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Ask and ye shall receive.....ayjackson asked for a minor league thread to discuss BA's top 20's by league lists. I have been away so I am playing catch-up here. One thing to note about these lists is league size. For example the Midwest League had 16 teams, the GCL 18. So there is just over one top 20 spot per team. The Northwest League has 8 teams, the Appy League ten. If you play in those two leagues you have almost double the chance to make a top 20 list. Through four affiliates, the full season teams, the Jays have just five players make the lists.

The IL list had Lourdes Gurriel Jr. but no Danny Jansen. The accompanying chat appears to be lacking any Blue Jay content.


The EL had Vlad and Bo at #1 and #2 and Cavan Biggio at 14. BA sat on the fence in regard to Biggio's defensive position, opting for a future utility role. They did note that Biggio's arm is light for 3B so I don;t know what that means for the utility role. In the chat Max Pentecost received a good review for his catching and noted that he is working on his hitting. Jordan Romano needs to improve his changeup to be considered a future starter, otherwise he is headed for the bullpen. And scouts would like to see more swing and miss from TJ Zeuch. He just missed the top 20.


The FSL had Kevin Smith at 11. The write-up notes his excellent hitting but says his defense is OK, but not great, at shortstop. They describe him as a bat first player. Patrick Murphy just missed the list in whgat BA call a strong year. Murphy needs to improve his change up, like Romano, to be considered a top starter prospect.


Smith is also the only Blue Jay on the Midwest League list, this time at 15. No Blue Jay questions were answered in the chat.


The Blue Jays were shut out from the Northwest League list. That's not good given that there are 20 spots for eight teams.


The Jays had three players on the Appy league top 20. Eric Pardinho was #4 followed by two catchers, Alejandro Kirk at #12 and Hagen Danner at #16. The write up notes that Kirk has to slim down and Danner needs to work to improve his defense.


The GCL list is up at BA. The Jays have three players on the list. Jordan Groshans is at #5. Gabriel Moreno is at #15 and Leonardo Jimenez at #19. Moreno's inclusion makes it for three Blue Jay catchers that BA have listed in the short season leagues. Between Kirk, Danner and Moreno the Jays will have some decisions to make when they have to make up next years Lansing roster.

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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 03 2018 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#366666) #
Thanks, Gerry. Hope your "away" was a good away.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 03 2018 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#366667) #
Yes thanks, vacation time is done, now I am rested for the playoffs.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 03 2018 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#366668) #
My first thought hearing Jansen isn't on the IL list is how drunk were they when putting together the list?  Are there that many very good catchers in AAA right now?

IL catchers by OPS - Jansen is #1 by 2 points over 28 year old Andrew Susac using 100 PA as the minimum.  The other 2 over 800 OPS were over 30.  Next 25 or less was 24 year old Pedro Severino who hit 269/294/462.  Not impressed to not have Jansen on their list unless they skipped catchers for some reason.

By OPS Jansen leads, 2nd in Slg (479 vs 473) to 33 year old Matt McBride.  OBP 2nd to Susac (405 vs 390).  Avg 5th (285 for 28 year old Jacob Stallings) vs Jansen's 275). 

No matter how I cut it I don't see how Jansen can't be #1 for catchers in the IL.  Maybe someone down there has a killer arm to compensate for a poor bat, still it seems odd.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 03 2018 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#366669) #
John, BA's top 20 prospects don't take positions in account. They could all be pitchers theoretically.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 03 2018 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#366673) #
The BA chats seem lighter this season, fewer questions are being answered.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 03 2018 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#366676) #
Good to know hypobole.  In the 80's I read BA all the time, but with the net I stopped as it was always well behind everyone else (nature of print vs internet).  Position scarcity should be factored in IMO as right now catchers in the majors suck for offense so a good hitting catcher is a massive asset vs the other 29 teams.  Of course, then you have to factor in odds of him moving to a different position (for example Delgado was a catcher when he reached the majors).
Mike Green - Friday, October 05 2018 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#366735) #
John Lott has a fine article on Jordan Groshans in the Athletic.  Gil Kim noted that Groshans has been playing lower to the ground on defence and has improved his first step.  In pictures I have seen, he seems to be less upright at the plate too.  That's good. 
hypobole - Friday, October 05 2018 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#366736) #
Thanks, Mike. Nice to hear at least one player in the Jays organization is able to improve defensively without being moved to DH. :) :(
Nigel - Friday, October 05 2018 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#366737) #
The Jays donít move them to DH they move them to LF:). Thanks for the link, Mike.
hypobole - Friday, October 05 2018 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#366738) #
The Jays donít move them to DH they move them to LF:).

