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Buffalo won 9-5 with 12 hits. New Hampshire are on a cool streak and they lost again. They have lost four of their last five games and six of their last eight. Dunedin bashed out 15 hits and won 9-3. Lansing lost 4-2 even though they outhit their opponents 9-4. Kevin Smith had a big night as did Danny Jansen. Ryan Noda hit two home runs as there was competition for the three stars.

Here are some random notes from around the affiliates.


In case you missed it Vlad Jr. has been placed on the seven day DL. I think this is a good move. When he tweaked his hammy last week he took two days off but then re-aggravated it. Obviously he needed more than two days off so by putting him on the DL they guarantee he takes enough time to hopefully get better.


Danny Jansen had the big year last year and there was always some interest to see if he could repeat that this year. I think now we can safely say he has repeated it. Jansen has almost 150 at-bats this year. He controls the strike zone with pretty much the same numbers of walks as strikeouts. On Thursday he homered and doubled and drove in five runs. His batting average is .318 and his OPS is almost 900.


Several Bisons had multi-hit games. Tim Lopes and Ian Parmley each had two to keep their averages above .300. Neither of them have a home run this season and their OPS is approx. .750 and .700. While they could hit at the major league level, they are liable to be singles hitters. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. also had two hits.


Jordan Romano had what looks like a bad start, he gave up seven runs on five hits. But most of the damage came on three pitches. Two home runs accounted for four runs and a double, conceded by Braydon Bouchey, after Romano left the game, accounted for two more. In between the home runs he pitched well. Faint praise perhaps but don't bail on him after this start.


Harold Ramirez homered, his second. He is on pace for six for the season. That is not good enough for a major league outfielder. Ramirez does have his average up to .300, much better than last season.


Kevin Smith had been struggling since he arrived in Dunedin so the manager gave him a day off on Wednesday. That seems to have worked as Smith had a break out on Thursday. He was 4-5 with a home run and three RBI. Smith was also hit by a pitch.


Nash Knight had three hits and four RBI.


Patrick Murphy didn't get off to a great start in Dunedin but he has been pitching better recently. On Thursday he pitched six shutout innings with just three hits allowed. That is no runs allowed in his last two starts and five consecutive starts with no more than two runs allowed.


Riley Adams had two hits and is now hitting .228. After a terrible April he raised his OPS in May to .757 and so far in June he is in the 800's. There is some hope there.


Chavez Young had just one hit but he was walked twice. Could the pitchers in the Midwest League be paying attention and being careful with him.


Ryan Noda hit two home runs.



Three Stars

Third Star - Ryan Noda

Second Star - Danny Jansen

First Star - Kevin Smith


Boxes


Kevin Smith Breaks Out | 104 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
dan gordon - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 12:42 AM EDT (#359527) #
Canadian pitcher Brayden Boucher doesn't get mentioned often, and hasn't pitched much since being drafted, but he has put up some good numbers, and is now in AA despite the fact that he's only pitched 62 2/3 pro innings. He has surrendered only 43 hits, while striking out 81. Travis Bergen put up a zero in his first game for NH after being bumped up from Dunedin. After missing most of his 1st 3 seasons due to injury, he's having an excellent year.
greenfrog - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#359539) #
So, how much do observers like Noda? If he can start tapping into his power on a consistent basis, his power/on-base combo could make him an interesting first base prospect.
Mike Green - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#359544) #
Noda is 22 and he strikes out a lot in the low minors.  That's a really tough thing to overcome.  He does run and field well and if he develops more power in his mid 20s, maybe he becomes an eccentrically successful first baseman. I can't think of a first baseman with that skill set (Ryan Howard with more speed and better fielding and less power). 

I ran a Play Index to find first basemen seasons with between 20 and 30 homers, less than .260 batting average and more than 15 steals.  I ended up with 4 such seasons- two from Wil Myers (he struck out 160 and 180 times), one from Jeff King and one from Bill White.  White didn't have a comparable strikeout problem though.  And as for Myers, he was the Rookie of the Year at age 22, so that comp doesn't really work. 
uglyone - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#359545) #
great to see from Smith. I'd hate to see his breakout year fizzle out so quickly.
hypobole - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#359546) #
With Noda, there is a chance becomes something, but players who's derive most of their value from a high walk rate don't translate to major league success, at least according to Chris Mitchell of KATOH

He's going to have to show some big time power before I start showing interest in the guy, especially considering he's 22 years old in low A ball. But that's just me.
hypobole - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#359547) #
Agree on Smith uo, although there was a bit of rush to judgement after his 1st 30 PA's, myself included.
hypobole - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#359548) #
milb making the case for Danny Jansen as All-Star catcher

"International: Danny Jansen, Buffalo -- There have been few hitters in the IL like Jansen these last two seasons, never mind catchers. The Blue Jays' No. 6 prospect ranks among the IL's top five in average (.315), OBP (.422) and OPS (.884) and has an almost even 24/23 K/BB ratio through 42 games. He may not be as good defensively as other backstops on the IL ballot, but he's head and shoulders above the group offensively."
uglyone - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#359549) #
yeah what jansen is doing is simply incredible. he should be getting more hyped. He's the best catching prospect in baseball, probably by a comfortable margin.
greenfrog - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#359551) #
Iím assuming all these AA/AAA prospects (Vlad, Bichette, Jansen, Borucki) are looking at May/June 2019 callups (apart from a possible cup of coffee in Sept. 2018), with a view to resetting for 2020 and beyond and keeping payroll as low as possible during the teamís next competitive phase.
uglyone - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#359552) #
AAA (age 22-23)

