Prospects Sean Nolin, A.J. Jimenez promoted to Triple-A Buffalo Bisons


The Buffalo Bisons announced yesterday via their official website that both LHP Sean Nolin and C A.J. Jimenez have been called up to the Toronto Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate club.

Nolin is scheduled to start today for the Bisons as they face off against the Pawtucket Red Sox. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM and for anyone who has access to these channels the game will be shown on TV on NESN and TWC SportsChannel.

We ranked Nolin as one of the top 5 Toronto Blue Jays prospects in our 2013 Top 25 pre-season list.

Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Nolin, 23, is already a part of the Blue Jays 40-man roster. On May 24, 2013 he made his rather forgettable MLB debut. I probably don’t have to remind you but the results were far from pretty and he finished with a line of 1.1 IP, 7 hits, 6 earned runs, 1 walk for a nightmarish 40.50 ERA.

In my personal opinion I don’t know what the Blue Jays were thinking calling Nolin up. Maybe they were hoping he could help the same way the pre-injury Drew Hutchison did in 2012 but the experiment failed miserably and the lefty was immediately sent back down to recover with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Over 92.2 innings for NH this year Nolin has impressed. He’s struck out 26.8% of batters he’s faced while walking only 6.5%. He’s holding opponents to a .249 batting average and his 2.69 FIP has outpaced his 3.01 ERA, which is a promising trend for any pitcher.

If Nolin finds success in Triple-A I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets another shot to pitch with the Blue Jays this year. Since he’s already on the 40-man I’m giving him the edge over Marcus Stroman as a September call-up with the reason being that Nolin’s option years have already started and the Blue Jays could potentially have an extra year of options on Stroman if they leave him in the minors for this season.

Jimenez, who is the only real catching prospect the Jays have that is anywhere close to the MLB level, is gaining popularity by the day in Toronto based solely on the uninspiring production of current Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia.

We ranked Jimenez as the Toronto Blue Jays eighth best prospect in our 2013 pre-season list.

Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jimenez started the season for the High-A Dunedin Blue Jays. He was recovering from Tommy John surgery that limited him to only 27 games last year. He looks to have recovered in fine form as he was named the Blue Jays lone representative in the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game.

Jimenez is batting .276/.327/.394 with a .328 wOBA and 99 wRC+ this year in Double-A for the Fisher Cats. He lacks the same raw power that Arencibia possesses but Jimenez appears to take a better approach at the plate and has been terrific defensively. He’s thrown out 48% of the runners who have tried to steal on him this year, which should put away any doubts that his arm has recovered from the aforementioned TJ surgery. Jimenez also has no listed passed balls and carries a 1.000 fielding percentage in Double-A this year.

At this point nothing has been confirmed by Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos exactly who we will see when rosters are expanded on September 1st. But it appears Nolin and Jimenez are on track to be near the top of that list for AA if all goes well for them in the International League, which will be the first taste of Triple-A for both players.

H/T FanGraphs and Baseball Reference for stats.