Friday, 25 June 2010

Brandon Morrow Demands Your Attention

Last five games:

34 IP
22 H
5 ER
10 BB
27 K

1.32 ERA
0.92 WHIP

You like Apples?
How 'bout THEM apples?

Want more? If we set aside that unfortunate 1 2/3 IP in Boston, his ERA since April 19 would be 2.95 and moreover, since that episode in Boston his BB/9 is a very praiseworthy 2.94 (in 8 starts).

There's been some discussion about based on John Hyman's report that the Jays might trade pitching in July (no surprise) and that among those potentially shopped would be Shaun marcum which has produced consternation in some quarters, even with some suggesting Marcum was more to be extended than to be traded in their opinion. I personally disagree. Unless the Jays seriously think they can seriously contend this year and next, you have to see what the market for Marcum is, as much as we love him. With Rick-Ro pitching like a true ace, and Morrow and Cecil proving they are forces to be reckoned with, we have to seriously consider that Marcum, as good as he is, is not the future Ace of this team.

Don't get me wrong, I'm speaking here of a big payday, not just shoving him aside. But in terms of building for the future, the guy who needs to be hit up for a contract extension this fall is not Marcum, but Morrow.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Midseason Master List

Let's be frank, shall we? EVERY prospect list is highly subjective, fraught with bas and objectivity issues, and if not provided by a deeply staffed professional organization like Baseball America, is hindered by lack of complete data. Even the best of scouts don't see every player all that much and have to rely on the reports of others. The further removed one is from that process the more "hands" an opinion potentially passes through before someone like me gets the filtered out results.

Looking at statistics is very helpful, especially if one has done so over the course of enough time to identify trends and spot anomalies and consider things like splits and so forth. Adjustments in opinions have to be made for things like age and experience, injuries, organizational focus (i.e., for instance, Kevin Aherns being asked to stop switch hitting or Kenny Wilson being ask to start, or pitchers being told to focus on developing a specific secondary pitch) which brings you back around to being dependent on the quality of the info you are getting.

So what follows is simply my personal distillation of the information I pick up from more reliable sources, mixed with my own secret recipe of bias, intuition, and speculation. I'd feel worse about that if I didn't know that 95% of all the other prospect lists you are likely to read are spiced with a similar recipe.

I've broken this list up into tiers - I feel more strongly about who's in what tier than I do about the numerical ranks within the given tiers. the further from #1 you get, the more interchangeable the players within any given tier are. Everyone from yesterday's list will be included except the one or two that were largely factitious, plus one bonus guy who we don't actually have yet just because I want to get him on a list before the fall.

Obviously, no team has ever had 80 legitimate prospects, in fact, in any given farm system at any given time there are ulikely to be even 20 guys who actually have respectable major league careers. the problem is, you never know which 20 they are. I think though, that I've included every player in our system who has even a remote shot at that kind of success, with the disclaimer that I really can't say anything about the great majority of the DSL guys, or the late round draftees.

1. Kyle Drabek - RHP, will fint nicely between Rick-Ro and Cecil
2. Brett Wallace - 1B, could hit like Lind?
3. Adeiny Hechavarria - SS, great D, potentially impressive bat
4. Henderson Alverez - RHP, all he needs is time and continued health. Give him 2,3 more years.
5. Zach Stewart - RHP, Can start, might fit our team best as powerful closer?
6. Marc Rzepchinski - LHP, when a guy this good may have to fight for a spot, you are doing well.

7. JP Arencibia - C, John Buck, 2.0 - now with defense!
8. Travis d'Arnaud - C, For some reason, i keep thinking "McCann" with this guy.
9. Brad Emaus - 3B/2B . . . could be classic 2 hole hitter. Pedroia skill-set with less power?
10. Moises Sierra - RF, still developing bat, unbelievable RF arm and solid flycatching.
11. Adam Loewen - RF, Yes. He's this good. I can't prove it yet but wait and see.
12. Aaron Sanchez - RHP, no one else is listing him this high, but I think his ceiling is up there
13. Chad Jenkins - RHP, more likely to reach his ceiling, and faster, than Sanchez
14. Deck McGuire* - RHP, Ditto (still unsigned)
15. Carlos Perez - C, was lavished with praise in off-season.
16. Antonio Jimenez - C, has been lavished with praise THIS season, excelling in Lo-A at 20.
17. Gustavo Pierre - SS, get comparisons to very good players, may grow into 3B
18. Tim Collins - LHRP, does the impossible, routinely.
19. Brian Jeroloan - C, always had outstanding D, now the bat is impressing too.
20. Mike McDade, 1B, Cecil Fielder 2.0?

21. Jake Marisnick - CF, we haven't seen him play yet, but a lot of great clippings
22. Eric Thames - LF, if this guy could play CF, and stay healthy, he'd be top 10.
23. Tyler Pastornicky - SS, holding his own in the FSL at 20
24. Justin Jackson - SS, leap of faith that he can get past injuries and develop
25. Josh Roenicke - RHRP, why can't he bring control to the majors? Mental block?

