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Earlier this week, the Blue Jays rewarded Simon Pond and Dustin McGowan with promotions to AAA and AA, respectively. There was a lot of speculation regarding what other changes would follow. Today we got at least part of the answer:

- Brandon League: promoted from Low-A Charleston to High-A Dunedin
- David Bush: promoted from High-A Dunedin to AA New Haven
- Jordan De Jong: promoted from High-A Dunedin to AA New Haven

Brandon League
Charleston 2003
2-3, 1.91, 12 G, 12 GS, 70 IP, 58 H, 18 BB, 61 K, 1 HR, 22% KBF
Auburn 2002
7-2, 3.15, 16 G, 16 GS, 86 IP, 80 H, 23 BB, 72 K, 2 HR, 20% KBF

Toronto's second-round draft choice out of a Hawaiian high school in 2001 becomes the youngest player with Dunedin, as he was the youngest man in Charleston. But League is pitching beyond his years: one season after manhandling the NY-Penn League, Brandon jumped a level and became even more dominating. Coming into this season, he already had command of a blistering mid-90s sinking fastball and had a pretty nice change-up; he just needed to refine his breaking stuff. Mission accomplished, apparently. The Sally League is good to pitchers, and so is the FSL, but it does provide more of a test. League may not get a real challenge till he hits AA, but he won't be doing that this year. Temper your expectations, as with all A-Ball pitchers, but this is a rising star.

David Bush
Dunedin 2003
7-3, 2.81, 14 G, 14 GS, 77 IP, 64 H, 9 BB, 75 K, 6 HR, 24% KBF
Auburn 2002
1-1, 2.82, 18 G, 10 Svs, 22 IP, 13 H, 7 BB, 39 K, 1 HR
Dunedin 2002
0-1, 2.03, 7 G, 0 Svs, 13 IP, 10 H, 2 BB, 9 K, 1 HR

David is the most intriguing pitching prospect in the organization. The team's second-round pick in 2002, Bush was a closer when he was drafted, but his repertoire and command marked him out as a starter. His fastball sits comfortably in the low 90s (hitting the mid-90s on occasion) and his slider is in the high 80s; he can throw both for strikes anytime, along with a change-up that's well on its way. In fact, it's pretty clear that strikes is all Bush throws: he's walked just 4% of the batters he's faced professionally (his travelling buddy DeJong has walked 14%). How he handles New Haven will tell a lot about this young man's immediate future: he's smart, he's strong, and he knows how to pitch.

Jordan DeJong
Dunedin 2003
2-3, 2.79, 17 Saves, 29 IP, 23 H, 18 BB, 30 K, 2 HR
Auburn 2002
1-0, 0.00 2 G, 4 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
Medicine Hat 2002
6-1, 1.43, 33 G, 16 Svs, 44 IP, 23 H, 10 BB, 62 K, 0 HR

Delighted as I am to see my namesake promoted to Dunedin, I'll admit it surprises me a little. DeJong was a distant 18th-round pick in 2002 out of Cal State Fullerton, but he dominated the rookie league in his introduction to pro ball. He started the year hot with Dunedin, but has been struggling of late. DeJong throws four pitches -- low-90s fastball, slider, curve and change -- but it's pretty clear that opposing batters are more than familiar with them: 41 baserunners in 29 innings is a Kelvimatic rate for a closer. Maybe he needs to seriously consider dropping at least one of these pitches, or at least concentrating on two of them. Unlike with his teammate Bush, who moved into the rotation this year, the organization seems content to keep DeJong in the bullpen for now. At New Haven, DeJong will face a whole new level of opposition: at 24, he's old enough, so it's pretty clear to me that the organization is challenging him. Let's see what happens.

For those who need a scorecard to keep track of the recent changes, here's where to find some of the Blue Jays' top prospects right now:

Charleston (Low-A)
Hitters: Miguel Negron
Pitchers: DJ Hanson, Sandy Nin, Ismael Ramirez

Dunedin (High-A)
Hitters: Russ Adams, Tyrell Godwin, Jason Perry
Pitchers: Jesse Harper, Brandon League, Justin Maureau, Vince Perkins, Adam Peterson, Chad Pleiness

New Haven (AA)
Hitters: Shawn Fagan, John-Ford Griffin, Gabe Gross, Guillermo Quiroz, Dominic Rich, Alexis Rios, Tim Whittaker
Pitchers: David Bush, Jordan DeJong, Dave Gassner, Dustin McGowan, Cam Reimers

Syracuse (AAA)
Hitters: Kevin Cash, Simon Pond, Rich Thompson, Jayson Werth (momentarily)
Pitchers: Jason Arnold, Corey Thurman (back down as of today)

What moves should we expect next? I think that by mid-season, Gabe Gross should be (and Alexis Rios could be) in Syracuse, while Chad Pleiness should soon be on his way to New Haven. Guillermo Quiroz will move up to Syracuse when Kevin Cash moves up to Toronto -- but it's not out of the realm of possibility that they could simply switch places. That would be quite a turn of events.
Promotions Part 2 | 13 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_jason - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#99989) #
Here's an article from the NY Times about the Blue Jays.
_DS - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 09:57 PM EDT (#99990) #
Well I was close. I picked the League and Bush promotions, but I didn't see the DeJong one coming.

