Blue Jays Farm System Analysis: The organization has plenty of intriguing relievers in the upper minors
Photo credit:© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
5 months ago
This one is going to be a long one.
This article will be the last of the series where we look at the organization depth at all the positions. Today, we’ll look at all the relievers in the Blue Jays organization.
Let’s start with Buffalo, and work our way down!
Buffalo Bisons’ bullpen depth:
The Buffalo Bisons have 13 relievers on the roster. Paul Fry is on the injured list, and the lefty has a 2.96 ERA and a 3.22 FIP in 24.1 innings pitched, along with a 26.7 K% and a 9.9 BB%. Jackson Rees is on the development list, and the 28-year-old righty has a 7.08 ERA and a 5.72 FIP in 20.1 innings, along with a 27.6 K% and a 23.5 BB%.
Righty Thomas Hatch is on the 40-man roster, and has a 4.32 ERA and a 4.90 FIP in 33.1 innings, along with a 26.1 K% and a 12 BB%. Jay Jackson is also a righty on the 40-man roster, and the righty has a 6.10 ERA and a 4.81 FIP in 20.2 innings pitched, along with a 33.3 K% and a 5.6 BB%.
Junior Fernández has experience in the big leagues (54 innings pitched) and has a 4.40 ERA and a 4.79 FIP in 30.2 innings pitched with Buffalo this season. The 26-year-old righty has a 23.6 K% and a 10.4 BB%. Right-handed pitcher Matt Peacock also has pitched in the major leagues, and has a 7.23 ERA and an 8.91 FIP in 18.2 innings pitched, along with a 14.1 K% and a 16.3 BB%.
Right-handed pitcher Bowden Francis could have been considered a starter, but I’ve placed him here due to his usage in the big leagues in 2023. In Buffalo, he has a 3.45 ERA and a 4.98 FIP in 15.2 innings pitched, along with a 35.4 K% and a 6.2 BB%. The 27-year-old has a 3.68 ERA in the big leagues. Kyle Johnston is spending his third season in Buffalo, and the righty has a 5.19 ERA and a 5.75 FIP, along with a 22.1 K% and an 11.7 BB% in 17.1 innings pitched.
Moving to the prospects, right-handed pitcher Hagen Danner is on the 40-man roster and has a 4.91 ERA and a 5.64 FIP in 11 innings pitched with Buffalo. His 31.1 K% is great, and he has a 8.9 BB%. Right-handed pitcher Yosver Zulueta is also on the 40-man roster, and he has a 4.46 ERA and a 4.63 FIP in 36.1 innings pitched, along with a 24 K% and a 17 BB%.
The Bisons also have some lefty prospects in the bullpen. Brandon Eisert has a 5.24 ERA and a 4.89 FIP in 34.1 innings pitched, along with a 26.7 K% and a 10 BB%, but has regressed a bit since last season. Jimmy Burnette is a hard throwing lefty, but has a 9.53 ERA and a 5.67 FIP in 11.1 innings for Buffalo after a great start to his season in New Hampshire. He has a 33.9 K% and a 22 BB% in the highest level of the minors.
The last pitcher is righty Hayden Juenger, who has a 6.63 ERA and a 4.26 FIP in 38 innings pitched. He has a 30.3 K% and a 9.6 BB%, but has an insane .434 BABIP against. This is due in part to a very high line drive percentage of 32.7%, and he gives up a few long balls.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ bullpen depth:
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats have 16 relievers on the roster, five of whom are on the injured list. Brody Rodning, a right-hander, is on a rehab assignment in the lower minors, where he has a 0 ERA and 1.15 FIP with the FCL Jays in 5 innings pitched, and has moved to Dunedin. In 2021 with New Hampshire, he had a 5.58 ERA and a 3.81 FIP with a 22.2 K% and 9.3 BB% in 40.1 innings.
