Monday, May 31, 2010

MPPR: May

Well, I had about half of this baby typed out earlier - saved even which I don't always remember to do - and a brief power outage killed it and upon my return I find that the saved version is . . . quite a damned long way from what all I had done so, grudgingly, I start over. So I'm rather ill-inclined to do the bells and whistles here. Rather it's pretty just my comment on each guy rather than citations of stats and links to player pages and all the stuff I had intended. Pardon the typos, I'm not in the mood for proofreading.

Catcher:

JP Arencibia - was going through the floor with a massive slump that extended into mid-May, but since then he's turned it completely around. He's now on a pace to match his counting stat totals from 2009, save with more hits and more walks. obviously, though, such wild swings speak to the sample size caveat. We still don't know entierly what we have yet.

Brian Jeroloman - has had no significant slump, has gotten better as the season has gone on, and now has an OPS over 1.000, there's nothing more he can do to push for a promotion. Even if it means some difficulty in both of these guys getting at bats - for which I'd co-opt the DH at bats - it's going to have to happen at some point.

Travis d'Arnaud - a bit rusty in the 10 games since coming off the DL, he'll need some more time before the team can be confident about moving him up to AA. but the New Hampshire squad has a competent guy to start until that day comes. And it very likely will come by mid-season.

AJ Jimenez - Batter's box has a nice interview with Dunedin Manager Sal Fasano in which he raves about Jimenez. Here's the relevant part:

I think AJ is a very skilled individual, he is one of the most skilled guys I have seen at his age. He can throw like I have not seen a young kid do. What is also nice is that you don't get too many latins who can speak perfect English and Spanish and he has a good grasp of both so he can communicate with both types of pitchers. His work ethic is good, he is still young and I am not sure about his durability yet. That is my only questions about him. But I love him, if he ever makes it to the big leagues he is the type of kid that has a chance to win a world series. I think he is special.


That sort of talk has to excite you. Still, to be clear, I think Jimenez is likely to spend the whole season at Lansing consolidating his offensive game. Even though I expect Jeroloman and d'Arnaud to get promotions later in the season, the Jays have other options to start in Dunedin, namely . . .

Yan Gomes - He's under the radar a bit, because he's no better than the jays sixth best catching prospect - and he's having a slow May - but that doesn't mean he isn't a good prospect, and the Jays will want to give him an extended opportunity to call attention to himself if they can.

The other top catching prospect is Carlos Perez, who will begin play soon in Auburn. Recent signee Santiago Nessy will apparently start off in the DSL.

First Base:

Brett Wallace - still a stud, but in the midst of a mild slump right now which has resulted in his numbers coming down from their previous lofty levels. Overbay haters take note, this isn't the best time to call Wallace and no one should expect him in Toronto before the break, at the earliest.

David Cooper - Still unimpressive overall, but mentioned here because he's in the midst of his hottest streak since reaching AA. Far too early to say if he's turned the corner but we'll keep one eye on him.

Mike McDade - Big Mike is having a Massive May and if it's a new level of performance instead of a passing hot month, we'll have to say a lot more about him in the future.

2010 draftee KC Hobson will likely be in the Auburn lineup when the Doubledays start their season.

Second Base:


Jarret Hoffpauir - the non-prospect demands your attention. There's really no place for him in the Jays' future, but maybe at some point he does well enough to have some value to a team short on middle infield talent. Keep that in perspective though, a minor leaguer who's not considered a serious prospect only has a limited amount of trade value.

Brad Emaus - I've been listing his guy among third basemen, given that seems to me to be his clearest path to the majors, but between Jose Bautista's shenanigans and the emergence of Shawn Bowman at third in AA, I've shifted him back here for now. Emaus' may was not as impressive as his April, but he's still drawing a noteworthy number of walks. I'm still high on him.

Scott Campbell - still on the DL.

John Tolisano - at some point I'm going to stop mentioning him altogether. He's still not doing enough to make me thing you need a monthly report on what he's not doing. Still, I don't write anyone off altogether at 21.

Shortstops:


Adeiny Hechavarria - Yes it's true, the Jays don't have a shortstop worth talking about above A ball. Still, if you read the Bob Elliot piece printed Sunday, there's a LOT to say about Adeiny. The sample size is obviously too small for me to say much about his offensive performance to date, but the more that's said about this kid, the more exciting he sounds.

Tyler Pastornicky - Playing second while Adeiny is in town, Pastornicky shows some good signs but he's not setting the league on fire (not that a 20 year old should be expected to). I'm on record as being impressed with this guy but not as impressed as a lot of my fellow Jays prospect watchers. i think he's holding his own but he's definately a second tier prospect at best.

Justin Jackson - still on the DL

Ryan Goins - the most advanced hitter on the Lansing squad, Goins is nevertheless also blocked out by the backlog above him. He'll hopefully benefit from a full season in Lansing.

Gustavo Pierre will also be in short season ball, hopefully at Auburn. Though his future may now ultimately be at 3B.

Third Base:

Shawn Bowman - scooped up from the Mets in a little noticed waiver claim, Bowman has so far - sample size alert - been a revelation for the AA club. The Canadian righty has a .889 OPS and as many walks as strikeouts. He's also 25 years old and behind, well, no one of importance in AAA. My guess is that he'll be in AAA before the break so that Emaus can move back to 3B.

Kevin Ahrens - the less said the better.

Mark Sobolewski - One has to wonder why the Jays don't just recognize that he's two years older than Ahrens and swap the two of them. while his power has slacked off over the last couple of weeks, Sobo has done considerably more at Lansing than Ahrens ever did and there's a limit to what you can learn from having a 23 year old in Lo-A ball.

