After Keith Law placed three Blue Jays in his top prospect list yesterday, MLB.com did him one better and also included Jeff Hoffman in their Top 100 list. As with Law's list, Daniel Norris, Dalton Pompey, and Aaron Sanchez all make the cut, while Jonathan Mayo and company added the 2014 first round pick in Jeff Hoffman at #87. The rankings are pretty similar with Norris leading the charge at #18 (compared to #17 on Law's list), while Pompey was placed at #43 (#42 on Law's list), while Sanchez was one spot lower at #44 (#51 on Law's list).
Having four players on the list places the Blue Jays in the upper half of the league's farm systems, with the Pirates actually leading the way with seven players. Norris will likely not be made aware of his ranking unless a carrier pigeon is sent to his van that he is living in on his way to Dunedin.
They had this to say about the new top Blue Jays pitching prospect:
Norris' early struggles in the Minor Leagues were largely a result of poor command. After several adjustments to his delivery, he has found something that works and allows his deep, dynamic repertoire to shine. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90s with late life. His slider is his best secondary offering, and he also mixes in a changeup and slow, sweeping curveball.
Hometown boy Pompey received high praise as well:
Pompey combines elite athleticism with a good feel for hitting on both sides of the plate. He has a mature approach and is adapt at working walks. While his approach lends itself more to high contact rates than power, his bat speed enables him to drive balls. He has above-average speed and puts it to good use both on the basepaths and in center field, where he covers a lot of ground.
The MLB.com scouts seem much higher on Sanchez then Keith Law:
Thanks to his clean, simple delivery, Sanchez generates easy velocity. As a starter, his fastball sits in the mid-90s and it averaged more than 97 mph when he pitched out of the bullpen for Toronto, according to Pitchf/x. His sharp, powerful curveball gives him an elite fastball-breaking ball combination. He creates a lot of groundball outs thanks to his fastball's heavy, sinking life and the downhill angle from which he throws.
With Hoffman yet to throw a pitch in professional baseball, the thoughts on his future are obviously fairly hazy:
When healthy, Hoffman stands out for his stuff, size and athleticism. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and regularly reaches 98 mph. His big curveball is nearly as good as his fastball and his changeup gives him a third above-average offering. He fills up the strike zone already and his athleticism gives scouts hope he'll be able to continue to refine his command as a professional.
The #1 player on the list was different from Law's list with Twins outfielder Byron Buxton remaining at the top compared to Kris Bryant leading the way in the eyes of the ESPN writer. Nothing really jumps out at first glance and the Top 100 pretty much lines up with the rest of the lists that have been released. Former Jays prospects include Noah Syndergaard coming in at #10, while Franklin Barreto slotted in at #85 just ahead of Hoffman.