It was a mixed bag on the farm on Thursday. Kevin Smith had a big night. Cullen Large moved his average over .300 so the write-up asks, who is the better prospect?
There are around twelve games left in the season. Dunedin are in the playoffs. Buffalo and Lansing are both in with a chance but they both had bad games on Thursday where they were behind by a lot early in the game. The other five teams vary from little to no hope.
Buffalo 3 Rochester 20
Binghamton 4 New Hampshire 9
Daytona 14 Dunedin 11
Lansing 1 South Bend 8
Vancouver 0 Tri-City 2
Bluefield 9 Princeton 6
GCL Jays 4 GCL Yankees 3 - game one, 8 innings
GCL Yankees 3 GCL Jays 0 - game two
DSL Reds 4 DSL Blue Jays 5
Here are some things I noted from Thursdays games:
Buffalo's playoff hopes took one on the chin. They conceded 20 runs with Taylor Saucedo getting shelled early and often.The bullpen threw gas on the fire.
Yesterday I pointed out that Kevin Smith was having a poor August. Today he showed me, he hit two home runs and added a double. What do we make of Smith at this stage. As of now I don't believe he is major league ready. He needs to make more contact, he has 138 strikeouts this season. At AA hitters usually get challenged with speed. In AAA they get challenged with command. Can Smith reduce his strikeouts in AAA,while seeing more junk?
Cullen Large had two hits to get his average over .300. It has taken him 15 games to get there. Smith and Large are each 23 years old in AA. Which of them is the better prospect at this stage? It would be an interesting debate. Smith has big power but has contact issues. Large makes more contact but might not have enough power for third base.
Riley Adams had two more hits, including his ninth home run. Adams, like Smith, is a fringe prospect. That may be harsh, he is a prospect, but a fringe top prospect. With Alejandro Kirk moving up to AA, Adams could move to AAA next year where he will work on his catching and his hitting.
Hector Perez just pitched four innings, the Jays appear to be limiting his innings. This is the fourth start in a row where he has pitched less than five innings. Perez still hasn't reached his 2018 innings total so it doesn't appear to be a workload issue. Perez could be nursing an injury.
The Dunedin game was a hitters delight which is very unusual for the offensively challenged FSL. The Jays led 7-0 after four innings but were down 14-11 two and a half innings later.
I had checked out the batting leaders in the FSL earlier on Thursday. The departed Cal Stevenson, with his .298 average, was second in average in the FSL. Cullen Large, at .269, was 13th. What to make then of Chavez Young, who ended the day hitting .251? Young has improved his OPS from .649 in the first half to 699 in the second. That OPS would put him just outside the top 20 in the league. Young is 22, about the right age for a prospect in high A. In the second half the has 45 K's in 196 at-bats. His numbers are decent but he needs to step it up and move up to another level next year to be considered a top prospect.
Josh Winkowski did not pitch well his last time out. On Thursday he pitched reasonably well through four innings, four hits, just one K, no runs. But in the fifth two walks, an error and four singles let in four runs. Winkowski was pulled but two other runners came in to score leaving six runs on his record, three earned. There was not a lot of "very good" about the outing except for the nine ground outs.
Kacy Clemens had four hits including his tenth home run. It didn't get his average over 200 though, its still .197.
Alex Nolan from Burlington, Ontario continues to pitch well. After six innings of one hit ball on Thursday, his ERA is now 2.85.
Miguel Hiraldo had three hits. He has played well as an 18 year old. Between Vladdy, Hiraldo and Orelvis Martinez, the Jays have done well with their top international signings.
The Bluefield offense has featured two college draftees. Mitch Horwitz, a 21 year old first baseman was a 24th round pick this year, Ryan Sloniger is a 22 year old catcher and a 38th round pick. Both have been key to the Jays offense this year and, sorry to say, its probably the high point of their professional careers.
Ben Robberse, the Netherlands pitcher, left his game after facing three hitters. The third hitter singled on a sharp line drive to the pitcher. I assume he left because he was hit by the batted ball.
3rd star: Ryan Sloniger
2nd star: Kacy Clemens
1st star: Kevin Smith