Monday, August 29, 2011

Blue Jays Prospect Hot Sheet: Aug 19-28

As I mentioned in the last edition, Hypocritical Sports Fan will be running a regular Blue Jays Prospect Hot Sheet. The list is a representation of the hottest 5 or so players in the Blue Jays farm system over a 10 day period, with the player pool consisting of my personal Top 40 prospect list.

This edition will be for the games spanning from (and including) August 19th to August 28th.

1. CF Jacob Anderson, GCL Blue Jays
.500/.551/.692 (1.243 OPS), 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB, 3/4 BB/K

Anderson, the first positional player drafted by Toronto this past June, has seen his professional career get off to a scorching start. As a late signee, Anderson has only played 9 games in the Gulf Coast League so far this year, but is already showing he could be ready for a Bluefield or Vancouver assignment to begin next year. The above stat line was accumulated in only 7 games (6 of which were multi-hit efforts), which makes Anderson taking the #1 spot even more impressive. Jacob Anderson is a big guy at 6'4", and given his age (he won't turn 19 until late November) it's likely he will move to a corner outfield position down the road as he continues to mature physically. Anderson even played some first base for his highschool team because of his size and the fact they were so rich in atheltic outfielders. Regardless, Toronto will likely give him every opportunity to prove he can stay in centerfield as his value is much higher there.

2. RHP Drew Hutchison, Double-A New Hampshire
2-0, 10 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 13 K

Coming into the season I had ranked Hutchison as my #14 prospect in the system and thought myself rather bold in doing so. Since then, Hutch has torn the minor leagues apart, moving all the way from Single-A Lansing up to Double-A New Hampshire. Hutchison made two starts from August 19th to 28th, the first being his last with Dunedin, and the second being his debut with New Hampshire. Unsurprisingly, Hutchison met the challenge and excelled, posting two impressive pitching lines that total the above numbers. Hutch snuck into some midseason Top-50 prospect lists, and given his impressive second half numbers, I expect his name will pepper the top half of Top-100 lists this winter. Drew has established himself as one of Toronto's top-5 prospects entering 2012.

3. CF Jake Marisnick, Single-A Lansing
.378/.439/.595 (1.034 OPS), 5 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 SB, 3/4 BB/K

Perhaps Toronto's most well rounded positional prospect, Jake Marisnick had one of those weeks. In his 9 games, Marisnick had multiple hits 6 times and atleast 1 extra base hit or stolen base 6 times. His best game during this time frame was August 26th, in which he went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, 1 home run, and 2 runs scored. Along with the aformentioned Drew Hutchison, Marisnick has been one of Toronto's biggest stories in the minor leagues this year. Now up to a .323/.396/.500 (.896), 26 2B, 6 3B, 13 HR, 76 RBI, 35 SB, 43/84 BB/K line on the year, the 20 year old Marisnick has established himself as a blue chip prospect and should meet the 2012 challenge of Dunedin with a lot of confidence.

4. RHP Chad Jenkins, Double-A New Hampshire
0-2, 13.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 14 K

While the 0-2 record and 3.29 ERA don't seem worthy of a hot sheet, it's Jenkins' other numbers that show how dominant he was in late August. Jenkins held hitters to a sub-.200 batting average and walked no one, good for an impressive 0.59 WHIP. After posting rather mediocre numbers through his first two Double-A months (June and July), Jenkins came on strong in August with a 3.06 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 3.71 K/BB, and 7.24 K/9. While he lacks the upside of many of Toronto's other pitching prospects, Jenkins has gotten hot at the right time, inspiring some confidence from the front office, which should help him achieve his big league dreams at some point in 2012.

5. CF Anthony Gose, Double-A New Hampshire
.250/.386/.528 (.914 OPS), 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 11 SB, 6/10 BB/K

To say that Anthony Gose has been on a base stealing tear would be an understatement. From August 19th to 28th, Gose went 11/11, bringing his cumulative August total to 17/17. What has been equally impressive has been Gose's power development, as his 5 extra base hits during this time period bring him up to 11 for the month (5 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR). His biggest problem this year, which is emphasized nicely in this sample, is strikeouts. Gose struck out 10 times during these 10 games, bringing his season total up to 143 strikeouts in 130 games. Despite hitting only .250 here, Gose made his hits count.

6. LF Christopher Hawkins, Rookie-class Bluefield
.424/.500/.545 (1.045 OPS), 4 2B, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 2 SB, 6/6 BB/K

Toronto's outfield depth shouldn't be questioned any time soon. Hawkins is the 4th outfielder to make this hot sheet, and is the first prospect to appear on consecutive lists. Hawkins made the sheet once again through consistency, as he had at least a hit in 9 of his 10 games. The only game in which he did not record a hit was a pinch hitting appearance, where he walked. Amazingly, in his 9 starts, he reached base two or more times in every game. While he hasn't shown the extra base power that his hot list counterparts have, Hawkins has found continued success this year by taking what he is given and knocking the ball around the park. If "clutch" could be measured, Hawkins' 1.140 OPS with runners on and 1.033 OPS with runners in scoring position might suggest he has a some in him.

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