26. Brad Mills - LHP, just too many high ceiling SP about for him to get a real chance here
27. Danny Farquhar - RHRP, marvelously unorthodox and thus intriguing
28. Trystan Magnuson - RHRP, Mr. Dependable
29. Asher Wojciechowski - RHP, considered a bit of a steal, may not get a lot more IP this year
30. Adonis Cardona* - RHP, just based on the bonus they are reportedly paying

31. John Tolisano - 2B/3B, Need longer spell of success before at plate before I buy in completely
32. Griffin Murphy* - LHP, unsigned as yet - got a lot of praise
33. Marcus Kenect - OF, starting a high schooler at Auburn is a big compliment.
34. Devy Estrada - LHP, my pet project . . . I think others will be calling his name soon.
35. Noah Syndergaard - RHP, like 3 above and others, could shoot up the list once established
36. Shawn Bowman - 3B, a bit of an "out of nowhere" story at this point
37. Scott Campbell - 2B, health a serious issue
38. Ryan Goins - SS, among most impressive hitters in Lansing
39. Dicke Joe Thon* - SS, may not sign, AA called him "a first round talent"
40. Darin Mastorianni - CF, i keep thinking "Scott Podsednick"

41. Chris Lubanski - LF, might not have a place to play, needs a chance
42. Mark Sobolewski - 3B, old for previous level, will get better test now
43. Sean Ochinko - 3B/C, versatility will carry him if he hits some
44. Alan Farina - RHP, dominating, needs a higher level of competition now
45. Kevin Aherns - 3B, we'll have to see how the experiment goes
46. Bobby Bell - RHP, there has to be a reason why he's struggling so.
47. K.C. Hobson - 1B/LF, soon well see if he lives up to pretty good clippings
48. David Cooper - 1B, a mystery what's taking him so long to pull it together
49. Kenny Wilson - CF, raw, and learning to switch, needs lots of time
50. Sam Dyson* - RHP, unsigned, bedeviled by injury but great tools

51. Kris Bryant* - SS/3B, hard to sign, highly praised, could shoot up list if he signs
52. Wellinton Ramirez - RF, interesting player but BB/K ratio is UGLY right now.
53. Yan Gomes - C, how does he ever climb such a deep depth chart?
54. Randy Boone - RHP, marginal guy but gets the most out of it
55. Kellen Sweeney* - SS/3B - compared favorably to brother, could rise fast - unsigned
56. Chris Hawkins - SS/3B - Ditto, except the unsigned thing
57. Justin Nicolino* - LHP, based solely on draft position here.
58. Luis Perez - LHP, could be a Brian Tallet sort
59. Chuck Huggins - LHP, my gut is that he'll hit a ceiling before he hits the majors
60. Egan Smith - RHP, could rise fast if he does so well against player his age

61. Jarret Huffpuair - 2B/3B, marginal guy who better savor his 15 minutes
62. Brian Dopirak - 1B, needed to bolt from the gate in AAA and didn't. Next Ruiz?
63. Bobby Ray - RHP, if he could ever get healthy, could help a pen alal Pete Walker
64. Drew Hutchinson - RHP, could shoot up chart if he impresses
65. Daniel Webb - RHP, ditto
66. Dustin Antolin - RHRP, sidelined by TJ
67. Brad McElroy - OF, old for his level
68. Joel Cerrano - RHP, lots of K's, inconsistent elsewhere
69. Marcus Brisker - CF, like Kenny Wilson, only even more raw
70. Balbino Fuenmayor - 1B, still quite young but needs to step up
71. Jon Talley - C/1B - in an thinner organization (at his position) he'd have a better shot
72. Ryan Schempf - 2B, will take a lot of work and dedication, but it's a thin position
73. Santiago Nessy - C, just too soon to say yet for one so young
74. Ronald Uviedo - RHP, under the radar for now.
75. Mike McCoy - SS, if he can convince the Jays, he'll have a couple of years in the sun.
76. Kyle Ginley - RHP, has to get healthy first.
77. Eric Eiland - Cf, clock is ticking louder all the time
78. Evan Crawford - LHP, impressed early, has slumped badly since mid-May
79. Ray Gonzalez - RHP, probably reached his ceiling
80. John Jaspe - fringe MLB guy in a weak organization, at best

HM: Sean Henn, Rommie Lewis, Kenny Rodriguez, Andrew Liebel, Kyle Phillips

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Mid-Season Prospectapalooza!

It's roughly mid-season for the upper level teams, and the short season teams are just getting started, so as promised, I have a two day binge of prospect porn for your consideration. Rather than pad what will already be massive posts, I'll just tell you what's in store and then get to it.

Tonight, I'm going to re-rank the players by position. Tomorrow night, I'll rank an overall list which will stretch quite possibly to 80 names. Both posts will include 2010 draftees (purely on clippings and speculation and will presume the signing of every unsigned player above the sixth round and one other guy (along with those who are signed from a lower slot already). I ask your understanding that players who haven't played yet this year (or in a few cases, at all) are ranked based on more projection/assumption/P.I.O.O.M.A. than others on the list.

Also, the tendency for prospect geeks is to over-react to a slump or streak and adjust the list too much and too quickly. I tried to avoid that unless there's a larger trend in play.

