Sail On, Crazy Train

The Edmonton Oilers declined to qualify JFJ today.

He’s gone.

Man, I liked JF Jacques as a prospect. About Valentine’s Day in 2005, I wrote at HF “it’s hard to look past what Jacques has done so far this season. That scouting report above was a pre-draft report (“raw skills”) and a year and a bit on he’s having a real impact at the junior level. If this guy turns into something, then all these risk picks at the top become less worrisome imo.”

I think the best way to describe my belief in him (long after everyone had left, I still had my Pouliot hat and Jacque slippers) and my specific fandom is to pass along a story about JFJ’s perfect comp: Billy Ashley.

Now I’ve posted this story before, so apologies if it’s familiar.

Did I ever tell you my Billy Ashley story? I used to be in a baseball roto league (extremely competitive, I can’t even describe how cruel and vicious we were to each other. It was great) and followed all the prospects very closely (one of the few ways to win in the ERL was to get prospects before anyone knew who they were. It was a keeper league).  Anyway, Billy Ashley was an OF prospect in the LA Dodger system and he hit a lot of home runs in the Pacific Coast League (this was maybe 1994). I remember well doing the Bill James MBLE to let the air out of his offense in order to project him into the National League of 1995.

At the draft (we bid on players, didn’t draft them) I got into a war with another owner and ended up spending $28 on Ashley (which should get you a veteran outfielder with an excellent power/speed number if you’re rational).  Ashley killed me. Jesus he was awful. I can’t even describe how bad he was. He struck out all the time, he hit nothing but air and O by the way he was AWFUL in the outfield too. His hit totals were exceeded by his strikeout totals every season he played. Ashley hit .221, .243, .333 (6 ABs), .237, .200, and finally .244 in his last year with the Dodgers who liked him only a little more than me and his Mom.

I remember he hit two homers at Wrigley one day in 1995 and the next day I got a really good trade offer. Are you kidding me? I kept him baby, because my mighty team was going to have Billy Ashley on it right up until we finished 8th that season.

I’m afraid JF Jacques might be Billy Ashley.

So long, JFJ. You can absolutely be satisifed that the Oilers didn’t give up on you too early.

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