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Toronto Blue Jays 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (28) | 2009 (19) | 2008 (25) | 2007 (25) | 2006 (25) | 2005 (15) | 2004 (8)

Record of Major and Minor League Team(s)
MLB: [85 – 77] AL East
AAA: [66 – 78] Pacific Coast League – Las Vegas
AA: [79 – 62] Eastern League – New Hampshire
A+: [72 – 67] Florida League – Dunedin
A: [70 – 69] Midwest League – Lansing
A(ss): [35 – 40] New York – Pennsylvania League – Auburn
R: [31-28] Gulf Coast League

The Run Down
My Blue Jays 2009 Minor League Review said, “[The] Blue Jays may be better than expected [in 2010]. However, there is a rather large “IF” on each of those players [to continue to produce in the future].” The player with “if” tags? Adam Lind, Aaron Hill, Travis Snider, and Shawn Marcum. Three-fourth of the players listed struggled or were injured for most of the year. 2010 saw the Jays post a winning record (last one was in 2008). The Blue Jays were a running strikeout joke here at Razzball, but the Diamondbacks would have won that if they would have had any good fantasy hitters this year. Surprise years from Jose Bautista, John Buck, and a bounce back year from Vernon Wells and Shawn Marcum (injury bounce back) helped the Jays in a brutal division. Youngsters, Ricky Romero progressed very well in 2010, Brett Cecil improved upon his rookie year, and Brandon Morrow had a terrific year posting a 10.95 K/9 – if he was qualified, would have been the highest strikeout rate for a starter. Although the Blue Jays had a winning major league record, they did not have the infusion of rookies or prospects this year as they did in 2009. Not entirely a huge issue, nevertheless, an indication of the lack of a deep talent pool. Granted, the trade of Roy Halladay definitely brought back some great talent (Drabek, d’Arnaud, and Brett Wallace in a side swap for Michael Taylor), there wasn’t a major league ready prospect to start the 2010 season. One surprising name upon perusing the Jays minor league system, Adam Loewen, the former pitcher from Baltimore. Loewen is currently a Blue Jays outfielder, putting his time in at Double-A. He hit 17 homers and looks to be in the Rick Ankiel mold, except Loewen’s pitching problem was injury-based and not a command issue.

Graduating Prospects
None

Arizona Fall League Players -Phoenix Desert Dogs
AFL Rosters
Pitchers: Matt Daly (RHP), Alana Farina (RHP), Dan Farquhar (RHP), TBA (P)
Hitters: Adeiny Hechevarria (SS), Mike McDade (1B), Eric Thames (OF)

Players of Interest for 2011
Hitters
Adeiny Hechavarria | SS | D.o.B: 4-15-89 | Stats (A+/AA): .242/.272/.333 | 414 AB | 26 XBH | 4 Hr | .091 ISO | 13/3 SB/CS | 65:17 K:BB
Signed a 4 year, $10 million deal in April. According to some sources, he was the best Cuban shortstop, ahead of prized Boston Red Sox, Jose Iglesias (who had to play second when they were on the same team). Covers a lot of ground, great quickness, and stellar footwork. Has some power but it is his defense that will make him reach the majors sooner rather than later. Baseball America and John Sickels 2010 handbooks did not have Hechavarria listed. During his first year of professional ball in the USA, Hechavarria struggled at High-A but with a .222 BABIP; Double-A was a different story with a .307 BABIP and a slashline of .273/.305/.360 indicating a light hitting middle infielder with on-base issues. Watch him play at Double-A next year and judge accordingly for his MLB ETA.

#4 David Cooper | 1B | D.o.B: 2-12-87 | Stats (AA): .257/.327/.442 | 498 AB | 51 XBH | 20 Hr | .185 ISO | 0/0 SB/CS | 74:52 K:BB | .266 BABIP
Still projected as the Blue Jays first basemen of the future (as he was last year too), Cooper was underwhelming in his second take facing Double-A pitching. Blame Brett Wallace for stealing a potential Triple-A cup-of-joe, granted, Cooper didn’t blow away the opposition. His season was still adequate and should still be considered a potential fit at first for his BABIP was unlucky (.266) showing that his slashline could still improve. The power is sufficient and has improved from his 2009 season and the strikeout to walk ratio remains a strong attribute. A 2009 Honorable Mention has become a strong play for 2011. Just wait to see how he handles spring training and the early season. Could be the 2011 Ike Davis.