And that's why they don't improve defensively. :(
Mike Green - Friday, October 05 2018 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#366740) #
Dalton Pompey was moved to the 40 man roster on October 1.  Obviously a lot can happen between now and the Rule 5 draft.
Glevin - Friday, October 05 2018 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#366741) #
Interesting piece. The Jays took prospects down to the Dominican for a week to do some cross cultural awareness,of where some of their teammates come from. sounds like a great idea to me.
Gerry - Monday, October 08 2018 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#366792) #
No Jays from Vancouver made the NWL list.
jgadfly - Monday, October 08 2018 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#366793) #
More than a couple of Surprises in Arizona ... Stubby Clapp to manage VGJr ... Biggio learning the outfield ... former Jays MiLB Conner Greene and Lane Thomas also on roster ... and the biggest surprise/question ... how does a guy traded to StL for "other considerations" end up hitting more HR's in 100 games than he did in his previous 4 minor league seasons with the Jays ?
Gerry - Monday, October 08 2018 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#366795) #
I asked about Vancouver players in the chat. They say Griffin Conine just missed but his swing and miss was a concern. Josh Winkowski got some recognition for his competitiveness.
hypobole - Monday, October 08 2018 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#366796) #
and the biggest surprise/question ... how does a guy traded to StL for "other considerations" end up hitting more HR's in 100 games than he did in his previous 4 minor league seasons with the Jays

Just my opinion, but to me it's more hint the Jays system had real development issues on position player side.
bpoz - Monday, October 08 2018 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#366797) #
We are talking about Lane Thomas. Drafted in 2014 and signed over slot. I liked his size and tools.

It was suggested on da Box that his development was hurt by using him at 2B in the beginning. Then moving him back to the OF where he played CF.


I believe that the "other considerations" was Int'l cap budget on July 2, 2017. That could become a good trade because the 2017 Int'l signings seems very successful at the moment.
bpoz - Monday, October 08 2018 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#366798) #
Vancouver really fooled me this year. I read early that their talent was not too good. But somehow they ended up with the best overall record in the Northern division.

C's baseball is a good site. There are some decent prospects. University draft picks.

Gerry - Monday, October 08 2018 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#366801) #
The fall league starts tomorrow.
Nigel - Tuesday, October 09 2018 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#366817) #
Having watched the Lane Thomas to 2B conversion first hand in Vancouver, it was one of the more misguided personnel decisions I have witnessed. It wasn't pretty.

I am not surprised that the C's were not represented on the list. It was thin gruel on the prospects front this year.

Bpoz - there often isn't much connection between successful teams in the NWL and the number of prospects on those teams. Teams in the NWL tend to be an odd mixture of college players drafted right before the league starts and younger Latin players who need more advanced competition than the various rookie leagues but who aren't ready for full season ball (for one reason or another). Of course, every organization approaches the roster construction differently. However, in general, recently drafted college players tend to do well in the league. The Jays have tended to go with mostly college rosters with fewer actual prospects on them. The title usually gets decided by which team has the best middle round college players on the roster. Given all of this, you need to be somewhat skeptical of a mid round college player doing well in Vancouver (think of Clemens last year) until they carry it on at higher levels (think Lundquist). It also means its a red flag (although by no means fatal) when you see college players who are drafted in the early rounds (like Warmoth and Conine) who do ok but don't really stand out.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 09 2018 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#366818) #
I guess that BA hasn't got to the Appy League yet.  Otto Lopez could be considered as a Bluefield Blue Jay or as a C.
Nigel - Tuesday, October 09 2018 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#366819) #
Mike, I won't be surprised if Lopez falls through the cracks on prospect lists for a while. I only saw him play a couple of times (life got in the way in August), but he's tiny (smaller than the favourite Red Sox comp) and there really is a question of what position he can actually play. I was impressed by his approach at the plate and his all round baseball skills but I don't think that he is going to wow any prospect watchers who only see him play a time or two. FWIW I would guess (and its only a guess) that he's a LF in the long run.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 09 2018 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#366820) #
The ball jumps off Lopez' bat.  You'd think by now that the scouting community would have realized that height and weight are just one thing in the mix. Give me the short player with the positive W/K and life in the bat with a nice quick stroke over the tall husky player with the long powerful stroke who swings and misses al lot. 
Nigel - Tuesday, October 09 2018 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#366821) #
Mike, it's funny you should put it like that - Lopez and Connine often batted back to back or in the same inning. They fit that contrast perfectly.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 10 2018 @ 08:56 AM EDT (#366834) #
Unsurprising great line from Vladdy in his 1st AFL game. 3 for 5, 2 doubles.

