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Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Report

This is the fourth installment of what I hope is going to be a bi-monthly article updating fans on the Toronto Blue Jays’ minor league teams and prospects. A new one should be available every second Thursday.


Las Vegas 51’s (AAA)—(57-61, Third in PCL Pacific South Division)

A lot has changed in Las Vegas since my last update. Brett Wallace was traded to the Houston Astro’s for Anthony Gose, who is currently playing A ball in Dunedin, JP Arencibia has been called up by the Jays and will be there permanently once September hits, and both Brad Mills (Pictured) and Mark Rzepczynski are being pulled back and forth between Las Vegas and Toronto.

The Jays were able to get a more then suitable replacement for Wallace in Las Vegas in Mike Jacobs, who is hitting .417 with two home runs and 18 RBI’s in just 12 games. Brian Jeroloman has also been a good replacement for Arencibia, although in very limited action so far.

Other hot hitters include Mike McCoy (.338 AVG, 5 HR, 16 RBI) and Aaron Matthews (.333 AVG, 8 HR, 36 RBI). Unfortunately, backup catcher Raul Chavez (.214 AVG, 3 HR, 18 RBI) has continued to struggle mightily and is the only player on the team hitting so poorly.

On the pitching side of things, Brad Mills (8-4, 4.20 ERA) has improved his ERA by nearly half a run since the last update more then a month ago and will be starting for the Jays tomorrow against the Boston Red Sox.

Mark Rzepczynski (5-5, 6.04 ERA) has also improved in the last month and will start for the Jays right after Mills. Jeremy Accardo (2.72 ERA, 22 saves) has continued to be a great closer for the team and will undoubtedly get another shot with the big club in September when the rosters expand.


New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)—(68-48, Second in EAS Northern Division)

The Fisher Cats have continued their fine season, combining great hitting with solid pitching. Despite his struggles in Dunedin, the Jays decision to move shortstop of the future Adeiny Hechavarria (.296 AVG, 2 HR, 19 RBI) up to AA has looked genius and has given him a lot of confidence.

Darin Mastroianni (.308, 4 HR, 45 RBI) has continued to provide the Fisher Cats with both a good contact hitter and amazing speed at the top of the lineup, having stolen 38 bases so far this season.

However, Eric Thames (.288 AVG, 21 HR, 87 RBI) is clearly the main cog in this offence. Thames has hit 21 home runs this year, while he only hit three home runs in 216 at-bats in Dunedin all of last year.

The Fisher Cats have also gotten great pitching from the top two pitching prospects in the Jays system, Kyle Drabek (12-9, 2.92 ERA and Zach Stewart (8-2, 3.67 ERA). Both pitchers have really turned it on in there last ten starts as well, sporting 2.52 (Drabek) and 2.54 ERAs (Stewart).

Unfortunately, the bullpen has struggled some, especially after losing left hander Tim Collins in the Yunel Escobar-Alex Gonzalez swap. Trystan Magnuson (2.59 ERA, 59 IP) has been the only bright spot this late in the season.

Dunedin Blue Jays (A)—(19-26, T-Fifth in FSL North Division)

After winning the first half, the Jays have struggled all the way down to last place in the second half. Top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud (.259, 6 HR, 38 RBI) has struggled mightily since last update. He hit just .205 in July and hasn’t hit a home run in over a month.

The Dunedin Jays recently were given a speedy outfielder in Anthony Gose (.319 AVG, 2 HR, 3 RBI) to put in their lineup everyday. Gose was acquired for Brett Wallace and he is a very good defender with incredible speed.

A big reason why the Jays have slowed down considerably in the second half is the recent struggles of first half stars Chuck Huggins (8-3, 3.62 ERA) and Henderson Alvarez (8-7, 4.12 ERA).

2009 first round draft pick Chad Jenkins (2-4, 4.66 ERA) struggled at first when called up to Dunedin from Lansing, but he has been showing signs of turning things around and figures to make the jump to AA sometime next year. 


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Toronto Blue Jays: Statistical Position-by-Position Analysis

As we approach the middle of the season and the All-Star break, I thought it would be a good idea to see how our position players stack up against the rest of the league.

To be eligible for the batting average and on-base percentage category, a player must have 175 at-bats or more up to this point in the season.

