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Here is the final installment of the top thirty prospects.  Unfortunately it is not an inspiring lot but prospect evaluation, and player development, is an uncertain process.  With some luck the Jays top ten listed below will all develop well and be productive.  That is what makes prospect following so enjoyable, you cannot predict the course of human histroy.

Number 30 through 21 are here.  Numbers 20 through 11 are here.

Check back tomorrow for some words from Dick Scott, the Blue Jays farm director. 



10. Tim Collins, LHP
Born  August 29, 1989. Signed in 2007 (undrafted free agent).
Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2007
18
A
39
0
68.1
4.70
0.40
4.20 12.90
1.58
2009
19
A+
40
0
64.2
6.50
0.30
3.90
13.80
2.37
2009
19
AA
9
0
12.2
8.50
0.70
5.00
12.10 5.68

There isn't much to say about Collins that hasn't already been said.  A favourite on Da Box, and a recipient of a fair bit of national media attention for a reliever, Collins has turned from a feel-good story to a legitimately exciting prospect over the course of the past season. 

As absolutely everybody knows, Collins is small.  Freakishly small for a potential major league pitcher.  But that doesn't stop him from striking out a ridiculous amount of opponents.  It was cute in Lansing.  Then it just got weird in Dunedin.  While Collins suffered through some growing pains (ha!) in New Hampshire, he continued to whiff more than 12 batters per nine innings with a 89-92 MPH fastball, a developing change, and a good 12-to-6 curve. 

Collins's main weakness is, of course, the walks.  He averages anwhere from four to five free passes per nine.  But as of yet, that's truly his only weakness.  And remember, Collins just turned twenty.  This isn't some journeyman we're talking about.  2010 should see Collins head back to New Hampshire for the majority of the season.  If he settles the walks down and continues to dominate opposing hitters, who knows, the Toronto bullpen could conceivably make a call.


9. Daniel 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
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
2009
22
A+
17
0
17.0
5.29
0.00
5.82
12.18
0.53
2009
22
AA
37
0
45.2
6.11
0.20
5.91
10.05
2.36

Only one Bauxite had Farquhar in their top 30 last year, which proves that even a blind squirrel will stumble upon a nut once in a while. However, this year all six members of the minor league crew had Farquhar in their top 30 as he followed a strong season in short season A ball with an impressive stint at Dunedin. That quickly led to a promotion and Farquhar had continued success at New Hampshire during the second half of the season.

There have been a lot of positive signs in Farquharís minor league performance so far. Heís only allowed one homer in each season and has held the opposition to below six hits per 9 innings. Farquhar induces grounders on about 50% of the balls in play and had an inflield fly percentage of 14.7%. Danny struck out over a batter an inning this year and maintained this strikeout rate after his promotion to New Hampshire. The only negative this year was that Farquhar struggled with his control at times and walked 41 batters in just over 60 innings. This was out of character for Farquhar, as going through his college stats heís never been as wild as he was this year. Nevertheless, he proved you can still have success with a high walk rate if everything else is going well, but this will be a problem if he starts to concede more hits or doesnít strike out as many batters.

Farquhar is an interesting pitcher as heís a sidewinder who can throw from multiple angles. Danny throws side-armed in the high eighties to low nineties and has a plus slider that is reportedly very difficult to hit. He can also throw with a three-quarters delivery and over the top, where he reaches 95, and his ability to change arm angles keeps hitters off balance. While the usual caveats about minor league relievers apply, Farquhar has found success at every level and his control issues are the only red mark on his resume. Whether he starts in New Hampshire or not, heíll likely be in Las Vegas by the second or third month of 2010 and very well could be in the majors by the end of the year.

8. Carlos Perez, C
Born October 27, 1990. Signed as a non-drafted amateur free agent in 2008.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009
18
R
141
11
3
1
16
23
2
5
.291
.364
.471

Only a year ago the catching position looked like an area of solid depth in the Toronto system. However, after fast-forwarding a year, some of the shine has come off of both J.P. Arencibia and Brian Jeroloman, the Top 2 catching prospects in the upper levels of the minor league system. Perez, though, offers some excitement for the future. Just 18 years old during the 2009 season, Perez settled into the North American style of baseball in just his first year since coming over from the Dominican Summer League (DSL).

Known for his advanced eye at the plate in the DSL (52 BBs, 28 Ks in 257 ABs in '08), Perez posted a walk rate of 10.2% in the Gulf Coast League. Overall, he had a line of .291/.364/.433 with 11 doubles in 141 at-bats. Perez also has good wheels for a catcher, although he was caught five times in seven steal attempts. Defensively, he is a solid catcher although - like most young backstops - he is still working on his game calling. He threw out 49% of base stealers attempting to run against him in '09 and 34% in '08.

7. Tyler Pastornicky, SS
Born December 13, 1989. Selected in the fifth round of the 2008 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009
18
R
160
6
3
1
21
21
27
5
.263
.349
.356
2009
19
A-
413
11
9
1
39
50
51
15
.269
.336
.346
2009
19
A+
63
3
0
0
3
7
6
3
.270
.303
.317

A fifth round draft pick out of a Florida high school who spurned Florida State University in 2008, Pastornicky was often overlooked in '08 despite respectable numbers in his debut. Challenged with a promotion to full-season ball in '09, the 19-year-old shortstop was one of the best players on the Lansing squad. Pastornicky hit .269/.336/.346 with 51 steals (66 attempts) in 413 at-bats before a late-season promotion to high-A Dunedin where he hit .270 in 63 at-bats.

He had a respectable walk rate in Lansing at 8.6% and a nice strikeout rate at 12.1%; Pastornicky looks to be a future No. 1 or 2 hitter. With an ISO of just .077 and a line-drive rate of 10.4%, the Florida native will certainly have to get stronger. His batting average has never been overly high, but he's consistently posted low BABIPs, including .304 in 2009. Pastornicky is a relatively steady fielder for his age but his range is average so he may have to move to second base down the road.

6. David Cooper, 1B
Born February 12, 1987. Selected in the 1st round of the 2008 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2008
21
A-
85
10
1
2
10
16
0
1
.341
.411
.553
2008
21
A
96
10
0
2
10
14
0
0
.354
.415
.521
2008
21
A+
92
9
0
1
10
16
0
0
.304
.373
.435
2009
22
AA
473
32
0
10
59
92
0
0
.258
.340
.389

 

Expectations were high for David Cooper coming off an excellent debut season that saw him play at 3 different levels. Unfortunately, he didn't live up to those expectations, only putting up an OPS of .729 at AA, which is not the type of production you expect from a first-round first baseman.

