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Just a couple things since we're in that fallow period before those sweetest of words, Pitchers and Catchers Report.


MLB has published its Top 20 for the Blue Jays organization. As should surprise no one, Travis d'Arnaud is first, followed by Anthony Gose and Jake Marisnick and a bunch of pitchers. It's a bit different from ours and every other list.

In other prospect news, Keith Law has come out with his organizational rankings this year, rating the Blue Jays 3rd overall [ESPN Insider]. The Padres are one, followed by the Rays, the Jays, the Cards and the Royals. We won't post the full comment, but Keith sums up the ranking by suggesting "They are the organization most likely to be No. 1 on this list next winter." His top 100 and top 10s for each organization come out tomorrow.

CBS Sportsline has a sort of complimentary piece on the Jays 5 year contract policy, which as you may recall we talked about on this week's Boxcast.

A few days old now, but old friends (well, sort of) Shawn Camp and Mark Teahan have landed with the Mariners and Nationals respectively.

Thursday Afternoon Update: Darin Mastroianni is now a Twin, claimed off waivers from the Jays. [H/T rpiske]

Koby Clemens, progeny of Roger, has also signed a minor league deal with the Jays. He's a 25 year old first baseman and will likely go to New Hampshire [H/T Kevin Goldstein via Gerry]

Anything else?
Prospectin' And Other News | 82 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ramone - Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 02:42 PM EST (#251649) #
The new BA prospect book has Tampa at #11 overall, quite a difference to the 3 that Law has them at.
ramone - Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 02:44 PM EST (#251650) #
Sorry that should be 2 not 3 that Law has Tampa at.
TamRa - Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 04:37 PM EST (#251654) #
this would be a great thread for someone to list for me the complete BA top 30!

It can't be a problem, it's happened every year. I know some of you mugs have the book by now.
robertdudek - Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 05:36 PM EST (#251657) #
Let's revisit the Brett Wallace/ Michael Taylor/, Anthony Gose triangle...

Early days yet, but at the time I though Wallace for Gose was a mistake. Gose looks like a bona fide centerfielder, comparable perhaps to Austin Jackson.
finch - Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 08:10 PM EST (#251659) #

I was thinking to myself who might be the biggest riser and biggest faller in terms of prospect status this season, for hitters and pitchers. Interested in hearing some of your thoughts.

 

Mine:

Highest Riser (Batter) - Dickie Thon Jr: Will justify a big draft bonus. Think he'll have a nice OBP and AVG. Play solid defense. Seemingly forgotten about.

Highest Riser (Pitcher) - Adonys Cardona: Love what I've read about him. Young. Big bonus. I'm expecting huge things.

Biggest Faller (Batter) - Marcus Knecht: I personally feel is overrated. Stats are decent but a gut feeling he might struggle in High A.

Biggest Faller (Pitcher) - Asher Wojciechowski - Great fastball, will experience trouble with changeup. Too realiant on FB past season.

sam - Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 09:14 PM EST (#251661) #
Finch great idea:

Highest Riser Hitter: Kellen Sweeney. Plate patience, health, and muscle development.

Highest Riser Pitcher: Aaron Sanchez. Hoping he turns the corner with command.

Faller Hitter: Michael Crouse. Difficult making jump to Dunedin. Crouse might be exposed here.

Faller Pitcher: Noah Syndergaard. Combination of 100 innings, increased competition, lack of secondary offerings do not spell good news for young power pitcher.

John Northey - Wednesday, February 08 2012 @ 11:52 PM EST (#251662) #
Thought I'd check the minor league pitchers for guys with very poor K rates and good ERA's as those would be prime for disaster. Surprisingly there are few.

K/9IP sub-5.50 (normally viewed as where disaster is waiting)...
RH Starters: just 4/40, ERA's of 5.32, 6.59, 6.75 and 7.00
LH Starters: just 2/14, ERA's of 9.77 and 4.48 (Willie Collazo - 31 and multiple levels)
RH Relievers: 14/79 guys here, 4 with 50+ IP: Marcus Walden had a 3.24 ERA at 22 in low A, Reidier Gonzalez between AA/AAA had a 4.90 and Tyler Powell was at 4.57 in low A (22 yrs old). Shawn Camp was the 4th guy and he is no longer here.
LH Relievers: None of the 21.
Closers: none of the 10 were sub 6.

Nothing jumps out there. None of the guys were going to be counted on going forward - mainly filler material and none were amazing at their levels outside of the low K rate.

