So lately Tom and I have taken a look at the progress our top 30 prospects have made thusfar this season. Now let's take a look at new additions to the organization or guys outside the top 30 at the season's beginning who have made a case thusfar for inclusion in the top 30. First up, the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays:
- Christopher Hawkins: A third-round pick just over a month ago in the draft, the 18-year old Hawkins has held his own in the GCL so far, hitting .258/.310/.394 and holding down the everyday third base job. With 7 extra-base hits, so far in 71 plate appearances, the left-handed hitter is showing decent pop for an 18-year old. He's also making contact at a decent rate and drawing the occasional walk. A solid start, though not enough to break into an improving organization's top 30 yet.
- Noah Syndergaard: the 38th overall pick in this year's amateur draft, the 17-year old Syndergaard has only thrown 4 innings thusfar for the GCL Jays, but the big Texan righty comes into the Jays' system with high expectations given his draft status. Certainly an arm to keep an eye on, though pitchers with his pedigree don't tend to pitch for very long in the GCL.
- Aaron Sanchez: Taken just 4 places before Syndergaard, he and Noah will likely be compared to and grouped with one another many times before their respective careers are over. Like Syndergaard, Sanchez is a 17-year old, projectible righty who has only just started to pitch for the GCL Jays but about whom much more ink is likely to be spilled down the line.
- Marcus Knecht: Knecht, a native Torontoan who signed almost immediately, has gotten off to a nice quick start in professional ball. In 111 plate appearances, Knecht is hitting .306/.387/.449 and just recently hit his first home run (he does have 9 doubles and a triple). Power was considered Knecht's primary skill, so it's great to see him controlling the strike zone and making solid contact, though he has been the beneficiary of a .372 BABIP.
- Lance Durham: Durham, the Jays 14th round pick in 2009, has the pedigree (he is the son of major-leaguer Leon Durham) and is starting to put together the numbers to go with it. The 21-year old didn't get off to a huge start last year in Auburn, but he is taking advantage of repeating the level, putting up a .282/.408/.553 line so far, with 13 extra-base hits in just 25 games. He'll have to at least move up a level and continue to hit before he breaks into the top 30, but he's having a nice first professional season.
- Asher Wojciechowski: Wojciechowski, whose given first name is Randall (in case you're looking for him) is doing what you want college pitchers to do in short-season A ball. The 41st overall pick completes the trifecta of righty pitchers the Jays signed with three of eight consecutive picks but as a college arm (The Citadel), he's ahead of the other two developmentally. The 21-year old has made three starts so far for Auburn and has given up just one run, striking out 11 in 12 innings while walking 4. That's more or less what you expect from a first-round college draftee in short-season ball, but it's still great to see. He could be due a promotion in another little bit, to see how he performs at A ball before the end of the minor league season.
We'll be back soon with Lansing and Dunedin and then New Hampshire and Las Vegas. Today's title seemed quite appropriate given the subject matter and comes from the Old 97s song "The New Kid." If you've got others at these two levels you think merit consideration or anything else you'd like to add, love to see it in the comments.