Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine

There were lots of runs in the affiliates games on Wednesday. Many hot hitters stayed hot but some of the pitching is still inconsistent. Edward Olivares and Bo Bichette keep on hitting, both of them had three hits. Lourdes Gurriel and Cavan Biggio had two hits, and each homered. Dwight Smith is heating up. Read below for more hitters.

Sean Reid-Foley had a down and up start. Conor Fisk and Zach Jackson did not pitch well. Yennsy Diaz, Elio Silva and Joel Espinal were good.

I also added some commentary about the latest top prospect lists.

On Tuesday both Baseball America and (mlb Pipeline) updated their top prospect lists. BA just went with a top ten plus commentary while MLB went 30 deep. It is interesting to look at the lists.

The top three are the same for both lists, Vlad Jr., Bo Bichette and Anthony Alford, in that order. Vlad has always ranked higher than Bo so that is no surprise. Alford has played well this year and made it to the major leagues but out of sight is out of mind. Alford has been injury prone but several of his injuries have been flukes, or one-offs. The hamate bone is a common injury for baseball players but has no lasting impact beyond the recovery period. Similarly the concussion should not recur as such injuries and outfield collisions are rare in baseball. But nevertheless Alford is a consensus number three.

BA have the reputation of being very influenced by draft position. However for these updates MLB, under the influence of ex-BA employee Jim Callis, have been more deferential to recent draft picks. MLB has Logan Warmoth at number four while BA has him at ten. MLB have Nate Pearson and Hagen Danner in the top ten too. While the recent draft seems good, that is aggressive positioning in a strong Blue Jay farm system.

Max Pentecost is at number five with BA, who have good things to say about his defense at catcher. MLB put Pentecost at eighth.

BA has four pitchers in their top ten, MLB has three but one of them is Nate Pearson. If we add the rankings of the four BA ranked pitchers we get a surprise best pitcher in the organization. TJ Zeuch is ranked 9 by BA and 5 by MLB for a total of 14 points. The top pitcher is actually a tie as Sean Reid-Foley is ranked at 8 by BA and 6 by MLB. Zeuch's ranking is helped by his four pitch arsenal, all of which are at least average per BA. SRF suffers from his command and the possibility he will be a reliever. Conner Greene is third with a 6 and 11 ranking while Justin Maese is fourth with a 7 and 14. BA ranks Greene the higher of the two publications and describes him as an enigma.

BA notes three players are risers in the rankings. They are (with the MLB rank in parentheses): Ryan Borucki (13), Danny Jansen (17) and Jordan Romano (18). The MLB commentary for Borucki and Jansen seems to be a hold over from 2016 year end. For Romano they note that his third pitch, the change-up, is a definite work in process. If that can develop that pitch he could be a future MLB starter, if not he will be headed for the bullpen.

BA's fallers include Rowdy Tellez, Richard Urena, John Harris and Max Ramirez. MLB have Urena at number ten, so there is a divergence of opinion there. Urena is still young for his level so that plays to his advantage. Harris did pitch poorly in the first half of this year but seems to have found something and has been playing better of late.

My sense from looking at the MLB list is that their update is a "quick job". In the off-season they have around four months to update their top thirty lists. In season they have much less time, probably just the month since the draft, to react to on field performances and so they adjust to major performance changes but ignore less well publicized performances. Vlad and Bo and the draft picks are high visibility. Danny Jansen is low visibility and the MLB team probably haven't had the chance to consult with scouts and managers on his performances. I also see players like JB Woodman and Harold Ramirez on their top 30 when they probably shouldn't be while up and comers like Edward Olivares and Chris Rowley are ignored.

On the field on Wednesday, Dwight Smith Jr. had two hits. Smith's bat is heating up, he has four multi-hit games in his last seven games. Sean Reid-Foley got off to a bad start, giving up six runs in the first two innings. He was hit around for six hits including a home run. He got better after that retiring 11 of the next 12 hitters. Was it a learning experience for SRF? Lourdes Gurrielhit his first AA home run and also added another hit. He did make an error that cost SRF a couple of unearned runs. Dunedin racked up 19 hits and lost. They had a lead in the tenth but Zach Jackson gave up two runs to blow the save and take the loss. Bo Bichette was 3-6 with two doubles. His average is .387 and his OPS in Dunedin is 935. Vlad Jr. is having a tougher time. He was 1-6 with three K's. He is still adjusting to high A. It will come. Cavan Biggio had two hits, including his eighth home run. Conor Panas and DJ Davis also picked up three hits each. Edward Olivares had another 3-4 night, he was a triple short of the cycle. Yennsy Diaz had a good start.

In short season ball Vancouver were shut out but Kevin Vicuna picked up two more hits. Elio Silva and Joel Espinal pitched well for Bluefield. Silva went six and Espinal three and they each notched a K per inning. Yhordegny Kelly was 4-4 in the GCL and is hitting .317. Kelly is listed as a DH which is why the 20 year old is not a major prospect.

