Archive for the 'Prospect Reports' Category

Top Blue Jays Prospects – Midseason Update 2012

A lot can happen in a few months of baseball especially in the fickle world of prospect evaluations.  While it would be short sighted to completely write off any prospect based on a bad month or so the reality is it’s a fact that they are always being scrutinized.

If you follow this site you have been getting the Blue Jays Daily Prospect Report – where we see how they are performing day in and day out in their respective leagues.

With that I thought I would release a 2012 midseason prospect ranking for the Toronto Blue Jays.  If the season were to end today this is where the prospects would now rank – I have done this for the top ten only.

Note: this list does not include recent 2012 draft picks or international signings – so no Marcus Stroman or Franklin Barreto.

Rank 2012 Preseason 2012 Midseason
1 C Travis d’Arnaud C Travis d’Arnaud
2 CF Jake Marisnick CF Anthony Gose
3 SP Daniel Norris SP Aaron Sanchez
4 CF Anthony Gose SP Daniel Norris
5 SP Justin Nicolino SP Justin Nicolino
6 SP Noah Syndergaard SP Noah Syndergaard
7 SP Deck McGuire CF Jake Marisnick
8 SP Drew Hutchison SS Adeiny Hechavarria
9 SP Aaron Sanchez SP Joe Musgrove
10 SP Adonys Cardona C Carlos Perez

No changes at the top even with the season ending injury Travis d’Arnaud has been as good as advertised and is one of the top prospects in baseball at this point.  I was very aggressive on Jake Marisnick and while his performance has actually been pretty solid given his age and league some the arms in the system have started to pass by him as a better overall prospect.

Anthony Gose has done everything asked of him and continues to rake in Triple-A and play incredible outfield defense.  Scouts are in agreement that he could be one of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball. 

For me there hasn’t been a prospect in the system (and possibly baseball) who has taken a bigger step up than Aaron Sanchez.  In 64 innings, Sanchez has allowed only 33 hits while striking out 72 batters.  If he can continue to improve his control the ceiling is extremely high for the 6’4” 22-year old righty.

Pick your poison with lefties Norris and Nicolino, both have very bright futures and big right hander Noah Syndergaard has pitched very well in Lansing. 

Two nice surprises have been the resurgence of Carlos Perez, who was having a better season in A-ball before being included in the Houston Astros trade.  The other is shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria who has looked good at the dish (even accounting for the offensive environment) and we know his meal ticket is top notch defense at a premium position. 

Demoted off the original preseason list were Drew Hutchison, Deck McGuire and Adonys Cardona.  Hutchison was promoted to the major leagues and loses his status as a “prospect” while Deck McGuire has been getting hit very hard in Double-A this season. 

Scouts have been mixed on his (McGuire’s) ultimate ceiling and combining that with terrible results his stock has plummeted.  There were a handful of candidates for the number ten spot and it could have went to Cardona but I think Musgrove’s ceiling and early season performance has been notable. 

Musgrove was also recently included in the trade for JA Happ of the Houston Astros and though there are some concerns about durability the ‘Stros seem content to land him.

Who have you been impressed by?  Who are you starting to doubt?

John Sickels 2012 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings – Blue Jays High On List

Prospect guru John Sickels of has released his mid-season adjustment rankings for the top prospects in baseball for 2012 and I thought we would look at how the Toronto Blue Jays are represented.  First, here is an explanation of the list:

Here is a revised Top 120 list for mid-season. I have deleted anyone who has exceeded rookie qualifications, or who is expected to do so, so you won’t find Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, or Addison Reed or Robbie Ross. One exception is Anthony Rizzo, who was promoted while I was working on the list. He won’t be on subsequent lists.

This list does NOT include 2012 draftees, nor does it include recent free agent signees like Jorge Soler who haven’t played yet. I want more time to evaluate those guys.

Here are the top ten prospects:

1) Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers (previously #5)
2) Wil Myers, OF, Kansas City Royals (previously #14)
3) Trevor Bauer, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (previously #7)
4) Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (previously #19)
5) Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners(previously #15)

6) Gerrit Cole, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (11)
7) Danny Hultzen, LHP, Seattle Mariners (25)
8) Manny Machado, SS, Baltimore Orioles (8)
9) Oscar Taveras, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (62)
10) Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates (16)

Now the Toronto Blue Jays:

18) Travis D’Arnaud, C, Toronto Blue Jays (26)
40) Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (67)
45) Justin Nicolino, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays (68)
49) Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (not ranked)
51) Anthony Gose, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (51)
69) Jake Marisnick, OF, Toronto Blue Jays (48)
71) Daniel Norris, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays (70)

Also considered for the list was Deck McGuire (?), John Stilson and Joe Musgrove.

Nothing unexpected if you have been following the daily prospect reports here at AL Eastbound seeing Travis d’Arnaud (prior to injury) stapled to the daily list.  His stock has shot way up and Blue Jays fans should be very excited to see him debut next season.  The three-headed monster of Syndergaard, Nicolino and Sanchez were all represented with Aaron Sanchez going from an unranked prospect to one of the better arms in the minor leagues over the past three months.

Anthony Gose has been as good as advertised but is also playing in the ultra-offensive environment in Las Vegas in the PCL.  Jake Marisnick hasn’t had as much success this season but has battled injuries and is still a talented kid with a lot of great tools.

What do you guys think?

Top Prospect Travis d’Arnaud Injures Knee, Out 6-8 Weeks

File this under huge disappointment as the Toronto Blue Jays top prospect (and possibly top catching prospect in the game) Travis d’Arnaud suffered a torn PCL in his knee while sliding into second base.  He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks but is also expected to make a full recovery.