Outfield:

Chris Lubanski - the former high draft pick is doing his best to re-establish his prospect status. While it's difficult to see where he'd fit into the Jays future, and while one has to take PCL power with more than a grain of salt, his .939 OPS combined with his pedigree at least deserves mention.

Eric Thames - Just consistently rolling through the season. He leads the talented AA squad with 10 homers (and 49 strikeouts) and has been the #3 hitter for virtually every game. At 23, the Jays can afford to let him continue to build momentum for a couple more months.

Adam Loewen - Continues to build results in an upward direction. Loewen, 26, had a .695 OPS at Dunedin last year, though it was almost .200 points higher in the second half than in the first half. This year, pushed ahead to AA, his April mark was .721 and in May it's been .858. I'd be shocked if there wasn't a mid-season promotion in his future if he keeps this up.

Darin Mastorianni - a .781 OPS in May, 20 steals v. 2 caught on the season, almost as many walks as strikeouts t AA new Hampshire this year - I'm still getting a Scott Podsednick vibe off this guy. I'm not sure he's a fit for the Jays future but I'll bet he knocks around the bigs for several years before he's done.

Moises Sierra - still on the DL.

Wellinton Ramirez - The Dunedin RF has been pretty much under the radar among Jays' prospects until this month when he posted a .923 OPS. He's one of those guys who was signed raw and young out of the Dominican (in 2003 actually) who has taken a while to put things together. He still strikes out too much, but keep an eye on him.

Jake Marisnick is also slated for the Auburn squad.

Starting pitchers:

Marc Rzepczyinxki - has lost his rookie eligibility but, in my opinion, if you haven't established yourself for good in the majors, you are a prospect. Zep has had a though time getting his mechanics back after his injury. Reports (which have admittedly been sparse) seem to indicate he's seen a drop in fastball velocity and his location is elevated. Don't lose faith though, he's still a guy with very good potential.

Brad Mills - Mills burned through April like a house afaire, and has pitched in May like his ass was what was burning. His control deserted him, his K rate plummeted, and the hits piled up at an alarming rate. But a closer examination reveals that all that damage came in 2 of the last three starts. It's unclear what's gone wrong for Mills but there's far too much competition for the Jays' rotation for him to be having such setbacks and remain a viable alternative.

Bobby Ray - the injury prone Ray seemed to be finding his grove before finding himself back on the DL.

Kyle Drabek - Hasn't been dominating, but hasn't embarrassed himself like certain others. Jays can afford to leave him until he forces their hand.

Zach Stewart - In and out of the rotation as the Jays try to figure out what's wrong with his mechanics. it;s unclear if the poor results derive from the jays asking him to work at mastering a particular pitch, or correct some other mechanical issue, or whether he's just plain old having a bad year. He did have two effective starts previous to his last start so perhaps there's progress. Nevertheless, he's nowehre close to being promoted.

Bobby Bell - On the DL. Was giving up too many hits before he was hurt, despite solid, nay excellent BB:K ratios.

Randy Boone - quietly leading the AA staff. I expect he might be the first among these to reach AAA this year.

Luis Perez - control has fallen apart. His ERA in May is over 6.

Henderson Alvarez - Got absolutely PASTED in his last outing and saw his ERA skyrocket all the way to . . . 2.42 - this guy might be kinda good. He's given up 13 earned runs in nine starts, six of them in that one bad outing. Still looking for the strikeouts a bit but it's a minor quibble. Another thing to note, in over 245 minor league innings he's given up only eight homers - and four of them came in that last game.

Joel Cerrano - has an ERA of exactly 3 over his last eight appearances, and a BB:K ratio of 16:72 in 54.2 IP - it's time we started paying some attention to this guy.

Chuck Huggins - the 24 year old lefty doesn't ever really get mentioned among the Jays better prospects but he dominated in Dunedin (2.08 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP) before being called to NH to start one half of Saturday's double-header. Guys like this typically find life more difficult as they climb the ladder, but not always.

Chad Jenkins - tossed six shutout innings to finish May with a bang. Jays' personnel say the 2009 draftee still has some things to learn about pro ball, and his pitching coach says he'd like to see him stay in Lansing a while yet but, that said, the 55:11 K:BB ration makes you sit up and take notice.

Evan Crawford - had a 2.75 ERA after his May 18 start, but has taken his lumps in the last two starts.

Relief pitchers:

Trystan Magnuson - has five walks and 28 strikeouts in 30 IP in AA, and with his 25th birthday looming, he's overdue to try his hand at AAA hitters.

Tim Collins - doesn't have the sparkeling ERA that Magnuson has, but 3.70 isnt shameful when you have his supporting stats. Since he's just 20 though, he likely has a coupel more months at AA.

Danny Farquhar - has had a miserable May. The month can't end soon enough for him.

Frank Gailey - You've (likely) never heard of him. 30 K's and 2 walks says maybe you should. Flip side is he's old for the league (24) and really ought to be replacing some of the deadwood in New Hampshire.

Alan Farina - a 23 year old RHP, Farina's stats are almost as good as the left handed Gailey's, and arguably better. Farina matches him in strikeouts, in seven fewer innings. He's walked nine, but he's also given up only 13 hits. They do have this in common - both are due for promotion.

Matt Wright - in general, relieving at Lo-A ball is a pretty good sign you're not a real prospect, but Wright, and teammate Dustin Antolin, have solid impressive work so far.

I'll forgo updating the prospect list this month, look for a mid-season list as we near the break.

3 comments:

eyebleaf said...

Nicely done, WR.

Was at the 51s game last night; RZep topped out at 89 on the fastball.

SP said...

I love these updates. Sucks that Jackson and Sierra are on the DL. I was looking for bounce-back and breakout seasons from them, respectively.

Good to see Jenkins improving of late, but Stewart and Drabek worry me.

The Auburn short season team is going to be very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Really like them too, thanks!