Toronto Blue Jays Release 15 Minor League Players


The Toronto Blue Jays released 15 prospects earlier this week from their system that played for Dunedin, Vancouver, Bluefield and Dominican Summer League Blue Jays.

Dominican Summer League

RHP Wilmin Lara

Signed in 2012 as a IFA out of the Dominican Republic. In his 21-year season, Lara seemed to put it together going 3-2 with 3.48 ERA with 8 walks and 20 K’s good enough for a 1.21 WHIP. 2015 was by far his best season. Lara finishes his Blue Jays career with 4-6, 4.56ERA.

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2B Jean Almanzar

Almanzar was signed in 2013 as a IFA out of the Dominican Republic, never getting into more than 16 games in a single season. Over three years, Almanzar played 43 game with a .133 BA.

RHP Jose Acosta

The 18-year-old Acosta was released after post a 3-2 record with a 5.56 ERA, 3 saves, 20BB, and 16K’s

LHP Guillermo De La Cruz

Another 18-year-old was released. De La Cruz struggled with his control again in 2015. In 2014, De La Cruz walked 13 and struck out 17 in 21.2IP and followed that up with 17BB and 22 K’s in 33.1IP. It was surprising to see the Jays cut an 18-year-old who went 2-0 with a 3.51ERA in 16 appearances and one save.


RHP John Kravetz

Signed as a non-drafted FA out of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015, Kravetz was sent to the Gulf Coast League for 10IP before moving up to play with Bluefield in the Appy League where he found things a bit harder. After going 2-1 with 0.90ERA in 4 relief appearances, John Kavetz struggled to get his footing with Bluefield, going 0-2 with a 7.07ERA in 10 appearances and 14IP. At 23 years old, Kravetz should have dominated at this level.

2B Dean Bell

Bell signed as a non-drafted FA in 2013. In three years Bell struggled to hit, finishing with a .217 batting average, no home runs, 5 doubles, 4 triples, 16BB and 66K’s in 82 games.

LHP Joe Claver

Another non-drafted FA, Claver spent his 23-year season between Bluefield and Vancouver. Claver struggled with his control in his two years in Toronto’s farm system, finishing with 32BB and 28K in 43IP.

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LHP Bob Wheatley

Drafted in the 26th round of the 2014 draft, the 23-year-old Wheatley got into 23 games with the C’s in 2015. The tall lefty finished with a 2-2 record, 4.99ERA, but struggled with his control walking 17 BB and striking out 27 over 30.2IP.

LHP Michael Kraft

Kraft, a 37th round pick in 2014, wasn’t able to build on his solid 2014 (3-0, 0.59ERA). The Jays were aggressive with Kraft, sending him to Dunedin to start the year; however, after just one outing he was sent to Lansing. In his one D-Jays outing he struck out two, but allowed 4 hits, a home run and two runs. Things didn’t go any better in Lansing, as he lasted 6 appearances  and finished 0-1 with a 8.10ERA. He was demoted again, this time to Vancouver. A a member of the C’s, Kraft finished with 0-3 with a 3.68ERA and 2.05 WHIP.

C Kevin Garcia

The 23-year-old 30th round pick in 2014, appeared in 36 games for the C’s hitting .255 with no home runs, 14 walks and 19 strike outs.

RF Sean Hurley

Taken in the 24th round in 2013, Hurley had a decent season with the C’s as their everyday RF. As a 23-year-old, Hurley played 70 games hitting .253 with 9 home runs, 4 triples, 11 doubles, and 33 RBI. A little surprising to see him released.


RHP Arik Sikula

Arik was a favorite of mine and I wish him well in his future. Sikula was on the 7-day DL 3 times in April to May and never seemed to get his footing. The 26-year-old was a 36th round selection in 2011, spending 5 seasons in the Blue Jays system amassing 13 win, 5 losses and converting 66 of 78 saves. Not the hardest throwers, Sikula put up decent strikeout numbers, finishing with 9.5K/9 and 2.4BB/9. Here’s hoping he lands on his feet and continues to pursue the dream.

LHP Griffin Murphy

The highest draft pick on this list, Murphy was selected in 2nd round back in 2010. Griffin struggled to stay healthy, spending a most of 2015 and most of his minor league career on the DL or on rehab. The side-arm lefty finished 2015 with a 1-1, 6.10ERA record over 10.1IP with the D-Jays.

SS Christian Vazquez

The 26-year-old 2013 draft pick was a bench player for the Lugnuts, C’s and D-Jays in 2015. Vazquez finished with one home run, 7 doubles, a triple, 8RBI, 4BB, and 35K’s while batting .233.

RF Boomer Collins

Another non-drafted FA, Collins signed with the Blue Jays in 2013. Boomer Collins split time between LF and RF in his three seasons.  After a strong start to the 2015 season (.285, 3HR, 26RBI in 37GP) with the Lansing Lugnuts, Collins struggled a bit with the D-Jays, finishing with a .236BA and 2 home runs. The 26-year-old ended the year on a strong note going 3-for 4 with a run a home run and an RBI to raise his batting average from .218 to .236.

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication during your time in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Jays Journal wishes all those released the best of luck in the future.