(The premium position among Jays offensive prospects)

1. JP Arencibia - probably not the highest ceiling, but he's almost arrived and thus has fewer hurdles left to overcome.
2. Travis d'Arnaud - same song in a lesser key, the next two guys are studs but d'Arnaud is more advanced.
3. Carlos Perez - not going to dismiss the off-season praise due to the excellent start of...
4. Antonio Jimenez - really getting a lot of buzz among Jays watchers.
5. Brian Jeroloman - on pure physical talent he goes here, but he might be the most likely of the bunch to reach his ceiling.
6. Yan Gomes - dropped off some lately, edges out here because of reports regarding defense
7. Jon Talley - big guy, may not stay behind the plate, has intriguing bat.
8. Santiago Nessy - very young and very raw.
9. Jon Jaspe - buried on the depth chart but MIGHT be the sort that surfaces in the majors with someone.

First Base:

1. Brett Wallace - lot of over-reaction to recent slump about, including those who "knew all along" he wasn't a big deal, but he's a fairly big deal.
2. Mike McDade - Big Mike has found his stroke this year and is punishing the ball.
3. KC Hobson - pure speculation combined with the continuing struggles of...
4. David Cooper - shows occasional flashes but far more rarely than he should.
5. Brian Dopirak - was removed from the 40 and no other team claimed him. That's a wake up call concerning how professionals view him.
6. Balbino Fuenmayor - Still young but taking a long time to figure it out.
7. John Delgado - I know nothing about him, he's on the DSL team. But how can you not pay attention to a Delgado?!

Second Base:
(tricky to rank because of fluidity among infielders moving among positions)

1. John Tolisano - seems to have figured things out in the last six weeks or so. Still probably won't end up at second if he makes the majors but this is where he has the most experience.
2. Scott Campbell - Hip injury could be career killer, but if he can take the field his bat must be respected.
3. Jarrett Huffpauir - not really a prospect, but tearing up AAA with everything but power and he's close enough to pay some attention to.
4. Ryan Schimpf - Marginal guy, behind not only those above him but a few other guys who are now playing another position. Still, he's the sort who could fight his way to the majors and stick around a few years on determiniation maybe.

Third Base:

1. Brad Emaus - moved up to AAA and took just a game or two to start pounding opposing pitchers. He insists you take hm seriously.
2. Shawn Bowman - waiver claim at first thought by fans (at least by me) to be filler (sort of like Dopirak) but the 25 year old is raking in AA and turning heads.
3. Mark Sobolewski - thouse who have seen him play suggest caution, pointing to his age for his level. But the crop really thins fast at third.
4. Sean Ochinko - versitle guy, could be ranked as a catcher but he fares better in this group. Again, you really won't know what you have until he preforms at a higher level.
5. Kevin Aherns - was sent back to Lansing to adjust to dropping switch-hitting (he was much better from one side than the other) - still too early to tell if that will rescue his career.
6. Kris Bryant - power potential give him very slight edge over two fellow draftees in 2010. Has been called "young Troy Glaus" by some.
7. (tie) Kellen Sweeney & Chris Hawkins - shortstops who project to shift to third, some would rank all three of these ahead of Aherns and possibly Ochinko right now. Some would rank Bryant third in fact.


1. Adeiny Hechavarria - extended slump may worry some, but too highly regarded to ignore.
2. Gustavo Pierre - all projection and assumption here based on reports - may well shift to 3B if Adeiny thrives.
3. Tyler Pastornicky - health gives him the edge over...
4. Justin Jackson - I still believe, but if Hechevarria works out both of these guys may find themselves groomed at 2B as well.
5. Ryan Goins - older and should be more advanced than the previous two, but stuck behind them on the depth chart. Said to play above his actual talent level.
6. Dicke Joe Thon - might bebetter than Goins right now but since he may not sign...
7. Mike McCoy - lowest ceiling here, perhaps, but very close and Jays think if he can play major league defense he might be the bridge to Adeiny.

(looks deep but covers all three spots)

1. Moises Sierra - has been injured all season, but RF defense and potentially solid bat are still there.
2. Adam Loewen - I'll take some grief for this but he's blossomed over the last couple of months into the player the Jays and others thought he could become. Still unpolished in the outfield but dedicated and you have to assume he has the arm for RF.
3. Jake Marisnick - the CF hasn't played a pro game yet but he gets so much love from those who observe that it must mean something.
4. Eric Thames - has a real solid bat that gets better as he finally has a healthy season (so far). though he's slumped lately he's added power to his game this year. Would rank higher but for defensive questions.
5. Marcus Kenect - 2010 draftee, I base this almost entierly on the fact that the jays thought the HS outfielder was ready to start in Auburn just a week or so after signing.
6. Darin Mastorianni - Reed Johnson style guy, by all reports.
7. Chris Lubanski - may not really have a place to play in Toronto, and still has some bad ratios, but a guy with his pedigree tearing up the PCL deserves at least a nod, because he's in AAA and doing it.
8. Kenny Wilson - learning to switch hit, take batting stats with a lot of salt.
9. Wellinton Ramirez - could arguably rank as high as fifth on this list.
10. Brad McElroy - too old for the level, proceed with caution
11. Marcus Brisker - saw raw he moos when you stick a fork in him. What? Nevermind. Has done nothing yet but has time.
12. Eric Eiland - like Brisker only with less time, he's two years older (though still only 21).

