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Seems I've found as many top 30 lists as I'm going to at this point without subscribing to a dozen services. Time to summarize them before the season gets going.

Here at Batter's Box we have a top 30 list made every year, but so do many others. What is the consensus out there? Are there outliers who we should consider, are some lists more bizarre than others? Here are 10 lists, some longer than others. A full 30 from 6, Top 10 from Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus, but just a top 4 from Sickles and Keith Law as neither has a full top 10 available outside of pay walls. Ah well, nothing I can do about that.

Every single list has Vlad #1, Bo #2, Danny Jansen #3 on all but 2, Nate Pearson #3 on those 2 plus 4th on 5 and once ranked #6 and once #7 (Sickles abbreviated list doesn't have him, instead having Jordan Groshans).

In all 46 different players are listed. 3 at 1B, 3 at 2B, 1 at 3B, 9 at SS, 7 at CA, 7 OF, 2 LHP, 14 RHP. Obviously a lot of focus has been at SS/CA which is good as you can move from SS to anywhere but catcher easily while catchers are notoriously hard to develop (especially here).

The lists by source...
RankBatters BoxMLB.comJays JournalFanGraphsBlueBird BanterTSNBaseball AmericaSicklesBaseball ProspectusKeith Law
1Vladimir GuerreroVladimir GuerreroVladimir GuerreroVladimir GuerreroVladimir GuerreroVladimir GuerreroVladimir GuerreroVladimir GuerreroVladimir GuerreroVladimir Guerrero
2Bo BichetteBo BichetteBo BichetteBo BichetteBo BichetteBo BichetteBo BichetteBo BichetteBo BichetteBo Bichette
3Danny JansenDanny JansenDanny JansenDanny JansenDanny JansenDanny JansenDanny JansenDanny JansenNate PearsonNate Pearson
4Nate PearsonNate PearsonEric PardinhoNate PearsonNate PearsonNate PearsonEric PardinhoJordan GroshansDanny JansenDanny Jansen
5Kevin SmithEric PardinhoNate PearsonJordan GroshansEric PardinhoKevin SmithJordan Groshans--Kevin Smith--
6Jordan GroshansJordan GroshansKevin SmithSean Reid-FoleyJordan GroshansEric PardinhoNate Pearson--Eric Pardinho--
7Sean Reid-Foleykevin SmithJordan GroshansKevin SmithSean Reid-FoleyJordan GroshansKevin Smith--Sean Reid-Foley--
8Eric PardinhoAdam KloffensteinCavan BiggioAdam KloffensteinTJ ZeuchSean Reid-FoleySean Reid-Foley--Anthony Alford--
9Cavan BiggioSean Reid-FoleySean Reid-FoleyEric PardinhoKevin SmithAnthony AlfordCavan Biggio--Jordan Groshans--
10Adam KloffensteinCavan BiggioAnthony AlfordTrent ThorntonCavan BiggioCavan BiggioMiguel Hiraldo--TJ Zeuch--
11Hector PerezAnthony AlfordAdam KloffensteinBilly McKinneyAnthony AlfordHector Perez--------
12Anthony AlfordOrelvis MartinezOrelvis MartinezCavan BiggioAdam KloffensteinTJ Zeuch--------
13Rowdy TellezMiguel HiraldoMiguel HiraldoTJ ZeuchPatrick MurphyAdam Kloffenstein--------
14Thomas PannoneBilly McKinneyHector PerezHector PerezHector PerezOrelvis Martinez--------
15Orelvis MartinezTrent ThorntonTJ ZeuchLeonardo JimenezChavez YoungMiguel Hiraldo--------
16Billy McKinneyTJ ZeuchBilly McKinneyOrelvis MartinezThomas PannoneSantiago Espinal--------
17TJ ZeuchHector PerezDavid PaulinoRowdy TellezRowdy TellezBilly McKinney--------
18Chavez YoungLeonardo JimenezGriffin ConineGabriel MorenoYennsy DiazGriffin Conine--------
19Jordan RomanoGriffin ConineTrent ThorntonGriffin ConineGriffin ConineReese McGuire--------
20Patrick MurphyPatrick MurphyRowdy TellezMiguel HiraldoMiguel HiraldoTrent Thornton--------
21Travis Bergen Rowdy TellezRyan NodaChavez YoungHagen DannerThomas Pannone--------
22Reese McGuireGabriel MorenoForrest WallReese McGuireOrelvis MartinezElvis Luciano--------
23Riley AdamsChavez YoungElvis LucianoAnthony AlfordBilly McKinneyRyan Noda--------
24Samad TaylorReese McGuireReese McGuireYennsy DiazRyan NodaPatrick Murphy--------
25Griffin ConineSamad TaylorThomas PannoneSamad TaylorReese McGuireYennsy Diaz--------
26Hagen DannerRyan NodaSantiago EspinalPatrick MurphyElvis LucianoDavid Paulino--------
27Ryan NodaYennsy DiazChavez YoungAlejandro KirkTrent ThorntonLogan Warmoth--------
28Max PentecostElvis LucianoJonathan DavisKevin VicunaLogan WarmothLeonardo Jimenez--------
29Miguel HiraldoAlejandro KirkCal StevensonElvis LucianoForrest WallRonny Brito--------
30Logan WarmothCal StevensonChad SpanbergerEmanuel VizcainoLeonardo JimenezAndrew Sopko--------

To help merge the data I did a simple score system - 30 for 1st place vote, 29 for 2nd, all the way to 1 point for a 30th place rank. Here is that ranking along with position ...
Vladimir Guerrero3B10----------------------------------------------------------300
Bo BichetteSS--10--------------------------------------------------------290
Danny JansenCA----82----------------------------------------------------278
Nate PearsonRHP----2511------------------------------------------------242
Jordan GroshansSS------1232--1------------------------------------------224
Eric PardinhoRHP------222--11------------------------------------------201
Kevin SmithSS--------313--1------------------------------------------197
Sean Reid-FoleyRHP----------1322------------------------------------------187
Cavan Biggio2B--------------123--1------------------------------------149
Anthony AlfordOF--------------11121--------------------1--------------133
TJ ZeuchRHP--------------1--1--11--111--------------------------126
Adam KloffensteinRHP--------------2--1111----------------------------------124
Hector PerezRHP--------------------2----3----1--------------------------105
Miguel HiraldoSS------------------1----2--1--------2----------------1--97
Orelvis MartinezSS----------------------2--111----------1----------------95
Billy McKinneyOF--------------------1----1--21----------1--------------89
Griffin ConineOF----------------------------------23----------1----------68
Rowdy Tellez1B------------------------1------2----11------------------67
Trent ThorntonRHP------------------1--------1------11------------1------64
Patrick MurphyRHP------------------------1------------2------1--1--------52
Chavez YoungOF----------------------------1----1----1--1------1------51
Reese McGuireCA------------------------------------1----2--21----------50
Thomas PannoneLHP--------------------------1--1--------1------1----------48
Ryan Noda1B/OF----------------------------------------1--11--11------34
Leonardo Jimenez2B/SS----------------------------1----1------------------1--133
Yennsy DiazRHP----------------------------------1----------11--1------30
Elvis LucianoRHP------------------------------------------11----1--11--27
Gabriel MorenoCA----------------------------------1------1----------------22
Santiago EspinalSS/2B/3B------------------------------1------------------1--------20
David PaulinoRHP--------------------------------1----------------1--------19
Samad Taylor2B----------------------------------------------12----------19
Hagen DannerCA----------------------------------------1--------1--------15
Jordan RomanoRHP------------------------------------1----------------------12
Forrest WallOF------------------------------------------1------------1--11
Travis Bergen LHP----------------------------------------1------------------10
Logan WarmothSS----------------------------------------------------11--18
Riley AdamsCA--------------------------------------------1--------------8
Alejandro KirkCA----------------------------------------------------1--1--6
Cal StevensonOF--------------------------------------------------------113
Jonathan DavisOF------------------------------------------------------1----3
Kevin VicunaSS------------------------------------------------------1----3
Max PentecostCA------------------------------------------------------1----3
Ronny BritoSS--------------------------------------------------------1--2
Andrew SopkoRHP----------------------------------------------------------11
Chad Spanberger1B----------------------------------------------------------11
Emanuel VizcainoRHP----------------------------------------------------------11

Now with all that data I'm sure a few will be wondering - who was the most bizarre choice? Jordan Romano ranked 19th was the highest rank for a player not named on more than 1 list (Batter's Box). Trent Thornton was the only guy with a top 10 rank who failed to make the top 14 of anyone else's list (10th by FanGraphs). Rowdy Tellez was the highest ranked to be missed entirely by a top 30 list (skipped by TSN). Wide ranges, not factoring in being ignored, were led by Anthony Alford (as high as 8th, low as 23rd) and Miguel Hiraldo (from 10th to 29th).

In the end we see a strong consensus on the top part, and a mish mash towards the bottom as always would be expected. Last years list had the same top 3 on all lists - Vlad, Bo, and Anthony Alford. All 3 were on top 100 lists for everyone I had. Alford clearly dropped drastically while Vlad and Bo held on. Vlad was no higher than 3rd on any ML prospect list worst was a 15th rank, Bo was 7-9 on most, but 19th on one.

Here is a summary of the top 100 lists for this year.
WhoMLB.comBaseball AmericaSicklesBaseball ProspectusKeith Law
Vladimir Guerrero11112
Bo Bichette118131213
Danny Jansen65424689107
Nate Pearson7670--5477
Kevin Smith9891------
Eric Pardinho--84------
Jordan Groshans----74----

Nice to see 7 guys make someone's top 100 list this year, vs 5 last year (Vlad, Bo, Alford, Pearson, Jansen) and having Vlad move from roughly the 3rd best to the best prospect in the minors. Bo dropped a little, but not much. Jansen from an afterthought to most to being top 100 to all but Law. Should be interesting next year to see what happens with Bo who should still be a prospect while Vlad and Jansen both should be off these lists next year - hopefully after one of them wins rookie of the year in 2019.
Top 30 Prospects Summary | 229 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Thomas - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 07:50 PM EST (#370659) #
In a purely Da Box-interested comment, I'll defend Batter's Box on the Romano ranking. I haven't gone through each list, but a number of these lists were compiled after the Rule 5 draft, at which point Romano was no longer a member of the organization. If I recall correctly, Batter's Box also compiled its list before Rule 5 lists were even due, which may have impacted our assessment. We have no idea if the other lists would have ranked Romano or left him off the list.
Thomas - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 07:55 PM EST (#370660) #
Other that defending Da Box on Romano, I also want to say this is great work, John. It's really useful to have all of this information laid out nicely and compiled in a few charts.

The system is certainly deeper than it's been in a while, although it won't be nearly as highly ranked in 2020, even if Bichette maintains rookie eligibility.
John Northey - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 10:25 PM EST (#370663) #
Hmm... wonder how systems with the #1 prospect (and he stayed in majors thus off list next year) did the following year for farm system rank?

Last year: Angels Shohei Ohtani - from 19th with him to 14th without via

2017: Andrew Benintendi, OF, Red Sox - from 22nd to 23rd.

Hmm... not much difference either year. However, the Jays unlike those 2 teams are a top 10 farm system so things might be different as it is hard to stay top 10. Plus we have Vlad and Jansen and hopefully others graduating this year. This season will be a test of the Jays 'high performance' minor league training system. They hope better nutrition and physical training will improve prospect quality once in the system. If so then they should have enough move up the ranks vs other clubs to stay top 10, if not then it could be ugly. I hope it does work.
uglyone - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 10:58 PM EST (#370664) #
Awesome work John.

I bet Kloff jumps up that list very quickly.

And I think I might take Otto Lopez over half the guys on that list there.
John Northey - Sunday, March 03 2019 @ 11:25 PM EST (#370666) #
Some lists had players past the top 30 (including our own here) but I didn't bother with those players as it gets silly eventually. Hard to imagine that more than 30 in the system at any time would do anything of note in the majors, heck I'd be super-happy if 10 did anything of note (ie: more than 50 IP, 200 PA). Hopefully I'll be able to make myself do this every year for a few years so we can have something to easily look back on ala our prospect lists each year.
dan gordon - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 01:45 AM EST (#370668) #
There's also Radioscouts and Prospects1500 who have interesting lists, and Baseball America has a full 30 player list. Stevenson, for one, would rank a lot higher if those were included, as BA has him 16th, and RS has him 26th. Noda is also more highly ranked there.

