By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
Another prominent website released their list of MLB's Top 100 prospects on Monday and, lo and behold, five Blue Jays (more than any other list) rank in the top 100 of the Fangraphs list.
One thing that I really like about the Fangraphs list is that they offer a lot of explanation about how they put the list together, how they assign a value to the tools and what their Future Value (FV) means here.
So how do the Blue Jays rank? Well, Vladimir Guerrero ranks third with Bo Bichette joining him in the top 10 at No. 9. Anthony Alford comes in at No. 36 while the big surprise is that Danny Jansen comes in at No. 71 and Nate Pearson is close behind at No. 76.
"Danny Jansen?" you say, quizzically. Yep, he's Fangraphs' No. 4 Blue Jays prospect and No. 71 overall. We'll get to him a bit later.
Guerrero gets the usual kudos for his patience and early development although they categorize him as a first baseman, calling him a potentially "fringey" third baseman. On a side note, I love that Kiley McDaniel and Eric Longenhagen spell "fringey" with an "e," because we all know that to make the "g" soft, you need an "e" after it. And "fringy" just looks wrong. Yes, I'm looking at you, pretty much every other prospect writer out there. It's "fringey," for Pete's sake.
At No. 9, under the 60 Future Value (FV) prospects, is Bo Bichette. They think that he's going to improve his hit tool as well as his power in the future although they also think that he's going to probably slide to second base.
Alford is ranked at No. 36, a little bit higher than where he's been ranked by other lists. Even though Alford's been hitting .300 in the minors, the Fangraphs folks think that there's still improvement in his hit tool, although they don't think that his in-game power will match his raw power.
Fangraphs thinks that Danny Jansen (No. 71) is a "near-ready everyday catcher" who has average or better potential for his tools across the board (except speed, but hey, he's a catcher). The big surprise is how highly they rate Jansen and how they see him as an everyday big league player, buying into the thought that his 2017 was not a fluke and is reflective of his true ability.
Longenhagen and McDaniel think that Nate Pearson's control is going to be his Achilles heel going forward but his big fastball has a 70 future value while his slider and changeup both look to be above average. They've given a 50 FV which translates (in their view) to being either a No. 4 starter or high-leverage reliever. But they also say that his variance is high, meaning that if he improves control beyond were they think his ceiling is (which they think is below average), he could be much more.
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The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Check out the Handbook page for more information!