Well, the final shoe has dropped and Marc Hulet has released his Top 100 prospect list at Fangraphs.
As expected, the top two Toronto Blue Jays prospects are there in the expected order. Aaron Sanchez comes in at #22, four spots lower than his former rotation-mate Noah Syndergaard (while Justin Nicolono comes in at #63). Marcus Stroman comes in at #56 and Hulet comments that this “lower than expected” ranking is due to the fact that he doesn’t think that Stroman will be a starter for very long.
Hulet is incredibly high on Braden Shipley (#42), a player that I’m constantly harping on because the Blue Jays passed on him in the draft to select Phil Bickford in 2013. If the Blue Jays were intent on drafting high-upside pitchers, they could have had Shipley instead of Bickford and it still kinda bugs me that a) they let him go, and b) didn’t sign Bickford. They better pull off a Stroman-type draftee in 2014 (and sign him) to assuage my anger.
As for the other traded away players, Travis d’Arnaud is much lower than on MLB.com’s list at #39 and Jake Marisnick is about where he’s expected to be at #69. In other “coulda-shoulda-woulda” players, Kris Bryant is at #6 (the Jays drafted him out of high school in the 18th round in 2010 but didn’t sign him).
The biggest surprise (which Hulet even admits) is ranking Mitch Nay at #100. Nay was an Appalachian League All-Star and the Northwest League Playoff MVP in 2013, his first professional season (at the age of 19). Hulet is very high on Nay and sees himself as going out on a limb to be the first to tout his upside and writes that “Nay has a chance to be something very special with the bat and should hold his own defensively.”
I just wrote my profile of Nay for Jays Journal’s Top Prospects list (we had him at #8) and I saw him play in person and interviewed him last season. I think he’s definitely one of the bright spots when it comes to position players in the organization but I think most prospect writers have too many questions about his defense and limited professional resume. I think those questions will be answered by the end of 2014. We might not see a big spike in home runs from Nay (Cooley Law School Stadium is a tough place to hit the ball out of) but he could hit 40 doubles to go along with a batting average that nears .300 in Lansing.
What do you think? Who should be on that list who wasn’t? What do you think of Nay sneaking into the Top 100 prospects in baseball?