Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
With the end of the season now just over one week away only Dunedin and Auburn are serious contenders for playoff spots. Syracuse rode Gabe Gross' hot bat and Zach Jackson's arm to beat Ottawa. New Hampshire were swept by Portland, again, and are almost dead in their chase for a playoff spot. David Purcey pitched on the wild side. Jacob Butler played his first game for Auburn and had a good day, just not as good as Ryan Patterson.

Ottawa 2 Syracuse 3

Zach Jackson started for the Chiefs trying to build on his good start in Buffalo on Tuesday night. In that game Zach threw the ball well but consistently fell behind the hitters, so he had to use his fastball and cutter more than he would like. Yesterday Jackson was more economical, pitching into the eighth. Jackson helped himself in the first and second inning, twice picking runners off at first base. Thanks to the pick-offs Zack faced one over the minimum through four innings but the first four hitters of the fifth inning singled, scoring a run and leaving the bases loaded. Jackson induced a double play ball, scoring a second run, but escaped the inning with a 3-2 lead. Syracuse had taken the lead in the second when Gabe Gross singled in a run. Kevin Barker homered to make it 2-0 in the third, and Gross doubled in a third run in the fourth. Gronkiewicz and Whiteside did their usual eighth and ninth inning routine to hold the lead. Jackson's line was 7.1 8 2 2 0 4. Gross, Barker and Matos had 2 hits each.

Box Score

New Hampshire 2 Portland 5

New Hampshire ran their losing streak against Portland to 14 games yesterday, a very frustrating matchup for 2005, one that could cost the Fisher Cats a playoff spot. David Purcey had one of his "wild" starts yesterday. In the first inning he loaded the bases on two hits and a walk but escaped unscathed. But in the second Portland batted around scoring three runs on two hits, three walks, a hit batter and two wild pitches. Manager Basso had enough, although Purcey might have thrown 90 pitches to the 15 hitters he faced. The Fisher Cats had little going against Red Sox prospect Anibel Sanchez and appeared to catch a break when Sanchez had to leave the game with an arm injury in the fourth, but they could do no better against the bullpen. Ron Davenport doubled in Ryan Roberts in the fifth, and Davenport doubled again and scored on a sac fly in the eighth. Davenport, Roberts, and Chip Cannon had two hits each. Ron Davenport has been hitting well since his stay on the DL, he was hitting .220/.242/.307 before being injured. Since coming back he is at .299/.344/.480. Look for some Purcey commentary from Jays minor league pitching instructor, Dane Johnson tomorrow.

Box Score

Dunedin - scheduled day off

SW Michigan 4 Lansing 2

Lansing were not in this game until the ninth inning. Through 8 Lansing had 2 hits and only one runner had reached second base. Meanwhile Michigan built a 4-0 lead, three off them of starter AJ Wideman who went 6 innings allowing the 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk. In the ninth a single, a walk, and a hit batter loaded the bases for Lansing with one out. David Hicks struck out, Ryan Klosterman walked to drive in the first run and Juan Peralta, back in the lineup, singled to make it 4-2 with the bases still loaded, but Jason Armstrong flied out to tend the game.

Box Score

Auburn 9 Mahoning Valley 8

This was a real back and forth contest, one in which Jacob Butler made his Auburn debut. Auburn scored 4 in the first on 5 hits, including an RBI single by Butler. MV got a couple back off Orlando Trias before Ryan Patterson homered in the fifth to make it 5-2 Auburn. MV scored four in the seventh and one in the eighth to give them a 7-5 lead heading for the ninth. Cory Patton hit a two run home run to tie the game and Butler later doubled home two more. Paul Phillips gave up a home run in the ninth but registered the save. Ryan Patterson, Sean Shoffit and Nick Thomas each had 3 hits, Joey Metropoulos and Butler had two each.

Box Score

Pulaski 9 Greeneville 6

Pulaski had the 123 attack working early, one run in the first, two in the second and three in the third. Jorge Sandes hit a 2 run home run in the second. Anthony Hatch singled in the run in the first, and doubled in a run and scored as part of the three runs in the third. Greeneville fought back with five runs in the first four innings and Pulaski led 6-5 from the fourth until the eighth, when Jonathan Jaspe hit a three run home run. Hatch, Jaspe and Jesus Gonzalez had three hits. Jesus Gonzalez has been incredibly hot recently. At the end of July his OPS was .668. Today it is .847. For August Gonzalez is hitting .337, with an OBP of .375 and a SLG of .602. Gonzalez turned 21 years old in July.

Box Score

Your Three Star Selection

Third star - Jonathan Jaspe 3-5, HR. 3 runs, four ribbies

Second Star - Jacob Butler, 2-5, 3 ribbies in his Auburn debut

First Star - Ryan Patterson, 3-5, HR, 3 runs, 2 ribbies

Standings Update

Just over one week left in the season, two teams, Dunedin and Auburn are strong contenders for a playoff spot. New Hamsphire had a tough week and are relying on Trenton to collpase. Syracuse, Lansing and Pulaski will not make it.

