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Fangraphs today published their top 37 prospects for the Blue Jays. To no ones surprise Gabriel Moreno tops the list, followed by Orelvis Martinez.

This is a good time to note that the Batters Box top 30 is scheduled for publication next week. So even though there is a lockout, there will still be baseball content next week. In the mean time consider the Fangraphs list as a palate cleanser.

I am not sure if there are many surprises on the list. We can compare to the Batters Box list next week. Fangraphs have listed a few players that did not make the Batters Box top 30 and left off a couple that did.

Anyway, enjoy this list and look forward to next week.

Fangraphs Blue Jays Prospects | 62 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Tuesday, January 04 2022 @ 09:33 AM EST (#410246) #
Samad Taylor as the #36 prospect captured my eye.  I'll say more after the BB list comes out. 
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, January 04 2022 @ 11:46 AM EST (#410249) #
I read somewhere a while ago that Otto Lopez played in a Dominican league in the fall. He started slow batting but hit well in his last dozen games and, according to one scout, played an above-average centerfield.
scottt - Tuesday, January 04 2022 @ 12:50 PM EST (#410250) #
The comments are always interesting, but I always find the actual numbers vastly misleading.

FV 45 should be a future bench player, 50 a regular--but not a star, 55 an occasional All-Star, 60 a perennial All-Star, 65 an occasional MVP and 70 a guy who will get MVP votes every year.

Moreno and Martinez look like stars.
Hoglund should be a starter and maybe a good one.
Jimenez and Groshans look like guys who will have full MLB careers.
Van Eyk has stuff  but doesn't have the command.
Logue gets a 60/60 rating on command. They have him actually maxed out everywhere.
60/60 change up. 50/50 cutter. That all add up to a 40 FV score even though they think he's a back end starter.
Because the 91-93 fastball at the letters tops at 95mph and only get a 40/40 score. Slider is 45/45.
Same with Francis, whom they can an "imminent backup starter". 
That's all very good, I think.

They give Lopez a 30 arm and call him a "low-impact" role player.

Dahian Santos? They say he has a "promising curveball feel" but they rank him for a 55/60 slider.
It seems he's mostly here because they heard the Jays have refused to trade him.

They summarize Kevin Smith as a "decent power, low OBP middle infielder with shaky defense."
I though Smith's defense at 3B was pretty good and that's not even part of the middle infield.

Not sure what SIRP stands for. I think it means high leverage reliever.
They think Danner will be up and down and that sounds reasonable since he got options.

They compare Hiraldo to Wilmer Flores. That's a utility player with over 100 HR by age 30, I guess.

Hayden Juenger looks like another late inning reliever. Fastball/slider and tops at 97mph.
Same with Zulueta, Fastball/curve and tops at 99mph.
Same with Kendry Rojas, only 19.

They tag Joey Murray for middle relief.
Same with Chad Dallas who is only 21 and will get several years to show he can start.

They are quite down on Kloff.

Carver is only 19 so he's going to have to prove himself.

First real surprise, Kirby Snead at 26th as a late inning reliever.
Second surprise is that Jackson Rees had TJ last June. I don't remember that.

They say that Chavez Young is a good friend of Cedric Mullins and that he too, should drop the switch hitting.
It don't think it matters. The Jays don't need him to face lefties anyway.

They say that Samad Taylor's "speed and defensive chops" give him big league utility, but they score him 45/45 Fielding and 40 Throw and tag him as a second baseman. Does not add up.

They don't rank Palacios who is on the 40 roster and played big league game last year.
Jeremy Beasley also played with the Jays last year. A spot starter? Seems like a middle reliever at best to me.
That's just arrogant/lazy.

Victor Mesia? Will Robertson?

scottt - Tuesday, January 04 2022 @ 02:28 PM EST (#410254) #
Very interesting comment from Jody Gerut in his mlbtraderumors chat.

"how was it going playing in the minors with a couple hundred fans to then finally playing in the bigs with thousands upond thousands spectating?"

"It's not the number of fans that makes a difference, though that is a bit weird. It's the vision from the field with the second stadium deck that messes up a young player. Changes your depth perception. Ever see a young outfielder absolutely ZOO a fly ball? It's the second level of seats to blame."

John Northey - Tuesday, January 04 2022 @ 03:20 PM EST (#410255) #
I always think some context helps...

2021 here; 2020 here, 2019 here, 2018 here, 2017 here.

The past is useful to look at for sites I find. Do they show any biases? Can they get the obvious (Vlad), the stars (Bo), the 'wow' (Manoah), do they over estimate tools (Alford), do they stay consistent?

