In this article I take a look at some of the prospects in the system, on a somewhat random basis. On the field, there were just three wins, for New Hampshire, Bluefield and the DSL Jays.
Buffalo lost 6-2 with Thomas Pannone taking the loss and perhaps showing he is not ready if Happ gets traded. Pannone went five innings. Louisville hit him around for nine hits and six runs. Pannone's ERA is now 5.33 in AAA. It looks as though Sean Reid-Foley might be next in line unless the Jays opt for an experienced pitcher like Matt Tracey or Taylor Guerreri. Buffalo are well back and not in line for a playoff appearance.
In general it has not been a great year for the hitters in AAA. Danny Jansen has been the best hitter but he is in a slump right now, his average has dropped from .292 to .264 over the last three weeks. Richard Urena hasn't hit and Rowdy Tellez has hit a bit better recently but not at a major league level. Tellez did have two hits on Wednesday. Anthony Alford has had a tough season but he did have three hits on Wednesday including his fifth home run. Alford can't get his batting average above .220. Alford might feel the pressure from his brother in law, newly arrived in Buffalo. Two of the better hitters, in small samples, have been Jonathan Davis, said brother-in-law, and Dalton Pompey.
The Fisher Cats won 5-2. They lead their division and with the top two teams qualifying they are seven games ahead of the third place team. Vlad Jr. picked up his usual two hits. Cavan Biggio hit his twentieth home run. Biggio was red hot in April and May but slumped in June. His July numbers are back in decent levels, his OPS for July is 930. Harold Ramirez had two hits. His OPS by month is .599; .782; .823; 922. Ramirez is still 23 years old so he does have time to build on this. The most disappointing hitter must be Max Pentecost who is hitting .198 and hasn't hit above .227 in any month this season.
Taylor Saucedo got the win, he has been pitching well since his first AA start when he was hit around. Travis Bergen recorded his fifth save in six opportunities. Bergen was a WHIP of 1.16 and 29 K's in 23.1 innings and is in line for a lefty out of the pen role by the middle of next year. It is a small sample but Bergen has done better against right handed hitters than lefties.
Dunedin lost 6-2. After a poor first half the Jays have a one game lead in the second half. There are few Jays having stand out seasons. Kevin Smith is having a good season but is striking out at around a 30% rate. It is his first full season of pro ball. Logan Warmoth and Riley Adams haven't hit. Josh Palacios hit very well in April but since then has settled into average levels.
Patrick Murphy has been the best of the pitchers and has been getting better each month. Angel Perdomo hasn't pitched enough and came out of the bullpen two nights ago. Yennsy Diaz is holding his own as a 21 year old, as is Zach Logue who is 22. The D-Jays have promoted several pitchers to AA.
Lansing lost in 11 innings. After qualifying for the playoffs in the first half, the Lugnuts are off the gas in the second half. They have lost several players to high A, hitters Kevin Smith, Kacy Clemens, Brock Lundquist and pitchers Yennsy Diaz, Zach Logue and Maverik Buffo. Chavez Young and Ryan Noda are their top offensive hitters now.
With all the promotions among the pitchers, the remaining pitchers are not that exciting. Maximo Castillo pitched six shutout innings on Wednesday.It is one of his best starts in an inconsistent season.
Vancouver lost in extra innings. They just missed the first half playoff spot and have just started their second half. Three hitters are leading the way, Griffin Conine who is hitting OK at .262 but has big power. Tanner Kirwer who had three hits on Wednesday to bump his average to .315. And Otto Lopez who has hit all season with Bluefield and now Vancouver. McGregory Contreras has been disappointing. Some were surprised when he did not get assigned to Lansing this year but he hasn't yet shown why he should have been.
Sean Wymer, a 4th round pick this year, started on Wednesday, gave up a couple of runs and has a 4.42 ERA. Joey Murray, a 8th round pick this year, pitched two innings and has been dominating with a zero ERA and 22 K's in 14 innings. None of the other starters have elevated their prospect status this year.
Bluefield split a doubleheader. Bluefield are one game in the lead and 5.5 games ahead of a playoff spot. Bluefield's offense has been strong all year. Alejandro Kirk hit his sixth home run on Wednesday. Cal Stevenson, Dominic Abbadessa and Rafael Lantigua are all hitting above .300. Stevenson and Kirk have walked more than they have struck out. Luis De Los Santos and Davis Schneider have played well but not as well as one would hope.
Eric Pardinho is the cream of the crop of the pitchers with a .249 ERA and a WHIP under one. The other starting pitchers are generally young latinos, getting valuable experience, and seeing who might develop into a prospect.
The GCL Jays lost 4-3. They are fourth in the standings, 5.5 games behind the leaders. They would need a very strong finish to get into the playoff picture. The Jays are slightly better than average in both hitting and pitching. Based on their run differential their record should be better. The Jays have two players in the top ten in offense, as defined by OPS. Gabriel Moreno is the third youngest hitter on the roster. Moreno is hitting .400 and has not walked yet this season. He has just four strikeouts so he swings early and often. Jordan Groshans was 2-5 on Wednesday. Groshans is hitting .372 and he is the fifth youngest hitter on the roster. Groshans has done everything you could hope for in his first year. The youngest hitter is Leonardo Jimenez, who is only 17, and is hitting .273. Jimenez has more walks than strikeouts. Another hitter worth watching is Steward Berroa who turned 19 last month. Berroa is hitting .274, is a switch hitter, but struggles against right handed pitchers but is killing lefties. How log will he continue to switch hit?
Pitchers in the GCL don't get many innings and the jays have just three qualified pitchers for the ERA title. Rafael Monsion has pitched well with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He is 18 years old. His K9 is at 7.8. Juan Diaz started Wednesdays game. His WHIP is around 1 and he has an ERA of 2.10. His K9 is the same as Monsion at 7.8. He is 20 years old, a little older for the GCL.
The DSL Jays won 4-3 but they are are well off a playoff spot. Their top DSL prospect is Miguel Hiraldo who was pulled from Tuesdays game and didn't play on Wednesday. Other than Hiraldo there are several average players with none standing out. The leading pitchers are Lazaro Estrada, a Cuban, and Santos Moreno, a Mexican. I am not sure if any Jays pitcher will make the end of season top prospect list for the DSL.
3rd star: Norberto Obeso
2nd star: Maximo Castillo
1st star: Luis De Los Santos