Righty Jol Concepcion is on the 60-day IL, and the 24-year-old has a 11.81 ERA and 5.17 FIP in 5.1 innings pitched, along with a 22.6 K% and 19.4 BB%. Ryan Boyer is another righty on the 60-day IL, but is on a rehab assignment. The 26-year-old made his affiliate debut in 2022, posting a 3.60 ERA in 30 innings pitched between Single-A, High-A, and Double-A. He had a 36.3 K% and a 6.5 BB%.
Cobi Johnson is a right-handed pitcher who hasn’t pitched since 2021, where he had a 6.42 ERA and a 4.67 FIP in 40.2 innings pitched in High-A. He had a 25.9 K% and a 17.1 BB% with Vancouver that year.
Moving on to bulk relievers, Alejandro Melean transitioned to the bullpen this season and is on the 7-day IL. The 22-year-old righty has a 4.66 ERA and a 4.02 FIP in 29 innings pitched with New Hampshire, along with a 24.6 K% and a 16.2 BB%. Nick Fraze is another righty that transitioned to a bulk-reliever role, and he has a 2.45 ERA and a 4.75 FIP in 22 innings pitched with New Hampshire, with a 25.8 K% and 10.1 BB%. He pitched a few innings in Buffalo.
Luis Quiñones is another bulk-reliever in the Fisher Cats bullpen, and he has a 4.38 ERA and a 4.48 FIP in 37 innings with the Double-A team. Moreover, the righty has a 29.1 K% and a 10.6 BB% and some innings pitched with the Bisons. Right-handed pitcher Andrew Bash has only made one spot start this season, and he has a 2.10 ERA and a 3.80 FIP in 25.2 innings pitched with Buffalo, with a 23.7 K% and a 14.9 BB%. Like Fraze and Quiñones, he has pitched with Buffalo
Juan Nuñez is in his second stint with the Jays organization, and has a 4.09 ERA and a 6.02 FIP in 11 innings with New Hampshire. The 27-year-old right-handed pitcher has a K% of 34.5%, but has struggled with the walks as it sits at 29.3% with New Hampshire. Fitz Stadler missed all of 2022, but has made it to Double-A this season, where the right-handed pitcher has a 0 ERA and a 2.63 FIP in 3 innings pitched. He made it to Triple-A in 2021.
Hard-throwing righty Troy Watson has a 3.42 ERA and a 4.39 FIP in 26.1 innings pitched, along with an 18.1 K% and a BB% of 12.9%, which should be 11.2%. Right-handed pitcher Gabriel Ponce has a 3.71 ERA and a 2.84 FIP in 26.2 innings pitched this season, along with a 28.3 K% and a 10.6 BB%. The 24-year-old pitched with the Buffalo Bisons in 2022.
Speaking of relief prospects that pitched with the Bisons in 2022, Adrián Hernández had a 4.96 ERA and a 4.76 FIP in 32.2 innings with Buffalo last season. The 23-year-old righty has spent the entire season with the Fisher Cats this season, posting a 6.64 ERA and a 6.74 FIP in 20.1 innings pitched, and has a 22 K% and a 22 BB% (down from a 32.1 K% and 11.7 BB% in 2022).
Of course, Shake and Bake are interlinked in this article. Shake, or Mason Fluharty is a left-handed reliever with a 3.75 ERA and a 3.96 FIP in 12 innings pitched with New Hampshire, with a 29.4 K% and a 7.8 BB%. Bake, or T.J. Brock has a 7.11 ERA and a 5.03 FIP in 6.1 innings with the Fisher Cats, but has a 30 K% and hasn’t walked a batter. Aside from the right-handed pitcher’s first game, he has allowed just one earned run over his past five appearances for a 1.50 ERA, 0.29 FIP, 40.9 K% and a 0 BB%.
The last reliever in the bullpen is Connor Cooke. The 23-year-old righty has a 4.85 ERA and a 3.45 FIP in 13 innings pitched with the Fisher Cats, along with an insane 47.3 K% and a 9.1 BB%. He has a nasty 3000 RPM slider, and sits in the mid-90s with the fastball, but has touched 98 mph.