Starting Pitchers:

1. Kyle Drabek - when looking at the stats of Jays top starting prospects this year, keep in mind two things (a) variable defense, particularly when the pitcher induces a lot of grounders; and (b) the Jays have instructed some pitchers to focus on developing certain pitches which they will throw in order to work on the pitch, no matter if it's not their best one. Every report says Drabek is on course. I think they might venture him to AAA in August.
2. Henderson Alvarez - confidence may be the only thing standing in his way. His coaches say if he has a bad inning he tends to fall apart. Otherwise he has a huge future. Probably won't move up since he's so young.
3. Zach Stewart - the Jays' depth is such that despite all protestations, Stewart might end up the closer. But he's shown flashes of why he's so highly praised.
4. Marc Rzepczynski - not actually a prospect in the technical sense, but i don't consider him an established major leaguer. Although that doesn't mean he won't be pretty darn good. He might not have the tools of the first rounders but he's gotten this high so, as with others, there are fewer potential pitfalls between him and his ceiling.
5. Aaron Sanchez - going a bit against the grain here, he's further away than the college guys but has a higher ceiling potentially.
6. Chad Jenkins - doing everything the Jays have asked and building an impressive ratio, albeit a college guy is a bit old for the league. One assumes he'll get promoted at some point.
7. Deck McGuire - said to be quite similar to Jenkins.
8. Brad Mills - lower ceiling than most here, better chance to reach it, particularly if he ends up in the NL.
9. Asher Wojciechowski - has a lot of innings already this year, could rise fast (like McGuire is expected to) starting next year.
10. Griffin Murphy - considered a bit of a steal (as were several of this year's picks) at that position.
11. Devy Estrada - Dominated the DSL at 17, almost no one has heard of him but that might change.
12. Noah Syndergaard - hard to get a read on the late risers but the Jays love him.
13. Bobby Bell - having a rough year, eventually a reliever I expect, especially in THIS organization.
14. Sam Dyson - extensive injury history but highly praised.
15. Randy Boone - no name or reputation but was having a very impressive year until he was hurt.
16. Luis Perez - I'm not a big believer, his AA manager expects him to relieve in the majors if he makes it.
17. Chuck Huggins - probably one of those guys who doesn't translate well to upper levels.
18. Egan Smith - had done well so far, we'll have to see what happens as he moves up.
19. Bobby Ray - can't stay healthy.
20 (tie) - Drew Hutchenson & Daniel Webb - 2009 draftees, got a lot of positive press last year but just starting their pro careers this month.
22. Joel Cerrano - lots of K's, needs to figure a few things out to move up.
23. Evan Crawford - flashes but very little data so far.
24. Ray Gonzalez - AA stuff hasn't translated to AAA
25. Andrew Liebel - hasn't taken step up that he needs to be noticed.

Relief Pitchers:

1. Tim Collins - When are they going to start calling this guy "The Freak"? It's not supposed to be possible to do what he does.
2. Josh Roenicke - if he ever manages to bring his control with him when he comes north, he'll be special.
3. Danny Farquhar - perhaps not a massive physical talent but has a very deep bag of tricks.
4. Trystan Magnuson - the opposite of Collins in everything but success. Tall lanky guy isn't a power pitcher but he went eight weeks (actually pitching) without giving up a single run.
5. Alan Farina - older relievers at lower levels don't often get a lot of regard but he does.
6. Dustin Antolin - sidelined by TJ - has some intriguing tools.
7. Ronald Uviedo - being used as a starter out of necessity, most comments suggest he is best suited to be a reliever.
8. Kyle Ginley - can't stay healthy, might yet start if he could.

That's 81 names! Have any suggestions (besides DSL guys) for players I missed? I'll attempt a ranking tomorrow unless hindered.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Meet Your Auburn Doubledays!

Prospect geeks, assemble!

Finally - on the day that play begins in Auburn for the Jays Rookie league entry in the NY/Penn League, the Auburn Doubledays roster is public - albeit not entirely up to date. Here's the roster from the link above:

20Zach AndersonPRR6' 0"19510-20-1986ActiveNo
31Scott GraceyPRR6' 2"19010-15-1986ActiveNo
18Shawn GriffithPRR5' 10"18005-24-1987ActiveNo
30Juan HernandezPLL6' 0"18010-25-1987ActiveNo
10Andrew HutchisonPLR6' 2"16508-22-1990ActiveNo

Casey LawrencePRR6' 2"17010-28-1987ActiveNo

Dayton MarzePRR6' 2"18501-01-1989ActiveNo
39Leandro MellaPLL6' 4"19005-05-1990ActiveNo
9Zach OutmanPRR6' 2"18012-29-1987ActiveNo

Drew PermisonPRR5' 10"17002-24-1989ActiveNo
8Egan SmithPLL6' 5"20003-16-1989ActiveNo
34Sam StricklandPLL6' 5"21006-09-1987ActiveNo
22Daniel WebbPRR6' 3"21008-18-1989ActiveNo

