Dick Scott, Director of Player Development for the Toronto Blue Jays, was a guest on John Sickels' "Down On The Farm Friday" show on XM Radio. Mr. Scott provided some good information that fantasy players in keeper leagues should keep in mind.
He "broke" the news that the Jays are going to start top prospect Travis Snider in AA New Hampshire and not High A as would be the natural progression after Snider tore-up the Low A Lansing in the Midwest League in 2007. What this means to fantasy players is Snyder's ETA is moved-up a year, and he should be expected to make his debut in 2009.
I know I am hoping for that because I am tired of seeing Reed Johnson, and now Shannon Stewart, blocking much more exciting players (read: Adam Lind). Hopefully, the Jays win this season so I can disabuse myself of the notion that the team is retarding its player development in hopes of catching lightening in a bottle with these prospect-blocking mediocrities.
Dick Scott also noted the Jays will be aggressive with two of last year's high school draftees. 1st round pick, 3B Kevin Ahrens, and 2nd round selection, 2B John Tolisano, will begin in the Midwest League.
Mr. Sickels rates Ahrens as a B- prospect with the potential for a better grade and Tolisano a C+ with the same potential. Neither player tore up the Gulf Coast League in 2007 with their batting average, but Ahrens is a switch-hitter drawing comparisons to Chipper Jones and Tolisano hit 10 HRs in his professional debut.