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Toronto Blue Jays 2011 Minor League Review

Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:

2012 (5) | 2011 (4) | 2010 (19) | 2009 (19) | 2008 (25) | 2007 (26)

2011 Affiliate Records

MLB: [81-81] AL East

AAA: [71-73] Pacific Coast League – Las Vegas

AA: [77-65] Eastern League – New Hampshire

A+: [79-61] Florida State League – Dundin

A: [77-60] Midwest League – Lansing

A(ss): [39-37] Northwest League – Vancouver

The Run Down

The Toronto system is talented and deep and surely among the best in baseball.  Most of the fantasy payoff is a year or more away from materializing, though.  Huge upside guys like Travis D’Arnaud and Anthony Gose seem primed to arrive in 2013, while Jake Marisnick and a slew of nice arms follow.  Clearly there’s reason for excitement here, but nothing immediate, so avoid these guys outside of deep keepers or dynasty leagues.  Do, however, be jealous of Blue Jays fans, as their prospects are likely much better than yours.  And this is after graduating guys like Lawrie, Drabek and Arencibia.  Jeez.

Arizona Fall League PlayersPhoenix Desert Dogs

Evan Crawford (LHP); Aaron Loup (LHP); Yan Gomes (C); Adeiny Hechavarria (SS); Anthony Gose (OF)

Graduated Prospects

Kyle Drabek (RHP); Brett Lawrie (3B); J.P. Arencibia (C); Eric Thames (OF); Henderson Alvarez (RHP)

Players of Interest

Hitters

Travis D’Arnaud | C:

A year from now, D’Arnaud will carry similar hype to that which Jesus Montero or Devin Mesoraco currently holds.  I ranked him as the #5 fantasy prospect for 2013 and you can ready why, here.

Adeiny Hechavarria | SS:

Hechavarria is a defense-first shortstop, but after a strong finish to 2012, Toronto is hopeful that his bat will improve.  Surely, a late season promotion to hitter-friendly Las Vegas helped his line, but the Triple-A stint was encouraging, regardless.  He’ll return to Vegas to begin 2012 and could be up with Toronto this year if quality hitting continues.  Hechavarria’s defense would certainly be an asset in the bigs.  Not to your fantasy team, though.

David Cooper | 1B:

Cooper has a great bat, but the home run power is lacking, and that’s holding him back as a first baseman.  In that regard, he reminds me a little of Billy Butler, although I doubt he’ll ever reach that level.  Still, Cooper’s a guy to monitor in case of injury to Adam Lind.  He’s capable of putting up a decent AVG and OBP if he ever gets an opportunity.

Pitchers

Drew Hutchison | RHP – SP:

Hutchison played at three levels in 2011, posting a 2.53 ERA along with 171 Ks in 149 IP.  With a fastball in the high-80’s, he’s not blowing anyone away.  He uses it well, though, and mixes things up a change and a slider.  This polished approach should allow him to move quickly.  Hutchison profiles as an innings-eating #3 and he seems to be in line for a late-season arrival.

Deck McGuire | RHP – SP:

Like Hutchison, Mcguire is a polished pitcher with mid-rotation stuff.  His numbers don’t stand out quite so much as Hutchison’s, but at 6-6, 220, he seems better suited to take on that innings-eater role.  It’ll be interesting to see which prospect will be called upon should the Blue Jays need help.

Honorable Mention

Hitters

Anthony Gose | OF:

I recently ranked Gose #24 in my Top 25 Prospects for 2013 & Beyond post.  His speed will make him a valuable fantasy piece in any format, and I’m encouraged by his power development.   Still probably a year away at this point.

Jake Marsinick | OF:

Like Gose, Marisnick has above average tools across the board.  After slashing .320/.392/.496 over a full season at Lansing last year, he’s bound for High-A in 2012, perhaps more if the production continues.  A 2014 arrival seems most likely here, but fantasy players should take note now.  This Toronto outfield has a bright future, indeed. 

Pitchers

Noah Syndergaard | RHP – SP:

At 19 years old, Syndergaard is a long ways away, but he’s primed to climb the ladder quickly if his secondary pitches progress.  His combination of size and athleticism has scouts giddy.  A fastball that touches 100 is also quite intriguing.  He’ll start 2012 at Low-A, but a breakout year seems imminent.

From Around The Web

  1. Baron Von Vulturewins

    Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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    This gives me the perfect chance to ask: Whatever happened to Travis Snider? Seriously, did he die? Everyone loved him in 2010. Then I come out of cryogenic freezing and he’s nowhere to be mentioned.

    Signed,
    Unfrozen Fantasy Baseball Player

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Baron Von Vulturewins, Snider’s been posting some encouraging #s this spring. He’s trying to beat out Thames for the starting role in RF. Graduated his prospect status a few years ago…

      • Baron Von Vulturewins

        Baron Von Vulturewins says:
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        @Scott Evans, Thanks for the update. I take it he was bad and injured last year, or as I like to say, banjured. An enthusiasm-killing combo.

  2. inertiatic says:
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    As 51’s games are the only baseball near me, I’ll be attending a decent amount of games this season. Maybe I will grow a sweet stache and learn about baseball IRL this year.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @inertiatic, Ha! One always intends to grow a sweet stache, but I assure you, it rarely works out that way.

  3. Bourne says:
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    I own JP in a dynasty. Was wondering your thoughts on him by the presence of Travis over the next couple years.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      @Bourne, Seems likely that he’ll be pushed out of that role next season. He’s a quality catcher, though, so a trade is always possible. Jays could get him ABs at 1B or DH too. Still not ideal. Keep an eye on D’Arnaud’s development this year… Best case: maybe you can get another two years outa JP.

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