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Thread: BJMB Top 10 Bluejays Prospects

  1. #129
    DONOR Spanky99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jays4life19 View Post
    I feel like Eric Pardinho gets forgotten about a lot.
    Not sure if srs?

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    MVP Jimcanuck's Avatar
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    Dude you promised the full write up

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxcar View Post
    I think the Trump presidency has been a smashing success so far, tbh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimcanuck View Post
    Dude you promised the full write up

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    It's posted in the other thread, but sure. I'll post it here.

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    The Top Ten:

    Vladimir Guerrero, Jr, 3B
    Bo Bichette, SS
    Anthony Alford, OF
    Nate Pearson, RHP
    Conner Greene, RHP
    Logan Warmoth, SS
    Danny Jansen, C
    Sean Reid-Foley, RHP
    Ryan Borucki, LHP
    T.J. Zeuch, RHP

    ***


    1. Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., 3B
    DOB: 3/16/1999
    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 210 lbs.
    Bats/Throws: R/R
    Drafted/Acquired: Signed July 2015 out of the Dominican Republic by Toronto for $3.9 million.
    Previous Ranking(s): #3 (Org)
    2017 Stats: .333/.450/.494, 6 HR, 2 SB in 48 games at High-A Dunedin; .316/.409/.480, 7 HR, 6 SB in 71 games at Low-A Lansing

    The Good: Guerrero might have the best offensive profile in the minors at this point, as he tore through both Low-A and High-A at the tender age of 18. He demonstrates elite bat-to-ball ability, showcasing phenomenal hand-eye coordination and wrist strength. He is capable of driving a ball in any part of the zone, or even outside of it. He pairs the bat with plus-plus raw power, and although the tool plays down in games due a contact-oriented swing, he is still more than capable of hitting his fair share of home runs. However, before drawing comparisons to his father, take note that Vladito also displays a batting eye well beyond his years. His plate discipline was among the best in the minors this year, as he walked more than he struck out at both levels. Guerrero also possesses an above-average arm that fits comfortably at third.

    The Bad: Guerrero is charitably listed at 210 pounds, but in reality he carries a fair bit more weight. The body is already high maintenance at 18, and it’s not hard to envision health and fitness becoming a problem as he ages. While he played all of 2017 at the hot corner, he defense at the position is inconsistent and raw. He’ll flash decent athleticism and reflexes, but he has stiff hands and limited range. He might be able to make it work at the position given time, but it seems likely that the bat and body force him across the diamond before long. He is only a fringe-average runner at present, and will likely lose a step (or more) as he enters his 20s.

    The Role:

    OFP 70—A .300/.400/.500 threat who can fill in at third
    Likely 60—An above-average hitting first baseman

    The Risks: Despite having not reached the upper minors, Guerrero seems very likely to hit in the majors, making him safer than most prospects. His risks mainly come from a limited ceiling due to defense and long term question marks about how his body will develop. —Emmett Rosenbaum

    Major league ETA: Late 2018/Early 2019

    Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: Having the best offensive profile in the minors makes you a pretty good dynasty prospect, it turns out. We usually try to write more for the better prospects, but with Vladito there’s no need to overthink it. Expect a decade-plus of top-10 first baseman finishes, and consider any years of 3B eligibility as added bonuses.

    2. Bo Bichette, SS
    DOB: 3/5/1998
    Height/Weight: 6’0”, 200 lbs.
    Bats/Throws: R/R
    Drafted/Acquired: Drafted 66th overall in the 2016 draft, Lakewood HS (St. Petersburg, FL); signed for $1.1 million.
    Previous Ranking(s): #10 (Org)
    2017 Stats: .323/.379/.463, 4 HR, 10 SB in 40 games at High-A Dunedin; .384/.448/.623, 10 HR, 12 SB in 70 games at Low-A Lansing

    The Good: Bichette, like his teammate Guerrero, torched two leagues this season to put him in discussion for one of the top prospects in baseball. The hit tool improved by leaps and bounds from what I projected for it out of high school, with it now potentially being his loudest tool, which is scary considering his other tools. The raw power is 70, and it isn’t just 5 o’clock power—the power plays in games, as Bichette uses the whole field to dish out punishment. The arm is plus (or better in some cases), allowing it to play all over the infield. A better runner than you would think, Bichette gets out of the box quickly, forcing infielders to make quick decisions.

    The Bad: The arm plays all over the infield, even if you aren’t sure where he plays long-term. While he wouldn’t be bad at the six, it wouldn’t be flashy and would be frustrating to watch over time. His footwork is inconsistent, his throws tend to sail high, and doesn’t always make the best decisions. It is more likely he plays at either 3B or 2B, depending on organizational need. The hit tool still has question marks, especially as pitchers sequence him better and exploit his holes. While not a free-swinger, he isn’t exactly known for his plate discipline.

