The Alex Anthopoulos Effect

When Alex Anthopoulos took over the reigns from J.P. Ricciardi, the Jays system was a mess. The Jays minors system had been ranked 28th by Baseball America, the draft had left many of the Jays highest picks unsigned (something which showed a total lack of preparation and was described by many to be a disaster), and Alex had little to show for all of the international scouting the Jays did. Part of that was due to the fact that the Jays spent more money chasing FAs than they did chasing young international talent that had been highly rated, and part of it was due to a lack of thorough scouting outside of the U.S.

Well, talk about how fast things can change….under Alex Anthopoulos control.

Fast-forward to today and you see an entirely different picture. The Jays have taken on 3 highly rated international FAs, including 2 that broke records for the team’s spending in that market (Cardona and Hechavarria), and spent a ton of money on strengthening the scouting department. They let the right people leave, and brought in FAs that garnered the Jays more picks to work with in the draft. Simultaneously, they traded away the best pitcher in franchise history for 3 extremely valuable prospects, and recently traded another highly ranked pitcher for yet another top prospect.

The result? Well, if Bob Elliott is correct, the Jays will be ranked as having the 4th highest rated system in all of baseball by Baseball America. That is what he is advertising on Twitter.

To jump up the rankings 24 spots in 13 months the way the Jays have is simply put – incredible!

Not only do they now have the 4th highest rated prospect system, but they’re already highly competitive due to many of the moves he has made. Remember, the systems ranking doesn’t include the additions of guys like Brandon Morrow, Yunel Escobar, and Rajai Davis – guys who cost the Jays a ton of minor league talent. Let’s see, the guys mentioned above cost the Jays Johermyn Chavez (ranked 7th in the Mariners system), Trystan Magnuson(made the A’s top 30), Daniel Farquhar (also made the A’s top 30), and Tim Collins. Taking those losses into consideration only makes the work done by Alex Anthopoulos and his staff more impressive than it already is.

Make no mistake about it, this massive and monumental shift in system rating for the Jays is entirely due to the guidance and vision provided by Alex Anthopoulos, and also the fact that Jays ownership has allowed him to lead as he has with 100% support.

The Alex Anthopolous effect is already taking hold and is set to take the Toronto Blue Jays to a new level. This Baseball America ranking is the first piece of evidence of just how much of an impact he has had.

As you can see from the Jays Journal prospect rankings #50-39, the Jays are loaded to the brim in pitching talent. I’m not even sure how they’re going to find spots for all of those pitchers in the affiliates. When you have a rotation as talented as Noah Syndergaard - Mitchell Taylor - Justin NicolinoDeivy Estrada and Nicholas Purdy set to be your starting 5 in the GCL, you see just how much talent the franchise has in the depths of the minors.

It won’t be long before the Jays get to reap the rewards of such a ranking at the MLB level. Sit back, keep watching the top prospects role in under AA, and enjoy the show that will become an AL East championship team in Toronto very soon.

You have to love this ranking and what it means to the Jays and their fans. I’m not sure where they’ll rank the other AL East teams, but I’m sure the Jays will be leading all of MLB soon if AA keeps working as hard and well as he has during his first season at the helm.

It just goes to show you what solid and vision-filled leadership can do for a franchise.

Wonders, that’s what.

- MG

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