2014 Toronto Blue Jays Top 10 Prospects

By
Updated: February 13, 2014
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Update: The 2014 Prospect Digest Annual finally hit e-book shelves. Check it out!!!

After a long delay – something measured in the months, not days -  I have a bit of an announcement to make: I will be publishing the first ever Prospect Digest Annual sometime late January/early February.

The Prospect Digest Annual will feature each organization’s Top 30 Prospects, ranking the farm systems, and several additional articles.

Until the big day happens, I will be posting each organization’s Top 10 Prospects, starting with the Arizona Diamondbacks and working through alphabetically. Enjoy!

For more Top Prospects click HERE

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1. Marcus Stroman, Position: RHP, Age: 23

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

AA

111.2

3.30

2.66

10.40

2.18

28.2%

5.9%

1.05

42.5%

Profile: Popped for a 50-game suspension for a banned stimulant, Stroman didn’t make a debut until the middle of May. And, yet, despite missing the opening month and a half, the pint-sized right-hander put together one of the more impressive seasons in 2013 – 111.2 IP, 129 K and just 27 walks.

Analysis: He’s always going to battle questions about his frame – 5-foot-9 and 185 pounds – but the numbers clearly speak for themselves. Big strikeouts. Pinpoint control. Solid groundball rates. Front-of-the-rotation material. Nearly big league ready.

Ceiling: 5.0- to 5.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Above-Average

 

2. Aaron Sanchez, Position: RHP, Age: 21

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A+

86.1

3.34

3.79

7.82

4.07

20.9%

10.9%

0.42

57.9%

Profile: Limited to just 86.1 innings due to a plethora of minor injuries, Sanchez, nonetheless, held his own with Dunedin as a 20-year-old: 7.8 K/9 and 4.2 BB/9. It was, however, the third consecutive season in which the former first round pick failed to top 91 innings.

Analysis: Despite being in the pros for three-plus seasons Sanchez has totaled just 256 innings. The peripherals are pretty solid – 9.3 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 – but at some point he’s going to have remain on the mound for some duration. If/when that happens the next thing on the docket would be his below-average control/command. The strikeout ability and groundball totals – 54.8% for his career – are the things of aces.

Ceiling: 5.0-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Moderate

 

3. Franklin Barreto, Position: SS, Age: 18

Level

PA

wRC+

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB%

K%

ISO

2B

3B

HR

SB/AT

RK

194

162

.299

.368

.529

6.7%

21.6%

.230

16

6

4

10/14

RK

58

71

.204

.259

.333

3.4%

24.1%

.130

5

1

0

0/2

Profile: Viewed as the consensus #1 international prospect, Barreto signed for the cool price of $1.45 million in July 2012. The then-17-year-old shortstop didn’t make his debut until last season, hitting a collective .276/.343/.482 split between the Gulf and Appalachian Leagues.

Analysis: Barreto bypassed the foreign rookie leagues, which speaks to how the Jays view him. It’s still incredibly early, but he showed a strong hit tool, above-average power, and a decent eye at the plate. And despite the struggles in his 15-game stint in the Gulf, it wouldn’t be out the question to see the 18-year-old in A-ball next season.

Ceiling: Too Soon to Tell

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: N/A

 

4. Roberto Osuna, Position: RHP, Age: 19

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A

42.1

5.53

2.67

10.63

2.34

28.4%

6.3%

1.28

46.0%

Profile: Something weird is going on in Osuna’s prized right elbow. After suffering a tear in his UCL, the famed Dr. James Andrews suggested rest and rehab. The Mexican-born right-hander would eventually make a handful of appearances before finally shutting it down.

Analysis: I’m not a doctor – clearly. But I’d put some serious money on Osuna eventually undergoing TJ. The numbers, pre-injury, are pretty damn impressive. Solid #2-type ceiling, maybe evening eking out a few ace years. All of that, of course, is assuming that his elbow won’t be a problem.

