It is the end of April so I thought I would take a look at how the Jays affiliates and prospects were doing for the first month of the season. Because of time constraints I started the analysis on Sunday morning and the major theme was the lack of offense up and down the system. Then Buffalo go out and score 21 runs, Dunedin score 18 in their first game. They both won while Dunedin lost game two. Vancouver won via a walk off home run. New Hampshire were rained out.
So here is the report with a mix of Sunday morning and Sunday evening analysis.
Buffalo 21 Gwinnett 9
Hartford at New Hampshire - postponed
Eugene 0 Vancouver 2
Bradenton 2 Dunedin 18 - game one
Bradenton 4 Dunedin 3 - game two
Third Star - LJ Talley
Second Star - Spencer Horwitz
First Star - Glenn Santiago
Lets look at the standings on the morning of April 30th. Buffalo are 10-15 and are already 8 games out of first place. Their offense in terms of runs scored is second worst in the league while their pitching is above average. New Hampshire also have a losing record at 9-11 and they too are well out of first. Their offense is also poor, they have the fewest runs scored in the division, while their pitching is slightly below average. Vancouver have a .500 record and are middle of the pack in offense and pitching. Dunedin have a losing record and are 4.5 games out of first. They have scored the fewest runs in the division by far. They have scored 59 runs, almost half of the leaders 112 and way less than the second worst at 86.
Buffalo's 21 runs move them up to the middle of the pack. Dunedin's runs leave them still bottom of the runs scored chart but not as far behind as they were this morning.
If we look at the offenses more closely, as of Sunday morning, Buffalo have the lowest batting average, lowest slugging and lowest OPS in the International League. New Hampshire are 9th out of 12 in OPS and 11th in slugging. Vancouver are slightly below average in all offensive categories. Dunedin are last in all offensive categories.
Lets look at the Jays top 30 prospects.
Ricky Tiedemann has had a good start to 2023 and retains his number one status. Addison Barger is off to a slow start, hitting .237 with just one home run in 20 games. Orelvis Martinez is off to a horrendous start, hitting under .100. It was obvious that he needed to change after last season but whatever he is trying is not working (yet) and I wonder if he will persist. Brandon Barriera hasn't pitched yet, we should see him this week. Yosver Zulueta has had trouble throwing strikes and he has walked eight in ten innings. Tucker Toman is young for the FSL. He has held his own so far but has a strikeouts problem (40% K's). Gabriel Martinez is another who was off to a slow start. His bat shows signs of warming up but his OPS today is at .644. Cade Doughty is hitting well in Vancouver, he has a .926 OPS. Josh Kasevich is essentially as advertised, hitting .267, no power, walking and with low K's. Rounding out the top ten is Sem Robberse who has pitched well for NH. He has walked a few too many (11 in 23 innings) and given up too many home runs (4 in 5 starts), but generally met expectations.
As we look at the top ten I don't see anyone who has taken a step forward and several who have disappointed.
If we look at the 11-20 prospects, Adam Macko, Otto Lopez, Leo Jimenez, Dasan Brown, Tanner Morris and Adrian Hernandez have all not performed as expected. Hagen Danner has been injured. That leaves Spencer Horwitz and Hayden Juenger who have played as expected for Buffalo. And Dahian Santos who has pitched well for Vancouver and is probably the only one to improve his ranking.
Adrian Pinto, TJ Brock, Zach Britton have been OK. CJ Van Eyk and Irv Carter have been injured. Davis Schneider, Estiven Machado, Rainer Nunez and Jimmy Robbins have not been as good in 2023 as 2022. The one bright light has been Damiano Palmegiani who has an .876 OPS in AA.
All of that makes for a terrible April for the Jays farm system.
So who is pushing to get into the next top 30? Cam Eden has a .776 OPS in AAA. That is above expectations for him. Sean Mellen, Luis Quinones and Nick Fraze have all been pitching well in relief for New Hampshire but its a small sample for them. Adam Kloffenstein has pitched well over his last two starts. In Vancouver Riley Tirotta and Michael Turconi have been the best hitters. Devonte Brown has also hit well. Connor Cooke and Mason Fluharty have pitched well in relief. Trenton Wallace and Chad Dallas have pitched well as starters. In Dunedin Rafael Sanchez, Ryan Jennings and Kevin Miranda have pitched well. Lazaro Estrada has done well in relief. All of these players need to build on April and show consistency over the rest of the season.
That is a pretty bleak April for the farm. Hopefully the players form warms up with the weather (as it did on Sunday).
Now on to todays games.
21 runs on 21 hits for Buffalo. Spencer Horwitz drove in six runs with a 4-6 day. LJ Talley was 6-6 with four RBI and two doubles. Davis Schneider doubled.
Vancouver had just four hits but one of them was a walk off, two run, home run in the tenth inning from Alex De Jesus. Five pitchers combined on the shutout.
Eric Pardinho came off the IL and had a three up, three down, first inning. He walked the lead off hitter in his second inning, recorded two outs, gave up a hit and then got the third out. It was a good return from the IL.
Dunedin had 15 hits in game one of their doubleheader. Glenn Santiago hit a two run home run and a grand slam for 6 RBI. Peyton Williams hit his first home run, and was 3-3. Angel Del Rosario hit his second, a two run shot. Rikelbin De Castro had three hits.
Hagen Danner continued his rehab with a three strikeout inning.
In game two Peyton Williams went deep again, a two run shot. He drove in three runs. Tucker Toman and Rikelbin De Castro each had a pair of hits.