Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (22) | 2012 (5) | 2011 (4) | 2010 (19) | 2009 (19)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [74-88] AL East
AAA: [74-70] International League – Buffalo
AA: [68-72] Eastern League – New Hampshire
A+: [63-68] Florida State League – Dunedin
A: [61-78] Midwest League – Lansing
A(ss):  [39-37] Northwest League — Vancouver

Graduated Prospects
Todd Redmond (RHP); Aaron Loup (LHP)

The Run Down
No one questions Aaron Sanchez‘s fantasy upside, which is as sexy as any minor league starting pitcher’s.  And Marcus Stroman is a whiff machine — a former Duke Blue Devil, whose fastball/slider combo is so impressive that it (almost) allows me to look past the fact that he (probably) roots for Duke hoops.  I loathe Duke hoops.  Anyway, after those two headliners, this Toronto farm is young.  Quite young.  And as we know, youth is volatile.  There’s upside here, but much of it hasn’t yet reached the full-season level, and therefore, it’s largely untested.  A good number of these promising youngsters, however, will be headed to Toronto’s Low-A affiliate in the Midwest League next spring, and being a Chicago native, I’m excited to have the chance to put eyes on the Lansing squad when it passes through Kane County.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted on what I see.  Until then…

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1.  Aaron Sanchez, RHP:
  Sanchez was #30 on my mid-season top 50, but there’s plenty of potential for him to move up near the top of that list before 2014 is through.  Based on stuff alone, the 21-year-old is an elite-level SP prospect with upper-90s heat and plus secondary stuff (CB, CH).  If he can continue to improve in the command department, Sanchez has the tools to be the top arm in the minors, a talent who could offer Jose Fernandez-type impact potential.  He’ll step up to Double-A in 2014, and if all goes well, he should be ready for the bigs by year’s end.  ETA:  Late 2014

2.  Marcus Stroman, RHP:  Stroman got a late start to his 2013 season following a 50-game suspension for testing positive for something called Methylhexaneamine.  The 22-year-old still made 20 Double-A starts in the shortened season, posting a 3.30 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and K/9 at 10.4.  Those of you who read my posts throughout the regular season know that I’m intrigued by Stroman — he brings a fastball/slider combo that’s as good as any in the minors, and that skill set makes for some exciting performances (he whiffed 11+ batters in four of his 20 starts).  Stroman was probably ready for a big league look this past September, but the Jays opted to send him to the Arizona Fall League instead.  Big time whiff potential will make him a coveted piece in the fantasy game as soon as he surfaces.  ETA:  2014

3.  Roberto Osuna, RHP:  Osuna flashed some of his considerable upside early on in 2013, posting a 51/11 K/BB through 10 Low-A starts.  Unfortunately, his season was cut short to Tommy John surgery.  The injury is a major blow to the 18-year-old’s prospect status, which was soaring back in April.  #3 might be a tad aggressive considering the circumstances — full recovery after TJ is not the sure-thing that many would have you believe — but this is a young and risky system after the top two, and it’s tough to look past Osuna’s upside.  ETA:  2017

4.  D.J. Davis, OF:  With Davis, it’s all about the tools — the 19-year-old has off-the-charts speed and plenty of potential with the stick.  At this point, though, it’s tough to put a firm projection on him, as he’s yet to play at the full-season level.  He’ll make that leap next Spring at Low-A Lansing, and a year from now we’ll have a much better gauge on his overall outlook.  ETA:  2017

5.  Franklin Barreto, OF:  Same as Davis, Barreto is a tough prospect to forecast considering he hasn’t yet reached the full-season level.  Also like Davis, Barreto is a tool shed, and he brings impact potential across the board for the fantasy game.  The 17-year-old should reach Low-A before 2014 is through.  ETA:  2017

6.  Daniel Norris, LHP:  Norris’s on-paper production in his first year of full-season ball wasn’t exactly eye-popping (3.97 ERA, 1.45 WHIP), but reports on the southpaw remain positive.  The 20-year-old works primarily with a three pitch arsenal (FB, CB, CH), all of which project as plus offerings.  This isn’t a top-of-the-rotation arm, but it’s one that could serve as a solid mid-rotation option, offering above average K potential.  The Blue Jays are hoping for improved consistency out of Norris at High-A Dunedin in 2014.  ETA:  2016

7.  Alberto Tirado, RHP:  Big raw tools, but yet to log time above the short-season level — sound familiar?  Tirado has the makings of three plus pitches (FB, SL, CH), and his ceiling is quite large.  But, as is the case with a handful of others on this list, we’ll have a much better feel for the 18-year-old’s potential once he settles in at a full-season assignment.  ETA:  2017

