Old Prospects

Sunday, August 19 2018 @ 11:13 AM EDT

Contributed by: John Northey

With super-prospect Vladimir Guerrero charging through the system and kids like Danny Jansen getting here and doing well we should review some of the Jays past top prospects.

Using Baseball-America's top 100 list from before each season for 1990 to 2010 we get...
Many here weren't around for the early 90's when the Jays were the juggernaut of MLB.  Gillick could do no wrong (after he shed the 'Stand Pat' nickname in 1989 with the Barfield trade, then buried it forever in the 90/91 offseason with the White, Alomar/Carter trades).  The farm was producing (see above) the 1993 minors had 4 guys who made the BA top 100 who'd get over 10 WAR in their careers.  By 2008 the system was barren with just 1 guy in the top 100 and he'd never reach 5 WAR (Donaldson has had more than that in a season 4 times and had 4.8 in another year).  2010's was even worse with 3 guys in the top 100, just one who had positive WAR and not much of it.

Over those 21 years we saw in the top 100...
Clearly despite having many top catching prospects the Jays have had a nightmare making them into anything valuable outside of trading them.  I was surprised to see so few LHP

Didn't see much point in digging into 2011 to 2018 as many are still in the minors or early in their careers.

Bottom line?  Many prospects did become very good, but many also flopped.  The highest number in the top 100 during this stretch was 6 in each of 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995 and 2004.  2004's crew had 2 with over 10 WAR, 1995 4, 1994 3, 1992 3, 1991 3.  So I'd say 1995 was the best of that group with Green, Carpenter, Stewart, and Gonzalez (Halladay would be drafted that season) - geez did Ash screw up having that much talent but never reaching the playoffs.

This year the Jays currently have 5 in the top 100 for MLB.com's rankings - Vlad (#1), Bo (#9), Jansen (#73), Pearson (#89), and Alford (#91 and dropping fast).  So even with that 'wow' group it is still short by 1 from those 5 other years and is just tied with 1993, 1997, and 2002. 1997 had 4 over 20 WAR plus a 5er in Koch who was a good closer for a few years.  That is the best case for the current crew, although we are all hoping Vlad is a HOF'er - with his hype anything less than a few MVP's and a HOF career will be a disappointment.