For FanGraphs, from 2017 to 2022 they had...
  • Only Vlad at 65 or 70 (checks out) and ranged him from 55 in '17, to 65 in '18, to 70 in '19.
  • 60's were Bo Bichette (2019/20), Nate Pearson (2020/21), Gabriel Moreno (2022). Seems reasonable (Pearson everyone has had as a super prospect forever it seems).
  • 55's: Anthony Alford (2018), Austin Martin (2021), Orelvis Martinez (2022), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (2017)
  • 50's: Alejandro Kirk (2021), Anthony Alford (2017), Danny Jansen (2018/19), Gabriel Moreno (2021), Jordan Groshans (2020/21), Nate Pearson (2018/19), Orelvis Martinez (2020/21), Sean Reid-Foley (2017), Simeon Woods Richardson (2020/21).
  • 45+: 3 guys over 4 years (Alejandro Kirk, Alek Manoah twice, Jordan Groshans)
  • 45: 19 guys over 20 seasons (Zeuch twice)
  • 40+: 8 guys over 11 seasons (Rikelvin De Castro 3 times, CJ Van Eyk twice)
  • 40: 47 guys over 80 seasons (Reese McGuire was here 4 times, 3 times each for Eric Pardinho, Estiven Machado, Joey Murray, Kevin Smith, Leonardo Jimenez, Otto Lopez, Riley Adams, Yennsy Diaz)
  • 35+: 35 guys over 47 seasons (3 times each for Chavez Young, Patrick Murphy, Tanner Morris)
Seems consistent for peak guys and Reese McGuire (guess he is the definition of a 40). Only Zeuch was on 5 lists (2017-2021) ranging from a 45 in '17 to a 35+ in '21. Anthony Alford shows the danger of 'potential' going from a 50 in '17 to 55 in '18 to 40 in '19 to 35+ in '20. Gabriel Moreno is the opposite - went from 2019 to today - 40-45-50-60. Orelvis Martinez also - 40-50-50-55. Otto Lopez they feel is an infield version of McGuire - 35+-40-40-40, same for Yennsy Diaz - 40-40-40-35+. Adam Kloffenstein, Eric Pardinho, Kevin Smith, and Miguel Hiraldo have all been 40-45 over 4 years, but Pardinho is off their list this year, while still being on MLB's (at #24).

Should be interesting to see if these calls are correct or not. The 2017 list had 3 50's but only Vlad has become much (SRF ended up with a 78 ERA+ over 20 IP for the Mets after a strong start, Alford had a 94 OPS+ for Pittsburgh). So be careful about getting too excited about prospects. FYI: for 40's and up: from 17 on the 2017 list, 22 in 2018, 25 in 2019, 29 in 2020, 25 in 2021, 22 in 2022.
John Northey - Tuesday, January 04 2022 @ 03:26 PM EST (#410256) #
Jordan Groshans is interesting too - 45+-50-50-45. They see him as a solid ML'er but not a star while comparing him to Evan Longoria's past 5 years: 255/312/432 100 OPS+ 9.3 bWAR - solid regular, but not a star.
scottt - Tuesday, January 04 2022 @ 04:17 PM EST (#410257) #
It's all about the power for Groshans. If he starts hitting them out of the park, he'll look very good, but the bar is rather high at 3B.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, January 04 2022 @ 06:52 PM EST (#410259) #
The leagues bar or ours?
greenfrog - Tuesday, January 04 2022 @ 06:59 PM EST (#410260) #
Over the last four years, Morenoís Fangraphs FV has progressed from 40 to 45 to 50 to 60.

A good reminder that a prospectís FV is not immutable.
scottt - Tuesday, January 04 2022 @ 09:48 PM EST (#410261) #
The star third basemen in the league are Ramirez, Bregman, Rendon, possibly Chapman, Donaldson, Devers,
Solid regular, you get, Moncada, Urshela and Yandy Diaz.

If you want to talk about Blue Jays stars, just being the 5th or 6th best hitter on the team and playing solid defense would work. You got Guerrero, Springer, Hernandez, Bichette, plus Gurriel, Moreno and whatever left bat they can find.
Espinal looked like a solid regular last year, but it gets harder when the league sees you every day and gets a chance to find your weakness.

bpoz - Wednesday, January 05 2022 @ 08:07 AM EST (#410262) #
Regarding prospects and young players the Jays tried Gurriel in the IF and OF and Biggio at 2B, OF and 3B. Gurriel could not handle the IF and Biggio was hurt was hurt for some of 2021 so we don't know if he can handle 3B.

Prospects K Smith and O Lopez have played both IF and OF and can probably handle both defensively. Both are not considered top players so will have to prove themselves when they get ML playing time due to injury. This leaves Moreno as C and IF. I remember the discussions about Teoscar's great Offensive potential and very bad defense. The conclusion seems to be a good bat with poor defense is preferred. Of course that was prior to our contending days.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 05 2022 @ 09:46 AM EST (#410264) #
Itís good to have quality depth, especially in a prime contending year. Thatís why I would much rather have Chapman or Ramirez at third base with Espinal as the teamís utility bat. Santiago will still get a lot of PAs as a result of injuries, rest days for other players, etc.
Mike Green - Wednesday, January 05 2022 @ 03:53 PM EST (#410266) #
Here's a head-scratcher from the fangraphs list.  They have Jordan Groshans' ETA as 2023 and Miguel Hiraldo's as 2022.  I don't know why you would think that Hiraldo would be ready this year, a year ahead of Groshans. Hiraldo is coming off a so-so season in low A ball.  Maybe it's a typo.  They also have Leo Jimenez' ETA as 2022.  That is possible, but in my view unlikely. 
John Northey - Wednesday, January 05 2022 @ 04:48 PM EST (#410267) #
ETA's are a crapshoot imo. Brackets show when the player actually reached the majors.
2017 said: Vlad 2019 (accurate); Alford 2018 (had a few PA in 2017); SRF 2019 (2018), Lourdes Gurriel 2017 (2018), Rowdy Tellez 2017 (2018), Bo Bichette 2020 (2019), Reese McGuire 2018 (accurate). There are many others but those are key ones plus 50+ rated guys (the ones with the highest odds of making it so odds were they paid more attention).
2018: Vlad 2019 (yep), Bo 2019 (yep), Alford 2018 (already there), Jansen 2018 (yep), Pearson 2020 (yep), Borucki 2018 (yep), Eric Pardinho 2021 (not here yet)

