If Ricky Romero was looking to get the bottom of the order fired up in order to get more run support, he got his wish as the bottom of the order was on fire last night. From Edwin Encarnacion in the 6th spot all of the way to Rajai Davis in the 9th spot, the Jays bottom dwellers were a total of 11 for 19 (.579) with 2 doubles, a HR, and 2 stolen bases. Talk about great support! This is the kind of run production many of us were expecting when looking at the names in the lineup at the beginning of the season. Hopefully it translates to many more wins post All-Star break.
Travis Snider Tees Off
I’ve stated before today that I believe Snider’s stroke is quicker to the ball and nothing exemplified that more than his 2-run blast last night. Not only did his short swing allow him to wait a little longer to start his swing, but it also allowed him to “coil” his torso and tuck his right shoulder in a little more. Once he let it fly, all that was left to do was make solid contact. This is the kind of swing that could take Snider a long way in his career and one that will take him to another level. Patience and a good plan are the other pieces he needs to polish at this point, as indicated by his 5 SO to no walks since returning to the Jays. However, he is now 9 for 22 (.407) since returning to the Jays and definitely looks different at the plate. Even when he does strike out, he seems calm and composed and seems to be asking himself what went wrong and how he can do better next time, which is better than the blinding frustration he was experiencing before heading down to AAA.
Whatever the Jays got him to change in AAA, it’s working. He now has all of the tools in place to help bring the Jays to a new level of play. If we can assume that Brett Lawrie will also assist the Jays at some point this season, there is a lot to look forward to post- All-Star break.
I, like many others, have been slow to believe in the fact that Adam Loewen could once again make it to the majors, this time as an outfielder. Now that I’ve seen what he’s done in AAA in 2011, there’s little doubt in my mind that he’ll get a shot somewhere in MLB. Sadly for Adam, the Jays have little room for him in the majors, so he may have to wait quite a while for that to happen. He is second in the PCL (behind only David Cooper who has 34) in doubles with 33, he has a 15% extra base hit rate, also carries some speed with 7 SB, and he is improving every week as the season wears on with his last 10 line being .310/.383/.429.
I’m not saying that the Jays will get a superstar in return for Loewen, but would it surprise anyone if they were able to get a return of good stature for Loewen’s services? Obviously, his value on the market would depend on whether or not it was in a 1 for 1 deal or a larger deal, but it seems to me like Loewen has put himself on the map in terms of achieving a “prospect level status” once again. If the Jays could combine him with David Cooper or another top prospect in return for a much needed piece to the 2012 and beyond puzzle, I don’t doubt that they’d pull the trigger on such a deal.
For now, Adam will remain in AAA and will continue to hone his craft. With the trade deadline approaching, he has become an intriguing trade piece for the Jays and Alex Anthopoulos.
The Jays got their Manager’s son under contract after selecting him in the 46th rd of this year’s draft. No amount has been announced, but they have already assigned him to the GCL Blue Jays. Shane is a RHP and will have to do quite well to beat out the many high-end pitching prospects in the Jays organization.
12 Jays Among the Leaders in MiLB Stats
The following are 12 Jays prospects I have noticed as leaders of key stats throughout the minor leagues:
- Brad Mills leads the PCL with 115.2 IP and is second in wins with 7
- David Cooper leads the PCL in AVG (.369), OBP (.440), and doubles (34), this despite a stint in the majors
- Anthony Gose leads the Easter League in steals (41) with the next highest sitting at 29
- Michael McDade leads the Easter League in doubles (30), Total Bases (173), and is second in hits (101) and RBI with 60
- Joel Carreno is second in the Eastern League in Ks (112) and is tied for 4th place in Whip (1.14)
- Nestor Molina is 3rd in Whip (1.06) and is 4th in Ks (87) in the Florida State League
- Marcus Knecht is 3rd in AVG (.314) and OBP (.412) in the Midwest League, and also sits 6th in triples (5), 7th in doubles (22), and 9th in Total Bases (135)
- Stephen McQuail leads the Nortwestern league with 5 HRs, while Jonathon Berti is 5th in SB (7)
- Justin Nicolino is 2nd in ERA (1.42) and 6th in Whip (0.95) in the Northwestern League, he is also tied for 4th in SO with 23
- Art Charles leads the Appalachian League in HRs (8), Total Bases (58), and RBI (24), he is also second in doubles (8) and OPS (1.150)
- David Rollins (a LHP, 2011 24th rd pick) leads the Appalachian League in Whip (0.65), Wins (3), and is second in ERA (1.25) and IP (21.2)
He has been assigned to New Hampshire in order to rehab and get himself into game shape.
Juan Rivera and the Pen
I’d just like to point out that so far since Snider’s return to the Jays, he has earned the team one win that otherwise may not have been a win had Rivera remained with the club. I just hope that the organization as a whole realizes the dividends that this kind of move pays and decides on similar actions for the pen.
Anthony Gose Not Snubbed After All
I know many still doubt his skills, but at least we here at Jays Journal don’t feel so alone in believing in him. Baseball America’s newest Top 50 Prospects list has Gose listed as the 45th best prospect in baseball. It’s funny how such an accolade can be claimed out of all prospects by the experts when he couldn’t even get voted in for the Eastern League All-Star game…. Those fans need some help filling out ballots!
Travis d’Arnaud slotted in at #29 on the new list, while Brett Lawrie was the highest ranked Jays prospect at #10. Regardless of how much weight you put on these rankings, you have to agree that knowing such highly talented position players are headed our way the current roster being so strong sure makes watching the remainder of 2011 a lot more fun. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see 2 of the 3 in Toronto before the season ends if Jose Molina is dealt.
Speaking of d’Arnaud, he also slotted in at #6 on the newest BA Hot Prospect List.
Big Hand to Derek Jeter
I may be a hardcore Jays fan, but I’d like to tip my hat and give a nice hand to Derek Jeter for reaching his milestone 3000th hit with a Home Run, of all things. That he is the only Yankee in history to reach 3000 hits says everything that needs to be said about the stature of such an achievement, and I certainly hope I live to see the day a Toronto Blue Jays player can reach a similar milestone. Kudos Derek, kudos.
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