    The Role:

    OFP 70—All-Star player in the infield
    Likely 55—Above-average regular in the infield

    The Risks: Not a lot, still need to see him against Double-A arms. Still has some uncertainty about where he plays on the dirt, prima-donna attitude, plate discipline questions. —Steve Givarz

    Major league ETA: 2019

    Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: Yes, please. Bichette isn’t yet the top-10 overall dynasty prospect that some people are treating him as, but he’s not too far off from that distinction. The hope is he at least sticks at the six for a few years early in his career, but even if that’s not the case he’d have top-7 upside at second or third base. There is still some risk here, but the potential for a solid-to-good average, 25 homers and a handful of steals make Bichette well worth the gamble.

    3. Anthony Alford, OF
    DOB: 7/20/1994
    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 205 lbs.
    Bats/Throws: R/R
    Drafted/Acquired: Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft, Petal HS (Petal, MS); signed for $750,000.
    Previous Ranking(s): #2 (Org), #93 (Top 101)
    2017 Stats: .125/.125/.250, 0 HR, 0 SB in 4 games at major-league level; .333/.385/.417, 0 HR, 0 SB in 3 games at Triple-A Buffalo; .310/.406/.429, 5 HR, 18 SB in 68 games at Double-A New Hampshire; .143/.182/.143, 0 HR, 1 SB in 6 games at High-A Dunedin

    The Good: Up-the-middle tools in abundance. Alford’s got them. He’s a plus runner with a potential plus glove in center. He’s built like a spread option quarterback, which…well…he was. There is premium athleticism here. You can throw plus hit on the profile too if you are so inclined, and you can’t quibble with the approach regardless. The swing is geared for the opposite field, but if that ever changes it sure feels like there will be plus power to the pull side. If not, well, the athletic tools are so good it might not matter,

    The Bad: Alford just can’t stay on the field. He’s topped out at 107 games played in his pro career. Last year it was concussion issues. This year it was hamate issues. It’s always been something, even since he focused full-time on baseball. He’s never really hit for power despite a body built to hit 20 bombs.

    The Role:

    OFP 60—Above-average every day center fielder
    Likely 50—Average every day center fielder

    The Risks: The tools and baseball skills are all there. It is just a matter of staying healthy for Alford. So, high I guess.

    Major league ETA: Debuted in 2017

    Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: Alford is a prime prospect fatigue candidate — we’ve heard about him for quite a while now, and you can bet that some less savvy owners are growing impatient. Alford still has the upside of a speed-based OF3 if healthy, and while that’s a big if, it’s probably worth seeing if the Alford owner in your league is willing to sell low. He’ll be an easy top-101 guy once more.

    4. Nate Pearson, RHP
    DOB: 8/20/1996
    Height/Weight: 6’6”, 245 lbs.
    Bats/Throws: R/R
    Drafted/Acquired: Drafted 28th overall in the 2017 draft, College of Central Florida (Ocala, FL); signed for $2.4529 million.
    Previous Ranking(s): N/A
    2017 Stats: 0.95 ERA, 2.40 DRA, 19 IP, 6 H, 5 BB, 24 K in 7 games at short-season Vancouver

    The Good: This is a big fastball from a big, BIG dude, one that was sitting upper 90s, clearing triple-digits, and even touching 102 in games. Oh yeah, he throws strikes with that as well, making him a very tough guy to square up. Later in the year, the consistency of his offspeed improved dramatically. The curveball was sharper at 81-84, looking like a future plus offering. The change was high 80s/low 90s, showing good velo separation and feel for the offering. This is a big, durable frame who has worked hard to get his body in good shape, so while this leaves him without much projection, he looks the part of a durable workhorse.

    The Bad: The delivery isn’t the smoothest, with everyone’s favorite head whack and a lack of consistency due to all the momentum he generates. These are fixable, but it may take a while. While the fastball is fast, it can get flat and is more hittable than you might think. In longer starts the velo is “only” 94-96, instead of the 80 fastball he showed this summer. The offspeed is still pretty inconsistent and only flashes instead of sits.

    The Role:

    OFP 55—Those really good Michael Pineda seasons (minus the injuries)
    Likely 45—Those really good Jim Johnson seasons (with more strikeouts)

    The Risks: Hittable fastball, inconsistency of off-speed, Year 1 in development.

    Major league ETA: 2020

    Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: You wish there was less risk of Pearson ending up in the bullpen, of course, but for a guy who has absolutely no buzz in dynasty circles right now, Pearson has a decent upside. He’s not in the top-101 discussion yet, but he’d be in the top half of that big, meaty group of 20 or 30 potential SP5/6s that occupies the next 100.

