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2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread

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2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#1 » by Schad » Mon Feb 15, 2021 9:52 pm

After many years, I think it's probably time to retire the old thread as baseball's new minor league realignment has rendered most of the information woefully out of date. Gone is the old structure, with the Jays featuring seven affiliates; now, like every other team, the Jays will have just four affiliates, and the historic league names have been kiboshed in favour of a much more bloodless naming structure: ie., the Florida State League has been modified and will now be Low A Southeast.

The Jays' 2021 affiliates:

AAA (AAA East - NE, yes, you read that correctly)

Buffalo Bisons
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https://www.milb.com/buffalo






AA (AA Northeast - NE)

New Hampshire Fisher Cats
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https://www.milb.com/new-hampshire]






High-A (High-A West)

Vancouver Canadians
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https://www.milb.com/vancouver






Low-A (Low-A Southeast - W, because there is a West division within the Southeast League because sure)

Dunedin Blue Jays
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https://www.milb.com/dunedin



Every team will also have a single short-season club stateside, run by the clubs themselves rather than as affiliates (as has been the case with the rookie ball teams previous).

In practical terms, Vancouver has been promoted a couple rungs, Dunedin has been demoted, and the Lansing Lugnuts and Bluefield Blue Jays have ceased to be part of the Jays' organizational structure: Bluefield will now be part of a collegiate summer league, while Lansing is the new High-A affiliate of the Oakland A's.

I don't like the changes overall. By compressing the minor league structure, it's going to place considerably more pressure on kids to succeed out of the gate, while also making it far more difficult for low draft picks to get playing time. That's going to be particularly true in a year where you have a significant bottleneck created by COVID, where few 2020 draftees have gotten a real chance. But because teams recognized the benefits of having a metric tonne of minor league teams, MLB opted to level the playing field by screwing over those (including the Jays) who were willing to spend a little extra to support multiple short-season teams.

I am curious how the collegiate summer league works out. There has been an informal structure, the Cape Cod League, filling that need to some extend, but it suffered from drawbacks: the first being that it was expensive to enter, which created a barrier for kids that didn't come from well-off families.
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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#2 » by JaysRule15 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:39 am

Yeah, not a huge fan of these changes at all. The old system had some flaws some sure, but completely changing MILB wasn't the answer. Manfred has really been making a lot of questionable decisions these past few years.

Shoutout to everyone who participated in the old prospects thread! That thread lowkey got me through some dark years with this team lol.
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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#3 » by Adrian_05 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:04 pm

They're trying to save money, so it's a huge W for owners. Don't think this a questionable decision from Manfred.
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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#4 » by Schad » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:21 pm

It saves some owners money. Other owners were quite happy to spend the extra (because it wasn't much) to cast a wider net, because the benefits of wringing even a single extra decent prospect out of your system pays for an awful lot of short-season baseball. The teams with piles of low-minors teams weren't always the rich ones, as Cleveland/Tampa had 7 stateside affiliates as we did, while some more moneyed teams had fewer.

The irony is that saving a few bucks will ultimately hurt those small market teams that relied on being player development juggernauts.
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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#5 » by SharoneWright » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:57 am

Competition to make Low A might be the fiercest of all, with the smallest sample sizes and most margin for errors in scouting and talent evaluation. So many non-established kids with nothing more than unrealized potential. Many, unfortunately, will stay that way.

I also wonder how AA and AAA can be sustained, considering how the vast majority of kids in the low minors ultimately flame out. At least there used to be a large pool to feed the bigger clubs. But now, once you're in the system I guess they almost have to keep pushing you up the chain??
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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#6 » by polo007 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:03 pm

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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#7 » by polo007 » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:12 am

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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#8 » by polo007 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:25 am

Brazil's Eric Pardinho is the forgotten Blue Jays pitching prospect, but maybe not for long - TSN.ca

Now in the final stages of recovery, Pardinho is eager to see how all of his work translates.

“I think the answer will come when I come back to the mound, but with all the things I've been doing and trying to be better and better as an athlete since I had the surgery, focused just on my recovery, far from home to reach my goals, keeping confidence I am certainly on the right way to be a better pitcher,” Pardinho said.

“I'm very excited to be back. I can't wait to go back and pitch again in official games. Every day when I think I'm getting closer and closer to that moment, it helps me to give my best in every workout and practice.”

