Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
Fangraphs has published the Jays top 31 prospects. You can read it here.

There are a few surprises on the list. TJ Brock is listed in the top 10. Brock did have a good 2023 season but a top 10 listing is aggressive. Your Box minor league team had Brock in our top 30 last off-season and some thought we were aggressive at that time.

They are less enthusiastic about Alan Roden, suggesting he has some holes in his swing that can be exploited.

Other surprises are Josh Kasevich in the top ten and Damiano Palmegiani at number 25.

Lets just say there is a wide divergence of opinion between BA and Fangraphs regarding Blue Jay prospects potential.

Your Batters Box top 30 will be published in January and will provide the definitive take on the top 30.

Fangraphs Top 31 Prospects | 50 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 10:18 AM EST (#440717) #
The system looks very weak. The Jays could be in a tough situation soon if they donít start turning the farm system around.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 10:47 AM EST (#440718) #
Farm system isn't great. Really don't think Jays should be trading from it if possible unless getting a long-term piece. Really think Jays need to be creative instead of just going after Bellinger or something. Teams are looking to shed salary, take on some salary to get talent. How much of Yelich's contract would Brewers pay down? My guess is they would pay down a lot.
dalimon5 - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 11:07 AM EST (#440720) #
This is definitely a point of fair criticism for a FO that had a reputation for good farm systems and development. I suppose it was due more to their weaker finishes and higher draft picks.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 11:26 AM EST (#440722) #
I noticed that they had the ETA on Roden as 2027 which isn't great considering he'll turn 24 in 1o days time. I was also surprised that they had Adam Macko's ETA as 2024.
85bluejay - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 11:42 AM EST (#440723) #
That a relief pitcher with questionable command is listed as the #6 prospects says it all about Fangraphs view of the Jays system.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 12:30 PM EST (#440724) #
I agree that system is weak.  

I'm sorry, but I just can't treat the ETAs as serious at all. Macko in 2024 and Roden in 2027 is an excellent example.  I don't anticipate that Roden will break camp in 2024 with the Blue Jays, but if Fangraphs has March, 2027, I will take March, 2024 and I would wager an Australian Giant Cuttlefish that my date is closest. 

85bluejay - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 01:30 PM EST (#440726) #
I think the article says that their ETAs mostly reflect when the player is eligible for the 40 man roster.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 02:04 PM EST (#440727) #
Be careful Mike, if FanGraphs uses Price is Right rules, youíre going to owe them a giant cuttle fish
Nigel - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 02:48 PM EST (#440728) #
Agreed that there are quite a few things that don't make sense to me. I'm not defending where they have Brock but he does have two legitimately good pitches. Obviously, he doesn't control them well right now, but his stuff is such that he's worth following. I love Kasevich's defence (maybe even more at 3B than SS). Its definitely above average and might even be a plus, but I'll say what I said earlier this year, if he's one of your ten best prospects its a bad system.
ISLAND BOY - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 03:49 PM EST (#440730) #
You're right, 85bluejay. I didn't read the article close enough and thought ETA was estimated time of arrival to the big leagues, not to the 40 man roster.
Ducey - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 03:56 PM EST (#440731) #
Fangraphs had the Jays system at # 23 mid 2023. So that's likely where it is now.

I would guess with all the talk of short leavers, etc that Fangraphs and the Jays are looking for different things. The Jays obviously are looking for guys who can control the strikezone. Fangraphs is likely more about tools.

Interesting that they think Rojas might be a top 100 prospect with a tick up in velo.

Cant get too excited about these. Prospects usually dont take a straight path. Last year they didnt have Davis S on the list at all (although I will want to see if he can lay off the high cheese before being comfortable he will have a career).
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 04:00 PM EST (#440732) #
"Fangraphs is likely more about tools"

Although with Nimmala, Fangraphs seems to be very much concerned about strike zone control and ability to identify breaking balls (although they do like his tools).
John Northey - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 04:35 PM EST (#440733) #
These are always fun to dig into - especially since 3B/LF/DH/2B are wide open for 2024 with Biggio / Schneider / Espinal / Horwitz the guys currently ont he roster to cover those postions with ML experience of any significance (one could count Lukes and Clement but I wouldn't list them as more than backups to the backup).

The Jays really NEED at least one of Orelvis or Barger to emerge in 2024 imo unless they do something nuts (the insane SD trade I mentioned in a different thread of Machado/Tatis for scrap as SD needs to cut payroll drastically, not that I think it'll happen but I see how it could, 2 desperate teams doing desperate things).

