On a Low-A Prospect

Baseball America’s mid-season prospect list was released today and three Blue Jays’ farmhands cracked the Top 50.  The list did not include rookie players who have graduated from “prospect status” such as Kyle Drabek or Braves’ first baseman Freddie Freeman so many prospects moved up by default.

Brett Lawrie is now the top ranked prospect for Toronto and is 10th on BA’s list; catcher Travis D’Arnaud moves up to 29th; and centerfielder Anthony Gose comes in on the list at 45th after not ranking in the top 100 at the beginning of the season.

But this post is not to talk about those Jays’ prospects that have had a lot of words spent on them.  I want to talk about a player that is still very raw but may end up finding himself near the top of prospect lists in a few years.

Jake Marisnick was taken in the 2009 draft in the third round by J.P. Riccardi and his crew; the last draft he presided over.  The pick was acquired by the Jays from the Yankees as compensation for the signing of A.J. Burnett the previous offseason.

Marisnick doesn’t get talked about too often because he’s very, very raw.  He was drafted out of high school and signed well over-slot at about $1-million to keep him from his college commitment.  He has all the defensive tools to keep him in centerfield, but at six-foot-four and two-hundred pounds, he has the arm strength and power potential to play in rightfield.

There were worries about his bat coming out of the draft, but he is slowly proving those worries to be ill-founded.  After a solid pro debut in the Gulf Coast League last season, he was moved up to Low-A Lansing where he struggled, but this year those struggles are gone.

In 296 plate appearances with Lansing, the right-handed-hitting Marisnick has a .304/.372/.360 slash line with a .384 wOBA.  He’s shown power with six homeruns and has plenty of speed with 19 stolen bases.  He was named to the Midwest League’s All-Star Game and is priming himself for a promotion to High-A Dunedin before the end of the season.

Don’t be surprised if Marisnick’s name starts showing up on top prospect lists as early as next season.

You can also follow him on the Twitter.  His profile pic is an old-school Jays’ logo, which automatically makes him more awesome.

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