For the skeptics who somehow believe that Alex Anthopolous did not get enough in return for Roy Halladay when he was dealt, and I think that’s a minority of Jays fans, consider this: if it were not for that deal, the Jays would have 0 top 100 prospects on BA’s annual listing – instead of that, they currently have 3 in 2010′s edition. I recommend the list to everyone, and it is available to everyone for free!
Kyle Drabek got the highest ranking of the 3 prospects received in the Doc deals, placing 25th overall. He beat out prospects such as Mike Montgomery and Aaron Crow, but fell behind the likes of Aaron Hicks and Logan Morrison. Personally, neither of those things makes any sense to me, as I easily rank Drabek, Montgomery, and Crow ahead of Morrison and Hicks and have to believe that if a draft were held today for all 5, the 3 I listed would be chosen ahead of the other 2 who placed in the top 20. Montgomery in particular has the ability and mound presence to become one of the best pitchers in MLB in short order.
Brett Wallace made it in at 27th overall. How in the world can he be ranked 7 spots behind Logan Morrison, that’s my biggest question. Morrison hit .277 and had 8 HRs in 289 ABs between HiA and AA in a short season. Wallace hit .293 and had 20 HRs between AA and AAA at the same age. Seems to me that BA got it wrong between the two, and Wallace should have made it to 20, while Morrison should have been knocked back to 27….at a minimum, and should have been behind Mike Montgomery.
Still, the list looks laden with top prospects who’ll make 2010 a great season to watch. The fact that the Jays got 2 in the top 27 rated by BA in the Doc deal shows just how well Alex did in getting these players in return for Doc. For those wondering about whether the Jays should have traded Michael Taylor for Brett Wallace, Taylor came in just a tad behind Wallace in the 29th spot overall. Both had ETAs of mid-2010, but Brett’s bat edged out Micheal’s.
Travis d’Arnaud, the third return from the Doc deal, came in at a very respectable 81st spot, ahead of prospects like Hank Conger (84) and Austin Romine (86), but behind the likes of Tony Sanchez (79) and Tyler Flowers (60). Travis mixes in very well with the other catcher prospects and provides the Jays with another huge impact player for the future at a very key position. I could nit pick at the list in between the first 2 Jays and d’Arnaud, but the truth is that for the most part they all have huge upside and potential, so grading one ahead of the other is very hard to do.
However, I do believe that there are 2 players who could have made it on the top 100 from the Jays anywhere from the 70th to the 100th spot – SP/RP Zach Stewart and C JP Arencibia. Zach in particular made it through 3 levels of the minors in 2009 and could be a #2 starter (as admitted by BA in their profile about him in the Top 10 Jays prospects). JP had a down year due to injuries in 2009, but his power as a catcher profiles within the top 4 C prospects, so if he has sound D he should rank right up there with Travis d’Arnaud and Austin Romine, around the 80s on BA’s list.
I can’t imagine all of the tough decisions, opinions, and changes that happened as they made up their minds as to how to rank these great prospects – it’s no easy task. All of them have a great opportunity to impact the MLB clubs in a very short period of time, and it continues to impress me each year when I see the next wave of great prospects that are coming up the ladder. It’s part of what makes baseball such a great game, it’s just an endless run of great players adding their stamp on a beautiful game.