Blue Jays in Baseball America 2015 Farm System Rankings


On March 31st, Baseball America announced their annual rankings for organization’s farm systems across the Major Leagues, reeling in the Blue Jays in the top 10 after a disappointing last two seasons.

Coming in atop of the board are teams prospect franchises like the Chicago Cubs and division rival Boston Red Sox before giving way to the Jays at number 10 just below the World Series favourite Washington Nationals.

This ranking probably doesn’t come as a surprise with the recent news that the Jays are taking six rookies north on their opening day roster. Not surprisingly, these 6 (Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris, Devon Travis, Dalton Pompey, Miguel Castro and Roberto Osuna) are all in BA’s top 10 prospects for the coming season.

Mostly, this success is yielded on a long road of hard work by GM Alex Anthopoulos that started in the 2010 draft, his first draft as the GM of the struggling club. Ken Rosenthal recently wrote about the strength of that draft, narrowing in on it from a Blue Jays perspective.

In it, he stressed the strength of the Jays class in current Jays, Sanchez and Pompey, while highlighting other big names– Noah Syndergaard, Justin Niccolino, Sean Nolin and yes Kris Bryant– who have either not signed with Toronto or were traded for current on-the-field talent.

The remainder of the Jays top 10 was assembled in later drafts and risky international signings. Two of the more notable international signings are now rookies in the Jays bullpen and will set the record for youngest pitcher in a Jays uniform.

This is Osuna and Castro. While Osuna was given a $1.5 million signing bonus, Castro was handed a $43,000 bonus which is an absolute steal depending on what side of the table you’re sitting on.

Although it’s unlikely the duo will be able to continue their spring training success, given just how good they were, both figure to hold key roles in the latter half of Jays’ games this season. With only half-reliable options in Aaron Loup, Marco Estrada and even Brett Cecil, who really knows what role the two will take on.

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The four not on the current major league roster include Richard Urena and three 2014 draft picks in Jeff Hoffman, Max Pentecost and Sean Reid-Foley.

Hoffman, as many bloggers have wrote before, has the potential to become a real top of the rotation starter in the future. It’s even possible he’s the best prospect among this class but there’s no way to place him there now, given he still hasn’t thrown an official inning in pro baseball.

Pentecost is struggling with the injury bug and Reid-Foley shows the potential to be a hard-tossing pitcher who, at the worst, could find himself as decent bullpen arm in the future.

Baseball America projects Lane Thomas to slip into the top 10 next season but new-gamer Anthony Alford cannot be discounted either.

Where the organization would rank next year is hard to predict. With six players graduating, there’s going to be a gap to be filled by youngsters on the farm looking to become the next Pompey and Norris’ of the organization.

One thing is certain; Anthopoulos’ efforts need to be applauded. Despite some saying AA’s job is dependent on the outcome of 2015, the way he set this team up for future years is worthy of a second chance no doubt.

If things go south, maybe it isn’t time to gather our pitch forks and race to the Rogers Centre to out Anthopoulos. Maybe it’s the time for a second chance and the chance to see his work blossom into something beautiful.

Next: Spring Training Winners & Losers