Dioner Navarro and Erik Kratz appear to be the major league catchers
Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas and Sean Ochinko all spent time catching in Buffalo in 2013 and I believe they will repeat in 2014.
That leaves AJ Jimenez to return to AA. Some of you might think that AJ should be in AAA. Last year AJ only caught 40 games in AA and between 2012 and 2013 he has caught 67 games. He can easily take another go around in AA go work on his hitting as much as his catching. AJ has hit .269 with a 703 OPS in his two partial seasons in AA. He can do with more time there to improve those numbers. Jack Murphy is likely to be the backup.
If Jimenez is staying put then Derrick Chung will have to stay put too. Chung had a pretty good year last year as a first time catcher. He put up a 677 OPS but he only caught 64 games. He needs catching reps and he can get them in Dunedin as well as he can get them in New Hampshire. Even though Chung is 26 the Jays are interested to see if he continues to develop as a late bloomer.
With everyone standing pat then Santiago Nessy will have to do so too. Nessy did not have a great 2013 and it could be time for some tough love for Nessy who seemed to be coasting on his repuation last season.
The final name worth noting is Mike Reeves of Peterborough, Ontario. Reeves was drafted in 2013 and made a strong first impression, good enough to be invited to help out at major league camp this spring. It makes most sense to send Reeves to Lansing but as a college senior he could be sent to Dunedin too. If he is sent to Lansing it will be interesting to see how at-bats are distributed by the manager.
Toronto - EE and Adam Lind
AAA - Dan Johnson seems to be the guy
AA - Gabe Jacobo has been injured a lot over the last three years, he has averaged 300 at-bats each season. Last year he had 135 of those at-bats in AA and he delivered a OPS over 1000. It would be nice to see him have a full, injury free season. I think newly returned Mike McDade might return to New Hampshire. Given the extra bodies in AAA I am not sure if there is room for him there.
A+ - KC Hobson hit just .215 last season in Dunedin, he needs to try again.
A - The most interesting name at this position is LB Dantzler. Dantzler is a college senior who hit very well in Vancouver last season. As a college senior he could be challenged with an assignement to Dunedin. The other first baseman in the mix for Lansing is Matt Dean. Dean and Dantzler could switch between 1B and DH in Lansing. Or Dantzler could bump Hobson in Dunedin. In general it is safer to bet on the lower assignment as the Jays are usually not aggressive in their promotions.
Toronto - Ryan Goins
AAA - Chris Getz plus Munenori Kawasaki and Jon Diaz
AA - Jon Berti. Berti had a good season for Dunedin in 2013 and deserves the promotion
A+ - This where it gets unpredictible. There are several candidates for this position, none of whom you would call a strong candidate. Christian Lopes was the 2B in Lansing last season, started well but struggled in the second half. Has he earned the Dunedin job? Probably not. Peter Mooney has been injured a lot over the last two seasons, he could get it by default. Jorge Flores is another who spent some time in Dunedin last season, he could get the job. The guy who won the job at the end of last season was Shane Opitz who hit over 300 for the D Jays. All of these guys are candidates. Often these jobs come down to draft position and reputation. Given Lopes draft position he would be the favourite to grab the job unless the Jays have soured on his potential and give it to Opitz.
A - There is no obvious candidate for Lansing either. Any of Mooney, Lopes or Flores could get sent back to Lansing. The wild card is one of the latin kids. I thought Franklin Barreto might have a shot at the job but the Jays have downplayed that. Just like Gustavo Pierre two years ago or Emilio Guerrero last year, the Jays might be impressed by one of the young kids. Another option is Dickie Thon who seems to have been passed at shortstop by Dawel Lugo. Thon could cover second with Lugo at short.
Toronto - Jose Reyes
AAA - Steve Tolleson, Jon Diaz and Munenori Kawasaki will take turns
AA - Kevin Nolan back for a second year in his home state. If he can put up better numbers this year he could get to play in the major leagues.
A+ - Emilio Guerrero who was promoted here at the end of last season
A - Dawel Lugo and Dickie Thon. Expect to see them flip flop from time to time.
Toronto - Brett Lawrie
AAA - Andy LaRoche
AA - Andy Burns, but I think Burns might get some time at second base too.
A+ - Gustavo Pierre, can he take enough pitches to help his hitting?
A - Mitch Nay. Matt Dean could play here too, when Nay rests.
Toronto - Colby Rasmus
AAA - Anthony Gose, sorry Anthony your hitting still needs work
AA - Kenny Wilson, can he pass Gose on the depth chart this season?
A+ - Dalton Pompey, looking to build on a break-out 2013
A - DJ Davis. This will be a big test for Davis, can he cut down on his strikeouts and hit for a good average? Davis will turn 20 in July so this is a big year to show he belongs.
Toronto - Melky Cabrera
AAA - Kevin Pillar
AA - Up for grabs. All of the Dunedin outfielders from last season will be trying to make the AA squad, Matt Newman, Nick Baligod, Marcus Knecht will all get a shot. Brian Van Kirk could also be in the mix if he is still in the organization after his failed drug test. Finally Ryan Schimpf has played left field from time to time. Given that Berti and Burns are in his spots, he might get some reps here.
A+ - Dwight Smith. Smith and Pompey moving up the ladder together.
A - Another slot that could be up for grabs but I think the Jays will give Jacob Anderson a shot at it. Anderson was drafted in 2011 and will be 21 years old at the start of the season and has never played full season ball. It's time for Anderson to show what he has. If it is not Anderson it could be Ian Parmley, Chaz Frank, JD Davis or Derrick Loveless.
Toronto - Jose Bautista
AAA - Brad Glenn. Glenn got a few looks with the big club in spring training. Glenn has power but needs to cut down on his strikeouts to have a shot.
AA - See left field. Likely Michael Crouse gets this spot.
A+ - Chris Hawkins. Hawkins was disappointing last season in Lansing and arguably hasn't earned the promotion. But he has spent two years in Lansing so he needs a change of scenery.
A - Carlos Ramirez. Sleeper candidate for 2014. He has lots of power but is very raw, he could break out if he can put it all together.
There are a few extra AAA players looking for playing time. Brett Carroll and Chad Goedert could go on the phantom DL, get released or be a DH.
Tomorrow we will look at the starting pitchers.