As a start towards re-doing our prospect list I thought we'd take a look at the guys on our current list and see which ones improved their status with the team and which ones likely dropped back or right off the prospect list. Then we can start looking at who should be on the new list.
I'll list the players in the spots they are at on our current list, which was put together about this time last year.
1.Travis Snider. Snider got 241 major league at bats, in which he hit .241/.331/.430, not great but not bad considering he was just 21, the 6th youngest player in the AL. He also had 175 at bats at Triple-A Las Vegas hitting a terrific .337/.431/.663 there. Clearly he wasn't one of Cito's favourites, which puts him in a class with Shawn Green and Carlos Delgado, who have roughly 800 major league home runs between them, so not exactly bad company. If you consider Travis a prospect still, he didn't do much to hurt his status as our number one prospect, but I figure we will graduate him off the prospects list and consider him a major leaguer now. It is always possibly that Cito will decide he's not ready for the majors, this spring, and give his at bats to someone like Kevin Millar. Then, he'd be a prospect and a darn good one still, considering he'd just be 22 years old. But, please Cito, play him every day next year.
2. Brett Cecil. Cecil got 17 major league starts last season, going 7-4 with a 5.30 ERA. Not great, not terrible. He was just 22 years old, so still pretty young for a lefty starter. He pitched another 49 innings in Vegas going 1-5 there with a 5.69 ERA. He was moved to the majors before we likely would have liked him to be, with all the injuries we had to the starting staff. If you consider him a prospect still, he's still a good one, just 23 next year. He'd likely be moved down a few spots on our list, but we'll likely ‘graduate' him off the prospect list.
3. J.P. Arencibia. J.P. did not have the season we hoped he'd have. Promoted to Triple-A, he hit just .236/.284/.444 with 21 homers. I guess calling him a Rod Barajas type would be fair, nice power, low average, wouldn't take a walk if his life depended on it. He'll likely move down some on our list, but he's still a decent prospect. He'll be 24 next year so he can't afford another season like this one, but several good players need two years at Triple-A to find their way.
4. David Cooper. In just his second year of pro ball he was moved up to Double-A New Hampshire. It didn't go well, .258/.340/.389. I would think they will start him at Double-A again and hope he moves up quick. He is just 22 and just 2 years removed from college ball, so there is time to right the ship, but I'd expect he'll be dropped several spots down on our next list. Can't write off a guy at his age though.
5. Justin Jackson. Justin moved up to high-A Dunedin to start this year. It didn't go well, he hit .213/.321/.239 and he missed some time with a ‘frayed labrum'. He's still young, just 20 this past year and has good speed (17 steals), can take a walk (39 in 249 at bats) and his defence looks good. He has got the tools, just has to make it all work. We got to see him a few times in spring training and he didn't look out of place. All that said, he likely to move down a few spots on our list. I'm not sure that I don't think Tyler Pastornicky is a better prospect in the long run.
6. Kevin Ahrens. Continuing our list of prospects that disappointed this year, Kevin was moved up to high-A Dunedin for this season and forgot to bring his bat, hitting just .215/.282/.302. Again just 20 and knows how to take a walk but we really would have liked better from him. He'll likely drop several spots on the prospect list. Don't totally write him off at 20 but he's going to have to pick it up next year.
7. Scott Campbell. A personal favourite, he played in Dunedin, New Hamshire and Las Vegas this year and really didn't take a step forward, .272/.368/.356. He started slow then got injured when it looked like he was turning things around. Pretty much a lost year for him. The Jays tried him at 3B some this year, which I don't understand at all, he doesn't have the power for a corner infield spot. I'd give him a mulligan because of the injuries but he was 24 last season, so it is tough to see him as a prospect unless he does something terrific in spring training. Alex Anthopoulos obviously doesn't think too much of him since he's picked up a couple of middle infield types in the past few weeks off waivers: Mike McCoy and Jarrett Hoffpauir. Much as I like Campbell, I can't see him being on the next prospects list.
8. Brad Mills. Brad made a couple of starts for us back in June when virtually every other starting pitcher in our system was hurt. They didn't go well. He made 14 starts in Triple-A Vegas going just 2-8 but with a decent (for the Pacific Coast League) ERA of 4.06. He had a good strikeout to walk rate 35 walks to 72 strikeouts. He had a good spring training with us, he was in the running for a opening day rotation spot, right up until the end. He gives up more fly balls (and therefore homers) than you would like to see. And he will be 25 next season, not old for a lefty starter but time is running out. I think he'll move a few spots down on our prospect list but with luck and work could make the rotation.
9. Ricky Romero. He's graduated off the prospect list. I think I argued that he shouldn't be so high on our list last year. Shows what I know. He is 25 next year and I'd like to have the paychecks he has in his future.
10. John Tolisano. Like fellow 20 year olds Jackson and Ahrens, John played at Dunedin last year and did not do well, hitting .232/.305/.379. Like the other two, he knows how to take a walk and is young enough to overcome it. He did show some power (12 homers) and wasn't doing too bad before just a horrible August that hurt his numbers. That said, he's got good power for a 2B and is young enough to bounce back from this year, but he'll be moved back on our prospect list.
We'll look at the guys that were 11-20 on our list in the next couple of days and 21-30 soon after that. Then we'll take a look at ones that could jump on our next list.