A walk rate over 4 would get my concern as well. This is a guy who could lose it entirely or, if he finds control, could suddenly skyrocket in the system. I'd put these guys under 'super variable'.
RH Starters: 8 guys - Drabek the worst (5.6) while Aaron Sanchez and Joel Carreno combined the 4+ BB/9 with a 9+ K/9 suggesting they could _really_ break out if they could figure out how to avoid ball 4.
LH Starters: Jose Vargas 20 in rookie ball with a sub 5 K/9
RH Relievers: 30 guys, but most with few innings. 5 had 50+ IP. Of those 5 Clint Everts (26 in AA/AAA), Winston Abreu (34 in AAA), Misaul Diaz (21 in lowA/rookie) had 9+ K/9
LH Relievers: 11/21 had this issue - yikes! Only 3 cracked 50 IP and they were all sub-9 for K/9 - Sean Henn, Luis Perez, and Rommie Lewis.
Closers: all were 3.6 or better for BB/9

Hmm. A few interesting names now in Drabek, Carreno, and Perez. If they can figure out how to throw strikes more often they all could be big pieces in the majors this year. If not, they better get used to Vegas.
sam - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 12:06 AM EST (#251663) #
I actually think Joel Carreno will really falter this year. In watching him with Toronto I didn't see the plus slider he was reportedly able to throw. It was slurvy-type slider that lacked tilt. His fastball velocity was average with little movement and his command wasn't anything to marvel at. For me he doesn't have swing and miss ability to pitch out of the backend, nor does he possess the stuff to pitch in the rotation. I'm sure all this will be countered by detailed statistically evidence that he can strike people out or induce ground balls at the Minor League level, but from a scouting standpoint I don't see it.
Gerry - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 09:31 AM EST (#251666) #
Rich Harden will miss all of 2012 due to surgery.  That explains why he went unsigned through the winter.
finch - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 10:53 AM EST (#251671) #
Law put out his top 100 this morning. Anyone have the complete list of Jays?

I know d'Arnaud came in at #6 and Anthony Gose was #59
Beyonder - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 11:13 AM EST (#251672) #

Jays in Klaw's Top 100

D'Arnaud - 6; Hutchison - 42; Marisnick - 47; Gose - 59; Sanchez - 96

 

greenfrog - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 11:29 AM EST (#251674) #
Question. KLaw writes, "[a]n average fastball for a right-hander is 90-92 mph, with 1-2 mph off for a lefty."

Is this an empirical fact, and if so, why do RHPs as a group throw slightly harder than lefties?
Matthew E - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 11:33 AM EST (#251675) #
If true, I imagine it's because lefthanders are sufficiently sought-after, compared to their availability, that they can still find a job if they don't throw as hard.
greenfrog - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 11:45 AM EST (#251676) #
Rays on the list:

Matt Moore (3) - SP
Hak-Ju Lee (12) - SS
Chris Archer (63) - SP
Enny Romero (84) - SP
Mikie Mahtook (87) - CF
Taylor Guerrieri (88) - SP

Six prospects out of 100 - pretty good representation, and strong up the middle. The AL East is going to be tough for a long time.
DLyons - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 11:47 AM EST (#251677) #
I'm surprised Syndergaard didn't make Law's top 100 but he has Sanchez. I know he really likes Sanchez, I just thought Syndergaard showed some real potential this year.
Gerry - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 11:49 AM EST (#251678) #

I am not aware of the absolute stats to show if righthanders throw harder than lefthanders.  However I do think there are proportionately more lefthanders in the major leagues than there are in the general population.  If you bring more lefthanders to the majors then their average speed will likely be less.

There are also probably other advantages to being a lefthander in terms of delivery that I would struggle to explain, but there are probably better descriptions of that elsewhere on the web.

greenfrog - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 11:53 AM EST (#251679) #
Matthew: thanks, that makes sense - good hypothesis
Gerry - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 11:56 AM EST (#251680) #

I am not surprised that Sanchez ranked ahead.  Syndergaard throws harder than Sanchez and has better command.  But Sanchez has better off-speed pitches.  Law's comment suggests that he believes Sanchez fixed his command issues later in the year and on that basis more pitches is better than more velocity.

I assume Syndergaard was a close miss.  I have put a Sanchez/Syndergaard/Nicolino question in the queue for Law.

Beyonder - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 11:57 AM EST (#251681) #

Left-handers make up approximately 10% of the population.  This is what you would expect from any distribution where one pool of members outnumbers the other 9-1.  When it comes to pitching, the outliers in each group will be the people who throw the hardest.  In a population of 1000 (900 rhp and 100 lhp), it stands to reason that the right-handed outliers (say the top 20) will throw harder that the top 20 outliers from the left-handed group.

