I'm not saying necessarily that this is a bad thing, but does anyone else think our Vegas team will be the better team of the two this year?
The 51's starting rotation will likely include Kyle Drabek, Zach Stewart, Brad Mills, Bob Ray and who ever doesn't make the Jays rotation. Drabek and Stewart are our number 1 and 3 prospects respectively. Both are likely major league ready as far as stuff goes, but both need to stretch out the number of innings they can pitch in a year. Mills is number 10 on our list and also could likely pitch in the majors if the numbers didn't work against him. Add in which ever starters don't make the Jays and you'll likely have a rotation that's not all that much worse than what the Jays have, except, maybe, a little less experienced. If that is possible.
The bullpen could be anchored by Daniel Farquhar and maybe Tim Collins, if not to at the start of the season, at some point during the year. The rest of the pen will be made up of guys that don't make the Jays out of camp. Some of the bullpen decisions will be made as much on the bases of who has options as much as who are the best pitchers.
Catcher at Vegas will be J.P. Arencibia. After reading about his vision troubles last year, other than experience, does anyone really think that John Buck would be much better than JP?
First base, for the 51's will be Brett Wallace. Wallace is prospect number 2 on our list. He can use the experience of playing first at Triple-A. Overbay is experienced and hits RHP well, I'd imagine he'd be better defensively but I doubt would be more than 1% better than Wallace by the end of the year.
Second base, well yeah the Jays win that one. Scott Campbell I like a lot but Hill is much much better. Brad Emaus will likely make Vegas at some point.
Shortstop, I'm guessing Mike McCoy will play short at Vegas. Alex Gonzalez will be far better defensively but McCoy will likely be a better offensive player.
Third base, who knows what kind of season Edwin Encarnacion will have. But then I don't know who will be playing third in Vegas. Maybe Jarrett Hoffpauir and/or Kyle Phillips.
Outfield: The Jays outfield looks to be Snider, Wells, Bautista. Just to depress you, their batting averages last year were .241, .260 and .235 respectively. They'll be better this year. At Vegas, Darin Mastroianni should make the team at some point. The rest of the outfield will likely be filled with spring minor league invites Joey Gathright, Chris Lubanski, Jorge Padilla and Jeremy Reed. Yeah the Jay's outfield will be better, how much better is an open question yet.
DH: Lind will be great. Odds are Brian Dopirak will get the job in Vegas and have a great season. Not that it will help him unless the Jays trade Overbay, the best he can hope for is a platoon role with Overbay if he has an amazing spring training, but then Wallace will be playing first for the Jays next year.
Oh well, I think overall that the major league team will be better but for the first time in a number of years it looks like we have a good Triple-A team with a number of players that could move up to the Jays at some point.