The Toronto Blue Jays sent eight players to the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League. Some were indeed rising stars, while some were sent as a test to see what kind of prospects they would shape up to be. The 2012 group included #2 prospect, outfielder Jake Marisnick, outfielder Kevin Pillar, shortstop Ryan Goins, catcher Sean Ochinko, and pitchers Sam Dyson, Deck McGuire (#12 – MLB Ranking), Ian Kadish, and Ryan Tepera.
Of that group, only Marisnick and McGuire ranked among the top prospects for the team. However, only Dyson was selected to play in the AFL Rising Stars Game.
Unfortunately, Dyson will be unable to play as he has already hit his 2012 innings limit. He finishes his AFL season with an unflattering 7.20 ERA, but did strike out 8 in just 7.2 innings pitched. The goal of his time in the AFL was to build on his 2012 campaign that saw him register a 4-2 record and 3.04 ERA over 32 appearances at both Dunedin and New Hampshire. The former South Carolina Gamecock’s goal at Salt River was to learn to throw a third pitch, a hard slider that will hopefully make him more of a strike-out pitcher, something that will come in more handy in his future role as a reliever.
Outside of Kevin Pillar and Ryan Tepera, the AFL has not been overly kind to the Blue Jays prospects. The 23-year-old Pillar is another speedy outfielder who the Blue Jays are trying to get a good assessment on, after having two solid seasons in Rookie and A-Ball. The 24-year-old Tepera has spent four mediocre seasons in the minors, finally reaching Double-A New Hampshire in 2012. His performance in the AFL may give him a leg up to making some significant strides in 2013.
Here is how the Blue Jays contingent have fared thus far, with the Salt River Rafters having 10 games remaining on their schedule.
Jake Marisnick – 13 games, .250 AVG, .614 OPS, 0 HR 2 RBI, 3 SB
Kevin Pillar – 9 games, .432 AVG, 1.016 OPS, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 7 SB
Ryan Goins – 9 games, .114 AVG, .301 OPS, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB
Sean Ochinko – 10 games, .229 AVG, .507 OPS, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB
Deck McGuire – 8 games, 1-1, 8.2 IP, 6.23 ERA, 8 SO
Ian Kadish – 6 games, 0-1, 5.0 IP, 5.40 ERA, 3 SO
Ryan Tepera – 4 games, 1-1, 15.1 IP, 2.93 ERA, 15 SO