I thought about entitling this one “Hot Cakes from the Farm” but i was afraid too many wouldn’t get the wordplay. Oh well. After the first 11 games for the Blue Jays, we need to turn our attention elsewhere, amirite?
The format for these weekly reports will be pretty lose. Until you get some weeks into a season you can’t really draw conclusions so especially early on the main function is simply to highlight interesting performances or news of note. Eventually there may be prospect ranking updates or some such as well as highlighting specific players on the rise (or decline) as the season progresses. Also, from now to the end of the season when I reference prospect rankings I’ll be referring to my own list since many of the rests either do not update at all, or only do so at mid-season and things change (graduations, trades, etc). For reference, here’s my opening day Top 60 (yes I know there’s no such thing as actually having 60 prospects but these are all players of interest for one reason or another even though most will never accumulate one WAR in the majors – because you can’t know which is which).
|1||Vlad Guerrero, Jr||BUFF||16||Trent Thornton||TOR||31||Alejandro Kirk||LAN||46||Jacob Waguespack||BUFF|
|2||Bo Bichette||BUFF||17||Chavez Young||DUN||32||Santiago Espinal||NH||47||Josh Winckowski||LAN|
|3||Dan Jansen||TOR||18||Miguel Hiraldo||Ext.||33||Samad Taylor||DUN||48||Chad Spanberger||NH|
|4||Nate Pearson||DUN||18||Rowdy Tellez||TOR||34||Jordan Romano||BUFF||49||Zach Jackson||NH|
|5||Eric Pardinho||LAN||20||Griffin Conine||Sus.||35||Leanardo Jiminez||Ext.||50||Joshua Palacios||NH|
|6||Anthony Alford||BUFF||21||TJ Zeuch||BUFF||36||Justin Maese||DUN||51||Otto Lopez||LAN|
|7||Jordan Groshans||LAN||22||Gabriel Moreno||Ext.||37||Hagen Danner||LAN||52||Joey Murray||LAN|
|8||Sean Reid-Foley||BUFF||23||Ryan Noda||DUN||38||Brock Lundquest||NH||53||Sean Wymer||LAN|
|9||Kevin Smith||NH||24||Logan Warmoth||DUN||39||Forrest Wall||NH||54||Domonic Abadassa||LAN|
|10||Cavan Biggio||BUFF||25||Elvis Luciano||TOR||40||Zach Logue||NH||55||Demi Orimoloye||DUN|
|11||Hector Perez||NH||26||Riley Adams||DUN||41||Ronny Brito||Ext.||56||Cullen Large||DUN|
|12||Adam Kloffenstein||Ext.||27||Cal Stevenson||DUN||42||Jackson McClleland||NH||57||McGregory Contrares||LAN|
|13||Orelvis Martinez||Ext.||28||Yensey Diaz||NH||43||Julian Merryweather||BUFF||58||Kevin Vicuna||DUN|
|14||Patrick Murphy||NH||29||Juan De Paula||LAN||44||Maximo Castillo||DUN||59||Andrew Sopko||NH|
|15||David Paulino||BUFF||30||Reese McGuire||BUFF||45||Jon Davis||BUFF||60||Justin Schafer||BUFF|
Bold = reasonable chance of graduating soon; Red = IL; Ext. = Extended Spring; Sus. = Suspended
Speaking of graduations, Billy McKinney and Thomas Pannone have passed the MLB limit for rookie eligibility and are no longer officially considered “prospects.”
So, even though it’s only four games and we’re not even through the rotation yet, what’s the first impression from the farm?
Some excellent starting pitching, for one thing. Look at these lines:
Jacob Waugespack: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
Zach Logue: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Yennsy Diaz: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Nate Pearson: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Maximo Castillo: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Justin Dillon: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Josh Winckowski: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K
Joey Murray: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Sean Wymer: 6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
So out of 16 starts, nine were 1 or less earned run outings from the SP, of those all but one went at least 5 IP, all but one featured at least five strikeouts and only two saw more than a single free pass. Nice work gentlemen.
Offensively, Lansing is enjoying #7 Jordan Groshans and his .444 BA, Super-utility Otto Lopez who’s also hitting .400, and catcher Hagen Danner who’s hammered two HR so far. Dunedin has fully five players off to hot hitting starts, none moreso than catcher Riley Adams and 3B Cullen Large. The catching tandem in NH has combined for an .838 OPS, and CF Joshua Palacios is hotter than even that (.930 OPS). In Buffalo veterans Andy Burns and Eric Sogard are off to nice starts but Cavan Biggio is hitting .500 in the first four games.
With no major league game tomorrow, it’s a perfect chance to give a listen to some of the farm teams and perhaps enjoy not just good pitching but the occasional run scored as well.