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The Blue Jays are assigning minor league players to their teams this weekend. The teams will travel to their home cities on Monday or Tuesday with the local teams announcing the rosters soon thereafter. Today I will look at where the top 30 prospects will be assigned and take my best guess. These guesses are not exhaustive, I am mainly looking to place the names you know who are prospects.

Catchers - We all know Reese McGuire will be the main catcher in Buffalo. I expect Patrick Cantwell to back him up. The unknown for this group is Max Pentecost. Has he retired or will he be back? Assuming the has retired I assume Riley Adams will get bumped up to New Hampshire although he could use another half season in Dunedin. Alberto Mineo had a good year in Dunedin and should be the back-up in AA. The choices get tougher at the A level. There is no obvious prospect level catcher to go to Dunedin unless Adams stays. There are several warm bodies for Dunedin but there are a lot more lined up for Lansing. Ryan Gold is the incumbent but he only had 200 at-bats in Lansing last season. In a push he could go to Dunedin but he probably should spend another half season in Lansing. Alejandro Kirk and Hagen Danner caught in short season last year and both will be vying for the Lansing job. Kirk is likely ahead of Danner for that job.

If I was deciding I would find someone, even Mineo for New Hampshire, leave Adams in Dunedin and have Gold and Kirk in Lansing.

First Base - With Rowdy Tellez in Toronto, the almost newest Jay, Jordan Patterson, will probably man first. In AA newish Jay, Chad Spanberger, will likely get the call. Kacey Clemens and Christian Williams will split in Dunedin. Williams played well in Lansing in 2017 but missed all of 2018 with an injury. Jake Brodt played first for Vancouver so he is in line for Lansing. Andy McGuire, aka Mr. versatile, could also get some time at first.

Infield - I am grouping these as infielders can move between positions. Bo Bichette and Eric Sogard will have two of the jobs. Cavan Biggio and Andy Burns are versatile and could cover infield or outfield positions. Santiago Espinal is on the bubble. He did not dominate AA and could return to New Hampshire. Or the Jays could move him up to AAA. In New Hampshire Kevin Smith will be the key player. If Espinal stays down, they can cover the middle infield. If Espinal moves up the Jays could move Logan Warmoth up. Warmoth didn't play well enough to get a promotion and he missed enough playing time that the Jays could easily send him back to Dunedin. Kevin Vicuna is another player who could go to Dunedin or New Hampshire.

Dunedin could have Warmoth and Vicuna. Second or third base can be covered by Samad Taylor and Cullen Large. Large missed a lot of time last season. Others around could be the newest Jay Jose Lopez and Brandon Grudzielanek. That leaves Lansing. Vinny Capra had a late season promotion last year. Otto Lopez deserves a promotion, wherever he plays. Bluefield had an excellent infield last season. Jordan Groshans, Luis De Los Santos, Rafael Lantigua, Leonardo Jimenez and Davis Schneider will all be pushing for a spot. There might be a place for one of them, Groshans could make it on talent but the Jays could keep him back so avoid moving him too quickly and taking that risk. Ronny Brito came over from the Dodgers in the Axford trade could also get a look.

I think the competition to play infield in Lansing is the most competitive at minor league camp.

Outfield - Anthony Alford and Roemon Fields are obvious for AAA. Forrest Wall didn't do enough to earn a promotion but he might get there by default. Jonathan Davis and Dalton Pompey are waiting in the wings. The Jays are thin at outfield positions so do they fill with warm bodies or push the prospects. Josh Palacios and Rodrigo Orozco should be in AA. Brock Lundquist had a half season in Dunedin and probably should go back for more seasoning. Demi Orimoloye also should probably be in Dunedin. Two Lansing players, Ryan Noda and Chavez Young deserve a promotion to Dunedin as well so one of Lundquist or Orimoloye could get pushed up to AA. Cal Stevenson was very advanced for a first year player last year but I think he goes to Lansing and does not jump to Dunedin. Reggie Pruitt should be back and Tanner Kirwer is another speedster who should move up. DJ Neal is another fast runner who could give Lansing a very athletic outfield. The Jays then have to decide whether to move up a hitter like McGregory Contreras from Vancouver or Dominic Abbadessa from Bluefield. I would probably choose Abbadessa but the Jays might stick to one move up at a time.

Starting Pitchers - In Buffalo it looks like SRF, Waguespack, and Morimando. After that, who knows? There are pitchers in Toronto who will come down so the spots could go to "fillers" who can be bumped when Borucki and Buchholz push pitchers down. Jon Harris could be in AAA, he has been stalled in AA for a couple of years now. Ryan Feierabend could also probably start. In AA Hector Perez, Andrew Sopko, Zach Logue and Patrick Murphy should anchor the rotation. Justin Dillon and Taylor Saucedo are other options. TJ Zeuch could begin there once he recovers from injury.

