Toronto Blue Jays Top 15 Prospects For 2012

Here is the introduction piece from yesterday explaining the rationale and system behind these rankings.  In a nutshell I scoured the net in search of all of the most respected prospect sites/sources and attempted to build a list around the overall consensus among talent evaluators.  Enjoy.

#1 – Travis D’Arnaud – Born 02/10/1989 – Catcher.

6’2”-195 LBS, Bats/Throws – R/R

Rankings:

Baseball America #1 Blue Jays prospect
John Sickels B+
Fangraphs #2 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Five star
MLB.com #25 overall

 2011 Stats: (AA) 114 games, 466 PAs, 311/371/542 (.402 wOBA, 150 wRC+, .231 ISO).  BABIP – .365

What they are saying:  

He was the Eastern League’s 2011 MVP and ranked either #1 or #2 on all of the prospect lists I checked and is definitely the most complete player in the system.  Some consider him the best catching prospect in baseball and I get exciting visions of a Russell Martin type career.

Quick bat, outstanding hand-eye coordination, the ability to hit .280-.300 and the strength to add 25-plus home runs annually. He’s very athletic for a catcher with a plus arm, and he moves well behind the plate. He is a 40 runner.  He’s made some strides in his plate discipline, but it could still use refinement.

A possible All-Star level catcher who will eventually push J.P. Arencibia to the bench or to another franchise by 2013.  Expect him to make a cameo appearance in 2012 at some point.

#2 – Jake Marisnick – Born 03/30/1991 – Outfield.

6’4”-200 LBS, Bats/Throws – R/R

Rankings:

Baseball America #3 Blue Jays prospect
John Sickels B+
Fangraphs #7 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Five star
MLB.com #58 overall

 2011 Stats: (A) 118 games, 523 PAs, 320/392/500 (.413 wOBA, 160 wRC+, .180 ISO).  BABIP – .371

What they are saying:

He’s a big, majestic athlete with above-average speed, excellent hitting skills, and is just starting to tap into his power, which projects as plus. He’s a good center fielder, and his arm is a weapon.  Marisnick could use more patience at the plate. Power ceiling is the big debate as Marisnick’s swing is more conducive to hard line drives than towering fly balls.

Baseball America considered him one of the best athletes in the 2009 MLB draft class and has the upside of a five tool centre fielder.  Overall they feel he is a quality athlete and better hitter than Anthony Gose but will likely move to right field if Gose entrenches himself in centre field.

#3 – Daniel Norris – Born 04/25/1993 – Left handed SP.

6’2”-180 LBS, Bats/Throws – L/L

Rankings:

Baseball America #4 Blue Jays prospect
John Sickels B+
Fangraphs #3 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Four star
MLB.com  

 2011 Stats: N/A – did not play professionally.

What they are saying:

Norris is an ultra-athletic left-hander with excellent arm action, and a fastball that already sits at 92-95 mph. He has a feel for how to spin a breaking ball, and unlike many high school products, he knows how to throw a changeup.  More than anything, Norris needs refinements. Both of his secondary pitches flash plus, but he needs to find consistency with them and his delivery.

Baseball America writes he has the stuff and potential to be a frontline starter pitcher.  He’s a tough competitor and mature, with very good makeup.

#4 – Anthony Gose – Born 08/10/1990 – Centre Field.

6’1”-190, Bats/Throws – L/L

Rankings:

Baseball America #2 Blue Jays prospect
John Sickels B+
Fangraphs #1 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Four Star
MLB.com #57 overall

 2011 Stats: 137 games, 587 PAs, 253/349/415 (.364 wOBA, 124 wRC+, .161 ISO).  BABIP – .332

What they are saying:

Gose has the most tools in the organization. He entered the 2011 season with nine home runs in 271 pro games, but he developed a more patient approach and began to drive balls. He projects to hit 15-20 homers per year down the road. He’s a plus-plus burner who could steal 40-50 bases in the big leagues, and is one of baseball’s best defensive outfielders. Many scouts question his overall hit tool and he struck out once for every 3.3 at-bats at New Hampshire. He might have enough secondary skills and defense to make up for a batting average that could peak in the .250 range.

