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The hitters were the stars on Sunday. Buffalo won one, of two, with New Hampshire and Dunedin also winning. Vancouver were blown out.

The minor league season is around one fifth done, with one fifth being 30 games. So I thought it was time to have a look at how the prospects in the system are doing. The start of the season is often slow as players get accustomed to a new level and as the weather does not always cooperate. So this is an early look with lots of baseball yet to be played.

Buffalo 10 Lehigh Valley 5 - game one

Buffalo 5 Lehigh Valley 7 - game two

Binghamton 4 New Hampshire 5

Vancouver 0 Eugene 10

Tampa 3 Dunedin 5

This is what I noted from yesterday's games.

Ten runs on six hits for Buffalo and Lehigh made no errors. Nine walks helped. Eric Stamets homered, a two run shot. Jordan Groshans was 1-2 with two walks. Groshans is controlling the strike zone well, his OBP is .418 in Buffalo. He has eight walks and just four strikeouts. But he has just two extra base hits. The power might come but thats the missing link right now. Samad Taylor went 1-3 and was hit by a pitch. He is hitting .257 and his OBP is .356. He has ten extra base hits and is slugging .442. He is striking out around 25% of the time. If he hits for a slightly better average, and strikes out a little less he will be ready. However...he is not having a great May, he hasn't walked and his OPS is down over 100 points from April. Otto Lopez had a delayed start due to injury and he hasn't found his stroke yet, hitting just .176.

Thomas Hatch started game one and threw five innings with three runs allowed, two earned. Adrian Hernandez gave up two runs in the ninth but they were unearned, so his ERA stays at zero.

Bowden Francis did not have a good game two, he conceded seven runs in 4.1 innings. Groshans, Taylor, Cullen Large and Logan Warmoth had two hits each.

A four run bottom of the eighth was good for a New Hampshire win. Will Robertson had an RBI double in the eighth and finished 3-3 with two doubles. John Aiello doubled in two more runs in that eighth inning. Tanner Morris was 2-5 and retains his .300 average. His OPS is 927, good for second in the org at time of writing behind PK Morris in Vancouver. AA has been a bit of a challenge for Spencer Horwitz whose .238 BA and .718 OPS is short of expectations. Orelvis had the day off on Sunday, his progress has been well discussed here.

Hayden Juenger started and ran into trouble in the first where he gave up two runs. After being promoted in BA this week this was not a good performance, he just went two innings with five hits and two walks. He had just one K.

Trent Palmer handled the first two innings for Vancouver with no problems. In the third a bunt single and a hit batter put two runners on with two outs. Then Mac Mueller made an error that let the a run score. Unfortunately it was Mueller's fourth error in 15 games, not good for an outfielder. After that Palmer seemed to lose it a bit. A wild pitch scored the second run and a single brought in the third. Then in the fourth he surrendered a two run home run before being pulled. The bullpen did no better, or the hitters. The C's ended the game with two hits and two errors.

Among the prospects in Vancouver Leo Jimenez got off to a slow start, hitting just .163 in April. But May has been different as he is hitting around .400 with an OPS of 1.100. PK Morris is leading the team in hitting but as a first baseman he will have a tough time getting to the show. Addison Barger is hitting the ball hard but striking out 30% of the time. Miguel Hiraldo is hitting under .200 and in danger of dropping off the prospect lists.

Five runs on six hits for Dunedin. Gabriel Martinez again featured going 2-4 with two doubles. Martinez got off to a slow start, his OPS in April was .540. But he has been excellent in May with a 1.160 OPS. He is hitting .396 in May with ten extra base hits in 12 games. Adrian Pinto who the Jays acquired in spring training was 1-3 and is hitting just .233. Rainer Nunez leads the offense but he is a first baseman, a tough position to progress to the majors. Adriel Sotolongo is also hitting well but he is 24. Estivan Machado and Rikelbin De Castro are also not standing out so far.

Rafael Ohashi started and went four innings with five K's. Trenton Wallace struck out six in his four innings and in total the Jays struck out 13 Yankees to add to yesterdays 24.

