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Hot Takes From the Farm: Opening Weekend

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.

  • wb

    Thanks for the update. Would Biggio, Bichette, Guerrero, and Alford really do any worse at the MLB level than our group, now? Maybe we should give it until the end of April, and, if the bats are still terrible, just call all of them up and see what they can do.

    • Abogilo

      The point of all this is to make money, not to win baseball games. Sometimes those things overlap, sometimes they don’t. We all need to find our own way to be OK with that.

      As consumers of baseball who enjoy watching a winning team… we need to be shouting for changes that bring those two objectives back in line with each other.