The Arizona Fall League season is over and Toronto Blue Jays prospects had a solid showing in the desert. In particular, two Blue Jays pitching prospects caught the eye of many and turned a few heads in the process.
On Wednesday, MLB.com rewarded the efforts of right-handers Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman among the best in the Arizona Fall League, ranking them 4th and 12th respectively in their annual AFL Prospect Rankings.
Sanchez in particular, drew quite a bit of praise throughout the fall and justified his place atop the team’s prospect rankings with a 2-1 record, a 1.16 ERA, and an 8.18 K/9 ratio over 6 appearances and 23.1 innings pitched for the Salt River Rafters. That performance lead Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo to say the following:
The best starter in the AFL, Sanchez dominated hitters. He has top-of-the-rotation stuff and is ready for a move to the upper levels of Toronto’s system.
The 5’9″ Stroman took on a different role, this time out of the bullpen, but was equally as impressive. In 9 appearances, the flame-throwing righty tossed 11.2 innings out of the Rafters bullpen and accumulated an ERA of 3.09 and a K/9 ratio of 10.03. Outside of a three-walk appearance on October 23rd, Stroman’s ERA would sit at a much prettier 0.90. Still, it didn’t hamper either Callis or Mayo in their respective opinion about him:
Stroman had a solid turn in the Rafters’ bullpen, holding hitters to a .186 batting average and striking out 10.03 per nine, but his future is as a starter. A 2012 first-round Draft pick, he should be able to help Toronto’s rotation at some point next season.
Of particular note in that comment is the fact that Callis and Mayo feel that Stroman is destined for the rotation. That’s music to Blue Jays fans that have been hearing scouts sing their praises of Stroman, but knock him down a peg by saying his size would relegate him to bullpen duty.