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Not much going on down on the farm tonight besides a stellar Taylor Cole outing. Buffalo, New Hampshire, and Lansing all struggled with the bat, while Dunedin ran out as the only winner.

Buffalo 2 Indianapolis 3

Buffalo is struggling and that’s largely down to a lackluster offence. Tonight the Bisons mustered seven hits with no extra base hits. Darin Mastroianni was the only Bison to have two hits. On the mound Chad Jenkins wasn’t all too impressive either. Through five and a third he yielded three earned runs on five hits and three walks. Those runs came by way of the homerun—two of them to be exact. Jenkins failed to strike out a batter. Please note for those interested in the upcoming draft—this is why you don’t draft a pitcher without at least one plus offering—awfully hard to get advanced hitters out without a plus offering or at least plus pitchability.

New Hampshire 2 Binghamton 7

Another rough outing for Aaron Sanchez tonight. Six earned runs and three walks over six innings ain’t pretty, but Sanchez did pitch into the seventh inning. At this point in his minor league career Sanchez really shouldn’t be going backwards. His BB/K ratio is plain ugly. I mean ideally Sanchez should have harnessed both a delivery and a fastball with this season being about developing secondary offerings and getting to somewhere in the 120-130 inning range. There have been reports too that suggest Sanchez is still throwing something like 90% fastballs. At this point Sanchez is clearly nowhere near a big league rotation.

Three hits from Jon Berti and a Hector Gimenez homerun paced the New Hampshire offence. 1-12 with RISP was not helpful.

Dunedin 7 Charlotte 0

Finally some offence. The Dunedin squad collected ten hits including two doubles—one apiece between Marcus Knecht and K.C. Hobson. Taylor Cole though was the real star tonight—pitching seven shutout innings, striking out nine, and allowing just three hits. Cole has added the strikeout to his game and looks one to follow as he should be pushed given his age. I saw him in Vancouver a few years back and while he put up big numbers he did so largely on the back of a solid, heavy 91-94mph fastball in a league where most guys couldn’t handle a major league fastball. I’m rooting for him and would like to hear a bit more about what he/the organization attribute his success so far this season to. Were there not whispers round these parts about the weighted ball program?

Great Lakes 3 Lansing 0

Not much going on in Lansing tonight. Brad Allen was solid over six innings and D.J> Davis’ triple represented the Lugnuts only extra base hit as they were shutout on the night. L.B. Dantzler’s twenty game on base streak came to an end tonight.

Three Stars

3. Nick Baligod

2. Marcus Knecht

1. Taylor Cole

Box Scores

Cole | 36 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
TangledUpInBlue - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 07:37 AM EDT (#287241) #
Here's a transcript of an interview Anthopoulos did yesterday (or thereabouts) with Gregor Chisholm. They talk about various issues, and in discussing the draft Anthopoulos says some interesting things:

• the money for this year's draft is there — no cutbacks
• they've made changes to their draft strategy: "Each year we try to get better. We tweaked some things from a philosophy standpoint. I wouldn’t necessarily divulge that specifically, but I do think we try to make adjustments from year to year. You hope you get better and you refine your process."
• he "wouldn't have a problem at all" with drafting Tyler Beede

He also goes into some detail about the gamesmanship (from the players) in discussing/negotiating figures before and after the draft, and you get the impression things aren't as easy to predict before the draft as some people (i.e., critics of the Beede and Bickford non-signings) might think.

Beyonder - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#287244) #
That's a great interview TangledUpinBlue. I was especially interested to hear the bit about how player demands change as the draft gets into the later rounds.

As one of the critics you refer to, there's no defence to failing to sign both Beede and Bickford. There are only three first rounders in the past three drafts who failed to sign, and two of them belonged to the Jays. The other one was Mark Appel, who fell unexpectedly. And it was no secret that Bickford had very high demands.
Mike Green - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#287245) #
I'll take the "we've tweaked the philosophy" line at face value, and hope that lessons learned from past drafts are applied next week.  It sure would be nice to have Kolten Wong right now...
John Northey - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#287246) #
It would be very funny if the Jays draft Beede again and sign him this time.  He was the 21st overall pick in 2011, used it to draft Marcus Stroman the next year, so if they use #11 to draft Beede then he'd be to replace Bickford. Then watch them fail to sign #9 and draft Bickford next year (just joking).  Of course, there is talk that if he weakens at all he'll drop to the 2nd round which puts him in play again for the Jays (9th pick in round 2) or he could be a 'signability' pick for #11 (which would be extra funny).
Richard S.S. - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#287248) #
Complaining about what might have been is a very, very, very old story. Beede hasn't been as good as his draft year suggested. Didn't I read something about control issues? Despite that, he's three years behind his 2011 Draft Class and probably at least 2-3 years away from the Majors (if ever). WE got someone good for him the next year (D.J. Davis) didn't we?

