Post-Dickey Trade: A look at the Farm, and the Infirmery!
I for one, was initially upset with the quality of prospects required to land Dickey. No doubt this was a huge cost to the Jays farm system, however, we're all in now.. so the time was right.
Lots of people are concerned about the quality of our farm system after these two trades. From a "Top 20 prospects" on MLB.com perspective, I can see how the average fan could get a little caught up in the Farm Depletion thought. We gave up a number of highly rated prospects this offseason, that much is true. But when you abandon the traditional definition of what makes a guy a Prospect, I think we're still looking pretty good.
We have a few very valuable pieces that are not considered "PROSPECTS" but will be in the farm systems, and have a chance to make an impact on the Major-League club in 2013 and beyond.
CF Anthony Gose - Received too many at-bats to be considered for the ROY award now, but is certainly still a prospect (if not in the conventional sense of the term). He has a very high upside if he figures things out with the stick. Even if he doesn't, he could likely bunt .300 with his blazing speed.
If he were included in our top prospect rankings, he'd have been right behind D'Arnaud, and likely in the top 25-30 in the league. If any of our OF starters get hurt, he'll be the guy.
RP Aaron Loup - Looked great in his 2012 debut and could easily end up in the 2013 bullpen if Oliver doesn't return. He's not considered a prospect either, but he looks like he could be a very valuable late inning lefty if he continues to improve.
RF Moises Sierra - Also lost his rookie eligibility, but could still be a solid power-hitting RF down the road. 6HRs in his first 147 ABs in the majors is pretty good for a guy who finally looks to be tapping into his power potential. He could make an impact as a 5th outfielder this season.
RP Sam Dyson - Groundball guy with a power slider, he could be a useful bullpen piece in the event of an injury. it's good to have this type of guy stashed at AAA to fill a need.
1B David Cooper - This kid never gets enough credit. While he likely won't become more than a bench bat or replacement level player, I like his ability to hit line-drives and not strike out. If Lind sucks it up early, I say give this kid a chance to DH until the trade deadline. Doesn't hold much trade value, but could contribute in the event of an injury.
SP Chad Jenkins - He is by no means a can't miss guy. But he pitched fairly well for the Jays in limited action last year. His 3 starts were decent, and if needed, he could take a turn or two in the rotation to fill in for one of our starters. Might be an option for the bullpen when all is said and done.
The "Infirmary" (Injured/non-prospect)
SP Drew Hutchinson - Prior to his injury he was holding his own in the MLB, as a 21 year old. Coming off Tommy John surgery, we can't expect much from him in 2013, except perhaps as a second half injury replacement. On the other hand, he could be ready to nab a rotation spot again by 2014.
The kid was a top prospect prior to 2012 and if he had pitched 9 innings less in the bigs, he'd likely still be in our top 5 prospects.
SP Kyle Drabek - After a second TJ surgery, it's hard to know what Drabek could give us going forward. If he can make a healthy recovery, he could still impact the rotation picture. He's gotta get right, find some command, and prove he is worthy.. but I'm not willing to give up on Drabek just yet.
RP Luis Perez - The lefty is likely to need some time to rehab after, you guessed it, TJ surgery. He was a great lefty in the pen before getting injured. if stashed in AAA he could be a big help in the second half of the season.
SP Dustin McGowan - I know.... i know... But if this guy ever gets healthy, he could be productive. There MUST be a reason that the jays are willing to devote a 40-man roster spot to the ever injured McGowan. I'm hoping he gets right and finally stays healthy. Then his performance will dictate whether he is a big-leaguer or not.
We clearly have some other talent.
So looking beyond the major-league roster at a few of the guys that aren't "prospects" that could still make a pretty big impact on the Jays..I'm beginning to worry less about all the prospects we gave up this offseason.