Apr 4, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; General view of a pile of baseballs before the opening day baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays June Minor League Report: Dunedin Blue Jays


The Dunedin Blue Jays finished the First Half Season in 1st place, with a 46-23 record. With many of the main contributors promoted (Matt Boyd, Dalton Pompey, and Derrick Chung) to New Hampshire the D-Jays seem to be  starting a whole new season. The D-Jays are sitting at 8-9 (July 7th), which has them 3.5 GB of first place in the second season. Overall the D-Jays had a losing record in June going 11-15.

Longest winning streak: The D-Jays had a modest 4-game win streak from June 9th til June 12th when they took both games of a double headed.

Longest losing streak: The D-Jays also had a 4-game losing streak that could have been an 8-game had they not had a 2-run 9th inning on June 26th to win 5-3. That win split up the 4-game losing and a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Tampa Yankees.

Rotation

Kendall Graveman (23) impressed in June with a 2-2, 2.59 ERA over 31.1IP. He averaged 6.0IP/start and 1.8/5 (BB/K). What’s been most impressive about the 6’2″ RHP out of Mississippi State is the ability to keep the ball in the yard and on the ground. Graveman did not allow a home run in June and has only allowed one all year. His 7 wins ties him for third most in the FSL.

Jesse Hernandez (25) started the month in the pen but found his way into the rotation were he made 5 starts to close out the month. Jesse struggled mightily going 0-3 and posting a 6.61 ERA. Opponents hit .299 and 5 home runs even though he managed to generate a 2.42 GO/AO ratio.

Ben White (25) was 1-1, 5.64 ERA in 5 June starts. White averaged 4.1IP/start and 1/3 (BB/K) per start. White has struggled to limit hits and to keep the ball on the ground. Opponents collected 32 hits in 22.1 innings for a .352 batting average. White will have to increase his 0.61 GO/AO.

Frank Viola (30) is new to the rotation in July.

 

The Pen

Danny Barnes (24) pitched 11.0 innings over 10 games good for a 0-1 record and 1.64 ERA. He also converted 6 saves and held opponents to a .135 batting average.

Wil Browning (25) has been incredible during his time with the D-Jays and June was no different. Wil pitched 9.1 innings over 13 appearances and posted a 1-1 record with a 0.96 ERA. Browning posted an impressive 2.20 GO/AO ratio and held opponents to a .211 average.

Tony Davis (25) struggled as a member of the Fisher Cats but has been much better as a D-Jay. In June he got into 11 games and pitched 13.1 innings good for a 1-0 record and a 2.03 ERA.

Chad Girodo (23) this LHP pitched 18.1 innings, while making 8 June appearances. He was 0-0 with a 2.95 ERA, which seems lucky considering opponents hit .324 against him. Girodo averaged a strikeout/inning. Let’s hope that Girodo’s July is more in-line with his April and May numbers.

Justin Jackson (25) this converted shortstop had a rough June going 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA. This wasn’t unexpected considering opponents hit .310 off him in May. In June opponents hit .378 off Jackson over 10IP and 9 appearances. Jackson has actually done a good job keeping the ball on the ground with a 1.38 GO/AO ratio, so maybe Jackson has just been a little unlucky….only July will tell.

Efrain Nieves (24) this LHP pitched 15 innings while appearing in 10 games, which was good for a 2-1, 3.60 ERA record. Like Jackson, Nieves allowed too many hits (.344 opp avg) in June. Nieves was able to induce a lot of ground balls to a tune of 5.60 GO/AO ratio….really quite impressive considering he has been able to do this all season.

 

Outfield

Dwight Smith Jr. (21) struggled in June (.229/.282/.303), but his 25 June hits places him 6th in the FSL. Smith lost the ability to draw a walk in June by only drawing 8 versus 12 in April and 13 in May. So far it looks like he has turned the corner in July, so that is a good sign.