The Blue Jays will be careful with their $1.4 million Brazilian bonus baby.


As they should.

There’s no need to rush him and he could be worth the wait.

Once Pardinho gets back into minor league games and shakes off the rust, he could move quickly, too.

Pardinho, who threw an easy bullpen Friday in Dunedin, his first since the surgery, hopes to be ready for game action in a couple months.

“The expectation of pitching in game again would be in May,” Pardinho said. “My next steps are to come back pitching with a healthy body, improve my fitness and have good numbers during the 2021 season.”


The numbers this year won’t matter much to people within the organization. Many just can’t wait to see him get on a mound again and see where things go.

It’s been a unique rehab process and the Jays have been impressed.
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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#9 » by polo007 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:03 pm

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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#10 » by polo007 » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:42 pm

How Simeon Woods Richardson got so far ahead of schedule - Sportsnet.ca

The Woods Richardson caravan retraced its path to the west side of the state, where a high-A debut was still the plan, only in a different uniform. Emotions were elevated. Woods Richardson swung from the excitement of a promotion to the ego-puncture of being traded. Did the Mets not think as highly of him as he’d thought? Why did they promote him if they didn’t even want him? Sitting in the RV’s passenger seat next to his reassuring mother, Wendy, who was reminding him baseball’s a business and these things happen, Woods Richardson scrolled through his contacts looking for someone to call, someone who understood, and landed on his old travel ball coach, the 14-year MLB veteran Adam Dunn. “Dude, one time I got traded for a bucket of balls,” Dunn told him. “You got traded for Marcus Stroman.”

It‘s the perspective Blue Jays fans needed to hear at that moment as well. When the organization’s front office moved Stroman a year-and-a-half before he’d hit free agency — trading an all-star, a staff ace, the best pitcher the organization had drafted and developed since Roy Halladay — it did not do so thoughtlessly. It did not, as was widely suggested at the time, trade Stroman for a pittance. It did not trade him for a bucket of balls. It traded him for one young pitcher who could impact its major-league roster in the near-term, bespectacled left-hander Anthony Kay, and another really young pitcher who could impact the major-league roster a lot sooner than many assumed. The latter was a supremely confident, athletically gifted, ferociously competitive 18-year-old the organization had targeted in the 2018 draft before the Mets surprised everyone and took him four picks prior to Toronto’s selection; a relatively unknown right-hander who wasn’t considered a top-100 MLB prospect at the time — a particular point of disdain for aggrieved fans watching another popular player leave town — but who many in Toronto’s baseball operations department believed was significantly undervalued and would soon feature on those subjective industry rankings.

Lo and behold, today Woods Richardson is on top-100 lists for a second year running. With Nate Pearson a big-leaguer, he’s the top pitching prospect in a rising organization with sooner-rather-than-later intentions of graduating effective young arms to its major-league roster and contending for championships. And after spending his 2020 at Toronto’s alternate training site, pitching to advanced hitters and learning from high-level coaches, Woods Richardson enters this season with an opportunity to earn his MLB debut before his 21st birthday in September.
That would make him one of the youngest players in MLB — not that unusual for a poised, polished talent who’s been the youngest player on every team he’s played on and just about every league he’s played in. It would be an uncommonly rapid rise from high schooler to major-leaguer — not that anything in his life, from his physical growth to his maturity to his command of four above-average MLB pitches, has come slowly. It would be an accelerated ascent — not that it would be fast enough for Simeon Woods Richardson.

“Going into camp, I plan to make a statement — I plan on breaking with the Jays this year” Woods Richardson says. “It’s one of my goals. If not, then I guess it’s a September call-up. It’s by no means an ego or an arrogance thing. I’m just very confident in myself. And I think I have a window of opportunity here. I know God’s blessed me with the ability to do what I can do. I’m not rushing anything. But I know I can help the Blue Jays right now. And we can go a long ways together.”
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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#11 » by polo007 » Mon Mar 1, 2021 10:05 pm

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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#12 » by Schad » Mon Mar 1, 2021 11:41 pm

I'm still a bit perplexed by why a large part of the baseball world is so down on Biggio. Like, he's not going to be a star, and he definitely got lucky last year from a batted ball perspective (his batted ball numbers were pretty bad), but if you take the totality of his 2019 and 2020 he's an above-average hitter by both traditional stats and xwOBA, plays a solid-average 2B, and has posted 3.8 fWAR. All of the projection models rate him as an above-average player in 2021. That's a good player to have! And the 2019 batted ball data is good enough (and in almost double a sample size to) the 2020 data that I'm not sure whether one should wholly rely on the latter as predictive.

