Interesting list, Marc. I think that you are selling Hutchison short. His control is by all accounts superb. It seems that he gives up very few home runs because he has pinpoint control within the strike zone. His stuff is not overwhelming, but he still manages to strike out more than a batter per inning.
His ceiling, in my view, is a Mike Mussina-type #1. He could very easily be the Jays best starting pitcher in 2013 or 2014.
Comment by Mike Green — January 24, 2012 @ 11:31 am
I think you are a little high on Hutch and WAY low on Marisnick, really liked the Hawkins ranking though. I’m a big fan of the awkward moving kid!
Marc, will you be doing farm rankings? Interesting to see what you think of the home team’s system, especially with your rankings looking quite different than what Jays fans are used to be seeing. Great list, great write ups.
Hutchison has been increasing his K rate as he moves up the system so far. We shall see how this season.
There’s always this tension between those who believe that stuff trumps all and those who believe that stuff is perhaps the most important asset but that it does not trump all. Shaun Marcum was seen by the first group as having #3 ceiling when he at Hutchison’s stage. Hutchison is considerably ahead of him.
Comment by Mike Green — January 24, 2012 @ 12:04 pm
Great write-up, but it saddens me slightly that we didn’t get a 30-man list this time. Or is that still to come?
Gose is a prep hitter who needs at-bats to hone his skills… I would agree with you more if we were talking about a college draftee. Gose has been moved aggressively through the minors despite his rough edges. Even with being one of the younger hitters in the league, he managed a wRC+ of 124, meaning he was an above-average hitter for the league (wRC+ of 100 is average) despite striking out too much, which limited his batting average. He was responsible for creating almost 25% more runs than the average hitter in the league.
Add in the four tools from the scouting perspective and you have a very, very impressive prospect who could impact the game on defense alone.
Nice list Marc, been reading you since 8-10 years ago on BJW.
Question for you that always bugs me on these lists, I have a hard time having guys with little/no record in the minors being ranked above other guys. Always feels like top picks get benefit of the doubt because they have yet to fail, not because of talent.
That said, if you take out Anderson and Norris, who would have made the list?
Comment by Impossibles — January 24, 2012 @ 12:34 pm
Good lord. Buck up, wimp!
Comment by Peter Noone — January 24, 2012 @ 12:36 pm
I have a bit of a muddled mess after the Top 15 (well including the last couple on the list as well) but it would probably be 16. Joe Musgrove, 17. Carlos Perez, 18. Dwight Smith Jr., 19. Moises Sierra, 20. Kevin Comer. Ask me tomorrow and it might look a little different…
I’m well aware that he was hitting well for his league and that’s fine. And I get that his other skills make him valuable.
But the fact of the matter is a minor leaguer who cannot make contact and strikes out too much is going to be abused by major league pitching. Being rushed isn’t a point in his favour here.
For all of Adam Dunn’s struggles in the majors, he still hit 300 in the minors. So again, the walk rate for Gose is nice, but it is a fairly big red flag that he’s not hitting for contact. That’s going to limit the ceiling on his on base skills, it’s going to limit the # of SB he gets, and it limits the power he’s going to hit for. BA in the majors isn’t a big deal, but an inability to make contact in the minors for a prospect is a very scary thought.
I get that Gose is 20/21 years old, and that he was a high school kid. But at some point he has to start hitting for average before we label him an elite prospect (or at least the #1 prospect in a fairly loaded system). We can’t simply ignore the high strikeout rate because he was rushed. It’s not like Gose is this monster power hitter – he had a 162 ISO. And he’s striking out 26% of the time.
I respect and understand what you’re saying, but it’s just tough to picture Gose as the top prospect in this system. Especially when his AA teammate who plays a tougher defensive position just came off a 150 RC+ season.
I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. He hit 250 whether or not he was bunting. Look at Gose for every level. I’d rather he didn’t bunt and tried to drive the ball all over the place.
