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 (as an update, bit of a shock yesterday with Ricky Romero being optioned to High A to work on his mechanics. Good move, keeps him warm and close to team’s facility. Hopefully he’ll be back up soon).
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. Also, as noted in Round One of this exercise, if any of the players drafted also have made Colleague Kyle’s top 30 prospect breakdown, I’ll be deferring to him for any scouting breakdown.
This was due to be the final round, where our heroes drew from whatever testicular fortitude they had remaining to rise to the top. However, I split up the last round, to give us one final piece of the puzzle. Still, these guys have a lot to give.
A quick aside, the signing bonus information for the latter rounds is often guesswork, I’ve substituted in the players positions instead of searching for bonus figures.
Kramer Champlin – 33rd Round – 1009 Overall – RHP - At 6’6″ and 200 pounds Kramer would normally scream projectability.
However, Champlin is 23, so not sure how much he will grow. As per this (very) brief scouting report, his fastball currently sits mid-80s. That and his ‘big breaking slurve’ were good enough for a nice 9.85 K/9 ratio with Lansing last year, but you have to think that he’ll need to add a few more ticks to his fastball to be a viable bullpen option as he moves up the ladder. I reckon his good year in the Midwest League will earn him a promotion to Dunedin, but if he struggles, that could be as far as he travels.
Aaron Munoz – 34th Round – 1039 Overall – C – Starting the season as Carlos Perez‘ backup in Lansing, Munoz took over the everyday(ish) duties after Perez was dealt to Houston in the Happ deal. Most of the stuff I have read about Aaron mentions ‘defensive catcher’. Which reads, you’d better throw guys out as you can’t hit. And the numbers confirm it. Munoz threw out 38% of potential base stealers this past season while only putting up a slash line of .223/.304/.259. I would have to do a proper study of the Jays catching depth to make an ‘educated’ guess of where he’ll land in 2013. For now, let’s just throw Aaron at the Dunedin wall and hope he sticks.
Jerrick Suiter – 35th Round – 1069 Overall – LHP - I wish Jerrick had signed just for the name, but alas, the rather large (6’4″, 240) pitcher/outfielder decided to attend TCU and play for the world famous Horned Frogs.
Andrew Sikula – 36th Round – 1099 Overall – LHP – Sikula doesn’t really strike you as a closer. He’s a bit on the smallish side (if you consider 6’1″ 195 small) and doesn’t really overpower hitters. He only struck out 7.6 per 9 last year. He does have decent control though, with a 3.10 K/BB ratio, and his LOB% in his first two seasons has been excellent. After leading the C’s in games finished last year, he’ll be given the opportunity to pitch in high leverage spots for the Lugnuts this year. Possibly even close with Ajay Meyer getting promoted.
Les Williams – 37th Round – 1129 Overall – LHP – The product of Northeastern U., Williams has had two consistent, if non-descript seasons with Bluefield. Without going into specifics, all his stats are average at best. Having only made 30 appearances over the two seasons with right around two innings per appearance it’s hard to see where Les goes from here. He is a hometown Toronto boy, so am willing to bet he gets another season in the organization, more than likely as CanCon in Vancouver.
Nico Taylor – 38th Round – 1159 Overall – OF – a member of the Kevin Pillar Sleeper Prospect List sleeper prospect list, Nico needs to have a bit of a bounceback season in 2013 after seeing all his numbers go the wrong way in ’12. I’m really digging deep trying to look for positives, but nothing jumps out. He did increase his stolen base total, but at 6’4″ 215, I’m guessing speed isn’t his primary tool. The most worrisome drops were his ISO from .187 to .085 and BB% from 13.9 to 7.2. A big corner outfield with limited power does not make for a long career. Hopefully Nico finds his power stroke this year, possibly at the Nat in Vancouver.