Toronto Blue Jays Top 20 Prospects for 2009

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We are a long way from the days of Jerry Garvin

Toronto Blue Jays Top 20 Prospects for 2009

 

All grades are EXTREMELY PRELIMINARY and subject to change. Don’t get too worried about exact rankings at this point, especially once you get out of the top 10. Grade C+/C guys are pretty interchangeable depending on what you are looking for.

 

1) Travis Snider, OF, Grade A-: In the long run I’m not worried about the strikeouts, but might struggle at times in the early going.

2) Brett Cecil, LHP, Grade B+: I like him a lot. Love the strikeout/groundball combination.

3) David Cooper, 1B, Grade B: Almost went with B+ because I think the home runs will come.

4) J.P. Arencibia, C, Grade B-: Improved defense is good news, horrible plate discipline likely to eat into his batting average.

5) Justin Jackson, SS, Grade B-: A high grade you might think. But I buy into the projection and I think he will ultimately hit.

6) Brad Mills, LHP, Grade B-: Impeccable numbers overall, but fly ball ratio is a concern and as a finesse guy he has to be perfect.

7) Kevin Ahrens, 3B, Grade C+: I will give him a break due to youth and the fact that no one hit at Lansing.

8) Ricky Romero, LHP, Grade C+: Another guy with a higher grade than you might expect given the numbers, but I will cut him slack one more year.

9) Mark Rzepczynski, LHP, Grade C+: I actually like him a lot, love the ratios and the grounders, but want to see at higher levels.

10) Scott Campbell, 2B, Grade C+: Frank Catalonotto Part II Electric Boogaloo

11) Brad Emaus, 2B, Grade C+: Frank Catalonotto Part III  In 3-D (hits right-handed)

12) Eric Thames, OF, Grade C+: One of my favorites from the 2008 draft. Just needs to get healthy.

13) Luis Perez, LHP, Grade C+: Interesting lefty with good numbers, strong ground ball rate.

14) Andrew Liebel, RHP, Grade C: Polished strike-throwing college guy, needs to show at higher levels for a higher grade.

15) Tyler Pastornicky, SS, Grade C: Speed, walks, defense, youth. Will power show?

16) Robert Ray, RHP, Grade C: Looks like he could be a good utility pitcher.

17) John Tolisano, 2B, Grade C: Another young guy who couldn’t hit at Lansing, but could rebound.

18) Markus Brisker, OF, Grade C: Tools guy who looks like a sleeper to me.

19) Chad Beck, RHP, Grade C: Acquired from Arizona, has the arm strength to surprise.

20) Tim Collins, LHP, Grade C: Great numbers, great human interest story as a 5-7 lefty signed as a free agent out of high school. Yes I know he’s not really as good a prospect in the classic sense as some of the guys in the “other” category, but I want to point him out. He’s cool.

 

Others: Bobby Bell, RHP; Fabio Castro, LHP; Yohermyn Chavez, OF; Brian Dopirak, 1B; Eric Eiland, OF; Edgar Estanga, LHP; Alan Farina, RHP; Danny Farquhar, RHP; Balbino Fuenmayor, 3B; Kyle Ginley, RHP; Brian Jeroloman, C; Scott Richmond, RHP; Moises Sierra, OF; Mark Sobolewski, 3B; Nathan Starner, LHP; Kenny Wilson, OF.

 

 

If there is someone else that you really think should be included, make your case. I always miss someone. Space is limited and some of the players above will probably get cut if I have to add someone else.

 

SYSTEM IN BRIEF:

    The Jays have been adding more tools guys lately, being more aggressive in Latin America (Fuenmayor, Chavez, Sierra) and drafting more high school kids, but so far the results have been mixed at best. Ultimately,however, I think that is the way to go: I prefer a balanced approach. I don't like it when teams draft nothing but high school guys, or college guys. I think they should draft both, mix the raw types with the polished guys.

   I still really like Jackson despite his struggles last year, and will cut some of the others some slack as well due to youth. They’ve done a good job identifying useful college talent like Emaus and Campbell in the middle and later rounds. I think Thames could be a steal if he’s healthy. Luis Perez looks like he could be a sleeper lefty.

 

 Reports on these guys and over 1,000 others can be found in the 2009 Baseball Prospect Book. Pre-order for January 31st shipping now!

 

 

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