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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

MLB 2013 Team Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

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MLB Team Preview: Toronto Blue Jays
By Wild on Sports Baseball Analyst Aaron Dorman

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
2012 Record:
73-89

RECAP: The Blue Jays lost out on Yu Darvish last winter, then watched their roster fall apart with multiple season-ending injuries to young pitchers and offensive centerpiece Jose Bautista.
NOTABLE ADDITIONS: RA Dickey, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Melky Cabrera, Maicer Izturis

NOTABLE SUBTRACTIONS: loads and loads of prospects, Yunel Escobar, Kelly Johnson, Henderson Alvarez

Keys to Success: What kind of player will outfielder Melky Cabrera be when he plays this year? We don’t know to what extent his numbers last year were a product of performance-enhancing drugs, but if he can duplicate even his .305/.339/.470 line from 2011 (or come close), he will be very valuable. They will need Jose Bautista and Jose Reyes to be healthy because the trades they made this offseason eroded a lot of their depth chart.

PROSPECT WATCH
Prospect Key:
TBD= Work in Progress
X= Posses the Tool
XX= Excels at Tool
AARON SANCHEZ, rhp:
Velocity
Second Stuff
Command
Control
Strikeouts
Health
xx
TBD


x
x
Sanchez is the lone remaining blue-chip player in the Blue Jays system, and he’s a long way away. The 19-year-old went 8-5 with a 2.49 ERA in 90 IP with low-A Lansing. His 51/97 BB/K ratio indicates he’s still mostly a thrower, but he has plenty of time.
MARCUS STROMAN, rhp (reliever):
Velocity
Second Stuff
Command
Control
Strikeouts
Health
x
x
x
x
TBD
x
The Jays’ second pick in the 2012 draft (22nd overall), Stroman pitched well in 15 games out of the bullpen between A-AA at the end of last year, but he was hit with a 50-game suspension by failing a banned substance test. That means he won’t start the 2013 until late May at the earliest. Stroman was considered to be one of the more advanced pitchers in the draft, however, and could wind up pitching out of the Jays’ bullpen by the end of the year.

2012 Top Draft Pick: DJ Davis, OF
Sleeper MLB Contributor: AJ JIMENEZ, C, could vie for playing time as Toronto’s catching situation is weak and unsettled.

2013 OVERVIEW AND PROJECTION: The Blue Jays overhauled their team completely over the winter, switching out three position player and three starting rotation slots. Although their farm system is now barren, they did it for the right players. RA Dickey and Jose Reyes are elite talents, and Josh Johnson could also return to ace-levels this year. The other players added could all be average or better. On paper they look like a balanced lineup, with catcher the only obvious hole, and their rotation could be devastating, especially if Brandon Morrow matches his 2012 numbers over a full season. They were the busiest and most aggressive buyer this offseason, and that makes them 

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