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There has been a lot of ink written about Vosver Zulueta and there is a lot of anticipation around his arrival. That's a lot for a pitcher who had thrown three pitches in his pro career before Thursday. In case you forgot, Zulueta is Cuban, signed with the Jays in 2019 but then needed TJ surgery. Upon his return he tore his ACL after the aforementioned three pitches and missed the rest of 2021. He returned to live action yesterday and struck out seven in four innings. Another debutant was Dexter Fowler who had three hits for Buffalo.

Buffalo were the only winners on Thursday. Vancouver and Dunedin both lost in extra innings.

Buffalo 5 Worcester 4

Reading 5 New Hampshire 1

Vancouver 8 Hillsboro 9 - 10 innings

Dunedin 1 Bradenton 2 - 11 innings

This is what I noted from yesterday's games.

Dexter Fowler joined the Bisons on Thursday and went 3-4 with a sac fly and three RBI. Another "experienced" outfielder, Mallex Smith was 2-4 with three stolen bases.

Gabriel Moreno was 0-4 and his average is now down to .262. Samad Taylor is hitting .267 after going 1-5 with two K's.

Nick Allgeyer had a better start, one run in five innings with six K's. Matt Gage piked up his third save striking out three and keeping his ERA at zero. He has ten K's in six innings.

Jordan Groshans has been promoted to Buffalo. Otto Lopez played for Dunedin on Thursday but he too should be joining Buffalo soon.

Mac Mueller has been rising the bench for most of the season and was 0-12 before Thursday. But he broke out in a big way going 3-4 with a walk and driving in four. He hit his first home run, a three run shot. Unfortunately Mueller made two errors in right field including dropping a fly ball that would have ended the tenth inning but instead gave Hillsboro the walk off win. Leo Jimenez also homered, his first of the season. But he also struck out three times. He is off to a slow start too, hitting just .163.

Naswell Paulino was charged with four runs in 4.1 innings.

Dunedin's game went to extra innings. The Jays scored a run in the top of the eleventh but a two run home run in the bottom of the inning made it a losing night. Yosver Zulueta went four innings, one hit and seven K's. Kendry Rojas followed and he threw 4.2 innings. With five hits and three walks, it wasn't his best.

Dasan Brown homered for Dunedin's only regulation run, it was his second homer in the last week. Hitting .235 his bat is showing some signs of life. He added a single. Rainer Nunez drove in the run in the eleventh. He is hitting .300, Adriel Sotolongo is hitting .273 and Brown's .235 is next best among the starters. There are a lot of ugly batting averages in the Dunedin lineup.

Three Stars

Third Star - Mallex Smith

Second Star - Yosver Zulueta

First Star - Dexter Fowler


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Mike Green - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#413072) #
Leo Jimenez was DHing and leading off for the C's last night.  He's gone from 5'10", 160 to 5'11", 215, and I really don't know what is up with him.  His numbers are well and truly strange.  In 65 PAs, he has 2 doubles and a homer, 10 walks and 6 HBPs.  Those numbers are within range of his career rates- but a little more power and somewhat fewer walks.  He has struck out significantly more- 15 times-, and his BABIP is at .212 (130 points below his career mark).  He is seeing 4.4 pitches per PA many more than is his pattern.

I would guess that he's going through a period of adjustment.  We'll see if he can get in a full season in 2022 and adapt.

Now that I think of it, most of the top prospects in the organization are struggling, although the affiliates are by and large doing pretty well. 
bpoz - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#413076) #
Top prospects struggling is true but we only have 4. Moreno (missed most of camp), O Martinez in AA was a very aggressive placement, Pearson and Groshans (injured).

The other 6 in the top 10 could be any where from 6-20 or beyond.
My #8 L Quinones, #30 Oshashi.

