If you have yet to see the Top 50 Prospects list put out by MLB.com for 2011, you can get access to it here. As most of you already know, the Jays have improved the quality of their prospects a ton over the last 2 years and are about to get the pay off very soon. The fact that they have 4 of their prospects within the top 60 indicates just how much Jays fans have to look forward in 2011 and 2012. In 2010, the Jays had only 2 prospects within the top 50, Kyle Drabek at #16 and Brett Wallace at #17, both acquired in the Roy Halladay trade. This season, the Jays prospects who made the list are as follows:
- #12 – Kyle Drabek – You can access his video here. He moved up the rankings 4 spots from 2010 and will definitely not be eligible for this list in 2012. Jays fans are holding their collective breaths that he’ll become as dominant as he should be with his stuff. Whatever happens from here on out, at least Jays fans will know that the Jays got one of the very best pitching prospects in the majors when they dealt their ace to Philadelphia.
- #28 – Brett Lawrie – You can access his video here. He moved down the rankings 2 spots from 2010, although I’m puzzled as to why he moved down some. It could be the lack of HRs, but I can easily identify 4-5 guys he should be ahead of in their rankings. Either way, he’s well within the top prospects and will likely make The Show at some point in 2011.
- #48 – J. P. Arencibia – You can access his video here. He’s a new addition to the top 50 rankings from year-to-year and is the only one of the 3 Jays prospects on the top 50 drafted by the Jays. Finally, J. P. is getting some of the recognition he deserves and will likely be a pro all of 2011, so I guess it’s better late than never!
- #59 – Adeiny Hechavarria – There is no video for Adeiny’s ranking since he was included as part of the “Just missed the cut” Rankings. This rankings shows that Jays fans who still believe he will be an impact SS for the Jays in the very near future are not alone in thinking this way. The “experts” agree and rightfully so. Let’s give this kid a chance to show what he’s got!
When you consider that there are 30 teams in MLB and the Jays have 4 of the top 60 prospects, you get a sense that the Jays are set up to make a pretty decent improvement in 2011 and 2012. However, what this list doesn’t tell you is which Jays prospects are likely to make the 2012 Top 50 Prospects list, so I thought I’d give it a shot and see if they make the cut in 2012.
- Top 50 2012 – Anthony Gose – He’s about to make the leap to AA, the level where scouts and experts finally start believing in your skills if your performance matches. He’ll be playing the entire season in AA at 20 and will dominate with his plus-plus speed and developing power.
- Top 50 2012 – William McGuire – The Jays will push Deck hard as he is already a fairly polished pitcher. With his repertoire of pitches and stuff, there’s no doubt that he could be one of the top 50 prospects once 2011 is in the books.
- Top 50 2012 – Asher Wojciechowski – The hulking 22 year old is within the same realm as Deck as he is also very polished and should dominate in LoA and/or HiA.
- Top 50 2012 – Travis d’Arnaud – The Jays didn’t benefit from a full minors season of d’Arnaud in 2010, but a full healthy 2011 should land him in the Willin Rosario range of 41st or so in 2012′s ranking. He’s got the defensive skills, will prove his bat is improved in AA, and will likely push for a spot on the Jays roster by the middle of 2012.
Aside from Kyle Drabek and J. P. Arencibia, there is no guarantee that the others on this year’s top 60 list will make the Jays at any point in 2011. They very well could still be eligible for this ranking in 2012 as a result. If that were to happen, the Jays prospects would dominate that list in the same way that the Royals prospects dominated this year’s list with 6 in total.
Those with outside shots of making the 2012 ranking if they truly come out like gangbusters include:
It’s always fun to see what people think of your team’s prospects, but being a prospect and making an impact in the big leagues are 2 very different things, just ask Travis Snider – one of the most hyped former Jays prospects of this era. That means that even with all of these very prominent prospects on board, Alex Anthopolous can never rest and believe that he has all that he needs to compete in the AL East. If the Jays can develop 6-7 of the players listed above into average to above-average Major League players, it will likely outpace other MLB clubs in player production numbers. So, it’s nice to dream, but there’s still a need for a lot of things to fall into place before we can say that the Jays are ready to sustain 90+ win seasons.
Still, the Jays are obviously headed in the right direction under Alex Anthopolous!