#2 J.P. Arencibia | C | D.o.B: 1-5-87 | Stats (AAA): .301/.359/.629 | 412 AB | 67 XBH | 32 Hr | .328 ISO | 0/0 SB/CS | 85:35 K:BB | .306 BABIP
Read his Scouting the Unknown article for more expansive coverage. Also, I rated him as the number eight Fantasy Baseball Prospect back in late July. A quick quote from the 2009 blurb for the lazy reader because the Scouting the Unknown article says the same thing at some point, “The power is legit, the strikeouts are scary and the lack of walks is more of a turn off than Joan Rivers. Playing the Pacific Coast League may have inflated his numbers a wee-bit, however, expect to see him in the majors at some point in early summer 2010. Keep expectations in check, but if you need a catcher, plug him in and see what he can do.”

#25 Brad Emaus | 2B | D.o.B: 3-28-86 | Stats (AA/AAA): .290/.397/.476 | 445 AB | 50 XBH | 15 Hr | .186 ISO | 13/2 SB/CS | 69:81 K:BB | .281 BABIP (AA) .327 BABIP (AAA)
Who knows when another Aaron Hill injury is going to happen, but Emaus may be the beneficiary of said injury. Doesn’t have great tools in any area, but is a savvy player, or if you’re Baseball America, “has high marks for his moxie and approach to the game … a consistent swing and [gap power] … good plate discipline … quality at-bats … was over anxious in 2009 … 10 to 15 homer potential … defense improving.” Sounds like Dustin Pedoria on the high end or Orlando Hudson on the low.

Darin Mastroianni | CF | D.o.B: 8-26-85 | Stats (AA): .301/.390/.398 | 525 AB | 36 XBH | 4 Hr | .097 ISO | 46/10 SB/CS | 96:77 K:BB | .358 BABIP
Looking for steals, waiting for one of the Jays outfielders to be injured or not produce in 2011 (I’m pointing at you Jose), here in your potential Drew Stubbs of 2011. See 2009 blurb, “FROM 2009 (Honorable Mention):.No power to speak of here. Mastroianni is all speed, (70 steals in 85 attempts) and it’s a good thing he keeps the ball on the ground too. If your a firm believer in SAGNOF, then Mastroianni may be someone you steal on the waivers if he gets called up in 2010. But that is a big IF.” That “big IF” is much smaller for the 2011 season, especially if you replace 2010 with 2011. Triple-A is in his future.

#18 Eric Thames | LF | D.o.B: 11-10-86 | Stats (AA): .288/.370/.526 | 496 AB | 58 XBH | 27 Hr | 8/5 SB/CS | 121:50 K:BB | .327 BABIP
His draft stock fell when he tore his quadricep muscle in his right left before the 2008 draft. He has plus bat speed, great plate discipline and a good swing according to Baseball America; he has average speed, an average arm and should play left field because his defense isn’t great. A strong person with a “rock-solid” body helps too. I see an outfielder with the potential to go 30/10 with a solid average (think .275 to .300). Probably won’t get a chance until September to prove himself.

Pitchers
#2 (PHI)Kyle Drabek | RHP | D.o.B: 12-8-87 | Stats (AA): 7.3 K/9 | 3.8 BB/9 | 162 IP | 2.94 ERA | 3.87 FIP | 1.20 WHIP | .7 Hr/9 | 7.0 H/9 | .260 BABIP
I may be rather harsh, but let me be frank to start, Drabek is a great talent with tremendous upside, but he isn’t a flamethrower and won’t draw rave reviews everywhere you look. His 179 innings (including his three major league starts) in 2010 isn’t a red flag when you consider he threw 158 innings in 2009. Pre-season Baseball America ranked Drabek as the 25th overall prospect. Quoting last year’s review, “He possesses a low to mid 90’s fastball (top 95 mph), a sharp and biting curve, and a “work in progress” change-up. Due to the heavy influx of pitchers at the top end of the Jays system (Romero, Rzepczynski, Cecil, Richmond, David Purcey, Shawn Marcum, Dustin McGowan), Drabek wont be rushed. The earliest, June. Most likely, August/September.” I got the ETA right, just wasn’t as excited as the experts. Much the same holds true from this past season, but his curve isn’t just “sharp” and “biting”, it’s “a 70” on the 20-80 scale. Meaning it is tremendous, fantastic, you get the point. I like his potential and he pitched fairly well in his 17 major league innings. Just don’t expect a 10 K/9, something more along the lines of 7.5 K/9 should be more accurate.