Just 3 45+'s is bad, but how bad? 45+ guys...
  • 2023:Tiedemann (55), Barger (50), Barriera (45+)
  • 2022: Moreno (60), Orelvis (55)
  • 2021: Pearson (60), Martin (55), Manoah (50), Moreno (50), Simeon Woods Richardson (50), Kirk (50), Groshans (50), Orelvis Martinez (50)
  • 2020: Pearson (60), SWR (50), Groshans (50), Orelvis (50), Manoah (45+), Kirk (45+)
  • 2019: Vlad (70), Bo (60), Jansen (50), Pearson (50), Groshans (45+)
Interesting to look back a bit. The 2020 link I put in leads to all other years easily. Some guys were perpetual prospects who never made it (Groshans, Pearson the obvious examples), some did as expected or dreamed (Vlad, Bo)
scottt - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 04:41 PM EST (#440734) #
They say the Jays system is loaded with "high-variance guys".
Case in point, they call Schneider "an unfortunate omission".

"This system is stocked with meaningful redundancy, with plan As and plan Bs."

That doesn't sound that bad to me. The weakness of the system is the lack of valuable trade candidate.

The ratings are pretty low.
I'm kinda used to that.

Tiedemann is a stud.
Orelvis is only a 50, but "his bat is good enough to quiet the qualms about his best defensive fits".
Barger is a 45, but "we project that Barger will get to enough power to be the larger half of a 3B/RF platoon and ... 2024 feels  like his year to debut and contribute."
That doesn't sound bad to me.
Leo Jimenez, they basically see as ready to replace Espinal--who seems to be blocking him.
Brock sits 94-97mph with a 70 grade slider.

and so on...

lexomatic - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 05:00 PM EST (#440735) #
Re Yelich, he does have those big back problems. I think there's a few 30 million/ year seasons left. If Brewwers trade Adames, it should be sign of a teardown. Would check for sure. Might be less risky than Bellinger.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 05:21 PM EST (#440737) #
Bo and Gunnar Henderson were 2nd round picks. So nowhere near the top 10 picks. So talent is available. Was that luck, good scouting?? Don't know. Austin Martin picked 5th. Was he high on a prospect list? Don't know.

C Sale was a hard throwing lefty that made the majors in his draft year. CWS saw something. Maybe good FB. Scouts have to make a good evaluation on tools by actually seeing the player. A Gose has been trying out as a pitcher. Hard throwing lefty but no strike zone control.

The Jays are drafting for the Hit tool. Tanner Morris has that. He probably only needs 200 ABs in Buffalo to reach his potential. He is not highly regarded. But you never know.

Buffalo pitching will be practically all prospects. Should be interesting.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 07:10 PM EST (#440746) #
When it comes to the draft there is a lot of luck involved. Just like the playoffs, but not as extreme. 1st overall picks (Jays have never had one) do better than 17th overall for example, but in 1995 the Jays got Halladay with the 17th pick (highest WAR for that pick ever at 64 - Cole Hamels is 2nd at 59, then it drops to 30 for Gary Matthews in 3rd). In 1995 Halladay came in 1st for WAR in round 1, just ahead of Todd Helton's 62 (8th pick), but 1st overall wasn't bad (Darin Erstad at 32). 2nd overall in '95 sucked though (Ben Davis 3 WAR).

Good fortune/luck led to Albert Pujols being a 10th round pick, and Mike Piazza a 63rd rounder. Obvious talent still goes 1st (A-Rod, Griffey Jr for example, although Chipper Jones went 1st overall he was a 'value' pick by Atlanta when they were a 'have not' team, while the consensus 1st overall talent dropped to 14th and the 'rich' A's (Todd Van Poppel who had negative WAR for his career) - it was a different time.

2013's draft is the most recent I'd feel 100% safe in saying 'yeah, we know who succeeded/failed' - 1st overall Mark Appel (0.3 WAR), best pick Aaron Judge (41.5 as a 32nd overall pick), Jays wasted their 10th overall on Phil Bickford (didn't sign, 0.6 WAR). FYI: Judge was a compensation pick for the loss of Nick Swisher. Sigh. The Yankees had 3 picks in round 1 - the other 2 never reached - so was Judge skill or luck on the Yankees part - his bonus was inbetween the other Yankee picks at $1.8 mil so it wasn't them going nuts (the only 1st rounders getting less were picked later than the Yankee ones).

As to Austin Martin - I recall the massive hype around him when he dropped to the Jays that year. He was seen as either #1 or #2 overall. Turns out the teams picking earlier knew what they were doing, or did they? -0.5 total WAR for the 4 guys picked ahead of him (3 have reached, 2 with negative WAR the other at 0.0). Leading round 1 of 2020 is Reid Detmers at 4.3. Spencer Strider in the 4th is at 7.1 (Atlanta).