#5 – Justin Nicolino – Born 11/22/1991 – Left handed SP.

6’3”-160, Bats/Throws – L/L

Rankings:

Baseball America #5 Blue Jays prospect
John Sickels B+
Fangraphs #5 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Three star
MLB.com  

 2011 Stats: (SS) 52 IPs, 28 hits, 11 BB – 64 SO, 1.03 ERA, (LoA) 9 IPs, 11 hits, 2 BB – 9 SO, 3.12 ERA.

What they are saying:

Nicolino stands out for his polish and he has above-average fastball velocity for a left-hander, and the pitch plays up due to movement and outstanding location. He already has an advanced changeup that he’ll throw at any point in the count, and an average curveball. Nicolino lacks that one plus-plus pitch to give him a star projection. He has a skinny build that needs to fill out.

#6 – Noah Syndergaard – Born 08/29/1992 – Right handed SP.

6’5”-200 LBS, Bats/Throws – R/R

Rankings:

Baseball America #7 Blue Jays prospect
John Sickels B+
Fangraphs #6 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Four star
MLB.com #95 overall

 2011 Stats: Split over three levels (SS, R, LoA), 59 IPs, 46 hits, 18 BB – 68 SO, 1.83 ERA.

What they are saying:

Syndergaard has already added significant velocity from his high school days but he’s more than just a power arm; he’ll flash a plus curveball, and has some feel for a changeup. His frame is nearly ideal for a power pitcher.  More than anything, he needs innings and repetition.

#7 – Deck McGuire – Born 06/23/1989 – Right handed SP.

6’6”-220 LBS, Bats/Throws – R/R

Rankings:

Baseball America #8 Blue Jays prospect
John Sickels B+
Fangraphs #8 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Three star
MLB.com  

 2011 Stats: Split over two levels (HiA, AA), 126 IPs, 109 hits, 45 BB – 124 SO, 3.00 ERA.

What they are saying:

McGuire pounds the strike zone with an average-velocity fastball that he locates well, and then uses his plus slider and solid changeup to keep hitters off-balance. He has a big frame, an easy delivery, and is designed to eat innings.  McGuire doesn’t have much in the way of upside. Many scouts feel he’s advanced, but also believe he is what he is.

#8 – Drew Hutchison – Born 08/22/1990 – Right handed SP.

6’2”-165 LBS, Bats/Throws – L/R

Rankings:

Baseball America #9 Blue Jays prospect
John Sickels B+
Fangraphs #4 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Three star
MLB.com  

 2011 Stats: Split over three levels (LoA, HiA, AA), 149 IPs, 120 hits, 34 BB – 171 SO, 2.53 ERA.

What they are saying:

Hutchinson has three pitches that rate as average to above average. His fastball sits in the low 90s but has plenty of movement, and he adds a solid-average slider and a plus changeup. Everything about his game plays up due to his ability to locate and set up hitters.  Hutchison’s pure stuff doesn’t blow scouts away, and he’s not especially physical, given his size can he handle 200 IPs?

#9 – Aaron Sanchez – Born 07/01/1992 – Right handed SP.

6’4”-190 LBS, Bats/Throws – R/R

Rankings:

Baseball America #6 Blue Jays prospect
John Sickels B-
Fangraphs #10 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus N/A
MLB.com  

 2011 Stats: Split over two levels (SS, R), 55 IPs, 53 hits, 26 BB – 56 SO, 5.23 ERA.

What they are saying:

Baseball America says Sanchez offers plenty of projection with his 6-foot-4, 180-pound frame, and he has present stuff to go with it. His fast arm generates fastballs that sit in the low 90s and touch 95. He adds in a high-70s curveball that has crisp rotation when it’s on. He shows feel for a changeup, though it needs refinement. Sanchez’s numbers don’t jump out because his command has been inconsistent.

Possible front-line starter if everything goes right.

#10 – Adonys Cardona – Born 01/16/1994 – Right handed SP.

