The deals made by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2012 off-season saw many of our top prospects change organizations and it was the loss of these top prospects that got the lions share of media and fan attention. Since I am not one to beat a dead horse, I am not going to waste time going over those guys. I would, however, like to check in on a guy that was, at the time, considered by many as a throw-in. I use the term ‘throw-in’ very cautiously, since I don’t think anyone under 25 yrs old should be termed ‘throw-in’ because they have a tendancy of coming back and biting you in the rear end. To me a throw-in would be player that is sitting at the end of your bench that only see the field once a week….that is a throw in. So without further ado I present to you……Anthony Desclafani the throw-in from the Miami Marlins Blockbuster.
Originally selected in the 22nd round of the 2008 draft by the no good Boston Red Sox, Desclafani was a smart kid, didn’t sign and went to Florida University. He re-entered the draft in 2011 and selected in the 6th round by Toronto. Desclafani’s first and only minor league season spent in Toronto’s system produced excellent results. Using a live 90-95 mph fastball, a decent slider, and a changeup described as ‘a work in progress’ Desclafani had a record of 11-3 with 25/92 (BB/K) over 123 innings while pitching for Lansing in 2011. It looked as though the Toronto scouting staff pulled a rabbit out of a hat with Desclafani.
Anthony Desclafani was part of the Miami Marlins blockbuster that was expected to transform the Toronto Blue Jays into World Series contenders. Even with his impressive 2012 numbers he was not considered in the same class as Aaron Sanhez, Justin Nicolino, and Noah Syndergaard. He barely made it on to Bluebird Banter’s 2012 Top 50 organizational prospects, checking in at #43 (Jays Journal didn’t do a list in 2012*). Fast forward to 2014, Anthony Desclafani is now considered Miami Marlins 7th best prospect. Let that soak in for a few seconds. This is not Miami’s 7th best pitching prospect, no no no. That is Miami’s 7th best prospect period. After dominating in his 12 starts at A+ ball, his was promoted to AA Jacksonville Suns were he continued his impress season. After a mid-season promotion to Jacksonville, Desclafani’s was able to continue putting up solid BB/K numbers, but did see a slight jump in HR/9.
Desclafani should start the 2014 season back in Jacksonville, but this writer would not be surprised to see him promoted New Orleans if he starts off strong. He will turn 24 in April and will have to put up solid numbers in 2014 if he wants to be seriously considered as a starter. It would not be too presumptuous to expect to see Desclafani make his Major League debut in 2014 as a reliever since he projects to be more of a middle innings reliever. The main knock against Desclafani and why he ceiling is 4th or 5th starter is the lack of FB command, so-so secondary pitches, and no ‘out pitch’. If he continues to put up FIP’s of 2.70 and continues to demonstrate maturity, professionalism, and commitment in 2014 then 2015 would be a more realistic prediction.
Good Luck in 2014 Anthony Desclafani.
*Editor’s Note: We did a top prospects list in 2012, I just can’t find it. MW