If you follow our Daily Blue Jays Prospect Report you already know that he is having a monster season batting 333/380/595 with 16 HRs and 52 RBIs.

Hopefully this doesn’t have longer lasting developmental ramifications.

What a season of injuries.

Daniel Norris Makes Pro Debut

One of the most frequently asked questions for Toronto Blue Jays prospect watchers is when will prized left handed starter Daniel Norris make his professional debut?  Well, the rookie and short seasons have finally started and that is often where teams have their fresh draft picks start their big league dreams.

Daniel Norris, whom the Jays drafted in the 2nd round of the 2011 MLB draft (and went well over slot to get him signed) made his debut for the Bluefield Blue Jays in the Rookie Appalachian League and was pretty darn impressive. 

4 IP, 0 hits, 0 earned, 0 walks and 5 strikeouts.

Also making his debut was another highly touted Blue Jays prospect Joe Musgrove.  The big 6’5″ right handed pitcher is an imposing figure on the mound and was also impressive.

4 IP, 2 hits, 1 earned, 0 walks and 5 strikeouts.

A pair of 18-year old starting pitching propsects that will definitely be worth keeping an eye on going forward.  Be sure to check back here for the daily Blue Jays prospect report to keep tabs on all of the best Jays minor leaguers.

2012 MLB Draft – Blue Jays Draft Pitcher Matt Smoral With 50th Pick

50. TORONTO BLUE JAYS — Matt Smoral: LHP, Solon (Ohio) HS

Matt Smoral scouting report: Matt Smoral is a lefthanded pitcher out of Solon High School in Ohio. Baseball America has him ranked #24 on their most recent draft rankings. Keith Law has Smoral at #14 in his rankings. BA has Smoral at 6’7″, 225 lbs., while ESPN lists him at 6’8″, 230 lbs. Smoral went #24 at the Minor League Ball community mock draft. Smoral has a commitment to the University of North Carolina, if he doesn’t sign with the team that drafts him this summer.

Smoral is tall, left-handed, throws hard (most of the reports I’ve seen say he gets up to 94 mph), and has a good slider, and before the season, Baseball America had him expected to go in the top half of the first round. So why would he be available for the Rangers at #29? Well, Smoral broke his foot, which means that he pitched in only one regular season game this year, and BA says he isn’t supposed to pitch again until after the new signing deadline of July 13. That means he’s being drafted, in essence, off of his projectability and what he did prior to his senior year in high school.

Why would he be a fit for the Rangers? Well, he’s got upside, and he’s described as “athletic,” which is one of those buzzwords you hear about pitchers the Rangers are interested in. Yesterday, I said the lazy comp for Duane Underwood was Ranger 2010 supplemental first rounder Luke Jackson. Similarly, reading about Smoral brings to mind 2011 2nd rounder Will Lamb, another tall, athletic lefty with a big fastball and projectability.

2012 MLB Draft – Blue Jays Draft Pitcher Marcus Stroman With 22nd Pick

22. TORONTO BLUE JAYS (supplemental for failure to sign 2011 first-round pick Tyler Beede) — Marcus Stroman: RHP, Duke

Just 5-foot-9, Stroman still throws in the mid-90s and served as the Team USA closer last season. As a closer for Team USA, he didn’t allow a hit in 8 1/3 innings. At Duke he started, going 6-5 with a 2.39 ERA. He struck out 136 and had 26 walks in 98 innings, while putting up a 1.88 FIP for a 21-34 Duke squad. If he starts his pro career as a reliever, he could be the closest of any of this year’s draftees to the big leagues, much like Chris Sale in 2010. There are plenty of doubters about Stroman’s ability to start because of his size, but nobody doubts he can strike out big-league hitters. In addition to his fastball, he has a slider that’s considered a legitimate out pitch, to go along with a solid changeup.


College relievers always get looks in the early stages of the Draft if they are believed to be able to move quickly to the big leagues. Stroman has the chance to be the first of those closer types to go off the board.

Because of his size and electric arm, he gets Tom Gordon comparisions all the time. He throws his fastball consistently in the mid-90s with some pretty good tail when it’s down in the zone. He complements it with a power curve that has a nasty late break to it. His command isn’t fine, but he’s generally around the strike zone with both offerings.

As a short reliever, that might be all he needs at the next level. Stroman is coming off a dominant summer with USA Baseball, so scouts will be very curious to see how his junior season unfolds.

This pick was compensation for the Blue Jays failure to sign right handed high school pitcher Tyler Beede in the 2011 MLB draft.

2012 MLB Draft – Blue Jays Draft OF D.J. Davis With 17th Pick

17. TORONTO BLUE JAYS — D.J. Davis: OF, Wiggins (Miss.) HS

Speed is the calling card for the Mississippi outfielder, who some say is faster even than his fellow Mississippi product Billy Hamilton, who stole more than 100 bases for the Reds’ low-Class A team in Dayton last season. Unlike Hamilton, Davis is more than just a speedster. At 6-foot, 170 pounds, he has some power potential. A left-handed hitter, he also has the potential to hit for average. His arm is considered below average, but his speed more than makes up for that.

“One of the goals is to continue to add athletes to the system, athletes with upside; D.J. Davis has a very good left-handed swing, he’s an eight runner on the 2-8 scale, he’s got a chance to hit at the top of the lineup and play in the middle of the field,” Blue Jays amateur scouting director Andrew Tinnish said during a conference call. “Those are the things that attracted us to him.”

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