Blue Jays Canadian Content: Connor Panas
The Toronto Blue Jays have a plethora of young homegrown talent marinating in the minors hopeful of major league aspirations. One in particular Canadian farmhand impressing at the minor league ranks is Toronto native Connor Panas.
Connor Panas was selected in the 9th round, 272nd overall by the Blue Jays out of Canisius College in Buffalo. The Canadian signed a below slot value deal inking a $10,000 bonus from the Jays and began his professional career.
The Canuck touched on what it means for him to be a part of the Blue Jays organization in a previous Jays Journal article authored by Ryan Mueller.
"“To be a hometown boy now apart of their organization is just a surreal feeling. Hopefully one day I get a chance to play at the Rogers Centre Where I once grew up idolizing players and ironically am one now.”"
In 2015, Panas played 51 games (Vancouver 45, GCL Blue Jays 6) slashing a respectable .270/.356/.433 line with 5 home runs in his first taste of pro ball. Panas made the jump to Single-A in 2016 playing the entire season with the Lansing Lugnuts.
In Lansing, Panas hit .231/.343/.430 with 16 round trippers in 98 games in the Midwest League. The influx in power saw his average and batting average dip, a trend he would soon correct in 2017.
More from Toronto Blue Jays News
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
This season was a breakout of sorts for the young Canuck as he suited up for 114 games with the Dunedin Blue Jays and was an integral part of their Championship season along with the likes of Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
In 2017, Panas hit .276/.364/.475 with 18 home runs and a better strikeout rate than the previous campaign. Defensively he played 54 games in right field, 34 games in left and 13 games at first base throughout the course of the season.
Panas also came to play when it mattered most in the three-game playoff series versus the Tampa Yankees. The 24-year old hit .333 with 4 hits and 5 RBI’s in the 3 game finale, however, three of his hits were home runs including two in the final championship-clinching game. Panas also batted cleanup for Manager John Schneider on a team filled with talent.
Next: Blue Jays: Players who’ve moved on to free agency for 2018
The native of Toronto didn’t come with all the hype of other prospects due to his age and where he selected in the draft but make no mistake about it, this kid can hit and should continue to push his way up the depth chart next season.