Not that anyone suggested otherwise, but it has nothing to do with the biological make-up of right handed or left-handed people.

jgadfly - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 12:04 PM EST (#251683) #
Gerry ... any  idea on what was the injury to Kellen Sweeney that kept him out of the lineup for the majority of last year ?  Also has Mitchell's disciplinary problem been resolved and has Mims had any second thoughts about his decision ?
Mike Green - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 12:08 PM EST (#251684) #
Soft-tossing lefties would, one supposes, have advantages over soft-tossing righties in holding runners on.  The other thing, of course, is that many right-handed people bat left-handed and so lefties have an advantage not suggested by the demographics. 
greenfrog - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 12:25 PM EST (#251686) #
"I'm surprised Syndergaard didn't make Law's top 100 but he has Sanchez. I know he really likes Sanchez, I just thought Syndergaard showed some real potential this year."

Lots of divergence in ranking of Jays' top pitching prospects. For example:

Law: Hutchison, Sanchez (giving a sort of honourable mention to Nicolino and Syndergaard in the Sanchez writeup)

Goldstein: Norris, Syndergaard, Hutchison, Nicolino, McGuire, Cardona, Comer

Sickels: Syndergaard, Nicolino, Norris, McGuire, Hutch, Sanchez

BA: Norris, Nicolino, Sanchez, Syndergaard, McGuire, Hutch
Gerry - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 01:35 PM EST (#251688) #

jgadfly:

Sweeney had an injured thumb that cost him time.  Often that would really set him back but with his baseball pedigree and the fact that he is a priority prospect he has chance to make the Lansing team if he shows he is ready in spring training.

I haven't asked about Taylor or Mims.  I assume Taylor will be back.  I didn't ask what the issue was and even if I did I don't think the Jays would have told me.  Those issues are generally kept in house. I don't think he received an invite to the instructional league either.  A lot depends on whether he has learned anything, if he has more "issues" then he could be kept back or released.  If he doesn't get into trouble this year he should be fine.  These are young, competitive guys and some take it too far.

greenfrog - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 01:47 PM EST (#251689) #
From Klaw's ESPN chat:

HBG (NYC)

Which team's system has the best crop of guys outside of the top 100?

Klaw (1:08 PM)

Padres. Could also argue Tampa or Toronto.
greenfrog - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 01:56 PM EST (#251690) #
Another comment:

Collin (New Haven, CT)

Keith, I was wondering if you could give me some insight as to what kept Daniel Norris off of your Jays top 10 list. I know that the Jays have incredible depth in their system, and especially in their young pitching prospects. Did the combination of the relatively high floor of a guy like McGuire and the lack of pro data on Norris as compared to Syndergaard/Nicollino keep him off? Or is Norris' upside just not that of a No. 2 starter?

Klaw (1:54 PM)

Norris' velocity fluctuated from start to start more than you'd expect; he'll touch 95 one start, then top out at 90 or 91 the next. He needs a consistent breaking ball, and the Jays are working to get him to land online consistently - he had a bad habit of landing on the side of his foot.
Maldoff - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 02:55 PM EST (#251691) #
Gerry, any reason as to why Mims was released? Was it at his request, or the team's?
Gerry - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 03:14 PM EST (#251694) #
I don't know the story on Mims, I think he changed his mind and never showed up.
Gerry - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 03:18 PM EST (#251695) #

Firstly, good luck to Darin Mastroianni, I hope he does well with the Twins.

Now where's bball12?   Do you expect Darin to get the respect he deserves now that he is a Twin?   Don't the Twins have a number of centre field types, like Denard Span and Ben Revere?   Will Mastro get a shot in the twin cities?

Mike Green - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 03:27 PM EST (#251696) #
Ranking the pitching prospects is very difficult.  However, I do not understand the logic for ranking McGuire ahead of Hutchison at this point.  The stuff people say that McGuire tops out as a #3 starter type, and the same for Hutchison.  The performance people say that Hutchison has way, way outperformed McGuire by any metric imaginable.  It seems to me that one would have to believe that performance is essentially of negligible significance to prefer McGuire to Hutchison.  I find that view, um, unusual. 
bball12 - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 03:32 PM EST (#251697) #

Glad for Mastro - he played hard for the Jays - had a nice minor league run with a couple rings and a couple All Star selections.

Just always seemed to be the odd man out - no matter what the situation was.

Not sure if he will get a chance in the Twin cities - but he sure as heck wasnt going to get one in Blue Jay land.

Glad to see he got out in one piece.

 

 

Gerry - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 03:35 PM EST (#251698) #
Per Kevin Goldstein the Jays have signed Koby Clemens to fill out the minor league rosters.  Clemens is a 25 year old first baseman who hit well in A ball and below but who has hit in the 240 range in AA and AAA.  Clemens has slugger-type stats, he slugged .476 in AA in 2010 while striking out 143 times and walking 69 times.  He should be a good fit in New Hampshire.
Dewey - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 03:45 PM EST (#251699) #
Is there anyone, preferably someone whoís seen him play, who could write a brief reasoned account of why DíArnaud is (universally, it seems) held in such high regard?  I want very much for the Jays to have such a player, of course; but Iíve seldom seen such unquestioned confidence in a Ďprospectí.  And, sadly, Iíve learned to be wary whenever I see that --  goes way back to the ďbonus babiesĒ of the 1950ís (I expect there are bauxites who remember sure-thing Johnny Groth of the Tigers,  for example?)  Or even Sil Campusano?   And, more recently of course, Travis.   Why should I believe DíArnaud is such a canít-miss prospect (especially coming a thumb injury)?  I wanít to believe that, but . . . I need help with it.
Gerry - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 04:08 PM EST (#251702) #

I have seen d'Arnaud play and I was impressed.  That doesn't mean he can't fail though, baseball is a game of adjustments where if you have a weakness it will be exploited until you can correct it.

