Thursday, February 28, 2013

Prospects! part 14: Gulf Coast League Blue Jays - hitting, and others

The Bad Boy Football "Star": Anthony Alford
The Domincan: Dawel Lugo
Gone baby gone: Wuilmer Becerra
Much has been written about the Jays' 3rd round pick of 2012 OF Anthony Alford.  Alford is not only trying to play college football, but he has had some trouble with the law.  While he won't go to prison, he is transferring to another Mississippi school and will not even be able to play football in 2013 (due to NCAA transfer rules), but will still be practicing with the team, forcing him to leave baseball in early August.  The Jays are hoping to get him into camp for extended spring training and some at bats in rookie ball before he leaves.  What is truly a shame is that he is an extraordinary athlete that could achieve amazing things on a baseball field if he gave it the same attention he gives football.  He has explosive speed and power, but most scouts are worried that he will lose some of the most important years of his development pursuing his football dreams and won't end up at the top level in either sport.
Photo: Unknown

SS Dawel Lugo has been characterized as an above average defensive player who may develop at the plate, but will need a lot of time.  He's only 18 (signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic) and some think that his mediocre stats at Dunedin (.224/.275/.329) will improve as he matures.

Didn't Play in 2012:  Franklin Barreto, Mitch Nay, Matt Smoral
Photo: Victor Calvo
There were a few Jays who didn't play in 2012 that are on prospect radars for the coming year. 
SS Franklin Barreto was the top ranked international free agent this year and signed on with the Jays.  Barreto will only be 17 this year but scouts think that he might end up at second base or outfield due to his size (5'9") and poor footwork in the infield.  He has excellent speed and could have a decent bat in the long run.

Matt Smoral is a big high-school lefty (6'8") who missed playing in 2012 due to a stress fracture in his foot.  He'll be 19 this year and he'll probably be in Bluefield or Vancouver this year.  He throws in the low 90s and has a potentially good slider.  Kiley McDaniel at Fangraphs said the he didn't throw any changeups in the instructional league while Jonathan Mayo says his changeup is solid.  McDaniel projects him as a 2/3 starter if that changeup develops into a major league average pitch. 

3B Mitch Nay will be 19 this year after missing 2012 with an injury but has been described as being a very good defensive 3B with a really good arm.  He has a ton of power but will probably need to work on his plate discipline as he matures through the minors.

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