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We are approx. one third of the way through the minor league season so it is a good time to quickly review how the prospects are doing. I have split the players into those whose status is "Up", those who are "Down" and the big group in the middle. Remember the baseball axiom, one third of prospects should improve, one third regress and one third stay unchanged.

Prospect Status: Up

Daniel Norris

Norris has done everything right so far.

Dawel Lugo

Lugo got off to a slow start but that is understandable given that he is a 19 year old Dominican kid playing in the cold for the first time. Lugo is hitting .333 in May with a 760 OPS. Lugo is a free swinger but he has time to learn some plate discipline. Lugo plays a premium position, production from your shortstop is a plus.

Dwight Smith

Smith had one of the hottest starts of any player and he has kept it going. Smith is a good contact hitter, his K rate is just over 10% and he has walked more than he has struck out. Smith just needs to develop more pop to be a corner outfielder in the majors.

Dalton Pompey

Pompey has jumped up the prospect lists this season and that is a good thing because Pompey is Canadian and he is a position prospect. The Jays record in developing position prospects has not been great recently. Pompey has a 900 OPS in 150 at-bats and is doing well for a 21 year old.

Prospect Status: Down

Aaron Sanchez

Sanchez pitched well in the fall league and well again in spring training. His April was decent, a 2.10 ERA but he walked 4.5 per 9 innings. His command has gone in May and he is walking more than a hitter per inning. Sanchez obviously needs changes to his delivery to get the ball over the plate with some consistency. But this is not what you hope to see from a #1 or #2 prospect.

DJ Davis

Davis is another 19 year old in the Midwest league so immediate production is not a necessity. Davis is only hitting in the 220's and he is striking out almost 40% of the time. His strike out rate has not changed much from April to May although his walk rate has improved. Does that imply a better read on pitches? June will be a telling month but he has a long way to go to get that strike out rate into decent territory. On the positive side Davis does flash some nice power.

Andy Burns

Andy Burns started cold and has stayed cold. Burns hit 200 in April and is hitting 212 in May. Burns start is very disappointingly given his good finish the last years AA season. Burns is 23 years old so there is still time.

Tom Robson

Robson pitched poorly and then developed an arm injury. Charlie Caskey out of Vancouver suggests it might lead to Tommy John.

Clinton Hollon

Tommy John surgery was not a surprise but it is a setback.

Jairo Labourt

Labourt did not pitch well in Lansing and was sent back down to extended. Twenty walks in fourteen innings is not a good sign.

Kenny Wilson

Wilson hit under 200 for New Hampshire, under 200 for New Britain, was waived twice and now has been promoted to Buffalo.

Jeremy Gabryszwski

Gabryszwski is pitching OK with a 4.11 ERA and generally decent numbers. But Gabby's K rate is just over .5 an inning or 4.5 per nine innings. It is hard to keep your prospect status with that K rate.

Adonys Cardona

Cardona has his ups and downs in Lansing but then fractured his elbow. He is done for 2014.

Prospect Status: Unchanged, in the middle, somewhere

Sean Nolin, Deck McGuire

Nolin pitched very well in four April starts, not so good in three May starts and now he is on the DL. Were his May starts impacted by his injury? We don't know. McGuire's ERA was better in AA this year thanks to fewer walks and home runs and likely luck. But his K rate in AA per 9 was 7. Could he be another Chad Jenkins? Maybe, but that is still a marginal big leaguer.

Marcus Stroman

Stroman has pitched well in AAA and has had mixed results in the major leagues. This is all development and nothing to get too worked up about yet.

Mitch Nay, Matt Dean, Santiago Nessy

Nay hit 290 in April but is only hitting in the 230's in May. Plus he hasn't shown much power. He does have good control of the strike zone but he is obviously still adjusting to A ball. Dean is hitting better than Nay, over 300, but he doesn't control the strike zone. Dean strikes out almost 30% of the time and his K/BB ratio is over 4:1. Nessy has hit better in May but he is repeating the level and better is good but expected.

Alberto Tirado, Chase De Jong

We may have been spoiled with Aaron Sanchez and Noah Syndergaard in Lansing in 2012. They had ERA's around 2, opponents BA just over 200, more than a K per inning and at least a 2:1 K/BB ratio. Tirado has an ERA over 5, opponents BA .259; a K per inning but 32 walks in 34 innings. De Jong was an ERA just under 4; opponent BA .258, K rate 6.7 and a good 3:1 ratio. Both are young guys with plenty of time to develop but neither of them have shown consistent excellence at A ball.