Ceiling: 4.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low

 

5. Daniel Norris, Position: LHP, Age: 21

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

A

85.2

4.20

3.50

10.40

4.52

26.1%

11.3%

0.63

47.9%

A+

5.0

0.00

6.37

1.80

3.60

5.6%

11.1%

0.00

46.7%

Profile: Norris, a second round pick out of Science High HS three years ago, spent the majority of the year with Lansing, striking out 99 and walking 44 in 85.2 innings of work.

Analysis: The 6-foot-2 southpaw has averaged just below 10 strikeouts per nine innings for his career, though it’s just 133.1 innings at this point. The control is problematic right now – seemingly typical of young left-handers – but the K-rates have been pretty tantalizing.

Ceiling: 3.0- to 3.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low to Moderate

 

6. Mitch Nay, Position: 3B, Age: 20

Level

PA

wRC+

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB%

K%

ISO

2B

3B

HR

SB/AT

RK

258

129

.300

.364

.426

9.7%

13.6%

.126

11

0

6

0/1

Profile: Nay, who was drafted in the supplemental first round two years ago, didn’t make his pro debut until last season. The 6-foot-3 third baseman hit .300/.364/.426 while topping the Appalachian League offensive production by 29%

Analysis: Solid tools across the board without a true standout for now. He’s still just 258 plate appearances into his career, so it’s still incredibly early.

Ceiling: Too Soon to Tell

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: N/A

 

7. Sean Nolin, Position: LHP, Age: 24

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

AA

92.2

3.01

2.88

10.00

2.43

26.8%

6.5%

0.58

34.1%

AAA

17.2

1.53

4.93

6.62

5.09

18.6%

14.3%

0.51

30.4%

Profile: The career numbers speak for themselves: 341.1 innings, 363 strikeouts, and just 103 walks. The problem for Nolin, however, is his fringy upper 80s/low 90s fastball that he displayed during his brief tenure with Toronto.

Analysis: One thing the radar gun doesn’t tell you, though, is Nolin’s size, 6-foot-5, adds a tick or two onto his heater. The big lefty is nearly big league ready, maybe a two months in Class AAA at the most. A solid #4-type arm.

Ceiling: 2.0- to 2.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Above-Average

 

8. Chase DeJong, Position: RHP, Age: 20                                                                                                                                              

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

RK

56.0

3.05

2.44

10.61

1.61

28.1%

4.3%

0.32

37.3%

Profile: Adding to the high round 2012 talent on the Bluefield club, DeJong, a second round pick, made 13 appearances, 10 of which were starts, striking out 66 and walking just 10.

Analysis: The numbers are pretty impressive. But, again, he’s still in the Appy.

Ceiling: Too Soon to Tell

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: N/A

 

9. Matt Smoral, Position: LHP, Age: 20

Level

IP

ERA

SIERA

K/9

BB/9

K%

BB%

HR/9

GB%

RK

25.0

6.84

4.85

9.00

7.92

19.8%

17.5%

0.36

52.2%

Profile: Missed most of his senior season and all of his first pro year due to a stress fraction in his fourth metatarsal. The club, nonetheless, took the massive 6-foot-8 southpaw in the supplemental first round in 2012.

Analysis: There’s still basically nothing to go on. But he’s young, left-hander, gigantic, and has a relatively fresh arm. The club will do whatever is necessary to get the other parts of him healthy.

Ceiling: Too Soon to Tell

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: N/A

 

10. D.J. Davis, Position: CF, Age: 21

Level

PA

wRC+

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB%

K%

ISO

2B

3B

HR

SB/AT

RK

258

111

.240

.323

.418

10.1%

29.5%

.178

8

7

6

13/21

Profile: A less than auspicious debut after being plucked with the 17th pick two years ago (.233/.339/.374), forced Toronto to keep the toolsy outfielder in the rookie leagues for one more season. And the overall numbers in the Appy last year, .240/.323/.418, weren’t that much better.

Analysis: Contact is already issue. The power has a shot to peak in the 20- to 25-HR range. But through 524 plate appearances, Davis has struck out 146 times – a number that’s not overly concerning, per se, but it was done in the lowest rungs of the minor leagues.

Ceiling: 2.0- to 2.5-win player

Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low

 

 

 

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