It wasn't all bad, though. Cooper showed a good eye at the plate, with a not unacceptable 19.5% strikeout rate complimented by a very good 11.1% walk rate. Furthermore, his BABIP dropped from about .380 in 2008 to just .302 this year. Now, minor league data isn't detailed enough to determine where Cooper's true BABIP lies, but scouting reports have indicated that he's the type of player who can sustain a high BABIP (lots of line drives, gap power). If you adjust his 2009 numbers to match his BABIP from 2008, it would actually be somewhere between his production at Dunedin (.808 OPS) and Lansing (.936 OPS), assuming his batted ball profile hasn't changed much.


That's a lot of assumptions to make, though. Cooper may have been a little unlucky in '09, but in reality it probably didn't have a huge effect, and even if you adjust his numbers up a little, they're still disappointing. Given his reputation as a poor defensive first baseman, which is, as we all know, the easiest position to field, Cooper's bat needs to show some improvement this year if he is to be a major league regular.

5. JP Arencibia, C
Born  January 5, 1986. Selected in the first round (21st) of the 2007 amateur draft.

Year Age Level AB 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2007
21
A-
228
17
1
3
14
56
0
0
.254
.309
.377
2008
22
A+
248
22
0
13
11
46
0
0
.315
.344
.560
2008
22
AA
262
14
0
14
7
55
0 0 .282
.302
.496
2009
23
AAA
466
32
1
21
26
114
0
1
.236
.284
.444

 Arencibia's AAA struggles were well publicized.  While he flashes a great deal of power, J.P. virtually refuses to reach base via any other method.  Almost half of his 26 walks came during the month of May when he posted his only OBP above .300 (save for a .375 clip in 9 September games).

Like many power hitters, Arencibia is incredibly streaky.  He went homerless in both April and June while smacking 8 each in May and August.  He doesn't suffer from much of a home-road split with respective OPSs of .755 and .698, the difference made up from a 40 point swing in batting average.

Often a knock, Arencibia's defence has improved a great deal in AAA.  After throwing out just 5 of his first 31 baserunners, Arencibia nailed 15 of the last 30 for an overall 33% kill rate.

While the Jays hoped to have Arencibia start the bulk of the 2010 season in Toronto, J.P. will need to repeat AAA while spending copious amounts of time on his plate discipline.  The power is there and playing a premium position helps, but Arencibia still has a long way to go before showing he was worthy of a first round pick.

4. Chad Jenkins, RHP
Born  December 22, 1987.  Selected in the first round (20th overall) in the 2009 amateur draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2007
19
NCAA
17
4
40.1
10.0
0.9
4.5
9.8
4.02
2008
20
NCAA
13
13
88.2
9.2
1.1
1.3
7.9
3.96
2009
21
NCAA
13
13
92.0
7.8
0.3
1.5
9.6
2.54

The Blue Jays were able to hammer out a deal with the Canton, Georgian native by signing the right-hander to a $1.359-million bonus just days before the August 17th deadline.  It was the 12th highest bonus ever handed out by the Jays.   He teamed up with Kyle Heckathorn (selected by Milwaukee 47th overall) to form a potent 1-2 duo for the Kennesaw State Owls.  The Atlantic Sun Conference's Pitcher of the Year in 2009, Jenkins won eight of nine decisions with an ERA of 2.54 and had a streak of 41 scoreless innings and 24 2/3 innings without a walk.  He pitched five complete games with two of them ending in shutouts.  His only loss came against number 3 seeded Georgia Tech in which he only gave up two earned runs over six frames.  In 92 innings, his K-BB total was an impressive 98-15.

Baseball America's Jim Callis says Jenkins has a tremendous feel for pitching with a fastball touching 96 MPH with a plus slider.  His heater has been clocked in the 90-94 MPH range, his slider comes in at 83-85 MPH and his change registers anywhere from 82-85 MPH. The consensus about Jenkins is he could be a number two to four starter in a rotation but he needs to smooth out his delivery and mechanics.  Fangraphs.com says Jenkins limited right-handed hitters to a .200 batting average but left-handed batters hit .287 off him and he'll need to improve his changeup to combat lefties.  Still, he's been able to kill a lot of worms with a ground ball/fly ball ratio of 1.7 to 1.  Jenkins has drawn praise for his smarts and his ability to make adjustments and be a workhorse on the mound.  His build has drawn comparisons to Joe Blanton but his idols are Roy Halladay and Greg Maddux.

Where Jenkins will start his pro career has yet to be determined.  The Jays could challenge him by putting him in Dunedin to start 2010 and hope he'll able to advance through the minor league ranks quickly.

 

3. Henderson Alvarez, RHP
Born: April 18, 1990. Signed as a non-drafted amateur free agent in 2006.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2008
18
R
12
11
46.1
12.20
0.58
1.17
6.60
5.63
2009
19
A-
23
23
124.1
8.80
0.07
1.38
6.66
3.47

Alvarez was the jewel of the system in 2009, along with outfielder Moises Sierra and Zach Stewart, who was added to the system mid-season. The right-handed pitcher was in his second season in North America in 2009. Just 19 years old, the Venezuela native was the top pitcher on the Lansing staff. He allowed 121 hits in 124.1 innings of work, while posting a stunning walk rate of just 1.38 BB/9. He also allowed just one home run all year, thanks in part to a solid ground-ball rate of 51.4%.

Unlike a lot of ground-ball pitchers, Alvarez can actually get his fastball into the mid-90s. His two-seamer has excellent movement. He also utilizes a breaking ball and a good changeup. Although his fastball can touch the mid-90s, Alvarez does not strike out a ton of batters, as his strikeout rate was just 6.66 K%. That should improve with time, though, and he does a nice job of pitching to contact. If he can stay healthy, Alvarez has a high ceiling with his combination of control, ground-ball rate, and solid three-pitch repertoire. He should move up to Dunedin in 2010.

2. 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
2006
17
DSL
245
16
1
4
24
50
17
3
.253
.345
.376
2007
18
RK
143
5
1
5
5
39
2
2
.203
.248
.357
2008
19
A
451
16
5
9
26
114
12
11
.246
.297
.364
2009
20
A+
405
24
2
5
34
62
10
2
.286
.360
.393
2009
20
AA
34
1
0
1
1
8
0
1
.353
.361
.471

Another rapid riser, Moises Sierra improved his rating significantly this year after being rated 25th overall last year. A six-figure international signing Sierra had moved slowly but steadily through the lower rungs of the system until this season. He spent a year in the Dominican Summer League, a year in rookie ball and a year in Lansing, all the while trying to learn English and adjust to a foreign country.