Thanks for putting this together John. There's a lot of real world evidence that the "wisdom of the crowd" is a real thing, so it helps to look at the collective opinions of many.
Glevin - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 03:08 AM EST (#370670) #
Excellent work. The system will be a lot of fun to watch this year. A ton of guys lower in the minors with upside who we hope can develop well and also a lot of guys with good numbers and question marks in scouting (Noda, Stevenson, etc...) who can prove themselves moving up a level.

What's nice is it feels for the first time in a long time that the Jays have a lot of internal options for replacing players. for example, Espinal because of his defense, would probably be an OK major leaguer at 2B right now.(ZIPS has him at 1.2 WAR over a full season). Vlad, Tellez, Biggio, Bichette, McGuire, and Alford are all close to major league ready if needed. That's not to mention all the pitchers who are close. Luciano, Murphy, Thornton, Perez, Borucki, SRF, Zeuch, Perez, Paulino, Merryweather, Waguespack, Copping, Pannone, McLelland, Jackson, etc...

Look at 2016 Jays top-30 prospects from MLB pipeline. Urena, SRF, Alford, McGuire, Ramirez, Harris, Vlad, Zeuch, Tellez, Greene, Maese, Woodman, Pentacost, Pedermo, Rios, Borucki, Palcios, Murphy, Jackson, Espada, Diaz, Davis, Pruitt, Girodo, Smith, McBroom, Fields, Jansen, Bergen.

Not a single player there was ready to help the major league team. The only players with more than 50 games in AA and above were McGuire, Ramirez, Tellez, Smith and Fields.
85bluejay - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 08:36 AM EST (#370672) #
Excellent work, Thanks - solid system but if you want to be jealous check out the ray's system - crazy good depth in that system - I'd bet they're #1 next year when guys like Franco,McKay,Liberatore etc. start moving up the system.
Mike Green - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 08:37 AM EST (#370673) #
There's a lot of real world evidence that the "wisdom of the crowd" is a real thing, so it helps to look at the collective opinions of many

And a lot of real world evidence in the "stupidity of the crowd", as JohnN (wearing his political hat) is well aware of.

The chart is helpful.  Thanks for that.
uglyone - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 08:37 AM EST (#370674) #
2016 Jays could have kept all of Stroman, Sanchez, Osuna, Travis, Hutchison, Biagini, down in the minors to make it look like they had more "prospect" depth, too.
Mike Green - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 09:06 AM EST (#370676) #
What?  They were all up at the beginning of 2015 or earlier, and they had a bunch of prime-age stars on the 2015 club so it might a lot of sense to go for it from early in the season.

I don't like the club's development process, particularly for pitchers, late last year and going into this year. I think that the yo-yo up and down is bad for pitcher confidence.  Some of it is inevitable, but it seems that the organization is perfectly OK with it as standard operating procedure. 

uglyone - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 09:20 AM EST (#370677) #
they could have kept them all down in 2015, too.

like we're doing with most all our 25 and youngers this year.
Mike Green - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 09:37 AM EST (#370678) #
UO, it's over-the-top.  Stroman made 20 successful starts in 2014, and we are talking about prospect eligibility in 2016.  Borucki (who made 17 successful starts in 2018) doesn't make the prospect lists in 2019 and nobody will be thinking of him that way in 2020.

Yes, the organization could have kept Osuna and Castro down in 2015 and signed better veteran relief, and (perhaps) had a better prospect pool entering 2016.  That might have made some sense if ownership had been willing to pony up the money that the talent base on the club merited. You may recall that the club started off 2015 with a wonderful RS/RA rate but a 51-50 W/L, and the bullpen (particularly Castro) played a big part of it. 
uglyone - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 10:17 AM EST (#370679) #
point stands, imo.

Our "mlb ready prospect depth" looks better because we're simply not promoting them.
Thomas - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 10:45 AM EST (#370680) #
I don't know what "point" you're trying to prove, UO.

Many teams in the majors practice this philosophy. Are you suggesting that the prospect rankings should not include Vlad, Eloy Jiminez, Kyle Tucker, Alex Reyes, and so on? That every prospect list include players in Double-A or lower only, since most players in Triple-A could conceivably, be adjusting to the majors.

Do you think the Jays deliberately promoted and then played Jansen just enough so he'd qualify for this list in 2018? Nobody looks at Jansen the same way they look at Pardinho or Kirk or Groshans. The prospect rankings have to go by some arbitrary measurement, which is rookie eligibility qualifications. They can't go by whether the person who compiles the list "feels" like the person is a big leaguer or not.

And, going by the measurement of prospect eligibility is, in my opinion, a perfectly fine way of achieving what I assume to be the primary goals of these lists, which are: 1) to identify the most talented players who have not surpassed rookie eligibility and 2) from an organizational perspective, being one measure, but not the sole measure, of assessing an organization's likelihood of being good in the near future.
bpoz - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 11:50 AM EST (#370683) #
Is there only 1 group that makes the Top 100 list or a panel from the dozen or so list makers? Who gets to choose the farm team rankings?

I am thinking that quantity and quality affect team rankings. SD had the best quantity and quality so they earned their ranking. #1 I think.
Change of scenery helps as well as UO pointed out with N Syndergaard. Some sort of marketing/popularity contest I assume. So definitely an element of ....

For us Bichette should move up to maybe 6th on the Top 100 if he is still eligible and did well at AAA. Many ahead of him now will no longer be eligible.

Pearson will move up the Top 100 if he is healthy. I don't think he will pitch the 168 IP that Zeuch got in 2018 because of protecting his arm. If he does 100 good innings he will get a high ranking on the Top 100 because they will be afraid that he could be a dominant ML pitcher. A poor ranking will make the list makers look bad.

Pardinho will be tricky. Young for Lansing and an undersized pitcher. Actually Pardinho is 4 months younger than Kloffenstein. Kloffenstein will pitch at Bluefield I assume. Maybe some Vancouver. Lansing unlikely. He would make the 100 because of his size and projection. Squeeze him into to high 90s despite him being a Jay.

I know that I am sounding biased and unfair but those are my honest feelings.

SK in NJ - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 12:49 PM EST (#370684) #
The only player the Jays have deliberately held back is Vlad, and that's for service time reasons, not prospect rankings. They promoted Jansen, Gurriel, Borucki, SRF, Pannone, and gave cups of coffee to Tellez, McGuire, etc, last season. They traded for McKinney and Paulino and used them in the bigs. They weren't held back to maintain 2019 prospect ranking eligibility. Whether you agree with the way the FO handles promotions or not, they seem consistent on building depth and maybe keeping the prospect down a little bit longer rather than rushing them. I'm fine with that approach as long as it makes sense.
85bluejay - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 12:57 PM EST (#370685) #
The idea that any team keeps players in the minors for prospect ranking reasons strikes me as lunacy.
uglyone - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 02:42 PM EST (#370687) #
It's not "because of" prospect rankings, but it influences them nevertheless.
uglyone - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 03:07 PM EST (#370688) #
Merryweather 27
Davis 27
Romano 26
Pentecost 26

Borucki 25
Pannone 25
Paulino 25
Thornton 25
Waguespack 25
Bergen 25

Jansen 24
McKinney 24
McGuire 24
Tellez 24
Biggio 24
Alford 24
Murphy 24
Espinal 24
Sopko 24

That's a whole bunch of names that are getting a bit old for the "prospect" label. When they get to this age in the minors the difference between "prospect" and "waiver wire vet AAAA depth" becomes a little hazy.

And there's a bunch more 23yr olds that you hope are at least doing well in AAA sometime this year:

SRF 23
Perez 23
Zeuch 23
Wall 23
Noda 23
Warmoth 23
Spanberger 23
Shoeless Joe - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 03:31 PM EST (#370689) #
If you look through that entire list of players almost all of the players who were with the Jays, were healthy and played at least one game of AAA experienced at least some time at the major league level. The only ones who did not were Romano and Waguespack who were kept down as they had pending 40 man issues.
Michael - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 04:31 PM EST (#370690) #
Uglyone's general point is a fair one and one of the reasons Baseball Prospectus generally included with its minor league rankings a list of "top players 25 and under" in each organization that included both prospects and young players that are in the majors.

I.e., you shouldn't penalize the organization when players make it. The difference in full organization strength between the Jays with Vlad at AAA and Vlad in the ML is not that different, so don't change the rankings that severely or at least temper the rankings with some view to who is in the majors making impact.
Mike Green - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 04:53 PM EST (#370691) #
Top players 25 and under is a rough guide too.  Bryce Harper was 25  last year, and delivered 1.3 bWAR for $21 million in his last arb year.  Helluva player but his presence in the organization at the beginning of the year didn't tell you anything about the medium-term future of the Nats. 
Glevin - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 04:58 PM EST (#370692) #
ďUglyone's general point is a fair one and one of the reasons Baseball Prospectus generally included with its minor league rankings a list of "top players 25 and under" in each organization that included both prospects and young players that are in the majors.Ē

That isnít remotely his point. My original point was that the Jays have much more minor league depth than they have in many years which is true. Ugly said thatís because itís the front office manipulating things by holding players down which is, apart from Vlad, just completely made up. The Jays arenít holding anyone down. He is once again trying to paint Shapiro front office as some kind of evil and manipulative machine incapable of doing anything good. He is not making some broad argument about what counts as a prospect.
John Northey - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 06:18 PM EST (#370693) #
When it comes to promoting/not promoting the Jays are going slow now vs the high speed they were going at under AA. AA's high speed got us 2015/16 playoffs, Gillick was slow but it worked out very nicely. Both methods can work, it is a matter of deciding what your needs are and making it work best. In 2015/16 the team was fighting for the playoffs and it worked well. 2017/18 was last gasp time for the old lineup and the kids weren't ready to contribute. Maybe Vlad could've last year but he was 19 and just in AAA for the first time.

Now, as to prospects in the past for the Jays, BA lists their top prospect for the Jays from 2010 to now in their free section ...
2017-9: 3B Vladimir Guerrero (not reached yet)
2016: OF Anthony Alford (-0.1)
2015: LHP Daniel Norris (2.7)
2014: RHP Aaron Sanchez (9.2)
2012/3: C Travis d'Arnaud (2.1)
2011: RHP Kyle Drabek (-0.1)
2010: RHP Zach Stewart (-1.7)

So outside of Sanchez (9+ WAR), the rest have failed. Norris and d'Arnaud at least were useful at times but the rest really, really sucked (all sub-replacement level). The last #1 to really be held back (like Vlad) was Carlos Delgado (top 5 MLB prospect 2 years in a row, #67 the year before that and kept in the minors mostly for the following 2 years). If he was given a role in the majors quicker he might have had 500 HR and made the HOF or at least done better in voting however, even if he hit 60 HR those 2 years the Jays still wouldn't have made the playoffs even if there were any in 1994. Like Vlad he was kept at a tough defensive position (CA) until he reached the majors, then they tried LF (flop) before giving in and sticking him at 1B. Will the same happen to Vlad? Spending too much time trying to succeed at a position then being in a 'screw it' situation and put at 1B in the end? Who knows?
John Northey - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 06:21 PM EST (#370694) #
As to the 'manipulating things to be ranked high' idea. I'd be willing to bet almost anything that the Jays braintrust doesn't care one iota about where the farm ranks in Baseball America or in any other publication. Let alone care enough to keep guys down longer than needed. You keep guys down for A) development or B) to save money (via service time manipulation). As a fan I am good with both outside of years when the team looks like it could contend (and we all know 2019 is a year it would take a baseball miracle to reach the playoffs).
Mylegacy - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 06:27 PM EST (#370696) #
Mr. Northey, don't ever say that assembling a mind numbing series of lists is a thankless job. John, thank you!

Now to my serious analysis and insights...

In regards to: list 67A the: "Merge the data", "Simple Score system", "1 point for the 30th place rank" list.

Following, I've a sub-list of those I think will explode this year - not just have good years - but show us all that these guys might just all be "Naturals."

(Excluding the top three from consideration)

Jordan Groshans, Eric Pardinho, Adam Kloffenstein, Miguel Hiraldo, Orelvis Martinez, Chavez Young, Elvis Luciano, Gabriel Moreno and Alejandro Kirk might ALL make a move up to the Top 10.

