We took a look at the guys that were on our prospect list last year, to see which ones should move up or down on the list, now let's take a look at guys that weren't on last year's list and maybe could be this year. We'll look at the guys in that were in Triple and Double-A today and look at the possible prospects from A-ball tomorrow.
Brian Dopirak: Last year, when we put together the list, Dopirak was a minor league free agent, so we didn't know he'd still be in the organization this year. He started the year at Double-A New Hampshire and hit .308/.374/.576 in 87 games. Moved up to Las Vegas he hit .330/.366/.509 there. This winter he is playing in Venezuela and is clubbing the ball there too, hitting .287/.377/.504. He'll be 26 next month, so he's a bit old for a prospect but we keep hearing Lyle Overbay trade rumors, so there might be a spot for him on the Jays next year. Playing in Vegas gives a huge edge to the hitter so his minor league equivalents aren't that exciting, his minor league year equivalents for as about a .262/.308/.440 line in Toronto with about 20 homers.
Randy Ruiz: Honestly I can't consider a 32 year old a prospect, but he had a heck of a year in Vegas (.320/.392/.584) and then followed that up with a great month and a bit in Toronto (313/.385/.635). Vegas is such a hitter friendly spot that his equivalents aren't great: .255/.306/.447. I like the idea of him taking Millar's role next year. He can't possibly be any worst defensively and likely will be some better offensively, but hoping he hits like last year would be expecting a lot. He hit 35 homers last year between the minors and majors; he's never hit 30 in a season before, in 11 minor league seasons, so I'd guess this is the outlier. He could do a nice job platooning with Overbay, but if the team trades Overbay, I think it would be likely Dopirak would get the first base job and he hits righty too. In that case I'm not sure where Ruiz would fit.
Aaron Mathews: Not really a prospect at all, he'll be 28 next year, but if there isn't a move made over the winter he might have a shot at the fourth outfielder job. Hit .274/.321/.380.
Fabio Castro: Started the year great, and some of us wanted to see him get a chance with the team. The hot streak ended. He finished with a pretty decent ERA (4.49) in Vegas but in 142.1 innings he only struck out 81 and walked 64, not exactly the numbers of a prospect. He is pitching well in winter ball in the Dominican Republic with a 2.73 ERA in 6 starts. He's a minor league free agent now so we don't know if he'll be in the organization next year. Will be 25 next year.
Zach Stewart: You know the story, we got him in the Scott Rolen trade. He was drafted in 2008 and was used out of the bullpen last year. This year he made 14 starts between A and Double-A, then was moved to the pen when he moved up to Triple-A, presumably to keep his number of innings down. Between the 3 levels and 4 teams he had a 4-1 record with a 1.89 ERA. He pitched 105 innings, struck out 93 and walked just 32. He will be 23 next year and we might see him in Toronto at some point. He is a terrific prospect.
Randy Boone: He started the year at New Hampshire and made 23 starts there before moving up to Vegas at the end of the year. He was 9-8 with a 3.70 ERA, 129 innings, 90 K's and 42 walks at Double-A. He'll be 25 next year. He's at the back end of about a dozen guys that could start for us, but he could make it at some point.
Darin Mastroianni: A CFer who was drafted in the 16th round of the 2007 draft and started last year at Dunedin and moved up to Double-A New Hampshire mid-way through the year. He hit very well at Dunedin (.325/.436/.390) and continued to hit well at Double-A (.271/.372/.340). He stole 70 bases between the two and plays a decent CF. Speed and the ability to get on base is a good combination. No power but then we could always use a good leadoff hitter. He's not doing great in winter ball in Phoenix (.231/.319/.256) in 11 games.
Luis Perez: 24 year old left-handed starter at New Hamshire last year he was 9-11 with a 3.55 ERA. Struck out 112 and walk 67 in 162 innings. The line of lefty starters is pretty long on our team but Perez has a shot in the next couple of years.
Reidier Gonzalez: A right-handed pitcher Reidier was drafted in the 19th round of the 2005 draft and has moved up slowly through our minor league system. After going 12-4 in Dunedin in 2008 he was 4-6 with a 2.90 ERA in 17 starts in New Hamshire this year. He struck out 67 and walked 25 in 93 innings. He turned 24 at the start of the month, so it would be good to see him move up to Triple-A next year.
Kenny Rodriguez: A Cuban right-hander we signed before the 2008 season. He started the year in Dunedin going 6-3 with a 2.43 ERA there and moved up to New Hampshire going 4-5 with a 4.50 ERA. Between the 2 teams he struck out 7.7/9 innings while walking 3.7/9 innings. He'll be 25 next year but if he can get to Triple-A next year he's got a shot. May end up moving into the pen to make the majors but we'll see.
Daniel Farquhar: Started the year as closer at Dunedin and after 17 appearances and a 0.53 ERA he moved up to be closer at New Hampshire where he had a 2.36 ERA in 37 games. Between the two he struck out 10.6/9 but he walked too many 5.9/9. He didn't walk near as many in 2008 but then he didn't strikeout as many then either. He's just 22 and throws hard. He's only 5'10" and 170 lb.