C D.Jansen: 257pa, 13.2bb%, 12.1k%, .350babip, .321avg, .186iso, 164wrc+

I've said it before, but those would be great numbers for DH prospect, never mind a catching prospect.
cybercavalier - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#359558) #
Dwight Smith Jr., Roemon Fields, Ian Parmley left to right on the outfield. Sweeney Gurriel Jr. Leblebijian Tellez left to right on the infield.
McGuire and Jansen C and DHPutting as many lefthanded batting prospects and matured prospects as possible. (cybercavalier, Thursday, June 07 2018 @ 01:27 PM EDT )

Like I typed before, last night June 7th's match of the Buffalo Bisons against a right handed starting pitcher featured a batting lineup of left handed or switch-batting batters (CF Fields, RF Parmley, 1B Tellez, C McGuire) and prospects who are

1) considered capable to hit in the MLB. A previous post of another poster#1 typed that he or she was delighted that Smith Jr. hit well during his last tenure in Toronto even though Smith Jr. is now playing in Buffalo. Not an analogy, Parmley had played in Toronto last season even though has yet to play again this season.

2) considered matured. A previous post of another poster #2 parapharsed from a baseball analyst that Leblebijian's skill set was pedestrian even though his shall be ready to play in the MLB.

3) close to ready to play in MLBAAA (age 22-23) C D.Jansen: 257pa, 13.2bb%, 12.1k%, .350babip, .321avg, .186iso, 164wrc+ I've said it before, but those would be great numbers for DH prospect, never mind a catching prospect. (uglyone, Friday, June 08 2018 @ 11:33 AM EDT)Previous posts by various posters typed that Lopes' hitting performance has stood out in Buffalo.

So given all the above,Buffalo won last night match 9-5, all batters scored a run or had at least a hit or a walk except McGuire who has been hitting .186 anyway. Overall the batters were 6/6 in BB/K.A small adjustment is slotting LHB Parmley as the 7th hitter between Leblebijian and Lopes. LHB McGuire can hit 9th so he takes advantage of all batters' PAs in front in the order to see how the pitcher can pitch.

Last but not least, to uglyone, it seems no one cares about posts on the net, although Buffalo's batting lineup last night gave me probably false hope that someone had read my comments on Wednesday.
dalimon5 - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#359560) #
Jays farm isn't good enough to just bring in prospects for 2019/2020 and have a low payroll. They will finish bottom of division after NYY, BOS and TB.

The Jays will need to supplement the farm with signings in order to compete with wild card teams. TB has a stronger farm and will be limiting their payroll. There's no reason for Jays to follow same strategy when they have a farm system no better than TB's and access to way more budget.

2019/2020 will be the time when Shapkins can apply the "middle approach" that attracted them to Toronto...the CLE/TB approach with the added luxury of having a top 15-10 budget.

A ball prospects will be important to have in abundance to trade to help augment the current AA/AAA players that will themselves augment our young MLB players.

Josh/Happ for A level or B+ prospects would be a huge deal, then management would just need to find capable SP on free agent market or trade.
Gerry - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#359562) #
Miguel Hiraldo was 4-5 with a double and two home runs today in the DSL. It was his second four hit game in three days. His batting average is .462 and he is still 17.

Rainer Nunez had a three hit game. He is hitting .435 and is also 17.
Mike Green - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#359563) #
Here's what the ball sounds like off Hiraldo's bat last year.  As somebody said to Jimmy Rabbitte in The Commitments, that's good crack. 
uglyone - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#359564) #
"Jays farm isn't good enough to just bring in prospects for 2019/2020 and have a low payroll."

Sure it is.

CF Pillar 30
RF Grichuk 27
LF Pompey 26
3B Gurriel 25
SS Diaz 28
2B Travis 28
1B Guerrero 20
C Jansen 24
DH Hernandez 26

UT Lopes 25 - Biggio 24
OF Smith 26 - Alford 24
IF Urena 23 - Bichette 21
C Maile 28 - McGuire 24


SP Stroman 28
SP Sanchez 26
SP Borucki 25
SP R-Foley 23
SP Zeuch 23



John Northey - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#359566) #
I think the next 2 years will be a big test of management and risk control.  Do you do the mid-90s Cleveland thing and sign a batch of these kids to long term deals ASAP or do you let them come up and prove themselves, then try to sign them when they know their value.  Early signing could save money, or could handcuff the team later.  Tough choices.
hypobole - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#359568) #
What elite prospects have signed long term deals the past few years with any organisation?

I heard Lindor was approached and his response was thanks but no thanks.

More teams will have money to spend on younger elite FA's since fewer are flushing it down the toilet on over-the-hill 30-somethings.

And if 30-somethings aren't going to get paid as in the past, when the CBA is up in 2021, the MLBPA may well make a point of demanding players getting their fair share earlier, as in an overhaul of arbitration.

I would guess Vlad jr will decide to bet on himself and turn down anything that's not crazy good for Vlad jr.
Mike Green - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#359571) #
I would guess Vlad jr will decide to bet on himself and turn down anything that's not crazy good for Vlad jr.

And the Jays may not call him up until June 2019 rather than May.  The Super Two thing may really matter to them.

