Here is my so called "secret sauce" and get a more detailed breakdown of the process that goes into how I rank prospects in each organization.
The Grading System
My grading system will be familiar to those who keep up with college football recruiting or played the MLB2K video game series as I use a star rating system from one to five stars with half grades in between. An outline of what each level would represent looks like this, but remember these are examples and not definite.
The cream of the crop. A five star rating is reserved for the elite talents of the minor leagues. These players do not have a glaring weakness and if there is a blemish on their record, it is miniscule. Don't expect to see many of these, as this is reserved for players with the best chance to become super stars or top of the rotation stalwarts. Call this a 75-80 or A rating.
The rest of the elite. A 4.5 star rating encompasses players that are still elite, but not the potential mega stars a five star player would have. Receiving a 4.5 star rating means the player has all-star caliber potential with a good chance of being in a contending team's starting line up and have a long career. A 4.5 star pitcher could be generalized as a future #2 or 3 starter. Equal to 60-70 or A-/B+ type.
Garnering a four star rating means the player has the potential to be a productive major leaguer with an all-star season or two in his career. Four star players should develop into regulars in the lineup, dominant relief arms or a mid-rotation starters. This kind of player may have a true talent level higher but injuries may hold him back from reaching their full potential. Similar to a B/B- or 50-55 rated player.
A player receiving 3.5 stars projects to see time as starters in the majors, but more than likely on a team out of the playoff picture where a below-average season once in awhile won't kill them. Innings eating strike throwers would fall into this category, as would set up men and defensive-oriented starters. This would be a 45 or B-type of player.
Three star players are your 4th outfielders and relievers with live arms and control problems. Hitters who may lack enough tools to hold down a starting gig, futures as a platoon players, and swing men types capable of spot starting would be three star players. Recent IFA's with little or no track record usually are included here as well. A low 45/high 40 grade or C+/C type player would fall here.
Not every one gets to collect MLB paychecks, but some get them every once in awhile. 2.5 star players are your up and down guys who shuttle between the big leagues and AAA. September cups of coffee cielings fall here, as are the injury replacements and players riding the waiver wire. These players aren't expected to make any serious impact. 40 grade players and C type or lower organizational filler.
Anything below 2.5 stars is someone who doesn't project to be a major league player, therefore they are not mentioned.
Good, that's out of the way. Without further adieu, I give to you the top 20 prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. All ages are how old they will be for the 2015 season, and affiliates mentioned are where I expect the player to begin the upcoming season.
Previous Team Ranks and #1 Prospect
Atlanta Braves - 2B Jose Peraza
Miami Marlins - RHP Tyler Kolek
New York Mets - RHP Noah Syndergaard
Philadelphia Phillies - SS JP Crawford
Washington Nationals - RHP Lucas Giolito
Baltimore Orioles - RHP Dylan Bundy
Boston Red Sox - 2B Yoan Moncada
New York Yankees - RHP Luis Severino
Tampa Bay Rays - SS Willy Adames
Toronto Blue Jays
Due to the time crunch, the 4.5 star player comments will be truncated. As before, if you have any questions or comments on any players in the organization, feel free to comment.
1. RHSP Aaron Sanchez - 22 years old, MLB Toronto
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports
2014 MiLB (AA and AAA) Stats -
2014 MLB Stats -
2015 Outlook -
If you would have asked me this question at the beginning of Spring Training, I would have said Sanchez was likely to break camp in the bullpen potentially as the closer. If Marcus Stroman hadn't torn his ACL, that would have probably been the case. Other injuries have now cemented Sanchez's status in the Opening Day rotation.
2. LHSP Daniel Norris - 22 years old, MLB Toronto
Photo courtesy of Kim Klement/USA Today Sports
2014 MiLB (A+, AA, AAA) Stats -
2014 MLB Stats -
2015 Outlook -
Projecting Norris to crack the MLB roster on Opening Day is a bit of a stretch to some. In my eyes though, when the competition comes down to Daniel Norris and Marco Estrada, I think the choice is easy. My only issue, and may be something the team is concerned with as well, is having a pair of rookies in the rotation. Norris only has 65 innings at the AA level or above and could be the odd man out. That particular scenario would likely put Norris as the ace of the AAA Buffalo staff until injuries or struggles hit.
3. CF Dalton Pompey - 22 years old, MLB Toronto
Photo courtesy of Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
2014 MiLB (A+, AA, and AAA) Stats -
2014 MLB Stats -
2015 Outlook -
It looks like the center field job is Pompey's to lose. The Jays unloaded Anthony Gose in the offseason to Detroit, and newly acquired outfielder Michael Saunders is down until after the season starts with a knee injury. Barring a Jackie Bradley Jr-esque faceplant in the majors, Pompey should have plenty of slack on the starting gig.
4. RHSP Jeff Hoffman - 22 years old, Disabled List (TJ Surgery)
5. C Max Pentecost - 22 years old, Disabled List (Shoulder Surgery)
6. RHSP Miguel Castro - 20 years old, AA New Hampshire
7. RHSP Sean Reid-Foley - 19 years old, GCL Blue Jays
8. 2B Devon Travis - 24 years old, AAA Buffalo
9. SS Richard Urena - 19 years old, A- Vancouver
10. RHSP Roberto Osuna - 20 years old, A+ Dunedin
11. LHSP Jairo Labourt - 21 years old, Low A Lansing
12. 2B/LF Dwight Smith - 22 years old, AA New Hampshire
13. 3B Mitch Nay - 21 years old, A+ Dunedin
14. LHSP Shane Dawson - 21 years old, A+ Dunedin
15. 1B Rowdy Tellez - 20 years old, Low A Lansing
16. 3B Andy Burns - 24 years old, AAA Buffalo
17. LHSP Matt Smoral - 21 years old, Low A Lansing
18. SS Dawel Lugo - 20 years old, Low A Lansing
19. LHSP Matt Boyd - 24 years old, AA New Hampshire
20. LHSP Ryan Borucki - 21 years old, Low A Lansing
Honorable Mentions (other 3 star players, in no particular order) - RHP Taylor Cole, RHP Chase DeJong, RHP Starlyn Suriel, RHP Alberto Tirado, RHP Chase Mallard, RHP Connor Greene, LHP Jake Brentz, C Dan Jansen, CF Anthony Alford, RHP Clinton Hollon, and RHP Juan Meza.
|Toronto Blue Jays||Age||Pos||Team||Stars|
Team Codes: AAA - Buffalo Bisons, AA - New Hampshire Fisher Cats, A+ - Dunedin Blue Jays, A - Lansing Lugnuts, A- - Vancouver Canadians, R+ - Bluefield Blue Jays, R - Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, DSL - Dominican Summer League Blue Jays, DNP - Did Not Play