We start our annual prospects list. We are a little later getting going this year, I kept expecting that there would be a trade that would cause changes to the list but so far it isn't happened. Of course now that I've started posting....
Anyway, as always the ones at the back of the list are more potential prospects than actual prospects, guys that, with a good season could move up the list or, with a bad season, could be quickly forgotten.
40. Emilio Guerrero: Emilio was a international free agent signing, in May of 2011. He had a breakout season, in 2013, at Lansing, at age 20, coming out of nowhere to make our list. He hit .277/.355/.402, with 17 stolen bases and 8 home runs, at Lansing, in his first taste of full season baseball. He was promoted to Dunedin, at the end of the season and played a couple of games there. He did make a bunch of errors, at shortstop, 33, giving him a .917 FA. Rough infields in the Midwest League can be blamed for some of that, but he's not the smoothest of fielders, at least yet. He is a big guy, 6"4' and will likely add some weight to his 190 pound frame, so he might need to move off shortstop, but there is time for that.
39. Brady Dragmire: Brady was a 17th round pick in the 2011 draft but the Jays must have liked him, he got a $250,000 signing bonus. It might be a bit early yet to consider him a real prospected but he had a very good season at Bluefield, pitching in 14 games, 8 starts, 2.16 ERA, throwing 50 innings, allowing 39 hits, 8 walks with 40 strikeouts. He isn't a big guy, listed at 6'1" and 180, but throws low 90s and has the normal assortment of pitches.
38. Rob Rasmussen: Rob came to the Jays, with Erik Kratz, from the Phillies, in the Brad Lincoln trade. He's not so much a prospect , more a guy that could come up if the team runs into a lot of injury trouble in the starting rotation (much like the last two years). From the Dodgers SB Nation website:
He has a 4-pitch mix and while he maxes out at 92 mph, it's his curveball, slider, and location of his pitches that allow him to get by. While I don't think Rob will ever be a great big league pitcher, I do think he has what it takes to eventually settle into the back of a big league rotation. He's proven he can compete with the best of them, and it will be interesting to see where his career goes from here.
Rob was a second round pick by the Marlins in 2010. He's 24 now, turns 25 on April 2th. He had a rough time in Albuquerque in the PCL, last year, putting up a 6.46 ERA, but then everyone has a rough time in the PCL. Moved back to Double-A, he had a 2.55 ERA. in 16 games, 14 starts, 81 innings, 76 hits, 28 walks and 76 strikeouts.
He isn't big, 5'9", 160 lb, about the same size as Marcus Stroman. I hope we don't see him this year, but I'd rather him than Thad Weber. I do think he is the type that could be ok, but would have to be given time to figure out how to get major league hitters out and the Jays don't seem to be the patient types.
37. Dickie Thon: Dickie Thon Jr has had an interesting few years. We drafted him in the 5th rounds of the 2010 draft and it took a little work to sign him. His father (who has the same name (my son would say some people might find that confusing) and was a pretty decent MLB player) said he wouldn't sign with the Jays but he did (who could turn down a $1.5 million bonus?). He was number 18 on our 2011 prospects list, then dropped to 30th in 2012. Then, after an illness spoiled his 2012 season, he fell right off our list. A good 2013 (plus trading many of our best prospects last off-season) gets him back on the list.
Last season, at age 21, he hit .280/.370/.378, with 3 triples and 1 home run, in Vancouver. He knows how to take a walk, he's supposed to have more power than he's shown, maybe the illness cost him some strength. He did make more than a few errors, 16, giving him a .911 FA, but he's said to be a decent SS, who needs some work on his footwork and his throwing, but should be able to get there. Like the others in this group of five, he's going to have to take a step up this year to be a real prospect.
36. Christian Lopes: Christian was number 10 on our list last year, but has dropped a long ways. A .245/.308/.336 season at Lansing will do that to you. He did have 5 home runs and 40 walks, against 78 strikeouts. He doesn't have great range at second base, but he should be at last ok at the position with some work. He turned 21 in October, and he still has time to move back up the prospect list but he's going to have to take a step up with the bat soon. We were optimistic about him a year ago, but far less now.
Christian was a 7th round pick in 2011, getting a pretty good bonus.
Which of these 5 do you think will move up on our list next year?