Jays Minors - Top 4 Second Basemen

Now, this is where the Jays minors picture gets really murky. We have a combination of under performing players and just drafted players who did fairly well in a short period of time. First and foremost, nobody sticks out and screams top-prospect. All have decent defensive tools and can become average MLB starters if all falls into place for them. Whether one of these guys becomes a star or not is the real question, and the 2010 season will go a long way to answering that question as they move up the ladder, and as the Jays are forced to decide who gets which level of play. Regardless, this is one of the weakest areas of the Jays minors system, only behind the SS position. The following are the top 4!

1. Ryan Schimpf: will be 22 in 2010
Overtaking John Tolisano as the top 2B in the system is the Jays 2009 5th round draft pick, Ryan Schimpf. Ryan signed very early after the draft, with little fanfare, and played hard from the beginning. He spent most of the season at Aubrun and played extremely well against right handers, hitting .333 with all 3 of his HRs, and showed his youth against lefties, hitting .152 with no extra base hits in 33 ABs. However, it's the fact that he walked almost as often as he struck out (15/24) that stood out for Ryan and enabled him to get a total OBP of .381 in 2009 at such a young age. Depending on how he comes out of the gates in 2010, he could move up the ladder very quickly and surpass John at some point. He's a sturdy 5'9" and 185 lbs and plays better defence than John does. His 2009 stats are as follows:
133 AB, 39 hits, .293 average, 7 doubles, 2 triples, 3 HRs, 14 RBI, 5 SBs

2. John Tolisano: will be 22 in 2010
Out of all of the Jays disappointing 2007 draft picks, I like John to turn it around the most. The 2007 second rounder played with a lot of heart in 2009, even if the results didn't match the effort. Regardless of the level John played at since he was drafted, he has maintained a very low batting average, which is the most troubling aspect of his progression. Whether it's his youth for his level of play, or the fact he tries too hard to "hurt" the ball and drive it out, John has to learn to hit for average if he wants to become a regular in MLB. He did so badly near the end of the year that the Jays decided against sending him to the AFL and decided to rest him instead. He may repeat HiA at Dunedin, but will likely get the move up to AA New Hampshire at some point in 2010. His calling card to the bigs is his intriguing combination of power and speed which both play well at 2B. His 2009 stats were:
401 AB, 93 hits, .232 average, 19 doubles, 2 triples, 12 HRs, 58 RBI, 5 SB

3. Brad Emaus: will be 24 years old in 2010
Brad was one of my favorite breakout candidates in 2009. He had an awesome spring training with the Jays, and took off like a bat out of hell once he started play in AA. However, he slowed down big time as the season wore on and ended up with very mediocre stats. His versatility in the infield may mean that Brad becomes a utility player for the Jays in 2010 or 2011. But, he does have the power and skills to become a starter if he works on being more consistent. His 2009 stats were as follows:
505 AB, 128 hits, .253 average, 28 doubles, 2 triples, 10 HRs, 67 RBI, 10 SBs

4. Oliver Dominguez : will be 21 years old in 2010
Oliver struggled a bit after his promotion from the DSL to the GCL, but he was only 20 years on in 2009 and still has plenty of time to develop. The tools are all there. His most telling stat in 2009 was the fact that he stole 13 bases without being caught once, indicating both how fast and smart he is on the bases. He should put on a little more weight as he gets older and bulks up, but currently sits at 5'9" and 156 lbs, not exactly a welter weight. With the 3 guys on this list ahead of him, Oliver will get time to develop at each level, and I expect he'll get a promotion to Lansing for 2010.
In 142 AB, he had 32 hits, a .225 average, 6 doubles, 3 HRs, and 13 SBs

Sadly, our SS are next up!

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