Many others I could check from other years too. But this gets an idea. Generally they are within a year of when the guy gets his first taste of the majors, the further away the harder to guess. Not a shock.

For 2022's list... (* : A+ ball or lower ie: not likely to make it this year unless they go nuts in the minors)
  • This year: Gabriel Moreno, Leo Jimenez*, Zach Logue, Bowden Francis, Otto Lopez, Kevin Smith, Hagen Danner*, Miguel Hiraldo*, Joey Murray, Kirby Snead, Graham Spraker, Jackson Rees, Chavez Young, Samad Taylor.
  • 2023: Orelvis Martinez*, Jordan Groshans, CJ Van Eyk*, Yosver Zulueta*, Adam Kloffenstein*, Sebastian Espino*, Gabriel Martinez*, Tanner Morris*
  • 2024*: Gunnar Hoglund, Rikelbin De Castro, Sem Robberse, Dahian Santos, Estiven Machado, Zac Cook, Trent Palmer, Nick Frasso, Cameron Eden
  • 2025*: Manuel Beltre, Hayden Juenger, Chad Dallas
  • 2026*: Ricky Tiedemann, Irv Carter, Kendry Rojas (all pitchers who are 18 or 19)
An * beside the year means everyone is A or rookie. Seems they have a LOT of A ball and lower guys in the Jays top prospect lists, no shock as the Jays had to trade a lot of prospects last year. Speaking of which, they have done the ZIPS for Minnesota but not their minor league rankings. Austin Marin now at an 85 OPS+ (231/342/324) with Milton Bradley (19.2 WAR, better than I remembered, 114 wRC+, twice cracked 4 WAR, came up as an Expo but bounced around a lot) his top comp, not a superstar but nice. Simeon Woods Richardson is projected with a 4.84 ERA and most similar to ex-Jay Frank Wills (a 1.6 WAR guy over 9 seasons as a spot started/middle man).

FYI: Top comp for Vlad in 2021 was Paul Konerko (28 WAR guy, very good player, not anything like Vlad now), Bo Lou Boudreau (HOF with over 60 WAR), and Biggio Lou Whitaker (should be in the HOF, 75 WAR). Should be interesting to see who those 3's top comp is this year. FYI: Boudreau peaked at 25/26 with a pair of 8 WAR seasons and a 10 at 30 followed by a 3 at 31 and sub 2 each of his final 3 seasons. I think the Jays would be happy with that, although Bo would like a longer tail I'm sure.
bpoz - Wednesday, January 05 2022 @ 05:03 PM EST (#410268) #
Thanks John N. I guess the ETA was slightly off on Manoah if it was done at all.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 05 2022 @ 05:27 PM EST (#410269) #
Manoah is a fun one: 2020: Manoah is a big-bodied late bloomer from South Florida who wasnít a top notch recruit out of high school, but developed into an elite prospect throughout his sophomore year in Morgantown. Once softer and relatively unathletic, heís transformed himself from a high-effort relief type into a possible workhorse mid-rotation starter. ETA 2022

2021: A copy of his 2020 profile to the letter it seems except the last line: Changeup and command consistency will reinforce the mid-rotation forecast, which is currently a right-tail outcome rather than the likeliest one, making those the things to look for when he pitches in 2021.

Clearly they still saw Manoah as a mid-rotation at best pitcher. Not as the potential #1 he has become. I suspect he was one of the guys helped by the 2020 alternative site stuff, better coaching and the big league park becoming a big incentive to push further. I wonder how many teams adjusted their plans for minors after this.
greenfrog - Wednesday, January 05 2022 @ 06:33 PM EST (#410271) #
Here's a question. If you could have only one of Groshans or Jimenez, which prospect would you choose? At the moment I would probably choose Groshans, but it's very close. My answer might be different a year (or less) from now.
John Northey - Wednesday, January 05 2022 @ 10:09 PM EST (#410272) #
For catchers framing has always been a big deal (hopefully not for too much longer - I really want robo umps for the strike zone). With our top prospect being a catcher, how are our current 3 doing at this? Via Statcast. Ranking based on catching at least 1000 pitches last year (out of 59, best was +10 runs the Brewers Omar NarvŠez, worst -19 runs Salvador Perez KC).
  • Reese McGuire : 4 runs saved (1732 pitches), #10
  • Danny Jansen : 1 run saved (1688 pitches), #25
  • Alejandro Kirk : -1 run saved (1056 pitches), #43
Not a big spread - 5 runs total between McGuire and Kirk or half a win. Safe to bet their bats have a bigger spread. If one of them caught a full season I guess it'd be bigger. In 2020 all 3 were -1 run each (214 pitches for Kirk, 356 for McGuire, 1282 for Jansen). Career: Jansen +5 over 6504 pitches, McGuire +3 over 3089, Kirk -1 over 1270. So yeah, not a massive spread here. From 2015 to now the best is Yasmani Grandal at +86 over 19612 pitches, worst Salvador Perez -76 runs over 18969 pitches. Perez makes Kirk look like a gold glover based on this stat.

