The big offseason that the Toronto Blue Jays had in November of 2012, completely depleted their farm system, trading away their most valuable assets (d’Arnaud, Syndergaard, Marisnick, Nicolino, and Hechavarria) and left them without a lot left in the tank. As MLB Pipeline announced their 2014 top 100 prospects list, 3 current players in the Blue Jays farm system still occupied spots on said list.
Aaron Sanchez (Rank: 23rd, previous 2013 rank: 35th)
The lone remaining member of the ‘Lansing Big 3′—after the depature of Justin Nicolino and Noah Syndergaard)—Aaron Sanchez has since been considered the best pitching prospect in the Blue Jays farm system, the 6’4″ righty is a primarily 2-pitch pitcher, has an arsenal consisting of a plus 90’s fastball and a power curve with a developing change-up. Drafted 34th overall in 2010 MLB draft, out of Barstow High School at just 17 years old, he has worked his way up from the Blue Jays system—pitching an entire season with the single-A Dunedin Blue Jays in 2013. Sanchez achieved a 4-5 record in 20 games started, 3.34 ERA, 1.193 WHIP. His numbers also indicate that he has a big weakness in his game, which may be struggling with his command, walking 4.2 batters per 9 innings—which if you wish to look at the silver lining—makes his WHIP look that much more impressive, as he gave up a total of just 63 hits in 86.1 IP with opponents batting .202.
With a strong showing in A-ball last season, the 21 year old Sanchez should continue his climb through the Jays’ system, and find himself in AA New Hampshire to start the 2014 season.
Marcus Stroman (Rank: 55th, previous rank: unranked)
The former Duke Blue Devil makes the MLB.com top 100 prospects list for the first time after a strong sophomore season in the Blue Jays organization. Drafted in the 1st round, many expert scouts rated him as the most MLB-ready pitcher in the 2012 draft, throwing a low 90s fastball, a plus slider, and a change-up, all with good command. The 22 year old Stroman excelled in AA New Hampshire last season, starting in 20 games—after serving his 50 game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance—accumulating a record of 9-5, with a 3.30 ERA, 1.128 WHIP, and a K/9 of 10.4. Stroman is considered to have the best chance to make a major league appearance this season for the Blue Jays, likely as a member of the bullpen due to his undersized 5’9″ frame, which many experts feel may not be able to carry a full season’s workload as a starter.
Roberto Osuna (Rank: 93rd, previous rank: 90th)
On the cusp of the top 100 list, at #90 last season, Osuna sees a slight drop in his ranking, narrowly making the cut once again, due to suffering a year ending injury in 2014. Signed out of the Mexican League in 2011 by the Blue Jays at just 16 years old, throwing a low-to-mid 90’s fastball, change-up, and slider all with above-average control. Roberto Osuna put himself on the top 100 list with an outstanding 2012 season pitching in both low A-ball affiliates: Bluefield and Vancouver. The soon to be 19 year old started in 10 games last season for the Lansing Lugnuts, going 3-5, with 5.53 ERA, 1.181 WHIP, K/9 of 10.8 before suffering a torn elbow ligament and having to undergo Tommy John surgery. As a result of the surgery, Osuna will have to miss the entire 2014 season.
Other prospects Blue Jays fans may be interested in seeing, ie. former Toronto Blue Jays prospects:
Noah Syndergaard (NYM), Rank: 11th, previous rank: 29th
Travis d’Arnaud (NYM), Rank 22nd, previous rank: 6th
Jake Marisnick (MIA), Rank 65th, previous rank: 70th
Justin Nicolino (MIA), Rank 81st, previous rank: 72nd
2013 top 100 prospects list: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130129&content_id=41247106&c_id=mlb