IF I am proved wrong it will only be with Mr. Kirk, with whom I have an unnatural, and most likely unhealthy, attraction. It's not my fault if he reminds me of a Molina - and as even fans of the Evil Empires know - you can never have too many Molinas.
scottt - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 06:35 PM EST (#370697) #
Somebody can make it late and be valuable and under club control for 6/7 years.
Right now, there's no penalty for old prospects. Merryweather and Pentecost are no longer prospects.  They've lost time due to injuries. Same thing with Pompey. That's not even unusual. Lots of players never make it or have short careers because of health.

If the point is to evaluate how much talent a club has it doesn't matter how old the prospects are.
What matter is the talent level and the likeliness of that talent reaching the majors.

uglyone - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 06:44 PM EST (#370698) #
"That isnít remotely his point. My original point was that the Jays have much more minor league depth than they have in many years which is true. Ugly said thatís because itís the front office manipulating things by holding players down which is, apart from Vlad, just completely made up. The Jays arenít holding anyone down."

the point is twofold:

1. fact of the matter is that there's a whole lotta older prospects now.

2. the fact that a bunch of these guys are slightly younger than the typical veteran AAAA depth makes it feel like the depth is "better" because this time it's "prospects", when it probably isn't.

None of this has anything to do with the FO being dastardly. is just is what it is.

Are prospects like Santiago Espinal actually going to be better immediate depth than 2016's depth "non-prospects"? maybe, maybe not.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 07:02 PM EST (#370699) #
Santiago Espinal I think is a poor example because I think he will actually be a very good major leaguer. He has low contact rates and high flyball rate which to me points towards a great future combined with above average infield defense.
greenfrog - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 07:29 PM EST (#370700) #
Eric Longenhagen (I think) said that Espinal wasn't especially impressive in the AFL.
scottt - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 07:48 PM EST (#370701) #
He didn't hit much in the AFL. He did play at 5 different positions though.
Thomas - Monday, March 04 2019 @ 11:03 PM EST (#370702) #
UO, I have no idea how anyone was supposed to get points 1 and 2 from your most recent comment out of your original comment, which read:

2016 Jays could have kept all of Stroman, Sanchez, Osuna, Travis, Hutchison, Biagini, down in the minors to make it look like they had more "prospect" depth, too.

Nothing in that comment says anything about your contention (with which I disagree, but that's a separate point) that this group of prospects is 1) allegedly older or 2) that the depth of this prospect group is no better than traditional Quadruple-A fodder.

Your original comment is focused on keeping prospects in the minors to imply depth in the organization's rankings. Your comment says nothing about the age of the prospects or the alleged lack of difference in quality of the team's prospects when compared to a standard non-prospect minor leaguer

uglyone - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 12:36 AM EST (#370703) #
sorry. i didn't think it was that complicated.

jays chose to sign a whole whack of cheap veteran depth for the major league roster this year, not leaving any spots open for a bunch of guys who are near or should be near mlb ready.

i'm just not sure that actually means we have more 'prospect depth", or even more depth at all, compared to a team that plays the kids in the bigs and picks up cheap vet depth for the minors.
John Northey - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 12:40 AM EST (#370704) #
Just did a search and found a site I forgot about Baseball Cube which has the top 10 prospects for the Jays via BA in one nice easy to read table.

In 1983 for example, we saw 3 never make it, 2 near HOF level talents (Tony Fernandez & Fred McGriff), a decent pitcher (John Cerutti), a decent catcher (Geno Petralli), and 3 never became anythings (Stan Clarke, Ron Shepherd, Matt Williams).

1988's top 10 all made the majors - from #3 David Wells (239 wins) to #5 Alex Sanchez (0-1 10.03 ERA). #1 was Sil Campusano (ouch), #10 Mark Whiten (4 HR in a game for Cleveland iirc).

1991 and 1992 both had all 10 reach - best would be Carlos Delgado (#6/5 those years), Pat Hentgen was #10 in '92.

2002 and 2003 also had all 10 reach - Orlando Hudson was probably the best (#5 in 2002), #1's were Josh Phelps & Dustin McGowan

Next is 2005 - from Brandon League to Gustavo Chacin with Aaron Hill the premium.

Surprise - 2011 and 2012 both had a full house graduate - from Kyle Drabek and Travis D'Arnaud both #1's, to Noah Syndergaard (#7) and Aaron Sanchez (#6)

2015 has only Max Pentecost not reaching. Huh. Surprising given how recent that is.

5 of 2018's have reached so far with Vlad coming soon as is Bo and Pearson I suspect.

Highest ranked is Vlad at #3 last year. Other top 5's are Vernon Wells (#4 in 2000), Alex Gonzalez (#4 in 1994), Carlos Delgado (#5 in 1994 & 1993), and John Olerud (#3 in 1990 - straight to the majors, no minor league time except as rehab years later).
Glevin - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 03:11 AM EST (#370705) #
"Are prospects like Santiago Espinal actually going to be better immediate depth than 2016's depth "non-prospects"? maybe, maybe not."

So your take is essentially "having prospect depth isn't necessarily better than not having it because the prospects might not work out anyway." If you can't look at the 2016 depth and look at the depth now and see a massive upgrade, you're just lying. Espinal is a good example. He is after Gurriel, Travis, Drury, and maybe Urena in the depth chart and I think he could probably hold his own in the majors right now (poor offense, good defense). In 2016, the depth was Travis, Goins, Barney and... David Adams? The depth at catcher in 2016 was Thole and Tony Sanchez? Quintero? Now it is Maille and McGuire. The depth at starting pitching was Drew Hutchison and guys like Scott Diamond. Now, you have Borucki, SRF, Thornton, Paulino, Zeuch, Perez, and Pannone. The difference is enormous at every position.

It's like saying "there's no difference between sleeping on a bed and sleeping on porcupines because maybe you won't get a good sleep on the bed anyway"
scottt - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 08:19 AM EST (#370706) #
It's an interesting set of list.
SRF  went from 10th, 5th, 3rd and then fell off the list just before he reached.

Conner Greene was 2nd in 16, 4th in 17 and has never made it out of AAA.
I guess he'll get a try in the pen before he's out of option.
Still, ERA over 11 in Arizona last fall. 5 ER in 3 IP  so far this spring. Yeah, his clock  is ticking.

Most year, everybody in the top 10 reaches, except maybe one guy.

2007 is terrible with 3 guys not reaching on top of Thigpen, Rosario and Purcey.
2008, 4 guys who didn't make it plus Thigpen, Purcey and Arencibia.
2009, 2 misses + Arencibia, David Cooper, Brad Mills, Scrabble and Emaus
2010, Nobody told them that Chad Jenkins was in the majors between 12-15? Weird
2011, back to a full house on the strength of the Roy Halladay trade. Sigh.
2013, back to having 4 duds as a side effects of AA's trades.

Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 09:29 AM EST (#370708) #
Dwight Smith Jr gets the DFA treatment for Bucholz. If DSJ could play a decent center field I think there might have been some use for him, but the groundball rate and lack of quality defense made him a pretty marginal prospect in my eyes. I am glad that the was lower on the depth chart than Pompey, and the team is now one step closer to a clearer picture on the outfield clutter in AAA/MLB.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 10:05 AM EST (#370709) #
"So your take is essentially "having prospect depth isn't necessarily better than not having it because the prospects might not work out anyway.""

well yeah, kinda.

unless they're the type of prospect you can expect better from than some waiver wire AAAA type, I don't really see the depth advantage.
Mike Green - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 10:07 AM EST (#370710) #
My favourite prospect list is from 1984.  It included Fernandez, McGriff and Jimmy Key- three near Hall of Famers- on top of the young talent already in the outfield and on the mound in the big leagues.  You really could see that they had a decent chance to be a very good club for quite a number of years.

Key's development was awfully important in how far they went.  They started him off in the bullpen for a season, and then in 1985, when they moved him to the rotation, they had a Grade A defence led by Barfield and Fernandez behind him.  It allowed him to succeed while striking out only 85 batters in 212 innings.  The next season he notched his K rate up to a level consistent with sustainable success and he was off and running. 

bpoz - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 11:00 AM EST (#370711) #
I loved J Key. He never scowled after an error. Just got the extra out.
I remember Key VS R Clemons in 1992 regular season I believe. Jays won 1-0 against Boston. Both SPs pitched into the 10th inning, I think. Some of my facts are probably wrong.
85bluejay - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 11:25 AM EST (#370712) #
If I remember correctly, the jays had traded the popular Barry Bonnell to Seattle for Bryan Clark to be the lefty in the pen but he had such a terrible spring training that the Jays recalled Key after sending him down - sometimes spring training does matter!

From the 1987 list, I remember all the hype that Campusano, Ducey and Hill were going to be better than Barfield,Bell and Moseby - a great reminder that prospects are just prospects until they produce in the show.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 11:59 AM EST (#370713) #
Dwight Smith Jr did just about everything ok. He also has good health. So I expect him to be a ML 4th OF now and then. The corner OF is better for him. LF to deal with his average arm.

Pompey is getting a lot of ST playing time. I have a feeling that he will be our 4th OF. J Davis is also playing a fair bit. Both can play all 3 OF positions. J Davis has all his 3 options left.

I am sure UO will be right about most of our 24+ year old prospects not succeeding. Other teams are also using the "throw it at the wall and see who sticks strategy". Today I read that SF is using that strategy to round out their pen.

I was hoping to see more young players in the lineup. Borucki not making the opening day rotation is the only move that would upset me.

How "ready" Atkins wants the young players to be is unknown to me. You can add C Copping and a few others that are 24+ years old who are in the system but not on the 40 man roster. Atkins definitely has a plan. The "not competing in 2019" and the "stick to the wall" plan. Probably also add some similar prospects at the trade deadline to increase his "stick to the wall" strategy.
Chuck - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 12:04 PM EST (#370714) #
I have a feeling that he will be our 4th OF.

Not 5th? Pillar, Grichuk, McKinney, Hernandez.

Mike Green - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 12:09 PM EST (#370715) #
It's possible that the club will use Hernandez as a split DH and platoon LF, with Morales getting fewer PAs than last year.  They could carry someone like Pompey as a 4th outfielder (of a kind).

I am not sure though that the club can afford to give up on Morales' production. /s
uglyone - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 12:13 PM EST (#370716) #
CF Pillar
RF Grichuk
LF McKinney
3B Drury
SS Galvis
2B Gurriel
1B Smoak
DH Morales
C Jansen

PH Hernandez
OF Pompey
IF Travis
C Maile

I could see us going with that to start.

then the question is who gets dropped when Vladdy comes up.

Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 12:25 PM EST (#370717) #
Ugly, that seems like the best bet for the opening day roster. At this point with Travis's knees he might head to the DL which means a greater chance for Pompey to catch on.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 01:12 PM EST (#370718) #
I feel strongly that McKinney and Hernandez will get full time ABs. To do that one will have to go to AAA.
The CF depth chart the way I see it is Pillar at the top. Is Grichuk #2 followed by Pompey/J Davis and then Alford?

We have a lot of pieces. Injuries will be a factor. Travis, Pompey and Alford seem the most prone to me.

Gurriel in the OF gets mentioned. But is he playing there much/enough?
Nigel - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 02:21 PM EST (#370719) #
That seems about right for the opening day roster. It's not a very good team but it is what it is. If they cut Morales when Vladdy comes up (I know that they won't) then you would probably have the best and most flexible roster you could have. Gurriel, Drury and Pompey as bench/rotational players would really give the team a chance to play some offence/defence and L/R line-ups that could be quite advantageous.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 03:12 PM EST (#370720) #
Not sure they could surive the leadership defecit, though.
dan gordon - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 03:23 PM EST (#370721) #
Smith was one of the 3 logical DFA candidates IMO, along with Davis and Waguespack. There's also Pompey if they decide they can't keep him on the 25 man. They'll still need to make room for Norris and Axford, and then for Vladdy when he's called up.