It is easier to project a hitting prospect from the stat line than it is to do so for a pitching prospect.  And d'Arnaud had a great stat line last season.  However some players are pure fastball hitters or have a weakness to a high pitch or a breaking ball away and that is what scouts look for when they see a guy play.  The thing that impressed me with d'Arnaud was his approach with two strikes, he would shorten his swing and look for solid contact up the middle.  He wasn't chasing the breaking ball away.  In batting practice d'Arnaud showed big power and a nice compact line drive stroke.

So nothing is foolproof but d'Arnaud has a nice swing with the ability to adjust to the count to make solid contact.

Gerry - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 04:10 PM EST (#251703) #
From Tom Tango... do you want to work (unpaid) for the Jays?  The Jays have posted a number of internships including baseball operations and baseball information.  See the details here.
bball12 - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 04:22 PM EST (#251704) #

Dewey - he is a very talented player - offensively and defensively - it will take him awhile to adjust to higher levels - but he really does have some excellent skills both defensively and offensively.

I think the same way about Gose - incredible raw skill (arm and speed) - but still really no clue at the plate. He has much much more work to do than D'Arnaud at the plate.

 

 

TamRa - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 04:32 PM EST (#251705) #
"Ranking the pitching prospects is very difficult. However, I do not understand the logic for ranking McGuire ahead of Hutchison at this point. The stuff people say that McGuire tops out as a #3 starter type, and the same for Hutchison. The performance people say that Hutchison has way, way outperformed McGuire by any metric imaginable. It seems to me that one would have to believe that performance is essentially of negligible significance to prefer McGuire to Hutchison. I find that view, um, unusual."

I like Hutch better than McGuire (and so do five of the seven professional lists I've seen) BUT

One might suppose it has something to do with McGuire having just finished his first professional season. McGuire strikes me as very much a "safe" prospect in that they see a lot less risk of implosion than with most prospects.

Mike Green - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 04:42 PM EST (#251706) #
d'Arnaud is not a can't-miss prospect, by definition.  He is a catcher.  However, he hits and runs well enough that he could be a corner outfielder, a first baseman or a third baseman if, for some reason, the club had a need and decided that it would be detrimental for him to continue catching. 

I am actually more worried about his back than his thumb, and would be just as happy if the club moved him.  I know that he hasn't had any effects from his back injury over the last year, but these things do recur and catching is hard on all parts of the body, backs included.

Mike Green - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 04:45 PM EST (#251707) #
Thanks, TamRa.  Personally, I don't find McGuire to be "safer" than Hutchison but I suppose that could be the thinking. 
Dewey - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 04:55 PM EST (#251708) #
Thank you, Gerry, bball12, and Mike G.  Thatís very encouraging.  And I hope that you and all the others prove to be right about him.  Iíll certainly be on the bandwagon.   Mind you, I still have one buttock on Travisís bandwagon, too.  This snowless February has got me itchier earlier than ever for ST to get started.  I even saw a robin today, poor creature.
robertdudek - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 06:59 PM EST (#251711) #
for example?)  Or even Sil Campusano?   And, more recently of course, Travis.   Why should I believe DíArnaud is such a canít-miss prospect (especially coming a thumb injury)?  I wanít to believe that, but . . . I need help with it.

The complete failure of Quiroz is the one that is most puzzling to me.

No prospect is can't miss, anyways d"Arnaud is not regarded as a elite prospect - he's the next rung down from elite.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 08:03 PM EST (#251713) #
It seemed to be the collapsed lung that derailed Q's promising career. 
StephenT - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 10:25 PM EST (#251715) #
Suppose the Binghamton Mets (Double-A) team was to move to Ottawa for 2013 and via affiliation swap become the Blue Jays' AA team in 2013 (which is the latest rumour, e.g. http://7traintoshea.com/?p=7315 ).

