JP Arencibia demands your respect!
The Toronto Blue Jays closest (of many) catching prospect is lighting up las Vegas and the PCL brighter than any casino lights. Fresh from off-season eye surgery (and kidney surgery, by the way) the University of Tennessee prospect is having a break-out year and since the first of June, the 24 year old right-handed hitter has lost his freakin' mind.
skeptics and pessimists caution against over-exuberance, noting the inflationary effects of the PCL. But even when adjusted for that (see the Minor league Equivalency Calculator) Arencibia's stats adjust to pretty much exactly the same stat line that carried incumbent Jays' catcher to the All-Star game.
consider: Here's Buck's current stats:
223 AB, 60 hits, 13 doubles, 13 homers, 4o RBI, 9 BB, 64 SO, .269/.304/.502/.806
Here's JPA's adjusted line (laying aside whether or not i actually agree with the adjustment - I don't, entirely, when it comes to OBP)
293, 74, 21, 1, 16, 41, 17, 67, .254/..295/.491/.786
Keep in mind, that's what would be Arencibia's rookie season against Buck's career year - yes, buck hasn't exactly had a huge career, but it's good enough this year to be among the AL leaders in most offensive categories.
Just for fun, let's run those equivalencies on JP's stats since June 1. since that's only 121 at bats, lets double them so the counting stats are in the same neighborhood as the above numbers:
250, 80, 22, 0, 20, 46, 16, 50, .321/.363/.651/1.014
that's not the actual Las Vegas totals - that's the major league equivalence of what he's done over the last 5 weeks. With all due respect to Buck, it's time to sell high and get the kid up here to suffer whatever growing pains he might encounter NOW.
Speaking of potential trades, the buzz is starting to heat up and the two names most often mentioned are Scott Downs and Shaun Marcum. Downs is widely regarded to have significant value, reflective both of the thin market for his skill set and the fact that he's projected to be a solid "Type A" free agent this winter. Boston has already been nosing around and the Dodgers are said to be shopping for both starting and relief pitching.
Interestingly, especially concerning Marcum, is the fact that the Dodgers and Rangers are both said to be in the market not just for a veteran starter but also both are said to have very little room to add salary. that should make Marcum perhaps the most attractive potential target for both teams and both have quite good minor league depth from which to tempt the Jays.
Look for the Jays to listen on Gregg, Frasor, and Gonzalez as well - assuming there's anything to listen to which there may well be.
On an unrelated, but nevertheless interesting, note - the unconfirmed report today, relayed by Keith Law: the long reported signing of Venezuelan pitching prospect Adonis Cardona. You may not have heard of the 16 year old pitcher, who's already 6'4" and brings a fastball that touches 94, but Baseball America rated him the third most valuable prize in this year's free agent sweepstakes. The signing raises some eyebrows because the official rule is that teams may not begin negotiations with international free agents until July 2, but the rumor held that the jays had an agreement with Cardona as far back as May.
A personal update - I've been informed that the MLB Trade Deadline Primer should be available for purchase by Sunday night. more info as it becomes available.