Marc Hulet of Fangraphs has just released his Toronto Blue Jays version of his 2014 Top-10 Prospects list. No huge surprises, but let's have a glimpse. He starts the list off with a quick jab to the organization and their trades from this past offseason:
This Top 10 (+5) list is the weakest collection of prospects that Toronto has had in the minors for quite a while now. Most of the talent is in A-ball or Rookie ball with a noticeable lack of depth at the upper levels, thanks to the 2012-13 trades that were supposed to turn the Jays into a winning club.
Numbers 1 and 2 are of little shock; Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman. Some familiar stuff here; Sanchez has #1 stuff, but his delivery is cause for concern, while Stroman looks amazing out there, dummies minor league batters, and could probably have been in the majors this past season, but he's short. Sounds about right.
Mitch Nay popping up at #3 was probably the biggest shocker for me, though it seems as though, based on his rankings that he would clump Nay in to a tier with Roberto Osuna and Daniel Norris. Though he doesn't come right out and say it, it sounds like Nay isn't going to be able to stick at 3B, which is probably a minor issue, given Brett Lawrie's existence, but that problem won't likely arise for a few years.
Speaking of Norris and Osuna, things are starting to get a bit depressing-- Osuna is going to miss this season after having a delayed Tommy John surgery, and Norris is a bit of a wild card, given that he's only had one good half of a season over his 2 years as a pro.
AJ Jimenez at #7 is the last person with any real upside that is close to the bigs, at 23 years old and a likely AAA appearance. Alberto Tirado, DJ Davis, and Matt Smoral are all in the top-10, and are all coming off seasons of rookie-ball, so are pretty far away. Tirado is a possible reliever, due to Stroman-like size issues, but he crushed the Appalachian League this year in a small sample. Davis is kind of like an Anthony Gose guy, with a bunch of tools and nothing really to do with them to this point. Smoral is 6'8'' and left-handed, and is going to get an awful lot of chances to succeed, given his stuff that just hasn't come together yet.
The list rounds out with Sean Nolin, who, Hulet notes, was pointlessly added to the 40-man roster and had an option year burned for the sake of 1.1 IP. Hulet calls Nolin a future No. 4 innings-eater, which has value.
Hulet calls Jairo Labourt and Franklin Baretto the wild cards that should move up in to next year's list.
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