So if Gabriel Moreno can be a break even or better on framing he is at least equal to the guys we have now. Reports are he is solid it seems. Just don't be at Perez level. Kirk appears to be slightly below average, but not horribly so, while Jansen & McGuire are above average but not drastically.
Michael - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 01:30 PM EST (#410277) #
The ZIPs for the Jays are also out:

Overall pretty positive.
bpoz - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 02:19 PM EST (#410278) #
I would keep Groshans over Jimenez because Groshans and O Martinez provide elite power. Groshans has not shown the power yet and also has injury concerns. So having 2 power hitters doubles the odds of success.

Jimenez will give 15 Hr I believe/hope. 30+ for Groshans and Martinez.
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 02:25 PM EST (#410279) #
I think Gorshans is a little underated here, but overall you can see that the farm system is not very talented right now.
cascando - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 02:38 PM EST (#410280) #
Here's a question. If you could have only one of Groshans or Jimenez, which prospect would you choose? At the moment I would probably choose Groshans, but it's very close. My answer might be different a year (or less) from now.

Jimenez for me. He has even less power than Groshans right now, but is two years younger and has far more advanced on-base skills and better defense. Jimenez had the highest OBP in the minors last year as a 20-year old in A-ball. Very impressive.

Really interesting that FG projects Jimenez to arrive in 2022. That seems unrealistic, unless his defense is so advanced that he is ready to be a utility player right away.
John Northey - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 03:18 PM EST (#410281) #
Thanks for the link Michael. New 'top comparables'! Yay!
  • Vlad: Eddie Murray, 2021: Paul Konerko, 2020: Bobby Doerr
  • Bo: Hanley Ramirez, 2021: Lou Boudreau, 2020: Adrian Beltre
  • Teoscar HernŠndez: Dan Ford, 2021: Bob Allison, 2020: Jeff Conine
  • Cavan Biggio: Frank Menechino, 2021: Lou Whitaker, 2020: Mark Bellhorn
  • Lourdes Gurriel Jr.: Mark Quinn, 2021: Rico Carty, 2020: Jose Guillen
  • Danny Jansen: Tom Prince, 2021: Jamie Nelson, 2020: Scott Hatteberg
  • Alejandro Kirk: Orlando Mercado, 2021: Mike Sweeney, 2020: Jeff Reed
  • Gabriel Moreno: Terry Steinbach
  • Jordan Groshans: Scott Hodges
  • Kevin Smith: Greg Gagne (better than I expected for a top comp), 2021: Dick Schofield
I could go on but those were the ones I was most curious about. Clearly ZIPS likes Kevin Smith as those are 2 guys who were pretty good. Moreno I hope is a lot better than Steinbach. Biggio dropped pretty drastically in comps from last year. Vlad jumped quite a bit - if he has a career like Eddie Murray I think we should all be very pleased. Hanley Ramirez was amazing through age 25 then fell apart (looks like injuries to me, but can't recall now). Kind of surprised that system doesn't care much for Teoscar - Ford cracked 2 WAR once in his career.
Paul D - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 03:23 PM EST (#410282) #
John, you missed Otto Lopez. Comparable is Ryne Sandberg!
Shoeless Joe - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 03:38 PM EST (#410283) #
Jimenez has hit one home run in the minors, and has 20 power. His walk rates won't hold up in the upper minors with that kind of power. Groshans has the total package as a prospect other than his health.
Mike Green - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 03:43 PM EST (#410284) #
Gagne is a nice comp for Kevin Smith.  Smith is, by all accounts, a pretty good defensive shortstop, and it might be best for his career if the club sent him to an organization where he could develop that as Gagne did. 
grjas - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 03:51 PM EST (#410285) #
Here's a question. If you could have only one of Groshans or Jimenez, which prospect would you choose?

Which ever one doesnít - as part of a package- land us a solid 3rd baseman.
scottt - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 06:11 PM EST (#410286) #
Chapman or Ramirez has little to do with quality depth.
Those are actually 2 guys who would probably throw a fit if they are not playing every day.
Bichette will not get a lot of rest days and if Biggio is the regular second  base guy, Espinal would only get the occasional start against a lefty.
Guerrero is the guy who will get the most rest at DH, followed by all the outfielders.

scottt - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 06:14 PM EST (#410287) #
The farm system has a lot of raw talent.
It's short on top prospects--guys who were drafted early or signed for top dollars.
A lot of these guys have lost they luster. Pardinho, Kloff, etc...

