Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Prospects! Part 4: New Hampshire Fisher Cats - Hitters

The Lost Season: C A.J. Jimenez
Under the Radar: IF Ryan Schimpf, OF Brad Glenn
The Steal: 1B Gabe Jacobo
Photo: Unknown

A.J. Jiminez (current ranking - #18) is only 21, but he's been showing up on top prospect radars since 2009.  Jiminez is yet another catcher who may project to be a premium player, but in his injury-shortened 2012 season didn't show much with the bat.  He has been known for his defense and his contact hitting abilities (shown mostly in A-ball), but has not yet shown any power.  He'll most likely start 2013 as a DH in New Hampshire until his arm fully recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Photo: Ken Ryan/NH Fisher Cats

Ryan Schimpf has been toiling in the Jays minor league system since being a 5th round draft pick in 2009 out of LSU and was one of the real leaders in power  numbers in the Jays' system in 2012.  While his counting stats weren't impressive in 2011, you could see that he had power to spare, when he hit 10 HRs in 196 at bats in Dunedin.  He responded with another 22 HR in 472 ABs in 2012, split between Dunedin and New Hampshire.  Schimpf also shows good plate discipline (a knock on him earlier in his career), taking plenty of walks and getting on base.  it's unknown where the Blue Jays see him defensively.  In Dunedin he spent most of his time at 2B, where he made a lot of errors, while he played 3B and LF a lot in New Hampshire.  One thing is for sure, the Fisher Cats will want to get his bat in the line-up in 2013. Due to his age (24), Schimpf is not considered to be a real major league candidate for the Jays, but his versatility and his power will probably keep him employed in pro baseball for quite a while, and, if he does explode with a more eye-popping season (perhaps increasing his batting average to the .300 range, or hitting 25+ home runs in AA/AAA), he may appear on a few more radar screens.
Photo: Kevin Littlefield/NH Fisher Cats

 While OF Brad Glenn has been able to maintain his ability to hit for power in his rise throughout the Blue Jays' system, he has seen a steady drop in batting average and OBP at each level, casting great doubt on the 25-year-old's ability to ever play in the majors.  While Glenn led the Fisher Cats in home runs with 19 in 2012, his .233 batting average and .291 OBP just won't cut it.  If I was running the Jays, I'd have Glenn repeat the level, but the Jays had a large number of outfielders in AAA declare minor league free agency, and there may be a need in Buffalo next year.
Photo: Ken Ryan/NH Fisher Cats

Ok, so maybe Gabe Jacobo's not a steal, but he turned out to be a major league talent in an online league of OOTP Baseball that I'm in, and he did put up some good minor league numbers in the Jays organization in 2012 after being selected in the minor league portion of the Rule V draft.  Jacobo is also 25, so he's not really a prospect, but has been able to provide the Jays with a power hitting 1B in the high minors.  He'll probably return to AA in 2013, mainly because of the logjam at the position between the major league and AAA levels with EE, Adam Lind, Travis d'Arnaud, David Cooper, and Mike McDade all ahead of him on the depth chart.  NOTE: McDade was picked up on waivers by Cleveland since I originally wrote this post.

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