Vancouver Canadians’ bullpen depth:
The Vancouver Canadians have 19 relievers in the bullpen. Ben Baggett is on the full-season injured list, and had a 0.96 ERA and a 2.93 FIP in 18.2 innings pitched with the Dunedin Blue Jays last season as a 26-year-old. The righty had a 29.9 K% and hasn’t walked a batter. Winder Garcia is on the 60-day injured list, and he had a 6.75 ERA and a 7.83 FIP in 10.2 innings pitched with the Dunedin Blue Jays in 2021. The righty had a 20.8 K % and a 16.7 BB%.
Roither Hernandez is a right-handed pitcher on the full-season injured list. He last pitched in High-A Vancouver in 2021, and had a 5.53 ERA and a 4.70 FIP in 27.2 innings pitched with a 24.2 K5 and a 10.6 BB%. Geison Urbaez is a 22-year-old righty on the 60-day IL, who had a 4.15 ERA and a 5.03 FIP in 17.1 innings pitched with the Double-A Fisher Cats last season, but spent the majority of the season pitching with the Single-A Blue Jays. Between the two levels, he has a 21.5 K% and an 8.3 BB%.
Donnie Sellers is a 27-year-old righty on the 60-day IL list. He hasn’t pitched in the Blue Jays organization since 2018, where he had a 3.98 ERA and a 4.39 FIP in 92.2 innings pitched. No idea what’s up there. MacKenzie Mueller is an outfielder turned left-handed reliever, but he went under the knife for Tommy John surgery last season. As a position player pitching in 2022, he had a 1.93 ERA and a 3.02 FIP in 4.2 innings pitched for a 33.3 K% and a 16.7 BB%.
Anders Tolhurst is righty who was drafted in 2019, but only started his professional career in 2022. He pitched 12.1 innings in the Jays organization in 2022, and the same amount in the Arizona Fall League. He’s currently on a rehab assignment with the Single-A Blue Jays, where he has a 16.62 ERA and a 7.26 FIP in 4.1 innings pitched, along with a 22.7 K% and a 9.1 BB%. Hunter Gregory is the only reliever on the roster on the 7-day IL, and the 24-year-old righty has a 6.38 ERA and a 4.46 FIP in 18.1 innings pitched, along with a 23.8 K% and an 8.3 BB%.
Abdiel Mendoza is one of several bulk relievers in the bullpen, and the righty has a 3.25 ERA and a 4.39 FIP in 36 innings pitched, along with a 21.2 K% and a 7.9 BB%. He was a minor league rule 5 pickup a few seasons back. Kevin Miranda was a non-drafted free agent signed after the 2022 draft, and he has a 1.69 ERA and a 3.48 FIP in 16 innings with the Canadians. The righty with a nasty changeup has a 19.7 K% and a 3 BB%, and has a combined 1.34 ERA in 40.1 innings pitched between Single-A and High-A.
Eric Pardinho was a former top Blue Jays prospect who sadly had the early part of his career derailed due to injury. Still only 22 years old, the righty has an 8.68 ERA and a 6.84 FIP in 28 innings pitched, along with a 21.5 K% and a 13.8 BB%. All that matters is that he stays healthy.
The Canadians also have several lefties in the bullpen. Naswell Paulino has a 3.81 ERA and a 5.54 FIP in 28.1 innings pitched, along with a 20.6 K% and a 11.5 BB%. Nasty stuff and has had a velo bump this season. Braden Scott has a 12 ERA and a 10.58 FIP in six innings pitched with the Canadians this season, along with a 30.3 K% and an 18.2 BB%. He pitched with the Fisher Cats last season.
Sticking with lefties, Cooper Benson has a 5.63 ERA and a 5.60 FIP in 32 innings pitched with the Canadians this season, along with a 22.4 K% and a 19.9 BB%. Ian Churchill was selected in the 2022 draft and hasn’t allowed a run in the 3.1 innings he’s pitched. With the Dunedin Blue Jays, he had a 1.33 ERA and a 3.26 FIP in 20.1 innings pitched, along with a 33.7 K% and a 16.9 BB%.
