7

Large Adult Son Awards

The large adult sons content has been filling our gigantic Blue Jays winning-void with the good stuff that we’ve needed all season long. We have been sitting at our local bars reaching for the bottle of Vlad and all the other good prospect-y stuff that has been in front of us this summer. It’s been a long summer, a hot one, and one where the Jays have left us thirsty. And the sons have filled that dry void.

We are now in the middle of September and just a few tomorrows away from closing the damn door on a really shitty Jays season. Soon people will be walking around with their pumpkin spiced lattes and hot apple cider somethings taking in the fresh Fall air. We’re not quite there yet and summer is still hanging around and the Jays’ awful season with it. But, the MiLB gates have closed for the Blue Jays’ affiliates.

I figured the best way to celebrate the young men that have brought us so much hope during this woeful Jays summer would be to hand out some untraditional awards.

Nation Rules: If a prospect has been called up, that prospect is not eligible for a Large Adult Son Award.

***

I Walk The Line Award – Ryan Noda

Ryan Noda led the minors by not swinging at 436 pitches in 109 plate appearances. Those 109 plate appearances concluded with him walking the damn line Johnny Cash style 109 times. I’m not sure if he keeps a close watch on that heart of his, but he does keep his eyes wide open when he sets foot in the batter’s box.

He was second best in the Midwest League for both dingers (20) and RBIs (80). He finished the year with an impressive .905 OPS. And his millennial lit August is something worth noting, as he put up a 1.130 OPS during those dog days of summer. I say we set the over/under on Noda’s walks in High-A next season at 85, what’s your bet?

Wow, A Sailboat Award – Kevin Smith

 

Kevin Smith saw the sailboat this year. He saw the damn schooner, too. Our friend Jesse Goldberg-Strassler told me that he thinks that Smith could become a legit everyday player for the Jays. And it’s hard not to feel strongly about this MiLB shortstop magic bean. This kid has sprouted this season in Low-A and then continued to grow in High-A with the Dunedin Jays.

Smith absolutely raked the Michigan floor in Lansing slashing .355/.407/.639 before being promoted to the FSL. His offensive numbers dipped in Dunedin, naturally. However, he finished out High-A dropping a .274/.332/.468 anchor. The offensive side of his game is good stuff, but the defensive side to his game could end up being more impressive than what he does at the plate. Kevin Smith’s sailboat is heading to New Hampshire next year and then off to the show to bust that stage like a high school kegger …snoothchie-bootchies.

Call Him Up Award – Vladdy

Not much to say here, amirite?

Plakata Award – Vladdy

I’m A Much Better Hitter Than Kevin Pillar Award – Harold Ramirez

Harold Ramirez was lost in the shadows that were casted by some of the bigger names on the ‘Cats this season. But, let’s not forget this Colombian prospect who danced all over Double-A pitching this year slashing .320/.365/.471. He was probably really pissed when Colombia lost to England in penalty kicks, but it’s all cool because the Cats won the Eastern League Championship.

The Jays outfield is in a bit of a jam, but it’s not one that Ramirez should be worried about if he continues to have success in Buffalo next season. I mean, I’m sure he could get on base more than Kevin Pillar, who manages to touch a bag roughly 2.7 times out of ten tries. I mean, I’m sure that he could be worth more than a 86 wRC+, right? And I’m sure I could go on and on about how I can’t wait for the day that Kevin Pillar isn’t a Jay, but this award isn’t for him. It’s about how Ramirez can probably hit better than him…Anywho.

I know Ramirez hasn’t faced big league pitching yet, but he’s managed to fair well against the hurlers in Double-A. But, who really knows, right? Kevin Pillar used to hit for a good average in the minors. And now he goes 0 – 2 in the count faster than it takes to say ‘superman’ – HEYO!