Hope Moreno and Pearson graduate this year.
John Northey - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#413079) #
Always interesting to check the top prospects...
  • Gabriel Moreno: AAA: 262/311/357 - where did the power go? 45 PA. In winter ball he hit 279/397/361 over 73 PA, so his last 118 PA has seen a sub 400 Slg%. Ugh.
  • Jordan Groshans: In 20 PA in A ball he hit 211/250/263 but was rehabbing from an injury so take it with a grain of salt. Still would've like that to be a LOT better.
  • Orelvis Martinez: In AA over 67 PA 188/224/516 - 1 BB vs 24 SO. Yikes. Needs to stop swinging for the fences every pitch. Someone needs to calm this kid down and get him hitting 'just' line drives and not worrying about the dingers. Has the top OPS for a 20 year old in the system at 740.
  • Nate Pearson: nothing since spring training (IL) where he went 4 1/3 IP 3 H 3 R/ER 1 BB 6 SO against a bit higher than AAA quality batters. We'll see at some point if he can ever stay healthy.
  • Zac Cook: Yeah, not a top prospect, but at 24 in AA he is hitting 225/456/550 for a 1.006 OPS (highest of any age 24 or less kid) in CF/RF. Power and walks but 22 K's in 57 PA suggests there isn't much chance of him succeeding in the majors someday.
  • Hugo Cardona: same, but highest OPS for a sub 24 kid (22 years old) in A+, 286/400/571 - CF, but again 11 K in 25 PA.
  • Rainer Nunez: highest OPS for a 21 year old hitting 300/311/529 with 1-23 BB-SO ratio (ugh) in 74 PA. A ball, 1B.
  • Samad Taylor: 267/429/467 with an organization leading 11 SB vs 1 CS, and leading in BB with 15 vs 16 K's in 77 PA. at 23 years old he should be viewed better than he is. 2B/LF. Part of the return from the Joe Smith trade in 2017. If he makes it that will be a very good trade indeed. Smith gave Clevelend 0.3 WAR in 2017, and 1.6 to assorted other teams since. I love when the Jays GM's mix in a guy from the low minors in deals - you never know when one will develop.
  • Probably my favorite to watch from afar is Angel Del Rosario - 10-0 in SB-CS, but only 5 H (3 doubles), 5 BB, 3 HBP. How do you get 10 SB with only 10 times on 1B? Quite the trick. If he could only hit he'd be a Vince Coleman type (stole 145 bases in A ball but hit 350 with a 431 OBP which helped, over 100 SB in majors 3 times, his first 3 seasons, led in SB his first 6 seasons in the majors). Can't steal if you aren't on base.
OK, so top prospects and interesting guys.
hypobole - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#413080) #
Last year it seemed a lot of hitting prospects did well and a lot of pitchers struggled. This year seems the opposite.
Ducey - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#413082) #
I'm keeping an eye on Barger and Horwitz

Horwitz is hitting .279/371/459 in AA. He hit 290/401/445 in A+ last year. He is 24. Is primarily a 1B but has some speed and can play some LF. He is a lefty. He has 8 BB/16 K in 61 AB. His K's were not a problem last year. If he could add just a little more power, he could jump up some lists.

Barger is streakier than your windows if you used vegetable oil to clean them. He gets me excited by having some strong games then looks terrible for 3. He's at 324/352/529 with 3 BB and 20 K's in 68 AB in A+ (age 22). He struck out too much last year but has power, a strong arm and can play SS and around the IF. If he can mange the K's they could have something here.
John Northey - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#413083) #
For ptiching it is fun to hit some freakshow stats early...
  • Most K/9: Trenton Wallace A with a perfect 27 per 9 IP (2 K in 2/3 IP but also 4 BB). 10 IP minimum gets you Jimmy Burnette A+ 18.9 (21 K in 10 IP, 9 H 4 BB), 39 guys have 10+ K/9 overall out of 67 pitchers used. Wow.
  • 3 guys haven't walked anyone, most IP without a walk is Jake Elliott at 6 IP (AA) with 10 K's - potential relief help. Sem Robberse has 17 IP with just 1 BB in A+.
  • Connor Cooke somehow leads in WP (5) with just 2.5 BB/9 in 11 IP. So wild, but not at the same time. Must have a pitch that catchers just can't handle (forkball, sinker or slider I'm guessing)
  • Nick Allgeyer is the only one to face 100+ batters so far. His 6.65 ERA suggests he isn't doing so well though.
  • 2 guys in AAA lead with 3 saves each - Kyle Johnston and Matt Gage - a LH/RH mix. Gage has 10 K in 6 IP, Johnston just 6 in 9 1/3 IP. Good mix/match.
  • 7 guys have a 0 ERA so far - Jeremy Beasley in AAA the most IP at 10 2/3.
Of those guys only Sem would be rated a real prospect, but any age reliever who is on a hot streak could be called up in case of emergency. Pitchers are funny that way. Gage I see as the most likely - just moved to the pen last year for Arizona, then started K'ing 10+ per 9 IP. Over 2021/22 he has 51 2/3 IP, 15 BB, 68 K. A bit of longball trouble last year (8 HR) but none this year so far. One to keep an eye on I'd say.
Gerry - Friday, April 29 2022 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#413104) #
Ricky T has thrown five perfect innings with nine K's.
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