Top 10 prospects for 2010: Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals

Toronto Blue Jays

1. Yohermyn Chavez: He’s not a prototypical No. 1 prospect, but Chavez has middle-of-the-order potential and a strong work ethic. But he is still raw, and his bat needs to improve across the board. Call me bullish, but he is near the top of the list of breakout candidates for 2010.
2. Chad Jenkins: The Blue Jays seem to have a standard type of arm that they go after, and Jenkins fits the mold as their 2009 first-round pick. He’s not a fire-baller, but he has a big frame, good endurance, a nice repertoire and natural downward movement on his offerings.
3. J.P. Arencibia: 2009 was a tough year at the plate for Arencibia. Despite his frustrating campaign, his home run numbers still shined through. He has the defense to stick behind the plate and the power to be an offensive weapon at the major league level.
4. Tyler Pastornicky: Defensively, Pastornicky has the glove, arm and footwork to stick at shortstop. And that’s half the battle. Offensively, his plus speed and workable on-base skills could mean top-of-the-order potential.
5. Zach Stewart: Stewart has a fastball that can hit 95 on the radar gun, and a good slider to back it up. But does he have the endurance and third pitch necessary to permanently make it as a starter? There is a chance, but I’m thinking no. Otherwise he has a bright future in the bullpen.
6. David Cooper: His 2009 season wasn’t a complete embarrassment, but, needless to say, Toronto was expecting more. He showed good contact skills and plate discipline, but his power and batting average were a huge disappointment. There is still time.
7. Henderson Alvarez: While he doesn’t have an ideal frame, the young Alvarez impressed plenty in 2009 with his controlled low-90s fastball and strike-throwing ability. His game needs improvement across the board, but he is one to watch.
8. Moises Sierra: Every bit of Sierra’s game took a leap forward in 2009 . . . everything except his home run power. His frame and swing have home run ability, though. It will come. He is a promising young corner outfield prospect with plenty more to prove.
9. Brad Emaus: Emaus has a bit of power, a bit of speed, good contact skills and some strong plate discipline to back it up. He does everything well but nothing great. He could be a solid big league second baseman.
10. Brad Mills: There isn’t any projection left in his arm, but Mills has great mechanics, a crafty approach and solid control. When he fully figures out big league hitters, he could be a good back-of-the-rotation type.

Kansas City Royals

1. Mike Moustakas: Despite his lateral movement in 2009, Moustakas has one of the more pure and powerful swings in all of minor league baseball, generated by his lightning-quick wrist speed. His stock hasn’t lost much luster in my eyes, but further development needs to come soon.
2. Eric Hosmer: Hosmer’s full-season debut was wholly disappointing. The most puzzling aspect of his season was witnessing his home run swing virtually fail to generate any power at all. His patience at the plate was the only skill that shined in 2009, but he is still way too young to downgrade significantly.
3. Daniel Duffy: Since Duffy was drafted in 2007, it’s hard to find a more consistent minor league pitcher. He has just about everything you look for in a top-of-the-rotation talent. The only thing he is missing is a consistent mid-90s fastball, although he occasionally hits that mark, and a true out pitch. But he is working on both of those faults.
4. Mike Montgomery: While a 92-94 mph fastball is solid, Montgomery’s frame leads me to believe that he could add a few more ticks on top of that. Combine his fastball with a curveball that is quickly turning into one of minor league baseball’s best, and you are left with a potential ace. I want to see more proof, though.
5. Tim Melville: While Montgomery has passed up Melville in terms of ace ability, the young Melville is right on schedule to join him soon. His fastball hasn’t taken off as I was hoping for, and his mechanics are worrisome at times, but his secondary stuff is coming along nicely.
6. Aaron Crow: Crow has the potential for greatness, giving Kansas City yet another potential ace pitcher, but I need to see some steadfast stats before I can really compare him to the likes of Duffy, Montgomery and Melville.
7. Wil Myers: Being able to nab Myers in the third round, and then have the ability to pay him, has left Kansas City with a raw but premium high school hitting talent. Whether or not he can play catcher going forward remains to be seen, but it’s his bat potential that will carry him. I’m being cautious with his stock right now, but I may be regretting that decision by this time next year.
8. Johnny Giavotella: If his defense can be ironed out, Giavotella has the bat to become an above-average major league second baseman. His contact skills and plate patience are his best assets.
9. John Lamb: This young lefty doesn’t have the ultimate upside of the starting pitchers ranked ahead of him, but he is an advanced young man with a plus change-up and a developing curveball. Lamb’s ability to fill the strike zone with varying speeds has made him stand out from the crowd.
10. Chris Dwyer: Dwyer’s fastball/curveball combination could turn into something special, but his command and mechanics are lacking. He is one to keep an eye on.

