Sunday, August 4, 2013

August 2nd - Minor League Roundup

With our new website launching, as well as our game reports, we'll be doing a daily round-up of the Jays prospects in the minors that day.  I'll be highlighting the good, the bad, and the ugly (if applicable) for the daily results.

The Good
3B - Mitch Nay - Bluefield (High Rookie)
2/3 - 3 BBs
- Third Baseman Mitch Nay managed to take advantage of a wild Elizabethton pitching staff and work 3 of the 10 walks they gave out.  Rather unspectacular, but good to see he's able to stay disciplined when the pitcher is giving you those opportunities.

1B - Matt Dean - Bluefield (High Rookie)
3/4 - 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 SB
- Matt Dean continues his incredible hot streak, with a strong 3/4 game.  Since July 19th he's hitting .452/.490/.714 and is starting to restore some of the hype that was associated with him when he was signed for over slot in 2011.

CF - Dwight Smith Jr. - Lansing (Low A)
1/5 - 1 HR
- A member of the disappointing 2011 Dwight Smith is finally showing the promise his major league blood lines would lead you to believe.  In the month of July he hit .300/.369/.386, but he's taken that to another level in the two games of August.  He only went 1 for 5 on Friday, but its his 2nd consecutive game with a home run.  Let's hope this can keep up.

SP - Aaron Sanchez - Dunedin (High Single A)
5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K
- The Jays top prospect has been struggling mightily over his past 5 starts.  During that span his ERA was a shocking 8.60, his strikeout rate had fallen, and his walk rate had spiked, but most concerning is that he’d failed to go past the first inning in 2 of those 5 starts.  
That’s why Friday’s start was so reassuring.  He went a full 5 innings, he didnt give up a run, and his K% was back up above 25%.  He still did walk too many than you’d like to see, but this assuages some of my fears that he might’ve been hurt.  Its a step in the right direction.

SP - Kyle Drabek - New Hampshire (Double A)
4 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K
- Just like his fellow rehabbing starter Drew Hutchison, Kyle Drabek has been bumped up to Double A on his road back to the major leagues.  Unlike Hutchison, who was unspectacular in his start, Drabek kept up his impressive pitching from Dunedin.  The most reassuring aspect of Drabek’s trip back to the majors is that his control is massively improved.  I dont think Drabek is really that far away from appearing in Toronto (potentially even before September).

The Bad
CF - Kevin Pillar - Buffalo (Triple A)
0/4 - 2 K
- Pillar is being used here as a proxy for the entire Bisons lineup, as they were 1 hit by Indians minor leaguer Danny Salazar, and 3 other pitchers.  Pillar is being singled out, since he’s been getting alot of coverage lately, and is probably the highest profile Bison aside from Anthony Gose (who managed to get that lone hit).  Hopefully this is a mere speed bump on Pillar’s breakthrough season.

LP - J.A. Happ - Buffalo (Triple A)
4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 6 K
- Unlike Drabek & Hutchison who seem to be marching inexorably back to the Toronto rotation, Happ has struggled mightily after being promoted to Buffalo.  While most thought that when Happ was healthy he’d replace Todd Redmond in the rotation, but Redmond’s ERA in the majors is half what Happ’s is in AAA, his walk rate is almost half what Happ’s is, and his K rate is substantially above Happ’s.  While Happ is being outclassed by Redmond at the major league level, he’s also being rapidly approached by Drabek & Hutchison racing back to the majors.  

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