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Thursday Bantering: Who has the brighter future, Jays or Rays?

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Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox

I’ve had a morning of running around. Finally can sit and type.

A truly excellent start by Aaron Sanchez last night. 13 swinging strikes. A couple of bad curveballs cost him the only run of the game. I see people saying he’ll never be good but I don’t understand why you would come to that conclusion. I know the internet is a battle to be the most pessimistic, but it seems a little much. Giving up on a guy who can throw mid-90s at age 26 doesn’t make sense to me.

So this is a rather unnecessary poll:

John Sickels, at Minor League Ball, has an interesting question: Blue Jays or Rays, who is better positioned for 2019 and beyond?

The question for today: the Rays are better right now but which team would you rather be for 2019 and beyond?

Who has the better farm system overall? The Jays have Vladimir Guerrero Jr., future superstar, plus premium prospects Bo Bichette and Eric Pardinho, but the Rays have Wander Franco, vaulting up prospect boards extremely rapidly, and a host of other fascinating prospects.

How soon do the Jays get back to .500? Can the Rays sustain their strong ‘18 in ‘19? Can either of these clubs challenge the Red Sox and Yankees directly in the near future, or will they be looking for wild card spots?

I don’t know enough about the Rays minor league system to make a judgement. I think Vlad is a game changer type prospect. But we are 15 games behind them this year, that’s a lot of space to make up. It’s hard for me to imagine we’ll be better next year. But two years down the road?

It’s going to be interesting to see.

Let’s have a poll:


In two years the better team will be the

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    Blue Jays
    (704 votes)
  • 25%
    (240 votes)
944 votes total Vote Now

In the Athletic, John Lott writes about ‘leadership lessons’ the Jays are teaching in their minor league system. Like everything John writes, it’s interesting.

The goal, from Day 1 of a player’s career, is to implant the notion that leadership is a key to winning. If they reach the big leagues, the theory goes, they will be more than just “happy to be here.” They will have a sense of that bigger picture and the intangible role they can play in the making of a winner.


For some players, it means nothing more — or less — than working hard and responsibly attending to each element of their daily business without fanfare. For such a vociferous star as Josh Donaldson, it means hands-on hitting instruction, or stopping a rundown drill last spring training and, from his station at third base, giving a 30-second lecture on better execution. (You could have heard a pin drop.) For J.A. Happ, before he was traded to the Yankees, it was sitting down with rookie Ryan Borucki and quietly offering pitching tips.

I’m cynical about all that stuff, but honestly minor league players can only spend so much time working on ‘on the field stuff’, might as well give them things to think about the rest of the time.

Borucki may not see himself as a vocal leader, but given the right circumstance, he is not shy about asserting himself. When he was promoted to Double-A New Hampshire last year, he found pitcher Sean Reid-Foley, a former teammate, in a slump. Borucki saw that Reid-Foley, whose fastball sits in the mid-90s with late movement, was pitching tentatively, away from his strength.

Go back to being yourself, Borucki said. Fire that heater. Pitch with conviction.

Reid-Foley admitted that in that moment, he was not keen on a peer telling him what to do. In the next moment, he agreed that Borucki was right. The pep talk helped him “turn the corner,” he said. Now he and Borucki are teammates in the big leagues.

It is a good read, go take a look.

The Fisher Cats (people tell me a Fisher Cat is a real animal, but I don’t believe them) won 6-1 last night and have a 2 games to none lead in the Eastern League playoffs. Game 3 is Friday night, they can complete the sweep. Jordan Romano pitches for New Hampshire.