In the 2000's only Vlad, Bo, Pearson, Moreno, Travis Snider, Alex Rios, and Vernon Wells have made the top 10 ranking from Baseball America as Blue Jays. 90's had Delgado, Green, Alex Gonzalez, John Olerud, and Jose Silva (a RHP who had -0.9 WAR over 427 innings). So even a top 10 rank doesn't guarantee success. Some guys reach and stall (A-Gon), some reach and flop (Silva), some reach and never quite get it going (Pearson, Snider), some become all-stars but not super-stars (Wells, Rios), some do reach the stars (Delgado, Green, Olerud) while we wait on Vlad, Bo, Moreno to see if they are all-stars or super-stars. Our only HOF'er who qualified for these lists didn't make the top 10 (Halladay), peaking at #12. In McGriff's day there wasn't a BA top 100, just team lists (last time McGriff made those lists he was at #7 in '86, 2 ahead of him made all-star teams in Gruber & Sharperson but #1 was Sil Campusano - old Jays can rant for days about how the Jays handled him).

OK, I've rambled on enough here. For now.
Gerry - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 07:27 PM EST (#440748) #
I feel comfortable saying the Jays have not drafted well under Atkins. There is an element of luck involved but one of the reasons for the systems weakness is poor drafting.
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 07:35 PM EST (#440749) #
I wonder how much the loss of Steve Sanders to Pittsburgh has impacted the Jays recent drafts. Shane Farrell might be smart but maybe he was lacking in experienceÖ?
greenfrog - Tuesday, December 12 2023 @ 07:46 PM EST (#440751) #
Even as a bigger-spending team, itís pretty clear that the Blue Jays need to have a strong farm system to seriously compete in the majors. This is because they have some structural disadvantages (some IFAs and free agents not wanting to come to Toronto, for example).
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, December 13 2023 @ 08:32 AM EST (#440761) #
I think Steve Saunders did a much better job at drafting than Shane Farrell.

I haven't been overly impressed the last few years.
scottt - Wednesday, December 13 2023 @ 08:38 AM EST (#440762) #
Honestly, Steve Sanders is responsible for the worst drafts under the last 2 front offices.

It's still too early to judge the Farrell drafts.
2023? Several of the picks haven't even played professionally yet.
Nimmala is a great high risk high reward pick for the 20th slot.
Fangraphs ranked Juaron Watts-Brown 36th and the Jays picked him up 89th.
You think that's bad?

2022 was the only big draft under Farrell.
23 Barriera
60 Kasevich
77 Toman
78 Doughty
98 Roden

All of these guys can still reach.
Brock was picked 188th.

2021 didn't have a second rounder because of Springer.
19th Hoglund (not a bad pick but traded for Chapman)
91th Tiedemann Looks like a great pick

then a bunch of guys who could still reach like Dallas, Carter, Juenger, Tirotta, Palmegiani...

2020 was his first draft but it was only 5 picks because of covid.
Martin was picked for his trade value and it seems to have paid off.
Van Eyk has been injured but still look like a back end starter.
Frasso was a great pick who was lost in a bad trade.


bpoz - Wednesday, December 13 2023 @ 09:02 AM EST (#440763) #
As far as drafts go Richardi overruled the selection of Tulo which was a mistake. IMO Richardi had the weakest drafts.

AA's drafts made some good and bad picks. Bryant picked but DNS. Was someone named Lalonde in charge of AA's draft?

Sanders was poached by Pittsburg. He was probably in charge of the Bo, Biggio selections. Also Manoah I think. So V good.The 2019 draft is still in play.

Farrell was forced to take A Martin IMO which upset the 2020 draft because of the Martin bonus. Tiedemann picked in 2021 could have been with the Jays last year if not for injury IMO. If he makes it this year we will get a look see at how good he is. It is way too early for 2022 & 23 evaluations. But as soon as this year we may get to see some relievers pitching for the Jays.
scottt - Wednesday, December 13 2023 @ 09:28 AM EST (#440764) #
I feel we just saw a continuation of the poor work done by Steve Sanders.
It looks worse under Atkins because the Jays get fewer picks now than under AA.
Objectively, the AA drafts are a lot worse if you factor in the value of the picks.

21 and 23 had only 2 picks out of the first 100. That means other clubs are getting those missing picks instead.
You can't expect to do as well picking 20th and 89th than a club picking in the top 5 and getting another 5 picks in the top 100.

2019 has got Manoah 11th, Kendall Williams 52th (seems like the Dodgers had trouble developing him. ERA of 7.5 last year in the PCL, 5.3 in the AFL). Dasan Brown 88th.
Robertson, Morris, Talley, Clarke  could still reach.
Spencer Horwitz was picked in the 24th round which no longer exist. Those have to go under luck and development rather than good drafting, I think.

2018 was a disaster. Groshans, Connine (who never looked legit) and Kloff. Barger might still rescue this draft, but that goes to show how long it takes to get the full value.  Vinny Capra in the 20th round. Signed for 1k.

2017 has Logan Warmoth, Pearson, Danner, Adams and Kevin Smith. Best so far is Ryan Noda picked in the 15th round. Not as great as it seemed back then.

