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Jeffy25
04-07-2012, 10:47 AM
15. Toronto Blue Jays


2011 Finish - 88-81 13th best finish in baseball in 2011
21st best finish to a season in their 35 year franchise
Top returning player by rWAR (Jose Bautista - 8.5)
Top returning player by fWAR (Jose Bautista - 8.3)
743 Runs Scored
761 Runs Allowed


2012 1st round picks:
1 (17)
1 (22) Tyler Beede
1 (50) Frank Francisco
1 (58) Jon Rauch
1 (60) Jose Molina


Budget for first ten rounds (14 picks): $8,830,800

Projected Opening Day Payroll: 87.2 million
Top 3 Prospects: Travis d'Arnaud 4-star B+, Jake Mariscik 5-star B+, Daniel Norris 4-star B+ (also, with same grades - Noah Syndergaard, Anthony Gose) (and several more B+ 3-star specs)

By: Esoterik

2012 Breakout Candidate: Ah, the big question. Possibly the absolute biggest question concerning this franchise; who on the Blue Jays roster, if anybody, is going to breakout in this coming season? Well to get started, this is a team that is full to the brim with breakout candidates. So much so, that you could throw out many different names and be right each time. You could say that players like Colby Rasmus (4.3 WAR - 2010), Kelly Johnson (5.9 WAR - 2010) and Adam Lind (3.7 WAR - 2009) are all due for a breakout in the sense that they have to prove that their previous successes were not just flukes or outliers, but true measures of their talents. You could also say guys like Brett Lawrie (43 Games) and Henderson Alvarez (10 Games Started) are due for breakouts in the sense that they still need to prove themselves by following up on that delicious cup of tea each of them had in the majors last year. You could also throw out a name like JP Arencibia, a guy who had a lackluster rookie campaign last year but has shown great success in his second time around at every level he's ever played. But in my opinion, none of these players breaking out would be as valuable as the potential breakout of one specific, special player, who I have not yet mentioned. This player is a pitcher, one who some say has an immeasurable ceiling. He is the same converted reliever who Alex Anthopoulos acquired way back in the December of 2009 in a trade that saw closer Brandon League make his way to Safeco Field. He is one of those players where everytime you see him, you wonder, how is this guy not doing so much better? Why don't more people know his name? This is a guy who can pitch circles around MVP-calibre batsmen, a guy who costs Pizza Pizza a whole lot of money everytime he steps onto the mound. So the question is, why does that not translate to results on the scoreboard? Well we can all make guesses, but the real answer to that question only lies with this one man, and it is his duty to give us that answer this baseball season. Now the painful, agonizing truth is that we have legitimate reason to believe that he will. This pitcher who is known to have an insane amount of trouble with the home-run-ball and has had a very difficult time inducing groundball outs, may finally have found the solution. At the very end of the 2011 season, Blue Jays fans saw this pitcher finally develop the thing that many had been long yearning to see: a cutter. That ever elusive groundball pitch. And in that small sample size, man did it shine. So again, the question now is, this man who we all know to have an infinite amount of potential, this man who is newly equipped with a redefined arsenal, the man who's shown nothing but elite talent so far in spring training; can this man become who he was born to become? I guess we will find that out in due time. For now, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you your Blue Jays Breakout Candidate of 2012: Brandon Morrow.

2012 Regression Candidate: Major League Baseball is a place where you will often find many a Cinderella Story. Every year you will have that select group of players that came out of nowhere to show talent and skill that many didn't even know existed. We are not here to talk about those players. This part is about players that have shown a certain amount of success in the past and are likely to show less of said success in the future. Fortunately for the Jays, there aren't as many candidates for regression as there were breakout candidates in the previous section. Unless you're unreasonably pessimistic, the only clear regression candidate we find ourselves looking at is a guy who's name you may have heard of: Jose Bautista. Now I know that by now you probably already have your torch lit, so I'm not going to ask you to put it out, but please hold on a moment before sharpening that pitchfork. When I say that Jose Bautista is a candidate for regression, all I mean is that his 2011 season was just so unbelievably good that it's hard to expect him to repeat it. Now I'm not saying he won't, as I am an optimistic person myself, but I'm supposed to be writing this thing without bias and a little realism. A wild card player like Bautista is almost impossible to project. The guy's gone from career journeyman to bona-fide power monster to maybe the most disciplined hitter in the entire game over the span of just three seasons. I doubt Einstein could come up with a formula that would tell us how he's going to do in 2012, so I'm not going to pretend like I can project it. Instead I'm going to go off my instincts. My heart tells me he's going to be as good as he was in 2011, my gut tells me that he's in for at least a little regression.

