2011 Top 10 Prospects: Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals

Toronto Blue Jays: Top 10 Prospects

1. Kyle Drabek / SP / It’s difficult to imagine Drabek’s average overall command ever allowing him to be a true ace, but his good fastball/curveball combination should help him become a mid-rotation mainstay with respectable strikeout numbers.
2. Deck McGuire / SP / McGuire carries himself well and looks the part of a big-time prospect. He is a pure strike thrower, but that the lack of upside in his three-pitch arsenal, mainly the lack of an out pitch, will hinder his chances to become Toronto’s ace one day.
3. J.P. Arencibia / C / After a down year in 2009, Arencibia put up an all-star comeback season. His fantasy relevance hinges on his power translating to the major league level and Toronto allowing him to catch full time.
4. Chad Jenkins / SP / Jenkins was a bit on the old side for A-ball in 2010 and still only posted so-so stats. He lacks an out pitch, but did show nice overall control and natural downward movement on his fastball, as evidenced by his groundball rate.
5. Travis D’Arnaud / C / D’Arnaud is a young man who has displayed many useful skills for a catcher, but nothing stands out as exceptional at this time. He battled injuries in 2010, but still could be taking the leap to Double-A next year.
6. Carlos Perez / C / Perez is a slightly younger version of D’Arnaud in that they both have a little bit of everything you look for in a catcher. But just like D’Arnaud, nothing sets Perez apart at this point, meaning he seems to lack elite ability. However, he remains a good, young catching prospect.
7. Adieny Hechavarria / SS / Hechavarria needs to shorten his swing, but has useful tools across the board for a shortstop. Toronto would be wise to allow him another crack at the Eastern League before pushing him higher.
8. Zach Stewart / RP/SP / Stewart made it through the entire year as a starter, to ho-hum results. He still appears destined for a future prominent bullpen role, where his fastball and slider could hit a new level.
9. Brad Emaus / 3B/OF / Many gave up on Emaus after a lousy 2009 campaign. Still largely unheralded, Emaus stepped his all-around offensive game up a notch, displaying the skills necessary to be an asset in the majors. It’s too bad he couldn’t have stayed at second base, but his defense looks shaky even for third base.
10. David Cooper / 1B / Henderson Alvarez and Anthony Gose received a look, but haven’t proven enough yet. Aaron Sanchez is a projectable high school arm who deserves some love, too. But it’s too early to give up on Cooper. He managed to cut back even more on his strikeouts this year while stepping up his home run power, though he still has an awful lot to prove.

Toronto Blue Jays: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)

1. Travis Snider / OF
2. Brett Cecil / SP
3. Kyle Drabek / SP
4. Deck McGuire / SP
5. J.P. Arencibia / C
6. Chad Jenkins / SP
7. Travis D’Arnaud / C
8. Carlos Perez / C
9. Adieny Hechavarria / SS
10. Zach Stewart / RP/SP

Kansas City Royals: Top 10 Prospects

1. Mike Moustakas / 3B / His walk rate is lacking, but otherwise it’s hard to find a single fault in Moustakas’ game. He could be a future .300/30 or better hitter.
2. Eric Hosmer / 1B/OF / Much like Moustakas, Hosmer is one of the more complete hitting prospects in baseball. His home run power even managed to surface over the final third of the season. He may not get a chance, but Hosmer has the ability to man the outfield, which would add more to his value.
3. Mike Montgomery / SP / Montgomery has a mid-90s fastball and a wicked curveball, meaning his upside is tremendous. While the elbow soreness he suffered midway through the season cannot be ignored, he has persevered, and it appears to be a non-issue.
4. Wil Myers / C/OF/1B / It still seems to be a bit too early to know exactly how much upside Myers has offensively, not to mention where he will end up defensively, but he showed no weakness with his bat against A-level competition in his first full season.
5. Daniel Duffy / SP / Despite walking away from baseball for a brief period, Duffy’s commitment shouldn’t be questioned. He is currently getting strikeouts without an out pitch or mid-90s heat. He is the type who uses movement and sharp command to get his outs.
6. John Lamb / SP / Lamb uses his great change-up and low-90s fastball to set up his developing curveball. He is able to throw everything for strikes, and there seems to be little standing in his way.
7. Christian Colon / SS / Colon doesn’t have much upside or one current standout skill, but does have the ability to play a respectable shortstop and has polish across the board.
8. Chris Dwyer / SP / Dwyer plays the part of a poor man’s Mike Montgomery with his bread and butter fastball/curveball combo. But his curveball needs to hit a whole new level if he is going to come close to matching Montgomery’s upside.
9. Johnny Giavotella / 2B / Giavotella should be able to get by defensively at second base, while his bat will do most of the talking. He has a bit of power and speed to go along with good plate discipline and outstanding contact skills.
10. Aaron Crow / SP / This year’s Kansas City top-10 list looks very similar to last year’s. Aaron Crow and Tim Melville were the only disappointments from last season. Melville has too much upside to ignore, though, and would rank No. 11. Crow already has a mid-90s fastball and occasional out pitch with his slider. He just needs to throw strikes.

