With the excitement of Opening Day, Minor League Previews, fantasy drafts, and watching many of the Blue Jays Top Prospects have their dream of becoming a major leaguer become a reality, I missed some minor league news.
The Blue Jays organization lost 25-year-old RHP Ben White when he decided to hang up the cleats and call it a career. Ben was a non-draftee signing back in 2010 and spent much of 2014 as part of the impressive Dunedin Blue Jays rotation that featured Daniel Norris, Kendall Graveman, Matt Boyd and Taylor Cole. As a pitcher, I’d classify Ben as a flyball pitcher. I had him pegged as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 5th starter or at the very least had him starting the year back with the D-Jays as their veteran guy; unfortunately that won’t be happening now.
Thanks everyone who supported me the past 4 years. Today I retired from the Toronto Blue Jays & the game of baseball. pic.twitter.com/T8w80vyXp6
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Very heart felt message for his team mates. The great Willie Stargell once said, “When they start the game, they don’t yell, “Work ball.” They say, “Play ball.”” I wish you the best, Ben White, as this could not have been a very easy decision to make. Another move that went down under the radar was the release of Marcus Knecht. A Toronto native, Marcus was selected in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft. He spend the past three season in the Florida State League as a member the Toronto Blue Jays Advanced-A ball club. With the clubs lack of outfield prospect, it comes as a surprise why they would give Marcus his walking papers.
Marcus spent the majority of his time in left-field. I remember back in 2011 being really excited about the Lansing Lugnuts outfield prospects. The Lugnuts had British Columbia native Mike Crouse and Marcus Knecht showing off an impressive blend of speed and power for a pair of 20 year-olds.
The following year, in 2012, Marcus would start the year with the D-Jays. He struggled with strike outs and was unable to make consistent contact. The power was still there as he collected 32 doubles and 13 home runs. Over the next two season Marcus’ development stagnated and his power dipped, despite showing more patience at the plate in 2014.
It’s possible that a change of scenery is all that Marcus needs to jump start his career. Being picked up by the Minnesota Twins is no surprise. The Twins see to love ex-Blue Jay outfielders, picking up Darin Mastroianni and Kenny Wilson over the past could years.
Good luck Marcus Knecht with your new organization.