From a season to date perspective on pitchers, the Jays have a lot of overperformance at the lower levels. Setting the innings limit at 20, the following pitchers have an xFIP under 3.50: Dahian Santos; Ricky Tiedemann; Trent Palmer; Matt Svanson; Sem Robberse and Jonatan Bernal. All of those are in Dunedin or Vancouver. Pitchers who are playing well but haven't hit 20 innings include Yosver Zulueta, Adrian Hernandez, Trent Palmer and Hayden Juenger. Adam Kloffenstein, Maximo Castillo and Nick Fraze have been OK. Other pitching prospects have been missing, such as Nate Pearson, CJ Van Eck, Eric Pardinho and Irv Carter. Overall there is a lot to like about the Jays pitching prospects but it unlikely that they will provide much help this year or next. I believe the Jays understand this as their starting pitchers in the majors are under control for several years.

Three Stars

Third Star - John Aiello

Second Star - Gabriel Martinez

First Star - Will Robertson


State of the System | 18 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 08:06 AM EDT (#413721) #
That's a good summary, Gerry.  Samad Taylor is 15-1 stealing bases, which would be awfully impressive if league rates were anywhere reasonable.  They are not.  Buffalo is 56-9, Lehigh Valley is 34-7, Scranton is 38-6, Rochester is 43-5...Evidently, pitchers are not making much of an effort to hold runners or the catchers have noodle arms or something.

Cavan Biggio DHed in the second game of the doubleheader and went 2-2 with 2 walks, but was removed for a pinch-hitter with the bases loaded down by 2 runs in the top of the seventh.  Perhaps he had a flight to catch to TO.
bpoz - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 08:22 AM EDT (#413722) #
The position players that have been healthy all season are at about 100 ABs.

I only Tanner Morris has convinced me that he is worthy of a promotion.

Great analysis of our pitchers in the whole organization. The Buffalo/Toronto shuttle of Hatch, Kay, Thornton etc... are running out of time to convince anyone that they are good enough for the majors in any role. Their spots on the 40 man roster could be lost in the off season even if they have options left.

Gerry - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#413723) #
Mike, I believe rules changes in the minors are having an effect. The bases are larger, 18 inches instead of 15, which marginally shortens the distance. Also pitchers are limited in how many times they can throw over to first.

These rule changes should help those who were already speedy by giving them a small additional margin.
Mike Green - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#413725) #
Thanks, Gerry.  I see that the number of pick-off attempts was limited to 2 beginning last year in A ball.  Did that change make its way to the high minors this year?  I can't find a link and I don't remember hearing about it.

Anyways, the IL is now at an 80% success rate on stolen bases and the EL is almost there.  If the changes make it to the major leagues, that will change the dynamic considerably.  Tampa will undoubtedly be ready for it...
Gerry - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#413728) #
Yes, just 2 pickoffs this year at all levels. Its part of the speed of play rules.

"Additionally, pitchers will be limited to two pickoff attempts or step-offs per plate appearance; any more will effectively function as a balk, resulting in automatic baserunner advancement."
Mike Green - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#413730) #
I guess there's no "checking in" on the runner.  So, if a pitcher makes two unsuccesful efforts to pick off a runner, the runner can get as big a lead as he wants with impunity.  Have I got that right?  Which means effectively that you don't try a 2nd pick-off attempt unless the odds of getting the runner are at least 25% (i.e. it's like a reverse stolen base attempt initiated by the pitcher).
Cracka - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#413732) #
I believe pitchers are allowed a third step-off/pickoff attempt - it's only an automatic balk if no out is recorded on the play. Otherwise, as you imagined, there would be no way to limit the runners' lead at all and that's obviously not good for baseball.
Ducey - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#413737) #
only Tanner Morris has convinced me that he is worthy of a promotion.

There does not appear to be room at the MLB level, but The Warmoth continues to hang in there.

He is at 303/431/494. He has dramatically cut his strikeouts from 33.1 % to 14.6% and now has more walks (17) than K's (16). At the same time he has improved his slugging % from .357 last year.

He played 2B yesterday for the first time this season. Maybe they are prepping him for the super utility job.

John Northey - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#413738) #
I love the idea of a max of 2 pickoffs that don't work. As funny as the whole mess with Manoah throwing over to 1st 1000 times with the guy dancing out there was, it kills the game flow. For every time you get a fun one like that, you get 100s where it is dull as dishwater.

