Tough night on the farm, everyone lost. Time for something to distract us from the on field performance. How about mid-season report cards, as we are at the halfway point of the season. Its not happy reading for Blue Jay fans and so does not provide much distraction.
Syracuse 3 Buffalo 2
Hartford 3 New Hampshire 1
Vancouver 4 Everett 7
Clearwater 6 Dunedin 4
FCL Blue Jays 8 FCL Yankees 9 - 7.5 innings
This is what I noted from yesterday's games.
Chavez Young homered and went 3-4. Eric Stamets also homered. Spencer Horwitz returned to reality with an 0-4. Danny Jansen had two hits.
Yosver Zulueta made an excellent second start for New Hampshire. He struck out eight in four innings. He did allow one run on two hits and two walks.
New Hampshire were held to just four hits. Trevor Schwecke had two of them.
Chad Dallas gave up five runs in five innings. Just two runs were earned but Dallas didn't help with seven hits and three walks allowed in those five innings. Damiano Palmegiani made the error and also went 2-4 with a walk. Steward Berroa homered. Addison Barger did not play, start the promotion rumours!
Amell Brazoban has had a forgettable season so far but on Thursday he hit a two run home run and added an RBI double. Roque Salinas hit his first home run. Salinas is a 19 year old Mexican and has been playing reasonably well, hitting .260. He also strikes out just 10% of the time. Plus he has improved his batting average and OBP each month from April through June.
In the FCL Yhoangel Aponte hit a three run home run and added a single. Aponte has nine hits in his last five games and he has moved his average up to .281. Emmanuel Sanchez, 1 21 year old, was 3-3 including a triple. Sanchez is repeating the FCL but after hitting .255 last season he is hitting .340 this year. Robert Robertis, a 19 year old, is hitting .359 in 13 games.
Third Star - Yhoangel Aponte
Second Star - Chavez Young
First Star - Amell Brazoban
Here are the mid season report cards. As a reminder each year I look at the top prospects and mark them on a three point scale. Have they improved their prospect standing, have they become a worse or lower ranked prospect or are they about there they started the season. The old baseball maxim is that one third of your prospects should get better, one third should be worse and one third stay about the same. That's what we are looking for. One note, I wrote these over the the last few days so some of the stats might be a day or so behind. On to the report cards....
Moreno was the #1 prospect so for him to have reached the major leagues and performed well was to be expected. I think its too early to tell how good he will be so I will say he has stayed as expected for now.
We all know Orelvis got the unexpected promotion to AA. And we know that he has hit some home runs but he hasn't hit for average. Some say its expected for a 22 year old in AA but when I look at the numbers I see no progression. His June was his worst hitting month of the season and his K rate in June was worse than May, but better than April. He walked fewer times in June than he did in May. I will generously give him a stayed as expected but it could have been worse. When the Jays assigned him there in April we assumed they knew he could handle it. Well he hasn't really so far, other than hit home runs.
The knock on Groshans coming into 2022 was his lack of power. That hasn't been fixed. In 86 June at-bats Groshans had three extra base hits, all doubles. After a hot start in May and a .879 OPS, Groshans had a .557 OPS in June. July hasn't improved his numbers. If he was hitting over .300 with little power that would be interesting, but to be hitting .270 with no power is not good enough. Its definitely a worse than expected for me.
Lopez got his major league promotion this season but it was out of major league necessity rather than an earned promotion. In fact Lopez has underwhelmed with the bat this season and he has only shown signs of life recently. It's another worse from me.
Jimenez moved up the top 30 list based off a .315 batting average and a .517 OBP in Dunedin last season. This year, in Vancouver, those numbers are a .227 BA and a .335 OBP His strikeouts are almost the same as Dunedin last season but his walks are down by around 60%. You have to hit your way to the major leagues and so far this season Jimenez is not doing that. "Worse".
Taylor started the season hot with an OPS of .885 in April. That declined to .749 in May and .692 in June. Taylor hits reasonably well, he controls the strike zone reasonably well and he has decent pop. But none of those tools has major league quality written all over it. He is still just 23 years old, in AAA, so he has time but some of those skills need to take a step up. He has improved his strikeout rate from last season in AA but Keith Law has noted that strikeouts are down in AAA for some reason so I don't know if that change is something to get excited about. I will give Taylor a stayed as expected.
Adam Kloffenstein pitched reasonably well in Vancouver and received a promotion to New Hampshire. Kloff always has lots of baserunners, his WHIP in Vancouver was 1.46 and it is 1.79 so far in New Hampshire. Kloff needs to cut down on his walks and reduce his hits allowed. Kloff is 21 in AA which is very good but he needs to work on improving his pitches to keep the hitters off balance. I am between worse than expected and stays as expected. Lets call it stays as expected.
Beltre is hitting .225 in the FCL this season, coincidentally the same as he hit in the DSL last year. As one of the Jays top international signings there was some expectation that Beltre could start with Dunedin this season, but he was placed in the FCL. Everyone in the FCL is young enough to develop further but Beltre's bat needs to get going. Worse than expected.