In fact, I’d be happy if they made him a deal where every time he bunts he has to donate $100,000.00 to charity unless it’s a one run game. He’s not some slap hitter who needs to bunt to get on base or move runners up.
I think George is referring to the fact that the Jays had Gose completely rework his swing. Included in that reworking was a ban on bunting and also defensive swinging. That is, no half swinging to foul off balls. Gose was supposed to either commit to his swing or not swing at ll.
Now that he’s had a complete year with his new swing, the Jays are now allowing him to bunt if the defense is playing back and to use defensive swings on two strike counts.
The question is whether his contact rate will improve.
Comment by KissMyPurpleButt — January 24, 2012 @ 1:19 pm
There were some reports that Gose was specifically encouraged to not worry about strikeouts and not attempt to “put the ball in play” with two strikes. This would obviously hurt his average and K% (but help his ISO). Not sure where I saw that though, but I can see minor league instructions being like that (similar to the “run every time” that some guys get).
Gose could be a Mike Cameron type player, perhaps? Cameron broke out at age 23 in AA, and the descriptions seem similar (walks, low average, decent power, defense and baserunning value). Also a great profile for a player to have from a team perspective, since that value is never rewarded (salarywise)like hitting value is.
Drabek will likely begin the year with the Jays, and isn’t counted as a prospect anymore, which is why he’s not mentioned when discussing Jays prospects. He might not be as good as everyone thought, but he’ll work himself out some, I expect. Brett Lawrie is in the same boat – not a prospect anymore.
imagine what the list would be like with Lawrie, Alvarez and Drabek on it too!
I agree with the Gose ranking. I can’t remember where I read it but I heard when they refined his swing they told him to take agressive, full cuts even when he has an 0-2 count, because they didnt want him to fall back into his old defensive swinging ways and they wanted the new swing to stick. This year apparently he will be able to take a more defensive approach when he has 2 strikes so the strikeouts should drop while the average should rise.
Even with the bad contact he probably has a Drew Stubbs type floor in the major leagues which is still 2 WAR ballplayer cause of defense and speed. Also to note there was an article on Gose that said he was told to swing purely to drive the ball last season. Apparently they’re planning to implement a 2 strike approach this year. How true that is I don’t know, but Keith Law commented on Gose not having a good 2 strike approach in the AFL, but liked him otherwise. I still would of had D’Arnaud ahead of Gose, but this kid has so much upside that I don’t see a problem being as high on him as Marc is.
In talking with the Jays, they are super high on Syndergaard… Going just on the feel of the Jays org I would have ranked Noah even higher… Syndergaard has the potential for a No. 1 but he’s got to improve his secondary pitches to the point where they are all plus pitches.
Comment by Marc Hulet — January 24, 2012 @ 1:56 pm
Drew Stubbs this year had 2.6 WAR in a down year. He’s a slightly below average defender. If using that as a floor (which is plausible) with premium defense, that’s 3.5WAR easy.
Comment by Jays_all_the_way — January 24, 2012 @ 2:12 pm
I think you’re going to be lucky if Gose turns into anything like Mike Cameron. I see him looking a lot more like Carlos Gomez right now: great defense, great speed, a little bit of pop, terrible batting average in the majors. Gomez actually had better batting averages than Gose in the minors (albeit at a year or so older).
Thanks. I recall when he was drafted that he basically came out of “nowhere” in that he was not nearly expected to go where he did. Taking that in isolation, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling about the state of the Jays amateur scouting department.
Sure, it would be lucky. It will be lucky if any prospect in the game, in any system, turns into a player as good as Mike Cameron. That is, there is no one with a downside no lower than perennial all-star level performance with 50 career WAR. Not Harper, not Trout, not the Jays’ own Brett Lawrie, etc.
Carlos Gomez is certainly another possible (and more likely) career path. But the fun of prospects is speculating on the best cases. Gose has the mythical “upside” that makes it fun.
Yeah, Syndergaard has as high a ceiling as anyone on the list. The FB is already plus thanks to his command, his delivery is clean and he has an ideal starter’s build. Ball comes out of his hand great and shows late life. Lots to like!
