BA's best Jays prospects at break

 * LHP Daniel Norris vaulted ahead of RHP Aaron Sanchez in Baseball America's first mid-season prospect report. (Photo: Eddie Michels). .... 2014 Canadians drafted … Canadians in Minors … Canadians in college summer ball …. Canadians in College 2015 Canadian draft list Letters of Intent

Previous weeks: Holmberg, Jays prospects rankings ....Sanchez, Pompey, Norris Jays rankings VIV … Case lone Van Canuc Jays prospects VIIIRomano signs, Jays prospects VII  Short one for Sanchez, Jays prospects VI    Burns versatile, Jays prospects V …. Lawrence a cool cat, Jays prospects IV … De Jong II, Jays prospects III … Copeland picks up Janssen, Jays prospects II …. Pompey burning bases, Jays prospects I …. Matt Boyd.


By Bob Elliott

Less than a week remain until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Since April we’ve been asking scouts, minor league directors and other evaluators to give us their opinion of the top 10 prospects in the Blue Jays system as part of our weekly minor-league look.

While it appears the Jays can’t add salary -- they can trade $5 million contract for another $5 million deal, but Rogers Communications has decided against adding to the $137 million team payroll -- some clubs, will pay part of a player’s contract.

The San Diego Padres paid $1 million on what remains of Chase Headley’s contract.

We have an extended list this week and this time around we have the best of the best.

Baseball America’s top issues are its prospects issues, so this year at the all-star break BA came out with a first: it’s mid-season, top 10 prospect list for each organization.

Our pal John Manuel of the highly-respected Baseball America gave us permission to run the magazine’s top 10 picks at the ball-star break.

1. LHP Daniel Norris, New Hampshire A $2 million dollar signee out of high school, Norris didn’t have a great start to his pro career. Norris, who threw severely across his body, made significant changes to his delivery last season that allowed him to finish strong, continuing that momentum into this season. He dominated the Florida State League with a 92-94 mph fastball that touched 96 regularly and two secondary offerings with at least plus potential in his slider and change- up while offering a curve ball that has at least aver- age potential.

2. OF Dalton Pompey, New Hampshire Pompey has been one of the fastest-rising position players in the minors, offering a true center field profile with at least plus speed and arm strength. The switch-hitter offers on-base ability, hitting ability and sneaky power that projects to be at least average.

3. RHP Aaron Sanchez, Buffalo (now the Blue Jays) One of the most talented pitchers in the minors, Sanchez produces plus fastball velocity with ease and plus-plus life, getting ground balls, while offering a wipeout breaking ball from a great pitcher’s body. What he doesn’t do yet is throw strikes consistently.

4. Roberto Osuna, Gulf Coast A prized international signee, Osuna had Tommy John surgery last July, but was one of the youngest players in full-season ball last season. He has a power arsenal with a fastball up to 96 mph and natural feel for pitching. He’s slated to return in the second half.

5. SS Franklin Barreto, Vancouver The strong, compact Barreto has plus speed and arm strength with natural hitting ability. While some evaluators believe Barreto will move off shortstop, he will remain at the position until he proves he can’t play it, with second base and center field potential landing spots.

6. SS Dawel Lugo, Lansing Although Lugo has below-average speed, he has drawn comparisons to Jhonny Peralta because of his good hands, arm strength and limited range. The aggressive-hitting Lugo has bat-to-ball skills, though he rarely walks and his raw power has yet to play.

7. 3B Mitch Nay, Lansing Nay’s plus raw power has yet to translate but he continues to make contact at an above-average rate. Nay has a corner infield profile that will go as far as his bat takes him. He shows the ability to hit to all fields, although he has to prove he can catch up to velocity.

8. LHP Sean Nolin, Buffalo The 24-year-old four-pitch lefthander has been at Triple-A all season and has a chance to help the big league club soon. Nolin has three offerings that show at least average potential and offers pitchability, though his walk rate has climbed this year.

9. OF D.J. Davis, Lansing The premium speedster has struggled in his full season debut, striking out in nearly one-third of his plate appearances. He has not stolen bases efficiently, but his plus-plus speed and athleticism give him defensive value in center field.

10. LHP Jairo Labourt, Vancouver Labourt is a big, physical lefthander with a three-pitch mix who struggled in his full-season debut at Lansing. He has a 90-93 mph fastball that touches 95 with two off speed pitches that flash at least above-aver- age, but his control needs to improve.