This four-part series will look at the Toronto Blue Jays Minor League levels from Single-A and up. We will highlight players that had great performances at each level (while they were at the level being discussed)
Previous Level Standouts
Single A – Lansing Lugnuts
Single A+ – Full Season – Florida State League
The Dunedin Blue Jays had a monstrous second half of the year and won the division. After going just 33-36 in the first half the D-Jays burst on to the scene to begin the second half. They would go onto a 43-23 record to take the division. Dunedin faced the Tampa Yankees who had won the division for the first half of the season and lose the three games series. Overall the D-Jays were the third best team in the North division with a 76-59 record for 2016.
The Regulars – Hitters (over 70 games with Dunedin)
McBroom might as well had the nickname McBOOM all season. He led the team in most offensive categories and was one of the most consistent batters in the lineup throughout the year. McBroom was second only to Richard Urena in batting average among the regular players. He led the D-Jays in hits, doubles, home runs, RBI,, and slugging. He also managed to swipe 10 bases. He would finish the season with a .274 batting average, 26 doubles, 21 home runs, and 83 RBI’s. He also played nine games in double-A with the Fisher Cats and did not really get a chance to establish himself. He did hit a home run and scored three runs in his brief showing with the Cats.
Urena showed a ton of talent this season with the D-Jays as he hit an impressive .305 in 97 games with the club. The young top prospect put his talents on display on the field and at the plate. Urena hit the ball hard during his time with the D-Jays as shown by the 18 doubles, seven triples, and eight home runs he collected. He also scored 52 runs and drove in 41 while stealing nine bases. Urena joined a talented line up in New Hampshire with the Fisher Cats late in the season and played 30 games there. After bursting onto the scene with some gaudy numbers Urena hit a cold streak to end his 2016 season. He collected 18 RBI’s, 14 runs scored, six doubles, and 5 triples in his time in Double A.
Some people might be thrown off by having a player with a .252 batting average through 120 games being on a standout list. Do not take Davis at that face value because he did a ton right this season regardless of the lower batting average. Davis capitalized in his opportunities and was one of the more patient hitters on the squad. Davis led the D-Jays with 70 walks this season. This gave him an on base percentage of .378 and with his base running ability he was a huge threat. Davis also led the team with 33 stolen bases and 74 runs scored. Davis showed some pop as he hit 14 home runs along with 21 doubles and 8 triples. The outfielder has some intriguing tools that should allow him to develop a better batting average as he matures.
The Regulars – Pitchers (over 75 innings pitched)
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Chris Rowley and his road to professional baseball has been a fun story within the Blue Jays Organization. Rowley was the ace of the US Army team at West Point Military Academy and went undrafted during the 2013 draft. The Blue Jays called him shortly after and he got into the GCL with the Jays. Now Rowley is officially done with his Army career and is fully committed to his baseball life. In his first full season with the organization he was spectacular. He pitched a team-leading 123.2 innings and earned a 10-3 record. During those innings he limited his walks to just 30 while sending 86 to the pine. Rowley posted a 3.49 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP for the season. Thank you for your service, Sir, and we are looking forward to seeing you pitch.
Conor Fisk started his season with the Lansing Lugnuts but got an early promotion despite some early struggles. Fisk reward the D-Jays for the promotion as he became one of the more consistent pitchers in the rotation. He pitched 105.1 innings for the D-Jays with a 3.25 ERA. Hitters had a hard time squaring up Fisk as they batted just .227 with a 1.08 WHIP. Fisk allowed minimal free passes as he walked just 24 batters while striking out 81. Control is the name of the game for Fisk and he appears to have figured things out this season in Dunedin.
The Jays top prospect started the year off in Dunedin where he pitched a total of 77.2 innings with the D-Jays and post a 2.90 ERA. Control was the one issue the Greene had as he walked 38 batters in those innings. Greene struck out 51 batters while allowing them to hit for a .252 batting average against him. Greene was sent up to Double A after 15 starts and struggled to find his footing at the level. He did show flashes of greatness which will excite everyone for the upcoming season.
Key Contributors – Hitters
Emilio Guerrero started the year with the D-Jays and had a great 43 games with the club. Guerrero was a consistent hitter through out the year between single-A and double-A. With the D-Jays Guerrero hit .282 and showed some power. He hit eight home runs along with 15 doubles and a triple. Guerrero was able to use these good at bats to help the D-Jays produce. He scored 23 runs and drove in 36. Guerrero did get promoted and played 43 games with the Fisher Cats where he produced a .282 batting average as he continued to be consistent.
Key Contributors – Pitchers
I guess we can not say enough about Sean Reid-Foley as he made the key contributors list for the Lansing Lugnuts as well. Reid-Foley continued to show dominance after being promoted to the D-Jays. For as good of numbers he posted in Lansing, he improved in Dunedin. Reid-Foley threw 57.1 innings while posting a 2.67 ERA. The FSL hitters just could not handle him and hit a mere .172 against him. He also posted an absurdly low WHIP with the D-Jays at 0.89. Clearly he turned things up a notch when he got promoted as he struck out 71 batters and walked just 16. Reid-Foley is turning into a special player in front of our eyes and expect to see him climbing the ladder quickly if he keeps this up.
Harris was also on our list for the Lansing Lugnuts as he and Reid-Foley appear to be paired together. Harris pitched 45 innings for the D-Jays and posted a 3.60 ERA. Harris was solid as he allowed hitters to only amass a .224 batting average against him with a 1.13 WHIP. Harris did not have the eye popping strike out numbers that he had in Lansing but he has definitely figured out his craft. Look for him to build on this solid foundation and run with it now that he has a full season with the organization under his belt.
Exciting future players – Dunedin debuts
After a solid campaign with Lansing Max Pentecost got a chance to show what tools he has to the D-Jays. He appeared in just 12 games but he left a mark. Pentecost hit three home runs in his stint with the team. This included 7 RBI and six runs scored but he hit .245. Regardless of the lower batting average he showed that he can be productive and will look to continue this next season as he continues to improve at the plate.