The Jays have had some surprises from players like Jose Bautista, John Buck, and Alex Gonzalez, so it will be interesting to see how they stack up against others at their positions.

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Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Report

This is the third installment of what I hope is going to be a bi-monthly article updating fans on the Toronto Blue Jays ‘ minor league teams and prospects. A new one should be available every second Thursday.

Las Vegas 51’s (AAA)(37-43, Third in PCL Pacific South Division)

The 51’s remain in the same place they were as of last update. Pitching is still a huge problem, while the offense has been firing on all cylinders since day one of the 2010 season.

Catcher JP Arencibia (pictured), has been on an absolute tear this past couple of months, raising his average from a .266 to .308 and hitting 15 home runs for a season total of 18.

Brett Wallace has been able to rebound from a bad slump he had in late May/early June and is hitting at a .301 clip with 14 home runs, three of those in his last nine games after suffering through a prolonged power outage.

Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion has been tearing it up in Las Vegas since being sent down by the Toronto Blue Jays for poor performance. He is currently hitting .438 with three home runs and 13 RBI’s, although in limited at bats.

Jarrett Hoffpauir , Luis Figueroa , and Jesus Merchan are all also hitting well above .300 with good power. Brian Dopirak has been able to rebound from a terrible start, now hitting .275 with eight home runs.

Reidier Gonzalez has continued to be knocked around, sporting a 9.18 ERA in 16 starts, although he still has a 6-6 record. Lance Broadway (2-7, 6.83 ERA) and Mark Rzepczynski (4-3, 6.66 ERA) have only been marginally better.

The 51’s best starting pitcher so far has been lefty Brad Mills , who has a 4.67 ERA to go along with a 4-4 record in 13 starts. Jeremy Accardo (21.2 IP, 2.91 ERA) and Sean Henn (49.1 IP, 1.82 ERA) have been the go to guys in the bullpen.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA)(47-32, Second in EAS Northern Division)

Despite a paltry .193 average down at Dunedin, Adeiny Hechavarria has been promoted to play shortstop for the Fisher Cats and has participated in two games so far.

The Fisher Cats have been able to maintain there high level of play because they have been getting contributions from many different sources. Manny Mayorson (.316 AVG, .376 OBP), Darin Mastroianni (.300 AVG, .394 OBP) and Brian Jeroloman (.289 AVG, .449 OBP) have all been able to get on base a lot to set up great run scoring opportunities for the big bats on the Cats roster.

Shawn Bowman (12 HR, 39 RBI), Eric Thames (12 HR, 54 RBI), and David Cooper (11 HR, 41 RBI) have been able to make the most out of the Fisher Cats run scoring opportunities.

Kyle Drabek has continued to pitch well with a 7-8 record and 3.49 ERA in 98 innings pitched, although his strikeouts are down considerably. Zach Stewart (6-2, 4.54 ERA) and Luis Perez (5-6, 4.54 ERA) have also pitched well this season.

The bullpen has gotten great seasons from many pitchers including: Trystan Magnuson (2.30 ERA, 43 IP), Tim Collins (2.77 ERA, 39 IP), and Adrian Martin (2.70 ERA, 36.2 IP).

Dunedin Blue Jays (A)(41-29, First in FSL North Division)

The Dunedin Blue Jays were able to finish well ahead of the competition in the first half of the season with good hitting and great pitching from almost every pitcher on the roster.

Top catching prospect Travis D’Arnaud has rebounded well from his back injury and is now hitting .283 with six home runs on the season. A call up to New Hampshire may happen sooner rather then later.

Although both have simmered down a little since their incredible starts, Henderson Alvarez (6-4, 3.38 ERA) and Chuck Huggins (5-2, 2.84 ERA) have continued to be revelations for the Dunedin Blue Jays and the main reasons for their first half record.

Toronto’s highest drafted player from last year, Chad Jenkins , has been called up to Dunedin from Lansing and has gone 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts so far.

Lansing Lugnuts (Low A)(40-35, Third in Eastern Division)

A lot of players from Lansing are now with Dunedin, or even New Hampshire. The best player that remains is catcher AJ Jimenez , who is hitting .308 with an amazing 15 stolen bases.

Now that Chad Jenkins has been called to Dunedin, Ryan Tepera is far and away the Lugnuts best pitcher, sporting a 7-2 record to go along with a 3.08 ERA in 14 starts and 80 innings pitched.

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