It was suggested Bickford (family) came from a whole lot of money, so signing issues were never about "the money", it was about something else (and I don't know what). Who we draft this year will have a bearing on who's picked "instead". Maybe it's a surprise.
Hodgie - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#287249) #
"As one of the critics you refer to, there's no defence to failing to sign both Beede and Bickford. There are only three first rounders in the past three drafts who failed to sign, and two of them belonged to the Jays. The other one was Mark Appel, who fell unexpectedly. And it was no secret that Bickford had very high demands."

Like it was known that Daniel Norris had high demands, or Josh Bell, or insert any of the myriad of prospects every year. Given the overall failures of the draft since its inception and it's resemblance to dice, I fail to understand the absolute certainty shown by some about the process. Maybe it isn't what other teams are doing now, but maybe it should be....

tercet - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#287250) #
Boyd is back to Dunedin
bpoz - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#287251) #
I agree with Hodgie. A lot of weird stuff happens in the draft. I hope we get lucky or successful and then we can congratulate ourselves or our FO.
I would have preferred C Sale and Mike Trout were chosen by us. They became very good and did it quickly. They fooled most/all of the experts. How that happens I do not know.

The strategies are so interesting. M Smoral? M Boyd? Who knows.
John Northey - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#287252) #
A shame with Boyd, as he seemed too good for A+ but not good enough for AA.  What the heck do you do then? 
A+: 0.29 ERA in 31 IP 18 H 1 HR 5 BB 37 K - clearly killing the league
AA: 8.31 ERA in 21 2/3 IP 31 H 2 HR 11 BB 21 SO - the H/IP rate is odd given the rest of the stats...shouldn't be as bad as it is

Right now 8 guys have 10+ starts in the minors for the Jays. 15 with 8+, 21 with 5+.  Among those 21....
Highest K/9: 11.4 Marcus Stroman, 11.1 Taylor Cole, 10.7 Daniel Norris
Lowest BB/9: 0.6 Hendriks, 1.4 Jeremy Gabryszwski, 1.5 Jesse Hernandez
Lowest HR/9: 0 Daniel Norris, 0.2 Kendall Graveman, 0.2 Sean Nolin
Lowest ERA: 0.72 Norris, 1.48 Hendriks, 1.98 Graveman

Flip side...
Lowest K/9: 4.7 Gabryszwski, 4.8 Ben White, 4.9 Scott Copeland
Highest BB/9: 10.1 Ricky Romero, 8.4 Alberto Tirado, 6.1 Aaron Sanchez
Highest HR/9: 1.4 Shawn Hill, 1.2 Kyle Drabek, 1.1 Chase De Jong
Highest ERA: 6.25 Tom Robson, 5.71 Ricky Romero, 5.24 Alberto Tirado

Interesting stuff.
PeterG - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#287253) #
maybe he's being flipped with Norris soon going to NH?
MatO - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#287254) #
The last I heard was that Beede's stock was crashing. I seriously doubt the Blue Jays will pick him that early. I've never understood why Beede was rated so high since his college numbers were never that impressive.
John Northey - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#287256) #
Would be great then if the Jays grab Beede in the 3rd round or something and sign him for less than 1/2 of what he was offered back when.  Odds are the talent is there but questions emerged over other issues (control, attitude, who knows).

IIRC getting 2 regulars/starters out of a draft is a very good number so grabbing him in the 3rd or later would be nice.  Heck, if everyone ignores him wait until the 11th round (no longer hurts the cap if unsigned) and if he doesn't sign then it is a 'so what' but if he does 'woohoo'.
sam - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#287258) #
One thing you can trust from good ol' Bauxite is a solid, unbiased critical perspective on the team. Sure, there are some who held on to J.P. Arencibia as franchise catcher for a wee bit too long and sure there are others who still think Brett Lawrie is god's gift to the Toronto Blue Jays despite being in his fourth year and possessing a sub .300 OBP, but hey, he's only 24! OK, maybe I'm getting a bit off track here, but generally I believe you can trust the readers of our site for true baseball analysis--from the Draft to the Hall. Which brings me to this Arden Zwelling. For those who aren't familiar with the name he's the new baseball writer for Sportsnet and is lovely author of a recent piece of Monsieur Stroman. Stroman, according to Zwelling's expert baseball analysis, "could be a front-line starter at best, and a lights-out closer at worst." Moreover, according to Zwelling's sage understanding of the Blue Jays, Stroman is the "most exciting prospect the club has had since Roy Halladay." Who the heck is the Zwelling guy and what the heck is he smoking? Quick poll, is Marcus Stroman the most exciting prospect since Roy Halladay? Here, let me name a couple prospects I was more excited about in the last ten years:
Aaron Sanchez
Noah Syndergaard
Daniel Norris
Jake Marisnick
Anthony Gose
Justin Nicolino
Mitch Nay
Tim Collins
Travis Snider
Ricky Romero
JP Arencibia
Brett Lawrie
Hell, I was more excited by Brian Dopirak's 30 HR season in Dunedin than Stroman.

