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Pitching Prospect Rundown, June 18-21: Conner Greene continues to roll, Cecil rehabs, and more

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Conner Greene started the second half of the Florida State League season much the same as he ended the first, with a third straight strong start in whiche he went 7 shutout innings, allowing 3 hits and 2 walks against 7 strikeouts. That`s now 19 innings, 11 hits, 2 runs, 7 walks and 19 strikeouts over those three outings as Greene reprises the form from his breakout 2015 campaign. Though at this rate, he may not be long for the second half in Dunedin.

Greene's first five innings were particularly dominant, as he didn't allow a hit in facing the minimum (the only blemish a walk erased on a double play). When he wasn't inducing weak contact on the ground, he was blowing his fastball by the Brevard lineup, which registered 93-94 multiple times, touching 96-98. In all, he had 16 swings and misses, an excellent 64% contact rate. The no hitter was was broken up on the first pitch of the 6th inning, and he did allow multiple instances of hard contact in finishing up his outing.

Then came the major league rehabbers. First up for the 8th was Franklin Morales, he of the now infamously guaranteed contract. He needed 18 pitches to retire the side, with one strikeout and working around a walk. Brett Cecil followed with an excellent 9th inning, needing just 10 pitches (only one ball) to retire the side in order and in dominant fashion with two strikeouts and three missed bats. How huge it would be to get a healthy and effective Cecil back to bolster the bullpen.

PPR Key

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Buffalo/New Hampshire
IP TBF R H BB* K BB% K% GB% PU% TP Stk Whf Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
MLB Average 8% 20% 45% 6% 50% 39% 33% 79%
D. Hutchison 6 23 0 4 1 10 4% 43% 42% 8% 105 70 17 61% 35% 31% 69%
T. Cole 4.2 25 3 7 4 5 16% 20% 44% 6% 93 51 12 40% 52% 22% 69%
J. Gabryszwski 5 22 3 5 3 1 14% 5% 28% 6% 69 38 4 41% 41% 26% 85%

Drew Hutchison had another dominant outing for Buffalo, pitching 6 shutout innings with 10 strikeouts as he continues to do everything to show he's ready whenever an opportunity presents itself in Toronto. His velocity was 90-94, right as usual for Hutch.

Taylor Cole made his first AA start of the year after a trio of mediocre outings in Dunedin. It was a pretty messy outing, with 11 baserunners in 4.2 innings as he couldn't qualify for the win, but on the positive side he was able to miss bats with a 69% contact rate.

Jeremy Gabryswzski didn't have a good outing either, as he simply couldn't find the strike zone consistently, and he has has to pitch ahead to be successful. He did contain damage allowing only 3 runs, and was efficient getting through 5 innings under 70 pitches. Following him, Brady Dragmire (1.2 innings, 1 hit, 2 K) had a very good outing with 7 swing-and-misses among his 21 pitches. Chris Smith was even better, locking down a 2 inning save with 6 strikeouts with just one two out double mixed in. He induced 11 swinging strikes, most on his fastball, on just 33 pitches. In between, Tim Mayza had his AA debut, facing three hitters and retiring the first but unable to finish the last two (BB, 1B).

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Dunedin/Lansing

This update straddles the All-Star breaks for both leagues, with the Florida State League over the weekend, and the Midwest League at the beginning of this week, so the two are together. There were three Blue Jays pitchers in the FSL All-Star game: Conner Greene pitched a scoreless 2nd inning (one walk), Tim Mayza a scoreless 7th inning (a strikeout, a hit, a walk, but escaped thanks for a lined double play). Adonys Cardona followed with 0.2 innings, one strikeout. At last night's MWL game, Jon Harris (0.2 IP) and Angel Perdomo (0.1) shared a clean 6th inning, each with a strikeout. Dusty Isaacs pitched 0.2 innings, giving up a hit and picking up the win when the West team plated four runs in the 9th for an 11-10 comeback win.

IP TBF R H BB* K BB% K% GB% PU% TP Stk Whf Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
MLB Average 8% 20% 45% 6% 50% 39% 33% 79%
J. Shafer 6 24 1 2 3 4 13% 17% 71% 0% 90 54 7 42% 46% 29% 82%
C. Greene 7 24 0 3 2 7 8% 29% 57% 7% 91 59 16 58% 29% 30% 64%
J. Harris 6.1 27 2 6 2 6 7% 22% 28% 6% 97 63 12 48% 44% 28% 76%
J. Romano 5 24 1 7 3 3 13% 13% 18% 0% 89 56 9 42% 38% 33% 78%

Justin Shafer turned in his best outing in over a month. His line isn't that flashy, but he that's because batters were too busy rolling over his pitches when they made contact. As usual, his fastball was in the low 90s, complimented by his slider around 84 MPH.

Jon Harris turned in another solid start in his final second half start, working into the 7th and throwing a season high 97 pitches. Early on he hit 96-97 on the Lansing gun (probably more like 94-95), before settling in later touching 93. His 12 whiffs are positive, though more a reflection of a lot of swings against than pure dominance, and his contact profile was unimpressive.

Jordan Romano followed up his electric debut with a more mixed at best start. He gave up just one run despite 10 allowing 10 to reach in 5 innings, and also didn't have a very impressive contact profile. He touched 97 at once point on Lansing's gun, with the usual caveat that it's usually 2-3 MPH hot.

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Vancouver
IP TBF R H BB* K BB% K% GB% PU% TP Stk Whf Ahd Bhnd Call% Cntct%
MLB Average 8% 20% 45% 6% 50% 39% 33% 79%
J. Higuera 5 20 1 7 3 3 15% 15% 44% 6% 77 47 2 40% 55% 30% 94%
D. Rodriguez 4 21 3 7 2 2 10% 10% 39% 11% 49 29 2 33% 19% 26% 90%
P. Murphy 6 25 3 6 1 2 4% 8% 45% 9% 74 52 5 48% 32% 39% 87%
L. Sanchez 4 19 3 4 1 4 5% 21% 42% 0% 78 48 5 53% 37% 33% 84%
M. Smoral 2.2 16 4 2 6 4 38% 25% 83% 0% 59 31 8 44% 31% 32% 56%

Dalton Rodriguez didn't have a great debut for Vancouver, which was attended by BBB's Eric Elliott. Note that the pitch level data in those tables is incomplete. His fastball was in the high 80s on the stadium gun per the Spokane broadcast.

Juliandry Higuera had a more successful debut, scatttering 10 baserunners over 5 innings as only one scored. His fastball was in the 88-91 range, touching 92 once early. He barely missed any bats, but had a decent contact profile.

Patrick Murphy picked up where he left off in Lansing, with a decent outing in Vancouver's home opener. His line wasn't spectacular and he didn't miss many bats, but was efficient in getting through 6 innings under 80 pitches. It was good to see him effective over a longer stint as he gets stretched out more. His stuff was in the same range too, a bunch of 93s on his fastball touching 95 and curveball in the mid-70s on the stadium gun.

Luis Sanchez turned too turned in a solid outing, though not nearly as deep since he ran up his pitch count early, and then got into trouble in a 4th inning where he gave up 3 runs on a bunch of hard contact.

Finally, 2012 draftee Matt Smoral made two relief outings. His first started off very well, as he retired the first 4 batters on two strikeouts and two ground balls, but the fifth batter singled up the middle and after that Smoral basically lost the zone, walking two sandwiched around a strikeout before a hit batter ended his evening. His second appearance was even rougher, another two walks and HBP, hard double, and wild pitch scoring 3 runs. He did rebound to end the inning with a ground out and strikeout. And he was able to miss bats, so there's that.