Smoak and Gurriel have HR's so far today. I think Gurriel's power is underrated. If he gets 550 AB's, he's going to hit 25+ HR's.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 03:28 PM EST (#370722) #
big test for me is whether a) pitchers are just going to pound him with breaking balls away and b) whether he will be able to either not swing at them or handle them.

he can definitely crush fastballs, even when they're out of the zone.
Nigel - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 03:40 PM EST (#370723) #
Not many can thrive, let alone survive, with Gurrielís strike zone control profile (unless thereís big power along with it), and those issues arenít unique to last year, and he isnít particularly young. Butyouneverknow. This is a good year to get him his proverbial 500 ABs and find out.
dan gordon - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 04:11 PM EST (#370724) #
Gurriel's only 24, and missed about a year and half when getting out of Cuba. Your development as a player depends to a large extent on actually playing, not just getting older, so developmentally speaking, he's more like a 22-23 year old.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 04:42 PM EST (#370725) #
Agreed dan gordon. I think the same way. I was very disappointed in his 2017 season in the minors. He was injured and could not get going.

In 2018 he dominated in the minors. Promoted to the Majors April 20. 2018. He looked great.

He does not walk much nor K much.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 05:43 PM EST (#370726) #
Gurriel has really good contact quality, and despite the plate discipline issues I think he will be an above average hitter in the majors. His overall value will be decided by if he finds a defensive home.
Nigel - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 06:27 PM EST (#370727) #
Gurriel does have good contact quality but he still needed a .327 BABIP last year to generate a 103RC+. That's why its hard to thrive with his strike zone control skills. He may yet have a spike in power which would leave him some additional room for error/bad luck (on the BABIP front) but, without that extra power, his margin for error for being an above average offensive player is pretty thin.
greenfrog - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 06:48 PM EST (#370728) #
I have real concerns about Gurriel's plate discipline. We'll see whether he can make improvements on that front in 2019.

On a different note, Severino has been shut down with right rotator cuff inflammation. That has to hurt for the Yankees, especially after having signed him to a 4/40m contract last month.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 07:09 PM EST (#370730) #
Do the Yankees go after Kuechel? $55.0 Million over 2 years or $60.0 Million over 6 years - Borasí choice.
bpoz - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 09:07 PM EST (#370731) #
Severino must have pitched over 200 innings in 2017 and 2018 counting playoffs.

Ed Steinbrenner wanted to avoid the WC spot. Maybe he gets nothing.
scottt - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 09:09 PM EST (#370732) #
On the plus side, Gurriel is not a straight pull hitter, so they can't shift much against him and that helps to keep his BABIP higher.

Nigel - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 11:03 PM EST (#370733) #
Iím not arguing against letting Gurriel have his 500 ABs this year. But heís 25.5, not 24 and, in my view, he needs to develop substantially in order to succeed offensively. Compare him to Joe Carter, one of the most hacktastic of the former Jays. Joe was able to be an average to above average offensive player in a few years (far less often than his counting stats would suggest). When he was effective, he walked at a 6-7% rate not the 3-4% Gurriel has walked at since signing. Joe struck out at 15-18% not the 20-25% that Gurriel has. Most importantly, when Joe posted a greater than 100RC+ he did it with a greater than .200 ISO. Gurriel might yet be able to do that but that seems like a minimum for to keep his head above water, unless he walks more. Pillar is an example of hacktastic without power.
grjas - Tuesday, March 05 2019 @ 11:13 PM EST (#370734) #
Will be happy if Pompey makes the roster. Speed off the bench in the worst case and potentially plus defence in centre if they give him a shot. Heís has some good OBP years in the minors as recently as last year, so the potential to hit lead off is still there, if he can put it together in the majors and stay healthy.

And a Torontonian on the team would be icing on the cake.
scottt - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 06:26 AM EST (#370735) #
Severino and Sabathia will both likely miss the opening.

Gio Gonzales sounds like a possibility, but at the moment the Yankees rotation includes 2 of German, Cessa and Loaisiga.

scottt - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 06:29 AM EST (#370736) #
Severino struggled in the second half and seemed eager to sign an extension.
Having said that, the average MLB team needs 11 starting pitchers to get through a season these days.

scottt - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 06:37 AM EST (#370737) #
So far, Luciano, Romano and Bergen have all pitched 3 innings and looked good.
ayjackson - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 09:13 AM EST (#370738) #
Part of me (admittedly, maybe just a jaded sliver) wonders if Vlad at 3B is just part of the ruse to keep him down for the maximum possible period - that by July (or earlier) he will become a 1Bman for good.

Even if he is average now at 3B, putting him there doesn't seem to fit the goal of being good defensively.

I don't think he's played a game in the OF in his minor league career, so they seem to be all-in at 3B. Or the ruse.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 09:30 AM EST (#370739) #
Gurriel Jr. had a nice half-season offensively for the Jays last year.  The comparisons to Carter and Pillar aren't really apt because Gurriel stung the ball really well when he made contact- his FB rate was modest (unlike Carter's), his LD rate was high, his pop-up rate was low and his HR/FB rate was high.  He runs well and has a decent distribution of balls in play around the diamond.  His BABIP was .325, and he was full value for it.

Whether Gurriel Jr. can sustain that or improve on it is another question.  His K rate in the minors up until triple A was considerably lower, and it may be that he will be able to knock it down from 21% to 17% or something while maintaining the other good aspects of his hitting.  The odds are that he's never going to walk that much, but he might push it up a bit. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 10:43 AM EST (#370740) #
Jonah Keri on twitter brought my attention to this article by Ted Berg in USA Today.  Catchers from the minor leagues who are invited to spring training are paid less than minimum wage for often more than 1 month's work.  Ridiculous. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 10:46 AM EST (#370741) #
Fun lineup today: Pompey 8, Galvis 6, Grichuk 9, Tellez 0, VGJ 5, Biggio 3, Jansen 2, Alford 7, Urena 4.
Nigel - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 10:51 AM EST (#370742) #
Mike, I agree that Gurrielís quality of contact last year wasnít analogous to that of Carter or Pillar. I apologize if I created that confusion. But, once you start talking about sustaining a BABIP at or near .330 and above you are generally looking at a list of players in the Hall of the Very Good or better and burners. Itís possible but a tall order. If his BABIP slips at all, his batting line will look very similar to that of Pillar. I agree, if he walks a bit more and strikes out a bit less then thereís more margin for error. I still think a power spike is a more likely route to success (if it comes).
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 11:15 AM EST (#370743) #
Last year Gurriel had a 0.321 xWOBA vs. a 0.320 WOBA, so according to statcast he wasn't really getting too lucky last year. His 45.1% Hard Hit% (36th), 90.2 Avg. EV (60th) and 7.8% Barrel% (128) are all extremely promising out of the 332 players with at least 150 balls in play. I think he has the potential to be a top 10 hitting second baseman this season easily.

Mike Green - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 11:36 AM EST (#370744) #
So, I ran a Play Index to find out if there were players in the integration era (1947-2018) who had:
  • 2000 PAs or more between age 24 and 30
  • a BABIP of .320 or higher and
  • an OPS+ of 115 or lower.
I got 100 names.  Some were speedsters like Alex Cole, Willie Wilson, Ralph Garr, Wilie McGee and Lou Brock.  Some were Hall of Famers like Lou Brock and Richie Ashburn.  Lou Brock was both.  But most of them were players like Bill Mueller, Al Martin, Nick Castellanos, Alex Avila, Jeff Cirillo, Reed Johnson, Pat Tabler, Jerry Mumphrey, Michael Young, Lyle Overbay  and Freddy Sanchez.  Only 3 of the 100 had an IsoP higher than .200. 

Howie Kendrick, who was on the list, might be a target for Gurriel Jr.  From 23-30, Kendrick struck out in 17% of his PAs, walked in 4.9% of them, and had an IsoP of .130 with a BABIP of .342.  Kendrick's signature attribute was that he never popped up (1.8% of his FBs and only 19 for his career to date).  Kendrick never hit many home runs, but like Gurriel Jr., a good many of his fly balls left the yard- he topped out at 16.5%.  Gurriel Jr. might do better than that, but it is not clear to me that he should be pursuing that rather than cutting his Ks a little and increasing his Ws a little.

uglyone - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 12:01 PM EST (#370745) #
interested to see if Biggio can actually field 2B or not.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 12:21 PM EST (#370746) #
Mike, Howie Kendrick's median season by WAR was 2.1 which he achieved in 2009 with a .291/.334/.444 batting line with above average defense and in 2013 with a .297/.335/.439 batting line with below average defense, and I think its a fairly decent outcome for Gurriel. I guess the main difference between the two was that Kendrick hit a lot more groundballs than Gurriel.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 12:43 PM EST (#370747) #
If Gurriel Jr. develops like you'd hope, it would probably be more like .290/.325/.460. More balls on the air and more home runs leading to modestly more power than Kendrick, but a somewhat lower BABIP. 
greenfrog - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 03:45 PM EST (#370748) #
Gurriel is going to get pitched a lot tougher in 2019 and beyond. Assuming he doesnít flame out, I can see him as a utility player with a slash line somewhere in the neighbourhood of .260/.310/.440.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 04:10 PM EST (#370749) #
Gurriel had a lot of trouble with sliders from RHPs, but not particularly with other off-speed stuff.  And he saw a lot of sliders from RHPs.  I don't know why you would think that Gurriel Jr. would be "pitched tougher".  He hit cutters and change-ups very well and held his own against curveballs. 

It's fair to say that he does not have a track record of success beyond last year, and that some regression is expected as a result (ZIPS has him at .248/.288/.390).
pubster - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 04:29 PM EST (#370750) #
"It's fair to say that he does not have a track record of success beyond last year"

He's actually been a great baseball player most of his life. He did very well playing in Cuba.

It's more fair to say that he's had a track record of success for most of his life, and now hes going up against the best in the world.
Mike Green - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 04:41 PM EST (#370751) #
Not exactly, pubster.  He didn't hit in the Cuban League at age 17-19, did at age 20 and 21, was out of baseball at age 22, didn't hit at age 23, and then came last year.  You can infer from that record that he'll progress from his age 24 season as if he had a steady record from 22-24 say (i.e. some age-related improvement), or as though he has an erratic record and ought to be expected to regress.  Both views are reasonable, in Gurriel's particular and unusual situation. 
Nigel - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 04:44 PM EST (#370752) #
I'm not an expert in translating Cuban league numbers but my understanding of Gurriel's numbers in that league were that they were relatively modest (relative to top prospects) and that it was athleticism, scouting and bloodlines that were generating MLB interest when he came to North America. His Jays minor league numbers (albeit in small samples) were pretty modest.

I tend to Greenfrog's assessment (mostly because I have trouble seeing OBP's of .335 in his future) but I can see paths to offensive success for him. Of course, none of this will matter if he can't find a position that he can at least provide neutral defensive value.
Nigel - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 04:48 PM EST (#370753) #
Or Coke to Mike.
pubster - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 05:00 PM EST (#370754) #
The average age in the Cuban league is 26-27 years old, so not sure what you can expect from a 17 year old.

Having said that at 18 he did hit .253 and at age 19 he OBP'd .379 (36bb, 23ks). Both years he had no power and his OPS wasn't great. He was 7-9 years younger than the average player.

He had great seasons at 20 and 21 years old. OPS's of .854 and .967 while walking and striking out at about the same rate.

Not sure why he didn't play at 22. Could it have something to do with coming to USA/Canada?

He had a down season in the minors at 23. Could this be because he didn't play at age 22 + moving to North America?

As a 24 year old he had a solid/breakthrough season.

It looks generally good to me. However, I am an optimist.
jerjapan - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 07:33 PM EST (#370755) #
I don't recall the specifics, but Gurriel did miss a season due to visa issues.  I share the uncertainty of most posters here as to how to project Gurriel, but I still love the thought of him as a versatile bench player. 
hypobole - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 07:40 PM EST (#370756) #
A former member of the Reds FO gave The Ringer their scouting database from 1991 to 2003 - over 73,000 reports. Here's part 1 of their 3 part series. Highly recommend.
scottt - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 08:29 PM EST (#370757) #
His brother has a similar walk rate (5%) but strikes out about half as much.
That's probably the good outcome here.

Mike Green - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 08:44 PM EST (#370758) #
Thanks, hypobole.  One scout was so bad that his evaluations of future potential of pitchers was negatively correlated with actual future performance.  Yikes.    The correlations are weak for everyone, and maybe he was unlucky. 
scottt - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 09:13 PM EST (#370759) #
Fantastic read. Thanks.
scottt - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 09:21 PM EST (#370760) #
Amazingly, none of the scouts was better than 0.4 but the incredibly bad scout was -0.6!
Nobody was as good as he was bad.