I was just wondering who project to be the Jays' top Double-A prospects in 2013?
John Northey - Thursday, February 09 2012 @ 11:34 PM EST (#251717) #
I've yet to understand why it is legal to 'hire' an intern to work for $0/hour when there is a minimum wage in existence. It is just an organization (baseball here, but lawyers and others do it too) taking advantage of desperate kids to maximize their own profits. Yes, the people taking the jobs have a choice but it is insane that they add value to a team while getting paid less than a burger flipper does.
TamRa - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 03:26 AM EST (#251719) #
I don't know how realistic it is - probably not at all - but one bit of speculation that was afoot when this came up back in the summer was this:

Binghamton to Ottawa and affiliates with the jays, and the NH franchise is "promoted" to AAA and remains a Jays affiliate.

I understand the excitement among the locals at the idea that the Blue Jays AA franchise might be in their back yard (and in Canada) - but the Blue Jays relationship with NH has been VERY good (unlike the late lamented bungling in Syracuse) and it reportedly is an excellently run operation - and I, for one, would be loathed to see them simply kicked to the curb for superficial reasons.

TamRa - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 03:29 AM EST (#251720) #
"I've yet to understand why it is legal to 'hire' an intern to work for $0/hour when there is a minimum wage in existence. It is just an organization (baseball here, but lawyers and others do it too) taking advantage of desperate kids to maximize their own profits. Yes, the people taking the jobs have a choice but it is insane that they add value to a team while getting paid less than a burger flipper does."

I note with interest that one of those unpaid intern jobs requires a bachelor's degree as a qualification (one ofthe jobs I'd actually like to have, frankly)

How many degreed individuals can afford to take an unpaid position (I'm unemployed now, but I couldn't possibly afford to both relocate and maintain any sort of household withint income)

it seems to me that this limits the pool of candidates to a very privileged class of folks.
Original Ryan - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 08:19 AM EST (#251721) #
NH franchise is "promoted" to AAA and remains a Jays affiliate.

My understanding is that this isn't possible. The Red Sox had to waive their rights to Manchester in order for the Fisher Cats to move there, and one of the conditions was that the city could not host a AAA team.

John Northey - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 09:27 AM EST (#251723) #
The trick with interns is that companies care only about the 'free labour' part, not the quality. Sadly this is all too true in too many industries. I've been to more than one place where all employees, regardless of skill or shown ability, are viewed as interchangeable. Thus companies lose efficiencies and end up losing potential profit while thinking they are 'saving money' since their payroll is lower per person.
greenfrog - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 10:10 AM EST (#251724) #
Yes, the system is exploitative and unfair, but I think it's worth applying if you want the internship. I know someone who wanted to break into publishing in Toronto. She landed a largely unpaid internship with a major publisher (they provided a $1000 "honorarium") and then worked a second job to support herself (I think she was also living with her family outside the city at the time.) It was exhausting, but she's now a full-time junior editor with the company.

Plus, if nothing else, the interview will be good experience, if you get one. And you might hear of other entry-level opportunities as a result.

I wonder how much AA earned answering fan mail for the Expos back in the day? It must have been a miserable amount.
Ryan Day - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 10:45 AM EST (#251725) #
You can argue internships are a necessary evil in some fields, but Rogers makes BILLIONS of dollars every year. Not even paying someone minimum wage is pretty offensive.
Ryan Day - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 10:52 AM EST (#251726) #
I was just wondering who project to be the Jays' top Double-A prospects in 2013?

If the Jays stick with one-level-per-year, Marisnick would be in AA in 2013, and might be one of the best prospects in baseball by that time.

I'd guess that one of the low-level pitching prospects might bust out and make it to AA - so far, Syndergaard has laid waste to all the minor leaguers he's faced.
John Northey - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 11:55 AM EST (#251729) #
Pitchers are interesting as it isn't that unusual for one to suddenly 'get it' and jump from A ball to the majors in under a full season while hitters doing that are far more rare. Off the top of my head I remember Dave Stieb doing it and being an all-star calibre guy almost immediately, then Jim Abbott who skipped the minors entirely. On the current team Brandon Morrow skipped from A+ to the majors in one off-season and had a 107 ERA+, followed by a 127 before dropping to 98-93-90 and then getting that multi-year deal (very odd eh?). Brett Cecil was in A+-AA-AAA in 2008 then the majors in 2009. Joel Carreno was in A+ in 2010, reached the majors in 2011.

Not too odd at all it seems to go from A+ one year to the majors the next. So watch out for McGuire, Jenkins and Hutchison as all were in A+ last year for a big part of last year and all could be in the majors this year as early as opening day should they do the job in spring and impress.
greenfrog - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 12:43 PM EST (#251730) #
John, contrasting the rates of pitcher versus hitter ascension is an interesting idea. However, I'm not sure Carreno belongs in that group. The other four pitchers you mentioned had about 100-200 IP in the minors before reaching the majors, whereas Carreno racked up 587 IP before his promotion (at age 24), including about 240 IP at Lansing, Dunedin and New Hampshire combined over the last three seasons.
John Northey - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 01:27 PM EST (#251731) #
Greenfrog - yes, Carreno is not like the others in many respects but the one I was talking about he was. Namely, in less than a calendar year he shifted from a guy in A+ ball to a guy who is forevermore known as a 'major leaguer'. It doesn't matter how long he was stuck in A or lower (1 year Dominican Summer League, 1 year rookie, 1 year A-, 1 year split A-/A, 1 year A+, partial year AA) it is the fact he jumped so fast at the end, from A+ in August 2010 to the majors in August 2011. I would be no one predicted he'd throw a pitch in the majors in 2011 let alone pre-September, that he'd just be lucky to reach in September 2012.

