We seem to be back into the ‘no news’ valley that has been or lot for most of the winter.
Keith Law, at ESPN (subscription required), has ranked the MLB minor league systems and he has the Jays 21st on the list (that’s up from 25th last year). I think it is a little low, but then Alex put us in a pretty deep hole when he traded a good part of our system at the deadline in 2015.
The Blue Jays’ system was a real strength until 2015, when then-GM Alex Anthopoulos dipped into it to get the team to the playoffs with a series of trades that not only secured the division but got the team within two wins of the World Series. The depletion from those deals, combined with a sudden shift toward a conservative draft approach in 2016, has strip-mined this system in a way that might make any recovery slow.
Rough years for returning prospects Anthony Alford and Conner Greene didn’t help matters either, but one enormous bright spot was the emergence of Vlad Guerrero Jr. He’s a potential superstar who impressed scouts with his approach at the plate and his defense at third base as the youngest regular in the Appalachian League.
I think he is being a little rough on Alford. Anthony battled injuries all year, the most serious a concussion, which it took him a long while to completely recover. Greene had a tough year, 71 walks in 146 innings isn’t what we would like to see. I’m glad to see him speak so highly of Guerrero (of course, calling a 17-year old a potential superstar is being a little over the top).
We will be starting our ‘top prospect’ countdown this week.
MLB Network tells us that Josh Donaldson is the top third baseman at the moment. You can watch the video:
Jeff Blair tells us that Jose Bautista’s willingness to play other positions (really first base is the one that matters) is all important. I don’t know that Jose was ever unwilling to play where the team wanted him.
The Jays might be interested in Jarrod Saltalamacchia....I’m against the idea, if only because I don’t want to have to type Saltalamacchia.