25. Javier Avendano - It is hard to dislike a guy that keeps putting up ERAs under 2, 85 minor league games, 48 of them starts, over 5 seasons, and he has an ERA of 1.75. Javier doesn't throw that hard, fastball in the 89-92 range and has the usual curveball, change to go with it, but he keeps getting people out. He had a 1.27 ERA in 14 starts at Vancouver, moved up to Lansing and put up a 1.48 in 30 relief innings. He strikes guys out, 130 k in 108 total innings last year and he only gave up 3 home runs. We tend not to expect much from minor league rule 5 pickups but Avendano has been a nice surprise. He turned 22 in September. It will be interesting to see how he does as he moves up the system. He wasn't on our list last year.
24. Ryan Borucki - Borucki was likely to go in the first couple of rounds of last year's draft, but an elbow injury, and the possibility of going under Dr. Andrew's famous knife, scared teams off. The Blue Jays figured he was worth gambling a 15th round pick on, and Ryan successfully rehabbed the elbow instead of doing the Tommy John thing.. He's a 6'4" lefty, and can hit 94 with his fastball, has a curve and a change to work on. He pitched just 6 Rookie Leagues innings last years, so we won't read much into the 10 strikeouts and zero walks in his stat line, but we can dream it means something. The elbow is a worry, but then I think by now we've learned that every pitcher's elbow is a worry.
23. Ryan Goins - Goins wasn't on our list last year, and he's 23 this year, I think that says more about the changes to our minor league system and to the fact that most of middle infield prospects either were traded off or took a step back this year. Goins' 2012 stats from New Hampshire (.289/.342/.403) were almost exactly the same as his numbers at Dunedin in 2011 (.286/.343/.408). He did steal 15 bases as a Fisher Cat, after just 2 the year before, but that came at the cost of 9 times caught, so it wasn't really a gain. He played mostly short, with a few games at second, in 2012. I kind of like him for the utility infielder role and the Jays have put him on the 40-man roster, so we might see him doing that for us, sometime this year.
22. Yeyfry Del Rosario - Yeyfry (gets extra points for having a cool first name) was an international free agent signing, out of the Dominican Republic in 2011. He had a pretty nice season in the Gulf Coast League, putting up a 3.63 ERA, with 52 strikeouts, just 12 walks and 1 home run allowed, in 44 innings. He doesn't turn 19 until the end of April. He's not the hard thrower that some of our other International free agent signings have been (best he does is 91 MPH) but has the curve and the changeup that everyone in the organization learns. It would be nice to see what he can do in Vancouver this year.
21.Danny Barnes - Barnes takes a jump from 40th on our list last year, which again says a lot about the number of players that have left the system. After doing a great job as closer for Lansing in 2011, he did just as well as closer for Dunedin in 2012. He picked up 34 saves for the second year in a row, put up a 1.40 ERA, with 63 strikeouts and 16 walks in 51 innings. He's 23 and needs to give us a good year at Double-A to show he really deserves this spot on our list, but he is younger, and has more impressive numbers, than Aaron Loup last year. Loup made the jump to our bullpen, from New Hampshire, though it is easier for lefty to do than a right-hander like Barnes. Middle reliever is likely his ceiling but he can still draw a major league paycheck doing that, and that's a lot better than a bi-monthly bag of cheese doodles.