arencibia: 247/272/414
Jeroloman: 226/320/313
Thigpen: 221/281/322
Note: Zaun: 233/333/357

As others mentioned though, Matt Watson? 271/347/458 being above average for any position other than 1B. That seems odd for a guy who is turning 29 and has 75 PA in the majors (24 OPS+) and hit 290/395/421 in AAA last year. I see him as a solid AAAA guy but better than the average player at any position other than first base?
TamRa - Saturday, October 11 2008 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#193277) #
^^
Oddly, given the heading, the Jays were rated above league average at RF, CF, 2B, 3B, and very close to league average at 1B, SS and C...if you presume that Lind perhaps exceeds expectatations and you add a league average or better DH, then that's a basically league average offense.

Of course the standard argument is that the pitching will regress but still, it doesn't scan as an offensive disaster.


Chuck - Saturday, October 11 2008 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#193279) #
...if you presume that Lind perhaps exceeds expectatations and you add a league average or better DH, then that's a basically league average offense.

That presupposes that the backups filling in for the average-ish starters also perform at a league average level. Rolen's caddy, because he will have to play so much, will almost certainly drop the aggregate 3B performance to below average.
tstaddon - Sunday, October 12 2008 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#193280) #
Speaking of Brad Emaus, Jason Grey from ESPN's been covering the Hawaii Winter League for ESPN and, in a column mostly featuring reports on high picks like Buster Posey, Andrew Brackman and Jason Castro, mentions this about Emaus:

File this name away: Bradley Emaus. Emaus was an 11th-round pick in the 2007 draft, but batted .302 with a .463 slugging percentage in the Florida State League -- a tough league for hitters -- in his first full season this year. The stocky, 5-foot-11 third baseman wields an impressive bat. He's what we call "short to and long through," meaning he's short to the ball and his bat stays in the strike zone a long time, both very good things. He's been squaring balls up constantly, and he's going to be a big league hitter.
Denoit - Sunday, October 12 2008 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#193281) #

The ZIPS projections look pretty reasonable to me, and don't provide good news of any type for 2009.

The day a computer accuratly projects what a human being will accomplish or be able to accomplish next year is sad sad day for scouts. I looked at this stuff, it seems like junk to me.

Chuck - Sunday, October 12 2008 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#193282) #
I looked at this stuff, it seems like junk to me. 

For it not so seem like junk to you, how would it look?
Jays2010 - Sunday, October 12 2008 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#193283) #
For those who are more knowledgable, does the fact that JPA's strikeout totals were not too high somewhat negate his ridiculously low walk total? Or does this not matter at all? What are the chances that his walk and strikeout totals both increase at AAA when the pitching is better? Is it possible that JPA simply swung at everything in 2008 because he was not being adequately challenged?
Glevin - Monday, October 13 2008 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#193290) #
"What are the chances that his walk and strikeout totals both increase at AAA when the pitching is better? Is it possible that JPA simply swung at everything in 2008 because he was not being adequately challenged?"

No, to the last question. If he hit .500 with 40 HRs, then maybe, but he 101/18 K/BB ratio shows complete lack of plate discipline and nothing else. There is a definite chance that his BB totals will increase over time. They would be unlikely to immediately at a higher level, but if he stays in AAA for a while (which he should) and gets good coaching, he could potentially learn to walk more. A player with his skills at C doesn't need to walk 75 times a year to be productive, but 40 would be nice. It's difficult to have a major league career with his type of numbers, not because 101/18 won't fly in the majors (although it rarely does) but because that type of number will often result in a player getting exploited by major league pitchers. If you look at guys like Bengie Molina or Pierzinsky, neither of whom walk at all (Molina doesn't K ever either), Molina had a 1/1 K/BB ratio in AA when he was 22, and Pierzinsky was 2.5/1. JPA was 5.6/1. Unless he improves on his strike zone judgement (which is a definite possibility) he is going to have a very hard time being a major leaguer.
TamRa - Tuesday, October 14 2008 @ 01:02 AM EDT (#193295) #
Browsing the stat list at ESPN, here are some players with a comperable BB/K ratio:

Kouzmanoff - 23/139 - .260  .299  .433  .732

No one else with over 100 K's was even close to that bad but here is a next tier:

Cory Hart - 27/109 - .268  .300  .459  .759
Jay Bruce - 33/110 - .254  .314  .453  .767
Shoppach - 36/133 - .261  .348  .517  .865
M. Jacobs - 36/119 - .247  .299  .514  .812
Cody Ross - 33/116 - .260  .316  .488  .804
Adam Jones - 23/108 - .270  .311  .400  .711


I think if he had a rookie year more or less like Bruce's, even if he had another 20 odd K's, we'd all be pretty happy.

It's definately something to watch though.


Gerry - Tuesday, October 14 2008 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#193300) #

At the moment JP is what could be called a hacker, he finds a pitch to hit early in the count.  This is a generally positive sign as he is able to make contact with many pitches, it is a sign of good hand-eye coordination.  As Scott told him the pitchers in the major leagues are better, make fewer mistakes than the minor league pitchers, and can get him to hit their pitches leading to more easy ground balls and pop-ups.  JP needs to learn to hit his pitch, not the pitchers pitch.

There are a lot of major leaguers who are like Arencibia, Vernon Wells for one.

Mike Green - Tuesday, October 14 2008 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#193302) #
Mike Jacobs is actually a pretty good comp for JPA.  At age 22 in the Eastern League (as a catcher), he hit .329/.376/.548 with a 28/87 W/K in 407 at-bats.  Jacobs was ahead of JPA offensively, but the skill set was pretty comparable. 
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 14 2008 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#193303) #
Wells, incidentally, had much better W/K data in the FSL and EL than Arencibia.  At age 20, Wells hit .350 at those levels with a 38/49 W/K in 371 at-bats.  The normal pattern (and Wells is a classic example) is for there to be deterioration in W/K during the transition between the high minors and the majors, which is why Arencibia needs a full season in triple A to establish better control of the strike zone.  It is not only that his W rate is miniscule, but that his K rate is so high relative to his W rate.  He swings and misses plenty, much more than someone like Vernon Wells.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 14 2008 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#193312) #
Thinking about JP I thought of Benito Santiago as a horrid BB-SO ratio guy with power.

Santiago made the majors as a September call up in 1986 and was rookie of the year the following season at age 22. In his 20 year old AA season he walked 16 times and struck out 59 times. In his AAA season his ratio was 17-81. His lifetime major league ratio was 430-1270 vs his minor league ratio of 93-316 (his 2nd year in A ball was 'better' at 36-75). If JP turns into Santiago I could think of worse fates.
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