It's certainly possible that the deadened ball could take away his wallscraper HRs, but that's still pretty speculative.
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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#13 » by vaff87 » Tue Mar 2, 2021 10:48 pm

Schad wrote:I'm still a bit perplexed by why a large part of the baseball world is so down on Biggio. Like, he's not going to be a star, and he definitely got lucky last year from a batted ball perspective (his batted ball numbers were pretty bad), but if you take the totality of his 2019 and 2020 he's an above-average hitter by both traditional stats and xwOBA, plays a solid-average 2B, and has posted 3.8 fWAR. All of the projection models rate him as an above-average player in 2021. That's a good player to have! And the 2019 batted ball data is good enough (and in almost double a sample size to) the 2020 data that I'm not sure whether one should wholly rely on the latter as predictive.

It's certainly possible that the deadened ball could take away his wallscraper HRs, but that's still pretty speculative.


Keith Law has always criticized Biggio, and he seems to have an ego too big to admit being wrong.
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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#14 » by polo007 » Wed Mar 3, 2021 1:28 am

2021-22 MLB International Prospects Big Board - Baseball America

Luis Meza

Catcher


Venezuela

Born: Sept. 11, 2004. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 5-11. Wt.: 185.

Venezuela consistently is home to top international catchers, with Diego Cartaya (Dodgers), Francisco Alvarez (Mets) and Ronnier Quintero (Cubs) in the most recent signing classes. Meza fits into that tier of players as a catcher who projects to stick behind the plate and is one of the better hitters in Venezuela. He has a loose, easy swing with a knack for being on time and strong game performance. He's a high-contact hitter who uses the whole field, with room on his broad-shouldered frame to fill out and drive the ball with more impact as he gets stronger. Meza's catch-and-throw skills are also advanced for his age. The Blue Jays are expected to sign Meza, who trains with Kander Depablos and Reynaldo Gonzalez.
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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#15 » by polo007 » Wed Mar 3, 2021 3:31 am

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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#16 » by Lateral Quicks » Wed Mar 3, 2021 10:43 pm

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It's far too early to write off Jansen as the catcher of the future. He's only entering his age 25 season with barely a full season's worth of at-bats under his belt, and he's already proven to be a decent player. He's got 30 HR power in that frame, and he can take a walk - this could be the year he breaks out with the stick. Also his defense has improved.

That said the Jays may be forced into a decision on catcher mid-season or next off-season. Too many good/promising catchers deserving of MLB playing time.
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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#17 » by I_Like_Dirt » Wed Mar 3, 2021 11:27 pm

I think McGuire is the one out first. A few teams are desperate for catching and may take him as an added flyer while trading an SP.

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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#18 » by Lateral Quicks » Yesterday 1:19 am

I_Like_Dirt wrote:I think McGuire is the one out first. A few teams are desperate for catching and may take him as an added flyer while trading an SP.

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The thing is McGuire profiles the best of the 3 as a backup, defense-first catcher. Those are useful. Plus he bats left-handed, which adds value if he can hit even a little bit at the MLB level.

Not an easy decision at all.
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Re: 2021 Minor League/Prospects Discussion Thread 

Post#19 » by I_Like_Dirt » Yesterday 3:52 am

Lateral Quicks wrote:
I_Like_Dirt wrote:I think McGuire is the one out first. A few teams are desperate for catching and may take him as an added flyer while trading an SP.

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The thing is McGuire profiles the best of the 3 as a backup, defense-first catcher. Those are useful. Plus he bats left-handed, which adds value if he can hit even a little bit at the MLB level.

Not an easy decision at all.
McGuire profiled better defensively in the minors but I'm not convinced anymore. Jansen has caught up to him there. And his bat is so bad it doesn't matter that he bats left. Jansen is equal or better defensively and better offensively; he's been better at basically every level and moving him would be gambling on the other guys being ready for full-time duties. Granted, he may get more in trade for those reasons but all it takes is one team to think as you described and suddenly McGuire and Grichuk seems like a decent package.

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