6’1”-170 LBS, Bats/Throws – R/R

Rankings:

Baseball America Top 15
John Sickels B-
Fangraphs #9 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Three star
MLB.com  

 2011 Stats: (R), 31.2 IPs, 31 hits, 12 BB – 35 SO, 4.55 ERA.

What they are saying:

Cardona has an impressive arm and is very young. His fastball sits in the 90-95 mph range, and his curveball improved as the season wore on, and his changeup is very advanced for his age.  Cardona is still quite raw. And he’s not a physical specimen. Cardona needs innings/seasoning more than anything.

#11 – Asher Wojciechowski – Born 12/21/1988 – Right handed SP.

6’4”-235 LBS, Bats/Throws – R/R

Rankings:

Baseball America #10 Blue Jays prospect
John Sickels B-
Fangraphs #13 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Not rated
MLB.com  

 2011 Stats: (HiA) 130 IPs, 156 hits, 31 BB – 96 SO, 4.70 ERA.

What they are saying:

Baseball America says Wojciechowski is a high-intensity pitcher, and the Blue Jays are trying to slow things down for him. He can rush his delivery, causing his arm to drag behind.   If his velocity returns and his secondary pitches improve, Wojciechowski has the ceiling of a No. 2 starter. Otherwise, he could fit well in a late-inning relief role, where he could just attack hitters with his fastball and slider. Despite his struggles, he’ll likely start 2012 in Double-A.

 #12 – AJ Jimenez – Born 5/1/1990 – Catcher.

5’11”-200 LBS, Bats/Throws – R/R

Rankings:

Baseball America Outside top ten
John Sickels B-
Fangraphs #12 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus  
MLB.com  

 2011 Stats: 102 games, 422 PAs, 303/353/417 (.355 wOBA, 118 wRC+, .113 ISO).  BABIP – .348

What they are saying:

Decent hitter and a solid defender with a great arm.  Not likely to hit for much power but could be a solid all-around catcher.  He’ll move up to AA this year and could become a valuable trade chip given where he stands on the Toronto catching depth chart.

#13 – Christopher Hawkins – Born 12/21/1988 – Outfield.

6’2”-195 LBS, Bats/Throws – L/R

Rankings:

Baseball America Outside top ten
John Sickels N/A
Fangraphs #15 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Three star
MLB.com  

 2011 Stats: (R) 68 games, 269 PAs, 318/375/492 (.387 wOBA, 133 wRC+, .174 ISO).  BABIP – .373

What they are saying:

Marc Hulet of Fangraphs wrote The Georgia native saw his offensive game take off in ’11 during a stint in advanced Rookie ball. He posted a wRC+ of 133 and hit for both average (.318) and gap power (.174 ISO). He also possesses good speed for his age, which helps him both on the base paths and in the outfield where he projects to develop into an above-average fielder with a strong arm.

#14 – Jacob Anderson – Born 11/22/1992 – Outfield.

6’4”-190 LBS, Bats/Throws – R/R

Rankings:

Baseball America Outside top ten
John Sickels B-
Fangraphs #14 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Not rated
MLB.com  

 2011 Stats: Strong showing over nine games in his professional debut in rookie ball.

What they are saying:

Marc Hulet of Fangraphs wrote Anderson possesses plus raw power and opened some eyes with a strong nine-game debut in 2011. There are questions about his ability to hit for average until he cleans up his approach at the plate and improves against breaking balls. Even so, he earns strong marks for his repeatable, level swing and shows good bat speed. He is considered a solid defender in the outfield but he spent his senior year of high school playing mostly first base. Anderson will spend time in extended spring training in 2012 before heading to either Bluefield or Vancouver in June.

#15 – Adeiny Hechavarria – Born 4/15/1989 – Shortstop.