3 Stars

3rd star: Yhordegny Kelly

2nd star: Bo Bichette

1st star: Edward Olivares


Stay Hot My Friend | 31 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, July 27 2017 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#345924) #
For context, Mike Rosenbaum (formerly of Bleacher Report) oversees the Jays list at albeit I'm sure with some input from the more experienced Callis and Jonathan Mayo; I personally think he still has some work to do on learning the org, etc.
85bluejay - Thursday, July 27 2017 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#345928) #
What!!! No Rowdy Tellez in the top ten - I can't take this list seriously.
85bluejay - Thursday, July 27 2017 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#345929) #
Whenever non-prospects go on a hot streak - Connor Panas/D.J. Davis - I always wonder, is it real or memorex.
Gerry - Thursday, July 27 2017 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#345932) #
Peterborough's own Mike Reeves has retired from baseball. He has a chronic lower back ailment plus he recently got married. And of course the catching depth in the system is very strong right now.
hypobole - Thursday, July 27 2017 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#345935) #
Most here agree Danny Jansen seems highly underrated on prospect lists (other than KATOH). The only in depth info I've seen is on Jays blogs but they tend to dwell on the positives. I know draft rankings hype is a thing on these lists, but other than his injury history, what are the warts evaluators are seeing that we're not?
ramone - Thursday, July 27 2017 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#345937) #
I posted this in the wrong thread, so here it is again:

BP did a feature on Vlad Jr:

Hit 60
Power 60 now with 80 potential
Baserunning/Speed 40
Glove 50
Arm 55

They say the question is can he be fringe average at 3rd or will he need to move to LF or 1B.
uglyone - Thursday, July 27 2017 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#345941) #
I'm assuming vlad can't stick at 3rd.

p.s. nice having you back posting frequently, Marc.
bpoz - Thursday, July 27 2017 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#345957) #
Tellez should be in the top 10 IMO. He has proven a lot at a young age. This year has not gone well.

Same story with a lot of the pitchers in AA. Greene, especially is having a very hard time. About 7 more starts left this year.

Biggio jumped straight to Dunedin this year as did Zeuch. That was very aggressive IMO. This leads me to think that some of the 2017 University picks will open in Dunedin. The others in Lansing, like Woodman and Palacios.
greenfrog - Thursday, July 27 2017 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#346015) #
Bichette back up to a .400 BA for Dunedin. That seems to be roughly his sea level so far in the minors (.393 career hitter entering today's game).
Glevin - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 03:50 AM EDT (#346021) #
Tellez isn't in the top-10 anymore. Partly because you had three top picks pass him which is no fault of his own and partly because he has been atrocious this season. For Tellez to succeed, he needs to be amazing hitter because he has very limited defensive and baserunning value. Tellez has a WRC+ of 62 in the AAA. That's not struggling a bit, that's a complete inability to hit AAA pitching. For a hit-only prospect, that is an awful sign. He is young enough where he can bounce back, but he lost a lot of shine as a prospect this year and my expectations for him have gone from someone like Lucas Duda to someone like Byung Ho Park.
Mike Green - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#346024) #
Bichette's OBP at 3 levels so far in his minor league career: .449, .448, .452.  You have to admire the consistency.  He hasn't yet hit for power in the FSL but on the list of worries, that is awfully low. 
jayBlue - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#346025) #
Based on SSS at Triple A wonder if we will see Rowley part/rest of year after liriano and Estrada are traded. Looks like interesting swing candidate
Nigel - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#346026) #
For some time now I have been trying to think of a player that Bichette's offence profiles close to. I haven't really had much luck. His stats and age make him unique in my experience of following Jays prospects. Funnily enough his stat lines look most like the BABIP inflated stat lines of some of his Dad's era of Rockies.
uglyone - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#346029) #
Looking at past high-babip guys there's lots of warning signs of guys who didn't do anything (like say Maybin)....but then again there's precious few that put up an overall line anywhyere near as good as Bo's, no less with solid bb/k rates to boot.

The list of high babip guys could point to comps like Howie Kendrick, maybe.

They could also point to guys like Mike Trout, though.
Mike Green - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#346030) #
Who hits .370 (let alone .390) in the FSL or the Midwest League without terrific speed at age 19? If you take a line drive machine like Joe Mauer, he ends up hitting .302 in the Midwest League at age 19 and .335 in the FSL at age 20.  Vlad Sr, Chipper, Jeter, Cabrera, Pujols, Boggs, Carew.  None of them had seasons at A ball at age 19 like Bichette has put up.  It is very hard to figure because his W/K rate is nothing like most of these players. 

