The Blue Jays might be unwatchable right now, but there are plenty of Large Adult Sons down in the farm system worth paying attention to. Here’s a post featuring updates on a handful of prospects returning from injuries/suspensions:
After missing a month-and-a-half because of a broken hand, Toronto’s top prospect resumed playing this week with Single-A Dunedin. Bichette made a joke of Single-A competition, going 6-for-11 with a couple of doubles, five walks, and just three strikeouts. The hilarious thing here is that, at the age of 21, Bichette is still one of the youngest players in the league.
Bichette will re-join the Buffalo Bisons on Thursday. I don’t expect he’ll be there for very long. The Major League Baseball trade deadline is just over a month away and moving either Eric Sogard or Freddy Galvis would open up a spot for Bichette to join the Blue Jays. If I had to venture a guess, I would bet Sogard, who’s having a shockingly-good season, would be the one to get dealt while Galvis sticks around as a veteran presence. Who knows. CALL HIM UP!
After missing the first two months of the season due to a lat strain, T.J. Zeuch finally made his 2019 debut with the Baby Jays. Zeuch tossed four innings of shutout ball, picking up seven strikeouts while walking just one batter.
6-foot-7 rhp TJ Zeuch’s line: 4IP, 7Ks, 1hit, 1BB, 60 pitches, 42 strikes. Jim Tarabocchia, DJays radio voice, reports he has put on 20 pounds this offseason and physically looks MLB ready.
— Ryan D (@RyanDifrancesco) June 11, 2019
Zeuch, a somewhat forgotten prospect due to his injuries, quietly had a very good season last year between Single- and Double-A, posting a 3.17 ERA between the two levels over the course of 151 1/3 innings. Like with Bichette, the trade deadline could present an opportunity for Zeuch to work his way up to the Major League club.
Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman will very likely be dealt, leaving two open spots in Toronto’s rotation for prospects to grab. Nobody in Triple-A is really demanding the opportunity, so if Zeuch hits the ground running in his return, he could feasibly be up with the team this year.
Speaking of forgotten prospects, 2017 first-round pick Logan Warmoth is finally starting to pull it together. He didn’t hit well in either of his first two professional seasons, but he appears to be turning things around this year. Since returning from a month-long injury back in late-May, Warmoth is slashing a .344/.434/.500 line for Dunedin, bringing his full-season OPS up to a respectable .803.
I mean, he’s 23, which is a little old for Single-A, but still, it’s something. Given Kevin Smith’s struggles in Double-A this year, we could see Warmoth go up a level and Smith slide back down.
2018 third-round pick Adam Kloffenstein will get his season started on Friday as the Vancouver Canadians kick things off. One of the youngest players in last year’s draft, the Jays have taken things very slowly with the big righty, but he’s certainly a breakout candidate this summer much like Nate Pearson was a couple of years ago.
CANADIANS: Meet 2018 3rd Rounder RHP Adam Kloffenstein, in Vancouver & ready to get it going Friday, June 14th at 1:05pm. C’s start season with a seven-game homestand, & tickets for Monday through Thursday are available at https://t.co/KVzgpoguuV Pt. 1 of Interview (1/3). pic.twitter.com/ZF2fsBjWxH
— Rob Fai (@RobFaiNation) June 11, 2019
Kloffenstein looks all of his 6-foot-5 and 243-pound listing. He’s an imposing figure on the mound with advanced durability for a pitcher this age, albeit in a frame that’s similarly more mature than most teenagers. He gets through a low maintenance semi-windup fairly easily, with moderate effort that projects to clean up a bit with more time at the professional level. The fastball touched 96 mph in my look, sitting at 92-to-93 mph with consistent angle and armside run. Kloffenstein showed a polished ability to mix grips on his heater, mixing four-seam and two-seam variants to stay off barrels. His main off-speed is a mid-80s slider that flashed hard gloveside action at best, showing the makings of a definite future big league pitch. It was enthusing to see a pitcher this age show feel over a true four-pitch mix, as Kloffenstein also wrinkled in a curveball (76-77 mph) and changeup (85-86 mph) that both showed glimpses of promising action. Just as impressive was his mound presence, pitching with a competitive fire even in a backfields intersquad game and drawing high praise from coaches for his on-field makeup.
Since returning from his 5-game PED suspension, Griffin Conine has been making a joke of Low-A. Through 12 games, Conine is slashing an impossible .438/.481/1.000 line with six homers and five doubles. The one somewhat worrying stat here is the fact he’s struck out 17 times while walking just four times. I imagine he’ll be getting the call up to Single-A Dunedin soon, so we’ll see if he can keep it rolling in more of a pitcher’s league.
Griffin Conine just sent a ball over the batter’s eye and the billboard in center field. His OPS is now 1.151. He will be in Dunedin before that baseball falls back to Earth. pic.twitter.com/1mZzYg6Kcj
— Ryan D (@RyanDifrancesco) June 12, 2019