Hiraldo is now listed as a third baseman on milb.com. 
jerjapan - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#359580) #
Mike Green, at what K% do you worry about a prospect?  Noda is around 22% in his minor league career, which Fangraphs lists as 'below average'.  But big league Jays including JD, Martin, Hernandez, Smoak and Grandy are all much worse than that this season.  Is it the lack of power?  His ISO was .210 last year, but a much more mundane .146 this year.  He's getting close to the 550 pro ABs recommended to view ISO as predictive, and I'm not sure how much his crazy .483 BABIP last season skews his numbers. 

Noda has been playing more OF than 1B this year though. If I recall correctly, he played a lot more OF than 1B in the second half of last season, and I'm thinking the org may see him as an OF.  25 games in left vs. 18 in right for his career, so perhaps he can handle either corner, although 20-80 baseball has him as a LF primarily.  baseball draft report said he was 'quite strong defensively' at 1B.    He was viewed as a potential day 2 draft pick at one point - one report (going by memory again) had him pegged as a potential 3rd round talent.

His .229 / .444 / .375 is just so odd I can't help wondering if he's working on something right now.  He is hitting .314 over his last ten games, with all three of his homers this season.  Perhaps he is figuring out Lansing - he only recently turned 22, so while a bit old for the level, he certainly has time if he has indeed acclimatized to A ball.  

He's arguably a top 30 prospect in my books, as is Travis Bergen, who Dan Gordon mentioned upthread.  Not arguable is Hiraldo, who took all of one week to convince me.  I'm always reluctant to view guys with no pro experience as top 30 talents, but maybe Hiraldo placing 12th going into the season on MLB pipeline wasn't so crazy after all.  They've got Pardhino at 7th - can't wait to see the kid in action. 
Mike Green - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#359582) #
It's not a straight line thing.  Power vs. Ks is the trade-off.  You can get away with a higher K rate if you have a higher HR rate- as in the younger version of Ryan Howard (who at 22 was in the Sally League and hit 19 homers and struck out 145 times in 155 games).  You usually don't succeed with Howard's K rate at that age and level, but it's harder if you have much less power. 
hypobole - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#359585) #
Mike, his BB% would also factor into his K% as well? If you take a lot of pitches, some will be invariably called strikes. His SWS% is 11.8.

Neither here nor there, but Vlad was just over 9% last year Bo 10%, Woodman almost 18%.
greenfrog - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#359586) #
Yeah, if Vlad wants to bet on himself and become a young free agent, the Jays might as well maximize their asset and promote him in June 2019.

The Jays may be looking at a six-year window in which to get serious about winning, starting in 2020 (assuming seven years of control over the key prospects, with the control clock starting in 2019).
greenfrog - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#359587) #
Iím not necessarily arguing for a tank job this year and next, but the Jays could conceivably be bad this year and next, with a high first round draft pick in 2019 and 2020, and start being good again around 2020 or 2021.

Of course, they could also be good in 2019 if everything breaks right.
hypobole - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#359588) #
"but the Jays could conceivably be bad this year"

Out of context, I know.

But sadly, I chuckled as I read this.
hypobole - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 08:11 PM EDT (#359597) #
Bo 3-3 2B, 3B. .283
hypobole - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#359598) #
K Smith 2-2 BB .313
SK in NJ - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#359599) #
Agreed that the Jays need to hold Vlad back until June 2019. It sucks for the player (the system needs to change) but if he's not open to an extension, then the Jays have to maximize the years they have him, both in # of years and dollars. I'm not confident Rogers, if they are still owning the team by then, will ever give anyone the type of money Vlad will likely command as a free agent at age 26.

The next year and a half will be very important for this team, even if the big league team is bad (and they likely will be). The FO needs to maximize the return on any player that they do not expect to be around in 2020-beyond. What they get back for Stroman (if not signed to an extension), Sanchez, Osuna, Smoak, Pillar, Solarte, Travis, Grichuk, etc, over the next year and a half will be critical in how quickly the team can turn things around.
hypobole - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#359601) #
I have no problem with the team holding off a promotion until the end of April to get the extra. I do have a problem holding him back next year just to save him from Super 2. If he's good enough to get a huge arb award, it's good for both sides.
greenfrog - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#359605) #
Vladís knee injury, however minor, probably means that a long-term deal is off the table for now. This is a risk-averse front office.
Richard S.S. - Friday, June 08 2018 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#359613) #
True, except for him.
dan gordon - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 02:27 AM EDT (#359616) #
If you want to see some silly numbers, Hiraldo's line the last 4 games is .600/.650/1.200/1.850.

Fisk finally gave up an earned run today, 2 of them in fact.
hypobole - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#359620) #
BBB from a couple of days ago on Kevin Smith's swing change.

https://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2018/6/7/17437332/toronto-blue-jays-when-kevin-smith-said-hed-make-changes-we-shouldve-believed-him
bpoz - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#359622) #
There is a good chance that Lansing could clinch a playoff spot by the end of Monday's game. If so promotions can happen.