8.  Chase DeJong, RHP:  With a career line boasting a 2.78 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, and a K/9 north of 10, you’d think I’d have a lot to say about DeJong.  Frankly, though, there’s really not too much to delve into with this 19-year-old, who’s yet another Toronto prospect still waiting to push through to Low-A.  The raw stuff (FB, CB, CH) is promising, but there’s a long way to go on DeJong’s development, so stay tuned.  ETA:  2017

9.  Rowdy Tellez, 1B:  Tellez was a highly regarded draft prospect, but he slipped to the 30th round this past June because of signability concerns.   Raw power is the 18-year-old’s best asset, receiving plus-plus grades in that department from talent evaluators throughout the game.  But, as is the case with all 1B prospects, there’s tremendous pressure on the bat to meet expectations — without defensive flexibility, Tellez’s bat will need to reach the lofty offensive profile that’s become the standard among first basemen and designated hitters.  ETA:  2017

10.  Sean Nolin, RHP:  Having already earned his cup of coffee in the bigs, Nolin is probably the “safest” prospect on this list.  As far as impact potential… well, that’s a different story.  Nolin, age 23, features a four pitch mix (FB, CB, CH, SL), all grading as average, or slightly above average offerings.  He’s not of the high-impact variety, but he’s a good bet to settle into a role at the back-end of the rotation.  ETA:  2014

  1. Curt says:

    The only concern I heard to limit Stroman is that he’s too short, whatever that means to pitching, maybe endurance?

    • willy says:

      @Curt: Blue Jay fan from Toronto here… I follow Stoman on twitter and no one has a bigger heart than he does. Kid’s got motivation up the you know what. He’s like a motivational speaker!

      Any time someone tells him he’s too short, it only fuels him more and more. I believe in him! Maybe that’s the Jays fan in me though…

      • Scott Evans

        Scott Evans says:

        He’s a gym rat & folks love his makeup… I tend to agree that he’ll overcome his height & end up being a quality big league starter for the long haul

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:

      With starting pitching prospects, body-type definitely plays a role in long-term projection — smaller guys tend to wear down over the course a season or career, regardless of stuff. Of course, there’s always exceptions — Pedro Martinez & Tim Lincecum to name a couple… Hopefully guys like Stroman & Carlos Martinez & Tyler Thornburg can overcome their smaller statures & have great careers as starters, but only time will tell. And if it doesn’t work out for Stroman as a SP, his stuff would work great in the late innings… so either way, he’s gonna bring value…

  2. English says:

    Hey Scott. What do you think about Andy Burns? Obviously no huge upside but chances of seeing time in the bigs?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:

      He wasn’t far from this list, but ultimate upside isn’t great… he did nothing but drill baseballs at A+, but regressed at AA, which is typical… definitely has a shot to break through as a bench bat in the bigs… could improve that projection if he shows us something at AA next spring…

  3. Mike says:

    What do you think of the players the Tigers recieved in the Fister trade.

    • @Mike: Funny enough, Ian Krol actually attended high school about 5 minutes from where I grew up — he was a blossoming draft prospect & a potential 1st rounder, right around the time I got my first internship in baseball & started taking a serious interest in player development… anyway, I’ve always kept an eye on Krol & I am a fan… I think the Tigers will be content to leave him in the ‘pen, but with his stuff, and given his age, he could become a reliable late innings guy for the next several years… Robbie Ray, on the other hand, looks like a mid-rotation starter to me… if everything clicks for him, there’s potential for him to be a #2… regardless, he’s a safe bet to work his way into a big league rotation within the next 2 seasons… could be an option for the Tigers as soon as next summer…

  4. Ryan says:

    Great post, thanks! These minor-league reviews make me wish I was in a good keeper/dynasty league. Unfortunately none of my close buddies (who I am in a re-draft with) are patient enough to start or join one with me. Any advice on how to get in a good keeper/dynasty league that would somehow allow 12 strangers to stay involved season after season? In other words, this isn’t gonna happen by joining a random public league, and I don’t think Craigslist is the place either…. If not, thanks anyway. Keep the reviews coming! Pitchers and Catchers report in 10 weeks!!

  5. Russ says:

    Funny, I just read a top ten prospect breakdown on FanGraphs, one name they had that you didn’t mention and I was curious about was Mitch Nay, they ranked him at #3. His rookie ball numbers were pretty interesting. What’s your opinion?

    • Buddo Chezuski says:

      @Russ: I was going to ask about Nay too….

    • @Russ: Nay was in the Jays’ top 10 last year, but there are a lot of concerns about his defensive projection & most folks are thinking he’s gonna end up at 1B… above average potential in AVG & HR, but zero room for error if he’s at first.