In Dunedin, expect to see Nate Pearson (but not for long), Maximo Castillo and Yennsy Diaz. Justin Maese is back from injury and could get a spot in Dunedin, assuming he is ready to go. In Lansing, several of the Vancouver rotation will make up the core. Josh Winkowski, Joey Murray and Sean Wymer will be there. In the past the Jays have piggybacked starters which could open the door for more starters as opposed to relievers. Jose Espada, Nick Allgeyer, Randy Pondler and Nathanael Perez will hope for a chance.

Those are my best guesses. What do you think?

Minor League Predictions | 53 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
ayjackson - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 04:01 PM EDT (#371592) #
Has Maese seen action in Spring games?
Mike Green - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#371595) #
I've got questions more than answers.  What position does VGJ play when he returns?  What about Noda- is he an outfielder or a first baseman (I am pretty sure that they'll start him in Dunedin but I'd start him in double A if he's going to be a first baseman)?  Gabriel Moreno could go to extended or to Lansing- the reports on him defensively are better than I thought and it wouldn't shock me if he ended up in Lansing.  I'd send Cal Stevenson to Dunedin, but I agree that it's unlikely that the club will. 
Dr B - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#371600) #
Didn't they get Jordan Romano back? He'll presumably get another go at the AAA rotation if there is nobody else.
scottt - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#371602) #
Christopher Bec is a catcher drafted in the 5th round last year who played in Vancouver and who will probably back up someone in A ball somewhere.

Jordan Romano could start in AAA. Willy Ortiz probably starts in AA.

Paulino, Barnes , Copping and Shafer all figure to be in the Buffalo pen.

dan gordon - Friday, March 29 2019 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#371607) #
The Bisons might be a bit thin in the pitching department at first. There are 5 guys who will be Blue Jays in a couple of weeks who aren't available right now - Buchholz, Borucki, Phelps, Norris and Tepera. Once those guys are back, the Bisons should have a very good pitching staff.

Stevenson is an interesting case. It wouldn't surprise me to see him in AA by year-end, given his bat control and on base skills.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#371623) #
As far as promotions go I am really interested to see how the catching situation at Lansing plays out. I also want to see Noda and Cal Stevenson challenged, to see if they are real prospects or not.
cybercavalier - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#371624) #
At this time of a new regular season, does signing previous first round draftee or MLBers make sense? Logan Morrison, Dustin Ackley...
cybercavalier - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#371626) #
About catchers, whereabouts are Ryan Hissey (age 24+), Andres Sotillo (age 25) and Michael De La Cruz (age 25+) going to? Hissey and Sotillo for full season at Dunedin, De La Cruz backing up at NH?
cybercavalier - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#371627) #
Essentially De La Cruz is the Cantwell 2019 at NH.
bpoz - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#371642) #
Thanks Gerry. Your approach is nice. Trying to guess where our top 30 prospects will be assigned.

I see the strength of NH being pitching over position players at this time based on the potential roster. So the pitchers would need a catcher whose strength is good catching skills over hitting skills. R Adams has caught all our projected NH pitchers. But as a good prospect he needs to be developed as a prospect. Hitting and receiving.

R McGuire will be great at developing the AAA pitching staff.
bpoz - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#371643) #
I hope I don't jinx it but Buffalo looks stacked to me.I hope there is enough pitching. SRF and T Thornton look good. I see strength up the middle McGuire, Bichette, Biggio, Alford, J Davis and R Fields. Tellez can hit.

PeterG - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#371645) #
Buffalo does not begin play till next Thursday and with off days and possible postponements should be ok with pitching until reinforcements start to arrive from TO as major league pitchers come off injured list. And if Borucki ok to resume soon, he will need to be built up again including some starts in Buffalo.
Waveburner - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#371647) #
I think Eric Pardinho starts in Lansing, unless there is an arm issue.

One way under the radar name that could be in Lansing is Adams Cuevas, who was converted to a starter in his last 6 outings of 2018. Threw 28.1 innings with a 28/4 K/BB ratio in those starts. I am curious to see where he is assigned this season.
dan gordon - Saturday, March 30 2019 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#371650) #
Cuevas had a terrific K/BB ratio last year at 61/9, which is great to see. The thing with him is that he is very old for his level, at 23. Aside from 1 appearance in 2017, he's never played full season baseball.
aarne13 - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#371685) #
Kirk, Danner and Gold will start in Lansing as per Rob Fai.
Nigel - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#371688) #
Good for them, but selfishly I was looking forward to seeing one or both of Kirk and Danner in Vancouver.
bpoz - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#371690) #
You need 50 IP and 150 ABs to graduate from prospect status.