Now that New Haven has a decent pitching staff, maybe they can actually get to .500 and stay there. And it must be nice for a team to have so many pitching prospects that Dunedin can lose two "aces" like McGowan and Bush to promotions, and not lose anything with their replacements (League and Perkins).

A quick hijack. Here's Peter Gammons gushing over the Jays in his latest Diamond Notes, as well as a Schilling rumour.

_Spicol - Sunday, June 15 2003 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#99991) #
Strangely, Thurman was sent back down tonight without ever getting in a game. I presume the room is being made for Shannon Stewart's return but I would have thought Werth was the one to go down.
_Jacko - Monday, June 16 2003 @ 02:30 AM EDT (#99992) #
Is anyone wondering who the PTBNL from the John-Ford Griffin deal is going to be? We're going to find out real soon, and I'm fearful it's going to be one of our decent 2002 college pitching draftees (like the aforementioned Bush and Pleiness).

Still JFG looks like he's going to be a decent player...
Pistol - Monday, June 16 2003 @ 09:03 AM EDT (#99993) #
Is anyone wondering who the PTBNL from the John-Ford Griffin deal is going to be?

Are we certain there is a PTBNL? If there was you'd think the A's would have taken them by now.

I got a free issue of Baseball America this weekend (worth reading, but not enough for me to subscribe). There was a short article on Bush in there. The article made it sound like the Jays were looking for him to be a reliever when he made the majors but he was being used as a starter now to get more experience and be on a set throwing schedule.
Pistol - Monday, June 16 2003 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#99994) #
Does anyone know what days Bush and/or McGowan will be starting? The Ravens are home all week and depending on the day I might be able to take in a couple games this week.
_R Billie - Monday, June 16 2003 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#99995) #
I think relief was initially the plan with Bush, but if he continues to pitch lights out as a starter, I don't see much reason to push him to the pen. Any decent prospect should be a starter in the minors...there's no way minor league relievers get near enough experience to prove themselves. DeJong for instance got a promotion based on two and a half months of relief innings...that's not much to go on. I do agree with the promotion though, he's definately too old for A-ball.

If Hill destroys Auburn (as I suspect he might) it's possible he could go to Dunedin some time in the second half with Adams moving up to New Haven. I think Adams is doing well outside of power which seems to be coming very slowly but it's coming. He could very well have to move eventually if he continues to be on a pace for 50-60 errors the entire year.
Coach - Monday, June 16 2003 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#99996) #
Josh Boyd of Baseball America talks about the young pitchers in his Daily Dish:

McGowan has been clocked as high as 98 mph this season, and scouts have been equally impressed with his improved delivery and command.

With League stepping in to fill McGowan's shoes, though, Dunedin won't lose any velocity as League has topped out at 99 mph this season.

While cautioning that League needs an out pitch (splitter, anyone?) that isn't in the strike zone, Boyd says "he induces groundballs by the truckload" because of the movement on his fastball. Brandon's still only 20, and his development curve is exciting. With pitching prospects, some will get hurt, some will be traded, some will simply disappoint. Each one may still be a longshot, but having so many talented arms on schedule to arrive in a couple of years increases the farm system's chances of producing a star. Or two.
_Spicol - Monday, June 16 2003 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#99997) #
Are we certain there is a PTBNL? If there was you'd think the A's would have taken them by now.

My understanding is that you can't trade a player until one calendar year after he is drafted. So, it could very well be one of the players who signed with Toronto later in June last year.

David Bush, John Wesley, Justin Maureau, Jason Perry, Angelo Porfirio and Scott Dragicevich, for example, all signed on June 26th. It's doubtful Bush is on the move and I'd hate to see Perry gone but any of the rest are possibilities.
_DS - Monday, June 16 2003 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#99998) #
Or it could be that infamous player that the Jays received in the Pedro Borbon - PTBNL trade.
_Brent - Monday, June 16 2003 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#99999) #
***BIG NEWS*** The Jays just acquired a Diamondback!!!

...relax. It's just Scott Service. The Jays just claimed him off waivers out of Arizona and sent Mike Smith down to Syracuse.

Hmm. This move will certainly help the bullpen more than the presence of Mike Smith, in my opinion. Service sports a tidy 18/2 K/BB ratio and a 4.91 ERA in 18 innings so far this year. Actually, the last time Service played before this year was in 2000 with, of course, the Oakland A's. Oh, and sorry about getting you all excited with the start of the post.
Pistol - Monday, June 16 2003 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#100000) #
My understanding is that you can't trade a player until one calendar year after he is drafted

Oh yeah. I was thinking you could trade them once the offseason started, but now that you mention that it makes sense.

SW Missouri St was eliminated from the CWS today so the Jays can sign a couple more draft picks now.
_Kevin Pataky - Tuesday, June 17 2003 @ 12:24 AM EDT (#100001) #
Dustin McGowan pitched 1 hit ball over 6 innings tonight and struck out 7. He got the win as New Haven won 4-1. He was dominating. His fastball was consistently in the mid nineties and once hit 98. He only threw 84 pitches and one plunked one of the BMets.

Dustin will pitch again on Saturday nite vs. Portland and David Bush is scheduled to start the second game of tomorrow's double header.
Promotions Part 2 | 13 comments | Create New Account
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