Lansing Lugnuts- Single A Affiliate
The Lansing Lugnuts are the Single-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays in the Midwest League. This past season they had some mixed success as the organization promoted much of their talent near the end of the season. The Lugnuts just missed a chance at making the playoffs in the closing days of the season.
This year the Lugnuts have a great lineup coming into this season. Leading the way is manager Cesar Martin, and he has the benefit of having some solid sluggers in his lineup. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be starting his year as the every day third baseman. The Jays system’s top prospect looks to build on a solid first year in pro baseball. Vlad will be making his full season debut and is still just 18 years old. He popped a .271 batting average with 46 RBIs with the Bluefield Blue Jays in 2016.
Just to the left of him on the infield will be Bo Bichette. The talented short stop and power bat will play well with the impact bat of Vlad Jr. in an everyday lineup. Bichette is heading straight to Lansing after showing his advanced approach at the plate. He was able to hit .427 with 36 RBIs in just 22 games with the GCL Blue Jays. Roaming the outfield will be fellow 2016 draft pick J.B. Woodman. Woodman had stops with two teams after being drafted in the 2nd round this past season. He proceeded to put up great numbers with the Vancouver Canadians and earned an audition with the Lugnuts. He finished with a .297 batting average in 63 games.
On the other side of the ball the Lugnuts have an impressive pitching staff to start the season. The Lugnuts broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler reported that the Lugnuts will start the season off with Justin Maese on the hill. Maese earned this opening day start with an impressive debut with the Lugnuts the past season. The now 20 year old was able to post a solid 3.36 ERA in 56.1 innings. It will be interesting to see what he can do with a full season heading into this year.
The rest of the rotation was also reported by Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and fills out with Patrick Murphy, Andy Ravel, Mike Ellenbest, and Osman Gutierrez. The Lugnuts have an interesting roster that could impress this season. The offense and the pitching have a solid foundation with a ton of upside. This could spell success for these players and the team this coming campaign.
The Lugnuts begin their season on Thursday against at Great Lake Loons at the Loons ballpark.