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.
Toronto Blue Jays prospect Andy Burns. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsSigning 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: MiLB.com
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.