However I cannot say who would get promoted. Maybe Vicuna. Chavez Young maybe an aggressive promotion?
PeterG - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#359624) #
There have already been promotions from Lansing (Smith, Diaz, Logue, Ravel, Tice. Clemens) so I would not expect many more.
dalimon5 - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#359625) #
Ugly,

Compare TB vs Toronto projected 2019/20 line ups and tell me we have the better team. My point is simply that we will need to augment that line up to be a better team than them because their farm system and players are stronger.
jerjapan - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#359627) #
What's your thinking there PeterG?  Not enough bodies to fill out the roster?  I see Young getting promoted this season - after next year he will have to be added to the 40 man, and I imagine the org wants him to try AA before they add him.  Lundquist, Pruitt, Noda and Obeso are prospects to varying degrees, and worthy of the playing time - although perhaps it's the 22 year old Lundquist who gets the push to Dunedin first - that's in keeping with the other older players promoted out of Lansing this season, and he is also having a strong season, albeit with a 23.9 K%.

Lots of players finally getting into game action - Ryan Gold, Braden Bouchey- just talked up a bit by Dan G - and converted SS Emerson Jiminez.   Is it just me or is the org more likely to keep older guys like David Jacob - who debuted last night - in extended longer than they have in the past?  Is there any way to follow players in extended? 

10 Ks in 6 IP for Perdomo last night - another guy who should get a promotion soon.  And frankly, with the strength of NH, it appears that when the next round of promotions takes place, there will be some deserving players riding the pines - guys like Fields, Lopes and J-Leb in Buffalo could losing playing time.  It would be perfect if minor league promotions coincided with trading / releasing some of the veterans of the big league roster ....

PeterG - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#359628) #
Jerjapan, I don't see any obvious candidates for promotion at Lansing at this time. The most deserving would be Young, but being relatively inexperienced, they may not wish to rush him. Vicuna seems blocked at Dunedin by other players at the same position and will see more playing time in Lansing.

And yes, there would be roster problems if many more were moved up to Dunedin.
bpoz - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#359629) #
Jerjapan are you saying that Chavez Young was drafted as a college player in 2016? If so then he needs to be protected from the rule 5 after the 2019 season as you said. If HS then after 2020 season. I always thought he was a HS draft pick.
If promoted Vicuna will take playing time from Ivan Castillo is my guess. I see Vicuna, Warmoth and K Smith being the full time SS, 2B and 3B in Dunedin. 2018 is Vicuna's 4th complete minor league season.
hypobole - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#359630) #
bpoz, you are correct on Young. HS pick in 2016 draft.
hypobole - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#359631) #
Wouldn't the older Gudino be promoted before Vicuna?
bpoz - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#359635) #
Thanks hypobole about C Young.

The promotion criteria is not clear to me. I don't believe that the FO ever holds anyone back. Please lets not talk about Vlad.
Last year Bo Bichette and C Biggio were aggressively assigned right out of ST. Bo earned his promotions all the way to NH. But not Biggio, his .233 Avg last year proved nothing. So aggressive promoting is a given IMO.

Due to draft budget limits, this FO is heavy into college players that will sign within the $125,000 limit.
I am very interested in comparing the promoting of Z Logue, P Murphy and A Perdomo out of Dunedin and up to NH. Murphy went up for 1 game and then returned for 2.
Currently I place Logue 3rd in line. But if he dominates I cannot see this FO making him "wait his turn". My 4th guy is Y Diaz. He can play himself ahead of the others.
There is lots of time, the season is just half over.

jerjapan - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#359640) #
bpoz, no, Young is obviously a HS player.  I was wrong on his eligibility though.  it's not HS / college though, it's age at the time of the draft.  18 or younger on the june 5th before their signing - 5 years.  Chavez is I believe safe by 2 months. 

I still see either he or lundquist getting promoted this season.  Murphy I believe was filling a need - like Dillon in Buffalo.  Logue's unlikely to go up two levels in one season but he is looking like a top 30 prospect if he can stay solid in high A.  At age 24 and repeating in Dunedin, Perdomo is the guy who needs to show he can perform at  a higher level.  If he can, he's worth a 40 man spot next year.
cybercavalier - Saturday, June 09 2018 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#359648) #
The Jays gets Jon Berti back from Cleveland which he had been traded to earlier this season.
dan gordon - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 12:56 AM EDT (#359650) #
Ryan Noda hit his 5th home run in his last 7 games today, and of course, he walked twice. He's really coming around nicely. A brutal 3 for 40 stretch in early-mid May has pulled his average down, but it's great to see the power to go with the walks.

Great start today for lefty Zach Logue, who has had no major trouble with the move up to Dunedin from Lansing. He just turned 22, and is a fast rising prospect among the potential future Jay starters.
Mike Green - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#359657) #
Those five homers are Noda's only ones this season.  He seems to have changed his approach- during the last 10 games, he's walked 5 times, struck out 11 and hit 5 homers.  It's noteworthy that he has started to hit better once they moved him back to first base. 

He's 22 years old, and it would be a good idea to move him up soon. 
85bluejay - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#359663) #
Noda's 3 for 40 stretch may have been due to adjusting to a new approach - I do think it's time to move him up.

With having to replace Osuna and others next year, I'd like to see more aggressive BP promotions - Zach Jackson (whom Shapiro touted in the spring) to Buffalo & Jackson McClelland (who's been good except for 1 outing) to New Hampshire & maybe Travis Bergen could get a Sept. audition.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#359664) #
I don't see the need to aggressively promote non-blue chip prospects.


PeterG - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#359665) #
from Keegan Matheson:

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has been diagnosed with a strain to his patella tendon (L knee). He'll be managed conservatively.