    5. Conner Greene, RHP
    DOB: 4/4/1995
    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 185 lbs.
    Bats/Throws: R/R
    Drafted/Acquired: Drafted in the 7th round of the 2013 draft, Santa Monica HS (Santa Monica, CA); signed for $100,000.
    Previous Ranking(s): #4 (Org)
    2017 Stats: 5.29 ERA, 6.26 DRA, 132 ⅔ IP, 141 H, 83 BB, 92 K in 26 games at Double-A New Hampshire

    The Good: The velocity stands out, reaching triple digits from an easy delivery, and sitting 94-98 mph throughout his starts. Greene’s fastball is lively with above-average movement in the mid-90s, though it will become true when he reaches back for peak velocity. The changeup is a second strong pitch with arm-speed deception and good fade. He shows a willingness to throw his changeup in any count, even starting at-bats with the pitch and occasionally going back-to-back effectively. At times, Greene shows an ability to consistently throw his fastball and changeup for strikes, maximizing their effectiveness.

    The Bad: Greene has a long way to go in terms of controlling and commanding his arsenal, even going so far as completely losing the strike zone for extended stretches. He is a good enough athlete to project progress with control/command, but the strides have not been there to date. He shows two breaking ball variations with a curveball in the mid- to upper-70s and a harder, tighter slider that sits in the 85-87 mph range. Feel for both breaking balls lags as he continues to search for an ability to consistently spin them, though there are hints the curveball could improve in shorter stints where he airs it out.

    The Role:

    OFP 55—Solid closer or no. 4 starter; either way he ends up walking more than you would like
    Likely 45—Setup reliever who needs a breaking ball to close

    The Risks: Breaking ball and command profile development.

    Major league ETA: Late 2018

    Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: Oh my god, just flip the changeup and the breaker and Connor Greene is Joe Kelly.

    Logan Warmoth, SS
    DOB: 9/6/1995
    Height/Weight: 6’0”, 190 lbs.
    Bats/Throws: R/R
    Drafted/Acquired: Drafted 22nd overall in the 2017 draft, University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC); signed for $2.8202 million.
    Previous Ranking(s): N/A
    2017 Stats: .306/.356/.419, 1 HR, 5 SB in 39 games at short-season Vancouver; .273/.304/.409, 1 HR, 1 SB in complex-level GCL
    The Good: He’s a very polished, well-rounded middle-infield prospect who has a history of performing in a major conference. There’s potential for a plus hit tool, and he continued to hit for average in his pro debut after doing so in college. His defensive actions are solid, his arm is accurate, and he has a chance to stay at shortstop up the ladder. He’s a sneaky good base runner despite not being a burner down the lines. In general, he gets a lot of good marks for instincts and skills that coagulate to cause the profile to play up more than it otherwise might.

    The Bad: Notice that we mostly avoided discussing the actual tools above. There’s a lot of numbers within a half-grade of average in the profile. There just isn’t much elite physicality here; no obvious standout carrying physical tool presents itself, which means he’s going to have to hit some or really pick it. He’s only in the “probably” bucket for long-term role as a shortstop and could end up at second or third.

    The Role:

    OFP 55—Starting MLB shortstop
    Likely 45—Fringe starting middle-infielder or good utility player

    The Risks: Hit tool reliant middle-infield profiles are riskier than they look; take a peek at just how quickly Kevin Newman fell apart if you want to see how it can go bad. Of course, Scott Kingery is the bird on the other shoulder pointing out the positive risk. It can go a lot of ways as a pro, even if it seems like there’s a high-floor out of the draft. —Jarrett Seidler


    Major league ETA: Late 2019

    Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: Warmoth has *some* value because the odds indicate that he’ll stick at shortstop and, as a college bat, he likely won’t take forever to reach the majors. The offensive upside is rather modest, though, meaning Warmoth needs to keep hitting a he climbs the ladder if wants to earn a dynasty ranking commensurate with his 70-grade name.

    Danny Jansen, C
    DOB: 4/15/1995
    Height/Weight: 6’2”, 225 lbs.
    Bats/Throws: R/R
    Drafted/Acquired: Drafted in the 16th round of the 2013 draft, Appleton West HS (Appleton, WI); signed for $100,000.
    Previous Ranking(s): N/A
    2017 Stats: .328/.423/.552, 3 HR, 0 SB in 21 games at Triple-A Buffalo; .291/.378/.419, 2 HR, 1 SB in 52 games in Double-A New Hampshire; .369/.422/.541, 5 HR, 0 SB in 31 games at High-A Dunedin
    The Good: Jansen had one of the more impressive breakouts anywhere in the minors in 2017, hitting his way up from an organizational catcher who pitchers liked to a legitimate top catching prospect. He’s always gotten high marks for defense, especially in receiving and pitcher-handling, and before the 2017 season he received much-needed vision correction and recovered from lingering wrist and hand injuries. All of a sudden, he started seeing the ball at the plate much better, and started showing impressive bat-to-ball ability and plate discipline. He jumped two levels and was added to the 40-man after the season; having jumped Reese McGuire and Max Pentecost on the org depth chart, he’s now only a Russell Martin injury or someone tiring of Luke Maile from The Show.

