Less than one week after ESPN’s Keith Law released his Top 100 Prospects, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus published his Top 101 list this morning at 3 a.m. ET.
Shortly after the list went live, Goldstein hung around on Twitter and answered questions until just before 4 a.m. I was still wide awake and working at that time, so I plucked the Jays-related questions and have included the screen caps of them below.
He also hosted an official live chat on the BP website earlier this afternoon at 1 p.m., though there were less Jays questions there than during his early Twitter Q & A this morning. With the live chat well in the books, I opted to consolidate all of the Blue Jays bits from the Top 101 Prospects into one convenient article.
Unsurprisingly, the highest-ranked Jays prospect was catcher Travis d’Arnaud at No. 16, just under Tigers pitcher Jacob Turner and ahead of Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor. I tried asking Goldstein what specifically earned d’Arnaud a higher ranking in his eyes over two other standout catching prospects, Devin Mesoraco (No. 24) and Yasmani Grandal (No. 38), though the question went unanswered, likely because of the 100-plus questions he probably received in just under an hour.
D’Arnaud was the second-highest catcher on the list only to Mariners slugger Jesus Montero, and given the holes in Montero’s defensive game (mentioned in the pictured question to the right), it’s safe to say that d’Arnaud is considered the top all-around catching prospect in baseball right now. Not bad for who some considered the throw-in portion of the Halladay deal, no?
The next Jays prospect up on the list was center fielder Jake Marisnick at No. 28, making Goldstein the latest to rank him higher than Anthony Gose. Marisnick was ranked the seventh-highest outfielder on the list, behind obvious guys like Bryce Harper and Mike Trout but other notable names like Gary Brown and Wil Myers. Even though Royals outfield prospect Bubba Starling ranked just one spot above Marisnick at No. 27, I thought it was a bit odd that he was higher considering Goldstein called Starling risky and “sushi-level raw”.
Up next on the list at No. 54 was the Jays’ standout second-round pick from the 2011 draft, left-handed pitcher Daniel Norris. While I’m just as high on Norris as anyone else, I did think it was interesting that Goldstein ranked him the highest out of all of the Jays’ pitching prospects, and even more so given the omission of both Drew Hutchison and Aaron Sanchez. I tried asking Goldstein in the Twitter Q & A–from three different accounts–why Hutchison was left off of the list, but the right-hander was never brought up in both the improvised Q & A or the BP live chat.
Next up on the list at No. 68 was Anthony Gose, sandwiched between Pirates outfield prospects Starling Marte at No. 56 and Robbie Grossman at No. 76. When asked in the live chat who would be a good MLB comparison for Gose, Goldstein replied with a familiar player to Jays fans: Devon White. White hit .270 with a .327 on-base percentage in his five years with the Jays, averaging 31 doubles, seven triples and 14 home runs per season with five consecutive Gold Gloves, so it’s an astute comparison for Gose especially when you look at White’s stolen base and strikeout totals with the Jays as well.
Rounding out the Jays contingent on the list at No. 93 was big right-hander Noah Syndergaard, who, in the Twitter Q & A, Goldstein wound up saying could become a top 40 prospect next year.
Below are some miscellaneous Jays tidbits from the live chat on the left and the Twitter Q & A on the right, touching on Tyler Beede, Deck McGuire and Adeiny Hechavarria‘s MLB slash line, among other things.
Jake (GR): If Kipnis was eligible where do you think you would put him on the list?
KG: Lots of questions like this for Kipnis, Lawrie, etc. They’re very hard to answer because I’m basically missing what would have been their minor league data and scouting reports from their time in the big leagues.
KG: If I was convinced Marisnick would surpass him, wouldn’t I have ranked him higher?
Stacy (Vancouver): I’m very new to following prospects in baseball. Are there any players I should be keeping my eye on this summer from the Vancouver Canadians?
KG: You’ll probably see some of the 2010 draftees, especially Daniel Norris from the Top 101, but mostly it will be 2012 draftees that we don’t know.
Sally (Seattle): Why are you so high on Travis D’Arnaud? His caught stealing rate is average and he doesn’t do a good job of controlling the strike zone.
KG: Great. Now tell me all the things he does well.