5’11”-180 LBS, Bats/Throws – R/R

Rankings:

Baseball America Top 15
John Sickels C+
Fangraphs #11 Blue Jays prospect
Baseball Prospectus Not rated
MLB.com  

 2011 Stats: (AA) 111 games, 502 PAs, 235/275/347 (.272 wOBA, 63 wRC+, .112 ISO).  BABIP – .267 (AAA) 25 games, 116 Pas, 389/431/537 (.420 wOBA, 141 wRC+, .148 ISO).  BABIP – .471

What they are saying:

I didn’t need to borrow a scouting report, this one is pretyy clear.  Hech is a plus plus defender at short stop who’s only question mark is the bat.  He was basically awful at AA and only turned it around offensively for 25 games in the hyper-offensive environment of Las Vegas (AAA).  Not even Superman could sustain a .471 BABIP so it remains to be seen if he will ever be more than a backup John McDonald type.

*Keep an eye on these possible movers and shakers in 2012: SP Kevin Comer, OF Dwight Smith Jr, SP Joe Musgrove, C Carlos Perez, OF Eric Arce and RP Joel Carreno.

As per MLB.com here is a list of the Jays prospects and what league they are expected to begin the year with:

 
No. Player Club Level
1 Travis d’Arnaud Las Vegas AAA
2 Anthony Gose Las Vegas AAA
3 Jake Marisnick Dunedin A+
4 Noah Syndergaard Lansing A
5 Daniel Norris Bluefield R
6 Justin Nicolino Lansing A
7 Drew Hutchison New Hampshire AA
8 Aaron Sanchez Lansing A
9 Carlos Perez Dunedin A+
10 Deck McGuire New Hampshire AA
11 Asher Wojciechowski New Hampshire AA
12 Joe Musgrove Vancouver R
13 Chris Hawkins Lansing A
14 A.J. Jimenez New Hampshire AA
15 Kevin Comer Bluefield R
16 Adeiny Hechavarria Las Vegas AAA
17 Adonys Cardona Vancouver R
18 Jacob Anderson Vancouver R
19 Moises Sierra Las Vegas AAA
20 Kellen Sweeney Vancouver R
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44 Responses to “Toronto Blue Jays Top 15 Prospects For 2012”


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  8. 8 george March 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    thats fair i can agree with you on top 20 next year for sure

  9. 9 miles March 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    he is a great talent honestly and i witnessed that recently down in florida, i thought you said he will be top 20 in the next year? montaous walton is a decent prospect

  10. 11 GoJaysGo! March 8, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Good write up, I have been enjoying the site.

  11. 12 James March 8, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Walton is a fraud. He’s like 26 years old. No one knows him. He doesn’t exist. Where have you guys heard of him or seen his stats anywhere???? If so, please provide web sites for me because he’s nowhere to be found.

  12. 15 bob February 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I like both walton and smith do you guys think they will pan out in spring training?..also I like deck mcguire as well

  13. 16 sonny February 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Both montaous walton and dwight smith I think can elite players!

  14. 17 sonny February 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I would say walton can regarded in the jays top 100…why do you say top 50?

  15. 18 sonny February 15, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Yes I totally agree with you, would you add walton atleast the top 50 or 100? And gose to me can really play as for his abilities he can make the top 20

  16. 20 sonny February 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    If not the top 20bwhere do you see walton potentially ranking at?…also I like anthony gose I think he will be a real asset on the jays big club soon!

    • 21 tdotsports1 February 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Honestly, I think next year Walton will be 20-25 range or basically a “guy to keep an eye on”.

      Gose will likely be a top 20 prospect in ALL of baseball if he improves his contact issues and remains eligible for prospect lists.

  17. 22 sonny February 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Maybe not next year but do you see walton cracking the top 20 potentially at all? And as for dwight yes he is an intriguing prospect

  18. 24 sonny February 15, 2012 at 12:04 am

    I agree give him a year or two but overall where do you think walton can rank in two years? Also what about dwight smith the jays drafted last year?

    • 25 tdotsports1 February 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

      Honestly I dont see Walton cracking the top 20 next year. Dwight Smith is interesting and depending on what type of season he has on 2012 could be an outside candidate for the top 10 on some lists. However the Jays are very deep from 8-20 so he will need to stand out.

  19. 26 sonny February 14, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Montaous walton is settled at second base

  20. 28 Dan February 5, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    the jays just signed infielder montaous walton and he is definitey a player to watch, he was stolen base leader down in puerto rico…scouts compare him to bj upton


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