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  1. fishercats fan said...

    I am a season ticket holder for the NH Fisher Cats (AA Toronto) and I have/to disagree with the listing of Brad Eamus so high. He is 24 years old and struggled last ywar mightily. Instead you should have put OF Darrin Mastroianni. On top of over 70 steals last season he recorded numerous assists and made dozens of spectacular plays that you can’t see in his stats. He also distracted pitchers while on the basepath and was a clubhouse leader. Also keep your eyes on LHP Luis Perez to make a run as a solid 4 or 5 starter in the majors. He has the stamina to go 7 innings all he needs is some fine tuning. In the bullpen watch for Danny Farquar and Tristan Magnusun. A Dark Horse in a couple of years also could be the 5’5” reliever Tim Collins whose fastball pops at just over 90 and he only just turned 20. Although he isn’t near ready for a callup yet he has the work ethic and potential for greatness.

  2. fishercats fan said...

    Also although he is 26 watch for first baseman Brian Dopirak to make a solid run in Toronto. He’s got a few good years in him. He tore up AA and AAA last year and deserved a Callup. There was just no room for him.

  3. ecp said...

    I’m hopeful that Duffy adds some MPH on his fastball in the future.  It’s still distinctly possible that he will do that as he matures and fills out, given that he still only 20 years old (21 next month).

  4. Jacob Rothberg said...

    So is the consensus now that all three of John Tolisano, Justin Jackson, and Kevin Ahrens are pretty much done as big time prospects? Their draft class was almost universally praised following their selections.

  5. Jacob Rothberg said...

    Also, a little curious how you can describe a pitcher as a “top-of-the-rotation talent” if he lacks both a consistent fastball and an out pitch. Seems like a “top-of-the-rotation talent” without those things is another way of saying replacement-level middle relief.

  6. Chris McKay said...

    What about Kila (with KC)?  I liked what he did last year (even though his BA tailed off at the end).  Where would he rank with KC?

  7. Blue Jays Daze said...

    I entirely agree that Emaus is too high on your list and can’t believe Brad Mills made it at all. May list would have been:

    1. Zach Stewart (best P prospect ready for action, will be used as a starter in AAA, apparently)
    2. JP Arencibia (Power off the charts, under rated)
    3. Johermyn Chavez (best OF prospect – has 5 tools)
    4. Chad Jenkins (highest ceiling as starter)
    5. Daniel Farquhar (closer of the future)
    6. Darrin Mastroianni (outstanding all around)
    7. Brian Dopirak (Could be our starting 1B in 2010)
    8. Tim Collins (Setup guy of the future)
    9. Carlos Perez (BA ranked him 6th in all of GCL)
    10. Henderson Alvarez (love him, need to see him handle AA and above before I become a true believer)

    We all value things differently, so your list is fine. But if we’re talking the highest ceiling guys, I believe my list is a little more accurate.

  8. fishercats fan said...

    The list in the post above this is good. I’m a Yankees fan so I don’t really follow any jays guys until they hit AA and I get to see them first hand so some of the names aren’t familiar with me but I agree a lot with the names I see and the ones left out. I think David Cooper will bust just like Chip Cannon. Eamus is a dud. Mastro, Tiny Tim Collins and The Lord Farquhar have high ceilings. Then again after seeing Ricky Romero suck in AA for almost 3 years I had given up on him.

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  10. ジパングカジ&# said...

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