As if Wednesday July the 27th needed to get any better for Jays fans: we signed Jacob Anderson, Jeremy Scrabble 3 and our 11th round pick, but of course that didn't come even close to the acquisition of Colby Rasmus. Well, to make that day even better, here's some good prospect news.
Las Vegas (won 7-3):
Brett Lawrie was mashing, hitting two homers, a double and drawing a walk off the Reno (D-backs affiliate) pitchers. His first wasn't very deep to left-center, and his second probably just cleared the fences (if Gameday is accurate) but that was a line drive home run. I like line drive home runs, they're usually a sign of big time power, not that we doubted Lawrie's power of course. After hitting two homers, he was walked in his last plate appearance. If gameday's pitch track is to be believed he did take some undisciplined swings which did result in some whiffs, but he avoided the strikeout this time. AA says Lawrie isn't ready. I say his roster isn't yet ready and he needs to clean up first to make room for Brett. But let's not worry, Brett will get to Toronto, and he will be good.
Adam Loewen added an absolute bomb to left, going 2-for-5 (no strikeouts!). David Cooper was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and a strikeout. Cooper's double was to the deepest part of the park, so while he may have hit it further than Lawrie's homers, he only got the double. Ronald Uviedo pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Chad Beck, striking out four. Danny Farquhar pitched another scoreless inning to lower his ERA to 3.45, which in the PCL is like a 2.45 ERA anywhere else.
New Hampshire (lost 6-7 in extras, won 17-3)
NH's doubleheader was extended after Matt Daly blew the save in the first game, sending it to extra innings. Minor League doubleheader games are only 7 innings long, but this game went 11, and was completed by Frank Gailey, who surrendered the winning run to New Britain. Making sure the second game wouldn't go to extras, the Fisher Cats erupted for 17 runs in the first 6 innings of the second game, leaving no doubt about the winner in that one.
Deck McGuire was on the hill in that second game, and he went the distance: 7 IP, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO and he also got the majority of the balls hit in play against him on the ground. An encouraging first start at AA for Deck. And with AAA not really used for pitching prospects at all by the Jays, it's probably also his last stop on his way to the majors. If he continues to do well at this level he should find himself on top 100 lists at the end of the season.
Travis d'Arnaud only participated in the second game, but he made it count: he hit a grand slam, a double and a single for a 3-for-5 night. He's now at .318/.386/.537 for the year. Anthony Gose had his second golden sombrero in 3 days in the first game, finishing the day 2-for-10 with a triple, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Adeiny Hechavarria went a combined 7-for-11, raising his average all the way up to .227. Mike McDade went a combined 3-for-11 with 2 strikeouts. He's hit just .200/.217/.244 over his last 10 games. Mark Sobolewski went 7-for-10 with a homer, 2 doubles and a K, hitting .429/.545/.714 over his last 10.
Dunedin (won 7-1)
Kevin Ahrens continued his recent Kevin Youkilis emulation program by going 1-for-3 with 2 walks. He has now walked 11 times over his last 10 games (six strikeouts), hitting .273/.444/.485 over that span. Jimenez was 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a strikeout, Sean Ochinko was 2-for-5 with 2 doubles, Kevin Nolan was 2-for-4 with one double and then Brad McElroy 2-for-4 with 2 doubles and a walk.
Vancouver (lost 4-7)
Kramer Champlin (33rd round pick of the 2011 draft) made his first start, going 2 innings with 2 strikeouts, no walks, 3 hits against and an earned run given up. Jon Berti (also from this year's draft) was 3-for-5 with a double and a strikeout.
Bluefield (won 3-0)
Chris Hawkins was 2-for-4 with a K, the day after he needed only a single to complete the cycle in the first game of a doubleheader. He's hitting .311/.338/.545 with an alarmingly low walk rate but very encouraging power+contact. We'll see if he develops more discipline.
GCL Jays (lost 5-12)
Eric Arce continued to be three true outcomes, but in a good way: he went 2-for-2 with 2 homers and 2 walks! His overall line is now .238/.383/.586 with 8 homers in just 28 games and a 16/27 BB/K ratio. Dalton Pompey was 2-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout, while Seth Conner was 2-for-4 with a double and a strikeout. Conner has a .417/.553/.694 line in his last 10 games. Dickie Thon was back in the lineup but went 0-for-3 with 2 Ks. "Chino" Vega went 0-for-3 with 3 Ks on a bad day at the plate for the Jays' middle infielders.