Also interesting is that internal scouts are better at evaluating their own players than other scouts which upsets Law because that means he's inherently inferior not having enough familiarity with any players. He counters that organizational scouts embellish their report to influence him.

vw_fan17 - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 09:28 PM EST (#370761) #
So, with the Yankees needing starters, how long before we pass Buchholz on over?
mathesond - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 10:07 PM EST (#370762) #
Gotta wait half a season before trading free agents. Besides, they've been talking to Gio!
uglyone - Wednesday, March 06 2019 @ 10:55 PM EST (#370763) #
somebody's gonna run the numbers comparing those scouting records with projection systems and I bet the projection systems win.
dan gordon - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 12:23 AM EST (#370764) #
For a long time I have held the view that projecting a player's future performance based on a detailed look at his career, season-by-season, factoring in age, level, park effects, and injuries, and how injuries can impact performance for a while after returning, will give a more accurate prediction of future performance than scouting will.

I see that the Red Sox have lost an important member of their pitching staff due to a failed PED test. Steven Wright will be ineligible for the 2019 post season. He issued the usual statement that he had no idea how the drugs got into his body.
Glevin - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 03:12 AM EST (#370765) #
"For a long time I have held the view that projecting a player's future performance based on a detailed look at his career, season-by-season, factoring in age, level, park effects, and injuries, and how injuries can impact performance for a while after returning, will give a more accurate prediction of future performance than scouting will."

Sure, but you need enough data points. Most scouting is of players in Latin America, in colleges, Cape Cod, High school, even rookie ball and there just isn't good data there you can use at all so you need scouting. Even someone in A ball, the quality of opposition is still so uneven that you can have great success with zero major league ability. And that's just with hitters. With pitchers, their minor league numbers are even less valuable because you can go a long way with with stuff that will never work in the majors. I'd take a guy who throws 97 with a 4.50 ERA in AA than someone who throws 88 with a 2.10 ERA (and so would every team in baseball).
If you're talking about projecting a hitter, with multiple years in the minors including significant time in the high minors, it's very different.

I just looked at the 2014 Pecota prospects versus 2014 Fangraphs list. They are similar which you'd expect. Here are the players on the top-25 which are not in the top 75 of the other list.

Fangraphs-Syndergaard, A. Sanchez, Alex Meyer

PECOTA- Joey Gallo, Plawecki, Michael Roth (who?), Bruce Rondon, Christian Vazquez, JR Murphy, Max Stassi (Wow, Pecota liked catchers), Oscar Hernandez (no Te), Stephen pryor, Trevor Bauer, Danny Hultzen

Funny enough, Gary Sanchez was top-50 on Fangraphs and not listed on Pecota (Despite having every other catching prospect) The best players on the lists are Betts who both lists have in the 50s, Correa, Betts, Baez, Bryant, Lindor all of whom are listed higher on Fangraphs than PECOTA. PECOTA does get some hits Fangraphs misses. Domingo Santana not on Fangraphs list at all and was in 20's for pecota. Grichuk was 31 and not on fg list. James Paxton was #45 and not on FG list. Jose Ramirez was #96 and not on FG list. Some players FG gets and Fangraphs misses (Foltynewicz, Rosario, Berrios, Jimmy Nelson, Wong, Piscotti)

Overall, lists are similar but Fangraphs is a little better for having best players all higher and having fewer whiffs near top of list. Now, someone could do a much more advanced study on this year by year because this is not scientific at all. I think when people focus on numbers (or anything really), there is a lot of confirmation bias. They remember the people that scouts may have missed and numbers saw but ignore the people with good numbers who don't develop. I have never liked the numbers versus scouting debate because I think it's a false dichotomy. It is both. Every team uses both. So you will get Devon Travis types who get ignored by scouts and hit everywhere they go but you will also get the whole Bellinger/Tellez thing where numbers are much less accurate than scouting. Both matter.
scottt - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 06:37 AM EST (#370766) #
The Ted Berg article is interesting.
The catchers are not paid less than other players, they just work harder.
This is the American dream, winner takes all. The prize for hard working, not talented enough catchers is the bullpen catcher job. There's nothing like this at other position.

It is ridiculous that players are not paid a living wage during minor league camp, extended spring training and instructional. Players are paid a signing bonus and most late rounds picks have just a few thousand dollars to pursue their dream. For the most part, they are just cannon fodder. They are there to provide competition for the top talent.

Somebody suggested to me that Harper should have gone with the number 330 since 34 wasn't available.

uglyone - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 09:40 AM EST (#370767) #
the fangraphs rankings have always been numbers heavy. not a great representation of the "scouting" side imo.
bpoz - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 10:00 AM EST (#370768) #
I suppose all the minor league players are in ST now?

I hope N Pearson can stay healthy and advance this year.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 10:03 AM EST (#370769) #
Did I mention how much I like Charlie Montoyo?  This article about Freddy Galvis is a nice example.  Simple point- you're not going to play 162 games- but it's a good and important one.

Montoyo has so far used Borucki as though he was going to be a starter, and Richard as though he was going to be a long reliever.  I can see a staff that looks like this to start the season:
SP- Stroman, Sanchez, Buchholz, Shoemaker, Borucki
RP- Giles, Tepera, Paulino, Mayza, Gaviglio (or Thornton), Richard, Luciano
With Phelps presumably on a rehab assignment, and Norris gone or in the minors.  Richard is a perfectly decent left-handed long man to follow the first four and Gaviglio also can easily pitch 2 innings effectively.  That would be a functional staff.
85bluejay - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 10:23 AM EST (#370770) #
I think Richard's spot in the starting rotation is his to lose. Here's how I hope the pitching staff shakes out to start the season - knowing that there will be many changes as the season evolves.

Rotation - Stroman,Shoemaker,Sanchez,Richard,Buchholz

Pen - Giles,Tepera,Mayza,Norris,Gaviglio,Biagini,Luciano

I know Paulino deserves a spot in the pen but I want to give him another shot at the rotation in AAA - I still squint and see a solid mid-rotation starter - I want Borucki to get more comfortable with his new physique and possibly velo uptick - high on Thornton and he's probably 1st man up for the pen.
Chuck - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 11:16 AM EST (#370771) #
I think Richard's spot in the starting rotation is his to lose.

That's the one thing I think he will be really good at this year.

Richard S.S. - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 11:28 AM EST (#370772) #
As per Jeff Blair Podcast recently, the Jays are still working on signing another Pitcher. He wasnít sure whether Reliever or Starter.
bpoz - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 11:41 AM EST (#370773) #
Agree with Chuck.

Definitely Richard does not pitch if he is injured.

If healthy and pitching badly as a starter he can be moved to the pen. If unsuccessful there ...well we can't just give him away. I have confidence that Atkins will trade him for what he is worth. Nothing Wow I expect but something lesser.
Chuck - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 11:49 AM EST (#370774) #
I meant that he'll be good at losing his spot in the rotation.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 12:32 PM EST (#370775) #
So, Richard gets the start today.  We'll see how he does.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 12:37 PM EST (#370776) #
What am I missing with Paulino? As per his MILB page he was optioned three different years:

March 14, 2016 Houston Astros optioned RHP David Paulino to Corpus Christi Hooks.
May 12, 2017 Houston Astros optioned RHP David Paulino to Fresno Grizzlies.
March 15, 2018 Houston Astros optioned RHP David Paulino to Fresno Grizzlies.

Did he qualify for a 4th option based on his injury history?
James W - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 01:40 PM EST (#370777) #
Paulino spent fewer than 20 days in the minors in 2017 so that doesn't count as an option year.
cascando - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 03:09 PM EST (#370778) #
I really enjoyed that article about Galvis. Great to know that Montoyo has an active role in recruiting players, since he is the guy that will be filling out the lineup card.

Galvis mentions he is willing to "go to the bench one or two days..." I hope he means one or two days per week, not the entire season. I'd personally like to see the young guys that might have a role on a future contender getting most of the reps in the IF (Gurriel, Guererro, Biggio, Drury) with Galvis around as a steady, defensively reliable IF ideally playing around 120 games.

I'd take the same approach in the OF actually, if it were up to me. I don't see Pillar as much of a part of the future, and I don't think Hernandez can be a regular OF on a contender. I'd give most of the OF starts to McKinney, Pompey and Grichuk and rotate in the other guys where possible.
Mike Green - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 05:07 PM EST (#370779) #
March 7 is a big day for Blue Jay birthdays- Jairo Labourt, Joel Carreno, Denis Boucher, Jeff Kent, Goose Gozzo, Joe Carter, Jeff Burroughs and Galen Cisco.  There have been 27 players with this birthdate active after 1960 and 8 of them are Blue Jays in one form or another. 
scottt - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 07:56 PM EST (#370780) #
Today was  in interesting game against the Rays.
I guess they were the home team but didn't want to show their real pitching.
Apparently the Rays plan to use an opener for their bottom 2 starters to start the year.

The Jays were close to their regular lineup.
McKinney in RF. Hernandez in LF.
Gurriel at short. Sobard at 2B. Maile catching.

Richard started and did well until the 3rd.
Walked a hitter.
Got two out in the outfields.
Then a single, an infield single, another single, another infield single and Copping came to strike out the last batter. 2 earned runs in 2.2 innings.

Axford struck out the side in the 4th.
Pannone had 2Ks, a single and a walk in his first inning then a quick second inning.
Perez had a quick 2 innings as well with a strike out.
Diaz pitch a scoreless 9th.

The Jays won 11-2 against the following Tampa hurlers:
ex Jays farmhand Wilmer Font,

Shoeless Joe - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 08:16 PM EST (#370781) #

Four man outfield? Is this a joke, or is it the next step to counteract the fly-ball revolution? I like that Montoyo is willing to be creative with talks of new shifts and openers.
hypobole - Thursday, March 07 2019 @ 10:44 PM EST (#370782) #
Maddon used a 4 man OF vs Ortiz and Thome when he was with Tampa and vs Votto with the Cubs. Hinch used a 4 man OF vs Joey Gallo. So it's no joke. Not something that will be used often, just against a very few fly ball power hitters I imagine.
scottt - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 05:53 AM EST (#370783) #
I think technically, just having an infielder play back a bit can be called a 4 outfield defense.
scottt - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 06:00 AM EST (#370784) #
The Giants president, discussing not signing Harper said that "Plan B really takes place over 12 years, not just a couple of days". 

Is 12 years his expected  tenure with the team? Beeston was there for 89-97 and 2008-2015.

Does Shapiro has a set length contract?

Thomas - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 08:55 AM EST (#370785) #
The way I'm reading those comments, the Jays four-man outfield is going to be something different and more meaningful than just playing the second baseman in the shallow outfield for a dangerous left-handed hitter with pull tendencies (like the Jays previously deployed against Big Papi or Chris Davis for example).

We'll see.
Mike Green - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 09:13 AM EST (#370786) #
I have to say that I don't see that a 4 man outfield is likely to be beneficial.  Harper last year hit 128 fly balls, 33 went for home runs, 2 were doubles, 3 were singles and the rest were caught.  The numbers were essentially the same in 2017.  Let's say that you can save 1 double and 1 single on a fly ball, but the price for that is likely that several more ground balls will get through.  And I don't like the pressure that it puts on a pitcher.  You want the pitcher to feel that a medium ground ball is a good outcome against Harper, but it might not work out that way. 

If you have a large park or short fences (so that bringing back balls over the wall is a realistic possibility) that might change the dynamic. I can see doing it in Boston, if I had a lesser fielders than Betts, Bradley and Benintendi, because of the short fence and distances in right field. 
whiterasta80 - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 09:30 AM EST (#370787) #
A 4 man outfield just reeks of a solution to having poor fielders. If you have good defense at every slot then I think that it is unnecessary.
uglyone - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 09:55 AM EST (#370788) #
personally I love it.

the new manager may turn out to be the first thing I really like about the new regime.

maybe. we'll see.
Chuck - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 10:00 AM EST (#370789) #
We'll see.

Indeed. Lots of blah blah blah at spring training. The media monster needs to be fed and any innocuous uttering from managers and players will do. The volume of calorie-free blather during the season is bad enough, when you have actual games to discuss. But in spring training? Boy howdy!

Nigel - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 10:15 AM EST (#370790) #
I donít believe the 4 OF look is a response to having poor defenders, but if it is, then the Jays will likely need to employ it. Like Mike, Iím not sure of its utility but Iím all for the creative thinking.
cascando - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 10:44 AM EST (#370791) #
Interesting fly ball data for Harper, Mike Green.