    The Bad: This is not only the first year he’s really hit anywhere, it’s the first year he was even handling a full-time playing load; he was perilously close to being tagged a minor-league backup org catcher type. The power is somewhat limited. Really, there aren’t any obvious standout physical tools here, which limits the upside some. He’s just good at baseball.

    The Role:

    OFP 55—A long-term starting catcher
    Likely 45—A long-term second division or strong backup catcher

    The Risks: Sometimes these sorts of breakouts, even when they have an obvious narrative reason, don’t always stick. Whenever you’re talking about a guy who hit an empty .218 in High-A just a year ago and didn’t show any signs that a huge breakout was coming, it’s possible he’ll give some of the gains back. Even still, getting on the 40-man with his defensive skills probably leaves a long career as a third catcher even if most if the offense poofs. —Jarrett Seidler

    Major league ETA: 2018, as needed

    Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: Your guess is as good as ours. If the swing changes are real, Jansen is a catcher who can hit in the upper minors—that’s a big deal. If it was a fluke, he’s basically useless for our purposes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Sean Reid-Foley, RHP
    DOB: 8/30/1995
    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 220 lbs.
    Bats/Throws: R/R
    Drafted/Acquired: Drafted 49th overall in the 2014 MLB Draft, Sandalwood HS (Jacksonville, FL); signed for $1.1288 million.
    Previous Ranking(s): #1 (Org)
    2017 Stats: 5.09 ERA, 5.01 DRA, 132 ⅔ IP, 145 H, 53 BB, 122 K in 27 games at Double-A New Hampshire
    The Good: The fastball is still a good pitch for him, sitting 91-94 and touching 97 with quality sinking action. The curve and slider still flash. He’s still built like a horse and I suppose projectable, although that word starts to lose importance once you’re a bad Double-A pitcher.

    The Bad: You’ll note a lot of “still” up there, because there really isn’t anything new and good to say here. Double-A provides a pretty good test for most pitching prospects and Reid-Foley failed miserably, making none of the progressions in command or secondary stuff he would’ve needed to survive. He was dreadful, gave up long balls by the bushel despite both a scouting and prior statistical profile that pointed the other way, and got shelled out of games early enough that getting something resembling a full look wasn’t always easy. Nothing about the underlying profile really changed, but that’s a problem when you’re dealing with a projectable prep pitcher that’s failing to project.

    The Role:

    OFP 55—Mid-rotation starter or good reliever
    Likely 45—Back-of-the-rotation starter or decent reliever

    The Risks: We’re still projecting him a bit, even on the likely outcome. If the change doesn’t come around, the command doesn’t improve at all, and neither breaking ball sharpens, he’s going to be an up-and-down arm instead of a long-term member of a major-league staff. —Jarrett Seidler

    Major league ETA: Late-2018 or 2019


    Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: I’d actually have some interest in Reid-Foley if he does stick in the rotation someday, but we can’t be sure that’s going to happen yet. He’d probably sneak in a top-200 for me because I like him more than I like most guys with his profile due to the remaining upside, but there’s no need to go crazy.

    Ryan Borucki, LHP
    DOB: 3/31/1994
    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 175 lbs.
    Bats/Throws: L/L
    Drafted/Acquired: Drafted in the 15th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, Mundelein HS (Mundelein, IL); signed for $426,000.
    Previous Ranking(s): Others of Note
    2017 Stats: 0.00 ERA, 3.09 DRA, 6 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 6 K in 1 game at Triple-A Buffalo; 1.94 ERA, 1.48 DRA, 46 ⅓ IP, 31 H, 8 BB, 42 K in 7 games at Double-A New Hampshire; 3.58 ERA, 1.89 DRA, 98 IP, 95 H, 27 BB, 109 K in 19 games at High-A Dunedin
    The Good: Borucki, when healthy, checks off a lot of boxes. He has projection, left-handedness, athleticism, and two high-quality pitches. The fastball is a plus-to-better offering, sitting 93-95, touching 96 in starts. He controls the offering well, throwing it away to right-handed hitters and going under the hands of lefties. The change is arguably the most effective offering though. At 80-81, it acts almost as a split-finger, showing large velo separation and late drop. He is comfortable throwing it to both sides, in either fastball counts, or when he needs a punchout.

