Blue Jays MiLB Standouts – First weekish edition

Craig Borden
Mar 14, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Anthony Alford (30) works out prior to their spring game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2017; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Anthony Alford (30) works out prior to their spring game against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jays Journal takes a look at the week that was in the Minor League System.  We will discuss top hitters and pitchers at each level.  Who has stood out so far this season?

Top Hitters

Triple A – Buffalo Bisons

Jason Leblebijian has been the leader so far on offense for the Herd.  He is batting an eye-popping .367 and has played in all 10 games thus far.  He is leading the team in most offensive categories in the early going.  He has collected 21 total bases and hit 3 home runs on his way to driving in 10 RBIs.

Dwight Smith Jr. has also played in all 10 games of the season.  He is batting just .265 but has been a key part of the offense.  He is currently second on the team in RBIs with 6 of them.  He has also scored 6 times which is the 2nd most on the team.  The talented outfielder has stolen 1 base along with popping 2 doubles and a home run.

Bisons hitter of the week – Jason Leblebijian

Double A – New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Anthony Alford has been the talk of the town so far this season for Cats fans.  As one of the Jays’ top prospects, many people were looking for Alford to take a big step this season.  So far so good, as he is currently batting .464 through 8 games.  He started the season 9-12 in the first 4 games and gotten on base 11 of his first 14 at bases.  Thus far he has 4 steals, a double, and a home run.  He has scored 8 runs and drove in 4 of his own.

Ryan McBroom has picked up right where he left off from playing in Dunedin last season.  He is off and running with a .333 batting average and 7 RBIs.  He is currently on an 8 game hitting streak and is showing no signs of slowing down.  The Jays 30th ranked top prospect is off to a great start in New Hampshire and will look to continue the success he had last season where he broke out with the D-Jays.

Gunnar Heidt has been off to a wonderful start to the season.  He is to be forever underrated it seems, but he just keeps producing anyways.  So far this season he has played in 8 games and is batting .281.  He has already hit 3 home runs and drove in 6 RBIs.  He is currently leading the team in total bases and scored 7 times.

Fisher Cats hitter of the week – Anthony Alford

Single A+ -Dunedin Blue Jays

Danny Jansen has been a hitting machine in the early going so far.  The catcher has played in 8 games this season and is batting a solid .406.  He has been putting a good swing on the ball this season and has a team leading 13 hits so far.

Derrick Loveless is currently leading the offense with 6 RBIs and scored 6 runs.  He is batting .294 after the first 10 games.  He has 5 doubles which is second to only Juan Kelly who has 6.  Loveless also has 15 total bases this season.

D-Jays hitter of the week – Derrick Loveless

Single A – Lansing Lugnuts

Bo Bichette has taken the Midwest Leagues pitchers by storm as he has pounced on them so far this season.  The talented 19 year old has jumped out to an early .417 batting average and has had 3 multi-hit games in his 7 starts.  He has had 4 extra base hits which include 3 doubles and a home run.  His plate production has led to 7 RBIs and 8 runs scored.  He has even stolen a base to tag onto his already impressive start.

Bradley Jones has been following Bichette in the production categories as he has driven in 7 runners as well.  He has also scored 7 times himself.  The hard hitting first basemen is currently leading the team with 22 total bases in 10 games.  He is also batting .371 with 2 home runs.

Lugnuts hitter of the week – Bo Bichette

Top Pitchers

Triple A – Buffalo Bisons

TJ House has been a force since returning from a nasty line drive off the head during Spring Training.  He has started 2 games and been masterful.  In his 11.2 innings of work he has allowed just 1 run to put his ERA at 0.77.  He has allowed just 5 hits and walked 5.  Along with not allowing base runners, he has been racking up strike outs and currently sits at 12 for the young season.  These solid performances have earned him 2 wins.

Jarrett Grube has been a great surprise for Bisons fans in the early going.  He has thrown 11 innings and allowed just 3 runs.  He has been holding down opposing batters allowing just 8 hits and just 1 walk.  Grube has struck out 10 batters.  Grube has been a solid farm hand throughout his career, but maybe he has figured out something new to get batters out.

Bisons pitcher of the week – TJ House

Double A – New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Francisco Rios has been the lone starter to get off to a decent start for the Cats.  The rest of the staff has had some early struggles but Rios has been good in both of his starts.  He has thrown 10.1 innings and allowed 4 earned runs.  His ERA is currently at 3.48.  He has scattered 10 hits and 3 walks while striking out 7 batters.  He currently leads the team with 2 wins on the season.

Fisher Cats pitcher of the week – Francisco Rios

Single A+ -Dunedin Blue Jays

More from Toronto Blue Jays Prospects

Conor Fisk is leading the way for the D-Jays pitching staff.  Where most of the pitchers are off to a slow start Fisk has shown he has things working.  Fisk currently has a 2.53 ERA through his first 10.2 innings.  He has allowed just 6 hits and a walk while producing a nice 0.66 WHIP.  He has also struck out 13 batters and has picked up a win for his efforts.  The 3 runs he has allowed have come off of 2 home runs.

D-Jays pitcher of the week – Conor Fisk

Single A – Lansing Lugnuts

The Lugnuts pitchers have had mixed starts to open the season, as Justin Maese and Patrick Murphy have pitched the most innings, but have been touched up in their first 2 starts to different extents.  The best start of the season so far has been by Andy Ravel.  He pitched 5 innings of shut out ball, allowing just 3 hits and did not issue a free pass.  He struck out 4 on his way to his first win in Single A.

Lugnuts pitcher of the week – Andy Ravel

Next: Blue Jays: Sanchez to the 10 day DL

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