John Northey - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 06:54 PM EST (#410288) #
For the lineup, if Chapman or Ramirez is acquired (damn that'd be nice), we'd see solid everyday guys at all positions with DH split Vlad/Springer mostly with Bo getting a fair amount of 'break time' there too, and Hernandez/Gurriel getting their share of games at DH. Grichuk would be out there nearly everyday somewhere (CF/RF), Hernandez would do RF/LF/DH, Gurriel LF/1B/DH, all depending on need of the day. I figure Espinal would flip flop 2B/3B/SS with most games at SS to give Bo time at DH, or at 2B if Biggio falters at all (platoon or more depending on Biggio's performance). That would mean a 5th OF and 6th IF would both be on the bench mostly used for pinch running or injury replacement (no one who would need to be hit for unless McGuire on the team). Chapman/Ramirez would only get the odd game off - much like how Semien was treated last year.

This is a good situation. The Jays just need to figure out who plays 3B for 2022 and 5th OF/6th IF slots (Kevin Smith for IF, Mallex Smith for OF I think based on current roster setup). I see Josh Palacios having a real shot due to roster crunch issues. All depends on priorities - do they want defense, speed, someone who can hit, etc. For those last couple of bench slots you are always limited. I like Mallex due to crazy speed (120-34 SB-CS over 442 games, a 44 SB pace per 162) but his defense isn't great (positive in LF, negative in CF/RF career wise by UZR/150). If he could get that bat back to where it was in 2018 he'd be an extremely valuable player, 2017/19 he'd be a useful player. As is he is just a 5th OF - pinch runner, rarely in a game otherwise. Otto Lopez could be the final IF too, but I doubt it. I think the Jays made it clear they preferred Smith last year.

What does all of this mean? That Grichuk will get a lot more playing time than ideal and we have to hope the Jays can upgrade on him. Seiya Suzuki the Jays were apparently strongly chasing before the lock down. In Japan's ML he has hit 315/414/570 lifetime - very sweet. Has played at 3B/SS/LF/CF, but mostly RF. If signed I'd expect him to be in RF with Springer CF and Hernandez LF - putting Gurriel & Grichuk to the trading block (Lots of interest in Gurriel given his really good contract, and if the Jays eat a chunk I'm sure Grichuk could find a new home) with one staying here as the 4th OF.

The quicker this blinking lockout ends the better.
Thomas - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 08:03 PM EST (#410289) #
John, you missed Otto Lopez. Comparable is Ryne Sandberg!

Dan addresses this in the comments. Hints: It's not as positive as you'd wish.

Shoeless Joe - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 08:47 PM EST (#410290) #
I donít think the farm system has a lot of raw talent right now, only Martinez, Moreno and Groshans have big time upside.

The Jays have not grabbed top IFA talent in a few years and the last few drafts without Saunders have not been great outside of Martin falling to them in 2020.

CJ Van Eyk is almost a non-prospect to me so to see him at #6 is terrifying.
John Northey - Thursday, January 06 2022 @ 10:59 PM EST (#410292) #
Take a look at the top prospects recently... I see 50+ as the goal, guys ranked below that can work out (Manoah for example) but general for high impact you want 50+'s
65-70's: Vlad only - 2018/2019
60's: 1 in 2019, 2 in 2020, 1 in 2021, 1 in 2022 (Bo, Pearson, Moreno)
55's: 1 in 2017, 1 in 2018, 1 in 2021, 1 in 2022 (Vlad, Alford, Martin, O Martinez respectively)
50's: 2 in 2017, 2 in 2018, 2 in 2019, 3 in 2020, 3 in 2021, 0 in 2022. (Alford, SRF, Jansen, Pearson, Groshans, O Martinez, SWR, Moreno)

So for 55+ the Jays are as good as any other recent year, it is the 50's where they are much weaker. So more a depth than a high end issue. Moreno & Martinez are the big hopes at the moment. Groshans has dropped to a 45, which is where you also find Leo Jimenez & Gunnar Hoglund (Manoah was there going into 2021). The question is can those lower ones jump? 37 prospects ranked 35+ or higher listed this year vs 39 last and 38 the year before so hovering around the same level all 3 years. Doing a quick and dirty average score (35+ = 37.5, 45+ = 47.5 for example) I get average scores of 2017: 43.8; 2018: 44.3; 2019: 42.4; 2020: 41.6; 2021: 41.8; 2022: 40.6 - note: 2017 and 2018 didn't have 35+ as an option. Still, the trend is fewer high end ones and more lower end ones which is not a good thing. Nice to have a lot of lower end ones but only if you still get those higher end ones. The high end are what you want (obviously). Checking the Lahman Database I see since 1998 there have been 5098 new players in the majors (from 1 game guys to Mike Trout) which works out to 170 per team or 7.4 per team per year - peak of 8.7 in 2019, minimum of 6.1 in 2003. So expect 6-9 guys to be promoted each year for the first time. For guys who came up from 1998 to 2010 (thus a shot at a 10+ year career for everyone) the time from first to final game is 0 years (ie: only had that one chance) for 17% of them. 51% had careers of 5 years or less - 26% lasted 10+ years. So from that 7.4 guys promoted on average you can expect 1.3 to only have that shot, 4.3 to never reach free agency, and 1.9 to last 10+ years. So the trick is to have 2 guys who have that longevity to be stars (such as Springer, Ryu) and not just hangers on (ala Joe Panik, Tommy Milone). 2019 saw Vlad & Bo come up (clear stars) along with Biggio and others. 2020 Kirk & Espinal (more likely to be the 'meh' guys) among others. 2021 Manoah (potential star) and Otto Lopez, Kevin Smith (both are who knows?) among others.