    The Bad: The important part from up there is “when healthy.” Borucki had Tommy John in 2012, missing all of that and 2013. He missed most of 2015 with various elbow and shoulder injuries as well. While he is wiry and “projectable”, he will be 24 by next season, so he probably won’t be growing that much more. There is a slider here, but it is a below-average offering. Coming in at 78-81 with large early break. While it can flash average, it flashes less often than it sits. You are worried about a left-hander who will struggle to throw a breaking ball to LHH.

    The Role:

    OFP 50—Back-end starter

    Likely 45—A lefty who doesn’t project to get lefties out is a weird bullpen role. Maybe a swingman?

    The Risks: Ability to stay healthy, lack of a quality breaking ball against left-handers, older-ish arm. There is a lot more in here if he can stay healthy. —Steve Givarz

    Major league ETA: 2018

    Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: Too many injuries and too modest an upside. Goodnight, sweet prince.

    T.J. Zeuch, RHP
    DOB: 8/1/1995
    Height/Weight: 6’7”, 225 lbs.
    Bats/Throws: R/R
    Drafted/Acquired: Drafted 21st overall in the 2016 draft, University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA); signed for $2.175 million.
    Previous Ranking(s): #7 (Org)
    2017 Stats: 3.38 ERA, 2.51 DRA, 58 ⅔ IP, 63 H, 17 BB, 46 K in 12 games at High-A Dunedin; 5.14 ERA, 4.14 DRA, 7 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 5 K in 3 games at complex-level GCL
    The Good: The tall righty has a solid-if-unspectacular repertoire, and he repeats his delivery just well enough to command it despite his long levers. The foundation is a sinking plus fastball (91-93 mph) with late two-plane life that produces weak contact and high ground-ball rates. When on, the pitch is especially effective against righties. He pairs it with both a curve and slider, the former of which projects as the better pitch, generating hard 11-5 break when he stays on top of it. The 60 fastball and 55 curveball, plus his size and athleticism are good building blocks for the rotation. Zeuch will need to continue developing his secondary pitches, particularly the cambio that currently flashes average but is inconsistent.

    The Bad: Zeuch has enough command, but it will always be a challenge for him to consistently hit his spots, particularly with his secondary offerings. I’m bullish on a 60-55-50 FB/CB/CH future repertoire (and below-average slider), but when the command goes, Zeuch not only walks batters but leaves pitches up and out over the plate. Overall, this limits his ultimate ceiling.

    The Role:

    OFP 50—No.4 starter
    Likely 45—No. 5 starter

    The Risks: It’s really just the command profile. If he repeats, he’s a rotation guy. If he doesn’t he’ll head to the pen.

    Major league ETA: mid-2019

    Ben Carsley’s Fantasy Take: Like a more boring Reid-Foley with a lower floor, so pass.


    The Next Ten (in alphabetical order):

    Lourdes Gurriel, IF/LF, Double-A New HampshireSigned for $22 million over seven years, the lithe Cuban is a bat-first prospect with a smooth, line-drive swing that leads to frequent contact. However, Gurriel’s minimal lower-half engagement deadens his power and lessens the quality of contact, particularly to the opposite field. Defensively, he split time between 2nd and SS in 2017, but his footwork and quickness are stretched in the middle infield, pushing him to a tweener profile, lacking the power to profile as a regular at 3B or LF (where he played some in Cuba). There is appeal as a potential platoon or solid hitting bench bat with some defensive versatility.

    Jon Harris, RHP, Double-A New Hampshire
    Harris is a generic Double-A college dude starter. He maybe shouldn’t be. He’s a four-pitch arm that is less than the sum of the stuff. The fastball is a 55 if you just look at the radar gun, but once you factor in his below-average command, it plays more like average or even fringe-average. All three of his secondaries can flash average on the right day, but the slider is too often flat, the curve is pretty when going well but too often misplaced, and the change is too often firm. Like Reid-Foley, he just wasn’t fooling anyone at Double-A this season, and attempts to rework his delivery midseason didn’t help matters a ton. There’s still a chance for a fourth starter here and he’ll get a shot to blow the fastball and curve out in relief before all is said and done, but this isn’t exactly what you want from a polished college arm. —Jarrett Seidler