Catchers (click column headers to sort)
# Name Pos Bat Thw Ht Wt DOB Status MLB 40-man
27Joseph BowenCSR6' 1"19009-25-1987ActiveNo
44Jack MurphyCSR6' 4"23504-06-1988ActiveNo
3Carlos PerezCRR6' 0"19310-27-1990ActiveNo

Infielders (click column headers to sort)
# Name Pos Bat Thw Ht Wt DOB Status MLB 40-man
23Lance Durham1BLR5' 11"21002-20-1988ActiveNo
24Yudelmis Hernandez1BRR6' 4"20505-18-1987ActiveNo
7Oliver Dominguez2BSR5' 9"15604-23-1989ActiveNo
11Jonathan Fernandez2BSR6' 0"17509-17-1987ActiveNo
6Matthew Nuzzo3BRR6' 0"20503-18-1987ActiveNo
21Randy Schwartz3BRR6' 4"23501-25-1986ActiveNo
25Matt JohnsonIFRR6' 3"21005-26-1988ActiveNo
2Gustavo PierreSSRR6' 2"18312-28-1991ActiveNo

Outfielders (click column headers to sort)
# Name Pos Bat Thw Ht Wt DOB Status MLB 40-man
17Yeico AponteRFLL6' 2"19012-17-1988ActiveNo
15Markus BriskerCFRR6' 3"21008-21-1990ActiveNo
19Marcus KnechtOFRR6' 1"20006-21-1990ActiveNo
28Stephen McQuailOFRR6' 2"22506-10-1989ActiveNo
14John RobertsLFLL6' 1"21507-24-1986ActiveNo

You can add to that the name of 2010 draft pick Asher Wojciechowski.

My guess is Woj, Smith, Webb and Hutcheson will be starters - I'm uncertain who the fifth guy is.

The hitters to watch here are mainly Perez and Pierre. Beyond that, Kenect, Aponte, Durham, and Brisker are players with interesting potential.

Among highly picked players who haven't been assigned yet which may be assumed to be bound for the GCL team (supposedly to be announced tomorrow) are 1b/OF KC Hobson and CF Jake Marisnick from 2009, and as yet unsigned players from the 2010 draft like Kelin Sweeney, Dicke Joe Thon and others - assuming they sign. Albeit some unsigned college players will be added to the Auburn roster when they sign I'm sure.

On an unrelated note....there's an unconfirmed report about that the Jays have signed Nick Green and that he's expected to join the major league roster which, if true, surely means Mike McCoy is bound for Vegas.

Monday, 14 June 2010

News from the Farm

This is a totally random collection of things having to do with Jays' prospects and draftees gathered from various places around the web, mainly because I'm impatient to save these tidbits until the end of the month minor league report.

Item: According to Marc Hulet at Batter's Box, the Jays will announce the Auburn roster on Wednesday, and the GCL Blue Jays roster on Saturday. I'm sure lots of speculation will be addressed by this revelation;

Item: Trystan Magnuson gave up a run in his last appearance. What makes this newsworthy is that it's the first time in eight weeks in which that has happened;

Item: Tim Collins is back on track. He has a 2.03 ERA over his last 10 appearances after having struggled a bit over the first three weeks of May;

Item: Adam Loewen is getting more and more notice as a legitimate prospect (see an article on that subject here). Remember he's only in his second year as a professional hitter, discount him at your peril;

Item: Kevin Ahrens has gone to Lansing while Mark Sobolewski comes up to take his place in Dunedin and both trips were well earned. Of note here is that the Jays have told Aherns to abandon switch hitting and work from the right side only (he had a .267 BA as a RH hitter which is remarkable given the overall average of .168);

Item: Last year's first pick, Chad Jenkins, has a K/BB rate over 5:1

Item: JP Arencibia is hitting .351 in June with a 1.211 OPS;

Item: inconsistent Zach Stewart has a 2.78 ERA over his last six starts, five of which were solid outings.

Item: John Tolisano has spent the last couple of weeks putting himself back on the prospect map by hitting .432 in June. Sample size cautions apply.

Item: Moises Sierra was almost back from his original injury when he hurt his wrist while rehabbing. he's out indefinitely. Also, Scott Campbell, the Kiwi sensation of 2008 is sidelined by a pretty serious hip injury and the Jays have no clue when he'll be back (it wasn't said "if ever" but that's my gut feeling);

Item: The Jays have signed 4 of their first nine draft picks, and 2 (or 3?) from the lower rounds. The four higher round players are Syndergaard, Murphy, Hawkins and Kenecht. Also, it's reported that second rounder Justin Nicolino and Supplemental round pick Aaron Sanchez are all but locks to sign, and another article expressed confidence that 2nd rounder Kelin Sweeney was an excellent bet to sign. No one seems worried about first rounder Deck McGuire. The first hard sign looks to be fifth rounder Dicke Joe Thon. Eighteenth round steal Kris Bryant (comparisons have been made to a young Troy Glaus) is also said to be expecting a substantial bonus to sign but reports are mixed on whether the Jays are ready to pay the price.

