2012 Toronto Blue Jays Top 10 Prospects




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Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2011.

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TOP TEN
PROSPECTS
1. Travis d'Arnaud, c
2. Anthony Gose, of
3. Jake Marisnick, of
4. Daniel Norris, lhp
5. Justin Nicolino, lhp
6. Aaron Sanchez, rhp
7. Noah Syndergaard, rhp
8. Deck McGuire, rhp
9. Drew Hutchison, rhp
10. Asher Wojciechowski, rhp
BEST
TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Travis d'Arnaud
Best Power Hitter Travis d'Arnaud
Best Strike Zone Discipline David Cooper
Fastest Baserunner Anthony Gose
Best Athlete Jake Marisnick
Best Fastball Noah Syndergaard
Best Curveball Aaron Sanchez
Best Slider Deck McGuire
Best Changup Justin Nicolino
Best Control Drew Hutchison
Best Defensive Catcher A.J. Jimenez
Best Defensive Infielder Adeiny Hechavarria
Best Infield Arm Adeiny Hechavarria
Best Defensive OF Anthony Gose
Best Outfield Arm Moises Sierra
PROJECTED 2015
LINEUP
Catcher Travis D'Arnaud
First Base Adam Lind
Second Base Yunel Escobar
Third Base Brett Lawrie
Shortstop Adienny Hechavarria
Left Field Colby Rasmus
Center Field Anthony Gose
Right Field Jake Marisnick
Designated Hitter Jose Bautista
No. 1 Starter Ricky Romero
No. 2 Starter Brandon Morrow
No. 3 Starter Daniel Norris
No. 4 Starter Justin Nicolino
No. 5 Starter Aaron Sanchez
Closer Sergio Santos
TOP PROSPECTS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos 2011 Org
2002 Josh Phelps, c Indians
2003 Dustin McGowan, rhp Blue Jays
2004 Alex Rios, of White Sox
2005 Brandon League, rhp Mariners
2006 Dustin McGowan, rhp Blue Jays
2007 Adam Lind, of Blue Jays
2008 Travis Snider, of Blue Jays
2009 Travis Snider, of Blue Jays
2010 Zach Stewart, rhp White Sox
2011 Kyle Drabek, rhp Blue Jays
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos 2011 Org
2003 Aaron Hill, SS Diamondbacks
2004 David Purcey, LHP Phillies
2005 Ricky Romero, LHP Blue Jays
2006 Travis Snider, OF Blue Jays
2007 Kevin Ahrens, 3B Blue Jays
2008 David Cooper, 1B Blue Jays
2009 Chad Jenkins, RHP Blue Jays
2010 Deck McGuire, RHP Blue Jays
LARGEST BONUSES
IN CLUB HISTORY
Adeinys Hechavarria, 2010 $4,000,000
Adonis Cardona, 2010 $2,800,000
Ricky Romero, 2005 $2,400,000
Felipe Lopez, 1998 $2,000,000
Deck McGuire, 2010 $2,000,000
Daniel Norris, 2011
$2,000,000
BLUE JAYS
LINKS
Blue Jays Team Page
Blue Jays Top 10 Scouting Reports Premium
Last Year's Blue Jays Top 10 Prospects
2011 Draft: Blue Jays (Basic Database)
2011 Draft: Blue Jays Premium (Advanced Database)
2011 Draft Report Cards: Toronto Blue Jays Premium
Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects
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Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has been on the job for just two years, and already he has presided over a dramatic makeover of his organization. Toronto still has to settle for the title of the best fourth-place team in baseball, which it has held for the last four seasons, including the final two under the reign of former GM J.P. Ricciardi. But the Jays are getting better in baseball's toughest division, and Anthopoulos has brought in as much young talent as any GM since he took over in October 2009.

His first big move was to deal Roy Halladay to the Phillies for three blue-chip prospects: Kyle Drabek, Travis d'Arnaud and Michael Taylor. Drabek ranked as Toronto's No. 1 prospect a year ago before graduating to the majors (where he struggled mightily) and has been succeeded by d'Arnaud. Taylor was flipped immediately to the Athletics for Brett Wallace, who was traded seven months later to the Astros for outfielder Anthony Gose, currently No. 2 in our Blue Jays prospect rankings.

Anthopoulos continually has shown a deft touch on the trade market. He has acquired Yunel Escobar, Brandon Morrow and Colby Rasmus for the big league club without giving up anyone who was a key part of the franchise's future. He miraculously dumped Vernon Wells and the $86 million remaining on his contract on the Angels and got Mike Napoli back in the deal, though Anthopoulos then traded Napoli for Frank Francisco.

The GM's best move may turn out to be the December 2010 deal that sent Shaun Marcum to the Brewers for Brett Lawrie, who should be Toronto's third baseman for years to come. Lawrie ranked as the Triple-A Pacific Coast League's top prospect in 2011 before hitting .293/.373/.580 in two months in the majors.

The influx of young talent has extended to the farm system as well, thanks to the Blue Jays' aggressive approach to the draft and international markets. Toronto spent a club-record $11.6 million on the 2010 draft and nearly matched that with $11 million in 2011, when first-round pick Tyler Beede turned down a $2.4 million offer to attend Vanderbilt.

The 2010 draft stocked the system with several promising pitchers, including five who made our Jays Top 10 Prospects list: Justin Nicolino, Aaron Sanchez, Deck McGuire, Noah Syndergaard and Asher Wojciechowski. All were part of Toronto's bounty of nine picks in the first three rounds.

The Blue Jays had eight choices in the top three rounds last June, and hauled in their best current pitching prospect (Daniel Norris), three more quality arms (Kevin Comer, Joe Musgrove, John Stilson) and a pair of intriguing bats (Dwight Smith Jr., Jacob Anderson). They also gave sandwich-round money to a couple of later-round position players, second baseman Christian Lopes and third baseman Matt Dean.

Toronto has asserted itself just as much internationally, starting with a $10 million major league contract for Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria in April 2010. The Blue Jays also have handed out seven-figure deals to Venezuelan righthander Adonis Cardona ($2.8 million in 2010), Venezuelan outfielder Wilmer Becerra and Dominican shortstop Dawel Lugo ($1.3 million each in 2011).

The White Sox took note, hiring away Marco Paddy, who had been Toronto's director of Latin American operations the last five years. The Jays replaced him with former Mets supervisor of Latin American operations Ismael Cruz.

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