Blue Jays: 10 Minor League Contract Targets

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Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Maikel Cleto, RHP, 26 yrs old

  • Last played for (MLB): CHW in 2014
  • Last played for (AAA): Charlotte International League, in 2015
  • 2015 Stats (AAA): 51 IP / 31 H / 6 HR / 24 BB / 61 Ks / 3.00 ERA / 1.08 Whip

Signed by the Mets as an international FA in 2006, Cleto actually made his debut with the Cardinals in 2011. The Cards tried to get some performance from his live arm over 3 seasons but were unsuccessful in getting him to perform as well in the MLB as he did in the minors. The White Sox took over in 2014 and gave him a longer look (29 IP). What’s interesting is that, although he didn’t make it onto the club in 2015, the end of his 2014 season looked promising. He struck out all 3 batters he faced the last 2 times out and allowed only 4 ER over his last 13 appearances.

As you can see above, his AAA stats this season were stellar, so I’m a little dumbfounded as to why he wasn’t given a shot on the CHW as they struggled to get many of their RP going.

At 6’3″ 250 lbs, it’s possible that Cleto’s conditioning throws some coaches off and that they decide that what they see and what the results are shouldn’t be matching. Still, I believe that he could have some value as a depth right-handed RP for the Blue Jays in 2016.

Alfredo Aceves, RP, 32 yrs old

  • Last played for (MLB): NYY in 2014
  • Last played for (other): Monterrey, Mexico in 2015
  • 2015 Stats: 53 IP / 50 H / 7 HR / 13 BB / 25 Ks / 3.40 ERA / 1.19 Whip

For those who aren’t aware, the Blue Jays are actually the team that signed Aceves to an international FA contract in 2001. It took him 7 years to make it to The Show after that, with the Yankees, and everyone will remember him for the 25 saves he managed for the Red Sox in 2012.

The fact that he has experience closing is a huge asset. A bonus is that it happened in the A.L. East. The problem is that whatever he experienced in terms of pressure as a closer really seemed to throw his career off the rails. It all started in 2012 and is evident from the fact that he threw the same number of games in the 1st half and 2nd half and saw line against go from .238/.304/.350 to .271/.348/.497. He may have been slightly overused (69 GP, 74 IP), and everything went South from there.

As you can see from the stats above, however, he seems to have something sorted out. If he can show some poise in AAA for the Blue Jays he could become a decent depth piece to look to in a time of need. After all, his career line of .229/.301/.384 vs RHB could definitely come in handy.

Next: The next 2 names were involved in Doc trade and talks