In AAA this year there have been 685 SB vs 169 CS in 708 games. Last year in 2566 games there were 1895-607. Adjust last years to 708 games and you get 523-167 - so roughly 162 more stolen bases with 2 more caught this year. From 0.74 SB per game to 0.97 - so a significant difference, but not a wholesale change to the game. We'll see if it goes nutty by seasons end as players get more used to the new rules, but I feel that is a good change. For comparison, in 1985 when 100 SB guys were around in the majors, the IL saw 807 SB vs 430 CS in 1114 games - adjust to the 708 so far this year and you get 513-273 - fewer SB than last year with more CS. Huh. Didn't expect that. The AL saw 1461-715 in 2264 games vs 263-95 this year in the AL in 518 games, 0.65 per game in 1985 (with Ricky Henderson in his prime remember) vs 0.51 per game this year. The NL in 1985 with the run happy Cardinals (110 SB for Vince Coleman alone) were 1636-716 in 1942 games or 0.84 per game (Cards were 1.94 per game).

Now, I loved that type of baseball - get your butt on 1B by any means, then steal as fast as you can. But the AL also had the snails in Boston (66 in 163 games or 0.4 per game) and in other cities (Twins, Brewers, O's all in the 60's). The Jays then were wild on the bases with 144 (2nd in AL) with 77 CS (most in AL). 4 guys over 20 SB made for a wild season vs just 2 over 20 HR. I suspect MLB is trying to get back to that style of play, where HR leaders are around 40 (dreams of 50), and SB leaders are closer to 60 with a few having 100 in eyeshot now and then. Last year 4 guys were over 40 HR in the AL with 4 more at 39. But only 3 with 30+ SB, 12 with 20+. The '85 Cardinals had 5 with 30+ alone, let alone the rest of the league.

If SB become a thing again then strong defensive catchers (with killer arms) will become critical again. Thus making it harder for guys like Collins (16% CS rate career) but easier for guys like McGuire (29% CS) to get playing time. FYI: Kirk is at 19% lifetime, but 25% this year so far (he really worked on that). Jansen is at 24% career.
John Northey - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#413739) #
Should've checked... Moreno career CS rate is 37% in the minors, and 45% so far this year (12 SB 10 CS) despite the new rules, best in Buffalo (38% for Kellin Deglan while Heineman is at 20%). Another reason to want him up here. Great bat, great arm = future Johnny Bench? OK, too far, but can certainly dream.
ISLAND BOY - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#413740) #
Is Eric Pardinho in extended spring training? I remember when he was a rising prospect before the Tommy John surgery.
Gerry - Monday, May 16 2022 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#413741) #
Yes Pardinho is there but reports have not been positive.
scottt - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 07:54 AM EDT (#413770) #
Samad Taylor is 15-1 stealing bases, which would be awfully impressive if league rates were anywhere reasonable.  They are not.  Buffalo is 56-9, Lehigh Valley is 34-7, Scranton is 38-6, Rochester is 43-5...Evidently, pitchers are not making much of an effort to hold runners or the catchers have noodle arms or something.

Moreno has gunned down 45% of basestealers, 10 out of 22.
bpoz - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#413793) #
Thanks Ducey about the info on Warmoth. He sneaked up on me. He is looking good.
Gerry - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#413797) #
Nine strikeouts for Fraze today. Another double for Tanner Morris and two true outcomes for Orelvis, two walks, 3 K's. Game is in the 8th.
hypobole - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#413799) #
You can add another true outcome. #11
bpoz - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#413800) #
Thanks Gerry. 11th Hr for Martinez in the 9th.
Mike Green - Tuesday, May 17 2022 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#413803) #
Tanner Morris was hitting .302/.437/.490, good for a 165 wRC+, prior to today's 2-4 with two walks.  Steamer has him projected as a 103 wRC+ hitter at the major league level right now, and he's worthy of a promotion to Buffalo asap.  Buffalo has Joshua Fuentes manning third base, so there's a spot for him (and he can get some work at second base when Samad Taylor plays left-field as he does regularly). 
State of the System | 18 comments | Create New Account
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