As the Jays sit a mere 8 games out of the Wild Card spot in the AL, here are some happenings in the minors that I’d like to share with you:
- The Jays made the Shane Opitz signing official on the 31st of July. He’s a huge signing for the Jays that was expected to be a tough signing to complete.
- OF Jacob Marisnick has been promoted to LoA Lansing. He’s struggling a bit to find himself over his first 30 ABs there, but it’s definitely where he belongs.
- OF Michael Crouse, a 2008 16th rd pick, was promoted more recently after hitting 4 HRs with a .333 average over 96 ABs in the GCL.
- Hitters in SS are hitting .185 against Casey Lawrence who is mowing down hitters with ease. He has a 2.11 ERA and 9 walks to his 38 Ks.
- Sean Ochinko, who was converted from a Catcher to a 3B, is hitting .421 over his last 10 games. He now has a season’s average of .310, 30 doubles, 7 HRs, 52 RBI, and a .363 OBP. He’s earned his keep this season and could get a look in HiA before long.
- Anthony Gose is loving Dunedin. Since being acquired in return for Brett Wallace, Anthony has hit .325 with 2 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HRs, 2 SBs, and a .357 OBP over 40 ABs. The 2 HRs are encouraging, as he only had 4 over 418 ABs with his old organization. Maybe it’s the new “Jays hitting approach” rubbing off on the youngster.
- Kyle Drabek has allowed only 1 run over his last 3 starts (all wins). He walked 4, allowed 8 hits and struck out 15 over those 18 innings, making it his most dominant run of the season in New Hampshire.
- Jo Jo Reyes has joined New Hampshire, being demoted from AAA after his acquisition. He’s had 1 great start, and 1 mediocre start there thus far.
- Travis d’Arnaud had a miserable month of July, batting .205 with no HR and a .272 OBP. Let’s hope august is kinder to the top prospect.
- Santiago Nessy, meanwhile, had a bit of an easier time in July, hitting .286 with 8 doubles, 2 HRs, and a .361 OBP.
- Sandwich pick Asher Wojciechowski is still on the 7-Day DL in Auburn, while another sandwich pick, Noah Syndergaard, is making hitters look silly in the GCL. The 17 year old RHP sports a 0.82 ERA with only 7 hits allowed over 11 IP. He’s alllowed 4 walks and struck out 5.
- The other sandwich pick, 18 year old Aaron Sanchez , is also pitching in the GCL and has had a bit of a harder time. He has a 3.00 ERA over 9 IP, allowing 12 hits and 5 walks to go with his 13 Ks in that span. The Ks are impressive and indicate his bat miss potential as he gains experience.
- Newly signed 2010 draftee 3B Kellen Sweeney made his first pro start with the GCL Jays on Juyly 31st, getting 1 hit and striking out once in 2 ABs.
- 21 year old 2B Andy Fermin, one of my favorite new Jays prospects, has begun to heat up once again in SS Auburn. He had hit .462 over 26 ABs in the GCL before his promotion, sporting a sick .568 OBP. While he struggled at the beginning after his promotion, Andy is now hitting .367 over his last 10 games with 5 doubles and a .429 OBP. This kid plays great D as well, with only 1 error to his name thus far after 34 games played. Look for him to make the BA top 30 Jays prospects in 2011 to be sure.
- Ryan Tepera had a really rough start in his latest, giving up 9 ER in only 3 innings. Still, it was the first time he had given up more than 4 runs in his last 10 games, so we’ll see how he bounces back. I do expect Ryan may get a look in Dunedin before the end of the season in order to prepare him for 2011.
- My favortie Canadian Jays prospect, Marcus Knecht, is having a hard time over his last 10 games. He is hitting .214 with a .283 OBP over that span, managing only 1 HR, 1 triple, and 2 doubles.
- Andrew “Drew” Hutchison is as advertised in Auburn. The 19 year old RHP has close to 1 K per inning (45 IP, 44 Ks), a 3.00 ERA, and 12 BB to go with his 44 Ks. The best part of his line is that he’s only given up 34 hits over his 45 IP.
- I know he’s no prospect, but newly acquired Mike Jacobs is hitting .447 with 3 doubles, 1 HR, and a .522 OBP since arriving in Las Vegas (38 ABs). To say that Lyle Overbay must be burning a hole in the Jays pocket as they try to unload him and his contract (even while he’s playing great of late and despite the love he gets from players and some fans). Jacobs is only 29 years old and can still provide the Jays with a great option off the bench, in Eric Hinske for the Braves form, and could even regain his 30+ HR calibre with the free swinging Jays. Yet another big knocker waiting to make an impact with the Jays!
- Zach Jackson is having a horrible time of late and may not get another chance with the Jays in 2011. His ERA over his last 10 games pitched is 12.67 as hitters hit a whopping .430 against him over that span. Calling Dr. Andrews…..ring, ring.
- With Brett Wallace shipped to Houston and JP Arencibia up in The Show, Chris Lubanski has taken over as “the big knocker” in Las Vegas. He has 14 HRs this season, with 2 over his last 10 games, a period that has seen him perform very well with a .391 OBP and .500 SLG%. The 25 year old LHB will need to do more in order to get some time with the Jays this season, but he does provide some decent insurance for the Jays should the Vernon Wells injury require him to miss some time.
That’s the minors news for this week. The Jays and their fans have a ton of stuff to follow and should enjoy every minute of the 2010 season. As you can see from the list above, there are tons of minors prospects just amping up their stuff to get a shot at The Show, forcing those currently playing for the Jays to play hard every day as they begin to feel heat from those prospects.
Topics: Aaron Sanchez, Anthony Gose, Asher Wojciechowski, Casey Lawrence, Drew Hutschison, Jacob Marisnick, Jo Jo Reyes, Kellen Sweeney, Kyle Drabek, Michael Crouse, Noah Syndergaard, Ryan Tepera, Santiago Nessy, Sean Ochinko, Shane Opitz, Travis D'Arnaud