The only other Jay to play last night was Biggio, 1 for 4, sac fly, and a stolen base

bpoz - Wednesday, October 10 2018 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#366835) #
Biggio was in RF. There is talk that his arm is not overly strong. For me his hitting and plate discipline can make him a regular at 1B,2B, DH and LF if he can get to the ball and catch it.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 10 2018 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#366847) #
Three Jays on the Appy League top 30, Pardinho, Kirk and Danner. Details are up top.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 10 2018 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#366855) #
It was a fabulous year in the Appy League if there were 3 better prospects than Eric Pardinho.  Wander Franco I can see.  Who were the other 2?
hypobole - Wednesday, October 10 2018 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#366856) #
My guess - Gorman and either Kelenic or Vientos
Gerry - Wednesday, October 10 2018 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#366858) #
Franco - 1, Gorman - 2, Kelenic - 3.
ramone - Wednesday, October 10 2018 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#366859) #
"My guess - Gorman and either Kelenic or Vientos"

It was Franco, Gorman then Kelenic
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 10 2018 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#366862) #
I like Kelenic a lot, but he hit .250/.350/.431 as a 19 year old in the Appy League.  Pardinho was much better as a 17 year old pitcher.  I guess that it's the height thing again....to which I say, you don't even know that he's stopped growing taller and how important is that anyway?

Anyways, it was an awfully good year for prospects in the Appy League.
ramone - Wednesday, October 10 2018 @ 02:46 PM EDT (#366864) #
Sorry Gerry, didn't see you had already posted the top 3.
hypobole - Thursday, October 11 2018 @ 07:55 AM EDT (#366888) #
Vlad with another 3 hits, including another pair of doubles and a walk last night.
Slash line after 2 games: .667/.700/1.111

Espinal however, 0 for 5, 2 K's.
scottt - Thursday, October 11 2018 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#366890) #
Vlad almost killed a pitcher last night.
hypobole - Thursday, October 11 2018 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#366892) #
Here it is, courtesy BA's Josh Norris. Pitcher was down a couple of minutes, but managed to walk off the field.

https://twitter.com/jnorris427/status/1050217014877286400
Gerry - Thursday, October 11 2018 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#366902) #
Shi Davidi has an article up giving some insight into what the Jays are doing differently to help minor leaguers.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, October 11 2018 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#366904) #
Interesting article for sure,Gerry, especially the angle of teaching the prospects the importance of being a good team mate.

The ball Guerrero hit came off the bat at over 103 MPH. No wonder the pitcher had no time to even get a glove up to protect himself.
hypobole - Thursday, October 11 2018 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#366905) #
Player development was low hanging fruit for years. It's only in the past few that most teams are actually trying trying to do something different and better.

Don't know how well these new strategies will work out, but at least there's a better process in place.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 11 2018 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#366910) #
The Davidi article mentions that they have a pitcher's camp with Jeff Ware and David Aardsma using video and analytics.  On youtube, there is a 2 year old video of Aardsma and Brett Pourciau breaking  down Pardinho's delivery at age 15. 
I wonder if Aardsma is now working with Pardinho.  I also wonder how is changeup is coming along. 



hypobole - Thursday, October 11 2018 @ 10:30 PM EDT (#366917) #
No Vlad today. Biggio played RF, 0 for 2 with 4 BB's.

Zach Jackson came into the game with the bases loaded and 2 out. Gave up a 2 run single to the 1st batter, K'ed the next. Pitched another inning. 3 up, 3 down, all K's swinging.
John Northey - Thursday, October 11 2018 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#366918) #
Funny thing is for Jackson it might have been good that he gave up that single. His reaction - K'ing the next 4, shows he has the mental strength to say 'screw this, I'm taking you all down now'. IE: a closer mentality. If he can't start for the Jays then maybe he can be the new closer in 2019 or 2020. Btw, if anyone offers anything decent for Giles I'd take it.
Gerry - Monday, October 15 2018 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#366996) #
The GCL has been added to the list above. Three Jays are on the list, Groshans, Gabriel Moreno and Leonardo Jimenez.
bpoz - Monday, October 15 2018 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#366998) #
3 catchers for Lansing is a great question, Gerry. The ABs for DH/C can be easily split by 3 players.
hypobole - Monday, October 15 2018 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#367001) #
Kirk seems most advanced by what I've read, so he's likely to be Lansing bound. Danner's catching skills are still very raw, but he's more than a year older than Moreno so Vancouver? Which leaves Moreno starting next season in Bluefield?
hypobole - Monday, October 15 2018 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#367003) #
A bunch of our MiLB guys are playing in the Caribbean winter leagues. Jon Davis in the Dominican, Roemon Fields in Mexico, Harold Ramirez, Gudino and Vicuna in Venezuala. A few other org guys but their names escape me.
Mike Green - Monday, October 15 2018 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#367007) #
They could easily have two of the catchers in Lansing- probably Danner and Kirk.  Moreno doesn't turn 19 until February.  They could put Moreno in extended, and then move him to Vancouver (or Lansing if one of Danner and Kirk earns a promotion to Dunedin) in the summer.  Pleasant problem to have. 
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