As we lead up to both the start of the 2008 season and our “Diamond Cutter” top 100 prospects list, I will be taking a look at the top five prospects from every single Major League team. Each team will have its top five prospects along with a brief scouting report on each player that I have pulled from my scouting notes. Today we wrap up the AL East as we check in with the prospect thirsty Toronto Blue Jays. As always, let me know how you feel about the rankings in the comments section below or via email.
1.) Travis Snider, OF: Snider is best known for his powerful bat but has the weakness many hitters like him have in the form of too many strikeouts. Snider is very athletic and has the bat to carry him in right field but there has been talk of him moving to first base. Snider also has been cursed with the injury bug but when healthy, he is a force in the lineup.
2.) Brett Cecil, LHP: While there is some debate on what role Cecil should play on a staff, the answer seems pretty clear that he is best fit to be the closer of the future for Toronto (or at least a very strong set-up man). Cecil has a decent fastball in the low-90’s which could use a little more velocity, however what makes him so special is his devastating slider. The slider (his out pitch) sits anywhere in the low to mid-80’s and is virtually unhittable to lefties. This is his money pitch that will get him to the Majors but he still needs a change-up to challenge righties.
3.) Kevin Aherns, SS: Aherns recently became a switch hitter and is picking up on it rather quickly thanks to his great baseball instincts. He has a very smart approach at the plate with very quick hands which projects him to have some power potential in the future. Plus arm strength and soft hands help even out his lack of range. Looks like he will most likely make the move to third base once he gets closer to the Majors.
4.) J.P. Arencibia, C: If you are looking for the next gold glove catcher, Arencibia is not your man. However if you are looking for adequate catcher with a big bat, well then look no further. Arencibia is a little below average behind the plate but he should be ok if he stays back there. Has plus raw power that can help people forget about his defensive woes and if his bat becomes big enough a move to DH may not be a bad idea.
5.) Justin Jackson, SS: Jackson is a tough one to scout as he really hasn’t shown that much consistency to get excited about. He does have some raw skills that could be molded into something pretty good. Jackson has very good bat speed but his swings can be a little long and loopy at times causing some ugly contact. Doesn’t have good speed when he begins running but has good acceleration which will hamper him being a base stealer. Needs to get stronger and probably move to third base for him to find a place in the big leagues.
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