At this point, he reminds me most of Chipper Jones. At age 20, Jones hit .346/.367/.594 with 11 W and 32K  in the Southern League (Jones hit .326 in the Sally League at age 19).  That's a line that would fit in with Bichette's performance to date.  It is a very rough comparison.  Jones was also a shortstop at the time, and he also had the same concerns about his ability to stay at the position. 

Nigel - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#346032) #
What's so unique about his line is that it comes without speed (although his SB totals suggest that he isn't slow) or abnormally good strike zone control (like an Edgar Martinez). It's very hard to squint and see what a major league version of Bichette might look like. Kendrick is a name I hadn't thought of and I think that that is better than most. Jones is a name that I had thought of but comparisons to one of the all-time greats are always tricky.
85bluejay - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#346033) #
HS Davis Schneider (round 28,2017) is certainly catching my attention - 7 of 16 hits extra bases, 17BB/15K,858 OPS - I wonder how's his defence - from NJ, northern climate players often get overlooked - SSS, but he's interesting especially if he can stay at 3rd.
uglyone - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#346034) #
Gurriel's line is starting to look pretty good. And we should note that he's been playing mostly 2B in AA so far. Though not sure if he's doing it well or not.
bpoz - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#346035) #
D Schneider is the youngest pick that we signed. He is also the 2nd youngest player on the GCL team. The youngest is RHP Alvery De Los Santos.
Mike Green - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#346036) #
Kendrick was quite a bit older than Bichette.  He is born July 12, 1983.  In 2004, he played in the Midwest League and turned 21 in mid-season.  He did hit .367 with similar W/K rates to Bichette (but not as good).  Bichette doesn't turn 20 until spring training 2018. 

Kendrick was just turning 22 when he moved from high A Rancho Cucamonga to the Texas League the following year.  He hit .342/..382/.579 at age 22 in 200 PAs there and was on his way. 
Nigel - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#346037) #
Sorry Mike. I wasn't really comparing Bichette to Kendrick in their minor league stats. I have been having trouble envisioning what a major league version of Bichette might look like and Kendrick seems pretty good right now (high batting avg, medium range power and solid but not excellent strike zone control). Of course, given Bichette's age his power or strike zone skills may significantly improve as he aged.
uglyone - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#346040) #
My kendrick comp came mostly from kendrick's 22yr old AAA season, in which he was young for the level.
Mike Green - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#346041) #
At this point, I envision Bichette as having more power than Kendrick and less plate control than Chipper.  I ran a Play Index to find players who might fit the bill, IsoP greater than .150, BA greater than .290, BABIP greater than .330 and OPS+ less than 135.  I ended up with 13 players including Kiki Cuyler, Shane Mack, Mike Easler, Todd Helton, Matt Holiday, Mo Vaughn, Al Simmons, Bobby Abreu, David Wright, Kirby Puckett, Josh Hamilton, Ed Morgan and Roberto Clemente. 

Bichette does have quite a few similarities to Clemente as a hitter.  I know, another Hall of Famer...

Nigel - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#346042) #
Thanks Mike, that's a really interesting list. Because of physical stature and position, Wright is an interesting comp. Of course, Wright has always displayed more patience and more swing and miss in his gAme than Bichette has to date. Given the odd diversity of players on your list, I think it augments my view that Bichette is showing, to date, an interesting and odd assortment of offensive skills (over and above the obvious that almost no one hits for nearly .400 over nearly 500 ABs).
uglyone - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#346043) #
even harder to find comps because nobody really sustains this kind of babip or this linedrive rate this long either, especially at this age.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#346044) #
I think the higher BAIP is due to his line drive rate, and he's only about 100 balls in play away from seeing his line drive stabilize for his minor league career. Your expected outcomes on much higher on line drives and thus players who hit more line drives will carry a higher BAIP.

What is the MLB comp for Bichette? How about a more athletic Daniel Murphy from the last two years? I know the minors numbers don't add up, but they both hit the ball hard and carry high line drive rates.
Nigel - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#346045) #
Shoeless Joe - Murphy's last two years are exactly what I have been looking for. I think that is what Bichette's current offensive production looks like in a major league context.
uglyone - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#346046) #
Donaldson? Conforto? Schoop? Correa?

I dunno.
uglyone - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#346048) #
maybe yelich. or cano?
Mike Green - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#346052) #
Correa is a pretty good comp offensively at least.  He was 6 months younger than Bichette in the Midwest League and his batting line was roughly consistent except that he hit 70 points lower in batting average.  He was the same age in A ball, but played in the California League (which is not the same as playing in the FSL). 
lexomatic - Friday, July 28 2017 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#346055) #
The last crazy high average in the minors that I remember was Sean Casey. After looking it up,1997 in Akron and buffalo
It turns out he was22 and didn't do as well as Bichette at lower levels as a 20 and 21 year old. Murphy seems like a good MLB comp, but he's an awfully long way away. I find it both sad and amusing that his rest of season projections are better than our current 2b "solution"

Stay Hot My Friend | 31 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.