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Blue Jays minor league notes: Free agents and BA top 10 prospects

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Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

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.

Some notes:

  • 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.

  1. Vlad Jr.
  2. Bo Bichette.
  3. Danny Jansen.
  4. Eric Pardinho.
  5. Jordan Groshans.
  6. Nate Pearson.
  7. Kevin Smith.
  8. Sean Reid-Foley.
  9. Cavan Biggio.
  10. Miguel Hiraldo.

Groshans:

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.

About Pearson:

“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.

About Reid-Foley:

“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.”

Biggio:

“Has a chance to develop into an average regular”. Almost like damning with faint praise.

Hiraldo.

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.”