Presumably one of the purposes of having a 4th OF would be to catch line drives into the gap that would otherwise be extra base hits.
Mike Green - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 11:05 AM EST (#370792) #
Coming this year, the Statcast game preview.  Nerd out!
uglyone - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 11:09 AM EST (#370793) #
not that he has much choice in the matter, given his lack of options, but I do like this from the manager:

Gregor Chisholm @gregorMLB
Montoyo on leadoff spot: "That leadoff guy doesn't have to be a big on-base percentage guy. He can be a guy you want to see at least four at-bats ... It could be anybody." #BlueJays

just get your best hitters the most at bats.
Mike Green - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 11:19 AM EST (#370794) #
Not quite right.  OBP in a leadoff hitter is worth somewhat more than for a 3 place hitter (because the leadoff hitter bats with nobody on more often), and speed and baserunning ability are also somewhat more important.  You don't ever want Justin Smoak or Kendrys Morales to bat leadoff even if one of them owns the highest wOBA on the club. 

Montoyo has played around with Billy McKinney and Dalton Pompey as leadoff hitters so far.  If he wants to try Grichuk in the leadoff role,I can see that given the options at hand. 
uglyone - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 11:21 AM EST (#370795) #
if you're comparing guys with similar overall contributions, then yes, you move the higher OBP guy up.

but only when they're comparable overall.
uglyone - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 11:31 AM EST (#370796) #
best lineup by projections:

1.3B Vladdy .360obp, .497slg
2.C Jansen .333obp, .404slg
3.1B Smoak .333obp, .449slg
4.DH Morales .320obp, .440slg
5.RF Grichuk .297obp, .497slg
6.LF McKinney .303obp, .421slg
7.2B Travis .301obp, .417slg
8.CF Pillar .297obp, .405slg
9.SS Galvis .296obp, .378slg

UT Drury .304obp, .384slg --- Tellez .311obp, .428slg
OF Teoscar .300obp, .436slg - Pompey .298obp, .351slg
IF Gurriel .295obp, .409slg - Urena .268obp, .352slg
C McGuire .292obp, .353slg -- Maile .275obp, .325slg
85bluejay - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 11:43 AM EST (#370797) #
If Dalton Pompey has a good spring (would love to see a tweet about his defense) & with 5 years of control remaining and no hotshot outfield prospect in the upper minors (maybe Alford bounces back this year?), the jays would be smart to keep him - Kevin Pillar seems to fit the profile that the Giants are seeking - I'm hopeful.
Mike Green - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 11:49 AM EST (#370798) #
This article on the Reds' scouting database contains a number of insights.  I particularly liked the comments from the scout (and now agent) Hank Sargent.   
85bluejay - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 11:49 AM EST (#370799) #
If Travis starts the season on the DL, the assumption seems to be that the backup infielder will be Urena(I want him playing more in AAA) or Sogard - I wonder if Andy Burns could sneak into consideration?
Nigel - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 11:51 AM EST (#370800) #
That is a lineup that is going to make a lot of outs. When you see it altogether like that you see the shocking lack of on base skills on the roster.
Mike Green - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 11:54 AM EST (#370801) #
If the projections were accurate and inexperience was not a factor, I'd bat Jansen leading off and Guerrero cleaning up.  Jansen runs well and gets on base.  Guerrero is so far and away your best hitter (in both dimensions), and you want that hitter batting 4th (per the Book).  Inexperience is a factor, and batting order is a completely insignificant issue this year.  The key thing is for the young players to develop well.  Working them in at a relaxed pace is a part of that. 
ayjackson - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 12:00 PM EST (#370802) #
Ugly, why is McKinley in over Teoscar? Are you including defense?
uglyone - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 12:22 PM EST (#370803) #
Yeah a bit.

Honestly I don't even like pencilling Teoscar in as the bench OF, given his lack of defense.

We'd probably be best of platooning Tellez/Teoscar at DH or 1B.
James W - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 01:14 PM EST (#370804) #
Can he even play first base? Ron Washington says* it's incredibly hard.
hypobole - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 02:01 PM EST (#370805) #
Was mentioned earlier about an Atlantic League/MLB partnership to test new rule changes. Per MLBTR:

The slate of rule changes to be implemented in the Atlantic League are as follows:

Home plate umpire assisted in calling balls and strikes by a TrackMan radar tracking system.

No mound visits permitted by players or coaches other than for pitching changes or medical issues.

Pitchers must face a minimum of three batters, or reach the end of an inning before they exit the game, unless the pitcher becomes injured.

Increase the size of 1st, 2nd and 3rd base from 15 inches square to 18 inches square.

Require two infielders to be on each side of second base when a pitch is released (if not, the ball is dead and the umpire shall call a ball).

Time between innings and pitching changes reduced from 2:05 to 1:45.

Distance from pitching rubber to home plate extended 24 inches, in the second half of the season only; with no change to mound height or shape.
bpoz - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 02:07 PM EST (#370806) #
Signed 19 year old RHP Frances Mercedes.
Mike Green - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 02:57 PM EST (#370807) #
Sean Reid-Foley was on his game this afternoon- 4 no-hit innings with a walk and 4 Ks.  The Pirate lineup he faced had Marte, Kang, Cervelli and Osuna at the top, so it was simply a matter of overpowering some A ball kids. The Blue Jays have hit 5 homers, and have been having a real party this week.
lexomatic - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 04:21 PM EST (#370808) #

Four man outfield? Is this a joke, or is it the next step to counteract the fly-ball revolution? I like that Montoyo is willing to be creative with talks of new shifts and openers.

It would actually be 19th Century baseball. Before there was a short-stop. I forget what the guy's name was who first moved in from the outfield to cover short, but he was one of 12 people for the hall in an 80s SABR book (included Frank Selee and Ron Santo and 9 others).

hypobole - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 04:42 PM EST (#370809) #
Notice Pompey only had 1 PA (a K) before leaving the game. Hopefully an ejection.
scottt - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 05:07 PM EST (#370810) #
He fouled a ball off his knee.
scottt - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 05:18 PM EST (#370811) #
Split games. The regulars mostly stay home while the kids hit the road.
Alford homered twice against the #2 pirate starter. After that, they faced  a bunch of prospects pitching.

Stroman faced a team that had Colin Moran, Josh Bell plus potential bench players Melky Cabrera and Pablo Reyes.

Shoeless Joe - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 05:27 PM EST (#370812) #
DSJ ended up being traded to the Orioles, good landing spot for him. The Jays received bonus pool money, which seems like a smart move for excess 40-man fodder. Trading for bonus pool money is a very Cashman like move.
scottt - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 05:33 PM EST (#370813) #
Yeah, good for DSJ. 500K of bonus money is significant.
Somehow Baltimore acquired a lot of international bonus money and then just sat on it.

hypobole - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 05:36 PM EST (#370814) #
I'm guessing there was at least one other team willing to trade for him, at least in the Orioles' eyes, since they would have 1st waiver claim. And yeah, IFA money seems good return.
hypobole - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 05:56 PM EST (#370815) #
"Somehow Baltimore acquired a lot of international bonus money and then just sat on it."

Orioles tried to use the money for the Mesa bros, who signed with the Marlins and Gaston, who signed with the Rays. Now they have all this IFA money they're dumping off on other teams.
dan gordon - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 05:59 PM EST (#370816) #
You seldom get something that significant for DFA'd player. Well done.

bpoz - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 06:15 PM EST (#370817) #
Is the bonus pool money a use it or lose it affair?
hypobole - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 06:33 PM EST (#370818) #
I believe we can use the money until July 2.
bpoz - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 06:58 PM EST (#370819) #
Thanks. I was never sure how it is accounted for.

5X $10,000 = $50,000. So $50,000 counts? No freebi. I mean in the draft the 1st $100,000 or $125,000 does not count against our budget.
scottt - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 07:22 PM EST (#370820) #
International signings open on July 2 and end on June 15 of the following year.
scottt - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 07:24 PM EST (#370821) #
Signing of 10K or less do not count toward the pool, but then you're just signing foreign players to starve in the minors.
scottt - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 07:44 PM EST (#370822) #
Apparently the Jays are now cutting down on BP in favor of more work in the cage where the balls can be coming at 100mph instead of 60.
greenfrog - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 08:50 PM EST (#370823) #
Best of luck to Dwight Smith Jr. I hope he manages to have a good major-league career.
Mike Green - Friday, March 08 2019 @ 09:59 PM EST (#370824) #
Agreed, greenfrog. Best of luck to Dwight Smith Jr. But with the simple request that he do more damage to the Red Sox and Yankees than the home nine!
DH - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 11:30 AM EST (#370825) #
Agreed on Pillar + Giants.

A crew of Grichuk, McKinney, Alford/Pompey and Hernandez in the OF (until Morales moves on) would be more than acceptable.
scottt - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 12:18 PM EST (#370826) #
Outside of the outfield, you got Axford and Bud Norris who will need a 40 roster spot.
So, it's not just a matter of keeping or losing Pompey but also potentially losing somebody else.
Merryweather could go on the 60DL, but they'll still need a spot for Guerrero a month later.
To me, that means that Sogard is only there in case someone else gets hurt.

Devon Travis could be an outright candidate.

Right now, they could carry Pompey as a 5th outfielder, but that limits the bullpen to 7.

Something like


And that leaves no room for Richard so you get Borucki in AAA.
And things don't improve once Phelps is cleared to play.

The Paulino slot is important because that's your AAA shuttle which could include Biagini/Pannone/Thornton/Gaviglio (SRF/Borucki/Waguespack are probably the rotation depth until Merryweather comes back.

Maybe not a lot of star power, but a lot of depth for sure and the bullpen could be decent.

SK in NJ - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 12:22 PM EST (#370827) #
Turning a 40 man roster bubble player into international cap space is exactly what Iíve been wanting the Jays to do. It is definitely a Brian Cashman type of move. The Jays clearly invest in the international market so that money will likely be put to use.
bpoz - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 12:26 PM EST (#370828) #
I think one thing that is going to bother a few of us is the slow pace of the rebuild that Atkins is in charge of.

The pace of promotion of the position players is easier to accept for me.

I already said that I would be upset by only 1 move, Borucki not making the Opening day roster. At the moment he is struggling with his command. If he cannot solve this then I am ok with him going to AAA and solving it. If it costs his last option then so be it.

Hopefully we get close to all young players playing.
Glevin - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 02:49 PM EST (#370829) #
Really looks like Jays should trade Pillar. Return not really very important even, just create some space for All the young OFers. Alford looked awful last year but of to an amazing start his spring. A turnaround by him would be massive for the Jays.
SK in NJ - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 02:54 PM EST (#370830) #
Trading Pillar and benching Morales (since they likely wonít get rid of him) would do wonders for the outlook of the team next season. An outfield of McKinney/Alford/Grichuk with Hernandez at DH and Pompey off the bench is a good mix of different skills and has varying degrees of upside. Hopefully a Pillar trade is going to happen before the start of the season.
hypobole - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 02:54 PM EST (#370831) #
"Apparently the Jays are now cutting down on BP in favor of more work in the cage where the balls can be coming at 100mph instead of 60."

Yeah there is an interesting read from the Athletic on this subject. It's voluntary - some guys are all in, some somewhat, other's not much at all. One convert is Anthony Alford, who's been having a strong spring, following a pretty decent second half last year. From Lott's piece:

"He was among the minor-leaguers who became a late convert last year.

ďI started doing it a lot more toward the end of the season,Ē he said. ďIt just helps me get ready to hit the fastball in the game, just being on time. Thatís the most important thing for me Ė be on time with the fastball and react to everything else.Ē
Nigel - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 03:15 PM EST (#370832) #
Agreed Glevin. Having Alford turn back into a prospect would be probably the biggest near term development possible for this roster. Having McKinney or Pompey turn from fringy to useful (even if only as 4th OFs) would really really help too.
scottt - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 04:11 PM EST (#370833) #
It's easy to dream when Alford hits a 3 run homers in the same inning Pillar makes 2 outs.