This season may set a new record for prospect graduation this century. Possibly even all time Blue Jay history.
aarne13 - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#371691) #
Sounds like Groshans will be in Lansing.
bpoz - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#371692) #
If these moves are for real then I should not consider this FO slow to promote.
85bluejay - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#371693) #
Groshans will be interesting - despite his statistical success last season, I've read that scouts were not enamored with him.
hypobole - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#371694) #
I've read the opposite on Groshans - scouts were quite enamoured.
85bluejay - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#371695) #
Excellent! In their review of the Jays prospects, fangraphs mentioned the negative view, so I'm glad you've read more positive reports.
hypobole - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#371696) #
The FG report qualified the scouts comments with "in their looks when he fatigued late in the pro season". This is not uncommon with 1st year HS kids. Even the FG guys must have taken those reports with a large grain of salt, rating Groshans 5th in our system despite those reports.

Gerry - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#371699) #
Unsurprisingly, Kevin Smith is headed to NH.
Gerry - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#371703) #
Groshans has confirmed via Twitter that he is off to Lansing.

Mike Pascoe, who had an ERA of 10 out of the bullpen in Bluefield last year, also is off to Lansing.
PeterG - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#371714) #
Many of the projected Buffalo starting pitchers are in TO. The Bisons could be quite thin for the first month or longer.
scottt - Sunday, March 31 2019 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#371717) #
Borucki and Buchholtz are supposed to be ready mid-April. That should send 2 arms back to Buffalo.
Gerry - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 10:12 AM EDT (#371732) #
Lugnuts roster is out. Groshans, Gold, Danner, and Kirk are all there as previously mentioned. There is no Cal Stevenson so he presumably is in Dunedin.

Otto Lopez is there as well as DJ Neal, Dom abbadessa and McGregory Contreras. Reggie Pruitt returns.

Only three starters are listed, Winkowski, Murray and Wymer.
Mike Green - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 10:15 AM EDT (#371733) #
Here's the Fisher Cat "tentative" opening day roster from  Brock Lundquist is in the outfield and Ryan Noda is not there. 

Gerry - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#371734) #
New hampshire roster is alos out. Santiago Espinal is back there, Brock Lundquist did get a promotion to NH as did Chad Spanberger. Forrest Wall is abck there.

Yennsy Diaz will be a starter along with Murphy, Logue and some combination of Sopko, Perez and Saucedo.
Gerry - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#371735) #
Buffalo roster is out too. In addition to the expected players, Corey Copping, David Paulino and Zach Jackson are on the roster.
Gerry - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#371736) #
The Buffalo roster announcement lists 24 players. Vlad Jr and Jonathan Davis are not listed so one or both of them could make it by opening day on Thursday.
Gerry - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#371737) #
By a process of elimination, it seems that Riley Adams and Logan Warmoth are back in Dunedin. Vinny Capra seems to be there too, joining Cal Stevenson as 2018 draftees in high A.

Samad Taylor and Cullen Large seem to be in the infield with Ryan Noda and Chavez Young in the outfield.

Nate Pearson and Maximo Castillo should be in the rotation.
Gerry - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#371738) #
The Lansing roster includes the following players on the DL/IL: Eric Pardinho, Jose Espada, Tanner Kirwer and Randy Pondler.
Maldoff - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#371744) #
Where is Jon Harris?
Shoeless Joe - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#371745) #
As far as Noda and promotions go there are two things that stand out to me:

1.) They moved short-season standout Cal Stevenson straight to A+, when Noda wasn't given the same treatment
2.) Kacy Clemens always seems one step ahead of Noda when really Clemens isn't much of a prospect, or had as much success

Overall I get the impression that the development team just doesn't see much in Ryan Noda.

uglyone - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#371746) #
let's take a closer look at NH:

Legit Prospect Age:

SS Smith 22

P Diaz 22

A Bit Old:

OF Lunquist 23
OF Wall 23
1B Spanberger 23
OF Palacios 23
2B Grudzienlak 24
SS Espinal 24
1B Clemens 24
C Mineo 24

P Ortiz 23
P Perez 23
P Tice 23
P Logue 23
P Murphy 24
P Rios 24
P Baker 24
P Fishman 24
P McLelland 24
P Snead 24
P Sopko 24


C Sotillo 25
C Hissey 25
IF Knight 26

P Case 26
P Saucedo 26

the guys in that middle group there you really want to see hit the ground running this year and put themselves in position for a midseason promotion.
Gerry - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#371748) #
Dunedin roster....

