Another impressive outing from Noah Syndergaard, another power display from Miguel Sano, and a no-hitter from a knuckleballer—this weekend had a little bit of everything.
Games of Friday, June 28
Pitching Prospect of the Day: Cory Mazzoni, RHP, Mets (Double-A Binghamton): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 K. I hate to say that I may have given a false sense of confidence to Mets fans, but I previously talked to a bunch of scouts that thought Mazzoni was going to stay as a starter moving forward. Recently, I’ve talked to more scouts who think that Mazzoni will be better utilized in the bullpen.
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The Baseball Prospectus 2013 Top 101 Prospects, by Position, by Organization, and by Age
Yesterday, Jason Parks and the Baseball Prospectus prospect crew released our Top 101 Prospects of 2013, also newly available in printed form in the now-shipping Baseball Prospectus 2013 annual. The festivities were wild and raucous for all, perhaps tempered slightly for fans of the Chicago White Sox. Here is the Top 101 list displayed by position, by organization, and by prospect age. Enjoy!
For my last Minor League Update of 2012, I put together a 25-man roster of prospects who have been traded so far this offseason. There was a lot of starting pitching depth with four or five pretty good pitchers that didn't make the cut. There weren't any good first base prospects and only two very good outfield prospects. Besides that, it's a pretty solid squad.
What could possibly go wrong with Toronto's top prospects? A lot, actually.
Prospect #1: C Travis d'Arnaud Background with Player: My eyes; industry sources Who: A supplemental first-round selection in the 2007 draft, d’Arnaud has slowly moved up the prospect food chain and now finds himself wearing the label of alpha catcher in the minors. The 23-year-old brings a balanced skill set to the table, with what some scouts have suggested is a well above-average bat for the position, and improving defensive chops that grade out in the solid-average range. d’Arnaud crushed last season in Double-A, hitting for average and power, and propelling himself into the major league discussion for 2012, despite the fact that the Blue Jays already have a promising young catcher penciled into the lineup. Some scouts believe d’Arnaud has multiple All-Star Games in his future, and could emerge as one of the best all-around players at his position in the majors. Lofty praise.
What Could Go Wrong in 2012: With lofty praise comes lofty expectations, and in the case of d’Arnaud, I’m afraid a really good player is being miscast as a really great player. I think d’Arnaud is going to hit in the high-minors, probably not to the level of 2011, but he’s going to hit. He has a good swing that is short to the ball, and he generates good bat speed. He shows legit pop and can lift a ball over the fence, although he’s a better contact oriented gap-to-gap hitter than a sellout-for-power type. At the highest level, I don’t see d’Arnaud as a .300 hitter with 25+ home run potential; rather, I see an above-average stick for the position, but more of a .270 hitter with 25+ doubles and 10+ home runs. I think the swing and the setup can be exploited by pitchers who have location ability and sequence, and since I’ve only seen d’Arnaud crush fringy stuff, I can’t speak to how he will handle top-shelf velocity. It’s a small nitpick, but it’s the difference between a solid major league regular and a perennial all-star. What could go wrong is built into the expectations placed on the player, with the high-end ceilings making letdown and failure almost inescapable. If you think d’Arnaud is a balanced, all-around high-five/low-six type of catcher, he’s probably going to make you happy by playing good defense, hitting for a respectable average, and showing good pop for the position. If you are expecting a Gold Glove-quality defensive player with batting champ credentials and 25+ home run pop, you might be in for disappointment. If d’Arnaud had that suggested potential, he would be considered a top tier prospect in the entire minors, someone who could stand next to the Trouts of the world as a future 7 player. The scouts who put him in that class are either onto something and ahead of the curve, or they are on something and should share with the rest of the class.