Monday, April 22, 2013

Farm System Update- Buffalo Bisons (AAA)

So this is going to be a weekly thing here at BlueJaysPlus. Every Monday we'll look at the prospects and 40-man players on a different minor league affiliate of the Blue Jays. Today, I'll do the Bisons, next week will be the Fisher Cats, and so on. This should allow us to repeat every team once a month(until short season leagues stats), giving us a sample size that isn't ridiculously small as if we were looking at every team every week(or even day). Enjoy!

Buffalo Bisons
12-4 (1st place International League North Division)
So their offense is pretty good....

As a team, it looks as if the Jays AAA affiliate never left the PCL. They've been scoring in bunches(leading the league in basically every category), and their veteran pitching has been solid(well a little worse than that), allowing them to win 8 straight and to go 9-1 in their last 10. The Jays AGM in charge of signing MILB deals(I can't remember which one has that task), has kept the Blue Jays promise to the Bisons and their fans that they will put a competitive team on that field year in and year out, doing so with past their prime and AAAA players rather than top prospects. For this first issue, take everything with a grain of salt because of the sample that is relatively small.

Ryan Goins- SS- 25 years old
Goins is having quite the season so far, but not in a good way. In 42 ABs, he has yet to take a walk!!! He has always had a below average eye with a walk rate in the vicinity of 7.5%, but to not take a walk in 12 games J.P Arencibia bad. But it gets worse for Goins. He's hitting .283, which isn't bad, but factor in the .353 BABIP, and you have to expect some regression, even though he normally is a .330 BABIP guy.His strikeouts are also up from last year, which is probably a factor if him being over matched at the AAA level. His defense, like it has been in the past is nothing special. Goins is going to have to start taking walks again or else his mediocre performance might end up with him being taken off of the Jays 40 man, in which he was added to this past off-season to protect him from the Rule-5 Draft.

Mauro Gomez-1B-28 years old
Gomez, a pick up via the waiver wire game AA has been playing of late, has been a driving force in the middle of Herd along with Luis Jiménez. The Dominican is hitting with power, walking, and driving runs in. He could find his way up to Toronto as a lefty platoon partner with Adam Lind if the Jays decide to go that route in the next few months and cut ties with Mark DeRosa, but I'd bet on him staying a couple hours south and playing for the Bisons.

Anthony Gose-OF-22 years old
Gose is back in AAA to start the year to work on his contact rate, and his overall ability to just not strikeout. It has been a problem for him at every level he's played, from rookie ball to the big leagues, and for a player with his speed, it would be beneficial if he can cut down on them. So far, he's doing just that, reducing his K% from AAA last year to this season by almost 6%, a welcome sight in the eyes of Blue Jays fans. From what I've seen on hope to see sometime this summer if I can make it down to a game) is that he's making contact with the ball, whether it be poor or strong contact, and as a result, it getting on base. He can beat out a lot of grounders, so if he continues to put bat on ball, and Colby Rasmus continues to be the worst contact hitter since samples have been collected, we might see Gose sooner than later. I can't imagine him being up here before June barring injury, but even that seems early. It's all in the hands of Colby at this point. Now Anthony just has to wait.

Brad Lincoln-RP-27 years old
Lincoln is not pitching so great right now, but it's 8 IP, so you really can't make any assumptions based on that. His velocity is still not in the mid-90's, likely because of the injury he had been battling during spring training. I'd assume he'd be the next candidate for 7th relief pitcher, but honestly, AA will probably pick somebody up off of waivers before there's another need, so who knows. He's had 3 straight good appearances(5 IP, 6 K), so maybe he's turning a corner after getting lit up in his first couple of games. Continued success will be key for him. At least he won't be in for a ton of regression soon like the player he was traded for (see Snider, Travis).
Moises Sierra-OF-24 years old
The future 4th outfielder with a great arm has continued to show that he can hit AAA pitching with the best of them, riding hot in his first 13 games this season. He's doing everything right at this point, and if somebody gets injured before Gose is ready later in the season, he'll be up in a hurry. His defense is nothing spectacular, but we're used to that from our backup outfielders(HEYO!!!!).

Josh Thole-C-26 years old
I was on the "Thole for Starter" train before the season, and I'm not necessarily off that, but with JPA's power so far, it's on hold for now. Thole has been fine in AAA(more than that actually) like you'd expect, but JPA's power is a lot sexier right now than Thole's OBP. All he can do is just wait in AAA until somebody gets injured, and keep on performing.

That's it for this week. Next Monday I'll look at the notables on the Fisher Cats. If you have any suggestions or comments, leave them in the section below.

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