Toronto Blue Jays prospect Andy Burns. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Extension Candidate: Toronto Blue Jays Minor Leaguers

Every year a hand full of prospects make their much anticipated Major League debut. Last week the Houston Astros called up one such prospect in George Springer. Springer is expected to supply some much needed pop in the Astros line-up for many years to come. The Astros showed how much value they see in Springer by offering him a long-term contract extension before ever swinging at a Major League pitch.  Last September the Astros approached Springer with a seven year $28-30 million dollar contract.

Signing a player with less than a year of Major League experience is a gamble that many small market GM’s are taking. These GM’s are hoping that their production over the first half of the extension will provide greater value than they are being paid; thereby, allowing the team more flexibility and cost certainty.

Will we see a new fade begin to surface of signing players with zero Major League experience as the Astros attempted to do with George Springer? If so which Blue Jay prospect should Alex Anthopoulos sign?

I had a bit of a temper tantrum, normally reserved for grade schoolers, when discussing the topic of Blue Jays position prospects with the staff here at Jays Journal. It went a little like this, “I want the excitement that we Jays fans felt when Brett Lawrie was tearing it up with the 51s in Las Vagas. I want to fell that anticipation of knowing if a regular gets injured that prospect ‘A’ would be called up. I want to hear Jays fans calling for prospect ‘A’ to be called up because they think that prospect ‘A’ would be better than everyday player ‘A’.”

In 2011, I would have signed Brett Lawrie to a contract similar to the one the Astros offered Springer. I can’t think of a positional prospect currently above A-ball that I would even consider make this type of offer to.

Unfortunately, I just don’t see that prospect in triple-A at the moment. I just don’t get excited about Anthony Gose any more. Kevin Pillar might develop into an everyday outfield or a 4th or 5th outfielder, but he doesn’t generate the same exhilaration that one gets when thinking about a ‘Trout’ like prospect or a ‘Profar’ like prospect.  So there are no positional players currently with the Buffalo Bisons that I would consider an extension candidate. So lets move down a level.

Andy Burns (24 years old) is a guy that I think could really make some noise this summer. Burns made an appearance on the Jays Journal 2014 Blue Jays Top Prospects list, coming in at 14. Burns doesn’t really have a ‘true’ position to call his own, but is currently playing third base with the Fisher Cats. Burns doesn’t possess the superstar potential that would warrant a lucrative contract extension without even get a Major League at bat.

Andy Burns home run.

Video Credit:

Which Blue Jays prospect makes you excited? Which position prospect are you hoping will develop into what we are hoping Brett Lawrie will become in 2014?

P.S. this was not meant to bash the Blue Jays farm system. I know that there are many positional prospects to get excited in the lower minors……but I want it now.

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  • Justin Jay

    George Springer 24 MLB player.
    Andy Burns 23 AA player.
    Springer AA .280 BA, 21 HRs, 27 SBs, .377 OBP with even better numbers in AAA.
    Burns AA .235 BA, 8 HR, 13 SBs, .289 OBP thru 79 AA GP. Springer only played 95 games.
    Guys in comparison to Springer and other young studs is unfair for Burns. He’s not of that caliber. He’s not on a Top Prospect list. He’s thrilling to Jays fans but Springer is thrilling to MLB fans.
    So like you said, Burns would have to make it to the MLB level and prove himself there to possibly see any kind of extension like Springer’s. I don’t know if he does. I see him on the Pillar track. He may make it, but as a utility guy if his bat comes around.

    • RyanMueller

      I don’t think that I suggested he should be considered for an extension….I am just think he is the only guy in AAA or AA that I am somewhat excited to see get a chance. You are 100% right that comparing Burns to a guy like Springer is unfair, I would even go so far as saying it would be dumb. I don’t think that Burns has the skills to be a superstar, but if they switch him to 2B he could play everyday for 2-3 years until the Lugo’s and Barreto’s start to fill in the upper minors

      • Justin Jay

        You didn’t. I pointed that out late in my comment, sorry. I like the idea of a position change, but obviously it depends on a couple of factors. 1.) Does he have the range/reaction speed to play 2B? 2.) Will his bat be good enough to get him to The Show?
        I’m hoping to catch a couple of NH games soon. I’m just over an hour away from there.

        • RyanMueller

          I think that he will have the bat to get to the show as a middle infielder. The question remains if he has the bat to keep him in the show. All this talk about the show makes me want to play video games.

          • Justin Jay

            I hope you’re right. He was playing SS last night, so it shows that he is quite versatile and that will probably be key for him. It also sort of answers my “range” question. I’m hoping to see him Tuesday night when I take a trip up there for Deck’s start.

          • RyanMueller

            I remember when alex traded for lawrie there were questions about which position he would play. I wonder if burns has the same issue. He has been at 3rd, 2nd, SS, and I think he has been in the OF also. That is why I refered to him beimg a super utility guy. I have always been a huge fan of those guys…Tony Philips was the s@#t

  • CashGameND

    the only prospects we currently have that would warrant a contract before making it to the majors would be pitchers. Stroman & Sanchez. Right now we don’t have any positional guys that I would call sure fire major league starters, that i’d be willing to give contracts to. In 1-3 years I think we may have 1 or 2 of those, but not yet. Right now AJ Jiminez, Dwight Smith Jr, and Dalton Pompey seem to be our best bets?

    • RyanMueller

      Thank you for agreeing with me. Of the guys you listed, I am most excited to see if Dalton Pompey can continue his development as he gets moved up the minor leagues.