Well regarded scouting platform Baseball America recently released their annual list of the top 10 prospects in the Blue Jays organization. The vast majority of the BA website is behind a paywall, but there are some few free treasures on there for the non-subscriber and this is one of them. The list holds relatively few surprises, but speaks very positively about the state of the farm system and the future of the Blue Jays organization. Remember though, placement on this list is no guarantee of immediate or future success. Let the man pictured below be a testament to that….
Headlining the list are up-the-middle talents Travis D'Arnaud and Anthony Gose. D'Arnaud has an argument as being the best catcher in baseball who has not yet reached the majors and the same can be said for Gose and center field. Their inclusion at the top of this list (and many others you will see this offseason) has seemed to be almost a given since the conclusion of the 2011 season. After these two blue chip talents though, the true depth of the Jays' farm system is proudly on display.
Seven of the remaining eight players on the list are pitchers, and there are some very good ones on there. Most followers of the game are surely familiar with the acronym TINSTAAPP, or "there is no such thing as a pitching prospect", but with a crop of starters this deep, the organization figures to see some value at the major league level from at least a few. The list includes talents with incredible ceilings – Noah Syndergaard and Justin Nicolino, near major league readiness – Deck McGuire, and somewhat of a combination of both – Andrew Hutchison. If several of these pitchers do not make an impact on the major league level at some point in the next couple of years, it will be a colossal disappointment. This embarrassment of riches could also be used to secure an elite starting pitcher already in the show.
Rounding out the list (atop all of the pitchers, at number three) is outfielder Jake Marisnick. His inclusion above all of the starters is a bit curious, but where to slot him in between all of them may have been even more confusing. Marisnick is a big guy at 6'4/200, and at only 20 years old he shows the kind of the power that would be expected to accompany that frame. Marisnick also has impressive speed, stealing 37 bases in A-ball last year with an 82% success rate. He blew away the competition at that level last year with a .892 OPS and figures to spend the year at Double-A in 2012.
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