Earlier today, polite and Canadian and polite Marc Hulet published his 2014 organizational prospect list for the Toronto Blue Jays.
It goes without saying that, in composing such a list, Hulet has considered the overall future value those prospects might be expected to provide either to the Jays or whatever other organizations to which they might someday belong.
What this brief post concerns isn’t overall future value, at all, but rather such value as the prospects from Hulet’s list might provide were they to play, more or less, a full major-league season in 2014.
Steamer Projections: Toronto Batting Prospects
Below are the current 2014 projections for select Toronto batting prospects. All projections have been prorated to 550 plate appearances (and 450 for catchers) for sake of uniformity. Defensive figures (denoted by Def) account both for positional adjustment and UZR, and are presented relative to league average. Note that, in many cases, defensive value has been calculated entirely by positional adjustment based on the relevant player’s minor-league defensive starts in 2013. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.
Steamer Projections: Toronto Pitching Prospects
Below are the 2014 projections for select Toronto pitching prospects. Projections for starting pitchers have been prorated to 150 innings; for relievers, to 50 innings. Pitcher WAR is calculated by using kwERA — that is, an ERA estimator which utilizes only strikeouts and walks — so as to remove the vagaries of park effects, and probably also because the author has no idea what he’s doing. Listed ages are as of June 30, 2014. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR, which has also been calculated from kwERA. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.
• One will note that, as high as the ceilings might be for some of Toronto’s positional prospects, that none of them — with the exception, perhaps, of catcher A.J. Jimenez — is likely prepared at the moment to provide anything in the way of average major-league production.
• Right-hander Marcus Stroman was excellent for Double-A New Hampshire this past season, recording strikeout and walk rates of 28.1% and 5.9%, respectively, in 111.2 innings. Steamer appears to expect more or less an exact translation of that performance — that is, slightly fewer strikeouts, slightly more walks — from Stroman in 2014.
• Very talented and also quite young pitching prospect Roberto Osuna has been projected here to throw 50 innings not because he’s most likely to become a reliever, but because he’s been handled in such a way by the organization — i.e. rather conservatively — that the computer math which informs Steamer perceives him to be a reliever. His per-inning figures would likely be a bit less impressive were he projected as an authentic starter. Still, there are clearly reasons for optimism regarding Osuna.