Syracuse record is 68-68. The Chiefs are in fourth place, eight games back of Buffalo with eight game left.

The Fisher Cats are 66-69, and are in fourth place, eight games back of Portland with seven to play. Trenton's magic number vs. New Hampshire is four for the last playoff spot.

Dunedin are 36-27, and are tied for first place with Lakeland. Lakeland were the first half champions, and if Lakeland win the second half then the team with the next best overall record gets the second spot. Dunedin currently are ahead by approx. 4 games in that race.

The Lugnuts are 28-34, and are in fourth place, eleven games back of South Bend.

Auburn are 36-29, in first place, five games ahead of Mahoning Valley.

Pulaski are 34-31, in third place, twelve games behind Danville.

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John Northey - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#126943) #
After seeing the standings I thought I'd see if any Jays are on the leaderboards. Saw a few interesting things.

Dave Berg - In AAA for Boston - 313/403/404 over 399 AB's he is #5 in average for the International League. Gabe Gross is 14th at 299, 7th in OBP at 382.

Brian Daubach - in Mets system - 341/435/587, leads in all, this gets him 25 AB's in NY over the course of a month. Wonder if JP can pick him up as a minor league FA this winter?

In the PCL a guy named Rick Short was featured in the Star on the weekend. He is hitting 388/460/579 while playing 3B for Washingtons AAA team (New Orleans). This got him 3 PA's in the majors, going 1-2 with a walk and an RBI. It looks like he just got called up though. Wonder if he is also a minor league FA this winter.

Both Short and Daubach could be nice to put into the mix at 1B/DH and since Short can play 3B as well you could feel free to trade Hinske and/or Hillenbrand without losing any flexibility. Of course, I wouldn't expect either to be amazing in the majors but if the Jays got a big bopper for 1B/DH then one or both of these guys could be nice backups in AAA who should hit better than current injury options.

Pitching wise...
Chad Gaudin is #2 in ERA in the International League at 3.37 and is tied for the lead at 2 for shutouts. Matt Whiteside is #2 in saves at 27 with a 2.41 ERA over 41 IP with 5 BB and 38 K's and just 3 HR given up. He is just 1 save away from being tied for the lead.

Overall Syracuse is # 7 in runs scored out of 14, and is #7 in runs allowed. Dang, now if that isn't the definition of a 500 club I don't know what is. (659 allowed, 654 scored)
Pistol - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#126945) #
Rick Short will turn 33 this offseason. I wonder how many players hang on in the minors for that long?
Jim - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#126950) #
'Wonder if he is also a minor league FA this winter'

If they called him up, then he is on the 40 man roster and would be available on waivers if they remove him after the season. So he'll either stick or be available, not that I would want him anyway, the last thing the Blue Jays need is another infielder.
Mike D - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#126954) #
I know it's only a short season record to go on, but does Ryan Patterson have a shot at Batter's Box Minor League Player of the Year?

Past award winners, for those of you new to the site:

Major League
2004 Ted Lilly
2003 Roy Halladay

Minor League
2004 Gustavo Chacin
2003 Alex Rios
PeterG - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#126960) #
Patterson would be a legit candidate but he wouldn't get my vote. It would be either Chip Cannon or Casey Janssen. Guess I'd go with Janssen by a narrow margin.
Pistol - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 01:33 PM EDT (#126967) #
An interesting question. I think I'd go with Lind over Patterson at this point. You probably wouldn't think it, but Lind is actually younger than Patterson.

Despite his struggles in Toronto I think you'd have to consider Chad Gaudin too. Being 2nd in the IL in ERA is pretty good.

Casey Janssen is the other obvious candidate.

Of course, I'm not sure how I'd sort them out. It'll probably be the closest ballot yet.
Marc Hulet - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#126970) #
Is it rookie of the year or minor league player of the year. If player, then you have to consider veteran Kevin Barker who has 27 homers and 107 RBI between AA/AAA. He also turned around Syracuse's season after he was called up. They were brutal until he appeared in the lineup and they ended up with an outside shot at the playoffs.

If it is rookie only, then it would have to be Janssen, Cannon or Lind. Gronkiewicz deserves some recognition too.
John Northey - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#126972) #
Looking at AA for leaders...
Rob Cosby is very impressive. 311/348/519 at SS. Uh oh. What is it with the Jays and SS's? Of course, it is nice to be able to move them anywhere else defensively outside of catcher. Tied for 5th in average, 6th in Slg, way down the list in OBP.

Fun players in AA - Shelley Duncan 237/324/490 with a AA leading 33 HR's and 135 SO in 135 games (Yankee farmhand). Gotta love those all or nothing players. Jonathan Van Every is similar at 241/363/491 with 25 HR and 148 K's (Cleveland AA team).

For fun I love to go to the lower levels. In Pulanski (rookie) the Jays have Rafael Perez who has tossed 25 2/3 innings and walked 23 while striking out 27 and allowing 26 hits. He has the good ol' 6.66 ERA so this is probably the only season we'll see him, although he actually has a winning record out of the pen (2-1).

