In an effort to get caught up on the craziness from this morning, Tom Dakers from Bluebird Banter and I exchanged emails talking about the different guys in this trade. Here's what he had to say about who Houston got from Toronto:
18. Asher Wojcieshowski: Asher was a first round supplemental pick in 2010. We had him 13th on our list last year. He didn't have a great first full season in pro ball, but really more it was an up and down year. He made 4 starts in April with a 0.87 ERA and then was awful for May and June, with a 7.76 ERA in 11 starts, but he righted the ship again, going 7-2 over the last 3 months of the season with a 3.18 ERA. It would be nice if he struck out more batters, he only got 6.6 K/9 this year, but his fastball can hit mid-90's, he has a good slider and is (like every pitcher in the Jays system) working on a changeup. And he threw strikes, walking just 2.1/9.He turned 23 in December, so he was a little old for Dunedin, but he'll likely move a long quickly, now that he's got a year in the Jay's minor league system under his belt. He's a big RHP, 6'4", 235 and sometimes he takes bigger guys a little bit longer to figure how to keep their delivery consistent
Tom: I had Asher higher, thinking that you shouldn’t over value what someone does in his first pro season. He’s been looking better in his 2nd shot at A ball. He has a 3.57 in 18 starts but his last 10 he’s got an 1.84 ERA, 50 strikeouts, 16 walks in 58 innings. I don’t think he’ll be a top of the rotation type, but I think he could become a good mid-rotation, innings eater.
14. Joe Musgrove, RHP: The big starboard-sider came to the Jays via a sandwich pick that the Jays received for departing catcher John Buck. Musgrove is 6'5", 230 lbs, and projects as a strikethrowing workhorse starter. Joe was drafted in 2011 out of Grossmont High School, which is in the San Diego area, and the Jays were able to pry him away from his commitment to San Diego State. Musgrove has a lot of work to do on locating his fastball and on his secondary pitches (primarily a curve at the moment though he throws a change as well), but his fastball has drawn good marks for its velocity and movement as it currently sits in the 90s and can be dialed up to 97. After being drafted, Musgrove did get into 9 games, mostly in the Gulf Coast League, and he looked pretty good (18 Ks, 5 BBs in 24 2/3 innings). It'll be interesting to see what the Jays do with Musgrove this season - I'd guess he spends another year in short-season ball, likely at Bluefield to start things out, or perhaps Vancouver if the Jays are excited about his progress this spring.
Tom: He was pitching at short-season ball, only pitched 8 innings, but has 9 k with no walks. Too early to know much yet.
15. Carlos Perez, C: Perez, a backstop who just turned 21 in October, is coming off a down year at Lansing, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. First, the Midwest League is a tough one for hitters, and Perez was not overmatched at .255/.320/.355. Second, prior to 2011, Perez's resume was very impressive, with a particularly impressive showing in the New York-Penn League in short season A ball back in 2010 in which he hit .298/.396/.438 and threw out 36% of attempted basestealers. The Venezuelan Catcher hits from the right side and combines a nice approach with an all-fields line-drive attack. Perez also boasts excellent speed for a catcher. Behind the plate, Carlos draws solid marks for his rapport with pitchers and his footwork and arm. With limited power, Perez doesn't profile as a superstar, but you could see him developing into an everyday catcher who does everything well. Perez is likely to start the season in Dunedin, which is another challenging league for hitters. A big season wouldn't surprise me in the least.
Tom: I like Carlos, we had him in the top 10 of our prospect the year before. He’s having a nice season at Mid-A hitting .275/.358/.447 and he has thrown out 45% of players dumb enough to try to steal off him.
David Rollins I know nothing about, he isn’t a prospect. I might be wrong about Rollins...he was pitching really well in Mid-A ball, 2.78 ERA in 18 starts, 77 innings, 36 walks, 75 strikeouts, picked in the 24th round of the 2011 draft. Maybe a bit old for the level but you never know.
Francisco Cordero has been nothing short of awful for us. Batters have hit .340/.404/.539 off him this year. And really, he’s seemed worse than his numbers. He was getting booed every time he came into a game in Toronto. For many Jay fans, the best part about this trade is getting rid of him.
Ben Francisco is ummmm average. In all ways. There is not one thing I can point to that would tell you why he should be on a major league roster. His defense is ok, he can hit a lefty pitch ok, he gets on base ok. No real power. It you wanted to define replacement level player, you wouldn’t go far wrong by pointing at Ben. He wasn’t well loved either, I didn’t understand why we picked him up this past off-season, and he didn’t do anything for us that answered that for me. Not sad that he’s gone.