The Jays sent Sierra to Dunedin this year where he had a strong year, even if his raw stats donít stand out. Only 20, Sierra posted career highs in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He made a big step forward in his contact abilities, as he struck out about half as often as he did last year despite playing in a higher level. This year Sierra hit noticeably better against left-handers than right-handers, which is something heís done consistently throughout his career. So far he has not shown the power you want in a corner outfielder, but he is still young so that could develop in time.

Sierra is well known for possessing an outfield arm that is Barfieldeseque. It is easily the best arm in system and probably one of the best arms in the entire minors. Should he reach the majors, itís likely youíll see a lot of runners on first base plant themselves at second on any single to right. He had 15 assists between two levels this year, including two in six games at Double-A against runners who hadnít read their scouting reports yet. Sierra made 9 errors this year, but itís likely most of those were aggressive errors, so while thatís a high total itís something that Sierra may carry with him wherever he goes.

After getting a taste of Double-A at the end of the season, Sierra will return to New Hampshire next year. Heíll likely spend the whole season at Double-A, as the Jays will take their time with the outfielder who will only be 21 during the 2010 season.

1. Zach Stewart, RHP
Born  September 28, 1986. Selected in the third round of the 2008 draft.

Year Age Level G GS IP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 ERA
2008
21
A
11
0
16.1
5.51
0.00
1.65
7.16
0.55
2008
21
A+
13
0
16.2
8.64
0.00
5.94
12.42
1.62
2009 22

A+

7

7

42.1 9.99 0.21 1.70 6.80 2.13
2009 22 AA 7 7 37.0 7.05 0.24 2.43 7.54 1.46
2009
22
AAA
11
0
13.1
12.15
0.68
4.05
9.45
3.38
2009
22
AAA
9
0
12.1
8.03
0.00
5.84
11.68
0.73

 Zach Stewart, one of the newest Blue Jays, is our number one prospect.  Stewart came to the Jays in the Scott Rolen trade and was considered the key part of the deal.  Stewart was drafted in 2008 and has pitched less than one hundred and forty professional innings.  Baseball America ranked Stewart as the Reds fifteenth prospect at the end of last season.

There are still some unanswered questions about Stewart such as what kind of pitcher is he and is he a starter or a reliever?  If you look at the statistics for Stewart in the lines above you will see a pitcher who has given up a lot of hits and few hits, walked a lot and walked a little and struck-out lot and struck-out little.  Stewart has pitched very little for most teams he has been on, forty-two innings at A+ is his longest stay, so his numbers are subject to small sample size biases.  At AAA Stewart profiles as a high walk, high strikeout pitcher but at AA he was the opposite.

Stewart's strength is a hard running fastball that hitters find difficult to square up.  Stewart also throws a slider and a change-up but both of those pitches need work.  The Jays want Stewart to be a starter and that will require Stewart to improve the slider and change-up.  Stewart will be limited to about 130 innings next season so he will probably split his time in 2010 between starting and relieving.  Stewart has only 25 innings at AAA so he needs more time there to improve his pitches and to understand how to pitch to advanced hitters.  Stewart could get some experience in 2010 as a major league reliever.

That completes our top 30 prospects for 2009.  Check back tomorrow for an interview with Dick Scott.

2009: Top 30 Prospects: #10 - #1 | 59 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ayjackson - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#207148) #
A poor man's Brett Cecil is our top prospect.  Truly a passing of the torch year for the system.  Hopefully, some of the young guys (Alvarez, Sierra, Chavez, Pastornicky) will really establish themselves as 21 year-olds.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#207149) #
Nice job. 

I had read that Pastornicky had above-average range at short, although he wouldn't make the spectacular play that Justin Jackson sometimes did  Any comments, Lugnut Fan?

Personally, I'd rank Arencibia, Cooper and Stewart lower in the top 10.  There's a balance between scouting reports and performance; I weight them about equally.  Arencibia has had quite a run of injuries, in addition to his battles with the strike zone.  There are unfortunate echoes of Guillermo Quiroz; Q had one great minor league season when he was healthy.  Cooper may only be 22 in double A, but if one is going to be a poor defensive first baseman/DH, you'd better hit very well.  As for Stewart, he's a reliever with apparently very good stuff and a decent performance record. 



Lugnut Fan - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#207150) #

I would agree with your statements Mike.  Pastornicky went from a guy that I didn't see as a serious prospect at the start of the MWL season.  He is a lanky, skinny kid that has to develop into his body and I saw him make some errors on very routine balls during the course of the season.  He did however show that he has a very good arm, is a very smart base runner and can get on base.  As the season wore on, he improved greatly and really changed the way I looked at him.  It was kind of neat watching him in paticular develop and improve over the course of the season.  He is never going to hit for power.  He is always going to be a gap to gap guy, but I think he could fit the top of the order nicely for the Jays.

After watching Jackson in 08 and Pastornicky in 09, I'm still higher on Jackson.  I'm starting to wonder if his shoulder problems didn't start in Lansing the year before.  I'm very intrigued with what is going to happen next year.  My guess is that if Jackson has his shoulder sugically repaired, he is going to have to build the strength up in his shoulder even though it isn't his throwing shoulder.  That should give Pastornicky the spot in the early part of the FSL season.  I can see Tolisano moving to a corner OF spot with Jackson and Pastornicky flip flopping the middle infield positions.  I'm looking forward to what Dick Scott had to say to Gerry.

metafour - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#207151) #
A poor man's Brett Cecil is our top prospect.


Not true.  Stewart is as good as Cecil, if not arguably better because his fastball has both better velocity and sink.  They profile similarly as FB/SL closers-turned-starters but from all accounts Stewart's fastball is a real heavy sinker with velocity whereas from what I've seen out of Cecil his fastball looks like only an alright pitch.


Pistol - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#207152) #
A few comparable players that come to my mind:
  • Pastronicky - Eckstein
  • Arencibia - Barajas
  • Alvarez - League

metafour - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#207153) #
  • Pastronicky - Eckstein
  • Arencibia - Barajas
  • Alvarez - League

Only one that makes any sense is Arencibia/Barajas.