Adams, Riley

Bec, Chris


Capra, Vinny

Large, Cullen

Taylor, Samad

Vicuna, Kevin

Warmoth, Logan

Williams, Christian


Noda, Ryan

Orimoloye, Demi

Stevenson, Cal

Young, Chavez


Obeso, Norberto


Allgeyer, Nick

Castillo, Maximo

Cheshire, Jonathan

Dillon, Justin

Jimenez, Dany

Jimenez, Emerson

Larkins, Turner

Ouellette, Will

Pearson, Nate

Shannon, Matt

Spraker, Graham

Weatherly, Kyle

Wilson, Brad


Buffo, Maverik

Maese, Justin

Ravel, Andy

Rodning, Brody

Sellers, Donnie

Nigel - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#371749) #
I'm a bit surprised that Adams is still at Dunedin.

I saw Lundquist in a Spring Training game and couldn't believe the difference, he's lost quite a bit of weight since his time in Vancouver. I'm optimistic about his chances. He has a very good arm and is a surprisingly good fielder. He took a step forward at the plate last year too.
uglyone - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#371750) #
yeah looking at lundqvist again he really had a pretty great year last year. better than i remembered.
Mike Green - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#371751) #
Lundquist had a great year in 2018?  He was 22 in A ball, hit 18 homers, walked 49 times and struck out 103 times in 472 PAs.  He's a corner outfielder.  I call that a decent year, and might credit him a smidge for reducing his K rate while keeping other markers the same while in high A ball at the end of the year.  It looks like he cut down on his swing in Dunedin, and was a more effective hitter.  Which is why, I guess, he got the promotion to New Hampshire.  Noda presumably had some difficulty adjusting his approach- he was a more effective hitter than Lundquist at Lansing by quite a margin notwithstanding but the club presumably liked Lundquist's ability to adapt. 
Gerry - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#371752) #
I asked a contact about Jon Harris and Ryan Feierbrand. They will likely start the season the DL in Buffalo.
85bluejay - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#371753) #
How does Griffin Conine suspension work - is it 50 games from start of milb season or does it depend on which team he's on.
Nigel - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#371754) #
Mike, I understand your concerns about Lundquist's age, K% and that his line last year was inflated with some BABIP luck. Having said all of that, his line for the Florida State League, and Dunedin as his home park, is pretty good and a 153 RC+ is nothing to sneeze at. He's also a guy who may be both an above average corner OF defender and can add some positive value as a baserunner. I don't think he's a great prospect but he would now be in my top 30 list as a 4th OF or the LH side of a platoon possibility.
Mike Green - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#371755) #
That's fair, Nigel, about Lundquist's potential as overall.    I'm just not very excited about wRC+  in 200 PAs for a 22 year old at the A ball level, with big help from a .390 BABIP.   
bpoz - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#371757) #
I am not sure about this age thing.

I was not happy about the 2017 draft as it was taking place because there were too few HS picks. A lot of college picks but at least we had success in signing them.

The playing time in the year of the draft is always little so not much to go on.

So getting to AA after 1 full season as a college pick is good I think because how much faster can they be expected to get there.

AA talent should be strong enough to be a very good test.
hypobole - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#371758) #
Lundquist's BABIP was very high, but at lower levels guys who hit the ball hard almost invariably end up with high BABIP's. Fielders there are just not very good for the most part.

BABIP's of players in the FSL and MLB with 200+ PA's.

.350 or higher
FSL - 29/133. Over 20%
MLB - 34/355. Under 10%

.250 or lower
FSL - 3/133. Under 3%
MLB - 36/355. Over 10%
Shoeless Joe - Monday, April 01 2019 @ 06:12 PM EDT (#371761) #
Lundquist has a very low groundball% and an alright strikeout rate spread across two levels. That combination is worth following for future power potential, and not unlike Santiago Espinal who I am very excited for this season. Overall I lam most interested in New Hampshire this year.
GabrielSyme - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 01:43 AM EDT (#371980) #
If we are going to detract from Lundquist due to a high BABIP in Dunedin, we should also add to his performance in Lansing, where he had a lowish BABIP. On the whole of the year, his BABIP was high, but in the range of what you expect of a good prospect.

And while he's obviously in a different category than a high school draftee, his progression has been quite decent for a college draftee - short season A after signing, full season A the following year, with a midseason promotion to high A. He's not moving as quickly as a top-20 prospect like Keston Hiura, but his progress has been barely behind 1st-rounders like Evan White and Pavin Smith.
bpoz - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 07:45 AM EDT (#371986) #
The Minor league season begins today. Buffalo's game 2pm the others about 6pm.
Mike Green - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#371988) #
Starting pitchers for today's openers:  Wageuspack for Buffalo, Patrick Murphy for New Hampshire and Wincowski for Lansing.  Dunedin's is TBA. 
ramone - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#371989) #
On Around the Nest I believe they said it's Pearson starting for Dunedin.
jz6pwc - Thursday, April 04 2019 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#371997) #
Anyone know the status of Julian Merryweather. I assume he will be in NH but wondering when he might start pitching again.
Minor League Predictions | 53 comments | Create New Account
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