Re-evaluated in four weeks. #BlueJay
hypobole - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#359678) #
Nice start for SRF so far 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K.

80 pitches/56 strikes

Jansen and Gurriel with HR's

Rowdy, Reese, Alford with 7 hits between them.

Also Bo 3/3 in NH
uglyone - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#359683) #
SRF goes the distance: 7ip 3h 1er 0bb 9k
finch - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#359689) #
I'm starting to get hyped about these prospects! Guerrero Jr., Bichette, Jansen and SRF. B

But it's not just them but if Pearson and Maese can come back strong; Chavez, Kevin Smith, Zeuch and Biggio can continue to develop; and Contreras, Miguel Hiraldo, and Leonardo Jimenez can make steady progression up the ranks, there's a lot to like over multiple levels.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#359702) #
I'm hoping Anthony Alford can make it also.
PeterG - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#359704) #
Not to mention the one who is probably closest to the majors....Ryan Borucki.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 09:41 PM EDT (#359708) #
If Kevin Smith keeps this up he could make some top 100 lists at the end of the year which would be huge for a 4th rounder in his first year of pro ball. By my count there are exactly 4 players on MLB.coms tops 100 prospects currently from the 4th round or later in the 2016 draft. His overall K-rate in Dunedin is a little higher, but agin he seems to have made adjustments and cleaned that up over the 4 games.

I'm ready for Nate Pearson to come back anytime now.
dan gordon - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#359709) #
Kevin Smith is on one of his streaks like he was having in Lansing earlier this year. Now with 11 hits in his last 4 games, including 2 home runs. Interesting to see the chasm in the performances by the 2 big hitting stars at Lansing after the promotion to Dunedin. The good prospect, Smith is looking great, while the extremely marginal prospect, Clemens, is floundering badly. Noda had 2 more walks and a hit today. Maximo Castillo and Donnie Sellers combined to allow 19 hits, 5 walks, 4 wild pitches and 15 runs in 8 innings. Castillo is still very young, and perhaps should be moved to Vancouver once their season starts up.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 10 2018 @ 09:58 PM EDT (#359710) #
The Jays top 30 prospect lists this off-season are going to look very different from the previous ones (apart from the top two prospects, of course).

Apart from a few blips (Alford and Pearson, to name a couple), the team must be thrilled with the way the minor-league season is turning out. The performance of prospects like Vlad, Bichette, Jansen, SRF, Smith, Biggio, and Young is really buoying the farm system as a whole.
bpoz - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 08:11 AM EDT (#359713) #
I really like the positive comments by everyone. The timeline looks not bad.
Mike Green - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#359714) #
I wonder if Vlad's knee injury will expedite his move to first base.  The organization is well set up at third base anyways in the short, medium and long-term. 
uglyone - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#359725) #
Updated post-draft Fangraphs top-100 (now top-131):

1.Acuna 70
2.Vlad 70

3.Tatis 65
4.Jimenez 65
5.Robles 65

6.Senzel 60
7.Whitley 60
8.Bichette 60
9.Soto 60
10.Tucker 60

46.Alford 50

60.Jansen 50

83.Pearson 50
bpoz - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#359726) #
Vancouver starts play on Friday 15th. The roster could be announced by Wed. Then added to as the drafted players sign.
uglyone - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#359727) #
No big surprises on that fangraphs update. Hard for a prospect to move up or down more than one grade in half a season.

Vladdy bumps up one grade, Alford drops one grade.

Bo, Jansen, and Pearson all keep their same grades....for me, that makes sense for Bo and Pearson, but Jansen's demolition of AAA this year legitimizing his breakout year last year should be worth a bump up to a 55 imo.

We had 3 other 45 guys coming into the year - Borucki, Zeuch, and Warmoth - but none have really earned a bump up in grade imo. Warmoth has probably dropped a grade.

SRF and Gurriel were both ranked 40s coming into the year, and both have probably earned their way up to 45s now, but not 2 grades up to 50, which is what they would need to make the list.

Smith and Biggio weren't even ranked 40s coming into the year, so as amazing as they've been, half a season was never going to bump them up 3 grades to a 50, especially since most of their year they've been a bit old for their levels.

And only 12 draft prospects had a 50+ grade heading into the draft, and we know we didn't pick the highest ranked guy we could have, so no surprise there. That being said both Groshans and Kloff were 45s heading into the draft, so a good pro debut from them could have them on this list at the end of the season.
bpoz - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#359728) #
Those 5 Jay's prospects are currently my top 5. If Alford and Jansen do not disqualify themselves as prospects because of ML playing time this year I probably move them off my top 5.
Mike Green - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#359729) #
I don't know.  Here is Teoscar Hernandez' fangraphs card.  It says that at the beginning of 2017, the fangraphs team thought that his game power was 40 with a future value of 45, and that his fielding was a current 50 with a future value of 55. 
The current game power at that point of 40 was quite low, and the future value evaluation was, well, a swing and a miss by about a foot. For comparision, Anthony Alford was 40/50 at the beginning of this year, and he had never displayed anything like the power that Hernandez had. 