John Stilson

Stilson had an ERA over 9 in April and had pitched over 14 shutout innings in May until he allowed two runs on Wednesday. He is still looking for consistency, if he can repeat his May numbers in June we will be ready for a call-up.

Kevin Pillar, AJ Jimenez, Ryan Goins

I grouped these three hitters together because they each had a question about their ability to hit as major leaguers and I don't think any of them have answered the question. Pillar has perhaps shown the most promise as a platoon hitter against left handed pitchers. But the issue that was raised in 2013 was that Pillar was a free swinger who would often get himself out by swinging at pitches out of the zone. He was that same Pillar when first called up this year, he has looked better recently but he is still in the small sample size club. Jimenez was setback by an injured hamstring and as a reult he has only had 100 AB's this season. Goins, we know the story.

Roberto Osuna, Franklin Barreto, Richard Urena, Matt Smoral, Rowdy Tellez

All are in extended and we won't know their progress until the second half.

Non top 30 prospects of note

Ryan Tepera

Twelve Buffalo pitchers have pitched more than 10 innings and five of them have a K9 rate greater than 9. Marcus Stroman and Rob Rasmussen are two of the five and have earned a look at the major league level. Bobby Korecky and Austin Bibens-Dirkx are veterans whose K9 is right on the 9 number. Ryan Tepera leads the team with a K9 of 12.2 His K9 in May is 16.7. He has walked 13, too many, but ten of those were in April and only three in May. I have been watching Tepera for a while and it looks like he is getting close to being major league ready.

Michael Crouse

Michael Crouse is very athletic but often injured. He started 2014 well before going on the DL (he returned yesterday). Crouse's OPS is 818 which is good for the Eastern League. We need a bigger sample but Crouse is still just 23 years old. Hopefully he gets back to form soon and can build on his good start.

Matt Boyd

Matt Boyd burst out of the gates with an ERA under one in Dunedin but his rise hit a bump in AA. It's still early but his status as a prospect is still unclear as of this point.

Derrick Chung

Chung got off to a slow start, his OPS in April was 669 but in May his OPS is over 1000. I assume the Jays will give him a look in AA for the second half.

Taylor Cole

Cole has upped his K rate this season to over 11 per 9. If he can keep it going he might get a look at AA, the real proving ground for prospects.

Arik Sikula

Sikula eanred a promotion to AA based on a WHIP of .6 and a K9 of 14. The Dunedin broadcasters talking on Jesse Goldberg-Strassler's Around The Nest podcast describe Sikula as a casey Janssen type, many pitches, good command. We will see how he pitches in AA.


It has not been a great start to the year for the Jays prospects. There are more prospects hitting road-bumps than there are guys humping up the prospect lists. Daniel Norris and Dalton Pompey have been the brightest lights. However Aaron Sanchez, Andy Burns, DJ Davis and Tom Robson have disappointed. Will the warmer weather bring better results? We hope so.

Minor League Prospects - Who is Up or Down? | 26 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
bpoz - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#287181) #
Thanks Gerry. I found the non top 30 group interesting. Pretty good 1st half.
finch - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#287182) #
Great write up as always Gerry. Always look forward to your inside information.

One guy I'm extremely disappointed in thus far is Alberto Tirado. Because he made a few Top 100 Prospect lists, I was eager to see him advance and move up those lists. I guess a regression is something we should have expected.

I'm excited about Norris. Numbers looked great but he only goes through a line up twice. Would like to see him face hitters a third time. Could be a pitch count thing as well.

And I'm excited about Matt Dean too. Great average, high BABIP and has some gap power. He definitely would have been another first round pick this season had the Jays not signed him.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#287183) #
I consider it a much better start for the prospects than the number of risers and fallers from the top 30 list might suggest.  The rise of Pompey and Norris have been tremendous.  Both look great.  The risers outside the top 30 are significant. 

I would also rate Stroman as a riser.  Having succeeded as a starter at triple A is a small step forward.  On the other hand, I'd classify the start for Mitch Nay as a minor step backward.  As a 20 year old in the Midwest League, a .263/.324/.348 line is less than I would expect.  Oddly, he hasn't hit lefties at all this year.  After 118 at-bats in his pro career against lefties, he's posted a .196/.288/.324 line with an LD rate under 10%.  I have no idea why that might be.
short - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#287188) #
Great read as always! Thanks!

I would be interested to learn more about Schimpf and Berti in NH of the players not listed.

PeterG - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#287190) #
I agree with Mike. The number of risers should be much higher and some of them are from outside the top 30..