Pastornicky HAS tools, which is why he's an actual prospect.  I've seen the Eckstein comparison before but it doesn't make too much sense other than that they're both small frail SS with little power.  Eckstein is a scrapper who got the most out of very little: he has a noodle arm (Pastornick'y arm is easily above-average).  Pastornicky also has plus speed whereas Eckstein was more of a crafty base-stealer.

Alvarez and League make very very little sense.  Alvarez is a starter, League isn't.  Alvarez barely walks anyone, League is the opposite.  Fastballs aren't really similar, and while Alvarez gets grounders he has yet to show to be a pure ground-ball pitcher like League.

Pistol - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#207154) #
If I've looked at the lists correctly, these are players in the top 20 last year that weren't in the top 30 this year (that didn't graduate to Toronto):
  • Scott Campbell
  • Kevin Ahrens
  • Kyle Ginley
  • Balbino Fuenmayor
  • Eric Eiland
  • Brian Jeroloman

tercet - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 11:30 AM EDT (#207155) #
I personally think you have Moses Sierra higher then he deserves.  Even though he has shown progression the last few years with his bat, his bat is still not good enough for a corner outfielder.  Even though he is described as having a 75 arm, im not sure if that is good enough for the big leagues despite his 40bat.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#207156) #
At age 24 in 1999, Eckstein was in double A and had an IsoP of over .100 (he hit 6 homers) and walked 89 times while striking out 48.  Eckstein didn't make his career from nothing.  He had a couple of important skills- the agility and speed to play the middle infield and excellent strike zone control.  He was also very smart.  Pastornicky has many of the same qualities, but you really cannot compare the two at this age because Eckstein received all of 10 collegiate at-bats at age 19.  Incidentally, I cannot really understand why the 2000 Red Sox did not give Eckstein a shot at second base.  Perhaps he had some injury at the start of the year.
ayjackson - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#207157) #

Campbell perhaps has been harsly judged.  He flirted with .400 for much of 2008 until injuries derailed his development for the past year-and-a-half.

I think Cecil's performance in the minors through last year has been better than Stewart's through this year.  He's a lefty to boot and had more starts under his belt in his transition from the bullpen.

Pistol - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#207161) #
Alvarez is a starter, League isn't.  Alvarez barely walks anyone, League is the opposite.  Fastballs aren't really similar, and while Alvarez gets grounders he has yet to show to be a pure ground-ball pitcher like League.

League was a starter in the minors until he got to AA, and his walk rates were always below three in the low minors.  Not Alvarez low, but pretty decent.
jmoney - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#207162) #
Had no idea people were high on Stewart. That is a pretty shrewd trade by J.P.
85bluejay - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#207163) #

Reading this list is very depressing - I know that JP  complained that the cupboard was bare when he arrived, but I don't think he is leaving it in

better shape (Of course,I expect WILLRAIN to write a long diatribe stating otherwise). Every analysis I have read says that the JAYS have the

weakest farm system in the AL east and one of the weakest overall. As a jays fan, I am tempted to take a walk on the ledge -

 I hope this offseason will perk me up.

Gerry - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#207165) #

Picking a number one prospect for the Jays in 2009 was very difficult.  I said in an e-mail that the Jays have no number one, they have five number fives and that is about right.  Stewart's number one ranking is based on the Jays (and Reds) belief that he can be a starter.  If he cannot than the number one is not justified.

I am not sure where the Pastornicky/Eckstein judgements come from.  Pastornicky is lanky, as Lugnut Fan said, and remember he is only 19 so it's not inconceivable that he can develop some gap to gap power.  He is not a choke up on the bat guy like Eckstein. 

Sierra might not have shown a lot of power yet but he has a powerful body, he is not lanky, I would describe him as Raul Mondesi size, he looks like he packs a lot of muscle.  And he is young too so give him a year or two.  I don't mind Sierra ranked as high as he is because a scout told me earlier in the year that he liked Sierra's ability to recognize and hit the curveball.  If he can do that at this age then lookout as he gets older.  I just see that Sierra did not make BA's FSL top 20 prospects list so there might be something we are missing.

It is depressing that neither Pastornicky, Alvarez or Sierra have made BA's lists.  It does show how weak the system is.

 

John Northey - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#207170) #
For last years top ten go here.  For 11-20 here.  For 21-30 here.  For 'prospects to watch' go here.

Last years top 10 was...
  1. Travis Snider - now a ML regular
  2. Brett Cecil - started a lot of games, probably in rotation in 2010
  3. JP Arencibia - still in AAA, now #5
  4. David Cooper - in AA and not progressing as hoped, now #6
  5. Kevin Ahrens - dropped drastically, off the top 30
  6. Brad Mills - brief shot at the bigs but still dropped to #11
  7. Justin Jackson - not the best of seasons, dropped to #14
  8. Scott Campbell - dropped off the top 30 list
  9. Ricky Romero - established himself as a ML starting pitcher
  10. Marc Rzepczynski - solid debut, will be in rotation mix for 2010
So from last years top 10 we have 3 starting pitchers who have real shots at being 60% of 2010's rotation and an everyday outfielder.  Not bad.  We also had two guys drop off the top 30 list entirely and 3 prospects who are stalled at best.  Mills dropped in the rankings due to injuries and not having the greatest of debut's.

Are there 4 guys in this years top 10 who could be significant contributors to 2010's Jays?  JP Arencibia is my top choice, while Moises Sierra is my sleeper as both are expected to spend most of 2010 in the minors but with a hot start could take an opening (assuming no star is brought in for CA or DH/LF - Snider to LF, Lind to DH, Sierra to RF) with JPA having a shot in the spring to win at least a backup position.  Virtually all the pitchers could sneak in if the situation allows it - ie: injuries and/or ineffectiveness and/or trades.
ayjackson - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#207171) #

I see that Ike Davis (picked right behind David Cooper in the 2008 draft) made #8 on the FSL ranking.  Two thoughts on that:

  1. It's hard to imagine that given another two seasons of development, Sierra couldn't cream that slash line in the FSL.  Plus he plays premium defence at a more important position.
  2. It's also hard to imagine that if David Cooper had been held back in the FSL like Davis, he wouldn't have duplicated that slash line.  Yet Davis will no doubt be ranked much higher than Cooper.
ayjackson - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#207172) #

Ike Davis' slash line:

.288/.376/.486

ayjackson - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#207174) #

There's no way Campbell should have dropped off the Top 30.  With good health, he has a real opportunity to contribute off the bench (LHB for 3B and 2B)  at some point in 2010.  You can't write off guys with that kind of plate discipline.

