As he does every year, John Sickels lists his top 20 prospects from each organization, as well as some honourable mentions. Yesterday, he listed his top 20 Blue Jays, including a grade he assigns to each player.
Here are the top 5:
- Adam Lind, OF, Grade A- (his bat is not a fluke)
- Travis Snider, OF, Grade A- (outstanding hitter)
- Ricky Romero, LHP, B (I think he'll rebound)
- Curtis Thigpen, C, B- (good bat, good glove, lacks home run power)
- Ryan Patterson, OF, C+ (tons of power, but could end up like Ryan Ludwick)
With last season's promotions of Dustin McGowan, Brandon League, Casey Janssen, and others, this list slightly differs from last season's.
Adam Lind was well-regarded prior to last season, but he's propelled himself into a position among the game's best prospects. Of course, his potential isn't quite on par with the likes of Justin Upton, Chris Young, and Alex Gordon, for example, but it appears as though he should fare very well in majors.
Travis Snider, who was drafted out of high school, looks like a great coup for the Ricciardi regime, and hopefully it means the rigid, risk-free strategy of past years won't experience a resurgence in this offseason's draft. That strategy led to the choice of Ricky Romero instead of Mike Pelfrey, who was universally regarded as the best pitcher of the 2005 amateur draft. Of course, I don't mean to imply that Ricciardi should throw caution to the wind and focus solely on toolsy players out of high school. Rather, he shouldn't adopt a strategy that unfavourably limits his focus to a certain style or group of players.
On balance, the farm system appears to be weak in comparison to most other organizations. That should change, however, considering how many relatively high draft picks the Blue Jays have in the upcoming draft. Pistol from Batter's Box listed them late last week:
Here are the 8 picks the Jays have at the moment in the first 3 rounds (again, this can, and likely will, change slightly based on the remaining free agents in above):
#16 (from the Rangers)
#21 (own 1st round pick)
#42 (for Speier)
#52 (for Cat)
#55 (for Lilly)
#71 (own 2nd round pick)
#74 (from the Angels)
#101 (own 3rd round pick)