Jays Minors - Top 4 Short Stops

Short Stop has been a sore spot of the Blue Jays ever since Tony Fernandez left. Marco Scutaro finally changed that in 2009, but is bound to leave us for 2010 as soon as the market settles itself out. Well, now that we know this, and we also know that the next 2 years will have a combination of Alex Gonzalez and John MacDonald manning the position (barring a trade), is there anyone coming up in the minors to take over in 2012 or beyond? Not anything worth writing home about, yet, but there is some upside there. It still remains the shallowest of positions for the Jays in terms of talent. Hopefully the pending Doc trade can help remedy that a little.

The top spot on this list is a little surprising because he's so weak offensively, but I placed him there only because I believe he is more advanced defensively than any of the others, and he also has a higher ceiling. Having said that, his performance since drafted is one of the most disappointing of any Blue Jays Prospect.

1. Justin Jackson: will be 22 in Dec 2010
Watching Justin go through our minors is pretty frightening. It puts into perspective just how bad our minors system is at the SS position. First, the positive is that he lowered his errors in 2009 from 26 in 2008 to 18. He has excellent range which probably affects how many errors he inherits due to his reach. Defense is definitely Justin's strong point. (he may be in luck, since the Jays seem to really like defensive SS!) He is being pushed through the minors levels by Jays brass even though he has difficulty adapting to each level offensively. In 2008, he was able to manage a decent 26 doubles and .340 OBP, but most of his other stats were sub par. He had a .236 average, struck out 154 times, was caught stealing 8 times in 25 tries, and hit 7 HRs. He was much worse in 2009. He hit .213 on the season, with only 12 doubles (although he had only 294 ABs and was injured most of the season), no HR, and a .321 OBP. The big questions for 2010 are these: will he begin to hit for average and shorten his stroke, stay healthy, and will he start the year in AA? Chances are the answers to those questions are no, hopefully, and yes. It wouldn't surprise me to see him continuing to struggle at the plate as they'll probably start him in AA, and he doesn't really have much of a chance to make the Jays until at least 2011 unless he is a real surprise breakout story.

2. Tyler Pastornicky : will be 21 in 2010
Consistency and grit are two words that come to mind when looking at Tyler's performance in 2009. He has done very well at young age between Lansing and Dunedin, totaling 57 stolen bases between the two levels. He is patient at the plate and doesn't strike out often, exemplified by the fact that he had 42 walks and 57 strike outs in 2009 and had a decent .336 OBP. At 5'11" and 170 lbs, Tyler won't win any strength contests, but he should get a little stronger as he gets older and does drive the ball fairly well. Chances are he will begin 2009 in HiA, with a chance to be promoted to AA if Justin Jackson moves up to AAA at some point in the season. He may have a chance to make the Jays in a utility role sometime in 2012.

3. Mike McCoy: will be 29 in 2010
Although he is too old to be a true prospect, he is still a candidate to take the spot at some point if injuries force the Jays to start him, and may be a real asset to them in 2010. Besides, there was really no other prominent SS to slide in here, so it forced my hand! He hit extremely well in AAA Colorado Springs in 2009 with a .309 average, 34 extra base hits, and a .405 OBP. He also stole 40 bases and was only caught 6 times. With the Jays lacking so much speed at the MLB level, I wouldn't be surprised to see them fit Mike in throughout the infield. He is sound defensively and has a good arm that plays at well at SS and 3B. chances are he'll get a chance to prove himself as a major leaguer in 2010 and it will be interesting to see if he can provide the Jays some much needed energy off the bench.

4.Ryan Goins: will be 22 in 2010
Mr. Goins was the second highest pick signed by the Jays in 2009 after being drafted in the 4th round of last summer's draft. He jumped around a ton after signing quickly, going from the GCL, to Auburn, to Lansing. He did fairly well in Auburn, holding up a .297 average and .349 OBP, but really lacks any power or speed thus far. He had 10 extra base hits in 191 ABs (9 doubles, 1 triple), and was caught stealing 4 times in 7 steal attempts. He is identical in size to Tyler P. but lacks the speed aspect that he brings to his game. He committed 10 errors in 2009 for a .948 fielding percentage total and may end up playing at 2B as he moves up the ladder. Chances are he'll being 2009 in Lansing.

Next up will be 3B.


  1. This season was pretty much a write-off for Jackson. He underwent labrum surgery in June and never returned. Dick Scott mentioned in a Battersbox interview that it had been affecting his swing and he'd be healthy by December.

  2. Let's hope you're right. We could use having him reach his full potential, and he certainly has a lot of it.