Now, if you are talking about speed from draft day to majors we get into a different story. A good one, but a different one. I was more looking for how guys can climb the ladder, once on it, very quickly very suddenly if they are pitchers while hitters tend to need more time as I can't think (offhand) of many examples outside of Travis Snider going from A to the majors in under a year (A+ at the start of 2008, majors by the end).
John Northey - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 01:54 PM EST (#251732) #
Checking current Jays, Lind did the A-majors in a year jump, Bautista did it with no stops anywhere (straight from A to majors) but that was a rule 5 situation. That's all I can find outside of Loewen (who isn't a Jay anymore, instead is a Met) who did it as a pitcher, not a hitter.
greenfrog - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 02:02 PM EST (#251734) #
OK John, I see your point, but is Carreno's progression really that unusual among positional prospects (playing an entire season in A+ ball as a 23-year-old, then close to an entire season in AA as a 24-year-old, then getting recalled for a brief cup of coffee at the end of the latter season)? At a glance, this would seem to be reasonably common, especially as AAA experience has become somewhat less de rigueur in recent years.
greenfrog - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 02:07 PM EST (#251735) #
I guess my more general point is that Carreno doesn't seem to be an example of a pitching suddenly "getting it" and jumping to the majors when he's already had tons of professional seasoning and the "jump" basically takes a full season at A+ and another at AA.
Mike Green - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 02:50 PM EST (#251737) #
You can argue internships are a necessary evil in some fields, but Rogers makes BILLIONS of dollars every year. Not even paying someone minimum wage is pretty offensive.

Don't get me started.  The generational guilt is bad enough as it is.  Back in the day, money-making enterprises offered young people jobs not internships.  Internships were for public service/charitable activities, and even those were often paid. The prevailing ethos suggests that these private sector internships offer young people opportunities rather than exploit them.  I guess that this is one way to keep within payroll parameters. Bah.
Chuck - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 02:59 PM EST (#251738) #
Mike, it's embarrasing how naive you can be. The savings Rogers gains by hiring interns is passed on to the customers. You don't think they keep it, do you? What a cynical view of corporations.
smcs - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 03:00 PM EST (#251739) #
On the current team Brandon Morrow skipped from A+ to the majors in one off-season and had a 107 ERA+, followed by a 127 before dropping to 98-93-90 and then getting that multi-year deal (very odd eh?). Brett Cecil was in A+-AA-AAA in 2008 then the majors in 2009. Joel Carreno was in A+ in 2010, reached the majors in 2011.

How quickly they forget about Jesse Litsch. He was promoted from Dunedin to New Hampshire in July 2006, and from New Hampshire to Toronto in May 2007.
vonwafer234 - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 03:07 PM EST (#251740) #

Highest Riser (Batter) - Jacob Anderson: Even though it was a small sample, he has an explosive bat and great speed. Should have a great year this year.

Highest Riser (Pitcher) - Joe Musgrove: The fact that he signed early last year goes to show how much the kid wants to improve and be great. Big year this season.

Biggest Faller (Batter) -Michael McDade: Love the defense but I'm not buying the amount of power he has in his bat. His stats will be inflated in Triple A this season.

Biggest Faller (Pitcher) - Asher Wojciechowski - I couldn't agree more on this.

Kelekin - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 03:27 PM EST (#251741) #
Let's be honest.  Baseball has always attempted to have more 'privledged' people in their front offices.  Hiring Ivy League candidates as if that means they definitely have a better education?  It's just the way society is.  Most of what I am doing in my life is to set myself up for an attempt to get an MLB internship by 2014-2015, but coming from a really poor family to substantial debt to where I am now, it requires making sure I have a lot of capital to fall back on to be able to take an unpaid position.  I never had it easy and I'll never take it for granted - so if I make it, I'll consider myself insanely lucky.
Forkball - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 04:07 PM EST (#251744) #
Pretty sure Anthopoulos is a good example on how to make it from a relatively modest background.

The issue is that there's a handful of jobs and thousands of people that want them.