By next weekend we'll be around halfway through the minor league schedule and It's my intention to post a prospect ranking at that point which will include the results of the 2010 draft as players under consideration, with the caveat that anyone who hasn't played this year in the Jays system can only be assigned a rough ranking based on reports I've seen. i don't know yet how long the list will be but it's my intent to be exhaustive.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Uncle Cito drops another "WTF" bomb

I haven't been over the blog-roll this morning so I don't know whether anyone else has picked up on or commented on this but I just can't resist calling attention to it.

On the Blue Jays official site, they have the news notes for the day yesterday and you can find the post here.

The first blurb is about Overbay's adjustment which has led to his recent quality work at the plate (which is good to hear) and the second tell you what you by-now already know about John McDonald's being put on the bereavement list. But it's the third item which fascinates me. I'll quote it here for your consideration and ask the class to identify what's wrong with it:

David Purcey continues to look strong coming out of the bullpen, and he could become the go-to reliver late in games.

In Wednesday's 10-1 loss to the Rays, the 28-year-old left-hander tossed two scoreless innings after pitching a scoreless frame the night before.

"I tell you, he's probably had just one bad outing since he's been up here" Gaston said. "He's probably had one bad outing all year, including Spring Training. He cut his finger during the spring, and that took away the curveball. He had to just throw fastball, changeup -- and that's been big for him, because now he has that changeup to go to."

In three appearances this season, Purcey has allowed just three hits in four innings, while dealing three strikeouts and no walks.

Did you catch that? Everyone with me? I'm tempted to just assume you are but just in case, I'll point it out:

I tell you, he's probably had just one bad outing since he's been up here" Gaston said. "He's probably had one bad outing all year, including Spring Training. He cut his finger during the spring, and that took away the curveball. He had to just throw fastball, changeup -- and that's been big for him, because now he has that changeup to go to."

The Problem? It wasn't Purcey who cut his finger, it was Cecil.

Insert big-ass eye-roll smilie here.

These are the days of our Cito. Still, as long as they keep winning this stuff becomes nothing but eccentricity, but it does make you wonder.

Anywho, as long as I'm talking about Purcey let me just offer up the totally irrational and based on nothing but personal bias opinion that if I got my wish, Purcey would build up enough of a track record over the coming months that by August he'd be given the closing role and would run away from the pack and lock it down for the coming few years. I'm just attached enough to high draft picks that I hate to see any of them fail or even settle for mediocrity. he was a first rounder, damnit, and I want to see him play a key role. Screw using mediocre imports like Kevin Gregg.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

2010 Draft, Day Two

Here's a complete list through pick #30, via Baseball America.

College players bolded, pitchers in blue:

Round Overall Player Position School State
1 11 Deck McGuire RHP Georgia Tech Ga.
1s 34 Aaron Sanchez RHP Barstow (Calif.) HS Calif.
1s 38 Noah Syndergaard LHP Legacy HS, Mansfield, Texas Texas
1s 41 Asher Wojciechowski RHP The Citadel S.C.
2 61 Griffin Murphy LHP Redlands (Calif.) East Valley HS Calif.
2 69 Kellen Sweeney 3B Jefferson HS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Iowa
2 80 Justin Nicolino RHP University HS, Orlando Fla.
3 93 Christopher Hawkins 3B North Gwinnett HS, Suwanee, Ga. Ga.
3s 113 Marcus Knecht OF Connors State (Okla.) JC Okla,
4 126 Sam Dyson RHP South Carolina S.C.
5 156 Dickie Joe Thon SS Academia Perpetio Socorro, San Juan, P.R.
6 186 Sean Nolin LHP San Jacinto (Texas) JC Texas
7 216 Mitchell Taylor LHP Spring (Texas) HS Texas
8 246 Logan Ehlers LHP Nebraska City (Neb.) HS Neb.
9 276 Brandon Mims SS Smith HS, Carrollton, Texas Texas
10 306 Tyler Shreve RHP Phelps County HS, Redlands, Calif. Calif.
11 336 Shane Opitz SS Heritage HS, Centennial, Colo. Colo.
12 366 Omar Cotto OF Bonneville School, San Juan, P.R. P.R.
13 396 Tyler Painton LHP Centennial HS, Bakersfield, Calif. Calif.
14 426 Dayton Marze RHP Louisiana-Lafayette La.
15 456 Zak Adams LHP Flower Mound (Texas) HS Texas
16 486 Dalton Pompey OF Fraser SS, Mississauga, Ont.
17 516 Myles Jaye RHP Starrs Mill HS, Fayetteville, Ga. Ga.
18 546 Kris Bryant 3B Bonanza HS, Las Vegas Nev.
19 576 Travis Garrett RHP Cypress (Calif.) JC Calif.
20 606 Art Charles LHP Bakersfield (Calif.) JC Calif.
21 636 Chris Marlowe RHP Navarro (Texas) JC Texas
22 666 Aaron Westlake OF Vanderbilt Tenn.
23 696 Angel Gomez OF Maria Cruz Buitrago HS, San Lorenzo
24 726 Ronald Melendez OF Cowley County (Kan.) CC Kan.
25 756 Brando Tessar RHP Chaminade HS, West Hills, Calif. Calif.
26 786 Jay Johnson LHP Texas Tech Texas
27 816 Eric Arce C Lakeland (Fla.) HS Fla.
28 846 Adaric Kelly RHP Trinity Christian Academy, Lake Worth, Fla. Fla.
29 876 Jonathan Jones OF Long Beach State Calif.
30 906 Steve McQuail SS/INF Canisius N.Y.

