We break down the top five prospects for each organization for 2010, taking into consideration: games, at-bats, innings and major-league service time. We expect these players to have rookie status remaining heading into next year.
According to MLB rules: "A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the major leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a major league club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list)."
Note: Statistics are those at each stop in the minors this season and age represents how old they will be on opening day 2010.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are a rebuilding team that celebrated the breakthrough of sophomore Adam Lind, but they had a bad season all told and it doesn't look like there is much behind the 2009 wave of kids. They really need a four- or five-player package for Roy Halladay to stock their farm system now.
1. J.P. Arencibia, C, 24
It was a disappointing season for the slugging catcher prospect in his first full season in Triple-A, but he came on late, hitting six homers in his last 10 games. For the season, he finished at .236 with 21 homers, 75 RBI, 67 runs, a .284 batting-average against and .444 slugging percentage. His free-swinging ways make him a high-risk, high-reward option for Fantasy owners, but you have to like the power potential at the thin catcher position at least.
2. Brad Mills, SP, 25
Mills had an injury-plagued season and had to watch as a carousel of rookie pitchers start games for the Blue Jays in the second half. While he was just 2-8 in Triple-A, he did handle the hitter-friendly PCL with a 4.06 ERA and .262 batting-average against. He allowed less than a hit (83) per inning (84 1/3) and struck out 72 through 14 starts. Consider him a potential contributor to the Blue Jays' rotation in 2010, but he won't have as much of an impact 2009 rookies Ricky Romero and Marc Rzepczynski had.
3. David Cooper, 1B, 23
The first-round pick from California in 2008 didn't have a standout first full season as a pro, but he was handling Double-A much better in the second half. For the season, he finished .258-10-66-62 (.340-.389) in 473 at-bats. He likely needs to show more at that level before he can progress up the system. Consider him a long-term keeper flier still.
4. Chad Jenkins, SP, 22
You might have never heard of Kennesaw State University, but that is where the Blue Jays found their first of two No. 1 picks this past June. Jenkins struggled with his command in his 13 pro appearances (40 innings in low Class A), walking 31 batters while striking out 40. A spring training with the big club could help get him corrected and allow him to arrive quickly. We already saw a flood of young arms get quick looks in Toronto and Jenkins could be the next to debut -- albeit at the end of 2010 at best.
5. Bobby Ray, SP, 26
Ray is yet another injury-plagued Blue Jays starter. He made just five starts in the minors and four in the majors, but he showed enough to remain in the top five of this weak organization. Consider him a potential rotation contributor in 2010, but he will be a risky AL-only option initially and won't be a real difference-maker in Fantasy.
Best of the rest: Zachary Stewart, SP; James Paxton, SP; Justin Jackson, SS; Scott Campbell, 3B; Kevin Ahrens, 3B; Allen Farina, SP; Brian Jeroloman, C; John Tolisano, 2B; Brad Emaus, 2B; Luis Perez, SP; Eric Eiland, SP; Josh Roenicke, SP; Gustavo Pierre, SS; Mark Sobolewski, 3B; Tyler Pastornicky, SS; Andrew Liebel, SP; Danny Farquhar, SP; Trystan Magnuson, SP; Markus Brisker, SS; Balbino Fuenmayor, 1B; Eric Thames, DH; Moises Sierra, DH; Tim Collins, SP; Jake Eliopoulos, SP; Jake Barrett, SP; Jacob Marisnick, OF; Ryan Goins, SS; Ryan Schimpf, 2B; and Dirk Hayhurst, SP.
Last year's top five here: Snider, Arencibia, Cecil, Mills and Cooper.
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