2016 has Bichette as a supplementary second rounder, but T.J.Zeuch, J.B. Woodman and Zach Jackson. Also Cavan Biggio in the 5th round. Winckowski in the 15.

Then we get into the really horrible drafts under AA.

2015, Jon Harris 29th, Brady Singer who became the Bichette pick and Justin Maese. Also Bergen, Young, Saucedo who have been replacement level so far.

2014 has the 9th pick but it's wasted on Jeff Hoffman, the 11th on Max Pentecost, the 49th on Reid-Foley and the 83rd on Nick Wells. Lane Thomas was actually a decent pick in 5th. Romano in the 10th round for 25K. Tanner Houck was picked in the 12th and of course didn't sign. Same with Zach Pop in the 23.

2013 has Phil Bickford 10th who didn't sign. Clinton Hollon, 47th and Patrick Murphy with the 83rd pick.  Then
Boyd, Greene, Graveman (7th, 8th, 9th) and Tim Mayza (12th). Jonathan Davis in the 15th. Danny Jansen with the 16th pick. Tellez with the 30th.

2012 had 5 first round picks.
17 D.J. Davis (Never looked like he could hit)
22 Stroman (kind of a hedge pick, a low ceiling, high floor arm that actually materialized)
50 Matt Smoral
58 Mitch Nay
60 Tyler Gonzales
81 Chase De Jong
That was followed by Anthony Alford with the 112th pick.
There was Ryan Borucki in the 15th round.

2011 had also 5 first round picks.
21 Tyler Beede (didn't sign)
35 Jacob Anderson
46 Joe Musgrove
53 Dwight Smith Jr
57 Kevin Comer
Also 2 second round picks
74 Daniel Norris
75 Jeremy Gabryszwski (I think I spelled that right)
DeSclafani in the 12th round. Jon Berti in the 18th. Luke Weaver in the 19th. Aaron Nola was picked in the 22nd but of course didn't sign. Taylor Cole in the 29th. Austin Nola in the 31st. Kevin Pillar in the 32nd.
It still feels weird to find some value so late in the draft  especially after finding so little in the early picks.

2010 is probably the draft that made AA and Sanders looked good, even though Deck McGuire was chosen with the 11th overall pick. That's because the Jays has 4 first round picks and the other guys were
34 Aaron Sanchez
38 Noah Syndergaard
41 Asher Woj-something

There was a lot of talks in those day about the 5th round pick who received 1.5M (more than anyone not named Deck). Dickie Joe Thon was supposed to be an elite shortstop but actually never made it to the show.

There was Dalton Pompey in the 16th who will always feel like a development failure.
Kris Bryant who didn't sign in the 18th. Danny Barnes in the 35th. Chad Green who didn't sign in the 37th.
This actually went 50 rounds back then. 
Ryan Day - Wednesday, December 13 2023 @ 09:49 AM EST (#440765) #
2022 was the only big draft under Farrell...

If you go back to Fangraphs' draft rankings, it looks like the Jays did pretty well: Barriera was ranked 25th and went 23rd; Kasevich ranked 36th, the Jays got him at 60; Toman & Doughty ranked 48 & 54, and the Jays got them in the late-70s.

Notably, all these guys aside from Kasevich were marked High Risk, which is always exciting on draft day but often less so in the years to follow.
bpoz - Wednesday, December 13 2023 @ 10:04 AM EST (#440766) #
I will mention Bo and Gunnar Henderson as huge successes.

I will not blame AA for bad drafting. He did game the system to get extra picks. A not cheap owner would have paid for K Bryant as well as Dickie Joe Thon.
John Northey - Wednesday, December 13 2023 @ 10:36 AM EST (#440768) #
The old AA drafts are kind of fun to look at as 'what if' situations. 2010 they drafted but didn't sign Kris Bryant and Chad Green. They also wasted $2 mil on Deck McGuire with the 11th overall pick (next 2 picks were Yasmani Grandal & Chris Sale - of course, the pick before him was Michael Choice -2.0 WAR, and Karsten Whitson who never reached the majors)
92-93 - Wednesday, December 13 2023 @ 12:42 PM EST (#440774) #
Just a note on the 2017 draft - it did produce a consensus top 10 prospect in Pearson. That he has thus far amounted to little and his value wasn't capitalized on falls on Atkins, not the head of the draft. If Tiedemann doesn't work out, that doesn't mean the 2021 draft was a bad one. It means that Atkins squandered multiple opportunities to improve the club's chances of winning by not trading his top prospect. At least they turned Hoglund (#14?) into Chapman. They need a similar trade this winter.

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 13 2023 @ 02:10 PM EST (#440779) #
I agree that the failure of a prospect to materialize as a major leaguer does not necessarily mean that it was a poor draft. In Pearson's case, one could also say that the development decision to push him towards a starting role did not work.

