Today we look at the guys in New Hampshire that Blue Jays fans should keep an eye on this season. The Fisher Cats are much like the Bisons in that they might not boast many flashy names in 2016 but there are plenty of guys to watch for as they could play a role for the Jays in the near future.
SP Shane Dawson (22)- Dawson comes in at #29 on the BBB prospect rankings. He gets bonus points for being from Canada. Dawson has a weird back story as a unique medical history caused him to have a sub par 2014. Dawson and the team seemed to find the right formula as Dawson pitched 127.2 innings in 2015 while going 15-6 across two levels. Dawson has always had a nag for getting outs and if the lefty can remain healthy then he becomes my sleeper prospect for the Jays.
SP Jeremy Gabryszwki (23)- JG comes in at #38 on this year BBB prospect list. Gabryszwki got the opening start for the Fisher Cats and had a strong outing.Gabryszwki is almost the definition of a low risk low reward prospect. He's a ground ball pitcher who has shown the ability to throw for a lot of innings. At 6'4", 195 lbs he's got a good build and has the makings of a back of the rotation arm. He's far from flashy but he's worth keeping an eye on as he's on pace to be in the Jays rotation over the next few years.
RP Brady Dragmire (23)- Dragmire sits at #32 in our prospect rankings. Dragmire enjoyed great success from 2012-2014. But he hit a snag in 2015 as his ERA jumped to 5.26 in Dunedin. This is despite seeing an increase in his GO/AO ratio and increasing his strikeouts. He struggled with his control as he saw a career high 20 walks. But, there is good news as he pitched very well to close out the season before being sent to the Arizona fall league where he had a 1.64 ERA. If Dragmire can find his control again he stands to have a future in the Jays pen. Over the last two seasons he has reached over 40 appearances and 60 IP in both. He doesn't have lights out stuff but he could be a good piece as a middle reliever in a few years.
RP John Stilson (25)- As recently as 2014 Stilson was one of the Jays top 20 prospects. Unfortunately, injuries derailed him and eventually sent him to the bullpen. 2015 was a lost year for Stilson who will try and get back on track in 2016. Stilson spent 2013 and 2014 in Buffalo where he pitched well out of the pen. If he can remain healthy he still has the stuff to be an effective pitcher for the Jays in the near future. But, time seems to be running out for the 25 year old.
1B/DH Rowdy Tellez (21)- Tellez is easily the most hyped prospect in New Hampshire to start the season. He's #6 in our prospect rankings, and for good reason. Tellez has always been lauded for his size and power. But Tellez has also shown the ability to hit for average as he hit .289 in 2015. Even more impressive was his ability to take a walk which led to a .347 OBP. Tellez can't field even a little bit and would be best suited to full time DH duty. But there's a lot of upside with the bat. Tellez is still really young for New Hampshire and is still developing his power. But he has all the making of being a middle of the order contributor in future.
1B/3B Matt Dean (23)- Dean was drafted as a third baseman in 2011 and seemed to be trending in the right direction until 2015. Dean saw his batting average drop in 2015 to .253. But, he did see career highs in HR and RBI so maybe there is a silver lining. Dean has been spending most of his time at 1B over the last few seasons but will probably get more opportunities at 3B again as Tellez will most likely steal most of the time at 1B. Dean will need to cut down his strikeouts but has many tools to suggest he could be a competent MLB player. 2016 will be an important year for the young corner infielder.
SS Jorge Flores (24)- Flores is currently the #31 on our prospect list. Flores is a decent fielder up the middle who plays SS now but might have to move to 2B eventually. Flores' first two years with the Jays were pretty unremarkable but in 2014 we saw a better hitter as he hit .298 across two levels. While 2015 saw a drop in his AVG (.276) he was a much more polished hitter as he took more walks and had a more fluid swing. His small stature (5'5" 160lbs) says he won't ever develop much power, but his plays hard and is a versatile player. If he continues to build on his 2015 season then the possibility of seeing him in Toronto over the next few seasons could be high.
IF Jon Berti (26)- Berti just missed the top 40 prospects list but that should lessen your opinion of the guy. While he isn't the most exciting prospect the Jays have there is a lot to like. Berti has the ability to play nearly anywhere on the field and while his bat leaves something to desire (career OPS of .683), his speed helps make up for that. Berti has stolen 176 bases over the last 5 years and has done so very efficiently. Berti will probably never be a regular starter, but he has a lot of value as a bench player and could make his way to Toronto as soon as this season.
OF Dwight Smith Jr (23)- Smith is an interesting prospect as he was trending in the right direction and many thought he might see the majors in 2015. But, unfortunately, 2015 was a tough year for the young outfielder. Smith only hit .265 last season which is a problem as his ability to make contact has been one of his strengths to this point. Nonetheless, the 23 year old still sits at #11 in our prospect rankings. He has the ability to hit for a little power and steal some bases. He's got the potential to be a 15/15 type guy. Smith still projects as an everyday player and while he will never be a star he certainly has the makings of a solid big leaguer.
OF Roemon Fields (25)- Fields could be one of the funnest prospect to watch in New Hampshire this year. While he only sits at #28 on our prospect lists, he brings a level of excitement that is unique. Fields' claim to fame is his speed. Fields stole 48 bases in 2014 and 46 in 2015. He's an average player in the outfield who is best slated for left, possibly center. His bat leaves something to be desired as he holds a AVG of .264 up to this point in his career. But, he's shown good discipline and could be a competent bat. He stands a chance of turning into a regular player, but his future is most likely as a fourth outfielder and pinch runner.