Sam Ryan was selected in the 2019 draft, and the right-handed pitcher has a 3.94 ERA and a 3.91 FIP in 16 innings pitched with Vancouver this season. The 24-year-old missed the early part of the season, but has an 18.8 K% and a 9.4 BB% in 2023. Conor Larkin is a righty that was drafted in 2021, and he has a 7.63 ERA and a 4.76 FIP in 15.1 innings pitched with the Canadians this season. He also has a 24.3 K% and a 13.5 BB%.
Justin Kelly has been used in a set-up role this season, and the 24-year-old righty has a 2.05 ERA and a 5.87 FIP in 22 innings pitched, along with a 14.6 K% and a 9 BB%. Matt Svanson has been moved to the closer role after Connor Cooke, T.J. Brock, and Mason Fluharty were called up to New Hampshire. Swanson for his part, has excelled in the role. The 24-year-old righty has a 2.04 ERA and a 2.78 FIP in 17.2 innings pitched, along with a 31.9 K% and a 10.1 BB%
Dunedin Blue Jays’ bullpen depth:
The Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays have 17 relievers in the bullpen. Right-handed pitcher Bo Bonds was drafted in 2022, but hasn’t made a professional appearance as he’s down with Tommy John surgery. Cristopher Castro is on the Injured – Full Season list, and the righty has a 0.87 ERA and a 4.79 FIP in the DSL in 2021. He had a 35.6 K% and a 20 BB%. Jefferson Herrera is another righty on the full-season injured list. He last pitched in 2021 with Dunedin and had a 5.31 ERA and a 6.90 FIP in 39 innings pitched, along with a 14.8 K% and a 13.7 BB%.
Tony Rosario is a righty who is also on the 60-day IL, and he hasn’t pitched since 2021, and only had 3.2 innings under his belt. He made it as high as Single-A Dunedin. Johan Simon is also on the 60-day injured list, and the lefty had a 2.96 ERA and a 3.50 FIP in 27.1 innings pitched with the FCL Jays last season, along with a 28.2 K% and a 13.7 BB%. Right-handed pitcher Stephen Vargas is on the full-season list, and he had a 5.87 ERA and a 5.55 FIP in 30.2 innings pitched with the FCL Jays in 2022, along with a 16.2 K% and a 6.6 BB%.
Ryan Chasse was drafted in the 2022 draft, and has a 3.28 ERA and a 7.16 FIP in 24.2 innings pitched with Dunedin this season. He has a 16.2 K% and a 21 BB% and will need to improve that as he moves up the levels. Yondrei Rojas is currently rehabbing in the FCL, and has an 8.74 ERA and a 6.80 FIP in 11.1 innings pitched with Dunedin this season. The 20-year-old righty has an 8.9 K% and a 7.1 BB%, but had a 16.9 K% at the level last season.
Alex Amalfi was a non-drafted free agent after the 2022 draft, and he has a 2.63 ERA and a 3.55 FIP in 24 innings pitched this season. Moreover, the righty has an impressive 31.7 K% but a somewhat high 13.9 BB%. Lazaro Estrada has eaten some innings this season, pitching 32.1 of them and owning a 3.62 ERA and a 2.16 FIP, along with a 33.3 K% and a 6.5 BB%. The 24-year-old has the best curveball in the organization.
Grayson Thurman is also a bulk-reliever who went undrafted. The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher has a 4.94 ERA and a 5.15 FIP in 23.2 innings pitched this season, along with a 26.2 K% and an 11.2 BB%. The Blue Jays signed righty Leam Mendez in late May, and he has a 2.45 ERA and a 4.89 FIP in 3.2 innings with Dunedin this season, along with a 23.5 K5 and a 17.6 BB%.
Harry Rutkowski was selected in 2017 by the Cincinnati Reds, but has only pitched professionally for the Jays organizatin. The 24-year-old lefty has a 3.67 ERA and a 4.09 FIP in 27 innings pitched, along with a 23.4 K% and a 16.9 BB%. Keiner Leon is a righty that is a little young for the level, and he has a 5.09 ERA and a 5.44 FIP in 17.2 innings pitched, along with an 18.8 K% and a 12.5 BB%.