Obviously I'd rather roll the dice on 50+ ranked guys rather than on the sub 50's. For every Manoah you'll get dozens of Anthony Kay's. At the 50+ you get a decent mix of Alfords and Bo's - far higher shot of a Bo than from the sub 50 crowd.
scottt - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 03:57 AM EST (#410293) #
It depends on how you define raw talents.

Hoglund had the best command of the last draft.
Jimenez has a 70 hit tool and elite defense. (Martin had power issues and poor defense across the board.)
Eyk is ranked high because he has a nice curve and sometimes pitches very well.

There are lots of guys with some 60 or higher tools who might be able to polish their games enough to have some sort of role.

I read through the Angels system. 
Now, that is terrifying bad. Lots of guys with high power and no hit tool. (Like 60 power but 20 hit)

Shoeless Joe - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 07:36 AM EST (#410296) #
Michael McGreevy had the best control in the draft.

I don't see Hoglund as raw talent, but a polished bounceback injury type.

When I think raw talent I see big tools and projection, the system lacks that right now.
greenfrog - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 07:52 AM EST (#410297) #
With the extra picks in this yearís Rule 4 draft, the Jays have a good opportunity to add some talent to the farm system.

You can see why the front office has been aggressive in free agency last year and this year. As much as possible, they want to hold on to their prospect talent and not burn through it in the trade market.
bpoz - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 08:25 AM EST (#410298) #
We do lack big tools and projection at the moment. With Moreno graduating in 2022 and O Martinez & Groshans in 2023/24. There is nothing left at this time.

If Van Eyk gets here in 2023 or 2024 he will be 24/25 years old. Unlikely to be a stud. Tiedemann and Carter have good stuff and are young. They may progress well. But pitchers have injuries and other noninjury problems.

We should pick up some good prospects this year. Int'l and draft.
scottt - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 09:25 AM EST (#410299) #
There is a lack of high draft picks because they lost their second rounder and traded their first rounder from 2 years ago.
Obviously, guys drafted late in the 3rd rounds or after are not going to make the top 100 the next year.
Overall, the system still looks better than it did during the AA years or before in this millennium.
There a lot of international free agents in the org. They are still doing well there.

What bothers me is the lack of left bats and outfielders.

24/25 is young for a pitcher.

Glevin - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 11:46 AM EST (#410301) #
Obviously, Jays need to upgrade at 3B but Jays system can't really take too many subtractions. I think moving Moreno to 3B would actually solve a lot of issues (Kirk goes to backup C, Jays then only need a LH DH which is much easier to get). Jays are going to get 3 second round picks next year which should definitely boost the system depth. Jays really need some of their guys in the lower minors to step up. I suspect some will but don't know who yet.
John Northey - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 12:05 PM EST (#410302) #
I like how the team is planning stuff. Bonus draft picks this year thanks to losing Ray & Semien, allowing the system to start building back up with anyone drafted about 3-5 years away, or as the core today is getting old or expensive so time to refresh at that stage. Vlad/Bo/Biggio all free agents after 2025 (depending on new rules of course) so that has to be a key planning stage - you want kids ready by then.
bpoz - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 02:08 PM EST (#410303) #
The fangraphs writer admitted that between #5 and #6 was a huge difference in quality. Therefore from #6 downwards he called the prospects volatile.

To go further #6 Van Eyk to #18 Hiraldo, #19 Juenger 97mph, #20 Zulueta 99mph is hard for me to say #6 is any better than #20.

But #16 Smith and #12 Lopez actually got to the Jays. That is noteworthy so I ranked them #5 and #6 on my list.
greenfrog - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 04:33 PM EST (#410304) #
Also, it looks as though the Jays will sign IFA catcher Luis Meza ("one of the premier catchers this year" - BA), who could eventually become one of the better prospects in the system. Center fielder Jean Carlo Joseph is another interesting IFA who is expected to sign with Toronto.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 04:35 PM EST (#410305) #
Only two jays in the top 50 IFA targets according to BA. Luis Meza a catcher at #11 and Jean Carlo Joseph at #49.
greenfrog - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 04:39 PM EST (#410306) #
2/50 is statistically above average considering that there are 30 teams. Both prospects sound promising, with Meza apparently being the bigger catch (no pun intended).
Mike Green - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 04:56 PM EST (#410307) #
I wonder how the price/outcome curve is for the IFA market, as compared with the draft. You are talking about younger players so I would guess that on average, the cheaper players do better in the IFA than in the draft. Perhaps the very top end of the IFA market (the Wander Francos and VGJs) have comparable success rates to the tops of the draft
Lylemcr - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 06:08 PM EST (#410308) #
My concern is that I would like to some more quality arms there. That part concerns me.
greenfrog - Friday, January 07 2022 @ 07:56 PM EST (#410310) #
Since there is no IFA draft (for now), I imagine that having strong connections in Latin America is very helpful in obtaining an above-average share of the better prospects in the region. This would seem to be the case for the Jays, given the quality of the players they've landed in recent years (Guerrero Jr., Kirk, Moreno, Orelvis, Jimenez, De Castro, Lopez, Beltre).

