Longest post title ever? Probably not, but I found this little bit of news interesting.
Today, Fangraphs’ Marc Hulet came out with his revised, mid-season Top-50 Prospect Rankings. On it, we find 4 young players with connections to the Blue Jays.
Hulet thinks that the only things holding Sanchez back are some fragility in his lean frame and the ability to find better command and control (which he has been showing this year).
Hulet writes: “Sanchez has electric stuff but he’s struggled to command it at times. He also went down with a shoulder injury in May and concerns remain about his body’s ability to hold up to his mid-to-high-90s fastball. The Jays’ top pitching prospect has the chance to be a frontline starter if he can avoid the knife and continue to refine his changeup.”
I know Hulet has been very high on Sanchez and it’s interesting to see him jump so high on the list in spite of the time he’s missed due to injury. I’m almost positive that Roberto Osuna‘s injury troubles are what kept him off the list altogether.
The next name, at #21, is Syndergaard. More Hulet: “Syndergaard, who has been known to tickle triple digits with his fastball, recently received the start for the U.S. club at the annual Futures Game, which features the top prospects from around the game. He’s been as good as advertised since coming over to the Mets from the Jays in the off-season trade of R.A. Dickey. The development of his breaking ball is the only thing holding him back at this point.”
Again, Hulet really seems to think that Syndergaard really needs to develop his breaking ball, despite the fact that he’s succeeding in Double-A already. Obviously, Double-A is a long way from the majors (as Sean Nolin can tell you), and we’ll see how Syndergaard can do as he sees teams two and three times and the more mature hitters are able to make adjustments to him.
Next at #24 is Travis D’Arnaud. “Like Danny Hultzen above him, d’Arnaud has missed a great deal of the season due to injury. Now 24 and in his seventh season (second at Triple-A), the catcher is almost MLB ready despite the missed time and should develop into a solid big league regular, if not a star.” Sounds like solid praise for a guy who hasn’t really been able to play for a full season. D’Arnaud is one guy that I’m not as disappointed that the Jays traded away. I think he’s close and he’ll probably give the team better production and defense than JPA, but the guy who really hurt me in the Dickey trade was Syndergaard.
Coming in at #46 is Jake Marisnick. Marisnick also started the year off hurt, but has really been showing good power in Double-A in the Marlins organization as well as hitting for a solid average and good OBP. Hulet: “An injury prevented Marisnick from playing until May and he got off to a slow start but has heated up since then. The plus defender is hitting more than .300 on the year even though his approach at the plate still needs some work. He has the potential to develop into a 20-20 threat.”
With the emergence of Kevin Pillar and the presence of Anthony Gose, the loss of a guy like Marisnick isn’t felt as deeply as losing the pitching prospects. Marisnick definitely has a higher ceiling than Pillar and he looks like he’s really putting things together this year.
Finally, one player that I’ve been following a little bit with a very tangential connection to the Blue Jays is Lance McCullers. McCullers, son of a former big leaguer, was a player in whom the Jays were rumoured to have been interested as a first round pick in last year’s draft. He’s been dominant in the Midwest League and Hulet has him ranked at #47.
Who do you miss the most of the guys that the Jays traded away this winter? Who’s going to have the biggest impact?