That took a minute--I'm sure Bauxites have more.

Front-line starter? Who here had that post about guys under 5'9 and their success in rotations? Hell, most of us have seen the kid pitch in person and half the time you're just praying he doesn't pitch above the knees because it's gone--the fastball has NO PLANE and the poor kid pitches at 91-93mph--hardly over-powering.

Bullpen, sure there's potential. But again, the kid does not have plus-plus stuff. The slider is above average, but the fastball is nothing special and the last guy we had with similar stuff got scared of throwing the fastball and is either nursing a sore arm (for upteenth time) or simply scared of pitching in the Majors again.

Anyways, I guess a product of Rogers beefing up its coverage of the Jays is un-critical homerism akin to that of the larger market teams. I always thought us Jays' fans were better than that, or at least better here at da Box. We speak on what we know and, as Gerry has pointed out on many occasions, are often the source for many "serious" journalists story ideas and facts. It should be a point of pride and while this Zwelling guy by no means compromises the illustrious history of da Box, he represents a growing body of "baseball" bloggers and journalists alike who are ready to proclaim just about anyone who may put the Blue Jay uniform on as perennial all-star. Stay strong Bauxites. Resist the temptation.
Mike Green - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 01:59 PM EDT (#287259) #
I think you'll find a diversity of opinion about Stroman and Sanchez, for instance.  Hopefully, at this point, we can all agree that:

-pitchers are more unpredictable than position players
-Stroman has a reasonable chance of being a successful pitcher and it is unknown whether that might be in the rotation or in the bullpen
-he is not the best prospect to have been in the Toronto system in the last 10 years.

I happen to think (subjectively) that Stroman is the key player in the Jay system right now because there is the reasonable possibility that he can be in the major leagues in June and deliver 90-100 innings at a high level.  Many people disagree, and that is fine.

uglyone - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#287261) #
That's actually a fun discussion, sam....and i'd say stroman's performance this year has vaulted stroman ahead of most of those names you listed.

Most exciting prospects since hallladay? I'd say something like:

1. Wells
2. Snider
3. Rios

Then it gets tricky.

D'Arnaud is probably #4 by reputation, though i always thought he was overrated.

After that you have a number of guys who were comparable at their peak prospect status - drabek, wallace, sanchez, syndergaard, gose, marisnick, jpa - and i think at the moment stroman stands right there alongside those guys' peak prospect status as jays. And actually he's probably ahead if all of them, as none of them dominated AAA right iff the bat like stroman has.

So i guess i could see sneaking stroman into the top-5 most exciting prospects since halladay, at least.
uglyone - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#287262) #
I forgot lawrie. Dang. He probably moves ahead of rios into third on my list.

That would mean stroman vs, d'arnaud for the #5 spot. Personally i'm more excited by stroman than i was for d'arnaud, but the rest of the baseball world probably feels differently.
uglyone - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#287264) #
And about your comment on his "91-93" fastball, the kid averaged 94.3 on his fastball in his first 6.1ip.
Mike Green - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#287265) #
It should be noted that the most successful prospect since Halladay is a close call, with Wells, Rios and Aaron Hill all having reasonable cases.
uglyone - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#287267) #
Btw, sam, this is how Sickels described him a couple weeks back during his first callup:

"Stroman is short for a right-hander, listed at 5-9, 185. There's nothing short with his stuff however: he gets his sinking fastball up to 94-96 MPH. He has a cutter and a traditional slider, along with a curveball and changeup, giving him a full arsenal that would fit well in a rotation. His command and control are also significant assets, and his ability to throw quality strikes with multiple pitches puts him a cut above most prospects. His pure athleticism is also a plus, making him a superior fielder. It should also help keep him healthy. There are no holes in his sabermetrics and on his own terms Stroman looks like a potential number two starter."