I would suggest: McGuire, Nolin, Dean, Nessy, Chung, Saez, Sikiula, Girado, Graveman, Atkinson, Flores, Crouse, Tepera, Smith, Murphy, Loveless., perhaps Brad Glenn

also due to very young age, I would not be particularly disappointed with Tirado and Davis.....

Mike Green - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#287192) #
Davis has been frustrating.  Not only is the K rate way, way too high, he is also 5 for 15 stealing bases.  The combination suggests that there are some significant developmental issues.  The club should go very, very slowly with him.  A second year in Lansing would be fine.
Dewey - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#287194) #
There are more prospects hitting road-bumps than there are guys humping up the prospect lists.  . . . Will the warmer weather bring better results?

Well, geez, Jerry, to see that you have to go to the Prospect Porn Channel.  (Weather has nothing to do with it.)  Figured you knew.
Dewey - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#287195) #
Sorry, Gerry.  Your remark so discombobulated me that I misspelled your name -- using instead that of the other Jerry, my old bete noire.
MatO - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#287197) #
I've been a Pompeo booster for a while but I have to say I'm really encouraged by Dwight Smith. He had a big platoon issue in Lansing last year but seems to have corrected that at a higher level. I think the excellent K/W and K% are known to be harbingers of future success.
Mylegacy - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#287198) #
Gerry - great report (as always)...

Norris - Starting to bring his results up to his reputation and stuff - really does look good. Hope we haven't just jinxed him.

Lugo - Will play this year at 19 - he and Barreta (18 this year) and Urena (also 18 this year) give us 3 - actually good , SS prospects - who at worse look to be actually good infield prospect at either SS/2nd or 3rd - after the dust settles. A really nice problem to have.

Smith and Pompey - both really interesting. Hopefully Smith's power picks up a bit and Pompey becomes a Gose type. I like 'em both.

Kind of a short "up" list - sigh.

Sanchez - please keep him FAR AWAY from Drabek and Romero. The last thing we need is even more regression with his control. While I (by a substantial margin) prefer Norris (and Osuna - when recovered)  Sanchez clearly has great stuff. Whenever I want to give up on a great arm with bad control I remember Duane Ward, who before he was traded to us, was considered "uncoachable." He didn't turn out so worse when all was said and done...

If you could meld Davis and Smith (and cherry pick their good points) - ya I know - if pigs had wings...

I really want Burns to be a somebody - perhaps - Jeff Kent? Ok, Ok, so I'm a dreamer...

Hollon - injured when we got him, TJ now, hopefully - the future is brighter. At the very least - an interesting guy to watch in 2016 and beyond...

Labourt and Cardona another two youngsters on the roller coaster that is pitching...we'll see.

Grabryszski - I still love any guy with at least 42 consonants in his name.

Nolin - still have some hope. McGuire ( I would love to say I have hope) but - sigh - I've very little. Really hope I'm wrong and something in him may stir...

Stroman should be playing for the Seattle Seahawks - just like so many of the Hawks - he just don't get the respect he deserves (including from me). However, in short doses (cringe) - at worse - I see a good late inning guy out of the pen. Not chopped liver. I still hold out hope he'll learn to mix his good stuff well enough that his fastball's lack of superior downward plain (or plane, or slope, or, wtf...) can be overcome and he can succeed as a starter. Hope. Springs. Eternal.

Nay and Dean - it used to be Knecht and Crouse - we'll see...

Nessy (any guy named after a Scottish Sea Monster HAS to be good - right?) Somewhere in his makeup I see a Molina in training - and you can never have too many Molinas!

Tirado and De Jong - I'd bet at least one of these two makes it to the bigs - in one role or another.

Stilson - if not for injury he might have been a star starter - I still hope the big guy can be a serious late inning guy. I think he has a seriously good chance to succeed in that role in the bigs. We'll find out soon.

Cole and Chung BOTH interest me. Chung is a recent switch to catcher (new blood being trained in the tools of ignorance) and I really like his leadership and athletic ability. I think he might surprise to the up side. Cole tantalizes - lets keep an eye on him. Better things ahead? I think so... Sikula - sigh - I really don't know a thing about. Looking forward to seeing how he does.

I'll comment about the SS guys later - when their season starts...

uglyone - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#287200) #
Imo it's harsh not to name Stroman a riser because of a couple of bad relief outings in his first crack at mlb.

Stroman is in the argument for best pitcher in all of milb so far this year - his status has to have risen.

