The 2015 amateur draft saw Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos & Co. select 4 RHP with the first 5 picks, using their first pick (29th overall) on 6’3″ RHP out of Hazelwood Central HS, Jon Harris or Jonathan Harris. Many know who Harris did in his first professional system, but not many follow the other 32 players selected.
Toronto Blue Jays
We started with the first 5 rounds, highlighting the seasons of Jonathan Harris, Justin Maese, Carl Wise, and Jose Espada. Now we’ll look at rounds 6 to 10: JC Cardenas, Travis Bergen, Daniel Young, Connor Panas, and Owen Spiwak.
JC Cardenas SS (21-years-old)
Follow on twitter: @jc_cardenas2
Cardenas played 42 games with the Vancouver C’s, committing 11 errors on 184 total chances, converting 33 double plays and finishing with a .940 fielding percentage. He demonstrated an ability to work the count in his favor with 16.3 BB%; unfortunately, he struck out too much (20.9 K%) for a guy who struggled to put the ball in play (.221 BABIP). JC doesn’t possess much power (.079 ISO), but he does have speed despite only 3 stolen bases. Likely will return to Vancouver, but could push his way onto the Lansing roster with a strong Instructional showing. He will need to improve quickly or risk being over taken by some talented up and coming infields from Bluefield and the GCL. He’s heading to the Florida Instructional League this winter.
Line: .179/.316/.257, .573 OPS, 25H, 2HR, 16 RBI, 28BB, 36K
Travis Bergen LHP (21-years-old)
Follow on Twitter: @TFuzz_
Bergen’s first pro season came to an end on July 13th, when he was placed on the 7-day DL. He made two appearances for the Vancouver Canadians, showing really good stuff. He is a fastball,cutter/slider, change pitcher who uses his FB to setup his other pitches. Scouts have him pegged as a bullpen guy, but he’ll likely be used as a starter since Alex traded all the system’s LHP at the trade deadline (slight exaggeration). Travis was shut down after a heavy workload (100IP) for Kennesaw State, but look for Travis to start the year with Lansing as a starter or Dunedin as a LH reliever.
Line: 2-0, 0.00ERA, 5.1IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 11K, 0.04 FIP, and 0.56 WHIP
Daniel Young LHP (21-years-old)
Another 2015 draft pick to head straight to Vancouver, Young throws a 90’s FB and a decent slider. He could carve a niche for himself as a lefty specialist, as his fared much better against LHB (.250) than RHB (.435). He really struggled with command, walking 4.00 batters every 9IP. He did a decent job stranding baserunners with a 70.9 LOB%. He’s heading to the Florida Instructional League this winter to work on his command…I hope.
Line: 1-1, 6.33ERA, 27IP, 43H, 12BB, 8K, 2.04 WHIP, and 5.79FIP
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Connor Panas LF/1B (22-years-old)
Follow on Twitter: @Pan_Man27
This local Toronto boy, had his ups and downs in his first pro season. Sent to the GCL to start his career, Panas last all of 6 games before becoming a regular for the C’s. He his .391 with a home run, 4 RBI, 2 walks, and 3 K’s with the GCL Jays. With the C’s, Panas struggled in July (.208) but turned things around with a strong August (.295). He struggled against LHP (.205), while hitting RHP fairly well (.267). He showed decent power (.161 ISO) with 10 doubles, 2 triples, and 4 long balls in 51 games across two levels.
Line: .270/.356/.433, .789 OPS, 48H, 5HR, 29 RBI, 21BB, 50K
Owen Spiwak CA (20-years-old)
Follow on Twitter: @OSpiwak
Another local boy, from Mississauga, spent the year with the GCL Jays getting into 31 games. He caught 5-of-31 would be base stealers, good for 16%. He is a good receiver, fielding his position well (.988 fpct). He didn’t show much power (.037 ISO) or a willingness to walk wit 4.5 BB%. He did a good job of barreling up the ball with a solid .338 BABIP.
Line: .293/.337/.329, .666OPS, 24H, HR, 5R, 9RBI, 4BB, and 14K