Daniel Norris pitches for the Lansing Lugnuts in Lansing, Michigan on August 9, 2013. Mandatory Credit: Jay Blue

Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects Updates: 1-5


Here we are with the final installment of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays top prospects updates. Here is the original list of 2014 top 30 prospects we’re working with.

 

I started it all off with a look at the Honorable Mentions list. These are players that didn’t quite make our list of Top 30 prospects. Ryan Mueller (@MuellerRyan11) gave you the updates on 26-30. Michael Wray (@Wrayzerblade) checked in on 21-25. I gave you the skinny on 16-20.  Ryan gave you the goods on 11-15.

Wrayzer followed up with 6-10 and I am here to bring it all full circle with the top five. This list may give you some insight into why the Blue Jays were willing to part with such a steep package to acquire R.A. Dickey. Here we go:

 

Name: Daniel Norris
Position: LHP
Top Prospect Rank: 5

After starting in Lansing, Norris ended 2013 in Dunedin.  Norris returned this season with a vengeance. His ERA (0.80)  is sparkling! Yet, what stands out for me is the SO/W ratio. He is 4/1 in that department. While he may be a key factor as to why Dunedin is dominating this season, I think it might be time for him to say goodbye to the Baby Jays. He’s only given up 4 earned runs in his 9 starts. There is no reason to think he shouldn’t be promoted, and soon. The 21 year old appears ready. Why hold him at a level that is not providing him with a challenge? He’s clearly showing he is ready to proceed. He may even be ready to move up the depth chart ahead of Aaron Sanchez. More on him in a bit.

Year Age Tm Lg Lev W L W-L% ERA G GS SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WP BF WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2014 21 Dunedin FLOR A+ 3 0 1.000 0.80 9 9 0 45.0 32 6 4 0 13 52 0 6 178 1.000 6.4 0.0 2.6 10.4 4.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/26/2014.

 

Name: Sean Nolin
Position: LHP
Top Prospect Rank: 4

Sean made his way from New Hampshire (AA) to Buffalo (AAA) last season with a brief stint with the big league club. He made one start, but did not last long; 1/3 innings (6 runs) against the Orioles.

He was quickly sent back down. So far this season, in Buffalo, Nolin has been good. In 40 innings, he’s only allowed 12 earned runs. He’s striking out almost double the number he’s walking. If the Blue Jays are going to think about promoting him further, he is going to have to figure out how to bring down his BB/9 number. If he does, it would be nice if he could pass it on to Kyle Drabek and Ricky Romero while he’s at it.  Considering the way the major league rotation is looking right now, Nolin may have some time to figure things out. Having said that, though, he may be an injury or two away from getting some consideration…some.
Year Age AgeDif Tm Lev W L W-L% ERA G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WP BF WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2014 24 -3.0 Buffalo AAA 2 2 .500 2.70 7 7 0 0 40.0 35 13 12 1 16 34 1 2 172 1.275 7.9 0.2 3.6 7.6 2.13
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/26/2014.

 

 

Name: Roberto Osuna
Position: RHP
Top Prospect Rank: 3

Osuna paid a visit to good old Tommy John and has spent 2013 recovering from the surgery. In late March, he started throwing side sessions. To wit:

 

  Then, at the beginning of May he gave us this:  

 

If you are like me, you are looking forward to seeing how this 19 year old recovers from Tommy John surgery. I have been anticipating a look at what got the Blue Jays excited enough to sign a 17 year old. Hopefully, his recovery goes well.

 

Name: Marcus Stroman
Position: RHP
Top Prospect Rank: 2

The #StroShow has captivated Blue Jays fans this season. Fans were chomping at the bit to get a look at this kid in a Blue Jays uniform. They were not disappointed. By that, I mean they got what they wanted: a look. That would be probably where the pleasant-ness ended. His MLB performance was not exactly the show we’d hoped for.

Year Age W L W-L% ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP WP BF ERA+ FIP WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2014 23 1 0 1.000 12.79 5 0 6.1 13 10 9 1 1 4 1 1 34 34 4.78 2.211 18.5 1.4 1.4 5.7 4.00
1 Yr 1 0 1.000 12.79 5 0 6.1 13 10 9 1 1 4 1 1 34 34 4.78 2.211 18.5 1.4 1.4 5.7 4.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/26/2014.

The Blue Jays’ decision to bring him up and put him in the bullpen has its merits and precedence. The Tampa Bay Rays did it with David Price. It’s been done many times. However, the decision has also had many skeptics. Regardless, #StroShow was sent back to Buffalo. Many think it may have been to get him stretched out in order to take a spot in the rotation. Considering how many hits (10) he gave up in just over 6 innings, it may be more than stretching him out.

Yet, here’s what he’s done before and after his MLB callup:

Year Age Tm Lev W L W-L% ERA G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BF WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2014 23 Buffalo AAA 2 4 .333 3.03 7 7 1 0 35.2 32 14 12 1 9 0 45 2 146 1.150 8.1 0.3 2.3 11.4 5.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/26/2014.

