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Prospect Profile: Marcus Stroman

Brian Creagh profiles Toronto Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Once upon a time, former FakeTeams writer, Andrew Ball and myself found out exactly where our difference in philosophies lie when discussing the power arms at the top of the Toronto Blue Jays organization. As someone partial to the projectable frame of Aaron Sanchez, I appeared down on Marcus Stroman in comparison. I made sure to secure an article on Stroman during SP week in order to help set the record straight. Marcus Stroman has one of the highest ceilings of any major league arm, and has a very good chance of developing into an elite fantasy starter, combining high strikeout totals with low WHIP components. Stroman certainly deserves consideration for the top spot in the Blue Jays minor league rankings, but there is a certain amount of risk that Stroman still carries that makes me hesitant to crown him.

Standing at 5'9" (and possibly even a few inches shorter) Marcus Stroman lacks the size you'd like to see from a frontline starter. However he has more than enough "stuff" to make up for it with the potential of 4 above-average offerings. A nasty fastball that sits mid-90's late into the game, a big-time cutter with late, glove-side break that will break plenty of big-league bats, as well as a slider and changeup that still have some projection left. He will find consistency with the two pitches and when he does, he has a complete an arsenal as anyone in professional baseball.

The risk with Stroman is all in his frame. Due to his diminutive stature he will need to keep the ball down at all times to avoid giving up the long ball. While certainly capable of doing it, his margin for error is much smaller than say an Aaron Sanchez who has the build to get good angle on all of his pitches even when he misses his spots. The upside with Stroman from a fantasy perspective is that even if he does the rotation doesn't work out (although I think it will for the first few years) his filthy combination of pitches will play extremely well in the backend of a bullpen. Meaning buy freely knowing at worst you're going to get one of the better closers in the game if the worst case scenario comes to light.

I'm still partial to Sanchez despite him being another year or two away, but I certainly like Stroman and wouldn't advise against investing him in any keeper/dynasty format.