Michael Brewer is a non-drafted free agent that signed with the organization before the season begun. Between the FCL and Single_A, he has a 4.50 ERA in 12 innings pitched, along with a 17.6 K% and a 13.7 BB%. Darwin Cruz is a righty who has struggled a bit with his very small sample size of work. He has a 15.43 ERA and a 22.23 FIP in 2.1 innings pitched, but had a 2.22 ERA and a 3.81 FIP in 52.2 innings pitched as a starter in the DSL dating back to 2021.
Felipe Bello has been one of the best relievers in Dunedin this season, posting a 1.26 ERA and a 4.01 FIP in 14.1 innings pitched, along with a 14.3 K% and a 3.6 BB%. The 23-year-old right skipped the FCL entirely after pitching in the DSL last season.
FCL Jays’ bullpen depth:
The FCL Jays have 12 relievers in the bullpen. Alfred Pesto III signed on June 3 as a non-drafted free agent.The righty has touched the high-90s, and has a 3.86 ERA and a 3.09 FIP in 2.1 innings with the FCL Jays this season. Sticking with non-drafted free agents, left-handed pitcher Kelsey Ward has a 13.50 ERA and a 5.45 FIP with an even 18.5 BB% and K% this season. He pitched with the Dunedin Blue Jays in 2022, and graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Pretty cool.
Sergio Caruci has been in the organization for three seasons now, and has repeated the FCL level. He has a 18.56 ERA and a 17.07 FIP in 5.1 innings pitched, along with a 10.8 K% and a 35.1 K%. In 2021 with the DSL Jays, he had a 2.84 ERA and a 3.30 FIP in 50.2 innings pitched, along with a 29.9 K% and a 7.4 BB%, so there’s still hope for the righty.
Right-handed pitcher Edgar Castro has been in the organization since 2019, but has yet to pitch in 2023. Last season in the FCL, he had a 2.81 ERA and a 5.19 FIP in 25.2 innings pitched, along with a 27.5 K5 and a 15.6 BB%. Brahiam Jimenez is a 21-year-old lefty who has yet to pitch in 2023. Last season in the FCL, he had a 6.62 ERA and a 7.16 FIP in 17.2 innings pitched, along with a 20.2 K% and a 19 BB%. In 2021 with the DSL Jays, he had a 2.40 ERA and a 3.13 FIP in 15 innings pitched, along with a 27.7 K% and a 9.2 BB%.
Christopher Rodriguez has struggled in his first professional season, as he has a 15.43 ERA and a 6.30 FIP in 4.2 innings pitched. The 22-year-old righty has a 17.9 K% and a 25 BB% in the FCL. Julio Ramirez has a 3.60 ERA and a 7.95 FIP in five innings pitched with the FCL Jays this season, posting a 25.9 K% and a 22.2 BB%. He’s a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher.
Righty Daniel Guerra stands at 6’6”, 230 lbs and has a 15.88 ERA and a 7.48 FIP in 5.2 innings pitched. Last season in the DSL, the then 18-year-old had a 0.84 ERA and a 4.42 FIP in 21.1 innings pitched. Francisco Lucumi was originally signed by the Dodgers, but has pitched in the Jays organization since 2022. The 21-year-old righty has a 10.57 ERA and a 9.42 FIP in 7.2 innings pitched with a 15 K% and a 7.5 BB%.
Guillermo Villasmil is a 20-year-old righty who has a 6 ERA and a 2.28 FIP in three innings pitched this season, along with a 28.6 K 5 and a 7.1 BB%. Last season in the FCL, he had a 5.51 ERA and a 6.70 FIP in 16.1 innings pitched. Jiorgeny Casimiri was signed alongside Sem Robberse out of the Netherlands, and the 21-year-old righty has a 0 ERA and a 1.16 FIP in 4.2 innings pitched. To go along with that, he has a 53.3 K% and a 6.7 BB% in the defacto closer role.
Juanmi Vasquez is the newest reliever on the team. The left-handed pitcher has yet to allow an earned run in his professional career. Between the DSL and FCL this season, the 19-year-old has a 0 ERA.
