Toronto Blue Jays Farm Report: May
With a day off for the Toronto Blue Jays Monday night, I take a look at what’s been going on down on the farm. With the off-season acquisitions between the Miami Marlins and New York Mets, Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos dealt away some of the game’s top prospects including number one catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud and right-handed pitching stud Noah Syndergaard. Despite the guttering, the Blue Jays’ farm system still possesses some raw talent that may not be too long away from making the big leagues.
One of those prospects is twenty-two year-old centre fielder Anthony Gose, who has made a sluggish start with the bat for the Buffalo Bisons by hitting just .229. This was one of the key areas in which the Blue Jays’ front office wanted Gose to improve on, and because of this he has just five stolen bases in thirty-four games. In 2011 he had seventy stolen bases. The Bisons beat the Louisville Bats Monday night 5-4, with former prospect Moises Sierra going 2-5 with a double and an RBI. Sierra had a decent first stint with the Blue Jays last season clubbing six home runs in parts of forty nine games, but appears to be suffering from a road-block situation, with the Blue Jays’ current outfield full and Gose lying in wait as the first call-up.
Double-A affiliate, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, also had a night off on Monday so I’ll take you through some of the club’s hottest players instead. Former big-league reliever for the Blue Jays, Joel Carreno, has started off in royal fashion after giving up just two earned runs in 19.1 innings giving him a sparkling 0.93 ERA. Carreno has been up and down the last two seasons but did manage to put together a 1.15ERA in 15.2IP for the Jays back in 2011, so maybe he is in line for a call-up if he carries on the way he’s going. Former number one draft pick Deck McGuire has got off to another rough start by owning a 2-3 record and 5.11ERA in seven starts this season. After great numbers at the single-A level, it seems as though the twenty-three year old cannot get over the double-A hump and make his way to the show. Time may be starting to run out for the one-time top-five prospect for the Blue Jays.
Moving on down to the high-A ball Dunedin Blue Jays, where a lot more of the rising talent for the Blue Jays organisation is placed, many of the club’s hottest prospects have started the season with encouraging results. Number one prospect, Aaron Sanchez is very much regarded as a front-line starter of the future and still just twenty-one years of age, Sanchez has scouts drooling over his fastball and curveball and has put together a 2-2 record and 2.95ERA so far in eight starts. Long-time catching prospect A.J. Jimenez has been plagued with injuries the last couple of years, but can now concentrate on making his way up the Blue Jays’ farm system with former number one catching prospect d’Arnaud out of the way. Hitting .368 with one home run and five RBIs in just six games thus far, the one-time ninth round pick finally has the chance to reach his potential.
What a difference a year makes. In 2012, the Lansing Lugnuts made it all the way to the Midwest League playoffs, before exiting in the first round. They also possessed a trio of pitchers that were sought after by every team in the country. Sanchez, Syndergaard and Justin Nicolino lit up radar guns and scout’s faces alike with their dominance and raw talent. All three have since moved onto different teams, with Nicolino going to the Marlins, Syndergaard to the Mets and Sanchez moving up to the Blues Jays in Dunedin. Without the sheer talent of a year ago, the Lugnuts sit at 12-22 which is good for 10.5 games outside of the playoffs. What a difference a year makes. Go Jays!