MLB.com put out their annual top 100 prospect listing (link here) and there are seven former BlueClaws on the list, all from the last three years, and six of those players helped the BlueClaws win at least one South Atlantic League title.
Below, find bios and notes on these players:
25. Travis d’Arnaud, Catcher, Blue Jays – MLB Says – The Blue Jays got d’Arnaud in the Roy Halladay deal and he has steadily improved into one of the better all-around catching prospects. Agile and fairly athletic, he also has an above-average arm, giving him all he needs to be a fine defensive catcher, especially as he learns more of the nuances of the craft. He has excellent makeup and leadership skills. His excellent bat speed should continue to allow him to hit for average and power, which really started happening in 2011. If things continue to progress, he could give J.P. Arencibia a run for his money in Toronto soon.
With Lakewood – He hit .255 – 13 – 71 in 2009, helping the BlueClaws to the Sally League title, before being included in the Roy Halladay trade that December. This year, with AA New Hampshire, he was the Eastern League MVP and won another championship with OF Anthony Gose.
44. Jonathan Singleton, First Baseman, Astros – MLB Says – Singleton has a special bat from the left side of the plate. He should hit for plenty of average, and the power started to come in 2011, with much more on the way. He has a good game plan at the plate with excellent discipline. The Phillies moved him to left field to avoid the Ryan Howard roadblock but put him back at first after a while, where he is much more comfortable defensively. The trade to Houston in the Hunter Pence deal erases that issue.
With Lakewood – He hit .290 – 14 – 77 after joining the BlueClaws from extended spring training on May 13th of 2010. He homered in his first at bat, hit two on the day the BlueClaws clinched the first-half title, and hit cleanup on Lakewood’s second straight championship team. He was traded to Houston in the Hunter Pence trade in July of 2011.
54. Trevor May, Starting Pitcher, Phillies – MLB Says – May is starting to develop into a more complete pitcher and not just a thrower. The fastball is up to 95 mph and it has plenty of sink. May has no trouble maintaining velocity deep into his starts. He complements his fastball with an above-average curve and a changeup that shows glimpses of being above-average as well. While he still walks a good number of hitters, he lowered his walk rate considerably and showed better overall command.
With Lakewood – He went 4-1, 2.56 in 2009 and returned on July 4th, 2010 to go 7-3, 2.91 down the stretch and was the workhorse starter on two different BlueClaws championship teams. This year, he was third in the minors with 208 strikeouts while pitching for Clearwater.
57. Anthony Gose, Outfielder, Blue Jays – MLB Says – Gose is an exciting player to watch thanks to his considerable tools. The best one, of course, is his plus plus speed, which he uses to be a major basestealing threat and to be an outstanding defensive center fielder. He also has one of the best outfield arms in the Minors as a former high-school pitcher who could dial it up into the mid-90s. He did draw more walks in 2011 and started turning his raw power into production, but his strikeout rate is still too high, especially if he’s going to be a top-of-the-order catalyst.
With Lakewood – He set the franchise stolen base record with 76 in 2009, stole 45 in the Florida State League in 2010 and 70 more this year with New Hampshire. Gose hit over .400 in the 2009 Sally League postseason at Lakewood’s leadoff hitter and catalyst. He was traded to Houston in the 2010 Roy Oswalt trade and was immediately flipped to the Blue Jays where he was re-united with Travis d’Arnaud.
61. Jarred Cosart, Starting Pitcher, Astros – MLB Says – Cosart shook off the injury bug that hampered him in 2009 and 2010 to have a fully healthy 2011 season, albeit one interrupted by the trade. He has electric stuff, with a plus fastball that touches the upper 90s. His curve, while inconsistent at times, can be nasty, and he’ll even show glimpses of an excellent changeup. He’s lean and projectable.
With Lakewood – Went 7-3, 3.79 in the first half of 2010 with Lakewood before getting hurt, though he did help the BlueClaws to a first-half title. The hard-thrower was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence trade at the deadline in 2011.
78. Jesse Biddle, Starting Pitcher, Phillies – MLB Says – A strong and durable southpaw, Biddle has the makings of three above-average to plus pitches in his arsenal. He’s shown the ability to run his fastball in the low 90s. He has a changeup that could be plus when all is said and done, and although his curve is inconsistent, it’s tighter and has a harder break than when he was in high school. He needs to improve his command, not rare for such a young arm, but he did lower his walk rate in the second half of 2011.
With Lakewood – Biddle had a 1.97 ERA after the all-star break and went 7-8, 2.98 on the year, his first full season after being drafted the previous June. He was also named the South Atlantic League All-Star Left-Handed Pitcher at the conclusion of the season.
80. Brody Colvin, Starting Pitcher, Phillies – MLB Says – Despite the rough 2011 season, Colvin still has pure stuff, and a projectable pitcher’s body, that would be the envy of many a pitching prospect. His fastball is plus at times, up into the mid-90s with good sink that generates ground balls. Both his curve and his changeup have the chance to be very good secondary pitches, and he’s shown a better feel for the offspeed pitch in the past then many his age. His command suffered in 2011, something that will have to improve for him to move forward.
With Lakewood – He was 6-8 with the BlueClaws in 2010 but had an ERA of just 3.38 and was the only Lakewood starter to make every turn that year. His ERA after May 15th was below 2.50.