Minor League Recap: is Justin Nicolino the real deal?

In this recap I will give you an update on the Jays' best prospects, but in order of interestingness as ranked by me. No, not a prospect ranking, but a very arbitrary ranking based on the aforementioned "interestingness". Don't worry, I'll do this only once.

Jesse Litsch: ok, we'll start with rehabbing major leaguers first. To me, Litsch is a really interesting pitcher because I don't know what he'll become. Is he going to be the Litsch we've seen in 2011 that gets a fair share of strikeouts and a decent amount of grounders or is he going to be 2008 Litsch, limiting the walks and seeing what happens? In his last Vegas start he was strikeout-Litsch, he K'd 7 in 6 innings, walking three but not giving up any runs.

Dustin McGowan: up to 44 pitches in his last outing, striking out three in 2 2/3 innings and walking one. He didn't give up any runs.

Casey Janssen: has been great so far for New Hampshire, striking out 6 and walking one in four innings, no runs given up. I would like him to become our closer.

Brett Lawrie: you will probably know that he's back playing, which is great news. I was listening to the Bradenton (Dunedin's opponents) broadcast yesterday and Lawrie hit 2 balls hard for outs, and got hit on the hand (the one with the fracture) and the forearm. Both times there was no injury delay though, the announcers made it seem like it wasn't that big of a deal. Lawrie was praised for the way he started a double play.

Justin Nicolino: even though Nicolino got the toughest of assignments, he's been the most dominant out of all the 2010 HS draft picks. Yesterday he struck out 6, walked one, and also got a lot of groundballs in his five innings. The game was completed early, so we don't know if he would've gone longer. With now 38 Ks in 29 innings, he's had as impressive a start to his pro career as, well probably anyone in recent Jays prospect history.

Travis d'Arnaud: OOOOUUUCH! That's the sound a baseball makes when it's hit by Travis d'Arnaud's bat. Hitting .459/.500/.730 over his last 10 games, Travis has multiple hits in all of his last three games. Personally, I'm ready to proclaim him top prospect once Lawrie graduates. You just can't argue with this kind of hitting from the catcher position.

Nestor Molina: he went only 5 innings yesterday, probably to limit his innings since he's a converted reliever. He struck out four, walked none (surprise!) and got a lot of groundballs. He was very efficient so in a normal situation he should've gone longer. I don't know why people doubt Nestor: he throws low 90s and supposedly has a great splitter and he also seems to throw a cutter and a breaking ball. My main concern is injuries.

Anthony Gose: yes, he's very interesting, but strikeouts are bad, so I'm a bit down on him. Hitting just .200/.304/.275 over his last 10 games with 5 walks but also 13 strikeouts. Of course, he's young enough to improve in the contact department, but we can't automatically assume he does.

Jacob Marisnick: 2 homers in his last three games, and a lot less strikeouts lately. Got ejected yesterday for arguing a caught stealing. Hitting .317/.383/.493 on the season, a very impressive season at that.

Marcus Knecht: hit his 10th homer yesterday. Is hitting .305/.401/.504 in a league where pitchers are doing well this year and hitters are not. When is he moving to Dunedin? He's advanced and old (21) enough to be hitting over there.

Drew Hutchison: has not been as good since his promotion to Dunedin, and especially in his last two starts (both had 3 Ks and 3 BBs). Will hopefully improve as he adapts to the new league. Not as good as Molina yet, but also quite a bit younger.

Aaron Sanchez: he started this Friday and was great as he K'd 7 in 5 innings, walking no-one and getting 8 of 11 balls in play to be hit on the ground. That is a really, really good outing. After K'ing 7 in 4 innings in his previous outing, perhaps Sanchez can forget about his first three disappointing games and go on to become the dominant prospect we'd hoped he would be. Noah Syndergaard, the Danish Destroyer, will pitch tonight (along with Mitchell Taylor) for Bluefield. Noah has been lights out and would be ahead of Sanchez if he had pitched recently.

A.J. Jimenez: he's now hitting .306/.355/.409 and despite the pretty average he has lots of work to do as he doesn't hit for power or draw a lot of walks. Defense at catcher is well regarded so he's definitely one to watch. Has 2 multihit games in a row, but they're all singles.

Carlos Perez: as another low power, athletic catcher, Perez has been improving recently. He's hitting .372/.426/.488 over his last 10 games. I like the guy, but he'll need some time to get to the majors, if he ever does.

Adeiny Hechavarria: recently went hitless for six games, but has 4 hits and a walk in his last 2. Hitting .317/.352/.584 against lefties and .188/.228/.251 versus righties. The Jays have some left-handed infield prospects in Dunedin (Nolan, Schimpf, Goins) so hopefully one pans out and platoons with Hech if Adeiny keeps hitting righties like a Rajai Davis facing sliders down and away.

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