Tiedemann has been the star of the system so far in 2022. He has dominated Dunedin and Vancouver and will probably be in New Hampshire before the end of July. Much better than expected.
CJ Van Eyk
We knew Van Eyk was headed for the IL when the prospect list was prepared so he is a stay as is.
Machado missed nearly all of last season so he got an early season mulligan. Unfortunately he hit .203 in June and is hitting .255 for the season. He has a 30% K rate. He is still just 19 so he has time but for now he is worse than expected.
Hiraldo hit just .249 in Dunedin last season but stayed on the top 30 due to his age, 20 then, and his signing status. Nevertheless he was promoted to Vancouver where he is hitting .206. His prospect days are over, for now at least. Worse than expected.
Carter has had a rough start to his pro career, he has an 8.59 ERA in the FCL. As a high school pick he has lots of time to get right, but the start has been uninspiring. "Worse"
Robberse has generally pitched well for Vancouver in 12 starts. He limits hard contact and manages the game well. His strikeouts are less than you would expect, 51 in 63 innings and his June wasn't good but you never know what a pitcher is working on. Robberse is still 20 so I will say he has been better than expected.
Rikelbin De Castro
De Castro just hasn't been able to get going and is hitting under .150 in Dunedin with a 40% strikeout rate. "Worse"
It just took three games in New Hampshire for the Jays to realise Hernandez belongs in AAA. In 18 games he has a 1.80 ERA. He has 28 strikeouts in 20 innings. The only knock against Hernandez is his tendency to give up home runs. If he misses his spot the change up is hittable. Still, that's a small issue right now. Better than expected.
Mesia was assigned to Dunedin to start the season but after hitting .064 in April he returned to the complex. He has hit a little better in the FCL, his average is .241. Overall though he is repeating the FCL which is disappointing for the 19 year old. Worse than expected.
Dallas has made 12 starts for Vancouver. He had a great April but hasn't been great in May or June. He has pitched to a five plus ERA in the last two months and has a WHIP near two. He has work to do, worse than expected.
Morris is known for his eye at the plate He hit .312 in New Hampshire and walked the same number of times as he struck out. That gave him a .430 OBP to add to a .468 slugging. He is now in AAA but hasn't found his feet there yet. Better than expected.
Murray returned briefly and is now listed as being out for the full season. It will be hard to put him on a prospect list this coming off season. "Worse"
Like Murray Pardinho is coming back from injury and he has returned very slowly. He has pitched just five innings so far this season and there are reports that his velocity is down. He has to be worse than expected.
Young was injured to start the season so has a limited number of at-bats. So far the average or the power is not there. Young is a switch hitter and continues to hit better as a left handed hitter. If he wants to reach the majors he might have to drop the switch hitting. Worse than expected.
Horwitz got off to a slow start and his average was down to .227 on May 10th. By the time he left New Hampshire on Sunday his average was up to .297. Horwitz was not on all top prospect lists this off season, he was a 24th round pick and plays first base so the bar is high. He reminds me of Kevin Pillar in that he just keeps hitting. Better than expected.
Danner pitched in four games before hitting the IL. The IL stay is unfortunate but not unexpected after his first year of pitching last season. If we assume Danner will be back for some of the season I will put him as a stay as expected.
Quinones started the season on the IL and as a result has just appeared in seven games for New Hampshire. In those games he has not pitched as well as he did last season, specifically his K rate is down. Quinones has always walked too many hitters and that continues. He has walked 20 in 24 AA innings this season. I will say as expected for a #29 prospect.
Palmer made six starts in Vancouver before getting bumped up to New Hampshire. He hasn't missed a beat and arguably has pitched better in AA. Palmer might be headed for a major league bullpen but this season has been promising. Better than expected for a #30 prospect.
Gunnar Hoglund, Kevin Smith, Zach Logue and Josh Palacios were on the Batters Box top 30 but all are elsewhere now. Of the remaining 26 my mid season report cards say six players are better, seven have stayed as expected and 13 are worse than expected. The six improvers in some order are Ricky Tiedemann, Adrian Hernandez, Spencer Horwitz, Sem Robberse, Tanner Morris and Trent Palmer.
Players outside the top 30 who could make their way onto this years list are listed below. It's interesting to see that there are few hitters who are stepping up but there are several pitchers doing well.
Gabriel Martinez who was off to a very hot start before his wrist was fractured by a pitch.
Addison Barger has hit well for Vancouver and cut down on his strikeouts from 2021. Damiano Palmegiani recently joined Vancouver and has hit well so far.
Dahian Santos who has a great K rate but could be ultimately a reliever.
Matt Svanson and Trenton Wallace are pitching well in Dunedin, Nick Frasso and Nick Fraze are also pitching well this season.
Hayden Juenger has been throwing a limited number of innings in AA, generally three innings per start, but he has pitched well.
Yosver Zulueta started in Dunedin, pitched well in Vancouver and has just started in New Hampshire. He is definitely one to watch in the second half.
I hope you enjoyed these reports and that you find them informative.