Also very nice to see Lugo recovering after an awful start. I was scared they might have to send him back to vancouver but now it looks like he'll stay put. And if he can continue his may performance, a .750+ops in A as a 19yr old SS is very impressive. Especially since this guy might only be the third best of our three young IFA SS.
Gerry - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#287201) #
For Stroman I was looking at him as a number 1 prospect and asking has his status improved so far in 2014? I don't think I agree that he has done better than you would expect your number 1 prospect to play. I didn't say he had a bad year, I just said he is on the normal path for a number one prospect trying to establish himself in the major leagues.
tercet - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#287202) #
Andy Burns 2013 FSL stats are nearly identical to Dalton Pompey 2014 FSL stats, minus the stolen bases.  Dalton is off to a nice start, but I'm not as high as other here might be.
uglyone - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#287203) #
Love the write up, btw, gerry. Prospect porn is always fun.

Lemme try a quick no-colour list.

I'll list in order of age, acknowledging that the 25-26yr olds aren't really prospects anymore. I put those guys in brackets.


CF K.Pillar (25): 122wrc+ AAA, 114wrc+ MLB
(RHP L.Hendriks (25): 2.92fip AAA, 5.18fip MLB)
(LHP R.Rasmussen (25): 2.88fip AAA, 1.55fip MLB)
(RHP D.McGuire (25): 3.44fip AA, 3.70fip AAA)
LHP S.Nolin (24): 3.25fip AAA
RHP M.Stroman (23): 2.11fip AAA, 4.78fip MLB
RF M.Crouse (23): 127wrc+ AA
LHP M.Boyd (23): 1.70fip A+, 4.41fip AA
SS J.Flores (22): 122wrc+ A+, 156wrc+ AA
LHP D.Norris (21): 1.64fip A+
CF D.Pompey (21): 164wrc+ A+
OF D.Smith (21): 144wrc+ A+
1B M.Dean (21): 133wrc+ A
LHP S.Dawson (20): 3.40fip A


(SS R.Goins (26): 81wrc+ AAA, 12wrc+ MLB)
C A.Jimenez (24): 70wrc+ AA, 35wrc+ AAA
CF K.Wilson (24): 66wrc+ AA, 110wrc+ AAA
3B A.Burns (23): 71wrc+ AA
RHP M.Dermody (23): 3.98fip A
C M.Reeves (23): 44wrc+ A+
SS D.Thon (22): 94wrc+ A
RHP A.Sanchez (21): 4.74fip AA
RHP T.Robson (21): 4.45fip A
3B M.Nay (20): 93wrc+ A
CF D.Davis (21): 80wrc+ A
RHP C.DeJong (20): 4.70fip A
LHP J.Labourt (20): 7.92fip A
RHP A.Tirado (19): 5.55fip
Mike Green - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#287204) #
That's a nice summary, uglyone.  You forgot Dawel Lugo; I imagine you agree that he's a riser in light of his age.
Hodgie - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#287206) #
"Andy Burns 2013 FSL stats are nearly identical to Dalton Pompey 2014 FSL stats, minus the stolen bases. Dalton is off to a nice start, but I'm not as high as other here might be."

Statistics may be close but Burns was almost a 1.5 years older in A+ while Gose is a switch-hitting elite base runner and defender in center field. Outside of the wOBA and wRC similarities they aren't really comparable players at all.

Mike Green - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#287207) #
Exactly right, Hodgie...but you meant Pompey, not Gose.  Pompey is also walking more than Burns did.  That OBP over .400 accompanying his speed and defensive abilities is a delightful combination. 
Hodgie - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#287208) #
I did Mike, that is what I get for posting while watching a replay of last night's bunt - that and probably the underlying desire that A+ Pompey is everything that I wish MLB Gose could be.
uglyone - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#287209) #
"For Stroman I was looking at him as a number 1 prospect and asking has his status improved so far in 2014? I don't think I agree that he has done better than you would expect your number 1 prospect to play. I didn't say he had a bad year, I just said he is on the normal path for a number one prospect trying to establish himself in the major leagues."

IIRC stroman was considered a borderline top-50 prospect this year coming in (not really a top prospect or even our top prospect), but has performed as well as anyone, even the best prospects, so far this year.