The Jays top 30 prospect lists always seem to include more than a few Latin American IFAs.
John Northey - Saturday, January 08 2022 @ 01:01 AM EST (#410311) #
For top prospects this year only 5 teams other than the Jays are done...
  • Detroit - 2 60's, 2 50's, 34 total for 35+ and up.
  • LAA - 1 50, 41 total
  • A's - 1 50, 33 total
  • Cubs - 1 55, 4 50's, 49 total
  • Brewers - 2 50's, 37 total
  • Jays - 1 60, 1 55, 37 total
So the Jays minors are in better shape than the A's and Brewers clearly, maybe the Angels depending on depth vs peak, but behind Detroit (sub 400 winning percentage in 4 of the past 5 years so clearly tanking, a 98+ loss pace every year and sub 500 last year).  Detroit did a 4 year great stretch (won division 2011-2014, made it to the WS once) and sucked ever since.  I prefer the Jays quick retooling with just poor 2017/18/19 between playoff appearances, 95 losses the worst (IE: always better than the Tigers when both were trying to rebuild).  The A's will be desperate to rebuild their farm I'd figure at this point after 3 playoff years and a near miss (6 back last year).  So expect them to be asking the Jays for near ML prospects to get Chapman (and maybe a starting pitcher) as they don't want a 5 year wait - their last break was a 3 year one and given they want to be good whenever they move (either to a new city or new park) 5+ years of rebuilding isn't what they are after.  The Cubs just started their rebuild but don't have anything that catches my eye outside of CF Rafael Ortega who is pre-arb and had a 120 OPS+ in CF last year but never showed anything like that before so his value is at its peak right now at age 30.

Should be interesting to see other teams.  Tampa last year had an 80 (Franco), 3 60's, 9 50's (yikes!) and 62 overall.  Gulp!  Baltimore after years of sucking had 1 65, 1 55, and 3 50's.  45 overall.  Yankees 8 50's, 48 overall (yikes again), Red Sox 2 50's and 47 overall.  Jays peak was nice with a 60 (Pearson), a 55 (Martin), and 5 50's, but just 39 overall.  Sucks sharing a division with Tampa & NY while Boston has incredible luck sometimes.
Glevin - Saturday, January 08 2022 @ 12:35 PM EST (#410312) #
You also have to remember that the Jays have graduated a lot of prospects recently. Guys like Kirk and Person who aren't established would still be very good prospects if eligible. If you start looking at the Jays talent under 24, it is superb. Vlad, Bichette, Manoah, and Kirk are all 23 or under. Sure, Torkelson is a great prospect but he's the same age as Vlad who is already one of the best hitters in baseball.
John Northey - Saturday, January 08 2022 @ 02:09 PM EST (#410313) #
True about the age of grads on the Jays, but the same can be said about the Rays.

Sub 25's...
Rays: Franco, Taylor Walls (also a SS), Shane McClanahan (SP), Luis Patino (SP)
Jays: Vlad, Bo, Kirk, Manoah, Pearson.

One more hitter than the Rays. Equal on pitchers. One superstar each (Vlad vs Franco). But the Rays have a crazy strong minor system vs the Jays which is a decent one.

Yankees: Gleyber Torres (SS looked great at 21/22 but last 2 years a big disappointment), Estevan Florial (CF), Deivi Garcia (SP - just 8 IP), Luis Gil (SP) - not in the Jays/Rays ballpark for kids in terms of quality.
Red Sox: Rafael Devers (3B star), Jarren Duran (CF already 24 not established), Jonathan Arauz (UT all field no hit), Darwinzon Hernandez (RP super wild)
O's: Ryan Mountcastle (1B), Ryan McKenna (LF), Tyler Nevin (UT), Jahmai Jones (2B), Marcos Diplan (RP), Alexander Wells (SP) - all 23/24 last year. No stars

The O's are still far from being a good team, despite having a lot of prospects they haven't reached yet. The Red Sox have one good young player and a barren minors. Yankees have a few kids but not much and seem to want to get rid of the one who has done the best (Torres). Rays are the Rays - killer minors, killer kids. The Rays are clearly the hardest team to pass in the division as they are smart, and have some advantages the Jays don't (extra draft picks every year and more international bonus money due to being in a dead market) but the Jays have the cash to keep guys which the Rays don't have plus a very smart front office as well. The Yankees are the Yankees - mega rich, smart. Red Sox have insane luck it seems. The O's are the doormat (low cash, building up minors thanks to lots of high draft picks but do they have the smarts to move to contender?).
Jdog - Saturday, January 08 2022 @ 03:43 PM EST (#410314) #
Bo Bichette is a superstar in my books.
scottt - Saturday, January 08 2022 @ 06:41 PM EST (#410315) #
Catching has been a weakness as much as third base. Maybe even more so.
Jansen produced 1.4 bWAR in 205 PA. Espinal produced 2.5 in 246 PA.
Kirk produced 0.9 bWAR in 189 PA,  McGuire 0.3 in 217 PA.