  6. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

    I just joined a 30 team dynasty league with 25 man active rosters and (currently) 15 man max minor rosters. while perusing your 10 players per team ranks (and baseball prospectus/baseball forecaster (most recent, but close to a year old now) I appear to have middling to low end prospects. Tell me if i’m right. I’m trying to figure out whether I should drop any of these guys (for other guys I’ll list later). PHI’s Gonzalez is somehow available, but seemingly no other big names at all.
    d’Arnaud, Travis (R) C – NYM – him i’m moving up to be at least a backup, if not starter.
    Jimenez, Luis (R) CI – LAA
    Gumbs, Angelo MI – NYY
    Lee, Hak-Ju MI – TB
    Phelps, Cord (R) MI – BAL
    Robertson, Daniel MI – OAK
    Salcedo, Edward MI – ATL
    Wates, Austin OF – HOU
    Heredia, Luis SP,P – PIT
    Jungmann, Taylor SP,P – MIL
    Maurer, Brandon (R) SP,RP,P – SEA
    Fien, Casey RP,P – MIN
    Alvarez, R.J. SP,RP,P – LAA
    the clock on maurer and fien already started, so I only have those guys (minor players are free, until you bring them up) till end of 2016 instead of 2017 like all of the others. thanks.

    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: hitter positions only are MI/CI/C/OF no difference between SS/2B and 1B/3B.

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

        @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: turns out I really can’t drop any of these guys, due to only being able to draft 5 more total players (all minor leaguers) in a few months, at which point I could max out at 20 minor leaguers, but problem is, except for winning bids on them at all star break (and to keep those I won keeping all of them active for ROS, at which point I can move them back to minor status, thus getting my “bid” money back), other than by trades. So unless i’m completely out of contention by all star break (by which point I certainly can sell out active roster just to improve prospects) I’ll always have less than the max amount of/or not as good as I could have, prospects. Either way, tell me how much below average (for 30 teams) my prospects are. good news is, all you have to do is compare to real life teams (30 teams).

        • @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: It’s a pretty rough farm ya got there… hate to say it, but you might not have a top 100 guy, which is bad news for your future… with some solid moves with your active roster, you can try to trade & retool your farm… i’d put a lot of focus into your upcoming MiLB draft… this can often be the case when you take over a team in an already-existing dynasty. Patience is key, my friend.

  7. ReleasetheMcCracken says:

    Dawel Lugo doesn’t make it into the Jays top 10?

    • @ReleasetheMcCracken: He’s a top 20 talent w/ upside to make this list next year… lots of fringe guys on this Jays’ farm

  8. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

    same league as above. opp is coming at me with my
    prado 4.75 mil
    3rd round 2015 pick
    for opp’s
    a.escobar .4 mil, minimum
    88th and 111th pick this year. we have 5 draft rounds and all contracts end after this year (unless tags or extensions)
    Grey said to take this as is, but after looking into opp’s prospects would I be better off trying to get one of
    m.cabrera ATL P
    M.purke MIL P
    e.rosario MIN MI/OF thrown into the deal, I could take out his extra picks.
    I could give up picks from this year (team has all of it’s own). opp is hoarding 2015 picks already, but has 4 3rd rounders from this coming draft, nothing before that.
    thanks, leagues of this depth are brand new (2 days) to me.

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

        @Scott Evans: so, separately, i’m shouldn’t be looking to get those guys for draft picks either? All the info I have for them comes from an almost year old baseball prospectus (2013), except for what you just recently said about m.cabrera.

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

          @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: your earlier note said to focus on this year’s 5 picks (so don’t give them away), but wouldn’t picking up some good prospects with them be a good idea (my 5 picks are 20th in each round, except for the 88th and 111th i would get from that deal). It appears you’re thinking that none of those 3 guys are more valuable than my 20th per round picks.

            • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

              @Scott Evans: no problem, thanks for the help (i’ll likely be needing more too) as I think my minor draft (5 players, 30 teams, so 600 players deeper than we already are) is in early Jan, before all of your team reports will be out (also before baseball prospectus/forecaster are out) so i’ll have no cheat sheets at all. However, we do get many hours per pick if need be, so I may be asking stuff inbetween picks.

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

        @Scott Evans: after I last night said I had interest in those 3 guys opp comes back with
        my prado/3rd and 5th round this year
        for his
        m.cabrera/rosario/a.escobar/5th round 2015

        He would still except the old one, the
        his 3rd and 4th this year/escobar
        for my
        5th 2015 and prado.
        only thing left is whether those 2 players are worth more than i’m likely to get in this year’s draft.

