Jason Parks and the Baseball Prospectus team released their Top 101 Prospects List this morning with three Blue Jays making the list. Right-handed pitchers Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, and Alberto Tirado found their way into the Top 101, which shows that the team still has a ton of pitching potential, but might lack any top quality position players in their farm system. Former Blue Jay prospect Noah Syndergaard, who was traded for R.A. Dickey, slotted in at #11, making him the fourth-highest pitcher on the list behind Taijuan Walker, Archie Bradley, and Kevin Gausman. The other part of the Dickey trade in catcher Travis d'Arnaud fell to #48 after being ranked #15 last season, making him the third-highest catcher in the minor leagues.
When the team-specific prospect lists came out in December, right-handed pitcher Marcus Stroman found himself at #1 so it's no surprise the Duke grad was the top Blue Jays on the overall list as well. Slotting in at #27, Stroman is the 13th highest right-handed pitcher on the list after not being ranked in the Top 101 at all last season and only being ranked #8 in the Blue Jay organization. As noted before, Jason Parks loves his slider and believes his height won't be a significant hurdle to clear on Marcus' way to success in the major leagues.
The second Blue Jay on the list is Aaron Sanchez who found himself very close to Stroman at #31. The tall right-hander is the 14th highest right-handed pitcher and will see his ranking skyrocket if he can come close to reaching his tremendous ceiling in 2014. Sanchez was ranked #32 last season, so his up-and-down 2013 seems to have made Parks and company skeptical of tinkering with their evaluations too much.
The third Toronto prospect on the list is 19-year-old right-hander Alberto Tirado. The Dominican was dominant in Bluefield this year and increased his team-specific ranking from #10 to #3. He is slotted in at #76 on the list and has a ton of room to grow if he can refine his command and control.
In a chat that recently finished up, Parks fielded some Blue Jays questions:
Kodi (Vermont ): How close was Dan Norris?
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: Should have been on the list. Late cut. I really like him.
Carl (Canada ): True or False. Tirado has the highest ceiling of the Jays arms.
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: I'm tempted to say true, but the Jays are absolutely lousy with high ceiling arms. You can make a case for several in the high ceiling category. But Tirado has a very good case for that distinction.
Justin (Asheville): What are some of the teams with the strongest group of players outside of the top 101?
Jason Parks on the Top 101 Prospects: Astros, Twins, Rangers, and Jays, just to name a few.
While a lot of the possible high-impact prospects in the Blue Jay system are in the lower levels, it's still exciting to see three players make the Top 101 List. If you forgot, last season only saw two Blue Jays on the list with Sanchez at #32 and Sean Nolin at #97 so at least a few of the arms in the system are starting to show some upside. What are your thoughts on the list as a whole and what are your feelings on the three Blue Jays who made it in the Top 101?