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Toronto Blue Jays Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

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Blue Jays infielder Aaron Hill

Toronto Blue Jays Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review

1) Brandon League, RHP
He was awful, 6.56 ERA in the majors, 5.71 in Triple-A, with a total collapse of his ratio set. His ratios have never quite matched his reputation and scouting reports. I thought he might have some adjustments to make, but I didn't expect him to fall apart this dramatically.

2) David Purcey, LHP
Sound season, pitched well in A-ball then went 4-3, 2.93 in eight starts in Double-A, with a 45/25 K/BB in 43 innings. Very good stuff, still working on his command. Might be ready in the second half. Keep close track of his K/BB ratios.

3) Aaron Hill, SS
Hit .274/.342/.385 in 105 games for Toronto. He will hit better than that in the long run, I'm pretty certain. Main question is how much power he will develop, but batting average and OBP should only improve.

4) Josh Banks, RHP
8-12, 3.83 in 27 starts for Double-A New Hampshire, 145/11 K/BB in 162 innings. Absolutely outstanding command and control, just 11 walks in a full season! If anything, his control may be too good, and there is some Zach Greinke-like risk here.

5) Francisco Rosario, RHP
3.95 ERA, 80/42 K/BB in 116 innings for Triple-A Syracuse, 12 relief outings and 18 starts. Solid year as a swingman, still working on his control. Good news is that he is healthy.

6) Zach Jackson, LHP
Went 16-8 combined at three levels, but his ERAs and components got worse as he moved up, culminating in a 33/21 K/BB in 47 innings in Triple-A with 61 hits allowed. Was obviously rushed according to the numbers, and could use a consolidation season at one level. Still a good prospect long-term.

7) Russ Adams, SS
Hit .256/.325/.383 in 139 games for the Blue Jays. Drew 50 walks against just 57 strikeouts in 481 at-bats. I like the BB/K/AB ratio, but overall he hasn't hit as well as expected when he was in college, just a .283/.362/.393 mark in his minor league career with no signs of growth.

8) Guillermo Quiroz, C
Limited to 48 games by injuries and did not hit well when he did play. It's been two years since his big breakout, leading to fears that his '03 campaign was the illusion.

9) Dustin McGowan, RHP
Fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. Posted 6.35 ERA in 45 major league innings, but if you saw him pitch his natural talent was obvious. Even slight improvement in his command will make him a dominator.

10) Shawn Marcum, RHP
6-4, 4.95 in 18 starts for Syracuse, 90/18 K/BB in 104 innings. Like Josh Banks, his command is terrific, but sometimes he is too hittable.

11) Jamie Vermilyea, RHP
Great as a swingman in Double-A (2.60 ERA, 52/16 K/BB in 66 innings) but less effective in Triple-A, with 5.60 ERA and 49 hits in 35 innings. Probably better off strictly in relief.

12) Gabe Gross, OF
Unable to duplicate his spring training power outburst, but still hit .297/.380/.438 in Triple-A. I like him but he is something of a tweener, and probably won't be a regular.

13) John Hattig, 3B
Lost most of the season to injury, though he hit .316/.387/.421 in 26 games for Syracuse when healthy. Too old at age 25 to be a top prospect, but he has some ability.

14) Adam Lind, OF
Hit .313/.375/.487 in 126 games for Dunedin, with 42 doubles and 12 homers. A very intriguing prospect who deserves more attention.

15) Ismael Ramirez, RHP
Went 8-13, 4.12 in 27 starts for New Hampshire, 125/32 K/BB in 151 innings. Another efficient strike thrower who doesn't have a great ceiling but usually pitches well.

16) Vince Perkins, RHP
7-7, 4.03 for New Hampshire, 111/51 K/BB in 132 innings. Better stuff than Ramirez, and gradually improving command.

17) Gustavo Chacin, LHP
Boy, was I WRONG about this guy! Went 13-9, 3.72 in 34 starts for the Jays, 121/70 K/BB in 203 innings. His minor league track record was erratic, I didn't like his ratios, and whenever I saw him pitch he just nibbled around the sides and got hit hard. But he comes to the majors, wins 13 games, and makes me look like a chump. Good job, Gustavo! Next step: doing it again.

18) Curtis Thigpen, C
Sleeper prospect, hit .287/.397/.413 for Lansing in the Midwest League, with an excellent 54/34 BB/K ratio in 293 at-bats. Hit .284/.340/.426 in 39-game trial in Double-A. I like him.

19) Davis Romero, LHP
Scouts don't like him much and he's been exposed to Rule 5, but stat-wise there are things to like here, including a career 503/112 K/BB ratio in 405 innings, with a 3.03 ERA. Went 9-6, 3.47 as a swingman for Dunedin, 136/34 K/BB in 125 innings.

20) Yuber Rodriguez, OF
Tools outfielder was awful for Lansing, hitting .200/.293/.277, struck out 114 times in 111 games.

Mixed results here. The Jays have a collection of command pitchers and hard-throwers, but few guys who combine both skills. I still don't know what to make of Chacin and I wish his walk rate would come down a bit, but I have to respect what he did this year.