Sometimes, a draft does nothing at all from the day of draft and that is on the scouting team. But development and assessment of one's own talent is the responsibility of others and ultimately the GM.
Ducey - Wednesday, December 13 2023 @ 03:33 PM EST (#440780) #
I dont think Pearson's development problems are related to starting.

He got hit by a comebacker in his first start in 2018 (breaking his arm), had arm problems, a sports hernia and mono. Thats just plain bad luck.
greenfrog - Wednesday, December 13 2023 @ 06:44 PM EST (#440783) #
And now the GM has to make a similar decision about Tiedemann. (Possible oft-injured) starter? Or lights-out reliever?
metafour - Thursday, December 14 2023 @ 09:51 AM EST (#440790) #
I feel comfortable saying the Jays have not drafted well under Atkins. There is an element of luck involved but one of the reasons for the systems weakness is poor drafting.

I don't think this is true at all. They have lost quite a few picks due to free agency signings and have otherwise been picking in the bottom third for the majority of this tenure. The one time they had a Top 5 pick, it was in the COVID draft that was cut down to 5 rounds (so the increased bonus pool perk was essentially nonexistent) and there was extremely limited baseball being played that season which didn't help either. That was just bad timing.

I'm not implying that their drafting has been amazing; but they have generally found players every single year. Especially with late round picks (guys like Ryan Noda, Schneider, Horwitz, Palmegiani, etc). There aren't many teams who have found a player as good as Ricky Tiedemann in the 3rd round.

If you actually observe league wide, the Jays have been about average at drafting - in line with what you would expect given their picks/pools. There are really only a few teams (what, the Dodgers?) who are routinely "punching above their weight" in the draft. The teams that are seemingly drafting a lot of stars are the ones who are picking in the Top 5 year over year.

Spend some time and actually dig through the drafting history of other teams; and you'll soon find that the Jays aren't as bad as you think. My favourite is looking at the Rays because they always win a lot and are seen as a model "smart" franchise, but in fact their drafting history is horrendous. Despite the fact that the MLB gifts them free picks every single year, their success rate is abysmal. It's bust after bust with high picks. The Rays are in fact good because they are amazing at finding underrated players from other teams who they acquire and "unlock"; but their ability to draft/develop themself is generally below-average.

Glevin - Thursday, December 14 2023 @ 10:18 AM EST (#440791) #
"If you actually observe league wide, the Jays have been about average at drafting - in line with what you would expect given their picks/pools. There are really only a few teams (what, the Dodgers?) who are routinely "punching above their weight" in the draft. The teams that are seemingly drafting a lot of stars are the ones who are picking in the Top 5 year over year."

Yeah, this is accurate. Let's say you can analyze the drafts between 2016-2020 with some accuracy (after that, still too early) getting Bichette, Biggio, Manoah, and a bunch of other players/prospects is OK. 2018 was the only terrible draft IMO where the Jays got too cute and ended up empty-handed. They had 7 top-50 picks and 16 top-100 picks in that the 2016-2020. Compare that to previous 5 year period 2011-2015 where Jays had 12 top-50 picks and 23 top-100 picks and had worse results.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 14 2023 @ 11:19 AM EST (#440793) #
I don't agree with the assertion that the Rays' ability to draft and develop is below average.  I looked at 2015-18, a time where the organization was reasonably successful and not drafting among the highest, and where the players have had a chance to develop.  In 2015, they drafted Brandon Lowe and Jake Cronenworth (who was traded to San Diego for Hunter Renfroe).  In 2016, they drafted Josh Lowe, Jake Fraley and Nathaniel Lowe.  In 2017, they drafted Drew Rasmussen and Taylor Walls.  In 2018, they drafted Matthew Liberatore (who was traded for Randy Arozarena and a first round pick), Shane McLanahan and Joe Ryan.  If you look at the successful clubs from 2020-2023, you can see the core of it in the drafts from 2015-18.  Every successful club seems to require a significant contribution from drafts, albeit for the Yankees, success is measured in different terms than everybody else.  In the Yankees' case, they need to draft well to be a regular World Series' contender but not necessarily to regularly make the playoffs. 
Ducey - Thursday, December 14 2023 @ 11:58 AM EST (#440795) #
I dont know Mike.

2014 Brock Burke (2.1 WAR) in the 3rd. Otherwise nothing despite having an extra comp pick

2015 Brandon Lowe in the 3rd, Cronenworth in the 7th.

2016 Josh Lowe in the 1st, Jake Fraley in the 2nd, Nathaniel Lowe in the 13 (9 WAR) was their best pick. Signed for $100K.

2017 Taylor Walls in the 3rd, thats about it

2018 Libertore (-.8 WAR so far) at 16 overall, McClanahan at 31, Joe Ryan in 7th. They had three first rounders and 2 second rounders this year

2019 no one has made it yet.