    Zachary Jackson, RHP, High-A Dunedin
    Drafted in the third round in the 2016 draft, Jackson was initially a starter at Arkansas, but has flourished following a transition to the bullpen. He has a large 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame with premium arm strength and a unique breaker. This is a mid-to-high-80s curveball with extreme, hard depth and action. From Jackson’s high-three-quarters slot it has true 12/6 shape and hard action, almost like a slider. This is a plus offering—it has shown even better for me at times—but his lack of control makes it inconsistent. When the fastball is on, it can be a truly unhittable pitch. The fastball velocity is hard as well, coming in from 93-96 and touching 97, although it can be a bit true, and when not located properly gets hit hard. Jackson does offer some intrigue as a multi-inning reliever, given that most of his appearances lasted more than one inning. There are some concerns, a lack of consistency with his messy delivery, lack of command at times, a hittable fastball. These don’t ignore the fact that Jackson still offers plenty of intrigue and is a potential fast-mover. —Steve Givarz

    Justin Maese, RHP, Low-A Lansing
    Another owner of a big fastball, Maese pumps it in up to the mid-90s from a tough three-quarters armslot, and pairs it with a pitch right on the slider/cutter continuum that we’ve graded as a potential plus offering in the past. As a reader, you can probably recite the rest of this report from repetition by this point in the prospect season; he needs work on the changeup, and combining that with the armslot and typical young pitcher command woes, he’s often projected as a likely future reliever. His 2017 was troubled by a shoulder injury that lingered, with a few trips on and off the DL in the summer months, which further solidifies the reliever tag. Check back once games start to see whether he’s healthy and what it looks like. —Jarrett Seidler

    Tim Mayza, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays
    Velocity is everywhere now. We yawn at a lefty sitting 93-97. We probably shouldn’t. Mayza is a bit older than you’d like as a prospect writer, sure. He seems more hittable than he should be, absolutely. He also touches the high-90s with a 90 mph slider. As a lefty. His stuff misses bats. We’ve written a lot in this space about reliever prospects. God knows we will write a lot more before we are done. Mayza is a potential 7/7 reliever. He pitches with his left hand. Yes, the command profile is an issue We are jaded. We should not be this jaded.

    Elieser Medrano, RHP, Complex-level GCL
    Signed in July, 2016 for $15,000 Medrano had a velocity bump after signing and got a lot of buzz around the Dunedin complex. Standing 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, Medrano is already somewhat physical, but still offers a moderate amount of projection. The fastball comes from a smooth, clean arm action with above-average arm speed. It came in at 91-94, touching 95, but he lacked feel for the zone with it, causing it to play down from its pure velocity. You can project for improved gains based on the smoothness of his delivery and more repetitions. The slider showed hard action with quality depth and action, but like with the heater he struggled with the feel and played below its effectiveness. While without a changeup, this is still a 19-year-old with promising fastball/slider offering, so he could be an intriguing starter prospect, or a “fastball/slider guy reliever”. —Steve Givarz

    Edward Olivares, OF, High-A Dunedin
    Hidden by the noise of the monster seasons put together by Vladito and Bichette was Olivares. In his first full season of minor league ball, the 21-year-old displayed five tools that look to play close to major-league average. Like with many young, low minors prospects, the swing has some noise and there are gains that need to be made in terms of pitch recognition. However, above-average bat speed and a frame that has room for growth give hope for the swing. The carrying tools are speed and defense. On the bases, he’s a fluid runner that displays a second gear when needed with his plus raw speed. That said speed allows for a lot of ground to be covered in the outfield and Olivares has shown the ability to play all three positions. The arm is average for right but would play above average in center and left. This versatility combined with speed give a floor of a second division major league outfielder with a chance to become above average if the bat continues to advance. —Nathan Graham

    Max Pentecost, C?, High-A Dunedin
    Everyone likes a good redemption story. Pentecost struggled with terrible shoulder injuries after being drafted 11th-overall in 2014, missing the entire 2015 season and only being able to DH in 2016. He was still more a DH than anything else in 2017, but he did get in 20 games behind the plate and 22 at first, and most importantly he was healthy while doing so, even picking up extra playing time in the Arizona Fall League. He’s hit reasonably well at the A-ball levels the past two years considering everything else going on, although realistically he’s been old for the levels. We’re mostly mentioning him here because it has the makings of a nice story and the underlying hitting and receiving tools seem mostly unaffected by his long layoff. We’ll learn a lot more about whether there’s a future here in 2018, as he’ll get both a shot to hit upper-level pitching and to hold up under a larger catching load. —Jarrett Seidler

    Rowdy Tellez, 1B, Triple-A Buffalo
    When Large Adult Sons don’t hit, it can get a little ugly. Formerly a personal favorite as a power-hitting first base prospect, Tellez has always honestly had more name and fantasy value than real prospect value because of limitations on his defense, athleticism, and hit tool (a grooved swing can only take you so far), and he cratered in his first shot at Triple-A. We’ll stipulate that he played the entire season at 22 and had moved somewhat quickly before that, and if we gave up on every player we liked who bombed out at one level while moving up quickly we’d have given up on a lot of future stars. There’s still real raw power here that’s shown up in games before, and at least he’s left-handed and in the DH league so those sorts of avenues are open to him. But this isn’t the easiest profile in the world to stick in the majors with these days—25 dinger power is no longer really a carrying tool this far over on the defensive spectrum—and Tellez really needs to consolidate things in 2018 to get back on track. —Jarrett Seidler