Luciano looed good to me. Gave up 2 solo homeruns, but didn't walk anyone, threw strikes and got 2 Ks while sitting 96/97. He should easily get enough outs to mop out losses.

lexomatic - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 04:35 PM EST (#370834) #
Re cage. I remember a Cordova getting one of those fancy pitching machines after leaving Minnesota and then signed with Baltimore and having s really hot start because he was in mid season form already. I think it cant hurt
lexomatic - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 05:04 PM EST (#370835) #
Cordova was 2001 in Cleveland,  not as good a season as I remember, but a resurgence after some bad health
hypobole - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 05:09 PM EST (#370836) #
Giancarlo's machine story is the one I remember. This from Mike Pentland, the Marlins' 2014 organizational hitting coordinator:

"In the lower minors he couldnít hit the slider so he set the machine up so the ball would be a little bit off the plate or just on the black,íí Pentland said. ďHe taught himself to recognize the slider. He spent hours and hours hitting off the machine in a drill most hitters donít do. Most hitters donít do that because they want to hit the balls in the center of the plate.íí
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 05:29 PM EST (#370837) #
I don't really have any interest in trading Pillar, until somebody is ready to take his place unless a generous offer was made. Alford didn't really have a good second half and his spring has been promising, but it is not enough for me. Pillar was second only to Grichuk in WAR last season and is likely as anybody to surpass 2 WAR next season.

I don't think people understand that Pillar changed changed quite a lot as a batter last season. He hit the ball harder than ever and his launch angle has been steadily climbing leading to a career low 35.6 GB%. He had a career high xWOBA, which was above league average. I don't believe that he will ever have any real plate discipline, but I actually expect him to post a WRC+ greater than 100 this season.

scottt - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 06:06 PM EST (#370838) #
Pillar is 30 this year and his skill set is not one that ages well.
This is the perfect year to find out what some of the outfield prospects can do defensively.
If nobody sticks, you can sign a free agent but what do you do later if you have untried guys who put up good numbers in AAA after 3 years there?
Pillar walks out for no returns within 2 years, anyway.

Pillar beat out Pompey and had a 5 WAR season in 2015.
But he has declined every year since and he's just a 2 WAR player now.
Most of that comes from playing almost every day.

I haven't heard back on Pompey's knee.

Biggio go shaken up in a car accident in which he totaled his truck.
He's supposed to play tomorrow.

dalimon5 - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 07:12 PM EST (#370839) #
I think we need to assume Pillar wouldn't be here if there was any value that we could get back in trade. Other teams see the same Pillar as we do.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 09:20 PM EST (#370840) #
Nobody has put up numbers in AAA thus far that can challenge Pillar this season, and if Pillar is such an anchor to the team that doesn't say much about the competition. Again I would love for Alford to turn it around, but he has to prove it.
bpoz - Saturday, March 09 2019 @ 09:31 PM EST (#370841) #
Even if he declines. Pillar is great depth. But he may become a bit expensive in the next 2 years.
raptorsaddict - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 01:24 AM EST (#370842) #
Add me to the list of ďtrade PillarĒ advocates. Age, future salary, likely decline in most valuable skill (defense), taking at bats from younger guys, etc. - all points that suggest now is the time to move him.

While I doubt weíd get much in return, Iíd take a flyer on an A ball arm or two who donít need to be added to the 40 anytime soon. Letís see what the young kids can do.
Glevin - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 04:21 AM EDT (#370843) #
Pillar almost certainly will be better than his replacement if we trade him but I don't care much about marginal wins right now. Pillar has declining defense and increasing salary. Jays have a lot of OFers to give playing time too.
Gerry - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#370844) #
Vlad has a strained oblique and will miss the next three weeks. That takes him past opening day. All the debate about the opening day roster is now moot.
85bluejay - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#370845) #
That Vlad weight problem and lack of fitness continues to be worrying - I think Drury is going to have a breakout year - maybe jays should begin the 1B transition for Vlad and not promote him until after super 2.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#370846) #
Strained oblique (3-? weeks) plus getting control of Vladyís weight gives the Jays multiple reasons for keeping Vlady in Buffalo or at least Extended Spring Training for as long as needed.
1) Losing 50 lbs is a major task.
2) Getting healthy and staying that way is equally important.
Gives Brandon Drury more time to show how good he is. Nice to have this much depth.
Richard S.S. - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#370847) #
Outfield Depth is lacking beyond Grichuk, Pillar, Hernandez, McKinney and maybe Pompey. The Jays may not be able to keep Dalton Pompey and they need to.
The question becomes, ď Is this a good thing or a problem?Ē What does it mean for Anthony Alford, Jonathan Davis, et al? Winning does matter.
hypobole - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#370848) #
Bo with his 3rd spring HR. At this rate, he'll be up before Vlad. Just kidding?
ayjackson - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#370849) #
Is a strained oblique a fitness issue? One of the fittest Jays in history, Jose Bautista, seemed to have a lot of problems with obliques over the years.

And while i don't subscribe to the conspiracy theory that this is a way to keep Vlad down without the years-of-control debate, it does let him spend his April in Florida rather than Buffalo.
ayjackson - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#370850) #
A jump in power profile from doubles to homers would be an exciting development for Bo.
dalimon5 - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#370851) #
Um...when did Borucki starts sitting at 93/94 and hitting 96MPH???
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#370852) #
Out of 928 fastballs thrown last year Borucki's topped out at 94.2 mph on July 8th against Bret Gardner who grounded out to 3rd.
hypobole - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#370853) #
"And while i don't subscribe to the conspiracy theory that this is a way to keep Vlad down without the years-of-control debate"

Wait, what?? It just happened and there's already a conspiracy theory? I guess that's the high speed internet in action.
uglyone - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#370854) #
why can't we just watch the kids play all year?

would be so much more fun.
uglyone - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#370855) #
CF Pompey 26
RF Grichuk 27
LF McKinney 24
3B Gurriel 25
SS Bichette 21
2B Travis 28
1B Vladdy 20
DH Tellez 24
C Jansen 24

UT Teoscar 26
UT Drury 26
UT Biggio 24
OF Alford 24
IF Urena 23
C McGuire 24

SP Stroman 28
SP Sanchez 26
SP Borucki 25
SP Reid-foley 23
SP Paulino/Wagues/Pannone/Thornton/Merryweather/Zeuch/Perez

I'd watch the hell out of that.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#370856) #
I think its possible the team looks something like that by the end of the year.

dalimon5 - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#370857) #
He's sitting 94-95 this spring, up 3-4MPH compared to last year. That's huge.
scottt - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#370858) #
I don't really mind Galvis. He's a solid defender and he doesn't step out of the box between pitches.
I really like that. He got a round of applause from the PHillies crowd on Saturday.

Jays win 8 in a row. The offense does not let up at all. Bichette, Tellez, Biggio, 5 HRs.
Borucki 5 scorless innings.

The future looks bright.

Gerry - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#370859) #
Pitchers do add velocity these days with the specialized training they do. However in previous starts this spring Borucki had stated that the extra velocity had taken some movement away from his pitches and he thought he needed to dial it back.

The extra velocity didn't seem to be a problem today though.
scottt - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#370860) #
There's all sort of rumours around Maldonado and Boras.


Maldonado fired Boras and signed with Dan Lozano on March 7.
He almost immediately signed a 1/2.5M contract with the Royals.


Maldonado turned down a 2/12M deal with the Astros in the fall.
Rosenthal reported that Boras will collect the commission on the Kansas City deal because he claims they had a deal approved before the player switched representation. Dan Lozano replied that a deal can't be approved if a player hasn't signed and that they care more about the player than the commission.

Waiting forever to sign to get the best possible offer is clearly not the best strategy for everyone.
Maldonado made almost 4M last year and that almost doubled his career earning.

scottt - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#370861) #
Galvis is hitting .238 in 9 spring games
Tulo is hitting .176 in 7 games.

There's going to be a lot of pressure off the bat on Tulo and in a park that favors left handed hitters.

Mike Green - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 08:07 PM EDT (#370862) #
The kids have been hitting off established major league pitchers in the first few innings. It's early of course, but there are plenty of reasons for optimism beginning in 2020.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#370863) #
I think Bichette will be ready by July.
Mike Green - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#370864) #
I hope so. It's probably best if the seeds of the next club are here for the second half.
bpoz - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#370865) #
Overall I think this years FA additions may be better overall than last years for trade purposes. I am thinking of the July trade pieces if we don't compete.

The comparison would be close. Happ would still be the best trade chip for both years.

This year we have better internal replacements.
Mylegacy - Sunday, March 10 2019 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#370866) #
March Madness - Blue Jays OPS Version:

1st: Smoak, (OPS) 1.083
2nd: Gurriel, 1.330
SS: Bochette, 1.364
3rd: Drury, 1.153
LF: McKinney, 1.019
CF: Alford, 1.230
RF: Grichuk, 1.200
C: Pentecost, 1.000
DH: Hernandez, 1.142

Ya I know - it's early, small sample size, madness...

But even a scotch drinker has to dream of even bigger things than single malt on occasion. Only on occasion mind you. I haven't completely lost my mind.
John Northey - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 12:47 AM EDT (#370867) #
Always fun to dig into spring stats. Good old Baseball Reference has quality of opponent - 10 MLB, 8 AAA, 7 AA, etc. Guys who didn't play in 2018 don't factor in one way or the other.

Smoak: 7.9 so just shy of AAA quality
Gurriel: 6.6 A/AA
Bichette: 6.5 A+/AA
Drury: 7.6 AA/AAA
McKinney: 7.1 AA
Alford: 6.7 A/AA
Grichuk: 8.1 AAA
Pentecost: 6.0: A+
Hernandez: 7.1: AA

Also: Pompey 7.7 so a bit tougher than many but not ML or even AAA on average. 300/300/550
Forest Wall 6.0 so he is 0 for 15 vs A+ level competition. Ugh.
Pillar has an 8.2, toughest for any OF on the team, just ahead of Grichuk, 120/214/280 - he might need to face a few A ballers.
Freddy Glavis has the toughest for infielders at 8.4 going 238/333/429
For catchers Luke Maile has a 7.1 for highest level (ugh) and hit only 111/158/111
For 1B/DH Morales is at 8.2

Jay pitchers get much higher levels though....
RHP: Shoemaker - 8.7 but 5 walks in 7 2/3 IP
LHP: Clayton Richard - 7.9 just 4 2/3 IP
RH relievers: Tepera, Axford, and Giles all 8.1
Luciano while getting his rear handed to him faced just a 6.6 quality so he has sucked against minor leaguers - not a good sign.
LH relievers: 7.5 for Shawn Morimando 3 IP 1 BB 3 SO. Can't complain.

Just 4 LH relivers, 2 LH starters. 4 RH starters, 20 RH relievers. Guess we know what will be hard to make the team or make an impression is. If you are a RH reliever you better do something to catch an eye. Paulino's 7 K's in 3 IP vs 1 BB is good.
scottt - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 05:48 AM EDT (#370868) #
I think the quality of opponents means absolutely nothing at this point.
The Jays hitters have murdered the MLB starters and struggled to hit the AA guys later on.
Happened on both games this weekend for example.

Odorizzi gave 2 homeruns before the first out and Arrieta only got 5 outs.

If you look at Tellez for example, he's still having those huge splits, so when the starter is pulled and he's facing lefties from the minors, it's mostly downhill.

The Jays starters have been a lot better.

There's a chance that a good spring would carry into April, but that's about it.
Things will be back to normal by May. Still, a hot April would be better than a cold one.

Luciano has a good 96/97 fastball with movement, but no other MLB quality pitch.
It's very intriguing from a 19 year old. I do hope they find a way to keep him all year.

I picture Dire Straight playing when he comes out of the bullpen.

mathesond - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 07:43 AM EDT (#370869) #
Dire Straits' "Calling Elvis" isn't bad, but I'm kinda partial to Mojo Nixon's "Elvis is Everywhere".

But the important thing is, they don't play Forgotten Rebels "Elvis is Dead".
Jonny German - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 08:38 AM EDT (#370870) #
I'm also for playing the kids, but I'd do it a little differently than Uglyone. I think Travis is a lost cause, and I think Maile is still a useful guy to have around. So I'd go with this:

C Danny Jansen
1B Rowdy Tellez
2B Lourdes Gurriel
SS Bo Bichette
3B Vlad Guerrero
LF Billy McKinney
CF Anthony Alford
RF Randal Grichuk
DH Teoscar HernŠndez

C Luke Maile
OF Dalton Pompey
Ut Brandon Drury
Ut Richard Urena

I'm picturing Pompey playing about equally with Alford/McKinney/Hernandez. And I don't hold out much hope for Urena being a big-leaguer, but someone has to back up the middle infield.

