Out of the Top 50 Jays Prospects (for now): Ryan Goins and Casey Lawrence


There are prospects in the Jays system that deserve coverage  even though they didn’t make our top 50 list pre-2011. Most of these players are players that we foresee as possibly making the top 50 list in either mid-2011 or 2012. We continue the 25 extra prospect profiles with a very talented and determined middle infielder, as well as the pitcher who led all Auburn starters in most statistical categories in 2010…

Out of the Top 50 Jays Prospects: Ryan M. Goins

Short-Stop / 23 years old / 5’10” 170 lbs


Born: February 13th, 1988 in Round Rock, Texas

Bats: Left   Throws: Right

High School Team: Stony Point (Texas)

College: Dallas Baptist University

Drafted: by the Jays in the 4th rd of the 2009 draft

Signed: as a non-drafted FA by the Jays out of Albright College June 15th, 2010 by Aaron Jersild

Quick Facts:

  • Made the NYP mid-season all-star team in 2010.
  • Also pitched in College, going 3-1 with a 5.40 ERA, 19 BB, 27 SO, 35 hits, and a 1.62 whip in 8 starts with Dallas Baptist in 2008.
  • His hitting stats in College in 2008 were 207 ABs, 74 hits, 14 DB, 3 TR, 10 HRs, 17 BB, 41 SO, and a .357/.404/.599 line.

Jersey: Wears #31 for the Dunedin Blue Jays


Jesse Goldberg-Strassler provides us with an interview with Ryan Goins here, and also with an interview with Sal Fasano where the now ex-Lugnuts manager praises Goins and his potential here.

Ryan Goins is not going to power his way onto any MLB team or through its minors system, but he had shown more power in college than he has shown thus far within the Jays minors system. What he may do to get to The Show, however, is to continue to improve his hitting a defensive abilities to the point where he becomes a good utility player. Goins has good range despite lacking speed and a tremendous plus-plus arm that could allow him to play 2B, SS, or 3B effectively (although 2B may be his landing spot). He also gets on base at a very good rate, although he did struggle during his initial taste of HiA ball in 2010 (.251 OBP).

If Goins is going to make it past the AA level it’s going to be because he proves capable of playing multiple positions and can continue to get on base at an above-average rate (as he did in LoA in 2010). There is a small chance that Goins could develop more gap power and surprise if he can add a little muscle. If he does that, he could develop into a good bench option in the style of John McDonald with a better OBP and average. To hope for anything more than that may be aiming a little too high at this point.

Expected 2011 Team: HiA Dunedin

Top 50 Range if he makes the list in 2012: #40-50

Chances of making it into the Top 50 in 2012: 75%

Out of the Top 50 Jays Prospects: Casey Lee Lawrence

Right-Handed Pitcher / 23 years old / 6’2″ 170 lbs

Born: October 28th 1987 in McSherrystown Pennsylvania

Bats: Right   Throws: Right

High School Team: Delone Catholic

College: Albright College

Drafted: NA

Signed: by the Toronto Blue Jays as a non-drafted free agent out of Albright College, June 15 2010.

Quick Facts:

  • Wore #3 in College and majored in Business Marketing.
  • His favorite sport aside from baseball in Golf, his favorite team growing up was the NYY and his favorite player was Derek Jeter.
  • His favorite movie was The Hangover, loves candy, and his favorite artist in Lil’ Wayne.
  • Made the 1st team All-Conference once in his College career, and the 2nd team once.
  • Names his uncle, Dave Lawrence, as one of the major influences on his progression at a young age.
  • During his last 2010 start, only his 4th start in HiA after a promotion to Dunedin, Lawrence threw a 7 inning, 2 hit, 0 BB, and 5 K gem of a game that provided a preview of what he may be able to do in 2011.

Jersey: #37 for the Lansing Lugnuts

College Stats:


An interview with Jesse Goldberg-Strassler is available here.

The Jays proved that they’ll target talent anywhere and everywhere when they signed Casey Lawrence very soon after the 2010 draft as an undrafted free agent. He proved to be a great addition as he led Auburn is most statistical categories amongst starters with more than 5 starts (lowest ERA, whip, and most wins) and earned himself a promotion to LoA Lansing at the end of the season. At his age and with his advanced and polished stuff, it’s possible that he’ll be pushed to HiA after proving to be so effective in Auburn and Lansing in 2010.

Jays Professional Scout Bobby Gandolfo had this to say about Lawrence’s stuff when he signed with the Jays:

"“I think he has ‘pitchability.’ He’s got a good feel for his secondary stuff and his fastball. That’s enough,” Gandolfo told the Evening Sun’s Travis Johnson. “I think he’s got pitches he can locate, especially in the zone. He’s going to be able to get some hitters out. The player development, that side’s going to handle the mechanical stuff, but overall, I think he’s pretty clean. He’s got pretty clean mechanics and, in the end, once you get to that next level, it’s production that takes you as far as you can go.”"

Meanwhile, Lawrence sees his slider as his strikeout pitch, admits to having to work on his change up to make it a more effective pitch, and he has a low 90s fastball that works between 88 and 91 MPH, hitting 92 MPH on occasion. Just as with Drew Hutchison, however, it’s his control that makes him effective. If he can continue to develop his change up, there’s no reason Lawrence can’t make a good run at becoming a decent #4-5 pitcher in MLB.

An interesting quote from Lawrence:

"“When I was two years old, I’d wake up at 6 a.m. and want to throw the ball,” Lawrence said. “My mom would go out and throw with me.”"

It’ll be very interesting to see whether he heads for Dunedin or Lansing in 2011. With his maturity and polished stuff, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him heading to Dunedin from the beginning of the season. But, if he does head to Lansing first, I don’t expect him to remain there very long.

Lawrence is one of the guys outside our top 50 who could have a meteoric rise in the rankings since he does remind me a little of Drew Hutchison, his team mate in Auburn who ranked 16th on our list. We could easily have made a case for placing him in the 45-50 range of our rankings in 2010, but decided to wait and see how he does in the first half of 2011 before boosting his stock too much. The main reason was due to the fact that no team drafted him in 2010 for a reason, we would imagine, and that he was fairly old for his level of play (Hutchison was 19 for most of the 2010 season, playing at the same level as Lawrence who is 23). In our eyes, that makes a big difference. Still, he could still make that leap in 2011 and could wind up in AA before the year is done if he continues to improve.

If he does make it to The Show and becomes an effective starter, he’d be one great find by the Jays scouting department.

Expected 2011 Team: LoA Lansing or HiA Dunedin

Top 50 Range if he makes the list in 2012: #30-40

Chances of making it into the Top 50 in 2012: 90%

– MG

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