John Northey - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 05:10 PM EST (#251749) #
I applied to all 26 teams when I graduated in '92 and have nice rejection letters from most. I did get an interview in Chicago with Stats Inc. when they were still fairly small (had to pay for airfare myself) but just had a nice full-day worth of interviews and that was it. One person there acted like I was scum that had to be eliminated (figure he had a friend up for the position) while everyone else was very polite and nice to talk with. I figure it was lucky not to get it in the end as in 1994 they cut over 1/2 their workforce with the strike (they were very baseball-dependent at that time, later expanding into all sports).
greenfrog - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 05:17 PM EST (#251750) #
I think the Baltimore Orioles are also looking to fill an entry-level position (recently mentioned on fangraphs? BP? Can't remember where).
bpoz - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 06:42 PM EST (#251753) #
How are you going to rate that AA prospect? One way is that he makes it to AA and then his ranking in the Batters Box 30 prospect confirms it. Then again Hutch or someone could make the majors, lose his prospect status and do a Juan Guzman ie be the best pitcher in the playoffs against Minnesota,1991.

In the end we may have to have more than 1 category.

Further AJ Jiminez is a lock for position player, because almost everyone else is a 4th OF, utility IF or last chance before you are a bust.

I give Sal Fasano a big vote if he can succeed with this non elite lineup, based on opening day.

Well, now you know that I am unimpressed with our position players.
TamRa - Friday, February 10 2012 @ 11:12 PM EST (#251756) #
"Pretty sure Anthopoulos is a good example on how to make it from a relatively modest background."

I thought I remembered reading that AA was running his family business when he left to work in baseball....that's not all THAT modest.

ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, February 11 2012 @ 09:58 AM EST (#251758) #
that's not all THAT modest

You're right, there's nothing at all 'modest' about his background. His family owns a bunch of hotels in Montreal - think the Place d'Armes and Nelligan are among them. Very wealthy family.
greenfrog - Saturday, February 11 2012 @ 12:58 PM EST (#251764) #
'it seems to me that this limits the pool of candidates to a very privileged class of folks.'

"A pitcher who tries to 'find a way' looks for a positive strategy, rather than saying, 'it can't be done'....He examines possibilities, rather than pronouncing impossibilities." -Harvey Dorfman, The Mental ABCs of Pitching
wacker - Saturday, February 11 2012 @ 02:51 PM EST (#251772) #
Yeah of course it's aj jeminez's world and the rest are there just so he can play.
hypobole - Saturday, February 11 2012 @ 05:17 PM EST (#251779) #
Don't quite understand why one has to come from a privileged family to do an unpaid internship. Between the time my son left school and found a full time job, he worked as an unpaid volunteer in a soup kitchen. We're far from wealthy, but we supplied free room and board, and he kept his lifestyle modest.

As long as some young persons's family is willing to provide support, I don't see why even lower middle class kids would not be able to work these internships.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, February 11 2012 @ 10:14 PM EST (#251783) #

Drew Hutchison, drafted #460 in 2009, pitches first in 2010.   He pitches well starting in A- (68.2 IP), finishing in A (45.0 IP).

Deck McGuire, drafted #11 in 2010, pitches first in 2011.   He pitches well starting in A+ (104.2 IP), finishing in AA (20.2 IP).

So, in other words, McGuire reached AA in one year while to get to AA it takes Hutchison two years.   It`s just that simple.

hypobole - Saturday, February 11 2012 @ 11:07 PM EST (#251784) #
Richard, it's not as simple as you believe, because you're comparing apples and oranges.

Hutch was drafted out of high school, Deck out of college. Although they reached AA around the same time, Hutch is 14 months younger than Deck.

Cardona, who was signed as a 16 yr old, may take 3 or even 4 yrs to reach AA. That, in and of itself, would have little bearing on how good a prospect he would be at that point.
bpoz - Sunday, February 12 2012 @ 10:15 AM EST (#251787) #
IMO opportunity plays a part in making it to the Majors as well. I am not sure what are ALL the factors in a player staying in the Majors.

In 2009 Brian Burres pitched 2 games for the Jays, I believe. Opportunity.
J Litsch had very good numbers in 2007 in the minors, but IMO opportunity due to injuries speeded up his ML debut.
K Drabek had an outstanding 2010 in the minors, the Sept call up was IMO earned due to his good year & he had to go on the 40 man roster at the end of the season. I cannot see a clear cut reason why he made the 2011 Opening day roster. It is possible that the FO believed that he has a high ceiling.
Z Stewart pitched June 27th for the Jays and then was sent down, he first pitched for the CWS on Aug 6th. As a 2008 draft pick he did not have to be put on the 40 man roster until after 2011. IMO 1 option was wasted.
Jenkins, McGuire & Hutchison :- Only Jenkins has to be protected at the end of the 2012 season. So a Sept promotion for him is almost a guarantee IMO, if he has a decent year at NH. IMO McGuire & Hutch will have to force the FO to promote them to the Majors in 2012.
Ryan Day - Sunday, February 12 2012 @ 01:45 PM EST (#251793) #
We're far from wealthy, but we supplied free room and board, and he kept his lifestyle modest.