In that same league the Orioles have a 400 hitter (Rene Aqueron) and Atlanta has a guy called Ovandy Suero who has stolen 45 bases in just 59 games (over 162 that would be 124). The Twins have a pitcher called Alexander Smit who was demoted here then goes and gets 86 K's in 45 2/3 IP (16.9 K/9 IP).

Looking at the Pioneer league I think I've found the Nuke Laloosh award for 2005 winner - Jason Neighborgall who has walked 35 in just 16 1/3 IP (17 K's). 7 starts were spent on this guy by Arizona. Ugh. 11.57 ERA btw.

OK, might have found an even crazier one - Eric Beattie in the Gulf Coast league. 10 2/3 IP with 6 K's and 30 walks with a 20.25 ERA over 10 games, 1 start. Wow. Picture the poor team during those 10+ innings watching him walk 3 per inning. The same team (Detroit Tigers GCL) also has Garrett Berger who has walked 27 in 10 1/3 IP with 11 K's and Waldy Sierra who has walked the low total of 22 in 22 1/3 IP. Wow. Can you imagine watching this team?
John Northey - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#126973) #
Jays minor leaguer of the year? Hmmm.

AAA - Just 3 guys will have a 340+ OBP, Hattig (with under 100 AB's), Gross and Barker. Gross (299/382/444), of course, had trouble in the majors while Barker (career minor leaguer) is at 307/373/584 in AAA and just 254/350/422 in AA. Pitching wise we have lots of career minor leaguers in the pen doing well plus Gaudin at 3.37 ERA 136 IP 34 BB 103 K's. Barker should get player of the year for AAA while Gross is the best performing prospect there.

AA - Not counting guys called up to AAA, just 2 have OBP's above 325. Ryan Roberts at 267/373/474 and Rob Cosby at 311/348/519. Both are 24 at the moment (Roberts turns 25 in September). I see Cosby as the better prospect and MVP candidate. Deep bullpen there too, but nothing jumping out at me, same with the starters.

Mixed between AA and A
Pitchers - Casey Janssen - 2.18 ERA, 20 BB 136 K in 148 2/3 IP. Wow. Done between Lansing/Dunedin/NH with NH being his worst at 2.93 ERA and 43 IP with 4 BB and 47 K's. Wow. 23 turning 24 in September. What a year.

Adv A - Dunedin - Adam Lind seems to be the best hitter at 311/370/482. Kyle Yates has done well in Dunedin with a 2.02 ERA but he was hit harder in Lansing with a 4.43 ERA.

No one catches my eye right away lower than that (plus they'd have to really do some eye popping numbers to pull ahead of Janssen).

So my vote at the moment is either with Gross (for high level at) or Janssen (for pure 'wow' factor).

Now I better get back to work.
John Northey - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#126977) #
Btw, Chip Cannon tore a new one in Dunedin 384/465/830 (Bondsian numbers) but had it handed back to him in AA 234/285/433 while being solid in Lansing at 268/351/542. It looks like a hot month is all Dunedin was for him. His totals are roughly 287/361/582 - great year but not enough to put him at the top imo.
Marc Hulet - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#126981) #
Rob Cosby is a third baseman.
Craig B - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#126989) #
I don't agree John; what's most important for Cannon in my view is that he continue to hit for power. He has 17 XBH in 150 PA at New Hampshire -- excellent numbers.

However, what's also important is his ability to control the strike zone, at least somewhat, and his 9-51 BB-K ratio is indicating that he needs to work there. But no question in my mind that he's the Minor League Player of the Year so far - 30 HR and 93 RBI in 115 games is just tremendous work.
Nigel - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#126993) #
Craig, I'm not sure that its quite so cut and dry for minor league player of the year (prospects only). Its true that Cannon and Janssen have racked up some big numbers but its also true that they've done a lot of their damage (particularly Cannon) at Lansing and Dunedin. Neither Cannon or Janssen are particularly young so I think that hurts them a little. For example, Cosby is only 4 months older than Janssen and 7 months older than Cannon. The truth of the matter is that there haven't been any 'wow' years from the prospects that started the year in Dunedin or above. Given that, I think you could make cases for Cannon, Janssen, Cosby, Lind and to a lesser extent, Banks, Jackson and Marcum.

Right now, I think I would vote them:


There isn't really a lot to separate the top 7 in my view (they've all been good but not great).
John Northey - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#126998) #
Craig, to me Cannon has done well and has shown hope we might get a power hitter out of this system someday but I need to see a guy do more than HR/RBI if I'm going to vote him as a player of the year. Dave Kingman was great at that stuff, as was Joe Carter but while I enjoyed watching them play I certainly didn't think of them as the top players on their teams.

Janssen is my choice at this stage as Jays prospect of the year.
John Northey - Monday, August 29 2005 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#126999) #
Marc, good catch on Cosby. I trusted where they listed him as a SS in the leaders list. Stupid MLB, not listing fielding stats for minor leaguers (or do they, does anyone know where to find that info for the current year?).
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