blue jays mlb minute

MLB Minute- Blue Jays, Projections & More!

Jays From the Couch presents the MLB Minute. This week, we look at Toronto Blue Jays, Top Prospects, Projections & more!


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* The Toronto Blue Jays saw their farm system take a step back in the most recent Baseball America rankings. They sit in the 19th spot, likely due in large part to the summer acquisition of Jose Berrios that cost them Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson.  What is even more noteworthy, is that Toronto has the lowest ranked farm system in the AL East with the Rays at #2, Orioles at #4, Red Sox at 11th and the Yankees at 13th.

It should be noted that the bulk of talent that Toronto possesses is in the lower levels of the minors. Their big league product is challenging for a championship and is full of young talent, so having a system that is bottom heavy, for lack of a better term, isn’t as worrisome. In fact, it speaks to the “waves of talent” that President Mark Shapiro has always said was the goal.

 

* Speaking of those Orioles, they’ve decided to move their left field wall back by about 30 ft and raised the wall 5ft higher. The news in and of itself is kind of disappointing since part of the enjoyment of that field comes from the possibility that an outfielder can reach up and rob a home run. But, Jon Hoefling of Deadspin points out that the decision is probably a good one considering the opponents that come into Camden Yards, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr. To whit: “Toronto first baseman Vlad Guerrero Jr. hit 12 home runs against Baltimore last season. That’s one-fourth of his season total.”

Another interesting note from Hoefling is that when John Means tossed a no-hitter in Seattle last season, he commented that it was a good thing it wasn’t in Camden Yards, otherwise a Kyle Lewis fly ball would have been a home run. When your best pitcher is saying the home ball park is a problem, it is rather difficult to attract free agents…whenever the Orioles are in a position to do that.

 

* Speaking of free agents, Brandon Scott of Bleacher Report provides a list of potential landing spots for the 41 year old Nelson Cruz. Scott lists 10 teams that may use Cruz’ services in 2022. With the likely adoption of the universal DH, teams like the Padres and Dodgers are on the list. In fact, the list is full of competitive teams looking for the little extra thump the Ageless Wonder can provide. He’s projected to hit 32 HR, a wRC+ of 123 and 1.8 fWAR.

Most surprising on his list, in the #1 spot is your Toronto Blue Jays. It should be noted that, despite the Blue Jays being a landing spot for Cruz last summer, they don’t really NEED him. It’s odd that Toronto would be at the top of the list and the reasoning basically says they need other things, but missing the playoffs means they could use him. It’s a weak argument for an even weaker idea, but I’d rather see Cruz launch bombs for the Blue Jays than against them. Even if he is another right handed bat.

 

* Finally, the 2022 ZiPS projections are out and your Toronto Blue Jays are thought to finish second in the AL East behind the Yankees. Here is a screenshot of the projected division standings:

 

It is worth noting that the ZiPS calculations take injuries and opponents into consideration and there could very well be a lot of variance in the final outcomes, here. For example, the Yankees have a high end starter in Gerrit Cole and some real offensive threats, but injuries could very well obliterate their chances of success. In the case of Toronto, it appears to be the best equipped to handle injuries, etc. “The Yankees have more variance in their projection than last year. ZiPS still likes their front-end talent, but the wheels come off this cart in the simulations where injuries hit. Toronto’s projection is the opposite, with the tightest bands in the division.” This might come as a surprise to those of us who have questioned the depth that the Blue Jays have.

As you can imagine, the AL East projects to be the most competitive division, but what is interesting is that outside of the aforementioned Yankees and the Houston Astros (who play in a non-AL East division) the Blue Jays are projected to be better than every other AL team. And, Toronto is not done adding pieces. So, there’s that.

 

 

 

*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.

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Shaun Doyle

Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.