That, along with the best start to AAA by a Jays' pitching prospect that i can remember (35,2ip, 11.4k/9, 2.3bb/9, 3.03era, 2.11fip)......maybe you should be more excited by him?

I mean...justin nicolino? Really?
China fan - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#287269) #
"....he represents a growing body of 'baseball' bloggers and journalists alike who are ready to proclaim just about anyone who may put the Blue Jay uniform on as perennial all-star....."

You're exaggerating quite a bit.  And misquoting too.  Zwelling didn't say (or even imply) that Stroman would be a "perennial all-star."  He used the word "exciting" -- a reference to the buzz about him, the media hype, the chatter of fans, the excitement about his potential.  To call someone "exciting" is not a prediction of actual performance, it's a measure of the crowd reaction and the buzz and hype.  It doesn't mean that you or other Bauxites would necessarily share the excitement.  It's a description of the masses, not the Bauxite elite.

Zwelling also said that Stroman "could be a front-line starter at best."  Notice that there are two caveats, two conditional phrases, in that description.  "Could" -- not necessarily will.  "At best" -- meaning the absolute best-case scenario.  Not a prediction at all, but a best-case scenario.
I think a lot of fans and Bauxites get excited by a lot of prospects every year.  That's the fun of baseball prospect-watching.  Most prospects will never make it, and very very few will become "front-line" players.  But don't spoil our excitement by reminding us of the likely negatives, please!

Ryan Day - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#287271) #
I'm not sure Rios was even all that exciting as a prospect - he was lousy for his first three seasons in the minors, then was solid but unspectacular in his fourth. I can remember a lot of people describing him as a bargain-bin overdraft.

(All that said, he's certainly been one of the best players the Jays produced in the past decade.)
JB21 - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#287281) #
I'd say Dustin McGowan is up pretty high on that list.
uglyone - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#287283) #
well, Rios was a 5-tool prospect and BA ranked him top-10 (maybe top-5?) in the world after that AA season IIRC.

I know I was excited. I remember waiting excitedly for the updates as to how he was destroying the AFL that year.
greenfrog - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#287291) #
Not drafting Crawford last June is looking like a scouting / FO failure for the Jays. The organization has made some pretty brutal first round picks, especially considering some of the players they've passed over. AA can talk all he wants about refining the team's philosophy, but talk is cheap. The proof will be in the pudding - will they start drafting better players (and developing them effectively), and stop passing over superior ones?

In his chat this week, Law commented that player development seems to be the main weakness in the Jays' system, with more players getting worse in the system than there are players getting better.
whiterasta80 - Friday, May 30 2014 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#287297) #
Until recently I really wasn't following prospects that close but my memory of the prospects hype is a little different from above.

Disappointing as he was at the major league level, Travis Snider was as hyped as prospect as we've produced in a while.

I also remember Aaron Hill being a little less hyped. In fact, memory had Russ Adams being basically equivalent in hype.
uglyone - Saturday, May 31 2014 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#287331) #
Hope you're a little more excited about him now, sammy! ;)
uglyone - Tuesday, June 03 2014 @ 01:13 AM EDT (#287423) #
Stab at a revamped Jays Top-10 List:

1. RHP M.Stroman
2. RHP R.Osuna
3. RHP A.Sanchez
4. LHP D.Norris
5. CF D.Pompey

6. LHP S.Nolin
7. OF D.Smith
8. SS D.Lugo
9. SS F.Barretto
10. SS R.Urena

I'm counting Pillar as graduated at this point.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 03 2014 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#287425) #
My first stab has Stroman, Norris and Pompey in the first 3 slots, but I am not sure about the order.  Pompey might be in the top slot.  He's got that .410 OBP and apparently plays excellent defence in centerfield; he is 7th in the league in HRs and leads the league in steals (with about 90% efficiency).  He is 21 in the FSL.  Under the old Bill James grading system, why wouldn't he be a Grade A prospect?  Perhaps because he strikes out a little more than you might like. 
uglyone - Tuesday, June 03 2014 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#287433) #
Yeah sanchez is holding a lead over those two by a thread. Sanchez could easily be dropped well down my list. But despite his poor performance, and even though i've never been as high on him as most rankings have been, it's still only 50 bad innings this year. And there's no guarantee norris or pompey wouldn't be struggling in AA right now too. But i wouldn't argue with you moving those two ahead of him.

But i'm still confident in osuna being up there - despite the injury his performance adjusted for age and level has been flat out elite, and better than any of our prospects.

Pompey sure seems to be performing at an A prospect level this year...not sure it's quite big enough a sample for us to call him that quite yet, but it's getting there.