His strikeout numbers are pretty good. His K/BB ratio is 5! The only thing is that he’s not really putting up the numbers consistently. He’ll go hot and cold from start to start. If you’re thinking along with the Blue Jays, these numbers may not even matter. If a starter goes down, Stroman could be up regardless of his performance.

 

Name: Aaron Sanchez
Position: RHP
Top Prospect Rank: 1

If a new list of top prospects were to be done up today, the top spot may not actually go to Sanchez. The 21 year old seems to have hit a wall in New Hampshire. Granted, it is early in the season. In 11 starts, Sanchez has allowed 34 walks! Combined with 34 hits, his WHIP sits at 1.407.

Year Age Tm Lev W L W-L% ERA G GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP BK WP BF WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 SO/W
2014 21 New Hampshire AA 1 3 .250 3.54 11 11 0 0 48.1 34 25 19 2 34 1 41 7 1 1 213 1.407 6.3 0.4 6.3 7.6 1.21
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/26/2014.

While other members of the top 5 are looking at possible promotions, Sanchez is going to make some adjustments if he’s going to get his. He’s not showing that AA is too easy for him this season. For Blue Jays fans, this might be a disappointment. When R.A. Dickey came over, Sanchez was the one left of the Lansing 3. Noah Syndergaard went to the Mets for Dickey and Justin Nicolino went to the Marlins in the blockbuster deal for Reyes et al.

Apparently, of the three, Sanchez was the only one who was deemed “untouchable”. Yet, so far this season, it would appear he is very touchable. Double A hitters have been touching him up for 1.4 walks/hits per inning.

 

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Tags: 2014 Top Prospects Aaron Sanchez Daniel Norris Marcus Stroman Roberto Osuna Sean Nolin Toronto Blue Jays

  • Delabar’s Weighted Balls

    Don’t know how Osuna can be ranked higher than Norris… It’ll be a few years before he (potentially) reaches where Norris is at right now… I have Norris at #3

    • Andrew van Laar

      Its not where they are at now, its where they can be. The potential and domination Osuna showed against Lower level batters was great. Remember, Norris had some pretty bad years the last while. I am really glad he’s turned it on this year though :)

      • Delabar’s Weighted Balls

        I hear you. I was pretty high on Osuna before the TJ as well, his success as a 16 or 17 yr old is unheard of. At the same time, there are reports that conditioning for him is a concern, so how he bounces back is questionable (although we’re all hoping for the best). I look at it from Value perspective. Who would you prefer the Jays trade/hang on to right now? I would prefer we trade Osuna for Player Y than Norris right now, all things considered… Also think Nolin is ranked too high as someone who POSSIBLY might contribute oneday & Stilson way too low, as someone who is almost guaranteed to be a big-time arm out of the ‘pen for years to come… would rather hang on to him. I think rankings would be better if they were looked at from the perspective of “expected career WAR” among other considerations…

        • http://jaysjournal.com/ Michael Wray

          We did the original rankings back in October, without a doubt Norris is the Jays third best prospect right now. We were a bit unsure how far to drop Osuna (who we ranked #2 in 2013) and Norris didn’t start to put things together until the second half last year, which seemed to hurt his stock just a bit. We probably should have had him ahead of Nolin but Sean had an incredible year in 2013 and even if his ceiling is a back-end starter that is more valuable in the long run than a bullpen arm. We also had five guys contribute to the rankings so we found everyone has a different philosophy (ie. ranking high potential/high risk players against lower potential/lower risk players). It’s tough to decide who has a better chance of panning out and as is the nature with these rankings they will always be up for debate.

          • Delabar’s Weighted Balls

            True, true. Everyone will have their own perspectives!

  • Jensan

    Norris. has been consistent since last late July, and has matured tremendously over the winter. Trade Sanchez or Stroman and Nay and Brad Glenn or Pillar throw in a reliever Sikula for Cubs SP.
    SP in the minors you have Stroman, Nolin, McGuire, Norris, Smoral, plus two picks for the draft. Pompey , Dean

    • Andrew van Laar

      Are you suggesting we trade the whole farm system for the Shark?

      • http://www.jaysjournal.com Shaun Doyle

        I’m not sold that The Shark is the player that gets a team over the hump. Pass.

    • RyanMueller

      Jensan,
      I wouldn’t put Glenn in the same tier as Gose and Pillar just yet. I would still have Darin the Master ahead of Glenn. Also I would would like to hold on to as many of our positional prospects as possible, since we have sooooo few of them.
      Thanks for the comment

  • Jensan

    Trade one of Sanchez or Stroman, Nay and Glenn or Pillar. 1 A , Nay is a B player and Glenn or Pillar is major league ready , Chicago requires outfielders

    • http://www.jaysjournal.com Shaun Doyle

      For whom?