I have not looked at prospects, but so far, if they had not drafted a bunch of guys named Lowe, things look pretty uninspiring. Even including them, I dont see anything there that says they are any better than average.

metafour - Thursday, December 14 2023 @ 12:42 PM EST (#440796) #
I have not looked at prospects, but so far, if they had not drafted a bunch of guys named Lowe, things look pretty uninspiring. Even including them, I dont see anything there that says they are any better than average.
This is pretty much it. It's the Lowe's and McClanahan, and not much else. But consider the fact that they receive extra first/second round picks almost every year and that "success" really isn't impressive at all. In some of those draft they had ~4-5 picks in the 1st/2nd round. They also drafted uber-bust Brendan McKay 4th overall in that stretch. Matthew Liberatore is a bust. And saying "he was traded for Arozarena" is weak because Arozarena was neither an elite player nor an elite prospect when they traded for him. He was coming off a 0.2 fWAR season in 19 MLB games with St. Louis and was their #8 prospect (MLB.com) in 2019 before Tampa acquired him. So he falls into the exact category that I brought up as Tampa's actual strength: acquiring and unlocking guys who were non-impact for other teams, but became elite in Tampa. Jake Fraley is like a 1 fWAR player so I'm not sure how that is an example of "success" considering that he was drafted 77th overall. Davis Schneider will very likely outproduce Fraley and he was found in the 28th round.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 14 2023 @ 01:15 PM EST (#440797) #
I wasn't saying that Tampa has an above average drafting record, merely that it was average.

Liberatore was a highly regarded prospect at the time he was traded. In the same way (but at a lower level) that Delmon Young was when he was traded for Jason Bartlett and Matt Garza. It's easier to make good trades if you have highly-regarded prospects.

The Rays' trades weren't always successful. See Cronenworth.

Here's another way to look at it. It has to be well-nigh impossible to have a successful team over a period of 15 years if you are acquiring little talent in the free agent market and drafting and developing poorly.
Gerry - Thursday, December 14 2023 @ 01:32 PM EST (#440798) #
Without doing an in depth study, I remain unconvinced that Atkins has drafted well.

No-one has mentioned Baltimore. They have had high picks but they have hit on picks outside the first round.

What about the Yankees? Every winter they are trading prospects for major league help. They don't pick high.

I agree the Jays have had some success in late rounds but those players don't make a draft, you need to hit in rounds one and two.

Lets list the first round picks from 2017 through 2022.

Logan Warmoth, Nate Pearson, Jordan Groshans, Alek Manoah, Austin Martin, Gunnar Hoglund, Brandon Barriera. How much WAR will those seven picks generate?
John Northey - Thursday, December 14 2023 @ 02:08 PM EST (#440799) #
2017
  • Jays: 3.8 bWAR from 8 players
  • Rays: 11.5 bWAR from 8 players
  • Yankees: 13.1 bWAR from 11 players
  • O's: 3.4 bWAR from 6 players
  • Red Sox: 8.2 bWAR from 2 players
2018
  • Jays: -0.6 bWAR from 4 players
  • Rays: 11.0 bWAR from 5 players
  • Yankees: -0.2 bWAR from 2 players
  • O's: -0.9 bWAR from 4 players
  • Red Sox: 3.3 bWAR from 3 players
2019
  • Jays: 7.8 bWAR from 4 players
  • Rays: 0.1 bWAR from 2 players
  • Yankees: 6.2 bWAR from 5 players
  • O's: 16.2 bWAR from 4 players (1st overall)
  • Red Sox: -0.1 bWAR from 2 players

Interesting to look at the AL East. Don't have time to dig into more right now. Now, far too soon to say for sure what values each team will get out of the draft (many still in minors, especially if you look at 2020-2023). The Jays entire haul thus far is Manoah & Noda. Davis Schneider was drafted in 2017 so clearly players from all of these drafts are still just reaching. A database of how highly ranked players were each year to compare would be useful in evaluating a draft before 10 years have passed.
92-93 - Thursday, December 14 2023 @ 02:39 PM EST (#440800) #
When you consider the contributions of Berrios (Martin) and Chapman (Hoglund) that group has the chance to generate a lot of WAR. Only the pick of Warmoth (and, thus far, Barriera) hasn't helped the big league squad.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 14 2023 @ 03:01 PM EST (#440801) #
If I was to evaluate Atkins' drafting, I'd look at 2016-19.  The farther back you go, the more evidence you have about how the players turned out.  I don't agree that you need to look only at first round choices.  The Cardinals drafted Albert Pujols in the 13th round in 1999, and it was the single most important thing they did in the draft over its existence.  By far.  They struck out in the first two rounds that year.  In 2000, they similarly struck out in the first two rounds, but hit on Yadier Molina in the 4th round and they had 2 core pieces for a very successful decade. 

