With the All-Star break we thought we'd look at how the guys on our Top 30 Prospect List are doing to this point this season.
The title comes from a Joe Ely song "I Saw It In You", which sort of seemed appropriate.
1. Kyle Drabek, RHP: The number one guy on our preseason prospect list hasn't done anything to make you feel he shouldn't be number one. Kyle leads the Fisher Cats in wins with 9, innings with 113 and strikeouts with 85. I guess the only downside to his statistics is he has walked a few too many (46) but he is only 22. His walk rate is up a bit from last year and his strikeout rate is down a little. He is getting ground balls at a good clip 1.56 ground outs to each fly out. His ERA so far is 3.03. And there was the no-hitter on July 4. Being a ground ball pitcher, you'd think he'd do better with a steadier infield than he has at Double-A so the future looks bright. He apparently has a bit of a temper, but so did Dave Stieb and he had a pretty good career with the Jays. I wouldn't mind seeing how his ground ball throwing act works in Las Vegas. If you can keep the ball in the park there, you can do it anywhere. A couple of September starts in Toronto would be good too, at least for us fans.
2. Brett Wallace, 1B: Brett's minor league season really will be judged on how well he learns to play first base. He has only made 4 errors so far this season and reports I've heard say that he is learning quickly there. I wouldn't expect him to become as good as Lyle, with the glove, in a hurry but as long as he can catch what is thrown to him, I'll be happy. In 81 games at Vegas he is hitting .296/.359/.497, with 14 homers. Not the massive numbers we would like to see from a hitter there, but not bad. He could walk a little more and likely will in time. I'd like to get to watch him play but there is no rush, I'd imagine we'll see him in September if not before.
3. Zach Stewart, RHP: 7-2 with a 4.20 ERA, with 40 walks and 70 k in 94.1 New Hampshire innings. His strikeout rate is down a bit this year but so is his walk rate. His last 10 games he has a 3.19 ERA and a 5-1 record and hasn't gone less than 5 innings in any of those starts. So his first pro season of being just a starter is going quite well. A ground ball pitcher, I imagine at some point this year he'll be moving up to Triple-A. Just 23, if we had the need he could be up to Jays sometime next year.
4. Chad Jenkins, RHP: He started the season at Lansing, went 5-4 with a 3.63 in 13 starts and then was moved up to Dunedin, where he hasn't had the same success in his first 4 starts (1-2, 6.04), though that's sort of the definition of small sample size. Between the two stops he isn't walking many 1.7/9 innings, while striking out 7/9. He's also been a ground ball pitcher, getting 1.76 ground ball outs per fly ball out. He is a big guy at 6'4" and 235.
5. Henderson Alvarez, RHP: Just turned 20 this past April, he started off his season at Dunedin like a house on fire, he hasn't been quite as good lately, 3-3, 4.66 ERA in his last ten starts, several of them very poor starts. I wouldn't get worried. Overall he is 6-4, 3.53 in 15 starts and 74 innings. He has struck out 56 and walked just 17. He is getting a lot of ground outs, 1.65/GO/FO. He is young and it will take a couple or so years before he's ready for the Jays.
6. Travis d'Arnaud, C: 21 and at Dunedin. He is hitting .282/.330/.440 with 6 home runs and 34 RBI in 56 games. With defense as his calling card, his bat is doing well enough to think he'll have a good career in the majors.
7. Carlos Perez, C: Just 19 years old and playing his first season at short season Auburn. We are just 20 games into the Auburn season so it is early but he is hitting great in those 20 games, .301/.388/.479, with a homer and 4 triples and a couple of stolen bases. He has also thrown out 45% of guys that have tried to steal against him. Early going but he is said to have a great arm and he is showing it. We have a long line of potential catchers, but he could be as good as any of them.
8. Jake Marisnick, CF: Starting his pro career with the GCL Blue Jays. He has just played 19 games but is hitting .288/.377/.500 with 2 homers and 6 stolen bases. Too early to say much about him but the small sample is good.
9. Tyler Pastornicky, SS: The first on our top prospects list that isn't having a good season at least to this point. He is hitting .258/.348/.376 with 24 steals in 77 games at Dunedin. He's been splitting time between SS and 2B, but now that Hechavarria . He has been getting on base a little better the last 10 games, .372. He is likely too high on our list, especially now that we have Hechavarria installed as our shortstop of the future. I still like him but he should be down a bunch of spots.
10. Brad Mills, LHP: 5-4, 4.31 ERA in 14 starts at Las Vegas, which for there is pretty decent. Miss about a month with a minor injury but is back now. 73 k and 34 walks in 77.1. He is 25 and if given the chance I think he could be pretty good in the majors, but there are too many guys passing him by on the depth charts.