Technically, I don't know if that last one is a college or not but it presents like one. Also, five of the 13 college players are JC guys.

Names on the second day to take note of include Murphy, Sweeney (brother of the A's outfielder Ryan Sweeney) Dyson (big talent who slid due to injury which is now past), Thon (son of former Astro All-Star), Pompey (the one Candian so far), and Bryant (great raw power, emphesis on the "raw").

>In other news today, Marc Rzepczynski had a respectable start in AAA tonight while Brian Tallet was getting pounded by the Rays. The fact that these two happen to be on the same rotation puts ideas in my head (with all due respect to Jesse Litsch);
>Other players who had a good night include Brett Wallace and JP Arencibia.

>Zach Stewart had his best outing in AA since April;
>Trystan Magnuson has now driven his ERA down to 0.81 and hasn't given up an earned run in nearly a month (one wonders how bad the Vegas pen has to suck for him to get promoted);
>My pet hobby horse Adam Loewen is flirting with a .300 BA now and his slash lines since May 1 are .331/.399/.556/.955 (again I have to ask, who is Chris Aguila to hold this guy back, to say nothing of the recent signing of DeWayne "Pappy" Wise);
>3B Shawn Bowman is sporting a .976 OPS since moving up to AA as well, while Brian Jeroloman is at .973;

>In Dunedin, big Mike McDade went 4/4 tonight with a triple (!) and looks like this since May 1: .340/.376/.596/.972;

The short season team at Auburn begins play in just over a week, and there are as many as half a dozen hitters who I expect to be on that team worth paying attention to, and 2 starters from last years draft and potentially McGuire if he were to sign quickly. Once the rosters are set I'll have a brief preview of players to keep an eye on.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Day One reaction

As you surely already know, the Jays took four RHP in Day One (or should that be Night One?) of the MLB draft and since there are multitudiounus sources for deeply insightful details about the four, I'll spare you yet another repition. Check out Bluebird Banter in the sidebar link for a Jays-centric rundown. My quick takes are as follows:

Deck McGuire - I like it. Whether or not he was my first choice, I can't argue with what I've seen about him. Taking each pick in isolation, this is a solid pick even if he is a very similar guy to Chad Jenkins for the simple reason that Jenkins is not a sure thing and neither is McGuire. The only hesitation I have here is this is a guy who's said to be capable of moving quickly. But I'm not sure the young staff we have really needs an injection of first round talent three years hence. I imagine that the 2014 rotation will feature the best/healthiest five out of Romero, Morrow, Cecil, Zep, Drabek, Alverez, Jenkins, and Stewart and that's assuming we don't extend Marcum. It's true there's a high attrition rate especially for pitchers but still . . . there are certainly worse problems to have though.

Aaron Sanchez - fine by me, again, I'm clearly no scout but it seems like solid value at this point. This kid being a high schooler can afford to take five years or so to climb the ladder.

Noah Syndergaard - Dunno anything about him, but said to be very signable and this is an unprotected pick so I defer to the front office here . . . my only quibble is that IF it was about signability, surely there was something other than a RHP who was signable here? But what the heck.

Asher Wojciechowski - sounds good but why in the heck must they give me these guys I have to copy and paste so much? In the abstract, my only real complaint here is in the context of the other three. IF he was the first or second SP they had drafted and they had got a guy this good at this slot, I'd be really happy.

I'n just kind of bummed about the monotony, which I admit is completely irrational.

Looking ahead to tomorrow (i repeat, no one knows a damn thing apparently) here's my board (I'm not going to mention too many pitchers just because I think it'd be nuts to use 8 of the first 10 - or whatever - on pitchers . . . but there are good ones left i won't mention):

Austin Wilson (STILL!) - one may have to concede at this point that he told teams that under no circumstances would he sign and someone will wait and burn a tenth rounder or something on him just in case;
Stetson Allie - Frankie Piliere asked in the Fanhouse chat tonight of Allie "What do these teams know that we don't?" I, for one, would take a chance, even if he is the fifth pitcher we take.
Kendrick Perkins - an outfielder I've read good things about;
Yorby Cabrera/Chad Lewis/Garin Cecchini/Dominic Ficociello - high school third basemen (or shortstops who project at third), I don't know enough to distinguish among them but I've seen good reports on all four.
Evan Rutckyj - yes he's another pitcher and yes he's another eye-chart dude, but he has an intriguing backstory.
Jarrett Parker - Virginia Outfielder said to be one of the better athletes left among position players.

A couple of links before I go, regarding tonight's picks:

John Lott writes McGuire is considered a "bulldog."

Shi Davidi tells us much of the same info, but quotes a scout comparing McGuire to John Lackey.

More links will be added if I find some good stuff.