DSL Jays’ bullpen depth:
The DSL Jays have 13 relievers in the bullpen. The Blue Jays signed Jorge Guerra in 2022, and the 19-year-old righty has a 1.13 ERA and a 3.51 FIP in eight innings pitched out of the bullpen this season. He has a 20 K% and a 3.3 BB%. Omar Munoz is an 18-year-old lefty signed in the 2022 international free agency period, and he has a 6.75 ERA and a 6.38 FIP in eight innings pitched, along with a 19.4 K% and a 16.7 BB%.
Lluveres Severino was signed in 2022, and hasn’t allowed a run in 2023. The 19-year-old righty has a 3.26 FIP, along with a 12.5 K% and a 0 BB%. Ramon Suarez is a 19-year-old left-handed reliever who had a 1.29 ERA and a 2.24 FIP in 7 innings pitched in 2022, along with a 26.9 K% and a 3.8 BB%. He has yet to pitch in 2023.
Luis Torres is the last 2022 international free agent we’ll look at before moving to the 2023 international free agents. The 18-year-old left-handed pitcher has a 6 ERA and a 2.92 FIP in 3 innings pitched, along with a 41.7 K% and a 16.7 BB%. Last season in the DSL, he had a 2.01 ERA and a 3.94 FIP in 31.1 innings pitched, along with a 25.8 K% and a 12.5 BB%.
Andersson Barvosa is a 17-year-old left-handed Colombian who signed with the Jays this past January. So far this season, he has a 6.23 ERA and a 7.26 FIP in 4.1 innings pitched, along with a 17.4 K% and a 26.1 BB%. Eduar Gonzalez is also a 17-year-old lefty, and he has a 2.08 ERA and a 3.18 FIP in 13 innings pitched with the DSL Jays this season. Furthermore, he has a 26 K% and a 6 BB%.
Osvaldo Pacheco is also a 17-year-old lefty who has a 6.75 ERA and a 4.86 FIP in 6.2 innings pitched this season. He has a solid 28.6 K%, but an elevated 17.1 BB%. Carwin Salcedo has represented Canada on youth teams, but has played for the DSL Jays this season. The 19-year-old righty has a 15.75 ERA and a 7.26 FIP in 4 innings pitched. He has a fantastic 32 K%, but has struggled with the walk rate as that sits at 20%
Gabriel Castro is an 18-year-old lefty who has only pitched 1.1 innings as professional. He has a 40.50 ERA and a 13.26 FIP, along with a 21.4 K% and a 42.9%. This is a quick reminder that the DSL and FCL have only been going on for a few weeks. Frankly Urena has a 5.79 ERA and a 10.04 FIP in 4.2 innings pitched. The 19-year-old righty has a 16.7 K% and a 12.5 BB%.
Sann Omosako has yet to make his professional debut, but the 17-year-old righty is one of three Brazilians in the organization. Like Omosako, Samuel Acuna has yet to make his professional debut. The 17-year-old righty was one of many players the Jays signed out of Venezuela this past January.
The state of relief pitchers in the organization:
Pitching is a strength of the Blue Jays in 2023. Like starters, the Blue Jays have plenty of relief prospects on the cusp of breaking through. This is due to a very pitcher heavy 2021 draft, that saw them pick up relievers such as Hayden Juenger, Jimmy Burnette, and Connor Cooke.
In the 2022 draft, the Jays also picked up some pretty intriguing high-leverage relievers like the Shake and Bake duo, Mason Fluharty and T.J. Brock. Not just that, but they also have a few Top 30 relief prospects in the high-minors, such as Hagen Danner, Yosver Zulueta, and Adrián Hernández.
Relievers are volatile, but the Jays have a lot of interesting relievers in the system, and it’s probably their ready-most position in the organization.
Previously in the series…
Blue Jays Farm System Analysis: Looking at the catchers in the organization and finding the breakout candidates
Blue Jays Farm System Analysis: The organization loves their versatile, hit-for-average, corner infielders
As always, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Brennan_L_D. Holy crap, that took forever to write. Hopefully, it was a pleasant article to read.
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