    Richard Urena, SS, Toronto Blue Jays
    Urena received a late-season look in the majors after an up-and-down 2017 with Double-A New Hampshire. His approach at the plate is rather inconsistent; he’ll often chase pitches out of the zone, and he doesn’t walk all that often. The switch-hitting 21-year-old still shows better power from the left side of the plate, and there is above-average bat speed to write home about. But that power is relatively limited, and if the hit tool ends up being a pedestrian 45, he’ll have to be an outstanding defender to stick on a roster. Luckily for Urena, he does show above-average range and has a plus arm that could stick at shortstop. He did get some late-season looks at second base in Double-A, but was primarily at shortstop when he did get to Toronto in September. His struggles in the field come when he tries to rush a throw, but he’s proving to be a better fielder than in years past. However, at this point, with not much left to project at the plate, and another guy in the org (Bichette) looking like a potential option at short, Urena’s stock has taken a hit over the last year. He’ll look to rebuild that stock a bit, likely in Triple-A, in 2018. —Victor Filoromo

    Friends in Low Places
    Felipe Castaneda, RHP, complex-level GCL
    Signed in November 2016, Castaneda was one of the youngest players to appear with the GCL Squad, playing all of last season at 17. While not the biggest or most physical, Castaneda is still frail, offering a lot of projection given his age and the ease of his delivery. The go to pitch for Castaneda is his changeup, which is odd to say for a 17 (soon to be 18) year old. We are usually talking about some form of “snapdragon”, “hard slurve”, “hard breaker” than we are to boast about a changeup. This poses an interesting conundrum. The change is good though, coming in at 81-83, he shows impressive feel and comfort with the pitch, using it to strikeout both lefties and righties alike. He even shows advanced sequencing with it, throwing it in fastball counts, which easily fooled hitters who sold out for the fastball. The problem is there isn’t much of a breaking ball here, there is a “curve” but it is in the nascent stage of development currently. The fastball is a fringe-average offering at present, not the plus heater you would like to see at this stage. There is hope in the future, he can throw a cutter, maybe it will eventually be a slider, and the body can improve physically, which can improve his velocity across the board. —Steve Givarz


    ***

    A second opinion: Is Vladimir Guerrero Jr. an OFP 80?

    So we’ve broken the seal here at Baseball Prospectus this season on ranking position players as 8s. Previously the near-sole domain of Lucas Giolito when he was actually good, we’ve already crowned Ronald Acuna as an 8 in our Braves list, and we might’ve also done so with Gleyber Torres had he remained prospect-eligible without missing the second-half of the season with an elbow injury. We’re tagging Vladito as a 7 here, though, and given that he’s right there with Acuna, that might be low.

    Essentially, Vlad is being dinged because he’s probably going to move from third to first, given his large frame and less-than-worldbeating defensive abilities. I think that’s a reasonable projection to make, although he’s sneakily athletic and throws well enough that it’s not a sure shot. What I think is a sure shot is that this dude is a uniquely rare hitter for his age. Playing the entire season at 18 years old, he hit for big average at both levels of full-season A-ball while walking more than he struck out, with the type of polish you just don’t see at his age. He only hit for moderate power, but almost everyone agrees he projects to plus-plus power or even better, and it’s hard to imagine he won’t tap into it with that quality of approach and natural hitting ability. We rightly marvel at what Acuna did relative to his own age, but remember that Guerrero is about 16 months younger than Acuna, and he’s going to start 2018 at Double-A.

    Here’s the other thing: we project in the explanation of the grade that Vlad would be a .300/.400/.500 first baseman. Let’s say that really is the projection; I would argue that is an 80 OFP. That’s basically Anthony Rizzo’s average year, or Paul Goldschmidt with a touch less power, like he’d probably have in a less-power friendly environment than Arizona. Those guys are pretty close to 8s if not actually so—your mileage may vary on what actually constitutes an 8, but they’re absolute stars and the best first basemen in the game. If you give Guerrero any sort of further power upside or third-base ability past that, which I think are both plausible although not slam dunks, the case becomes even clearer: this could be one of the best players in baseball. —Jarrett Seidler

    ***

    Top Talents 25 and Under (born 4/1/1992 or after):

    Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
    Roberto Osuna
    Bo Bichette
    Aaron Sanchez
    Anthony Alford
    Nate Pearson
    Conner Greene
    Logan Warmoth
    Danny Jansen
    Sean Reid-Foley
    As one of baseball’s oldest teams in 2017 at an average age of 29.7-years-old, it shouldn’t be overly surprising that the Blue Jays 25U list is more prospect than major leaguers. Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro’s work to get younger and more athletic has borne plenty of fruit on the farm, but the big league club is still a little barren. That said, there is still plenty of room both at the top and the bottom of the list for discussion involving players who have lost their rookie eligibility.

