Blue Jays MiLB Recap: Francis Deals, Harris Struggles in Vancouver
Buffalo Bisons (54-50) @ Syracuse Chiefs (41-64) – 6-0 W
The Bisons jumped on the Syracuse starter, Taylor Hill, early in this one and didn’t look back. A three run 2nd inning got them the lead, and they made it look easy after that.
Jon Berti led the Bison offence with a huge game, going 2/3 with 3 R, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, and a BB. Berti, the 25-year-old second basement, was a former 18th rounder in 2011, and he has an interesting skill set. His slash line of .258/.341/.339 between AAA and AA doesn’t scream potential, but he doesn’t strikeout much (11.4% at AAA, 12.8% at AA) and he walks a fair amount (6.8% at AAA, 8.8% at AA), and he’s got plenty of speed to burn. As a 24-year-old in the Arizona Fall League, he raked to a tune of a 142 wRC+. However, at 25-years-old now, he’s looking more like an organization filler rather than a big league player, but he could warrant back-up duty, or he could fill in for injuries in the coming years. Interesting player nonetheless.
Toronto Blue Jays
Dalton Pompey had his first hitless game since rejoining the Bisons, but I mention him because he’s been on absolute fire. In his last ten games he’s gone 16/42 (.380) with 10 BB’s and only 4 K’s. The plate discipline has improved back to a very encouraging level, and his 21:24 BB:K ratio at AAA is excellent. His overall slash line between AAA and AA is sitting at .310/.384/.449/.833 to go along with 6 HR and 15 SB through 274 AB’s. If he isn’t dealt at the deadline, you have to imagine he rejoins the Jays in the very near future.
The pitching was phenomenal in this one. Jeff Francis continues his fine work in Buffalo, throwing 7 shutout innings, allowing only 5 baserunners while nothing four strikeouts. Through 13 games in AAA (8 starts), his ERA sits at 1.39 (1.99 FIP), while putting up a terrific 54:8 K:BB ratio through 57 IP. He could be an option for the Jays bullpen to face lefties, especially against LHB’s. He notched a 11.25 K/9, and 3.75 BB/9 with the Jays earlier this year.
Steve Delabar and Chad Jenkins through clean innings to follow up Francis’ great start.
Harrisburg Senators (50-54) @ New Hampshire Fisher Cats (52-48) – 5-0 W
The Fisher Cats put up another shutout for the Blue Jays minor league system yesterday, shutting out the Senators 5-0. Scott Barnes through 5 terrific innings and didn’t allow a baserunner. He only through 52 pitches, but was taken out of the game, and was replaced by Jimmy Cordero. Cordero walked 2 batters, eliminating the chance of a combines perfect game, but he didn’t allow a hit through his 2 innings of work.
Chad Girodo finished the game, throwing 2 clean innings, but he did allow 2 base hits, nullifying the no-hitter. However, it was a terrific pitched ball game from these three arms.
Christian Lopes and Jorge Flores had multi hit games for the Fisher Cats, each of them scoring a run. Roemon Fields delivered a base hit, 2 RBI, and a BB in the win. It’s worthy to note that Nationals top prospect, Lucas Giolito, was on the mound for the Senators, and the Fisher Cats didn’t have a particularly difficult time against him.
Dunedin Blue Jays (43-58) @ Charlotte Stone Crabs (59-42) – 11-5 L
The Dunedin pitching staff got roughed up in this one, allowing 11 runs in a shortened game that only lasted 7 innings, a far cry from what Buffalo and New Hampshire put up in their respective games yesterday. Alonzo Gonzalez struggled through 3 innings of work, allowing 5 baserunners, and 3 runs (2 of which were unearned). He was followed up by prospect, Alberto Tirado.
Tirado was the 10th ranked prospect on MLB.com’s updated team rankings, largely due to his electric fastball that can reach the upper 90’s. He’s struggled with walks the entire year out of the bullpen, but his stuff managed to keep his numbers down, entering this game with a 2.69 ERA and 59 K’s through 60.1 IP. But, he struggled in this one: 1 IP, 0 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. Walks obviously killed him in this one, and the 4 ER raised his ERA to 3.23. He’s only allowed 41 H through 61 IP, but the 35 BB are definitely concerning.
Arik Sikula came in to relieve Tirado, and subsequently got knocked around the yard. Through two innings of work, he gave up 7 base hits, and allowed another 4 ER.
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On the offensive side of the ball for Dunedin, Anthony Alford went hitless, but did issue a walk and scored a run. After putting up terrific numbers at low A Lansing, including a 16.8% BB rate, with a 25.9% K rate, he’s continued to show terrific plate discipline with a 9% BB rate at Dunedin. He’s also been able to cut down on his strikeouts, 16.5% at Dunedin, while still being able to hit the ball hard, ISO has elevated from .101 to .134 after the promotion.
Richard Urena, a top SS prospect, went 1/4 in the game, he hasn’t been great since the call-up, putting up a line of .258/.281/.344/.625 since his call up to Dunedin. But as a 19-year-old in high A, you can’t expect a ton of success immediately, especially from a SS. His 13 HR between two levels is outstanding, but it will be interesting to see if his 79:12 K:BB ratio improves over time.
Rowdy Tellez didn’t get a hit, but he got on board on three occasions via the walk. His plate discipline and power combination is exciting. He has five walks in his last three games. Mitch Nay went 0/4, as his struggles in Dunedin continue.
Lansing Lugnuts (59-43) @ Lake County Captains (49-50) – 5-3 W
Lansing found a way to put together a full team effort in this one, notching their 59th victory of the year over the Captains. Starlyn Suriel really struggled in this one: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, but he was backed up by Tim Mayza, Phil Kish, and Jose Fernandez, who managed to shut down the Captains throughout the following 5 innings, while nothing a combined 7 K’s.
Chris Carlson and David Harris both scored 2 runs, doing a good job at the top of the order in this one. Dawel Lugo had a multi-hit effort in this one, including 2 RBI. He’s put up a pedestrian .292/.313/.360/.672 since his demotion to Lansing.
Vancouver Canadians (16-24) @ Everett AquaSox (24-16) – 8-5 L
The fresh first rounder from 2015, Jonathon Harris, took the mound in this one, but failed to deliver a solid start. He struggled through only two innings of work, allowing 4 H, walking 1, and giving up 2 ER. On the positive side, he did strike out 4 batters in his 2 innings of work.
So far this year, Harris hasn’t been very successful in Vancouver. His ERA is sitting at a bloated 4.34, but he’s only thrown 18.2 IP, so there’s plenty of time to turn that around. His 20 K’s in that time are encouraging, but he needs to harness his control, as his 12 BB aren’t going to get it done.
Lane Thomas went 1/5 with a 2B and a R. Gabriel Cenas hit a 2-run HR in the 9th to make this one look closer than it actually was. The Canadians sub-par season continues.
Princeton Rays (20-14) @ Bluefield Blue Jays (16-19) – 5-2 W
The 18-year-old prospect, Yeltsin Gudino, was a main cog in the Bluefield offence in this one. The 2013 international signee, who received $1.2 million from the Jays, went 2/3 with a 2B and 2 R. He’s really beginning to hit his stride in rookie ball. In his last ten games, he’s gone 13/38 (.342) with a 5:3 BB:K ratio. Good to see from the young, slick-fielding SS, who may be finally starting to look like a legitimate prospect if he can continue improving and potentially move up a level.
Next: Blue Jays Trade Deadline: Position Players Still Needed