In 2016, Atkins struck out with his first two choices- Zeuch and Woodman, but then hit big with Bo Bichette and then to a lesser extent with Cavan Biggio and the jury is still out on Josh Winckowski, who just had a big year at age 25.  In 2017, the jury is out on a whole raft of players- Nate Pearson, Hagen Danner, Ryan Noda, Davis Schneider and to a lesser degree, Riley Adams and Kevin Smith.  In 2018, the jury is definitely out on Addison Barger.  In 2019, Manoah was very good but the jury is out on him, as it is for Spencer Horwitz and Dasan Brown. 

What we do know is that the farm system appears to be weak.  But this may be a year in which Schneider, Barger, Horwitz and Manoah make significant contributions to a winning club.  I would be happier with a different General Manager, but not because of his drafting.  He sets the tone for the baseball operations, and the tone is not of a person and an organization with a firm grip on the tiller.  The handling of Manoah and his communication style are signs of that.  He's not terrible at what he does, but I don't believe that that is enough. 
scottt - Thursday, December 14 2023 @ 04:50 PM EST (#440802) #
The Yankees get the benefits of the media over hyping their prospects.
It's not like there are a lot of good players out there who were drafted as Yankees.
In general, the Yankees like to draft large pitchers with high velo who can at the very least be tried in the pen.
The Jays have not been aggressive in promoting relievers, but that's not the same thing as drafting poorly.
Judge is something special, for sure.

Before the hard slot system, the Yankees were spending over slot while AA was, for the most part, limited to drafting guys who were likely to sign for slot. There are still a few prospects from that era lingering around.

King was a 12th round pick in 2016. Thorpe is a reliever that was drafted in the second round in 2022.
The Jays got Tiedemann in the 3rd round of 2021.

A package centered around Manoah and Tiedemann would have beaten the Yankees but I wouldn't have done that either.

Atkins has made his share of winter trade. Chapman for example.

mendocino - Thursday, December 14 2023 @ 11:55 PM EST (#440805) #
Sorry long post. Just to add a bit more to the conversation, my lists of active IFA signings 2015-19. Urbaez, Simon and Rojas signed late '20 signing window because of covid

Director Int. Scouting 2015-Ismael Cruz 2016+-Sandy Rosario

2019 IFA's 49 signed
RHP Geison Urbaez '20
RHP Stephen Vargas
RHP Rafael Ohashi
RHP Cesar Ayala
RHP Dahian Santos
RHP Jiorgeny Casimiri
LHP Johan Simon '20
LHP Cristopher Castro
LHP Kendry Rojas '20
IF Jean Arnaez
1B Cristian Feliz
SS Estiven Machado
SS Rikelvin De Castro
OF Robert Robertis
OF Victor Arias
(RHP Sem Robberse)

'18 IFA Signings 46 signed
RHP Tony Rosario
RHP Yosver Zulueta
RHP Winder Garcia
IF Orelvis Martinez
IF Marcos De La Rosa
OF Juan Pizarro
OF Gabriel Martinez
(C Javier D'Orazio)

'17 IFA SIGNINGS 38 signed
RHP Lazaro Estrada
RHP Adrian Hernandez
RHP Alejandro Melean
RHP Eric Pardinho
C Jose Ferrer
IF Miguel Hiraldo
IF Rainer Nunez
IF Leonardo Jiminez
(OF Alberto Rodriguez)

'16 IFA Signings 45 signed
LHP Naswell Paulino
CA Alejandro Kirk
IF Rafael Lantigua
IF Otto Lopez
OF Steward Berroa
(C Gabriel Moreno)

'15 IFA Signings 20 signed
IF Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
IF Luis De Los Santos
(RHP Maximo Castillo)
(RHP Dany Jimenez)
bpoz - Friday, December 15 2023 @ 07:23 AM EST (#440807) #
Thanks for the info mendocino.
85bluejay - Friday, December 15 2023 @ 05:36 PM EST (#440826) #
I wonder if there are any studies comparing the results when a team spends its pool on 1 player (Vlad) vs spreading the money around.
John Northey - Friday, December 15 2023 @ 07:11 PM EST (#440830) #
FYI: IFA's are listed at The Baseball Cube's site... Listing guys whose bonus is known (odds are they are the guys doing best so far)
2023: Enmanuel Bonilla, David Guzman, Samuel Acuna listed with bonus'.
2022: Rafael Sanchez the only one listed with a bonus.
2021: Manuel Beltre, Martin Gimenez, Luis Garcia, Jonathan Peguero, Yhoangel Aponte, and Yeuni Munoz
2020: MacKenzie Mueller, Geison Urbaez the only ones still in the system it seems
2019: Rikelbin De Castro, Yosver Zulueta, Estiven Machado, Peniel Brito, Cesar Ayala, Endri Garcia, Victor Mesia, Jiorgeny Casimiri, Sem Robberse (just $130k), Jonatan Bernal
2018: Orelvis Martinez, Michael Arias (Cubs 40 man)
2017: Eric Pardinho, Leo Jimenez, Miguel Hiraldo, Alejandro Melean, Alberto Rodriguez, Ronier Lascarro, Jose Ferrer, Jhon Solarte
2016: Lourdes Gurriel (special case), Hugo Cardona, Joseph Reyes, Jol Concepcion, Roither Hernandez, Kenny Mauricio, Rafael Lantigua, Nicolas Medina, Brayan Mejia, Naswell Paulino, Otto Lopez ($60k), Elixon Caballero, Gabriel Moreno ($30k), Elieser Medrano, Alejandro Kirk

