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Wednesday Bantering: Jays Spring Games in Montreal

And prospect rankings.

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays announced that they will be playing the Yankees in Olympic Stadium in Montreal March 23rd and 24th to finish their spring training schedule. They start the regular season on the 26th at home against the Red Sox.

I wondered if the Jays were finished with the Montreal games. There wasn’t much mention of the possibility until now.

I went to the games there one spring and it was a lot of fun. Montreal is a great city to visit and since the Big O was full, it was a great atmosphere. I think the thinly carpeted concrete would be hard to play on, but two games wouldn’t be so bad.

The Jays start the season with a 6 game home stand against the Red Sox and the Reds (someone bet me dinner that Joey Votto would be a Blue Jay by now, I need paying).

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was named to Baseball America’s All-Rookie team at DH. They have Tommy Edman at third. About Vlad:

The No. 1 prospect entering the year made his long-awaited debut on April 26 and hit a double in the top of the ninth inning to put the eventual winning run in scoring position. While a 6-for-41 start weighed down his overall numbers, Vlad Jr. was still one of just five rookies this season with at least 125 hits and 15 home runs, and he was the youngest of them to do it at only 20 years old.

Baseball America also picked out their top 20 prospects in the Midwest League, this week, and there are a couple of Blue Jays farm hands:

Gabriel Moreno is number 12. Moreno, a 19-year-old, right-handed hitting catcher, had a .280/.337/.485 batting line.

Moreno gains a step above his age group with sensational hand-eye coordination and excellent barrel control. Factoring in his size, Moreno’s hit tool is likely to overshadow his future power projection, but that’s not to say he won’t see double-digit home runs down the road.

Behind the plate, Moreno moves well thanks to solid athleticism with good transfer skills. There is work to do with his framing and blocking, but for his age, Moreno is already a step ahead of most. The Blue Jays appear to like his chances to stick behind the plate.

And Otto Lopez at number 18. Lopez, an 20-year-old, right-handed hitting infielder had a .324/.371/.425 line.

Lopez, 20, expertly managed the strike zone against Midwest League pitching, adding in deceptive power and a mature eye on the base path.

”I liked him a lot,” a scout said. “I liked the way he moved, the way he played, and I like the bat. His at-bat quality has to improve a bit, but for me, he was one of the best athletes on the field. He’s small, but he’s got some power and I think he’s going to grow into that power.”

In earlier lists they had:

  • Bo Bichette #2 in the International League.
  • Nate Pearson #1 in the Eastern League.
  • Anthony Kat #11 in the Eastern League.
  • Patrick Murphy #20 in the Eastern League.
  • Adam Kloffenstein #5 in the Northwest League.
  • Orelvis Martinez #1 in the Gulf Coast League.
  • Alberto Rodriguez #17 in the Gulf Coast League.
  • Dasan Brown #19 in the Gulf Coast League.
  • Miguel Hiraldo #3 in the Appalachian League.
  • Leonardo Jimene #14 in the Appalachian League.

The Nationals had a surprisingly easy time of it with the Cardinal. They will get a week off to plan their starting rotation for the World Series. I don’t know if a week off is a good thing or a bad thing.

Today’s Yankees/Astros game has been rained out.

The Angels have hired Joe Maddon to be their new manager.