One problem is that not everyone can take advantage of free, familial room and board. If your family lives in a large job-centre like Toronto, then that's great - it makes it a lot easier to take an unpaid position. But if your family lives in a smaller community, and working in Toronto requires actual room and board, then that makes it much more difficult.

(Not impossible, of course. Just more difficult.)
Chuck - Sunday, February 12 2012 @ 03:43 PM EST (#251795) #

We're far from wealthy, but we supplied free room and board, and he kept his lifestyle modest.

And your kid worked at a soup kitchen, which is admirable. Rogers, however, has slightly deeper pockets than a soup kitchen and could probably spring for minimum wage without the shareholders taking too big a hit.

greenfrog - Sunday, February 12 2012 @ 04:20 PM EST (#251796) #
I don't think the issue ends with internships. I'm not positive about this, but I think the entry-level and junior positions in baseball (in scouting, for example) pay pretty poorly. I think AA alluded to this in an interview when describing his early years in the business. Of course, one option is to get a business or law degree and parachute in at or somewhere near the top (a la Theo Epstein or Andrew Friedman or Keith Law).
hypobole - Sunday, February 12 2012 @ 07:05 PM EST (#251798) #
My original point was that one didn't necessarily have to come from a privileged background to work a few months as a Blue Jay intern.

I don't know a lot about internships, but yes, in many cases these kids services are abused by companies that could easily afford to pay them, and often assign them tasks that do nothing to further the kids career opportunities.

On the other hand, the baseball operations intern job (#29784) looks like something any rabid baseball fan would gladly take if they had the opportunity. This metaphor is probably sexist, but that intern job almost seems the equivalent to a man being an unpaid judge at a bikini contest.
Original Ryan - Sunday, February 12 2012 @ 08:02 PM EST (#251799) #
I don't think the issue ends with internships. I'm not positive about this, but I think the entry-level and junior positions in baseball (in scouting, for example) pay pretty poorly.

It extends to players, too. I'm not sure if anything has changed with the new CBA, but it used to be that first-year minor leaguers earned a maximum of $850/month. A guy needs to have a pretty nice signing bonus in order to make a decent living playing baseball, at least early in his career.

Admittedly most of the non-bonus guys are signed just to fill out minor league rosters, but they're still among the best baseball players in the world.

TamRa - Monday, February 13 2012 @ 01:04 AM EST (#251802) #
Wanna see something depressing?

http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/1/29/2756405/retrospective-top-prospects-of-2002
TamRa - Monday, February 13 2012 @ 03:41 AM EST (#251803) #
Kevin Goldstien has BP's Top 101 Prospects list for your consideration.

Blue Jays on the list:
#16 - Travis d'Arnaud
#28 Jake Marisnick
#54 Daniel Norris
#68 Anthony Gose
#93 Noah Syndergaard.

For comparison, the Rays have two players on the list (Matt Moore is #1 and Hak-Ju Lee is #65), the Yankees and Red Sox have 4 each. Also of note - The Padres' highest player is #38, but they have an incredible 10 prospects on the list. The A;s have 7 (the highest at #39), the Pirates have 6, and the Rangers and Rockies join the Jays with five. On the flip side, six teams have only one.

John Northey - Monday, February 13 2012 @ 12:40 PM EST (#251815) #
For fun I did a bit of digging and found...
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/organization-top-10-prospects/2009/267166.html
Lists the top 10 prospects for the Jays heading into 2009 and the projected 2012 lineup.

Catcher: J.P. Arencibia
First Base: David Cooper
Second Base: Aaron Hill
Third Base: Kevin Ahrens
Shortstop: Justin Jackson
Left Field: Travis Snider
Center Field: Vernon Wells
Right Field: Alex Rios
Designated Hitter: Adam Lind
No. 1 Starter: Roy Halladay
No. 2 Starter: Dustin McGowan
No. 3 Starter: Shaun Marcum
No. 4 Starter: Brett Cecil
No. 5 Starter: Jesse Litsch
Closer: B.J. Ryan

So they have the right catcher, the DH is going to be at 1B, the #2/4/5 starters are probably all going to be on the roster but roles are tbd. Cooper could be here, as could Snider. Marcum & Halladay would easily be in the rotation if they weren't traded. The only total fails are Ahrens, Jackson, and Ryan. It was reasonable at the time to assume Wells & Rios would still be here with their long term deals.

Gustavo Pierre was listed a big international free agent signing. So far he has hit 235/285/359 for a 644 OPS (peak was 703 his first season). He is just entering his age 20 season so hope still exists, but not a ton especially after 44 errors in just 75 games last year.
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