Looking at my list again i feel like i should have Nay in there somewhere but can't justify putting him ahead of any of those 10.
China fan - Tuesday, June 03 2014 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#287439) #
"....But i'm still confident in osuna being up there...."

Do we have any reliable reports of how he's doing post-TJ surgery?  He's still in Florida at extended, right?  I know he was relatively quick to be back throwing this spring, but isn't there some risk that his performance post-TJ might be somewhat worse?  Hutchison's case, I know, would argue against it.  But that's not necessarily the rule for everyone. Drabek, for example, doesn't seem to have quite the stuff that he had pre-surgery.  Any reports from anyone?
uglyone - Tuesday, June 03 2014 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#287443) #
IIRC drabek had his only real impressive season AFTER his first TJ surgery.

I don't really worry about TJ anymore. Can't remember the last time a guy didn't come back as good as ever.
hypobole - Tuesday, June 03 2014 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#287444) #
My biggest issue with Osuna is the fact his delivery was red flagged as an injury risk even prior to his elbow issue, just as Drabek's delivery was red flagged prior to his injury that led to his second TJ.

Because of having his TJ at such an early age, and with his delivery, I think the chances of him ending up with a second TJ are much greater than with most TJ pitchers.

As most everyone is aware, success rates for 1st TJ's are much higher than having the procedure a 2nd time. Drabek seems to be a case in point.
China fan - Tuesday, June 03 2014 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#287446) #
I guess Gerry hasn't had any reports from extended yet?  Is he hoping to get one soon?
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 03 2014 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#287449) #
I think it is Dr. Andrews who claims an 85% success rate for the first TJ. 

Osuna has a series of issues as a prospect- the TJ, the fact that he has not yet succeeded in full-season ball, and his size.  I understand that scouts believe that he is not likely to improve much because of his build.  So, he's got to recover from the surgery and then make his way up the full-season ladder.  It looks less likely that he will be a dominating pitcher than before, and there is now a greater chance that he does not make it all.  I'd definitely rather have Pompey.

uglyone - Tuesday, June 03 2014 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#287452) #
Found something from the van sun last week, though its mostly speculation:

"Roberto Osuna, another ex-C, who already went under the knife and is on his way to recovery got a bit of heat back at the end of March when he threw his first side session post-surgery. I was curious to see how he is progressing but have been stymied from Osuna’s twitter updates due to my lack of Spanish.

My man on the inside didn’t have any positive news, saying he hadn’t seen Osuna throw for over two weeks. He’s been restricted to drill work during that timeframe. Now, maybe that’s part of the rehab program (that would require more research), throwing some, then resting to work on other areas. But it may also be a setback. I think Osuna’s original timeline to return was July/August this year so won’t jump to any conclusions until such time. "

There's a bunch of other extended ST stuff in there but i can't copy the link for some reason. Google it.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 03 2014 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#287454) #
Mostly i view all pitching prospects as extreme injury risks, so going for TJ surgery doesn't change the health risk all that much.

And Osuna was already throwing mid 90s as a 17yr old, with command, and his fastball and curve both grade as likely plus pitches.

And his numbers have been phenomenal for his age:

Age 17

R.Osuna (Rk/A-): 43.2ip, 10.1k/9, 3.1bb/9, 3.12fip
Sanchez (Rk/A-): 25.0ip, 13.3k/9, 6.1bb/9, 3.54fip
Syndergaard (Rk): 13.1ip, 4.1k/9, 2.7bb/9, 3.46fip

Age 18

R.Osuna (A): 42.1ip, 10.8k/8, 2.3bb/9, 3.69fip
Synder'd (Rk/A-/A): 59.0, 10.4k/9, 2.8bb/9, 2.50fip
Sanchez (Rk/A-): 54.1ip, 9.3k/9, 4.3bb/9, 4.19fip

And those 18yr old numbers for Osuna were sabotaged by a few horrific starts right before going for TJ. And he was half a year or more younger than those guys there too.

He was already well ahead of those two soon to be top 30 prospects, and way ahead of a top-30 prospect like drabek who was struggling in rookie ball at 18.

What Osuna was doing at 18 was on par with what a top prospect like bundy did a level up at 19.

I like him better than any pitcher we've had in the system for a while, and a routine TJ surgery doesn't change that too much i don't think. A guy like stroman who's already looking good in mlb is ahead of him thanks to lower risk, but i just can't rank other high risk guys like sanchez/norris ahead of him at this point.

If something goes wrong in his recovery that might change for me but at this point i don't see norris/sanchez as significantly safer risks at the moment.
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