So, at the risk of too-massive a post, here's my revised list. it reflects player movement, re-evaluation of opinions in light of commentary, re-thinking some assumptions, and reaction to comments from Jays' player-personnel decision makers. The top of the list doesn't change much, but once you get out of the top 15 or so you start seeing more movement.
(Date in Parenthesis is ETA)
- Kyle Drabek - RHP - (2010) Jays seem serious about carrying him, and he didn't dissapoint in his first start.
- Brett Lawrie - 3B - (mid-2011) Joined system since original list; Has done everything right so far.
- Zach Stewart – RHP - (Sept. 2011) – results last year very similar to Drabek, maybe not quite the ceiling but a lot closer than many think. Return to AA not a reflection of team disappointment.
- J.P. Arencibia – C - (2010) – Opening day starter, barring a trade or injury. Looks very much like Buck 2.0 though maybe not in first year.
- Carlos Perez – C – (2015) – Probably better than JPA, Jays have luxury of taking time. Might switch positions depending. Might be #1 on this list a year from now.
- Travis d'Arnaud – C – (mid-to-late 2013) – Dropped some on earlier list, more because of the nature of the injury (back) than because of the on field results of being hurt. Spring praise was efusive so moved him back up.
- Anthony Gose – CF – (2013) – At AA despite the fact he's said to be raw. Crawford type?
- Aaron Sanchez – RHP – (mid-2015) – A LOT of positive buzz about the kid. Supposedly picked up more velocity this spring.
- Adeiny Hechevarria – SS – (mid/late-2012) – Escobar gives Jays chance to be patient. Might end up a similar player in the majors.
- Henderson Alvarez – RHP – (2014) - Rough season, still quite young. As above, depth gives him plenty of time, but he's the kind of guy who could “click” and come faster. John Farrell loved him in ST.
- Jake Marisnick – CF – (2015) – Very positive reports, May slide to RF if Gose develops as projected.
- Deck McGuire – RHP – (2014) – seems to be somewhat better regarded than Jenkins. Was ranked in the top 5 by four major outlets.
- Eric Thames – LF – (late 2011) – last three could be in any order – I'm a believer in his offensive potential. Seems to lack obvious defensive opening in Jays' near-future.
- Chad Jenkins – RHP – (2014) – I think the late season fade was fatigue, but scouting reports have an unenthusiastic tone sometimes. Mixed reports re conditioning.
- Asher Wojciechowski – RHP – (2015) – might come faster but a lot of bodies to sift through in front of him. Physically a clone of Jenkins. Possible he could come very fast as a closer.
- Antonio Jimenez – C – (2014) – I like him, but a level below the three catchers in front of him – higher potential to bust. K/BB rate a potential issue
- Drew Hutchenson – RHP – (2015) – Under some radars, and a lot of higher profile folks on the depth chart, but has a chance. Looked impressive in ST.
- Noah Syndergaard – RHP – (2016) – I'm kind of skeptical of the sudden senior explosion but open minded. Good reports.
- Adonis Cardona – RHP – (2017) – Paid like a first rounder, I'll rank him like one for now.
- Dicke Joe Thon – SS – (2016) – similar thinking, first round talent and pay. Henceforth I shall call him “DJ” just because I wish it.
- Gustavo Pierre – SS – (late 2015) – Still very raw, but excellent tools
- Mosies Sierra – RF – (2014) – Might develop faster, but depth allows caution.
- Darin Mastroianni – CF – (late 2011) – might be 2012 before a roster spot opens, Brett Gardner type at most, but lacks pedigree.
- Kellen Sweeney – 3B – (2015) – good results in small pro sample. Excellent reports.
- Griffin Murphy – LHP – (mid 2015) – Well regarded draftee, ranking based on reports.
- Marcus Kenect – RF – (2015) – well regarded hitter
- Justin Nicolino – LHP – (2016) based on draft reports.
- Mike McDade – 1B – (maybe 2014 if at all) – More likely Calvin Pickering than Cecil Fielder. Very good in Arizona.
- Chris Hawkins – 3B – (2016) – less strike zone control than Sweeney. Might not stay at third.
- KC Hobson – 1B – (mid 2015) – well regarded by scouts and team.
- Daniel Webb – RHP – (2016) – good stuff, raw. Likely to move slowly.
- Joel Carreno – RHP – (late 2012) – might be reliever in the majors. Secondary pitches need work.
- Brian Jeroloman – C – (2012) – would be higher if he projected to hit at all in the majors.
- David Cooper – 1B – (mid/late 2012) – much better in second half – illusion? Jays seemed to really like him in Spring and kept him playing with the big leaguers deep into March.
- Kevin Ahrens – 3B – (2014) – One last benefit of the doubt, based on good results after he stopped switch hitting.
- Adam Loewen – RF – (2012) – Team execs still speak highly, some possibility of move to 1B.
- Michael Crouse – RF – (2016) – Might take big jump up list if results continue. Still a dark horse at this point.
- Brad Mills – LHP – (2011) – trade bait? That or the bullpen.
- John Tolisano – IF/OF – (2014) – lack of defensive home hurts. Another guy who got a lot of notice in the spring.
- Alan Farina – RHP – (2012) – can't rank a reliever too high, but as relievers go, he's GOOD.
- Devy Estrada – RHP – results might be an illusion, doesn't come up when system is praised. Could be a guy who's stuff doesn't project well at upper levels.
- Sean Ochinko – C/3B – versitility, organizational awards, not a high ceiling unless he overachieves.
- Shane Opitz - SS - apparently well regarded athlete, overlooked in the praise for Thon.
- Sam Dyson – RHP – (2015) – great stuff, fragile. Potential as late inning reliever, as well as starter.
- Justin Jackson – SS/2B/OF – (maybe never, not before 2015) – might be running out of chances.
- Nestor Molina - RHP - ace reliever, apparently set to be converted to starting.
- Ryan Goins – SS – didn't handle promotion to Dunedin well.
- Sean Nolin – LHP – considered good value at his draft position.
- Gabriel Cenas – 3B – too young to predict outcome, bonus babies often fail.
- Santiago Nessey – C – another very young bonus baby.
- Mark Sobolewski – 3B – hasn't lived up to post-draft praise, but not a failure either.
- Yan Gomes – C – fringy major league guy at best unless he takes a leap.
- Casey Lawrence – RHP – non-drafted steal, or mirage?
- Mitchell Taylor – LHP – considered good draft choice
- Myles Jaye – RHP – a few reports considered him a good value where he was drafted.
- Jario Labour - RHP - International signing, little is known but what's been reported is good.
- Misaul Diaz – RHP – sleeper
- Egan Smith – LHP – a lot of good results but unheralded.
- Dalton Pompey - CF - Later round (16th) pick last year, provoked a bit of positive buzz this spring.
- Scott Campbell – 2B – can he get his health back? Really should drop him but sentiment counts for a little this far down.
So, there ya go - fresh and piping hot.
A couple of unrelated notes:
1. Casey Janssen is getting screwed. This is exactly what I was afraid of when we signed Dotel. Out of all the realistic candidates for the Jays' bullpen, there are eight I'd argue I'd rather have than Dotel. but even if a couple of those are debatable, Janssen isn't. The sooner Dotel is traded the better I'll like it.
2. Remember the wailing and complaining from some that the jays didn't seem to give the time of day to Manny Ramirez? Yeah. Another lesson in "they know more than we do."
By the way, last night was not pretty on the farm (outside of Brad Mills and Deck McGuire) but I'll refrain from too much reaction to one game.