    One of the toughest calls was where to place Roberto Osuna. In an argument for the top spot, we have a 23-year-old closer who just put up the best season of his career by peripherals with 2.1 WARP and a 46.6 DRA- versus teenage prospects with a combined zero games above High-A. On the other side, Osuna is only a reliever and Guerrero Jr. and Bichette, while young, are still considered two of the better prospects in all of baseball.

    In the end, the decision fell in the middle. Guerrero holds down the top spot for the combination of the elite ceiling and the higher floor with his bat. Even if he moves across the diamond, he should still provide more value than Osuna. But the young closer still comes in at the number two spot. While his ERA was elevated, Osuna’s DRA was the fourth-lowest in baseball among all pitchers and third among relievers—even if we drop the qualifying threshold as low as 15 innings pitched. With the way baseball is changing in both use and valuation of relievers, a pitcher at the head of the class has tremendous worth and needs to be ranked accordingly.

    As for Bichette, the slight concerns about his hit tool against better pitching combined with the defensive questions slide him just below Osuna into the no. 3 spot.

    Of course while Osuna was tough to place, things were even more difficult when it came to last year’s no. 1 who lost much of the season due to recurring blister problems. The biggest concern with Aaron Sanchez isn’t just the repeated issues, which eventually led to a torn ligament in his finger and ended his season, but that he also performed quite poorly even when he was able to take the mound—his 6.96 DRA in 36 innings was nearly double his 2016 figure. The sample size is small enough that it could be somewhat forgiven if he were clear of the injury issues, but with his health still in question and the other risks already present from his jump in workload in 2016, it was just too difficult to rank the former AL ERA-leader higher than fourth.

    There were no hard choices from five to ten, but had the list gone to 11 (like everything should, really) there is room for debate. Last year’s number five player, Dalton Pompey, and recent trade acquisition, Teoscar Hernández, are both eligible for this list but no longer prospect-eligible. While Pompey eliminated himself from consideration with his lost season, there was an interesting battle between Hernández and Ryan Borucki (the no. 9 prospect) for the next man up.

    Hernández wowed the club and fans alike with a September performance that saw him smash eight home runs and post a TAv of .302 with a .602 slugging percentage. At the same time, he also struck out in 37.9 percent of his plate appearances. Both the power and the contact issues are real, but he’s ready to help out in the major leagues right now as, at worst, a platoon player with speed and the ability to cover all three outfield spots in a pinch. That floor combined with the upside for a little more earn the former Astros’ prospect the edge over Borucki, whose health concerns and the lack of a breaking ball push him off even a Spinal Tap-sized list. —Joshua Howsam

  6. #133
    MVP Terminator's Avatar
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    Here's my Personal List:
    1. Vlad
    2. Bo
    3. Pearson
    4. Alford
    5. Jansen
    6. Guerriel
    7. Warmoth
    8. Borucki
    9. Zuech
    10. McGuire
    ...
    101. Rowdy Tellez
    Last edited by Terminator; 01-02-2018 at 05:39 PM.

  7. #134
    All Star BigBounceyBlueBalls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky99 View Post
    Hahahaha... I missed you B!
    Thanks Buddy ! Living in Exile was not much fun! 🙁
    Where did a year go, missed you also and the board! Most of the people on here as well. Go Bluejays Go!!! Rum me Mate!!!

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to BigBounceyBlueBalls For This Useful Post:

    Spanky99 (01-02-2018)

  9. #135
    Hall of Famer Dr. Dinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    Here's my Personal List:
    2. Bo
    3. Pearson
    4. Alford
    5. Jansen
    6. Guerriel
    7. Warmoth
    8. Borucki
    9. Zuech
    10. McGuire
    ...
    101. Rowdy Tellez
    Vlad doesn't even make your list!?

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    DONOR Spanky99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dinger View Post
    Vlad doesn't even make your list!?
    Nah, just doesn't need to be mentioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Dinger View Post
    Vlad doesn't even make your list!?
    Haha woops. Not sure why he got cut off.

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    DONOR Spanky99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jays4life19 View Post
    I feel like Eric Pardinho gets forgotten about a lot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Spanky99 View Post
    Not sure if srs?
    Quote Originally Posted by jays4life19 View Post
    ... Next 10
    Now I see what you meant, after seeing/reading the next 10... he's young but the ceiling is quite high.

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