A lot of people don’t quite understand why I am still relatively optimistic on the future of the Toronto Blue Jays. I can understand the trepidations that exist among a majority of the fan base given the lack of success or even a playoff appearance in nineteen years. This frustration clearly boiled over this past offseason when the Jays faithful were handed disappointment after disappointment when the team failed to sign any of the big ticket free agents.
Some would call me a Jays apologist and others suggest I have put too much faith in the current Jays front office regime lead by Alex Anthopoulos. So, why the sunny optimism? First, the road ahead is going to be filled with challenges and I would be a fool if I thought it was going to be an easy path back to relevance in the AL East.
However it is hard to ignore the big shining star that is the Blue Jays minor league system and its wide array of exciting prospects. The system is awesome and currently boasts and impressive collection of high ceiling, potentially high impact players.
There isn’t a can’t miss guy like a Bryce Harper or Jurickson Profar that headlines the group but it is definitely the deepest group of high quality prospects in all of baseball. Given the high fail rate of prospects (more will miss than make) I think having as many possible high impact players should be the goal of any major league team.
In this regard the Jays are the envy of every single major league baseball team outside of possibly Texas and San Diego in terms of pure system depth.
Respected prospect guru John Sickels recently ranked the Toronto Blue Jays farm system number one in baseball, almost exclusively due to the reason we discussed – depth. We do not have any A- or A prospects (like Bryce Harper, Shelby Miller, and Matt Moore etc) but that does not worry me as we had the most B+ rated prospects in baseball.
The Jays had eight prospects graded a B+ and that is a particularly impressive number, with that comes the potential for two or three of them to take big strides forward and possibly become an A- or A level prospect. Again, nothing in the world of prospects is a guarantee but an A level prospect is a good bet to become at least a major league regular (health permitting).
Not that one man’s opinion or ranking is the be all and end all but as you will see below I have taken the time to gather the rankings and opinions from the most valued sources (Baseball America, John Sickels, Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus) to give you a good idea of what the experts are saying.
While not all of the top talent evaluators agreed on the placement of every player I have researched a ton of different sites/sources, ranked the players, researched some more and re-ranked the top 15 to ensure it is in my opinion, a legit listing.
For the scouting reports I paraphrased some of the analysis shared by Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America and Fangraphs. I highly recommend getting a subscription to the first two websites if you are serious about learning MLB prospects – I know I renew mine each year!
It was a ton of work but a lot of fun and I will present the AL Eastbound & Down Top 15 Blue Jays Prospects tomorrow!