It's about time we took a look at how the players on our Bluebird Banter Top 40 Prospects list are faring this season. This is just a review, not a reorder, we'll save that for the off-season. The original list was posted back in February, you can read the posts starting back here. Tomorrow we'll look at the next 10 on the list.
1. Aaron Sanchez: Sanchez has missed time this season with a couple of injuries. He missed time with a shoulder injury suffered back on May 18th, came back in late June, and, in just his last start, he came out of the game, apparently with a blister problem. He's been pretty good when he has been pitching. 3.63 ERA in 19 games, 17 starts. 49 hits, 4 home runs, 34 walks and 62 strikeouts in 71.2 innings, all for Dunedin. He's walking too many, Though he has brought down the walks some from last year, he gave up 4.3 walks/9 innings last year, 4.3 this year, but his strikeouts are down too, 7.8 per 9 this year, 9.7 last year. He is just 21 and number 35 on MLB's prospect list and 65th on Baseball America's. He gets a lot of ground balls, 2.32 per fly out.
2: Roberto Osuna: Injuries seems to be the theme of the day, torn ulnar collateral ligament and now Tommy John surgery. Won't be pitching again till next year. No surprise he wasn't pitching well before hitting the DL. 5.53 ERA in 10 starts, 43 innings, 39 hits, 11 walks, 51 k for Lansing. He's young, won't be 19 until next February, so, if he has to have Tommy John, now is the time.
3: D.J. Davis: A first round pick in 2012 is having a pretty good season in Bluefield, hitting .254/.346/.411 in 43 games, with 6 doubles, 7 triples and 4 homers, 19 walks, 56 strikeouts, 10 steals. Way too many strikeouts, but he's just 19, and more power than we figured on. Playing center field, has good range. He's a long ways off, but has a lot of tools.
4: Sean Nolin: Sean is doing great in New Hampshire. 2.84 ERA in 16 starts. 80 hits, 4 home runs, 24 walks, 99 strikeouts in 85.2 innings. He is a fly ball pitcher, .71 ground balls per fly ball. His 1 start with the Jays didn't go great, but next time should go better. He'll be 24 in December. Maybe we'll see him in September. He should be in the competition for a job next year.
5. Marcus Stroman: another first round pick from 2012, Marcus has had a really good time of it in New Hampshire. 16 starts, a 3.22 ERA, 89.1 innings, 79 hits, 12 home runs, 22 walks and 103 k. Home runs are a little high, not a great sign for someone that's going to be pitching in Rogers Centre someday soon, but the rest looks really good. I'm torn, I'd love to see him pitch, but I'm not sure there is a point to bringing him up for September. Turned 22 in May, he should be completing for a job in spring training, whether it is the bullpen or the rotation. Who would you rather see in the rotation next year, him or Josh Johnson?
6. Matt Smoral: yet another first round draft pick from 2012. Things aren't going that well. He has a 9.82 ERA, in 14.2 innings in the GCL. He's allowed 14 hits, 20 walks, with 15 strikeouts. He's 19 and a long, long way off of the majors. I wouldn't let 15 innings cloud my view of him, but then the 20 walks aren't a good sign.
7. Daniel Norris: 2nd round pick from 2011, he's not been great in Lansing. 1-7 (yeah I know, who cares about his record), 4.84 ERA, in 20 games, 19 starts. 70.2 innings, 75 hits, 5 home runs, 41 walks and 83 strikeouts. Fangraphs has an interview with him here. He has a 2.97 ERA in his last 10 appearances, but still 20 walks in 36.1 innings. He's a hard throwing lefty, hits mid-90s, so he'll get time to work on his command. He turned 20 in April.
8. A.J. Jimenez: A.J. has made the recovery from Tommy John, started the season in Dunedin, hitting .429/.448/.643 in 9 games and then moved up to New Hampshire. In 46 games there he is hitting .274/.320/.387 with 3 home runs, 13 walks and 32 strikeouts. He's thrown out 53% of base stealers in NH, so I'd say his elbow is better. He had a great June, hitting .400/.420/.507, but July was bad, .182/.26/.260 and August has been worse, .206/.229/.412. In his last 10 games he has a .163 BA, but he's had 2 home runs in his past 3 games. I wish he was hitting better, I'd be calling for him to replace JP. He's said to be great on defense, but would be nice if he had a bit of a bat. He's 23.
9: Alberto Tirado: Alberto has a 1.78 ERA in 9 games, 6 starts at Bluefield. 35.1 innings, 33 hits, 0 home runs, 14 walks and 31 strikeouts. He's 18, an international free agent signing. He throws hard, has to work on the other pitches, he's got a long way to go before we see him in Toronto but he could turn out to be good.
10: Christian Lopes: Lansing's second baseman, he's not hitting as well as I'd like to see, .255/.310/.354, 5 home runs, 33 walks and 68 strikeouts. He is just 20 so he's got time to improve, but I think we had him a little high on the list.