Now you've gone and piqued my interest.... i'm gonna have to double check.... are BA's top-30 pitching prospects coming into the year, and how they've fared so far:

#1 M.Tanaka (25): 70.2ip, 2.61fip MLB
#2 A.Bradley (21): 24.1ip, 3.71fip AAA
#3 T.Walker (21): 12.1ip, 2.80fip A+/AA/AAA
#4 J.Gray (22): 48.1ip, 2.95fip AA
#5 D.Bundy (21): out with TJ
#6 N.Syndergaard (21): 53.2ip, 4.02fip AAA
#7 R.Stephenson (21): 58.0ip, 3.88fip AA
#8 K.Gausman (23): 37.1ip, 3.37fip AAA
#9 L.Giolito (19): 32.1ip, 3.60fip A
#10 J.Taillon (22): out with TJ
#11 K.Zimmer (22): 18,2ip, 2.68fip AA
#12 E.Butler (23); 64.0ip, 3.37fip AA
#13 Y.Ventura (23): 57.1ip, 3.40fip MLB
#14 C.Edwards (22): 20.2ip, 2.99fip AA
#15 A.Heaney (23): 64.2ip, 2.18fip AA/AAA
#16 C.Martinez (22): 27.3ip, 3.67fip MLB (RP)
#17 A.Sanchez (21): 48.1ip, 4.74fip AA
#18 K.Crick (21): 28.2ip, 3.70fip AA
#19 M.Appel (22): 13.0ip, 4.59fip A+
#20 H.Owens (21): 57.1ip, 3.35fip AA
#21 M.Wisler (21): 50.1ip, 3.77fip AA/AAA
#22 A.Meyer (24): 51.2ip, 3.39fip AAA
#23 T.Glasnow (20): 32.2ip, 3.03fip A+
#24 J.Urias (17): 34.2ip, 3.58fip A+
#25 K.Stewart (19): 43.0ip, 3.70fip A
#26 M.Fried (20): injured
#27 M.Stroman (23): 42.0ip, 2.51fip AAA/MLB
#28 E.Escobar (22): 58.3ip, 4.26fip AAA
#29 L.Sims (20): 61.2ip, 4.99fip A+
#30 M.Foltynewicz (22): 48.0ip, 4.52fip AAA

Aside from Tanaka, who wasn't really a prospect, and Ventura, Stroman has probably outpitched every one of these top 30 pitching prospects so far this year.

He's probably the 2nd biggest riser of all these guys, behind ventura, imo.

On the flipside, Sanchez has been the worst of all these prospects this year, and might be the biggest faller of the bunch.
Mylegacy - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#287211) #
Hodgie - or you could say,  "A+ Pompey is everything A+ Gose was..."
uglyone - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#287212) #
Hodgie i was looking at pompey the other day and found his career path much more similar to marisnick than gose, (unfortunately, as i always thought jake was overrated). Though to be fair pompey has shown a much better walk rate so far, which bodes well, and the year he's currently having so far is better than anything jake was able to do....though we have to see if pompey can keep it up. Still, though, the comp was close enough that itbmade me check my enthusiasm on pompey a bit.

Mike i was really high on lugo coming into this year so i don't see him as a riser quite yet, though his may has been a relief,
Mike Green - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#287213) #
Gose did not have the plate control that Pompey has.  He was younger, but struck out more than once per game in the FSL, and consequently had a batting average of .250 rather than .330.   The same was true for Gose at New Hampshire the following year. 

Gose looks much more disciplined in the major leagues this year than ever before.  Pompey seems to have that discipline from a younger age, if not quite the explosive tools that Gose possesses.  It's nice to have both performing so well.  Incidentally, Gose isn't technically a prospect, but functionally was at the outset of the season.  In the space of two weeks in the major leagues, he has probably risen as much as anyone.

MatO - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#287218) #
Here's a month old article on Pompey working with Tim Raines and the Alomars.
finch - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#287222) #
I don't think we can call Dicky Joe Thon a disappointment this year. He's hitting over .300 this month with an OPS of .812. He's got a decent seasonal average at .279 and plays solid D. He's vastly improved this year. He's finally healthy
cybercavalier - Thursday, May 29 2014 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#287239) #
Canadians update:

Called up for the Dodgers against the Reds, Jamie Romak's first MLB AB is a 1 pitch ground out to Brandon Phillips.

Lugnut Fan - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 06:14 AM EDT (#287240) #
I saw Mr. Green's comments on Davis in regards to a second year in Lansing and I 100% agree. I haven't been able to go to as many games as I typically do, but in the games that I have seen, he struggles with breaking pitches and change ups. I think the increase you're seeing in his walk rate is his ability to recognize those pitches as Gerry indicated.

The more concerning thing to me that has also been eluded to in the comments above is his caught stealing rate. He gets awful, awful jumps and honestly I think he's thinking too much on the bases. I would just tell him to go on first movement and I believe those numbers would improve. Understandably, pitchers hold him very close which typically causes his first move yo be back to first.

While it's not ideal, I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see Davis sent to Vancouver at the ASB. A fresh start could do him a lot of good.
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