Kansas City Royals: Top 10 Players Under Age 26 (as of 4/1/11)

1. Billy Butler / DH/1B
2. Mike Moustakas / 3B
3. Eric Hosmer / 1B/OF
4. Mike Montgomery / SP
5. Wil Myers / C/OF/1B
6. Daniel Duffy / SP
7. John Lamb / SP
8. Christian Colon / SS
9. Chris Dwyer / SP
10. Johnny Giavotella / 2B

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  1. Big Mike said...

    The Royals declined to give Moustakas a cup of coffee.  Does this indicate he’s more of a Sept-11 and all-of-2012 guy?

  2. ribman said...

    Likely early June or late May- it’s about starting the clock. The Royals had some things to sort out at the ML roster in September with more marginal prospects, Mous was going to be playing a lot (playoffs-Pan Am games etc) so no reason to push it.

  3. Brad Johnson said...

    Mike Moo,

    To echo Jay, you do realize the Royals have what is widely agreed upon as a top 2 farm system with most analysts ranking it #1. Their #6 on this list, John Lamb, would be the #1 in a few systems.

    The Jays on the other hand feature a middle of the pack system jam crammed with players who profile somewhere in the middle ground between role player and star. Not one of them looks like a future All-Star although Drabek has a shot of getting a few calls. I like Carlos Perez a little bit more than Matt but that’s only a matter of flipping him and D’Arnaud.

    If there’s bias it’s because the Jays prospects have lost most of their luster while the Royals are nice and shiny coming off a very good statistical season for the farm system.

  4. this guy said...

    “He is the type who uses movement and sharp command to get his outs.”

    If you eliminate these 2 factors, you’re left with the Kyle Farnsworths of the world. Any successful pitcher needs movement and sharp command.

  5. Mike Moo said...

    Maybe they aren’t as good, but just read the analysis of them. It is obvious that he mentions more strenghts than weaknesses with the Royals and focuses on the weaknesses of the Jays. Even if the Roayls have better prospects, the Jays can’t be that bad.

  6. kingsofleonbob said...

    Thanks for putting my beloved Blue Jays prospects to shame by contrasting them with KC’s, the best farm system in the country. *single solitary tear streams down face*

  7. Pau said...

    Mike Moo- again, that he focuses on the strengths of the Royals’ prospects and the weaknesses of the Blue Jays prospects says a lot more about the prospects than the author.  As someone with no vested interest in either the systems or the post, I’d say you’re a lot more biased than the author.

    If you were to add all of Toronto’s prospects to the Royals system, I’d personally rate Drabek as the 6th best prospect (real-life, not fantasy).  Arencibia would be the only other one to make the top 10 at #9 overall.  Granted, I seem to be lower on Drabek than most, but the Royals’ system outpaces Toronto’s (as well as pretty much any other system) by a wide margin.

    Before you cry wolf again, I’m a Twins fan. If you’re not trolling, also keep in my that you’re the sole voice of the minority, while every other poster sees no bias.

  8. MJ said...

    1-5 (making Lamb #5) Kansas City has the best system in baseball.  Toronto has some interesting catching prospects and Drabek.

  9. Nick Scott said...

    The royals didn’t call up moustakas in september becaue they wanted him to be able to qualify for the Pan Am games with 5 other royals.

  10. joe said...

    I have no doubt that the Royals have one of the best farm systems in the majors and so you should when you finish in the bottom 5 year after year.  It’s just sad that they can’t develop anybody (other than Greinke – must have been a fluke).  I’d bet that if we look at this list in 10 years, the Jays prospects go on to be better major league players.  Try letting the kids develop and wait to call them up when they are ready…  Although they may have figured this out with leaving Moustakas in the minors last year

  11. Kyle said...

    It has come to my understanding that the jays have he 4th best farm system in the MLB. That aside yes the Royals have what some are saying the best system they have seen, ever. But the jays still have a lot of talent especially with the recent accusation of Brett Lawrie.

  12. David Roland said...

    To re-emphasize the strength of the Royals minor league system, here are some prospects who didn’t make the above Top 10 w/their 2010 stats;

    Clint Robinson 1B AA .335avg/29hr/98rbi,
    Everett Teaford LP AA 3.36era/14w-3L/99inns/113so
    Jake Odorizzi RP A 3.43era/7w-3L/120inns/135so.

    And there are several more just the same.


  13. Colin said...

    @David Roland
    Jake Odorizzi wasn’t a member of the Kansas City Royals organization when this list was published in October. He was still owned by Milwaukee at the time. He would likely slot into this list somewhere around 8-10, knocking Aaron Crow out of the top 10.

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