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Time for a quick update on the Arizona Fall League and the Peoria Saguaros, managed by AAA Syracuse skipper Marty Pevey and home to six Jays prospects of varying degrees of interest. The Saguaros sit last in the three-team American Divison with a 2-4 record; they beat previously undefeated Phoenix 14-7 yesterday, a memorable game for Jays hitters -- for the pitchers, meeeh, not so much.
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The Syracuse Skychiefs are the Blue Jays top farm team, the closest team to the big leagues and the source of many of the call-ups the Blue Jays needed in 2004. Not counting the September call-ups, there are nineteen players who played in both Syracuse and Toronto this season. The injury bug that hit the Jays put a strain on the Chiefs from which they could not recover.
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What a season! The Fisher Cats first season was a resounding success, as they caught fire in July and August, and stormed to an Eastern League title.
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The Dunedin Blue Jays had another successful year winning a first half title, finishing second in the back half of the season, but ending the season with a disappointing loss to Tampa in the playoffs. They played in front of generally small crowds, home attendance averaged 594, second lowest in the league. Cross-town neighbours Clearwater, led by rookie manager Mike Schmidt, led the league with 2078 average home attendance.

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The Alley Cats were the Blue Jays Low-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League this year. Next year, the low-A affiliate will be the Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League. Charleston drew 1,842 fans per game, well below league average, to old Watt Powell Park; they will be playing in a newly constructed stadium beginning next year.
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Summer is officially heading out the door when the Arizona Fall League rumbles to life. Syracuse manager Marty Pevey has been rewarded for suffering through a brutal Skychiefs campaign with the reins of the Peoria Saguaros. Pevey should be considered a prospect himself: managerial stints in the AFL are often considered auditions for big-league positions. The AFL gets underway in the first week of October: for those of you who'll be in the 48th state this autumn, here's the Saguaros' home schedule. For those of you wondering what a saguaro is, we offer these tantalizing choices:

A) cigar
B) cactus
C) Padre Armand Saguaro, founder of a famed 19th-century Jesuit mission near present-day Peoria
D) scorpion
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The Auburn Doubledays won their division and proceeded to lose in the first round of the playoffs, again. This year's team was good, but not as good as the 2003 juggernaut, the 2004 Doubledays won 50 games with a +132 run differential, the 2003 D'Days won 56 games with +237 run differential. In 2003 Vito Chiaravalotti was the triple crown winner, Aaron Hill and Jamie Vermilyea were promoted to Dunedin mid season and Kurt Isenberg won the ERA title. The 2004 team did not have a player lead a major statistical category and the mid-season promotions were to Charleston.

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Now that you’ve read all about the Blue Jays Top 30 prospects, and have started into the individual team re-caps, you’re ready to round out your knowledge of the Toronto farm system by chewing on some stats… right? Good!
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This is the first in a series of reviews of the farm affiliates' 2004 seasons. In the series, the focus will be mainly on the teams, as Jordan will be preparing his top 30 prospect summary shortly with details on most of the guys you want to know about.
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The end of the 2004 minor-league season also signals the arrival of the Batter’s Box Post-Season Top 30 Prospects List. It was constructed with invaluable assistance from all members of the Minor-League Reports Team: Gerry McDonald, Mike Green, Ryan01, Jonny German and Craig Burley -- especially regarding the rankings, which were challenging this time around. A separate big thank you to Jonny, who assembled all the stats in HTML format. Bonus: Click here for an exclusive Batter's Box interview with Blue Jays’ Director of Player Development Dick Scott.
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The Fisher Cats defeated Altoona 2-0 to sweep their best-of-five Eastern League Championship series.
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The Fisher Cats took a 2-0 series lead with a 5-4 victory over the Altoona Curve last night.
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The Fisher Cats defeated Binghamton 5-2 last night to win the Eastern League's Northern Division crown.
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More bad news from the minor leagues, as Charleston is eliminated from the playoffs and New Hampshire fails in its bid to sweep its first-round series.
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The Fisher Cats make it two straight. Shaun Marcum and Tom Mastny lose. Dunedin are toast and get to head out of town before Ivan moves in. New Hampshire and Charleston are the only clubs still playing.
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