With free agent signings on the wane and spring training still weeks away, people are focusing their attention on the minor leagues. Baseball America continues to publish a top ten list for each organization, while Bryan Smith from baseballanalysts.com has posted his top 75 prospects for 2006.
Here are BA's top 10 Blue Jays prospects for 2006:
Dustin McGowan, rhp (2004 rank: 7)
Ricky Romero, lhp
David Purcey, lhp (2004 rank: 5)
Adam Lind, of/1b
Josh Banks, rhp (2004 rank: 9)
Casey Janssen, rhp
Brandon League, rhp (2004 rank: 1)
Francisco Rosario, rhp (2004 rank: 4)
Curtis Thigpen, c
- Vince Perkins, rhp
Prospect on the rise: Adam Lind
Lind was chosen in the third round (83rd overall) of the 2004 amateur draft. He more than held his own in Dunedin (A), and many experts are very optimistic about his future. Bryan Smith from The Baseball Analysts recently ranked him 61st on his list of the 75 best prospects for 2006. Here's what he had to say about him:
Skillset/Future: More than anything else, the problem with Lind will be determining a position. Third base is thrown out, now leaving a decision between first, left and DH. For some reason, oftentimes it's the latter that would be the best option for the team. However, for what problems Lind has athletically, he makes up for it offensively. Adam's contact skills are among the minors best, and his sweet swing should also help him become an annual .300 hitter. Besides that, he's very inconsistent, as extra base hits and walks tend to come in bunches. If, like I'm predicting, Lind adds a little power and a little endurance, he could be the minors best pure hitter in under one season.
That's quite high praise, but Lind is still young and must prove that he can handle upper-level competition. However, considering Shea Hillenbrand is a year away from hitting the free agent market, there won't be any impediments obstructing his path should he fulfill his potential.
Prospect on the decline: Brandon League
Without a doubt, League was the most underachieving Blue Jays prospect of the past year. Touted as a potential bullpen anchor, he fell apart last season. To make matters worse, none of the stats he accumulated in '05 indicate a quick recovery. I wrote more on League in a past post, which can be read by clicking here.
A while back, Batter's Box released their list of the top 30 Blue Jays prospects. Zach Jackson was still a member of the organization at the time, so he appears on it. A detailed writeup and career statistical totals are included for each prospect.