Crossing any bridge to the future is a difficult thing to do, isn’t it? And what makes this arduous move into tomorrow so challenging is the unknown outcome in the end. Yet, in life, we all continue to take this plunge because it beats standing on the edge of the cliff and wondering about it.
The Blue Jays FO are taking that plunge into the future today, aren’t they? And even though investing in the future is a gamble, it’s the proper play. However, the problem with baseball prospects compared to other sports is that there really is no way to know who will rise up and be the next Mike Trout, is there? For example, in the 2009 draft the Blue Jays selected, Chad Jenkins, with their first pick, 20th overall, and Mike Trout was selected 25th overall by the Angels.
And all this means is that it’s hard to measure what a talent can develop into being and becoming once going through the system and into the MLB, so a team really has to have a good scouting director and method when it comes to selecting players in the draft.
It’s still very early, which makes any reasonable minded person realize they can’t pass any judgment on Steve Sanders, who is the new amateur scouting director, and the scouting team that has been put in place by the Toronto FO.
The thing is, it’s hard not to like the approach that they are taking, which they showed in this past 2017 draft. The new scouting philosophy of the Blue Jays seems to be focused on College players rather than drafting (mostly) pitching power arms out of high school.
I’m most definitely not saying that the new approach will work out any better than the old FO’s scouting methodology, but I’m interested in seeing how much more quickly these players may develop.
Baseball America has recently released the list for the Blue Jays Midseason Top 10 Prospects, and it is one, which all good ol’ Blue Jays fans can get excited for. The fact of the good MiLB baseball matter is that we all know that Vlad Jr. and Bo Bichette are truly going to become future stars in Toronto if the two continue down what seems like their destined to be path.
But there are quite a few other players to be excited about when you think about the prospect pool that the Blue Jays have today compared to last year at this time.
When I interviewed MiLB prospect guru, Jess Goldberg-Strassler, for an article I wrote for Blue Jays Nation, he shared his thoughts on what the future Blue Jays infield could look like:
I think a potential MLB infield of C Jansen, 3B Vlad, SS Warmoth, 2B Bo is a distinct possibility, with the further incorporation of Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. somewhere in the field. (Not to mention Pentecost, Urena, Rowdy, etc., each of whom needs more time to see how they develop.) Be ready for more prospects to blossom, too, outside of the shadow cast by Vlad and Bo.
Now as we all wait for these baby Jays to develop their wings and jump off MLB mountains, it’s important for fans to be patient with how the FO decides to transition into this not-so-distant future.
Ross Atkins recently stated in regard to this upcoming trade deadline that:
And, I believe, all this goes without being said. I mean, we all knew that this would be their philosophy with the way things have gone all season long. And it makes sense that the team is not interested in a ‘rental player’ since this dodgy lineup has held steady in last place all year, as the injuries and lack of production from the usual WAR machines have hurt this campaign.
So all this means is that trading to have control for the 2018 campaign does make sense. And heck, for all the optimists out there, maybe the good Birds will surprise us this season and the team could be in a September Wild Card race. I don’t see it, but crazier things have happened in life.
So I think by now, most fans understand that it’s unrealistic to blow this team up and that it makes absolutely no business sense as well. At the end of the day, it’s all about revenue, ticket sales, and viewership for this Blue Jays brand, since – to quote the great John Gibbons, ‘This group has put baseball back on the map in Canada.’ And, believe me, the new FO want to keep it that way too.
So my advice to the restless Blue Jays fan would be this: Sit back, enjoy the game, and let the future prospects slowly make their way towards the not so far tomorrow. The 2017 team and 2018 team will be something worth watching, but not that something that brings home the dream. The dream though will always be had as all dreams should be, and the Golden Flags just may be less than 10-years away, who knows? But that's what I believe.