Interesting. 2015 had 24 guys signed (known of) with 3 making it so far (Vlad, Dany Jimenez, and Max Castillo). That site has data back to 1977 for the Jays but limited names the further back you go (often just guys who reached).
metafour - Saturday, December 16 2023 @ 12:48 PM EST (#440838) #
"I wasn't saying that Tampa has an above average drafting record, merely that it was average."
And I'm saying that it's below average once you actually factor in for the discrepancy in high-round pick totals and bonus pool totals. The point is that a one-to-one comparison is not equitable. Lets examine the number of picks at the top of the draft (which statistically have the highest expected output of WAR) by comparing Top 100 picks per year and you'll start to see the difference:

2016

Rays: 4 Top 100 picks (13, 53, 77, 90)

Jays: 3 Top 100 picks (21, 57, 66)

2017

Rays: 4 Top 100 picks (4, 31, 40, 79)

Jays: 4 Top 100 picks (22, 28, 61, 99)

2018

Rays: 6 Top 100 picks (16, 31, 32, 56, 71, 92)

Jays: 3 Top 100 picks (12, 52, 88)

2019

Rays: 5 Top 100 picks (22, 36, 40, 61, 99)

Jays: 3 Top 100 picks (11, 52, 88)

Total Picks (2016-2019)

Rays: 19

Jays: 13

So the Rays have had 6 more Top 100 picks over that four-year stretch (more than one more per year) but the overall results have largely been equal or comparable. In fact, the best player drafted by either team during that period is by far Bo Bichette. Next up is Shane McClanahan, and after that Alek Manoah actually has a very realistic shot at making a case permitting how he bounces back.

"Liberatore was a highly regarded prospect at the time he was traded. In the same way (but at a lower level) that Delmon Young was when he was traded for Jason Bartlett and Matt Garza. It's easier to make good trades if you have highly-regarded prospects."

Okay, so then by that standard Austin Martin was a successful pick (traded for Jose Berrios) as was Gunnar Hoglund (traded for Matt Chapman). This is another interesting phenomenon that I constantly see: giving other teams credit for things but somehow omitting that same logic when critiquing your own team. Gerry mentioned the Yankees as "trading prospects for major leagued help"; uhmm...haven't the Jays been one of the most active teams in the entire league over the past few years in doing this exact same thing? That is actually a big reason as to why their farm system has "dropped". They have traded for Chapman, Berrios, Varsho, Matz, Stripling, Mitch White, Merrifield, Hicks, etc. Those first three were "blockbuster" trades. Matz and Stripling both put up significant seasons with the Jays (~3 fWAR).

Mike Green - Saturday, December 16 2023 @ 01:44 PM EST (#440839) #
I did not criticize Blue Jay drafting. You will see that I described it as likely within the average range also. To a great degree, the results of the drafts from 2016-19 are not known yet. Davis Schneider was drafted in 2017, and much as I like him, I have no idea whether his first 7 years are going to be very good or great, decent, or spent mostly in the minor leagues. My instinct tells me that it will be one of the first two but time will tell.
bpoz - Tuesday, December 19 2023 @ 09:06 AM EST (#440903) #
Regarding our drafting, I guess we can still cling to some hope for 2017 & 18. Schneider, Pearson and Danner are still in play. In 2017 we traded 3rd round and lower for some help. 2018 we traded picks that looked like they would not work out for help.

2019 had Manoah which makes that a successful draft. 2020, 21, 22 and 23 are too early to judge. We lost picks and gained picks for FA gains/losses. We also traded Martin and Hoglund for help. The positive in all of this is the good regular season record of 2020,21,22 and 23.
Glevin - Tuesday, December 19 2023 @ 10:37 AM EST (#440907) #
Jays have drafted fine. Teams that are trying to win and have holes usually shouldn't have top systems. The Jays have a weak system because they haven't drafted very high and they traded away lots of prospects for current talent. Would I like them to have a better system? Absolutely but there is a legitimate reason for their standing.
Fangraphs Top 31 Prospects | 50 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.