Mark - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#207175) #
James Paxton, Jake Eliopoulos and Jake Barret would make the top 10 look a lot better.
And all for the cost of Kevin Millar. But them who would bat 3rd against lefties.
Mylegacy - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#207176) #
Great work guys!

However, BOTH - Brett Cecil (I rank him 3rd) AND Marc Rzepcynski (I rank him 4th) - qualify for a "Prospects" list - as both have under 130 MLB innings.

10th you have Tim Collins, I have Tim at 13th. Tim will have to show us every step of the way - so far he has.
9th you have Daniel Farquhar, I have him 25th. This guy could be "Eichhorn 2" or an afterthought - lots of moving pieces. But VERY intriguing!
8th you have Carlos Perez, I  have him 9th. His stats in the DSL as a 17 year old last year and here in the US of A this year as an 18 are VERY promising.
7th you have Tyler Pastornicky, I have him 19th. I have Jackson 29th. Tyler is a fast little guy BUT he can play the little mans game.  He's a KEEPER!
6th you David Cooper, I have him playing in a sandlot somewhere. This guy is a tweener. Too small, too weak, too un-athletic, I have NEVER liked this guy as a pro.
5th you have JP Arencibia, I have him 22nd. Great RAW power, improving defense, he's like Barajas only with a MUCH WORSE OBP - yikes!
4th you have Chad Jenkins, I had him at 31st. However, I was ranking guys on their potential + what they've done - Chad ain't done squat yet. HOWEVER, I'm wrong to rank him so low the guy is a SERIOUS pitching prospect with a ton of upside - my bad.
3rd you have Henderson Alvarez, I have him 1st. Profiles as a CLASSIC power pitcher. That's why I have him ahead of Cecil and Rzepski as well as Stewart.
2nd you have Moises Sierra - so do I! The guy is 20 - power is the last thing to develop - when this kid is 25 WATCH OUT. I see his BOTTOM as Jessie Barfield!
1st you have Zach Stewart, I have him 6th.

Judging prospects is HARD - injuries and the stuff between their ears plays such an important part of their development that who knows. However the ONLY guy of yours I COMPLETELY DISAGREE with is Cooper. I don't see the guy being a MLB player in any role. Sorry.

Guys I was high on that you didn't consider worth mention were: Angel Sanchez (our AAA SS who hit 305/363/428 - and was rated the best defensive SS in the recent World Cup - AND is the ONLY guy in house if JMac and or Scutaro go) I have him rated as my 15th top prospect. Kyle Phillips who I have 16th - I've ALWAYS been higher on him than most. Dick Hayhurst who I have 18th. Kenny Rodriguez  who I have as 26. Welinton Ramirez who I have 27th and my man crush on Hunter Moody who I rank 30th.

Unlike some, I see our top 50 prospects as VERY DEEP - not many A+s but TONS of depth. Tons of guys that will make an impact in the bigs. This is a good set of prospects.

Wonderful work guys! Now - lets spend the winter trying to find coaches and scouts that saw them play last year and see if we can lots of views of these guys from the guys trained to study prospects.


ayjackson - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#207178) #

ML, I think you're confusing IP with PA.  I think it's 55 IP and ~130 PA to lose rookie status.

Obviously, if Rzep and Cecil were still prospects, they'd be the class of the system.

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#207179) #
BA's record is not very good at all, if you go back over the last 15 years.  To take an example, in 2001, Albert Pujols had put in a fabulous year with the bat at age 20 in the Midwest League- 17 homers in 395 at-bats, 38 walks and 37 strikeouts and a .329 average.  He was the #42 prospect in all of baseball, according to BA.  Pujols did not come with a reputation nor a high draft selection.  What BA seems to rely on to a great degree is the consensus of scouts and a team's own appraisal of its prospects (including draft status).  To my mind, this is far from optimal. 

So, BA doesn't rank Sierra among its top 20 in the FSL because he hasn't shown significant power yet.  Does that bother me? Not in the slightest.  If I thought that there was behind that an opinion from a scout knowledgeable about hitting mechanics that it is unlikely that he will do so, then it would.  When Alex Rios went through the FSL at age 21, he hit 3 homers and had an IsoP of about .100.  Sierra probably has more power potential than Rios. 

Ryan Day - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#207182) #
It's probably not such a great comparison at the moment, but Sierra's year looks a lot like Alex Rios' year in Dunedin:

Sierra: 286/360/393, 5 homers and a 34/66 k/bb rate.
Rios: 305/344/408, 8 homers, 27/55 k/bb.

The main difference is that Rios was a year older when he was in the FSL. If Sierra maintains his approach at the plate and adds 15-20 home run power to go along with his strong defence, he could be an excellent player. (Also assuming he avoids Rios' complete collapse at age 29)

Magpie - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#207183) #
And all for the cost of Kevin Millar. But then who would bat 3rd against lefties?

Oh, they'll find someone. Maybe they already have. Millar had exactly 4 of the team's 671 at bats in the 3 hole.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#207184) #

From the BA chat:

BA are on the Zach Stewart bandwagon, he didn't play enough in the FSL to be rated, but he would have been rated if he had enough innings.

Sierra was 21-25 for BA, drew a Jose Tabata comparison, and BA said he was a bit big around the middle (does that mean fat?).

Tim Collins was discussed but setup relievers don't make top 20 lists.

The high schoolers in Dunedin are just not developing.

Sierra and Collins were the closest Jays to making the top 20.

Helpmates - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#207185) #
Looking forward to hearing how Dick Scott explains away this mess.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#207187) #
A bit big around the middle?  Please.  If his bat is slow, I want to know that.  If he has some impossible-to-fix mechanical flaw in his swing, sure.  This isn't Calvin freaking Pickering we are talking about.  Jose Tabata, incidentally, hasn't made much progress over the years, but he still hit .300 with good plate control in double A at age 20 this year.  He hasn't shown power yet and he is quite a bit smaller than Sierra, but at age 20 there is still plenty of time.



TamRa - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#207189) #
I don't think he is leaving it in better shape (Of course,I expect WILLRAIN to write a long diatribe stating otherwise).

I'll try to keep it short for you.

Three points-

1. it's true the farm system is not whiz-bang, but is it better than it was at the end of 2001? Well, who on the current team (or having significantly contributed to the Jays in the last three years) was in the system at the time? Rios, Johnson, League, McGowan, Chacin - who else? Are there more potential win shares on this top 30 list that we got out of the system JP inherited? I'd suspect so.

