The Blue Jays had a bunch of minor leaguers declare free agency.
A couple of weeks ago Brandon Cumpton, Preston Guilmet, Mike Hauschild, Luis Santos, and Darnell Sweeney all opted for free agency.
Added to that, from Buffalo: Jon Berti, Craig Breslow, Rhiner Cruz, Jason Leblebijian, Tim Lopes, Jose Mayorga, Jake Petricka, Murphy Smith, Zach Stewart, Matt Tracy and Juliandry Higuera
From New Hampshire: Harold Ramirez, Patrick Cantwell, Juan Kelly, Alex Monsalve and Eduard Pinto.
From Dunedin: Emilio Guerrero, Angel Perdomo, Ivan Castillo and Claudio Custodio.
From Lansing: Andres Sotillo, Dalton Rodriguez, Freddy Rodriguez, and Matt Gunter.
From Bluefield: Josh Almonte and Joel Espinal.
- Ramirez came over from the Pirates in the trade that got us Francisco Liriano and Reese McGuire. He had a good season, playing for New Hampshire, hitting .320/.365/.471 but it was his 3rd look at Double-A pitching. I still think he would top out as a fourth outfield.
- Stewart, you might remember, was part of the trade that brought us Edwin Encarnacion (for Scott Rolen). He had a 4.98 ERA in 34.1 innings.
- Kelly had a rough year, hitting .221/.317/.407 with 13 home runs. He’s a first baseman and would have to it hit a lot better to move up the ladder.
- Guerrero is making the switch from infielder to pitcher but he missed all of last year on the DL. He 26.
- Almonte is another moving from infield to the mound. He pitched 26 innings for Bluefield, stuck out 24 and walked 23. He’s 24. Apparently can throw mid-90s.
- Berti got a September call up and had 4 hits (with a triple) in 15 at bats. It was a nice story and I’m be happy if we signed him for infield depth, but we do have a lot of infielders.
- Leblebijian had a good 2017 season for the Bisons, but 2018 didn’t go as well, hitting .200/.315/.362. He’s 27 now.
- Smith pitched 3.1 innings for us this year. HE has a 3.59 ERA in 62.2 innings in Buffalo, with 25 walks and 42 strikeouts.
- Castillo had a good season with the bat in Dunedin, hitting .304/.345/.448, but he old for the level. Played outfield and short.
- Pinto is an outfielder who hit .276/.317/.368 split between Dunedin and New Hampshire. He’s 24 now.
- Sotillo is a defense first catcher. He turns 25 and spent last year splitting time between Dunedin and Lansing.
- Lopes came over in trade from the Mariners back in 2016. He hit .277/.325/.364 with 18 steals for the Bisons.
I’m sure the Jays will re-sign some of these guys.
Baseball America came out with it’s top ten Blue Jays prospects. No real surprises on their list. Subscription required.
- Vlad Jr.
- Bo Bichette.
- Danny Jansen.
- Eric Pardinho.
- Jordan Groshans.
- Nate Pearson.
- Kevin Smith.
- Sean Reid-Foley.
- Cavan Biggio.
- Miguel Hiraldo.
If Groshans does slide over to third base, he has the offensive upside to be an everyday regular. An assignment to low Class A Lansing is next.
“Pearson, who hit 100 mph in the Arizona Fall League, has the stuff to work as a mid-rotation starter if he proves he can handle a starter’s workload.
“Reid-Foley has the plus stuff to potentially develop into a No. 3 or 4 starter, though he will have to continue to improve his fastball command.”
“Has a chance to develop into an average regular”. Almost like damning with faint praise.
They like his bat, but don’t see him as a SS. “He is built like a catcher and his range and defensive actions aren’t ideal for shortstop, though he has the defensive skill set for third base.”