Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A sobering look back at a Blue Jays projected lineup

Let this sink in.
I was browsing baseball site upon baseball site, looking for nuggets of inspiration when I came across this gem located within the depths of Fantasy Baseball Cafe: A projected lineup for the 2011 Toronto Blue Jays aka last season.

I'm not really sure what else to call this thing other than horrifying. For those of you who don't know, this was the Baseball America projected 2011 lineup for the Jays. Things to take away from this: Scouting is an imperfect science.

Catcher: J.P. Arencibia
1B-Adam Lind
2B-Aaron Hill
3B-Kevin Ahrens
SS-Justin Jackson
LF-John Tolisano
CF-Vernon Wells
RF-Alex Rios
DH-Travis Snyder (is it me or does everyone named Travis go to the DH?)
Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, Dustin McGowan, Brett Cecil, Shawn Marcum and closer Jeremy Accardo.

Let's go one by one, shall we?

J.P. Arencibia - A BLUE JAY! Say what you will about J.P., some say he's the worst defensive catcher in baseball, others say he's the owner of the best power year for a catcher in Jays history and both are probably objectively true. At the end of the day he's a great twitter follow and likely not long for Toronto with Travis D'Arnaud on the way. An inspired prediction here.

Adam Lind - A BLUE JAY! Given that Adam Lind drives a fair portion of Jays fans absolutely insane, I'll keep this brief. He had one "great" year, and I use quotes because Jose Bautista has since showed everybody what a great year actually is. Lind is now, perpetual "if they could just move him" discussion fodder. That being said, good call on the prediction of the move to first. There was no reason to expect then, though.

Aaron Hill - Currently an Arizona Diamondback after being traded in the middle of 2011. That being said, started the year in Toronto which makes this a correct pick. At the time, Hill looked like he would become the Jays franchise player. It was not to be.

Kevin Ahrens - Our first major swing and a miss. Ahrens has been bouncing between Rookie, A and A+ ball since 2007 which actually predates the post in question here. Total bust.

Justin Jackson - See: Kevin Ahrens. Jackson was promoted from A+ to AA in 2011, where he OPSed a whopping .621 in 28 games. He finally earned that promotion after OPSing .703 in A+ and hasn't been a positive offensive contributor since (tada) 2008. Total bust.

John Tolisano - See: Justin Jackson. On the brightside, and unlike his shortstop equivalent Jackson, Tolisano was the epitome of average offensively in 2011, his first year with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. He has been in the Jays system, like Ahrens and Jackson, since 2007 with zero results to show for it.

Vernon Wells - Currently a member of the Anaheim Angels and owner of arguably the worst contract ever given to a nonpitcher (likely worst contract in all of baseball if not for Barry Zito). Would not have lasted in Toronto as long as he did had it not been for said contract.

Alex Rios - Member of the Chicago White Sox. Most infuriating player in Jays (and White Sox?) history. Came closest to reaching his potential when he was rumoured to be the trade bait for acquiring Tim Lincecum. Was given away to Chicago in a deal the Jays likely won in retrospect. Was a negative WAR player (-0.7) in 2011.

Travis Snider - Still a Blue Jay and currently slated to be a platoon partner in left field for 2012. Bounced back and forth between the big club and affiliates in 2011. Still seen as a high ceiling prospect, but not as highly touted as he was at the time of his debut.

Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, Dustin McGowan, Brett Cecil, Shawn Marcum and closer Jeremy Accardo.

Strikeout indicates that the pitcher is no longer a Jay.

Obviously the state of the franchise has changed dramatically (read: better GM) since this forum user copied and pasted this BA roster prediction four years ago. The real lesson here is that we ought to chill out a little bit before we get giddy about the projected lineups that you can compile with this farm system. A lot can change in three years.

Just ask Kevin Ahrens, he's exactly where you left him.

1 comment:

  1. Considering how far out those projections were made, I'd say that's not too shabby. 3 of the starting 9 will (hopefully) be on the Opening Day roster.