The Toronto Blue Jays cut ties with nine minor league players including former 1st round selection Jacob Anderson and Canadian Justin Atkinson.
The releases came to light in a recent transactions article authored by Matt Eddy of Baseball America who named nine Blue Jays farmhands who were recently released by their employer.
The most surprising cut of the bunch was Jacob Anderson who was selected in the first round 35th overall in the 2011 amateur draft. Anderson was a supplemental pick for the loss of free agent Scott Downs to the Los Angeles Angels. The outfielder would ink a $990,000 signing bonus with the Blue Jays but never lived up to his potential in the minors. Anderson slashed .204/.271/.302 with 9 home runs in 164 professional games never surpassing Single-A.
The Jays also released Surrey, British Columbia native and versatile infielder Justin Atkinson. The 23-year old was drafted in the 26th round of the 2011 draft as well. Atkinson struggled at the dish last season hitting an uninspiring .190 in 424 plate appearances. It does not bode well for you when you don’t hit for power, average or steal bases. Atkinson finishes up his tenure as a Blue Jay with a career slash line of .244/.299./.316 with 11 home runs in 402 minor league contests.
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Starlyn Suriel pitched in Lansing last season going 5-3 with a respectable 3.21 earned run average. The 23-year old struck out 60 in 61.2 innings of work and owns a career professional ERA of 3.66.
Nate Abel made 22 appearances last season between three levels topping out in high A in Dunedin. Abel had a 3.38 ERA fanning 50 in 50.2 innings of work on the bump. The 24-year old has a 3.08 career ERA in 84.3 career innings under his belt.
Hunter Barnett made 8 appearances for Bluefield in Rookie ball last season surrendering 6 earned runs in only 8.2 innings on the mound. In two minor league seasons, the former 34th round pick only has 12 innings to show his body of work.
The 24-year old Christian Cox made 15 appearances last season between Bluefield and Vancouver racking up a 4.32 ERA in 25 innings.
Seth Conner has only played 2 games in the past 2 seasons with the Blue Jays. The 25-year old hit .216 in 33 games in 2014 with Vancouver and Lansing.
Aaron Attaway hit .206 with one home run in 51 games with Dunedin and Lansing last season. The 25-year old is a career .210 hitter with 3 round trippers in 120 professional games.
Kalik May is another over-ager who struggled with the stick professionally. May hit .226 in 47 contests in 2016 and boasts a career slash line of .242/.344/.389 with 4 home runs in 89 career games.
There is no question many of these guys will land on their feet as soon as opportunity knocks but unfortunately, it will no longer be in a Blue Jays uniform.