2. When one dismisses the quality of the system without acknowledging that the Jays are in the top 2 or 3 teams in the majors in putting post-2001 draftees into the majors (and getting significant contributions from them) one is not looking at the whole picture. what had you rather have, Snider and Romero and Cecil and Zep and others still in the minors so we rank better in comparison to other teams, or contributing in the majors?

3. Not a few of the players who have gone on to success in the majors were not highly regarded in the sort of lists you are looking at now to get deperessed about how our system compares to others. Was Romero highly ranked by anyone? Zep? Even Lind and Hill were just considered second or third tier prospects. I'll take results over clippings myself.

(yes, for me that's short)

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#207190) #
Don't forget O-Dog.  The Ash/Wilken team did an excellent job of drafting.  Turning that talent into good major league players through development and trades not so much.
MatO - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#207192) #

The Ash/Wilken team did an excellent job of drafting.  Turning that talent into good major league players through development and trades not so much.

They did a good job drafting hitters but pitching?  They hit a home run with Halladay and Carpenter became a star 11 years after being drafted but the pitching was a disaster when JP came aboard.  Who was the best prospect?  Mike Smith?  McGowan and League were still in short season.

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#207194) #
Steve Treder did some studies published in THT a year or two ago.  He measured the Win Shares produced by each organization.  In the early aughts, the Jays led the majors.  Some of it was due to the title runs of the early 90s (Jeff Kent) and some of it was just plain improvidence (Michael Young for he who shall not be named). 

When Ash left, the club had Halladay, Escobar, Carpenter, McGowan, League, Chacin, Gassner, Chulk, Koch and Lyon  at the major league level and in the system (and assorted D level prospects).  That is obviously not great.  Ash was unable to convert the offensive talent in the organization (Young, Freel and FLop all eventually made it) into useful pitching depth, but did draft well.  Ricciardi did attempt to correct the imbalance through the draft, but in my view went way overboard.

MatO - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#207195) #

Wilken pitching drafts 1991 (I think he took over then) - 2001 who got to the majors,  not counting cups of coffee.

1991 - Jose Silva, Ben Weber

1992 - Tim Crabtree

1993 - Chris Carpenter

1994 - Tom Davey, Gary Glover

1995 - Roy Halladay

1996 - Billy Koch, John Bale

1997 - Mark Hendrickson

1998 - Bob File? (89 ML games)

1999 - Brandon Lyon

2000 - Dustin McGowan, Vinnie Chulk

2001 - Brandon League

 

katman - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#207196) #
I cannot reconcile your #6 ranking for David Cooper, and what you wrote about him. He seems misplaced by about 20 positions. Why do you see Cooper as higher than than (for instance) the #7-10 prospects on this list?
MatO - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#207197) #

Halladay, Escobar, Carpenter, McGowan, League, Chacin, Gassner, Chulk, Koch and Lyon 

Escobar wasn't a draft pick.  He was a remnant of the days when the Jays threw big money at Latin America (not the case at the end of Ash's tenure or the beginning of JP's).  McGowan and League hadn't pitched in a full season yet and were years away.  Chacin wasn't considered much of a prospect (3 years at AA).  Gassner was definately a D prospect (2 major league appearances with the Twins - I think he's still pitching).  Chulk an average at best reliever.  Koch, an average closer (picked at #4 overall).  Lyon's had a nice career.

Gerry - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#207199) #

Katman:

The players ranked at 7 to 10 include two relievers who are generally ranked lower because relievers contribute less to a team than starters.  The other two players are younger and at lower levels.

That's the beauty of prospect evaluation players are interchangable and there is no right answer.  Cooper was ranked as low as 13 among our team and as high as 2.  Pastornicky was ranked from 5 to 12.  More than 50% of our voters did rank Pastornicky ahead of Cooper but the ones who liked Cooper liked him a lot.  It's the wisdom of crowds, if you ask a half dozen people you will get six different answers.

John Northey - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#207201) #
For fun first round picks of the Jays...
Gillick years...
Tom Goffena, Lloyd Moseby (very good pick), Jay Schroeder, Garry Harris, John Cerutti (decent), Matt Williams (reliever), Augie Schmidt, Matt Stark (13 G), Greg David, Earl Sanders, Alex Sanchez (4 games), Ed Sprague (very solid), Eddie Zosky (44 games), Steve Karsay (traded for Rickey in 1993), Dante Powell (74 AB in majors), Jeff Ware (18 G), Shawn Green (very good pick), Brandon Cromer , Todd Steverson (31 G), Shannon Stewart (very good pick), Mark Lukasiewicz (41 games), Jeremy Lee, Matt Farner, Chris Carpenter (extremely good but post-Jay career), Kevin Witt (146 G).

Ash years...
Roy Halladay (can't do better), Pete Tucci , Joe Lawrence (55 G), Billy Koch, Vernon Wells, Felipe Lopez, Alexis Rios, Dustin McGowan (nice streak of 5 there), Miguel Negron, Gabe Gross (now a solid player)

JP years...
Russ Adams, Aaron Hill, Zach Jackson (22 games), David Purcey, Ricky Romero, Travis Snider, Trystan Magnuson, Justin Jackson, Brett Cecil, J.P. Arencibia, Kevin Ahrens, David Cooper, James Paxton (DNS), Stephen Jenkins

I know a few didn't sign in the past but not sure who.  Still, it is interesting to see who was drafted and the quality in the first round overall for the Jays.  Gillick's years were very, very poor outside of Moseby, Cerutti, Sprague, Karsay, Green, Stewart and Carpenter - 7 out of 25 picks.  Some of those 7 were really good but 18 picks were not.  Ash has a much better record with 7 solid guys out of 10 if you are generous (Gross is more a 4th outfielder, McGowan might be done).  JP has one clear success in Hill, with probable long term success from Romero, Snider and Cecil which puts the early tally at 4 out of 14 but a lot of history to be written (in 2001 Halladay was at 98 for ERA+ and was a hopeful but not a solid bet yet while RIos was in A ball and Wells was bouncing up and down).

Should be interesting to see what the AA years have to show.
jerjapan - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#207202) #
When one dismisses the quality of the system without acknowledging that the Jays are in the top 2 or 3 teams in the majors in putting post-2001 draftees into the majors (and getting significant contributions from them) one is not looking at the whole picture. what had you rather have, Snider and Romero and Cecil and Zep and others still in the minors so we rank better in comparison to other teams, or contributing in the majors?

