Over at Fangraphs this morning Marc Hulet released his top 10 prospects for the Blue Jays organization. Before continuing below, go and read the article here. There was also a post up over there about the Steamer Projections for the top prospects in the system, which can be found here.
As you read, big right-hander Aaron Sanchez grabbed the top spot this year after the departure of Travis d'Arnaud last off-season. Hulet doesn't seem extremely high on Sanchez though, citing his delivery and inconsistency as possible downfalls for the 21-year-old. Sanchez gets a late 2014 or 2015 ETA slapped on him, although with the way Blue Jays handle young arms it would be surprising to see the California native in the Rogers Centre before 2015. Here's Sanchez displaying his good stuff, but inconsistent control last month in the Arizona Fall League All-Star Game:
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Marcus Stroman is in his usual #2 ranking spot on these prospect lists, with Hulet noting that the Blue Jays are going to give the 5'9" righty every opportunity to be a starter in the big leagues. The first surprise was Mitch Nay finding himself in the third spot on the list. In his first season of pro ball, Nay hit .300/.364/.426 in Bluefield and it will be very exciting to see what 2014 has in store for the 2012 draftee.
Roberto Osuna's Tommy John surgery dropped him on the list to #5 behind Daniel Norris, which is a little bit surprising considering the Mexican is young enough for the surgery to not affect his development much. Hulet notes that the next game action Osuna sees will be in 2015 when the right-handed pitcher will be 20 years old.
Dominican Alberto Tirado beat out Puerto Rican A.J. Jimenez, which is another slight surprise as Tirado is only 18 years old spending all of 2013 in Bluefield. Jimenez should have a full year as the starter in Buffalo in 2014, which should be enough to show the Blue Jays brass whether they have a possible major league catcher or not. Hulet notes:
Jimenez has a chance to be a second-division everyday backstop in the Majors because the offensive bar is set pretty low for catchers. His defense alone could make him a valuable asset to a big league club, if only as a platoon or back-up player
It just so happens that Alex Anthopoulos mentioned Jimenez in a conference call this morning:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>AA says catching prospect AJ Jimenez ready defensively now, wants to develop bat more. Could break through in 2014</p>— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) <a href="https://twitter.com/ShiDavidi/statuses/407907493004599296">December 3, 2013</a></blockquote>
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There's no lack of question marks near the end of the list as D.J. Davis, Matt Smoral, and Sean Nolin round out the top 10. Hulet wonders if Davis might be forced to spend a third season in extended spring training due to his lack of development despite his abundance of tools.
Canadians Dalton Pompey and Tom Robson make an appearance at #13 and #14 respectively in the "next five" section, which is good to see for Blue Jays fans. Pompey will likely start in Dunedin, while Robson begins in Lansing. Here's Pompey taking a walk during extended spring training in 2013:
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Here's one for Robson from 2012 that features the British Columbia native in extended spring training:
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What are your thoughts on this list? Any surprises or disappointments?