I have a lot of confidence that the fangraphs top 10 are probably among the top 15 or 20 prospects in the game.  Beyond that, you are into the realm of difficult-to-substantiate opinion, or crapshoot if you prefer. 




uglyone - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#359730) #
heh, yeah, hard to find a weirder example than Teoscar - guy came advertised as a speed and defense center fielder - but it was almost instantly obvious that he was a power hitting LF/DH. But to be fair, it wasn't just fangraphs that made that mistake. But it does bring into question these lists in general - I know we go back and forth in the stats v scouts debates, but the truth is, that most of these "scouts" don't get to see more than a handful of PA for the bulk of these prospects. And some don't see any.
finch - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 12:28 PM EDT (#359731) #
Two Blue Jays make the BA Hot Sheet for the week:

9. Kevin Smith
13. Ryan Noda
Shoeless Joe - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#359742) #
Uglyone I don't agree at all saying that Biggio is older for AA. He was 1.3 year younger than league average and started the year at 22. If you are at a higher level than AA at the start of your second year full year of pro ball as a college player you are top 10 prospect.

I think not bumping Biggio up to a 50 has far more to do with a 2 month sample size and the fact he has scuffled mightily in June thus far. He is also a feel for hitting and not a toolsy guy, kind of like Jannsen.
uglyone - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#359744) #
the league average is not a useful number, imo. all that matters is how he compares in age to actual good prospects.

but maybe I can rephrase it - there is pretty much nothing Biggio could have done in 2 months at AA at age 23 to jump 3 grades as a prospect.

As far as I can tell, the only prospect that jumped even two grades over these first 2 months of the year for them is Juan Soto - who managed to crush all of A+, AA, AAA, and now MLB at age 19.

Now if Biggio gets promoted and hits well at AAA the rest of the year, then he has a real shot at the top 100.
Shoeless Joe - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#359752) #
I agree thats a big jump for a prospect to make and should only be reserved more for uber prospects, as a guy like Soto.

The only thing I find very interesting about Biggio is that Peter Alonso from the Mets jumped from an unranked prospect to 73. He is 23 and has a 181 wrc+ in the eastern league playing 1B, in comparison Biggio is 23 has a 175 wrc+ in the eastern league playing 2nd base.

I get that Alonso has a better track record, but Biggio is better on the defensive spectrum.
uglyone - Monday, June 11 2018 @ 06:54 PM EDT (#359753) #
Yeah that's a good comp - though Alonso has a better track record. The difference is that Alonso was already graded a 45 coming into the year so a bump up one step to 50 wasn't a huge stretch.

Of course this can always be as much about a ranker's ego as anything else - them just not wanting to admit a prospect is way better (or worse) than they said he was just weeks ago.
Glevin - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 07:07 AM EDT (#359767) #
"The only thing I find very interesting about Biggio is that Peter Alonso from the Mets jumped from an unranked prospect to 73. He is 23 and has a 181 wrc+ in the eastern league playing 1B, in comparison Biggio is 23 has a 175 wrc+ in the eastern league playing 2nd base."

Because you can't compare prospects by simply looking at superficial numbers in the minors. There are way too many other factors. It's the same mentality of people who were complaining that Tellez should be ranked ahead of Bellinger because his numbers were better. There are things like pitch recognition, bat speed, ability to hit breaking balls, etc..that don't show up very well in stats in the minors. If a player has great stats but can't hit fastballs over 93 MPH or a major league breaking ball, he won't be a major leaguer.

Anyway, I have never understood why this matters. If Biggio keeps hitting, he'll go up prospect rankings. As for the actual rankings. my guess is that Alonso has mashed every year in the minors and this is Biggio's first half season where he looks great. So Biggio has a .777 OPS in the minors and Alonso has a .938 OPS. That's a very major difference and it's fair to want to see a longer track record from Biggio before bumping him up.
hypobole - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#359768) #
"Anyway, I have never understood why this matters. If Biggio keeps hitting, he'll go up prospect rankings."

To take it a step further, it doesn't matter other than how Biggio is viewed by other organisations as a trade chip, or whether he becomes a major league contributor for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Everything else is just a fun exercise.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#359769) #
"It's the same mentality of people who were complaining that Tellez should be ranked ahead of Bellinger because his numbers were better."


Lmao.

Be honest - how feverishly are you hoping that Jansen flops too?
mathesond - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#359770) #
Why would someone be feverishly hoping that Jansen flops? Or did I accidentally fall into a Yahoo thread>
uglyone - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 08:59 AM EDT (#359771) #
For the same reason they'd take continued misleading personal shots at a random internet poster for years on end.
hypobole - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#359773) #
Be honest - how feverishly are you hoping that Jansen flops too?

uo, be honest - how feverishly are you hoping that Shatkins flops too?
bpoz - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#359774) #
I am putting this here, because this is the minor league teams thread. Development and rebuilding.

You have good pitchers like Estrada. Then Happ who became good/much better after being signed. Good is a debatable valuation. You have the below and above "good", valuation.

So by my count Shapiro and Co have never signed a "good" pitcher. A few were coming off "not good" seasons .... Grilli, J Smith, Liriano and a few others. This is not a knock against the current FO. 2016 was good because of good health to our elite talent.

We need a good closer to compete when we are ready to contend. I am worried about how we will get him.
hypobole - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#359775) #
Hey, how come year after year Jays seem to wait overly long to announce draft signings?
hypobole - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#359776) #
"Then Happ who became good/much better after being signed."

bpoz - Happ became good when he was with the Pirates before we signed him. His issue was that there was a real chance he would revert back to mediocre sooner than later.
Mike Green - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#359777) #
For the record, I am strongly in favour of Kendrys Morales becoming a great hitter. 
bpoz - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#359778) #
True hypobole. 11 games with the Pirates was when he raised his level of play.