Overall Projection: Regardless of what opinion people hold of the Toronto Blue Jays, I think one thing that most can agree on is that this team seems to have a very bright future ahead of them. When JP "The Human Stain" Ricciardi was forced to *cough* step down from his position as Blue Jays General Manager in the fall of 2009, the club called on one Alex Anthopoulos to assume the newly vacated position. What Anthopoulos found himself holding was a broken, dead-end franchise that seemed to have few diamonds in a whole lot of rough. While the Blue Jays must ironically thank JP Ricciardi for their brightest bulb (Jose Bautista), it's Anthopoulos that has dug out a hole at the end of what used to be a very dark tunnel. Ever since Anthopoulos assumed the role of GM, he's made trade after trade, acquisition after acquisition and amateur signing after amateur signing to bring this franchise to a place it hasn't been since before any of this year's high school draft prospects were born. What used to be the #28th ranked farm system in baseball in 2009 is now considered by John Sickels of "Minor League Ball" to be the #1 farm system (http://www.minorleagueball.com/2012/1/23/2728027/2012-baseball-farm-system-rankings-prospects) in the majors right now. What was once and often considered a team that had no post season future is now ranked as the #6 team on the list of Future Power Rankings (http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/2012/02/16/jays_espn_powerrankings/) written by Mike Cormack of ESPN. This is a team that from top to bottom is making great strides every single day. By the end of the 2011 season alone, five of Toronto's eight minor league teams had made the playoffs, four of those five had made the final series of the season and two of those four had won it all. Four of the eight Blue Jays minor league managers had been named Manager of the Year in each of their respective leagues, while a seemingly countless amount of Jays prospects were named to the MiLB All-Star teams. First base prospect Mike McDade had won the Home Run Derby and #1 Blue Jays prospect Travis d'Arnaud had even gone as far as winning MVP honors in the Eastern League. All-the-while at the major league level, the youth blossomed and forced onlookers to recognize its presence (Eric Thames, Brett Lawrie, Henderson Alvarez, JP Arencibia) while promising names were newly acquainted (Colby Rasmus, Kelly Johnson) and familiar faces shone brightly (Jose Bautista, Ricky Romero, Yunel Escobar, Edwin Encarnacion).

This is a team that has proven a whole lot in a very small amount of time. One that finished .500 in a division that saw three 90 game winners and only got better over the course of the offseason. This is a team that has systematically obliterated spring training to this point. While many say that 2013 could maybe, possibly be the year of the Blue Jay, I say that this is a team that has a very real chance of surprising many, many people in the MLB season of 2012.


In the voting, the Jays were voted 12th through 16th in every single bracket.

Pfeifer
04-07-2012, 12:11 PM
Thanks Jeffy.

es0terik
04-07-2012, 12:22 PM
I LOVE d'Arnaud, Marisnick and Norris as the top 3 prospects. It's so unconventional and based totally on absolute ceiling :) I wonder who made those rankings.

Twitchy
04-07-2012, 05:33 PM
Gose would be higher than Marisnick on pure ceiling. I think Marisnick is the better prospect because he's more likely to reach his ceiling, but I don't think there's much doubt that Gose has the higher ceiling of the two.

TO Rapz
04-07-2012, 06:35 PM
Like I said in the MLB forum. I think the Jays should have been ranked a bit higher then this.

Rogi10
04-07-2012, 11:09 PM
Ricky Romero is the player who will regress, more so than Bautista, who I still see as a .300/.400/.600 player.