The Murphy Brown Award – Travis Bergen

Last week, I wrote a piece about Bergen because he was straight up the most dominant relief pitcher in the Jays’ system. And I came up with the dumb nickname ‘Beast of Bergen’ for him because Some Girls is an awesome Stones album and I thought it worked. Someone in the comments said that his nickname should be Candice (which is funny stuff), so let’s give Bergen The Murphy Effing Brown Award, shall we?

Travis Bergen probably deserves a better award than this, but let’s roll with it for the sake of the dice. Apparently, Murphy Brown is returning this September, so there’s that. When I was a kid growing up in the late eighties and early nineties, this show was a hard pass. I was more a Married With Children, Roseanne, and Fresh Prince squirt. But the Murph is a boss just like Travis Bergen and his .50 ERA in Double-A.

I Whip My Hair Back And Forth Award – Bo Bichette

Bo Bichette has whipped that hair back and forth for two seasons in a row celebrating MiLB championships. So obviously this future star with great hair, who the girls will gush over in Blue Jays land, is the clear winner for this award. When the kid can learn how to grow a proper stache, that’s when he will be MLB ready. Clearly Bo is going to start the year in Buffalo, but it’s only a matter of time before he gets called up in 2019. Who knows? Maybe with the logjam in the infield, the Jays will be able to get an extra year of service time from him by calling him up in mid-April 2020. But, that’s not going to happen…

I Am The Bacon Award – Chavez Young

 

Chavez Young is the bacon because Chavez Young sizzled all season in Lansing. The 39th round pick has jumped up the prospect rankings and is sure to make a ton of noise next season in Dunedin. He slashed .285/.363/.445 with the ‘Nuts and had 50 extra base hits and 40 steals. The young outfielder might not be able to put up those kind of numbers as he progresses through the system, but this kid has quick hands and feet. And there’s a lot to like about this year’s sizzle.

Our Gang Is Called The Broken Glass Kids, We’ll Cut You Award – Biggio, Bichette, Vladdy

…And make you bleed.

My Name Is Cooler Than Yours Award – Maximo Castillo

The 6’ 2” young Venezuelan was a 2015 IFA. Last year, he put up some impressive numbers in the Appy League going 6 – 0 with a 3.80 ERA if you’re into back-of-the-baseball-card kind of stats. But, what’s most impressive from his season in the Appy League is that he threw 730 pitches and 505 of them were strikes, so Castillo can find the zone.

This year, Castillo finished with a 10 -5 record for Lansing and posted a 4.52 ERA. He punched out 115 Low-A batters while only surrendering 42 walks. He’s a long day’s journey away from the MLB, but there is a lot to like about this kid besides his cool AF name. Once he develops his secondary stuff, who knows where he could end up. At this point in time, he’s many tomorrows away from the show. But no matter where he goes, people will always remember the name…Maximo Castillo.

Jesus Murphy Award – Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy was Jesus Murphy good this year, eh! I mean any hoser out there knows this though, no? The big righty hurler dominated the Florida State League all season long.

And Jesus Murphy this kid has had his fair share of injuries to boot: Tommy John in 2012, thoracic outlet in 2014 and ulnar nerve transportation in 2015. So it was great to watch this kid have the outstanding damn year that he did in Dunedin. He had 135 Ks in the land where people go to die and live out their best damn days. Murphy did anything but die down in Florida this year, instead he was reborn pitching a full season and in good health.

You Can Call Me Cal Award – Cal Stevenson

There will be no Paul Simon and Chevy Chase leg kicking to this Cal, but Mr. Stevenson led the Appy League in runs, walks, and OBP this year. The kid mashed at the plate and will probably begin next year in Lansing where Low-A pitchers can call him Cal not Al…maybe he’s going to Graceland one day, too. That’s where the players have diamonds on the soles of their cleats. Okay, I’m done with this lame Paul Simon stuff…

The John Gibbons BBQ Sauce Award – John Schneider 

Future Gibby?

***

I hope you enjoyed the first ever Large Adult Son Awards. A lot went into deciding who the hell should win in each category.