Omnibus Draft News and Notes

I fully intended to write a well reasoned and all-encompassing post on tonight's MLB draft, the truth is that there is so much fluidity in this draft that being concise (am I ever?) and to the point is all but impossible. So rather than doing that, I'm going to try to do things a bit differently than usual. After some preliminary remarks, what this post will be is pretty much a link-fest of everything I can find from "credible sources" on what the Jays might do. I'll include all i have at the moment in the initial post, and then update as I find new info throughout the afternoon (albeit, I'll be off line for a few hours at some point which can't be avoided). In other words, though I usually don't do repeated udates once a post is up, that's pretty much all this one will be about.

The first layer of foundation when discussing this draft is to acknowledge the guys you'd love to have who will be off the board before you pick. It's pretty much a lock that Harper, Tallion, Machado, Both Sales, Poneranz and likely Grandal will be gone. Also, CF Michael Choice is one player who has been said to be attractive to the Jays which most mocks have off the board before the Jays pick.

Beyond that, there is a huge amount of fluidity, as many scouts suggest that once you get past the first three players, there's a second tier of 5-10 guys and then the next 40 or 50 guys are pretty close in terms of value. That has a lot of teams all over the place on who they are looking at. I'll indulge myself here and mention some of my preferences. I advise you to remember I am neither a scout nor any other sort of expert. I like these guys based on factors which range from heeding the views of professionals I trust all the way down to simplistic factors like who there daddy is.

The names (other than Choice) I'd love to see in the Jays' column over the next couple of days include outfielders Austin Wilson, and Delino DeShields Jr., starting pitchers Karsten Whitson, Stetsen Allie, Cameron Bedrosian, Evan Rutckyj and Addison Reed (the latter two in later rounds), third basemen Nick Castellanos, and Dominic Ficociello, and catcher Kelin Deglan (a Canadian and the only catcher I'm interested in for the upper rounds of this draft).

That list is not, of course, all inclusive and there are others who would meet with my approval - those are just the ones I've gotten a bit of a fetish for. Also, I'd love to see the Jays take another go at James Paxton if he falls to the right slot. He'd have to sign a waiver allowing them to take him, though. I'm assuming that's a formality. Wilson is my favorite among these though, by far. I don't really have any preference as to which pick he falls to, I just want the Jays to draft him.

Wilson, for those who don't know, is widely considered to be the second or third most talented position player in the draft, but also almost entirely unsignable due to his off-the-charts academics and strong commitment to Stanford. He doesn't even have an adviser. Hes also said to peg the meter on character and makeup. My thinking here is that, given that scouts widely agree the talent level in 2011 is much higher than in 2010, there's a good gamble here in trying to land Wilson with the #11 pick because, even if he doesn't sign, you get a high pick in a much stronger drsft next year. I've heard speculation that the Jays ought to go for signability on the first pick and take chances later but i think the exact opposite is true - roll the dice at 11, and go for safe-signs on the unprotected picks you got for last year's unsigned players.

All that said, here's what I'm getting from around the net:

Scouting Director Andrew Tinnish commented on the draft for the Fan590 here.

Frankie Piliere has his latest (and last?) Mock up at Fanhouse here. He disappoints me by shifting from previous mocks giving Wilson to the Jays to now thinking they'll go with a safer selection - Deck McGuire.

Pilere also hosted a live chat on the draft here. if that's not enough he has buzz updates on this page.

Jim Callis at Baseball America has his latest mock here, and it's pretty widely divergent from the conventional wisdom on several picks. He has the Jays taking DeShields at #11 which, as much as I like him, seems a pretty big overdraft to me.

John Sickels' latest "last" mock is up on his blog here. He has now joined Callis in calling it for DeShields, while acknowledging the strong buzz about Wilson.

From a Jays Fan perspective, check out the Batter's Box thread on the draft, and the one at Bluebird Banter, as well as the latter site's brief chat with Andy Seiler of MLB Bonus Baby.

Of course MLB Trade Rumors will be providing hot links all afternoon to the latest buzz.'s Jonathan Mayo has Travis Snider clone Josh Sale falling to the Jays. As much as I love Snider, I'm not sure if it's not a bit complicated to have two of him. He's another (along with Sickels and others) who has Wilson falling out of the first round altogether. if that's true, all the more reason I'd grab him at #34 if he's still there (that's the Scutaro pick which is also protected).

Keith Law, of course, has his latest up - but you have to be an Insider to see it and if you are an Insider you really don't need a link from me, right?

Feel free to add any good links you might know of, or clue us in to any late-breaking news that comes over Twitter or whatever, in the comments.

Again, I'll update this post as info and opportunity allows.

Update: Clearly the Jays scoff at my strategy for the first pick - They go with the safe pick in RHP Deck McGuire.

No point, at this late hour, in throwing out more links, eh? i'll still add anything I find worthy but I assume you are all at higher traffic sites by now.

Update: Well, 4 picks tonight - 4 RHP, one I'm ok with, one is kinda exciting, one I never heard of, and one I can't spell. I confess I'm feeling underwhelmed right now.

I'll be in later with a post looking ahead at who's still available that I covet for tomorrow but, ya know, I no longer have any illusion about knowing what the hell is going on.