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

          @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: after delving deeper into it, 347 minor leaguers are already owned in this league, out of your first top 90 prospects (9 teams so far) only 13 top 5 guys are still free for this year’s draft
          Hursh P ATL (4th)
          Crawford P DET (2nd)
          Williamson OF SF (4th)
          Anderson MI WSOX (2nd)
          Beck P WSOX (4th)
          T.Thompson OF WSOX (5th)
          Sappington P LAA (5th)
          Barreto OF TOR (5th)
          Ynoa P OAK (4th)
          McKinney OF OAK (5th)
          Crawford MI PHI (3rd)
          MAG P PHI (4th)
          Nelson P MIL (1st)
          with only that many left (on the shittier prospect lists, i’m guessing the better teams have more guys gone) I took the 2nd trade, getting cabrera/rosario (drug suspension), having to give up picks that i’m guessing would’ve resulted in worse prospects anyway. Hope to still get Nelson or MAG or Crawford (DET) at 20th overall. Really need good OF prospects more though.

          • @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: A few of these guys are worth rostering… definitely upside w/ the guys you mention, but my faves on this list are prob Anderson & Ynoa, so you still have guys to target, but I like that you’re getting aggressive with the trade & trying to rip up the foundation…

            • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

              @Scott Evans: one guy has correa/buxton/springer/z.wheeler/cosart/bundy. this seems sick even for a 6 team league, much less a 30. he seems interested in my dempster, and maybe even beltran. how many of those dudes should I be able to get for just dempster (ballpark figure). what about both?

              • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

                @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: also, this team i inherited got 11 last year (they have exactly same setup as MLB, including team names, i’m yankees, even though I hate the yankees); but it’s certainly not good enough to trade off few prospects for short term.

  9. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

    different Opp came up with this
    pestano P CLE
    j.mitchell OF WSOX
    for my
    H.Lee MI TB
    R.Alvarez P LAA.
    i’m pretty sure i don’t want pestano since he probably won’t even be a set up man. but I could use OF prospects. also I’m reading that alvarez sucks. Should I try to do Alvarez for Mitchell (I know Mitchell was bad going into 2013)

  10. TheNewGuy says:

    Trade offer just in, dealing prospects, send Bradley get Springer. Whattaya think!?

    • goodfold2 says:

      @TheNewGuy: no expert, but do top hitters usually pan out more often and/or stay healthy more often than top pitchers, in the prospect realm. I’ve heard that everywhere, so good trade.

    • @TheNewGuy: Oof… really close. I lean toward the the hitters in these situations, so I’d probably take it. Better chance at 2014 impact w/ Springer too…

      • TheNewGuy says:

        @Scott Evans: Thanks man, that’s what the married one says too. Am trying for more back first due to Bradley’s reputation but I think I’ll take it anyway. Need a big bat in my farm for once, plus it’s an OBP league so Springers walks should help offset a potentially lowish AVG.

        Yeah I guess the odds are I start using either come 2015 unfortunately due to the way our league works, but if either are starting on opening day then I could bump them up and use them immediately for 14. Think either has a shot?

        • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

          @TheNewGuy: do you mean that you can ONLY bring people up at the start of a season. If so, just bring up Springer now, i think they think he’ll be up in june anyway.

          • TheNewGuy says:

            @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: No I don’t mean I can ONLY bring people up at the start of the year, but it’s logical isn’t it. Why get half a year for free when you can get a whole year the following year.

            If they aren’t starting on opening day, they aren’t making my main roster. Once they do get the call, I’ll promote them the following year and get a free year initially. Thats how my league works.

  11. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:

    i know I can’t do this yet, before I trade away dempster for anything at least to free money (he’s 14 million, and may be able to fetch one of those superprospects mentioned above) but is this deal any good. My
    Sale (.425 mil, could franchise and keep over whole deal, when he gets one)
    for his
    Ranaudo P BOS
    Goodwin OF WAS
    Hamels P PHI (15 mil)
    He also has
    Puello OF NYM
    Fulmer P NYM
    Carpenter MI/CI STL (.4 mil)

    I have Lowrie MI OAK (1.15 mil)
    1. is this deal good as is? (after I dump Dempster’s huge 14 mil anchor contract,hopefully for superprospect)
    2. if so are either of Puello and/or Fulmer better than Goodwin/Ranaudo?
    3. Do you agree Carpenter’s better than Lowrie? I think he’s a much better pure hitter and isn’t the crazy injury risk Lowrie is (and cheaper, and more positions). It’s possible I could throw in my Lowrie for his Carpenter.
    4. If Carpenter is worth more, would it be even if I added in one of
    A.Gumbs MI NYY
    C.Phelps MI BAL (this guy appears to be cuttable as soon as I get over my prospect max amount)
    D. Robertson MI OAK
    E.Salcedo MI ATL
    I have a lot of MI prospects, but pretty few OF or CI ones.
    So if this is true it would end up Sale/one of those crappy MI prospects/Lowrie for Carpenter/Hamels/goodwin or puello/ranaudo or fulmer.
    could just keep sale as piece of the future, of course.

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