Now things get a bit more interesting. For the “amateur” consensus (again, that term may well be unfair to some – by that I only mean not the BIG professional sites although I’m sure there’s room for debate on who belongs where) I’ve included the work of 14 sources, myself included. As before I don’t want to be real specific on who put which player where because if you’re that interested you need to go to the primary source. The source lists are from the following:
Radio Scouts (50 deep)
Batters Box (28)
Bluebird Banter (30)
Prospects 361 (15)
Jays Journal (30)
Jays From The Couch (21)
Prospects Live (32)
Marc Hulet (13)
Future Blue Jays (19)
Prospects 1500 (50+)
TSN (50) – An argument can be made this should have been in with the other list but oh well
Similar to the previous list, I assign #1 a 40, #2 and 39, and so forth so as to mitigate the different list length creating a problem. It’s not perfect, of course. For example whoever might have been #16 on Hulet’s list would have gotten 25 points and if that had been, for example, Tom Pannone, then he’d have landed three spots higher. But you work with what you’ve got. The six pro lists, collectively, mentioned 40 different names. These lists collectively mentioned 50 (I’m not counting the extra guys from the lists that go beyond 50 names) but in the top 30, 26 names appear on both this consensus list and the previous one. My challenge then, will be to say something different about 26 of these guys than I said last time.
(Rank – Player – position – age – 2018 level)
30. Chad Spanberger – 1B – 23 – Dunedin — Mostly a power stroke, guy that didn’t play nearly as well in the FSL as it had in the Rockies system. May surprise this year but AA will be a huge test.
29. Santiago Espinal – SS – 24 – Dunedin — Reportedly the team really likes this kid, he’ll play a lot of 2B this year given the makeup of the expected AA roster.
28. Reese McGuire – C – 24 – Buffalo – this ranking more closely reflects where I had him on my own list.
27. Forrest Wall – CF – 23 – New Hampshire — a few contributors think highly of him – one had him in the top five which is a huge outlier, but he would have been at #30 even without that help.
26. Logan Warmoth – SS – 23 – Dunedin — both lists had a similar view on him, needs to show something pretty interested to stay on the lists at all.
25. Elvis Luciano – RHP – 19 – rookie league — ERA doesn’t tell the whole story but Elvis is…not dominating…in ST.
24. Patrick Murphy – R – 23 – Dunedin — I’m a bit puzzled on the split over Murphy. many are fairly high on him, but others ignore him completely. One list managed to go 50 names without ranking him which is bizarre to me..
23. Ryan Noda – OF/1B – 23 – Lansing — the only player outside the top 10 who was at the same position on both lists.
22. Trent Thornton – RHP – 25 – AAA — likely to be part of a Bison’s rotation with a legit prospect in at least 4 rotation slots.
21. Thomas Pannone – LHP – 25 – Buffalo/Toronto — Him too.
20. Griffin Conine – RF – 21 – Vancouver — some folks are projecting him to hit Lansing when he’s activated. Maybe, but the sent Warmoth and Riley Adams right to Dunedin and my hunch is they will with Conine too unless he looks real bad in extended.
19. Chavez Young – CF – 21 – Lansing — definitely a Dunedin assignment for opening day, if healthy. How he builds on his 2018 will be important to watch.
18. Billy McKinney – OF/1B – 24 – Toronto — Montoyo speculated on air about an eight man bullpen. That would put a hard squeeze on the Jays outfield with five guys worthy of going north.
17. Rowdy Tellez – 1B – 24 – Buffalo — waiting for a big league role to clear, needs to apply pressure this season to earn his spot in the 1B/DH plans for 2020.
16. David Paulino – RHP – 25 – AAA — All the opinions seems to be resigned to his being regulated to the bullpen where he projects, admittedly, to be dominant. Mainly because, due to injuries and a suspension, he’s only ever topped 100 IP in a season once. But I really want to see him make it as a starter, given his arsenal. For me he’s start in Buffalo until the trade deadline and then, assuming openings arise, finish the year in the Jays bullpen. That would have him coming in with 110-120 MiLB innings and built up for a rotation spot next year. Assuming he stays healthy of course.
15. TJ Zuech – RHP – 23 – New Hampshire — really should pitch in AAA when he gets healthy but the logjam is real so at least part of this year will be in AA more than likely.
14. Adam Kloffenstein – RHP – 19 – GCL — There’s a few high profile players who would normally be in short season ball this year – and probably will – but might force the team to consider getting them to Lansing. He’s one of them.
13. Miguel Hiraldo – SS – 18 – GCL — watch to see which of these short-season infielders stay primarily on shortstop and which are moved.
12. Orelvis Martinez – SS – 17 – DNP — Not impossibly he could vault into the top five by the end of the season if he earns his bonus.
11. Hector Perez – RHP – 23 – New Hampshire — has a more narrow arsenal than Paulino, and control concerns. I’m a lot more placid about him going to the ‘pen for those reasons. But that won’t happen this season.
10. Anthony Alford – CF – 24 – Buffalo — looks very healthy and very good this spring. It’s early but this could be the year.
11. Cavan Biggio – 2B – 24 – New Hampshire — it is historically true that not every well regarded prospect works out but the staff is going to be challenged to pick through the options in the next couple of years.
8. Sean Reid-Foley – RHP – 23 – Buffalo — the top eight guys are the same on both lists, though not in the same order. SRF is the third guy so far (after Noda and Alford) to land in the same slot on both.
7. Jordan Groshans – SS – 19 – GCL — likely a top 3 or 4 guy this time next year.
6. Kevin Smith – SS – 22 – Dunedin — If Vlad can’t deal with 3B for 4 or 5 seasons (until Groshans theoretically arrives) Smith might well be the guy who plugs into the gap.
5. Eric Pardinho – RHP – 18 – Bluefield — The top five slots on this list are the same as on the other one. You’d have to consider that a clear top tier.
4. Nate Pearson – RHP – 22 – Dunedin — I presume the Jays will slow play him a little this year, given innings concerns. Next year, though, maybe he comes faster? The current management team seems disinclined to rush pitchers.
3. Danny Jansen – C – 24 – Buffalo — Catching is so weak in the AL this year, he’s already projected to be one of the best on the circuit.
2. Bo Bichette – SS – 21 – New Hampshire — the defense continues to impress. Little doubt remains that he stays at SS.
1. Vlad Guerrero, Jr. – 3b – 20 – Buffalo/New Hampshire — so now we know he’s out for the spring with an injury. Speculatively he gets back into games at Extended in the first week of April, than begins a rehab assignment that would have him in the warmth of Florida until the D-Jays first off day, and then from their to Buffalo until…mid-May? Assuming a smooth recovery that series at the White Sox after all the early season West Coast travel is done looks like a promising target date.
The guy who got the biggest boost on this list was Paulino. He was #31 on the other list, #16 here. The other three new names were in the bottom four on this list – Wall, Espinal and Spanberger. These contributors were softer on three of the short season Latin guys, and didn’t include Yenny Diaz in the Top 30 (he made it to #32). Leo Jiminez was #31 was at #20 on the previous list, but the big difference was the newcomer catchers. Gabriel Moreno, #21 on last week’s list, was was down at #48 here. Kirk was at 45, as opposed to #30 on the other list.
Coming up later this week, the first team level preview as I try to sort out what the Bisons are going to do with so so many pitchers.