Will, you'v mentioned this in other threads before, and I may have missed this, but what's your source on this?  It'd be interesting to see a breakdown that puts a more positive spin on the Jays current situation, because this prospect list is pretty dismal.  My impression is that the Jays can and do get serviceable players at a fairly high rate, and have struck out alarmingly at getting high ceiling guys - although hopefully Snider and Cecil can help assuage that next year.



jerjapan - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#207203) #
A couple of questions for the more experienced minor-league observers ... is it typical to have such a high number of players drop off the prospect rankings so dramatically (i.e. Campbell, Jeroloman, Ahrens) - or is this more a testament to the weakness of the Jays system (with the players unable to maintain a consistent level of performance)?

And should we take it as a positive sign that their are a fair number of international free agent signings in our top 30?  It seems to my untrained eye that this is an area that JP's team did improve in over the last few years, and hopefully some of these players can address our deficit in high-ceiling players.

Gerry - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#207204) #

Jerjapan:

I discussed this last month here.  This is an excerpt:

The old saying is that one third of your prospects will improve, one third stagnate and one third decline.  2009 feels like a year where 50% declined, almost all the high school kids, Brad Emaus, JP Arencibia, Brian Jeroloman and Scott Campbell declined in 2009.  Or to put it another way in a gross generization, the pitchers moved up and the hitters moved down the prospect rankings.

It was a disappointing season for the Jays farm system and as a result a lot of players have dropped off the list.  The farm system is now weak and there is not a lot of immediate help on the way.

metafour - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#207205) #

I cannot reconcile your #6 ranking for David Cooper, and what you wrote about him. He seems misplaced by about 20 positions.

This extreme Cooper hate is quite a bit out of hand.  He had a pretty disappointing season but to think that one season is going to drop a 1st round pick from only a season ago 15-20+ spots in ANY farm system (let alone ours which is among the worst) is a joke.  David Cooper EASILY had a better season than Lars Anderson (a BA Top 50 prospect) in the exact same league, does Anderson now drop 20 spots in Boston's farm system? Of course not.  BA is still very high on Anderson BTW, and while Cooper doesn't have the same upside he's still a first round talent that deserves some benefit of the doubt.

Cooper: .258/.340/.389/.729

Anderson: .233/.328/.345/.673

wacker - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#207208) #
isnt this fun putting up a list to have something to talk about for the next 5 months. Im sure it'll change again and again over the next year. I went to a few lugnut games this year and i can tell you one thing for sure is that pastornicky has nothing on goins in the field. Goins is a very good defender. Mcdade has unbelievable pop off his bat, i don't think anyone on the lugnut team could match the way the ball jumps off his bat including chavez. remember, the MWL is considered a developmental league which brings me to talley. talking with people there, they are determined to see if he can pan out as a catcher (me personally i think a move to first would be good) so my understanding is not much batting practice was takien throughout the year  as he was constantly working catching drills. balbino is a big kid and in my opinion could stand to lose 15 to 20 pounds. other than that he has good power but needs better plate disipline. wilson can flat out fly and at the end of the season he was working on switch hitting. Sobo looks steady and they even worked him in at second base a few times unfortunately the injury bug got him too. Van kirk has a big head. i mean a big head literally. haha. at least he was showing a good bat at this level which earned him a promotion. oh my the way, i seen pastornicky without a shirt on and he is skinny or wirey whatever you want to call it. very good baserunner. defintely a gap hitter. this is my opinion on just one of the teams. don't be distraught thinking the talent level is down. theres alot of talent at the lower levels whether a player showed in their stats or not. more than likely they were working on a weakness trying to make that weakness stronger. one year does not make or break a prospect............
Dave Rutt - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 07:49 PM EDT (#207210) #
katman: I wrote the blurb for Cooper, and I couldn't put it any better than metafour. The minor league crew each has their own take on prospect analysis - I think mine is maybe a little more static than others', meaning I didn't penalize previously highly regarded prospects as much for poor seasons, and didn't put as much stock in break-out seasons.

Clearly 2009 shouldn't be considered a success for Cooper, but what if he just had a down year? I think we tend to expect prospects to progress along some idealistic trajectory without realizing they can be subject to the same year to year fluctuations as established major leaguers who have all but finished their development.

I'm not saying this is what happened, but it could be. I think it's important to weigh all the data we have, which includes college performance and 2008, and both of those data sets suggest Cooper is (or was) an excellent prospect.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#207211) #
Right now, it looks like Cooper's reasonable upside is Lyle Overbay without the glove- good doubles power but modest HR power, pretty good plate control and no speed.  .300/.360/.460 would be about it. If he ran better or fielded his position better, that would be plenty.  As it is, it would be OK but not really helping you to compete in the AL East.

Cooper's 2008 slash statistics are a bit deceptive, driven by high BABIP; his BABIP fell to earth in 2009.  At this point, his career minor league line .289/.361/.430 is a pretty good description of where he is at.

TamRa - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#207212) #
Will, you'v mentioned this in other threads before, and I may have missed this, but what's your source on this?  It'd be interesting to see a breakdown that puts a more positive spin on the Jays current situation, because this prospect list is pretty dismal.

The win shares thing was done by someone else a couple of years ago and has been linked here a couple of times since. I do not know the exact figures except that the person who referanced it said that it confirmed my observations.

My observation was this:

I went through every draft from 2002 to 2008, I counted up the number of players each team had placed in the majors beyond a "cub of coffee" (I'd have to look back to see what my minnimum cutoff for AB and IP was but to give you an idea, guys like Ryan Roberts and Jamie Vermilyea didn't make it)

then I made a subjective judgement of which of those guys would be considered "important" - guys i suspect are high value contributors or VERY high end prospects to do so (Snider, Buchholz, Bard, Wieters to give some examples)

Then I ranked the teams according to total players, ranked them again according to important players, and averaged the two lists.

#1 was, shockingly to me, the Giants.

the Jays were right behind them, though they are close enough to each other that you could debate which is 2 and whch is 3 depending on which players you call important. This would be a good place to settle the matter with win shares (or some comperable stat)

No other team was close enough to make a case for the top 3. The Rays, for instance, are not close.

there were a couple of teams worthy of mentioning because they had a high precentage of their players identified as "important"

I haven't updated the study according to this season, but no one else was close enough to the top three to drive the jays very far down the list.

Maybe I'll take the time to add up the WAR for these guys and see if I can get a closer analysis but that would be a massive time-killer i suspect.

In any case, it's a pretty good "quick and dirty" comparison.


TeeJay1324 - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#207214) #
If Baseball America has concerns about Sierra largely based on them thinking he has a "bad body" more than his actual skills nothing to worry about for him moving forward.