#1 Zach Stewart | RHP | D.o.B: 9-28-86 | Stats (AA): 7.0 K/9 | 3.6 BB/9 | 132 1/3 IP | 3.63 ERA | 4.18 FIP | 1.36 WHIP | .9 Hr/9 | 8.6 H/9 | .298 BABIP
From 2009 Minor League Review, “A key component in the Scott Rolen trade, Stewart has a mid 90’s fastball (93-96 mph), a power slider and a “promising” change-up. His fastball has natural sink to it, laminated by his high ground-ball rate (53%).” Rated as the number one prospect in the Jays system before the Halladay trade, Stewart didn’t have a dominating season at Double-A. His numbers were uninspiring. John Sickels said it best in his recap of the Top 50 Pitcher Prospects for 2010 , “I thought he’d do better, but it was still a good season.” I concur. The Reds used him as a reliever with some success, but the Jays want him in the rotation. Should get a shot in the majors at some point in 2011.

#14 Danny Farquhar | RHP | D.o.B: 2-17-87 | Stats (AA): 9.3 K/9 | 4.9 BB/9 | 76 2/3 IP | 3.52 ERA | 4.28 FIP | 1.20 WHIP | .8 Hr/9 | 5.9 H/9 | .239 BABIP
Why reinvent the wheel, from the 2009 Minor League Review, (he was a honorable mention), “Yet another Blue Jays pitcher who works the ground balls (51.6%). I mention Farquhar because … a deadly fastball that sits between 92 and 94 mph, an average curve, and a cutter – and that is just from a three-quarter slot. He also can throw a 89 to 91 mph fastball with tons of action and a “frisbee action” slider from a below-sidearm angle. Used as a starter in college, the Jays like what they see from him as a reliever. Farquhar could become Lord Farquaad of the Jays ‘pen by 2012, and a stellar mid-to-late relief role by 2011.” My humor is lame, but my predictions remain the same, except it’s possible to see him in 2011. His fastball has improved to 93 to 94 mph topping out at 95 to 96 mph. The 89 to 91 mph fastball in the quote is a two-seamer with good sink. All of his pitches have good action. He struggles with control due to the different arm slots.

Honorable Mentions
Hitters
#4 (PHI) Travis d’Arnaud | C | D.o.B: 2-10-89 | Stats (A+): .259/.315/.411 | 263 AB | 27 XBH | 6 Hr | .152 ISO | 3/1 SB/CS | 63:20 K:BB | .312 BABIP
Not quite the season the Blue Jays brass was hoping for. To quote the 2009 blurb about d’Arnaud because not much has changed besides getting one year older, “A fixture in the Halladay trade, d’Arnaud was the second rated catcher in the Phillies minors behind Lou Marson. D’Arnaud has a good arm, above average catching skills, a gap-power swing … In his first full season, he played fairly well. His average is more like .275 with a normal BABIP, however, that doesn’t mean he’ll blast off next year. He’s good, just a few years away. Plus, the Jays have JP Arencibia.”