Marcus Knecht (24) is one of those prospects that you wait for them and wait for them and wait for them. Well I have….not sure about you. I always cheer for a our Canadian prospects but I cheer extra hard for the one from Toronto. After an outstanding May that had me thinking the wait is over, Marcus turned in dreadful June. One that saw him hit .215/.276/.329 with 2 HR and 12 RBI. Marcus appears to be a guy, that’s it, just a guy. I hope he proves me wrong.

Nick Baligod (26) was average in June. He hit .241/.310/.329 and was even able to knock one out of the park. Baligod did a good job limiting his strikeouts and drawing his fair share of walks 7/9 (BB/K). What was impressive about Baligod’s June was the number of runs scored.  He got on-base 26 times and was driven home 13….pretty good.

Infield

L.B. Dantzler (23) was expected to supply the Jays with a power bat at 1st base….well that hasn’t happened in 2014. He appeared in 13 games for the D-Jays in June and hit .220 with zero long balls, but did drive in 5 RBI. Dantzler has demonstrated a good approach at the plate and excellent discipline with 5 walks and 11 strikeouts, but while with the Lugnuts he walked more than he struck out (25/21). Let us hope that he can do the same with the D-Jays in July and find his power stroke because no homers and 2 doubles in 13 games doesn’t breed a lot of confidence.

Andy Fermin (24) was tearing it up in Double-A before being sent down to Dunedin….don’t ask me why…if you know, do tell. Since being sent down, Fermin hit .310/.333/.448 in 7 games. This guy doesn’t strikeout much and walks nearly as often. If he ever learns to take a pitch he will find more success.

Emilio Guerrero (21) hits .250/.301/.408 with 2 long balls and 12 RBI in 21 games. Emilio struck out a whopping 21 times….doing some quick calculations that works out to a strikeout every game or a strikeout every 3.6 AB. Combine that with a low walk rate and you have some very uninspiring stats. I know he is just 21….give him some time.

Christian Lopes (21) struggles continued into June with a .214/.290/.357 slash line. He did hit his first home run of 2014 and he did collect 5 extra base hits and was able to limit the strikeouts while maintaining his walks. Again, he is only 21 so I need to be easy on him.

Peter Mooney (23) is a guy that I can’t get a read on. He seems to have a good idea at the plate with 8 walks and 5 strikeouts. This makes me like him right away. In 15 games he hit .245/.350/.306. with no long balls but 3 doubles. If he can find away to get a couple more hits to raise that batting average we could have something here. His June was right in-line with his 2013 Dunedin stats, so I am not going to hold my breath.

Kevin Patterson (25) appeared in 12 games hit one home run and sucked the rest of the month.

Gustavo Pierre (22) has been playing mostly 3rd and this has allowed him to cut down on the errors…a little. In June he hit much better than he did in May (.183/.212/.268). Gus hit .350/.358/.563 with 3 dingers and 14 RBI. Gus also hit 8 doubles and was a perfect 4-4 in attempted steals. Now let’s not get too excited, he did strike out 23 times and walked once…..ya once, so there is that. Was June a hot streak or a turn for the better?

 

Catchers

Santiago Nessy (21) was promoted at the end of June to take over for Derrick Chung. He hit .242/.324/.333 with 3 doubles and 4 RBI. Nessy struck out 12 time in 9 games which I am going to chalk up to being nervous in his first taste of High-A Ball.

Jorge Saez (23) was recently promoted from Lansing where he was tearing it up. In 5 games he hit .235/.263/.353 with a triple, an RBI, a BB, and 7 strikeouts. I am going to go with nerves and hope that he figures things out.

 

Pitcher to watch: This one is a no brainer….Kendall Graveman. I don’t imagine we will have him in Dunedin much longer.

Hitter to watch: This one has to go to Dwight Smith Jr., but I am hopeful that Dantzler can figure things out and starts to mash the ball,but the FSL isn’t known for mashing.

Good luck in July D-Jays and K-Pat sorry for being so short, I know you are the team leader in HR but come on.

Tags: Dwight Smith Jr. Kendall Graveman Toronto Blue Jays