Liriano was v good earlier 2013, 14, 15. Since then only v good for the 10 games with the Jays in 2016.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#359780) #
"uo, be honest - how feverishly are you hoping that Shatkins flops too?"

I don't think they will flop.

I am sure we will have a solid rebuild and a solid team in the future.

But nothing will change the fact that they pissed away a chance to contend in the shortterm without even really trying, and I'm skeptical they will maximize any window of contention in the future, either.
hypobole - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#359781) #
Hey Mike. As of this morning Kendrys is no longer one of the 10 worst players in MLB this season. It's a start.
Parker - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#359793) #
For the same reason they'd take continued misleading personal shots at a random internet poster for years on end.

I'm pretty sure Glevin addressed this the last time you accused him of taking personal shots at you.
Parker - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#359796) #
...the fact that they pissed away a chance to contend in the shortterm without even really trying...

You keep saying this, but the facts still remain: the Jays WERE a contender in 2016. All the Encarnacions, Prices, and Fowlers in the world wouldn't have made the 2017 Jays into one.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#359801) #
not sure what there is to "address" - glevin and I both know exactly who he is referencing.
uglyone - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#359802) #
"You keep saying this, but the facts still remain: the Jays WERE a contender in 2016. All the Encarnacions, Prices, and Fowlers in the world wouldn't have made the 2017 Jays into one."

we're allowed to have a differece of opinion.

of course, my opinion is backed up by Shapiro's admission this offseason that he was only making a token attempt to contend.
Parker - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#359806) #
of course, my opinion is backed up by Shapiro's admission this offseason that he was only making a token attempt to contend.

I don't understand why you have so much trouble with this - he knew the team was more than a couple free agents away from returning to contention so he didn't throw away a bunch of money away? The "token attempt to contend" was to try to keep fan support. Of COURSE this team needed rebuilding, but he can't just call a press conference to say, "We made the playoffs the last two years, so now we're going to have a Marlins-calibre fire sale."

Do you really just not get that PR stuff is done for PR reasons and not baseball reasons?
uglyone - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#359809) #
And I don't understand how you have so much trouble with the idea that trading for BJ Upton at a trade deadline while shutting down the league ERA leader in a "contending" season, on a team good enough to go to back to back ALCS (something no Shapiro team had done before), was a bad joke and a criminal missed opportunity.
hypobole - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#359810) #
Jays aren't the only team to limit young pitchers as with Sanchez. Dodgers, who also fancy themselves contenders are doing the same with Walker Buehler, because they have the same philosophy of protecting young arms.

Doesn't mean what you think it means.


Mike Green - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#359811) #
Didn't the Nationals do the same thing with Strasburg?

There's a lot of debate about arm injury and workload, as there is with delivery.  There is now some evidence on the relationship between workload (and workload changes) and arm injury, but much more is needed.  Surely we can have these discussions from time to time without personal jibes.   
hypobole - Tuesday, June 12 2018 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#359812) #
Strasburg was kinda the same, but different IIRC - he was coming off TJ. But yeah, the Nats took a lot of heat for that one. The Mets went a different route with Matt Harvey after his TJ. He pitched 216 innings, including the PO's and WS, despite a supposed 180 IP suggestion from Dr. Andrews.

Strasburg is still injury prone, but effective when healthy. Harvey's become a basket case.
lexomatic - Wednesday, June 13 2018 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#359849) #
"[B]ut he can't just call a press conference to say, "We made the playoffs the last two years, so now we're going to have a Marlins-calibre fire sale."
Well he wouldn't have to use such negative imagery. He could have just been honest, actually explained reasoning which can easily be justified (Toronto fans get called dumb all the time, but some people would get it).
Someone being forthright might make a difference, though maybe not. It's true that a lot of people won't on principal support a rebuild, even if the product on the field may be more entertaining (while less successful).
The odds of any pro sports executive actually doing this is probably so much smaller than the chance the Jays drafted a HOFer this year.
Parker - Wednesday, June 13 2018 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#359887) #
Well he wouldn't have to use such negative imagery. He could have just been honest, actually explained reasoning which can easily be justified (Toronto fans get called dumb all the time, but some people would get it).

The hardcore fans will keep buying tickets anyway because they already get it (most of them, anyway) based on what the front office does rather than what it says. The PR stuff is an attempt to placate the casual fan, whose ticket dollar spending is a lot more fickle.
uglyone - Thursday, June 14 2018 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#359911) #
why are super smart super dedicated fans like yourself so happy with a rebuild that doesn't include trading away soon to be FA vets for prospects?
uglyone - Thursday, June 14 2018 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#359912) #
and how is their "Placating the dumb bandwagon fans" PR strategy going for them so far?

seems to me their "Placating the super smart super dedicated fans with pretty rebuild talk without backing it up with actions" PR strategy is working much better, the.
hypobole - Thursday, June 14 2018 @ 09:50 AM EDT (#359913) #
Does anyone here think next season shouldn't be a rebuild year?
uglyone - Thursday, June 14 2018 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#359914) #
Some super smart fans are arguing that the new FO's mandate has always been rebuilding.

So yeah, I sure hope by year 4 we have some semblance of a rebuild going.
Mike D - Thursday, June 14 2018 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#359915) #
All right, last time I weigh in on this issue on Team Uglyone.