#6 (PHI)Anthony Gose | CF | D.o.B: 8-10-90 | Stats (A+ -2 teams): .262/.332/.393 | 512 AB | 40 XBH | 7 Hr | .131 ISO | 45/32 SB/CS | 132:45 K:BB | ~.338 BABIP
Gose was traded straight up for Brett Wallace. His scouting report is unchanged from 2009, “ 60 yards in 6.5 seconds. Plus-plus arm in center. 76 steals … Some scouts think his swing could produce 20 homers in a season, but no time soon. Steals, man, that is what Mr. Gose can provide, and awesome defense.” Much is the same, except managers aren’t going to let him steal when he is caught nearly half the time (45 steals in 77 attempts). The strikeouts are going to become an issue if can’t get on base. He did hit 13 triples to go along with his 20 doubles and seven home runs, showing off his some of the potential power and speed. Double-A is going to be a true test of his abilities. At just 20, there is plenty of time for development. Don’t quit on this youngster like everyone is doing with Fernando Martinez (NYM).

#17 Tyler Pastornicky | SS | D.o.B: 12-13-89 | Stats (A+/AA): .257/.343/.373 | 421 AB | 30 XBH | 9 Hr | .116 ISO | 35/9 SB/CS | 71:55 K:BB | .288 BABIP
He was a late scratch in the Blue Jays 2009 Minor League Review, and this year, I had no choice. Plus, his talents flowed naturally after Anthony Gose. SPEED!. He had 57 Steals in 2009 and 35 this year. He plays good defense, is an above average runner, but lacks power. Could be a top-of-the-order middle infielder. Nothing special, but SAGNOF isn’t supposed to be special.

Pitchers
#5 Henderson Alvarez | RHP | D.o.B: 4-18-90 | Stats (A+): 6.2 K/9 | 2.2 BB/9 | 112 1/3 IP | 4.33 ERA | 3.88 FIP | 1.46 WHIP | .8 Hr/9 | 11 H/9 | .347 BABIP
Alvarez is a groundball pitcher who doesn’t overpower anyone with his 86 to 89 MPH fastball on bad days and a 89 to 92 MPH fastball on his good days, his changeup is his best pitch and it has splitter-like action. He also throws a “three-quarter” breaking ball. He has good command of his pitches, but has little room for error. This past year he seemed to be hittable, albeit slightly unlucky. His strikeouts are vomit-inducing. Overall, Alvarez still has a couple years until the majors are truly in his sight.

Joel Carreno | RHP | D.o.B: 3-7-87 | Stats (A+): 11.3 K/9 | 2.0 BB/9 | 137 2/3 IP | 3.73 ERA | 2.36 FIP | 1.29 WHIP | .5 Hr/9 | 9.0 H/9 | .392 BABIP
I couldn’t find a detailed scouting report, but the strikeouts are awesome, the command is great, the FIP is nearly a full run and a half better than his ERA and he was tremendously unlucky (.392 BABIP). Could be a surprise ranked prospect in 2011 scouting handbooks.

  1. DrEasy says:
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    Great stuff, thanks! A few comments, as I follow my Blue Jays’ farm pretty closely:

    – I think Pastornicky was sent to the Braves as part of the Yunel deal.

    – d’Arnaud started the season on fire but had an injury that set him back quite a bit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a guy like Jeroloman sooner than him in the bigs (but at best as a back-up catcher), and when it comes to pure potential, I think Carlos Perez has passed him (and maybe even JPA) in catching prospect rankings.

    – I wouldn’t put too much stock in Emaus’ HRs, as many of them were hit in hitter- and hooker-friendly Las Vegas. But the OBP looks very nice. ODawg numbers could be his ceiling.

  2. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @DrEasy: You’re welcome and thank you for the kind words, I appreciate it.

    You’re right about Pastornicky being a Braves farm hand now. Guess I’ll have another player to try and foward.

    -d’Arnaud is still fairly young, can’t write him off yet, but I’m just not excited about him for Fantasy.

    -Emaus’ homer excitement was negligible, he reached Baseball America’s ceiling. 15 home runs would be a great year for him. In the majors, something along the lines of 10 to 12 homers would be his ceiling.

  3. Doug Ault says:
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    How in hell do they play in that Vegas heat?
    The closest I’ll ever get to a 51’s game, is my authentic home jersey.
    It’s good to see some speed on the way, with Cito gone there may be hope for a running game.

  4. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Doug Ault: The heat is bad, but it’s the humidity that sucks. There is some speed on the, they just have to actually hit the ball to make the big leagues.

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