All of his key numbers headed in the right direction at Low-A compared to Rookie and High A compared to Low-A. His BA/OBP/SLG has gone up every year while at the same time his walk percentage has increased from 3.4% in '07 to 7.7% in '09. He's cut way back on his K% as well going from 27.3 down to 16.3 from 07 to 09, all the while moving up a level a year.

Throw in the fact he has a plus arm, and and has shown improvement on the bases(12 for 23 stealing in '08, 10 for 12 in '09)really isn't anything not to like about him except the lack of homers. His AB/HR has actually decreased each year and his ISO has fallen each year as well. But even then 16 of his 111 hits in '08(489 ABs) were doubles and in this past season 24 of his 116 hits were doubles(459 ABs).

Can't argue with his ranking here, if the power comes he could be an excellent corner outfielder.
TeeJay1324 - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#207215) #
First post and I made a mistake already...I listed his plate appearances not at-bats. Should have been 451 and 405 respectively for '08 and '09.
Helpmates - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#207216) #
Sounds like if Sierra doesn't make it as an everyday player he at least has the potential to make it on the mound.
pooks137 - Wednesday, October 07 2009 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#207220) #

Perhaps it`s warped logic, but the fact that a flailing 1st round pick like Kevin Ahrens got bumped from the Top 30 gives me hope that while the prospects at the top of the list may not be stellar, the system certainly is at least 30 prospects deep with intriguing players of different varieties.  In other years, Ahrens would still be on the list based on pedigree alone.

The only player in the bottom 10 that I would argue I would clearly rank him ahead of would be A. Jimenez, who despite glowing defensive reports, has neither the draft pedigree nor the performance in my opinion to beat out Ahrens.

Marc Hulet - Thursday, October 08 2009 @ 12:32 AM EDT (#207221) #
It was definitely much tougher to rank the prospects this season over last year... especially leaving off a few players I would have liked to have included... but we all had a fair vote and I think it worked out pretty well when all was said and done. These lists are subjective, regardless of who does them (BA included). The one thing to consider with the season that the farm system went through is that patience is always key with prospects. It may have been a down year overall, but things could really rebound in 2010... That is part of the fun of following prospects.
Mylegacy - Thursday, October 08 2009 @ 02:26 AM EDT (#207223) #
I'm not nearly as "down" on these Jays Prospects as many here are and as BA is. BA goes with their reputation coming from the draft - remember BA spends FOREVER working on their Draft Projections (which by the way are terrific). The thing BA is right about is a Prospects performance against his age peers. A 20 year old holding his own in AA is usually going to have a better career than a 25 year old excelling in AA for the first time.

I believe we have AT LEAST 56 HONEST PROSPECTS - Counting Six guys that arn't prospects - but might as well be since they'll be additions next year at some time (Marcum, McGowan, Moonraker, Romero (seasoned by a full season), Ruiz and Loewen). And also counting two prospects that played in 09 but still qualify as "Prospects" (less than 130 innings pitched in MLB) and they are two pretty good guys - Cecil and Rzepczynski. Nine of the 11 pitchers on your 1 - 30 list are good bets to contribute at the ML level (Perez and Liebel are two I think less likely to make it) .

Offensively - Sierra, Dopirak, Chavez, Thames, Perez and Pastornicky are ALL a good bet to make the team at some point. Other than Dopirak the rest COULD ALL BE significant REGULARS - possibly for years!

Five years from now - many of you will have a higher opinion of this group than you do now. Count on it. Would I lie? What-ever.

Hopefully - five years from now I might even have a much better opinion of Cooper - even though the guy is too small to be a corner power hitter, too slow to play the field and can't actually catch all that well - but hey - I could be wrong about him - an empty 300 BA is always useful - isn't it?

kevinthedog - Thursday, October 08 2009 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#207242) #

I think it's important to weigh all the data we have, which includes college performance and 2008, and both of those data sets suggest Cooper is (or was) an excellent prospect.

cooper is a poor defender at 1st who doesn't hit the ball over the fence... its hard to find a big league comp who was a useful player. 

i'm not sure that i agree with the assessment on the data prior to 2009... if you are not a plus defender at 1B you really have to hit alot and with power to be considered an excellent prospect.

Mike Green - Thursday, October 08 2009 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#207245) #
Hal Morris wasn't super with the glove, hit .300 with some doubles power and decent strike zone control.  He made a decent contribution to a World Series champion. 
Mick Doherty - Thursday, October 08 2009 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#207248) #

"decent"? Hal hit .340 for the '90 Reds and was a .304 career hitter over 13 seasons. Never hit more than 16 homers in the bigs, but anyone who can hit .300 for more than a dozen years is going to play at the big league level and make a lot of money doing so! Dave Magadan had even less power and was even dicier with the glove, but hit .288 over 16 years.

Morris' BBRef Most Similars are John Kruk and Frank Catalanotto -- more than adequate, better than decent.

kevinthedog - Thursday, October 08 2009 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#207251) #

 Hal Morris wasn't super with the glove, hit .300 with some doubles power and decent strike zone control.  He made a decent contribution to a World Series champion. 

 point taken - although i'd suggest that morris is a fair bit more athletic than cooper.  (he was capable of playing a little OF, for example) 

we have to look at cooper's batting lines within the context of a guy on the extreme left end of the defensive spectrum - and unlikely to to shift rightward.  i'll concede that in a vacuum he looks like a guy that could become a pretty good hitter.  i haven't given up hope on him - but the standard is very high for players with his defensive limitations.

Mike Green - Thursday, October 08 2009 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#207252) #
OK, Mick, I understated the case.  Sometimes I like to mix in the understatement with the hyberbole. You wouldn't want to get a reputation. :)
Denoit - Thursday, October 08 2009 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#207254) #
If Cooper puts up Overbay '04/'06 numbers he will be valuable. If he puts up Overbay '08/'09 not so much. I still think Overbay was ok this year because his defence picks up a bit of the offensive slack.
Chuck - Thursday, October 08 2009 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#207258) #
If he puts up Overbay '08/'09 not so much.

While Overbay's 2009 numbers were helped by his the platoon situation, his 372/466 120 OPS+ was nothing to sneeze at. The average AL first baseman was 351/481/117.
Denoit - Friday, October 23 2009 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#207663) #
Exactly my point, if he puts up average offensive numbers with below average defence then is he really going to be valuable?
2009: Top 30 Prospects: #10 - #1 | 59 comments | Create New Account
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