If Moreno can produce 5 or 6 WAR behind the plate, you can have an elite defender at third and leave it at that.

scottt - Saturday, January 08 2022 @ 07:02 PM EST (#410316) #
It's not one region. The biggest source is the Dominican, but the Jays have been drafting in Venezuela and Mexico.
Drafting from Cuba is complicated. Leo Jimenez is from Panama.

greenfrog - Saturday, January 08 2022 @ 07:22 PM EST (#410317) #
Those countries are encompassed by the term I used (Latin America):

"Latin America is generally understood to consist of the entire continent of South America in addition to Mexico, Central America, and the islands of the Caribbean whose inhabitants speak a Romance language."
Mike Green - Saturday, January 08 2022 @ 09:59 PM EST (#410318) #
The Britannia definition is odd. Surinam is a former Dutch colony in South America and the association with "Latin" does not make sense. But, Latin America has been used to describe places in the America's where Romance languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese and presumably Italian) are spoken. Napoleon apparently wanted to include Quebec in Latin America.

Living in Little Italy in Toronto, I never imagined that my neighborhood might be part of "Latin America"; it's a sure thing that it hasn't produced as many ballplayers as San Pedro de Macoris.
scottt - Sunday, January 09 2022 @ 07:27 AM EST (#410319) #
You can describe the entire region with one term if you want, but it takes more than one person to cover all those countries.

Most of the IFA comes from the DR. It's not close. All the teams have affiliates in the Dominican Summer Leagues. Many teams have 2 (47 teams played last year. The Jays have 1 team and seemed to have shared another with the Brewers.)

My understanding is that Dominican players are recruited and trained by handlers, years before they are eligible to be signed. It seems like those handlers are not independent but rather associated with teams. (Do they get a percentage of the player signing or a retainer? I have no idea.

The second source of IFA is Venezuela. It's interesting because the relation between the US and Venezuela is not good, so it's a bit surprising that those players have no problems getting work in the US. At any rate, I imagine that scouting in that country is difficult and I don't know if Americans feel safe there.

Mexico does not produce lots of players. It's very similar to Canada and given the free trade in place, I would have expected the draft to apply there. I'd love to hear details of the state of teenage baseball in Mexico and what recruiting there is like.

Cuba is a complicated market. Yet, some teams signs lots of Cuban. Not the Jays, even though Canada has no restriction against Cuba like the US. Seems more like a case by case thing than having resources scouting the country.
Chavez Young is from the Bahamas. Do the Jays scout there or was he scouting based on international events?

Leo Jimenez is from Panama. Same questions.

greenfrog - Sunday, January 09 2022 @ 09:28 AM EST (#410320) #
KG made a related comment in a recent Fangraphs chat:

TooDamnTall: Australia and Brazil seem to be two countries where Baseball is expanding. China has a large academy system trying to develop players. Do you see any other places where the game is expanding?

Kevin Goldstein: Youíve nailed the places. There are continued attempts to get the sport going in Europe, but that feels like a foolís errand.
hypobole - Monday, January 10 2022 @ 12:38 AM EST (#410322) #
There were a number of comments about the FG ETA's earlier. ETA at FG simply means when players have to be added to the 40 man. So all prospects with 2022 ETA's were either added or are available in the upcoming Rule 5 draft.
bpoz - Monday, January 10 2022 @ 08:03 AM EST (#410324) #
If a C (Moreno/Kirk/maybe Jansen) can provide V good offense and 3B (Martinez/Groshans) also provide V good offense then our lineup would be incredibly strong. All 5 are young and hopefully develop that way in the next 2 years.

As well an unknown like K Smith may surprise. He has the speed, power and defense. His problem has been tinkering with his hitting approach where the changes did not work in 2019.

Mike Green - Monday, January 10 2022 @ 09:14 AM EST (#410327) #
Thanks, hypobole.  I think you may have mentioned this before about FG's "ETA", but I forgot.  I don't know why they wouldn't call it "40 man" or something other than "ETA". 
Mike Green - Monday, January 10 2022 @ 10:44 AM EST (#410330) #
Ben Clemens has an interesting piece at fangraphs on the 2021 interleague competition.  The AL's superiority was built entirely on the AL East domination of the NL East (35-15 by the AL non-tankers over the NL non-tankers), which makes it somewhat ironic that an NL East team won the World Series. 
cascando - Monday, January 10 2022 @ 11:21 AM EST (#410331) #
I didn't know that about Fangraphs ETA, and also find it misleading. First, because nobody talks about when a player will "arrive" on the 40-man roster, so that acronym doesn't really fit. Also, why would someone who was added to the 40-man in a previous year have an ETA of 2022?

Anyway, the year that a decision needs to be taken about player needs to be added to, or kept on, the 40-man roster is a useful data point. I suppose guys that are listed as 2022 "ETA" that are not on the 40-man would have been rule 5 eligible.
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