After running through the 2012 draft picks and attempting to predict where the signed players may land in 2013, I thought it would be interesting to quickly buzz through the 2011 draft picks to see how they are getting on. I’ve got a few reasons for this. One, spring training has sprung, but the Jays really have very few questions to answer in the next month or two. After following up a 2012 Grapefruit League 24-7 record with a 73 win season I really don’t give a crap how they do this spring. Two, the earlier signing dates only kicked in for 2012 so many ’11 picks actually didn’t see any pro action until this past season. Finally, I’m just curious to see how these kids are getting on. As pundits such as Marc Hulet have noted, the Jays recent trend of drafting athletes with high ceilings hasn’t really borne fruit thus far.
Thanks to the commenters who made suggestions after my 2012 series finished up. The main theme being that it tended to drag on a bit, especially as I made it a mission to delve into the potential college careers of those that got away. Well, the constructive criticism has been taken on board and I’ll be glossing over the 2011 unsigned picks……except for……this guy:
Tyler Beede – 1st Round – 21 Overall – Unsigned – Three things regarding Tyler before we move on: 1) The compensation pick the Jays received for Beede going to college turned into Marcus Stroman. Despite his PED ban, Stroman will be in the bigs long before Beede ever is, if ever, based on his college statistics (I know it’s only been one season, but he wasn’t great) 2) Point two sorta got covered within the run on sentence that was point 1….just that, he had a poor freshman year. And 3) He’s also a rapper??! That is odd.
Jacob Anderson – Compensation Round – 35 Overall – $990,000 – another trick to keep this series moving will to defer to Colleague Kyle for scouting reports if any players on my list correspond with his off-season prospect breakdown. Anderson is the first of the ’11 picks to appear, coming in at number 18, which was quite disappointing as Kyle mentions. Another down year, especially one that doesn’t see him improve vastly on his strike out number, will see Anderson join some of the other recent Jays outfield draftees in the disappointment bin. Bluefield will be his starting point in 2013, but here is hoping he gets to Vancouver in a hurry.
Joseph Musgrove – Compensation Round – 45 Overall – $500,000 – Traded to Houston as part of the J.A. Happ package, Musgrove’s counting stats took a bit of a hit after moving from Bluefield to Greeneville in the Appy League. However, aside from his Walk rate his peripherals were still pretty good, and his BABIP took quite the hit. Either way, the sample size is nothing to go on. John Sickels has him as a C+ prospect outside of the Astros top 22 in his 2013 ratings so doesn’t sound like the Jays gave up a future stud.
Dwight Smith Jr – Compensation Round – 53 Overall – $800,000 – Dwight made both Colleague Kyle’s list at number 19 and my breakdown of left fielders over at my Vancouver Canadians blog, so could probably leave it at that. Both of us had him returning to the Northwest League after extended spring training which makes sense considering the glut of outfielders (potentially) in Lansing
Kevin Comer – Compensation Round – 57 Overall – $1,650,000 – Kevin was the PTBNL in the Happ trade, which set me off on a bit of a rant back in September. I just couldn’t understand why the Jays were so keen to draft this guy so high, pay him well over slot, and then cut him loose at the first opportunity. Especially when the pick itself was a stretch according to most scouts. Ah well, suppose I should get over it, considering the 2011 draft didn’t have the bonus pool restrictions teams are now faced with. If Anthony Alford never plays a full season of baseball then I’ll really rant. Comer’s numbers weren’t great with either team, although hard to read too much into them with such a small sample size. He did give up six long balls in limited innings which may be worth keeping an eye on. Sickels had him even lower than Musgrove.
Daniel Norris – 2nd Round – 74 Overall – $2,000,000 – ahhhh, Daniel, we wanted to love you so much. All that money, all those scouts salivating over your mid 90s fastball and potential plus curveball, and left-handed to boot. What was not to love? Well, after asking where you were since day 1 of my Vancouver Canadians blog, the performance when you finally arrived was, well, a bit meh. Still, the peripherals were actually alright. A reasonable K/9 ratio and a gross (hopefully brought on by bad rookie level defending) BABIP made for decent FIPs in the wake of some terrible ERAs. Both Sickels and Hulet still rank him pretty highly, so there is still hope. Most have him beginning his first full season with Lansing, but I would not be surprised if he was held back in extended spring training, to work on his breaking stuff, before being given another turn in the Northwest League. A promotion to Lansing would (hopefully) soon follow.
Jeremy Gabrszwski- 2nd Round – 78 Overall – $575,000 – Too be honest, I can’t find much written about Jeremy post mid-summer 2012 so I can’t really get much scouting on his Appy League season aside from the numbers. Which were alright. His K ratio dropped a bit, but he is a big kid with room to fill out. So that may improve as he matures. The other number that stands out is fact he only walked four in fourty-six innings pitched. Which made his high (relatively) FIP hard to understand, but he did give up five home runs. Still, think he pitched well enough to start out 2013 in Vancouver. Where he goes from there depends on how many bats he misses.
John Stilson – 3rd Round – 108 Overall – $500,000 – Colleague Kyle provides an excellent breakdown of Stilson’s season, pitches, and projection when he came in at 15 in the top prospects series. The most advanced member of the 2011 draft (thus far), the big questions surrounding Big John are the durability concerns and role on the pitching staff. I don’t think we’ll get any concrete answers until midway through New Hampshire’s season when the Jays staff either pull the plug on the starting gig or are happy with his progress and we possibly see a promotion to Buffalo.
Thomas Robson – 4th Round – 139 Overall – $320,000 – The highest drafted Canadian in 2011, Robson signed late and only made his pro debut this past season. It was a short one, as after three starts, an elbow strain sent him back to Dunedin for rehab. Question three on this article break down his pitches and velocity while the rest provide some background. I haven’t found any further reports on his injury status so will presume he is at spring training. I’m hoping, as a local boy, he gets the opening day start for the C’s, but think his lack of innings will see him back in Bluefield to start.
Andrew Chin – 5th Round – 169 Overall – Unsigned – Andrew, I’m not even going to bother checking which college you spurned the Jays for……….ah crap, I have to….Boston College. Good luck Andy.