Bluebird Banter Top 50 Jays Prospects: #10-15

So, Tom started things off with #46-50. I tackled #41-45. Woodman picked up with 36-40. Tom swung back aroundwith 31-35. I took 26-30. Woodman had 21-25. Tom knocked out 16-20, and now here I am again with the best outside the top 10. We are getting down to the really good looking prospects.

15. Carlos Perez, C: Perez, a backstop who just turned 21 in October, is coming off a down year at Lansing, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. First, the Midwest League is a tough one for hitters, and Perez was not overmatched at .255/.320/.355. Second, prior to 2011, Perez's resume was very impressive, with a particularly impressive showing in the New York-Penn League in short season A ball back in 2010 in which he hit .298/.396/.438 and threw out 36% of attempted basestealers. The Venezuelan Catcher hits from the right side and combines a nice approach with an all-fields line-drive attack. Perez also boasts excellent speed for a catcher. Behind the plate, Carlos draws solid marks for his rapport with pitchers and his footwork and arm. With limited power, Perez doesn't profile as a superstar, but you could see him developing into an everyday catcher who does everything well. Perez is likely to start the season in Dunedin, which is another challenging league for hitters. A big season wouldn't surprise me in the least.

14. Joe Musgrove, RHP: The big starboard-sider came to the Jays via a sandwich pick that the Jays received for departing catcher John Buck. Musgrove is 6'5", 230 lbs, and projects as a strikethrowing workhorse starter. Joe was drafted in 2011 out of Grossmont High School, which is in the San Diego area, and the Jays were able to pry him away from his commitment to San Diego State. Musgrove has a lot of work to do on locating his fastball and on his secondary pitches (primarily a curve at the moment though he throws a change as well), but his fastball has drawn good marks for its velocity and movement as it currently sits in the 90s and can be dialed up to 97. After being drafted, Musgrove did get into 9 games, mostly in the Gulf Coast League, and he looked pretty good (18 Ks, 5 BBs in 24 2/3 innings). It'll be interesting to see what the Jays do with Musgrove this season - I'd guess he spends another year in short-season ball, likely at Bluefield to start things out, or perhaps Vancouver if the Jays are excited about his progress this spring.

13. Adonys Cardona, RHP: Cardona is still just 18 and provides yet another high-ceiling arm for the Jays' system. The youngster was signed out of Venezuela amidst much hoopla (and not a small amount of cash). Cardona's fastball sits in the low 90s but he has hit 95 repeatedly during games. Even more impressively, Cardona has already shown a good feel for locating the fastball where he wants it in the strike zone. Cardona also throws a change and curve that he continues to develop and scouts see both pitches as potentially plus pitches going forward. Cardona made 7 starts in rookie ball this year and the results were impressive- more than a strikeout per inning, just two home runs, and not an unhealthy number of walks. Cardona is likely to spend another year at short-season before moving to full-season ball in 2013.

12. Jacob Anderson, OF: The Jays selected Jacob Anderson with the 35th overall pick last June. It was a bit of an aggressive selection, as many didn't expect the big outfielder to go quite as high, but the Jays move paid off when they were able to sign Anderson away from his commitment to Malibu and Pepperdine University for just slightly above slot money. Anderson got into only 9 games last season for the Gulf Coast League team, but you can't argue with the results - .405/.476/.622, with 2 dingers, 2 doubles, and 2 steals. Just 19, he'll likely be slated for short-season ball this year. Anderson has a number of good qualities as a prospect - he has good power potential, runs well for someone his size, and has a nice balanced approach at the plate. He covers good ground in the outfield and some scouts think he can handle center field, at least for the first few years of his major-league career, but he projects to hit for enough power to cover a corner spot as well. Like Musgrove, Anderson was another reward of the Jays' effective use of the draft compensation system - the pick that the Jays used to acquire him came to the Jays as compensation for the departure of beloved southpaw Scott Downs.

11. Adeiny Hechavarria, SS: The young shortstop will be just 23 this season, but it feels as though he's been with the team for quite some time because fans have been following Hechavarria since he signed a big $10 million deal with the Jays back in April 2010. Hechavarria, a Cuban defector and slick-fielding shortstop, was assigned to advanced A ball at Dunedin where he didn't hit a lick but managed to earn a promotion to AA New Hampshire where he did much better to salvage his first season in the Jays' organization. 2011 was a bit of a repeat year in some ways - Hechavarria struggled mightily at the first level in which he played (AA) but hit surprisingly well in a callup to AAA. A number of caveats are necessary regarding his performance at AAA, however, beginning with the small sample size (just 110 plate appearances), continuing with his completely unsustainable BABIP (.471), and ending with the favourable hitter's environment at Las Vegas and in the Pacific Coast League. I must say, I'm not as bullish on Hechavarria as Tom and Woodman, at least one of whom had Adeiny in their top 10 (I had him at 15), but he does have a surefire ticket to the major leagues in his glove. Hechavarria is one of the best fielding shortstops in the majors, so the only question is whether he will hit enough in the majors to hold down an everyday job. I am a bit concerned about his lack of a consistent hitting resume so far in pro ball, but on the other hand he'd hardly be the first young shortstop whose glove was ahead of his bat in his early 20s. Hechavarria has shown decent power in his minor-league career, which is nice to see, but not at the expense of a career minor-league OBP under .300. This is a big season for him developmentally.

Well, that's it for now. Join us next time as Woodman breaks into the top 10!

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