The off-season accolades continue to pour in for members of the Toronto Blue Jays, with Marcus Stroman being named to the Baseball America All-Rookie Team this morning. The team is composed of the eight defensive positions plus a designated hitter along with five starting pitchers and a reliever. With this roster composition (although it's varied over the years) there is obviously a 50% chance each season that a team will have a representative on the All-Rookie Team. The Blue Jays have only had one other player on the list since 2009 with Brett Lawrie at third base in the 2011 edition. Is this just another sign that Toronto hasn't had the greatest recent history with developing young guys in their system? I would say so. Things look to be turning around though as contenders for this team next year will include Daniel Norris, Aaron Sanchez and maybe even Dalton Pompey.
The full team includes:
- C- Travis d'Arnaud (Mets)
- 1B- Jose Abreu (White Sox)
- 2B- Mookie Betts (Red Sox)
- 3B- Nick Castellanos (Tigers)
- SS- Danny Santana (Twins)
- CF- Billy Hamilton (Reds)
- OF- Kevin Kiermaier (Rays)
- OF- George Springer (Astros)
- DH- Kenny Vargas (Twins)
- SP- Jake deGrom (Mets), Marcus Stroman (Blue Jays), Masahiro Tanaka (Yankees), Yordano Ventura (Royals), Collin McHugh (Astros)
- RP- Dellin Betances (Yankees)
You may have noticed that the majority of these names are listed on rosters of American League teams, which would be a correct observation. Of the 15 rookies on the list, 12 of them come from the AL and five of those players come from the American League East which isn't normally considered a breeding ground for standout young guys.
The writeup about Stroman doesn't really say anything earth shattering, but here's a snippet:
As a starter he went 10-6, 3.29 over 120 innings and led Toronto’s primary five in WHIP (1.15), SO/BB ratio (3.8) and home run rate (0.45 per nine innings). The 23-year-old Stroman slotted in behind grizzled veterans R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle to give the club’s rotation power and depth it has lacked in recent seasons.
Of the five starting pitchers on the team, I think I would take Tanaka first and slot Ventura and Stroman into a tie for second. The other two starters had nice seasons but weren't born on the right side of the 90's to have enough upside.
Perhaps it's a little surprising that Aaron Sanchez didn't snag a spot somewhere on this list as he was nearly as impressive as Stroman this year. He was on the roster longer than 45 days meaning he won't be able to qualify for the list next season. As commenter T_Mizz points out, the 45 day limit only applies to the period before September call-ups, meaning Sanchez is still eligible next year by the slimmest of margins.
Congratulations Marcus, hopefully next year he appears on the All-Star Team to cap off his meteoric rise to the Majors.