More realisitcally, I have a hard time imagining the team getting rid of any vets besides Pillar. And it's a stretch to write in Tellez and Bichette at the start of the season. So I'd settle for this:

C Danny Jansen
1B Justin Smoak
2B Lourdes Gurriel
SS Freddy Galvis
3B Vlad Guerrero
LF Billy McKinney
CF Anthony Alford
RF Randal Grichuk
DH Kendrys Morales

C Luke Maile
OF Dalton Pompey
OF Teoscar HernŠndez
Ut Brandon Drury

Mike Green - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#370871) #
"Elvis is Everywhere" has me in mind of control issues.  I'm partial to Elvis Costello's Alison for "I think somebody better turn out the big light because I can't stand to see you this way" and, of course, "my aim is true".  It's a different kind of menace than Hell's Bells.  On second thought, Luciano will be used in low leverage situations, so I think "Calling Elvis" is just about right.  You have to save your menace for when the game is on the line.
Mike Green - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#370872) #
Alford really struggled in the first half of last year, and then in the second, he was a little better but not much- 1 home run, 10 walks and 47 strikeouts in 184 PAs.  For development reasons, I'd like to see him succeed at triple A for half a season before calling him up. 
bpoz - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 09:48 AM EDT (#370873) #
Alford is having a good ST,for whatever that is worth. He gives credit to the new hitting coach. G Martinez. So yes lets see if he can do it for teal in AAA.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#370874) #
I generally don't mind it when pitchers skip AAA and come straight to the majors if their command and polish is there, but I have a harder time getting behind promoting position players without any real success at AAA.  I understand that Vladdy is a generational talent, but I think its important to pump the brakes on Bichette and Alford a little bit.
SK in NJ - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#370875) #
The FO hasn't changed their approach as far as promoting young players. They want the young players to force their way onto the team with performance in the upper minors, and in the mean time have disposable vets holding positions in the big leagues to both create depth and in a best case create an asset to move at the deadline.

So my guess is Alford will start in AAA regardless of ST performance, and Pillar will be moved by the deadline, but the question becomes in a rebuilding year whether trying to extract a C level prospect for Pillar at the deadline is a better option than opening up the roster spot and giving Alford (or Pompey) a long look against big league pitching. I would hope 2019 is the only season the team actively tries to punt, so this is the year to take these kinds of chances.

Regardless, I do think the roster by the 2nd half of 2019 (if not sooner) will look dramatically different than what we expect the Opening Day roster to be, so it's just a matter of time. The rotation in particular.
85bluejay - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#370876) #
Every year we are told don't be seduced by spring training, it means nothing - yet, every fanbase gets super excited when some guy has a great spring & wants him on the team - it's like all those Mitch Webster super springs taught us nothing! I have every confidence that this FO methodical approach to promotions which I favour will work out just dandy.
bpoz - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#370877) #
Just for discussion ...Who is a C prospect of ours.

Please rank H Perez, M Castillo, G Moreno and Reggie Pruitt. You can go A,B,C and less than C. Thanks.

I noticed that Adam Jones signed for $3 mil so cheap. C Granderson got $5 mil from us last year so also cheap. A Diaz and Solarte were acquired for cheap prospect capital IMO. To me this means that acquiring those type of players is quite easy.

I don't understand why power hitting DH/1B are so cheap and easy to get. But that is the way it is.
hypobole - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#370878) #
bpoz, do you ever use Fangraphs?
Mike Green - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#370879) #
For fun, I checked back on Fred McGriff's minor league stats when the Blue Jays acquired him in December 1982 in the (as it was then known) Dale Murray/Dave Collins trade.  McGriff had just turned 19 that October, and had hit .272/.413/.456 in the GCL that year with 63 strikeouts in 272 PAs.  As a slow first baseman, that's not the statistical profile of a hitter who is clearly bound for success.  Gillick had seen him and liked him though...

Anyways, McGriff was probably a C prospect at that point. 
bpoz - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#370880) #
Thanks hypobole. So FV 45 is a C prospect at best?

I have the list on my screen now.

Looks like FV45 is too high for a C. I am guessing. SRF, K Smith and A Kloffenstein.

FV40: H Perez, G Moreno,C Young, S Taylor.

FV35+: P Murphy, A Kirk, O Lopez, H Danner. I definitely like P Murphy and the others are ok.

No M Castillo or R Pruitt.

This helps a lot. I revise C down to FV40,35+ and probably below. Of course this is my personal evaluation.

If F Galvis does what he usually does. He will??? get us 1 or 2 from my FV 40, 35+ or lower ...? I think I would be happy with that.

No studs obviously.
Chuck - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#370881) #
I haven't completely lost my mind.

Isn't this the very thing you would say, though, if you had lost your mind? This may be a call that someone else is going to have to make!

whiterasta80 - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#370882) #
Sometimes spring training stats mean nothing.

But sometimes they do.

The methodical approach will certainly avoid mistakes such as losing Jason Werth in favour of Simon Pond, but it also would have had Albert Pujols starting his career at age 24 (~100 HRs and 3x .300+ seasons late).

I haven't watched a game so I can't comment on whether he is ready or not. But if Bo looks ready then I personally favour bringing him up now (and I sure as heck would have advocated for Vladdy Jr last season).
hypobole - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#370883) #
Definitely the "Others of Note" after the 34 ranked guys are C prospects in their eyes. I would call the 35+ guys C+, the 40 FV guys B- or B's.
Chuck - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#370884) #
it also would have had Albert Pujols starting his career at age 24

Lots of people will tell you this actually was the case. Many doubt Pujols' published age.

bpoz - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#370885) #
Based on this C prospect evaluation. It is mainly luck.

J Palacios for F Galvis. A 4th OF that may get better, like we got lucky with Pillar. I don't see Palacios playing in AAA this year and probably is exposed in the rule 5 draft and not taken.

May as well grab F Galvis, Solarte, Diaz and Maile types. They cost V little and have ML experience. At $2-3 mil each they fill out your bench and are blocking nobody.
hypobole - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#370886) #
Yeah, most spring training stats have little to no predictive value.

But guys on the bubble with great spring stats have often gone north with the big club. And it's much better as fans to see our kids having spring success than abject failure.
whiterasta80 - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#370887) #
Chuck, fair point. Perhaps I should have said "Pujols starting his career 3 years later" rather than using his B-R age.
Magpie - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#370888) #
the Blue Jays acquired [McGriff] in December 1982 in the (as it was then known) Dale Murray/Dave Collins trade.

That might be what the casual fan thought, but from day one Gillick thought of it - and he certainly always talked of it - as the McGriff trade. That's why we followed Fred's rather unimpressive minor league progress so closely. It's why I was so excited to be in the house for his MLB debut!
Magpie - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#370889) #
Many doubt Pujols' published age.

If Pujols truly is three years older than his age of record... well, it would explain a lot. It would also mean the Angels signed him for 10 years at $240 million just in time for his age 35 season and beyond. I doubt even Arte Moreno would have done that. He'd have an interesting argument to make if he wanted some of his money back.
Mike Green - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#370890) #
If he is 3 years older than his stated age, he hit his 3 year peak between age 31 and 33.  That happens, but not that often.  The other thing that's weird is that he spent his age 20 season in the Midwest League.  He hit .324/.389/.563 there- that was very good, but it would be surprising if the best hitter of his generation could only do that at age 23 in the Midwest League. 

The other thing, of course, is the difference between the NL Central (playing for the Cardinals) and the AL West (playing for the Angels).  The strength of schedule difference is pretty significant. 

On the whole, I doubt very much that Pujols is 3 years older than stated.  A year, maybe. 
Chuck - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#370891) #
Re Pujols, I obviously don't know the truth. And the 3-year version of the story may be a stretch. But there has been a buzz on this topic for a good long time now. A year or two would not surprise me.
Magpie - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#370892) #
The strength of schedule difference is pretty significant.

So is the ballpark.

But yeah - three years is a bit much. Although the questions about his age began way back when he was in high school.
Magpie - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#370893) #
Pujols is an only child, of course. I'd like to shave some years off my age, just for my own peace of mind, but I quickly bump into my own siblings.
scottt - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#370894) #
Vladimir Guerrero lied about his age and didn't set the record straight until 2009.
Pujols claims to have played against Octavio Dotel as a teenager.
Dotel is 45.

Pujols'contract is heavily backloaded. He's got 87M remaining for the last 3 years.

scottt - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 06:00 PM EDT (#370895) #
Bichette just turned 21, is not on the 40 roster and will probably spend the entire year in AAA.
Alford will turn 25 this year and is on his last option year. He should definitively spend several months in Toronto this year, but not as a bench player.

Buffalo will have a very interesting team this year.

Thomas - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 06:56 PM EDT (#370896) #
I'm with Shoeless and Mike Green in that I will need to see more than a hot spring training from Alford to convince me that he is major league ready or has nothing further to learn and refine in Triple-A. I wouldn't be rushing to move Pillar to install Alford in CF on Opening Day.

I share the consensus that Alford may, and hopefully does, make his case over the first couple of months at Triple-A and force the club to give him regular playing time at the big league level, whether that's through an opportunity created by injury, trade or other roster movement.

However, Alford's struggles last year outweigh a hot spring to me. Plus, I can see the argument for letting Alford build good habits and confidence by continuing to perform well at Triple-A rather than potentially struggling out the gate at the major league level and whatever consequences may flow from that.
dan gordon - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 08:49 PM EDT (#370897) #
Mike, that's an interesting argument about Pujols' age. I see you are taking his 2008 through 2010 seasons as his peak. I would say that his 2003 through 2010 seasons are basically indistinguishable as far as his hitting is concerned, with oWAR numbers and OPS numbers very consistent for those 8 years. His oWAR actually peaked in 2003, when his listed age was 23, and his average oWAR from age 23-25 was higher than it was from 28-30. Even at age 21 and 22, his oWAR was almost as high. I have always thought he was a bit older than his stated age, and a peak from 23 to 30 (or 21-30, really), with a steep, fairly sudden drop after that, strikes me as odd for an all-time great. It would fit better if it was, say, 25(23 really) to 32, with the steep drop coming in the 33 - 35 age range, or even a year older than that. His oWAR was pretty much 6 to mid-8's per year from age 21 up to age 30, then at 31 and 32 it was down to about 4, and by 33, it was 1.3. I don't buy that - there aren't many all-time greats who were that bad by age 33 - I think he's at least 2 years older than his stated age, and quite possible 3 more.

I guess the counter argument would be that he rebounded at age 34 and 35 to post oWAR numbers of 3.2 and 2.6, but an all-time great doing that at 36, 37 would not be unusual. Ruth, Cobb, Hornsby, Williams, Aaron, Mays, Schmidt and others were still great hitters at that age, however, more recently, Griffey and ARod were not, although injuries were the likely culprit there. Any way, it would be interesting to find out for sure how old Albert is, but we probably will never be certain.

I would be very surprised if Alford opens the season with the Blue Jays. He wasn't very good at all last year, and 75 AB's in spring training games don't carry nearly as much weight. I would much rather have a good look at Pompey for a couple of months and see what he can do, and then if Alford is hitting really well in Buffalo, and Pompey isn't doing much, you can make the move. A lot of the good/bad results seen in the spring are due to how much work the player has done in the offseason to get ready for the start of training camp. Some players are simply ahead of others.
John Northey - Monday, March 11 2019 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#370898) #
I suspect with spring the coaches/manager/GM aren't looking so much at the stats we see as the stats we don't always see - line drives, strike zone control (ie: swinging only at strikes), vs quality ML'ers as opposed to minor leaguers or poor ML'ers.
uglyone - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 12:06 AM EDT (#370899) #
strikeouts are maybe the only thing worth looking at in spring imo:


Drury 33.3%
Alford 32.0%


Bichette 22.2%
Tellez 21.9%
Biggio 20.0%
Teoscar 19.2%
McKinney 17.9%


Vladdy 15.0%
Urena 13.6%
Jansen 13.0%
McGuire 5.9%
Gurriel 4.8%
Glevin - Tuesday, March 12 2019 @ 02:16 AM EDT (#370900) #
Donít think there is much of a chance of Alford starting with the Jays but he is a year away from being a very exciting prospect so any positive signs are great. The ages of current players are all accurate I think because some laws were changed a few years ago to require extra documentation.
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