I never understood the shift to urgency for AA this offseason. Seems like all of a sudden people wanted to have a contender. Personally, I have also always followed the prospects of this team so I understood that AA was completely revamped the organization’s scouting and drafting. I also succumb to a love of prospect porn so I was meticulously interested in the going’s on in the farm system.
What I’m trying to get at it is this: I love seeing all types of fans became aware of the farm system that AA is building, from a prospect side to and organizational structure side.
I agree that articles like these are great to help open up this perspective to more people and I hope more fans will understand to be patient.
Comment by 420 Thuglyfe Bluntslayer — January 24, 2012 @ 4:20 pm
Mouthwatering. Love the Gose love.
Gose has a lot of Lawrie in him – both seem to be guys that will play above their tools – and both have loads of tools. What I love about Gose is that he’s RAW and the team has given him specific tasks each year – he’ run with the challenges and grown.
In 2012 – as the article on Gose referred to above notes – Gose will be reintroducing his “bunt” back into his game. If you play him on the corners for his power – you’ll be too far back and he’ll bunt you crazy – if you come up for the bunt he’ll slam it past you. I remember Tony Fernandez doing something similar (although Tony never had anywhere near Gose’s power potential) – if you came in for the bunt he’d muscle it over you.
Hopefully, 2012 will sort out more of the real high performers from those that just fall a bit short. If you’re interested in prospects the Jay’s system is a great place for entertainment.
As a Georgia Tech student, I rage whenever anyone lists it as “Georgia Tech University”. There is no “University” in the name. Deck McGuire went to the Georgia Institute of Technology or Georgia Tech as it’s more commonly known.
Comment by beachykeen — January 24, 2012 @ 4:53 pm
The real Marc Hulet says… Nestor probably would have been in the eight hole. I like him as a starter more so than other analysts… He can get up to 93 mph and has a true out-pitch with his splitter.
I went to a Christmas party with AA this winter and he told me he ranks Aaron Sanchez as the Jays #1 prospect.
I was blown away too…….he told everyone they’d never guess and he was right. I think he got a bottle of CR in the secret santa swap!
Comment by Brownie19 — January 24, 2012 @ 10:42 pm
Interesting to see what the talent-acquisition sources have been: just two college draftees, as opposed to 11 drafted out of high school (two of which were acquired by trade) and two international signees. Is there any organization which has shifted further away from college players than the Blue Jays?
It’s been a growing pleasure each year to follow Jays prospects. There were a lot of dark, hopeless, years for the team. Now that there’s something worth watching, I really appreciate your great coverage of the Jays prospects, and your Jays Prospect Guide is my – hands down – favorite read each year.
Great article that provides a little hope on the day I realize it’s Adam Lind vs. Teixeria, Gonzalez, Pujols, Fielder/Cabrera, et al. in 2012. 10 hours from T.O. to Manchester, NH – sounds like it would be worth the trip!
You ‘rage’ about this minor detail? Feel free to exercize some perspective in the future. Dolt.
Comment by Johnny Marr — January 25, 2012 @ 2:11 pm
Living in Vancouver I attended a lot of Canadians games and by far the most impressive pitching performance of the season came from Noah Syndergaard. He completely dominated routinely hitting 99/100 on the radar gun with a nasty curve. Raw? Yes, but a very exciting arm.
Aaron Sanchez did not have the same kind of success as Noah but I can see why some people might be high on him. Loose, clean delivery with a heavy fastball. His breaking ball has movement but his command is all over the place. I see him as a long term project.
Another guy I got to see a lot of was Justin Nicolino. He was consistent every time he took the mound and excelled with a variety of pitches. I talked to some Blue Jay insiders who think his ceiling is a #3 starter.
Yes, it seems odd to me that the best pitching prospect on the supposedly best farm system is a guy who was pitching against the Elizabethton Cyclones less than a year ago; a guy is 3-5 years from the majors and has more “maturity for his age” than raw stuff.