In my opinion, the Jays had opportunities to be aggressive about competing in (in diminishing order of options and likely success) the post-2015 offseason, the 2016 deadline, and the post-2016 offseason. For those opportunities to have worked, the Jays would have had to take on bigger-ticket contracts and/or sacrificed their better prospects. The two things I admit the Jays truly never had the means to do would be to beat Boston's David Price FA contract, or beat Boston's Chris Sale package. And only one of those Sox moves has worked, anyway.

The options last offseason were limited and now they are non-existent. Since the Royals won Game 6 in 2015, the Jays have not committed in earnest to competing, OR to getting younger at the big league level, OR to accumulating prospects, OR to cutting salary to reallocate elsewhere. And now they are all out of options -- there's only a lengthy rebuild in the wilderness. Which might eventually work out fine, but it's now their only play. It's also foreboding about the team's ability to retain (and surround with more talent) the type of talent we think they have in the minors.

But here's the empathy that's lacking among the anti-Uglyone set -- it's the amnesia around the sense of possibility for the franchise after the 2015 trade deadline.

Let's say you were there jumping around in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS -- I was there -- and somebody came from the future and interrupted the jumping to say "here's what's going to happen next. After this season, the Jays are going to sign two lower-middle-class free agents, then one the following year, then it's all dumpster dives and value trades. They won't feel empowered to have a fire sale with the team so popular, so most of the core will walk eventually after age reduces their value to zero. And after next year, it'll be a multi-year run of sub-.500 teams."

Is anyone trying to tell me their response at that time would have been "well, that's obviously what is facing this franchise, and that is the optimal way to manage the roster accordingly?" I wanna see receipts for anyone claiming this was all foreordained and inevitable.
hypobole - Thursday, June 14 2018 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#359917) #
Earlier this year, when we were doing well, I made a post showing the group of teams who were in the thick of the WC chase.

The only comment I got was someone pointing that Seattle wasn't going to be there much longer. No one disagreed and rightly so. No one said it was the Jays that wouldn't be there much longer and rightly so. FG at the time gave Seattle minimal chance with the Angels, Twins and Jays closely bunched as the the true playoff contenders.

It's now mid-June and yeah, a lot can change for a team with only a +27 run differential, but the Mariners are only 2 1/2 games from being the best team in baseball. They're a half game ahead of the Astros, 7 1/2 ahead of the now Ohtani-less Angels and at least 10 ahead of every other WC pretender.

So the point of all this? If it had been us having more players overachieving than under achieving, if we stayed at least somewhat clutch (Mariners high leverage OPS is .838 vs .752 overall) and at least reasonable health, there is no reason we couldn't still be in contention. And maybe the FO's strategy this past offseason wasn't just a bid to fool fans.
bpoz - Thursday, June 14 2018 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#359919) #
I agree with you hypobole. None of our stars are overachieving so far this year.

Something could change. Donaldson and Stroman coming back and being completely healthy and playing like they did before will be a big boost to the players surrounding them. Pillar and Maile have fallen back but Grichuk is improving.

With the trading deadline 6 weeks away we probably trade Happ. Trading Donaldson is possible if he is playing really well but that could somehow get us close enough to the 2nd WC. Then keeping him makes sense. Happ also.

Mike Green - Thursday, June 14 2018 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#359924) #
Hypobole, I don't know how I would characterize 2019.  It's pretty obvious that the Blue Jays have several players in the high minors who are likely to be more valuable contributors in 2019 than the players on the roster in their roles in 2018.  When you add young talent, that's sometimes called rebuilding.  They also need pitchers, both for 2019 and in the future.  If they sign an expensive free agent pitcher on a 3 or 4 year contract after the season, is that rebuilding or going for it?  Damned if I know.  In short, I don't see an obvious conflict between their short-term and long-term needs.  I think that they'll sign a free agent pitcher and work in a young pitcher (probably SRF or Borucki) into the rotation, and they'll work in the young kids. 

The real question in my mind is whether they go extremely cheap by waiting until mid-June to bring up the kids or get them up earlier.  They can achieve the latter (better) option either by negotiating a long-term contract arrangement with options or by ignoring the Super Two issue.   
uglyone - Thursday, June 14 2018 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#359926) #
"In short, I don't see an obvious conflict between their short-term and long-term needs."

ah, les mots justes.

well said Miek...and I'll add that I never really did see any conflict between the two.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, June 14 2018 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#359934) #
Let's say you were there jumping around in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS -- I was there -- and somebody came from the future and interrupted the jumping to say "here's what's going to happen next. After this season, the Jays are going to sign two lower-middle-class free agents, then one the following year, then it's all dumpster dives and value trades. They won't feel empowered to have a fire sale with the team so popular, so most of the core will walk eventually after age reduces their value to zero. And after next year, it'll be a multi-year run of sub-.500 teams."

Is anyone trying to tell me their response at that time would have been "well, that's obviously what is facing this franchise, and that is the optimal way to manage the roster accordingly?" I wanna see receipts for anyone claiming this was all foreordained and inevitable.

A lot of people at the time thought it was a team with a short window of contention, and would probably need a reset/rebuild 2-3 years down the line. I remember that sentiment all around the Jays blogosphere.
bpoz - Thursday, June 14 2018 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#359946) #
Shapiro, AA and others have to succeed or they will lose their jobs. They know this.

Let us see what happens going forward.
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