Blue Jays MiLB System Season Preview!

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. /
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BALTIMORE, MD – MAY 19: Anthony Alford
BALTIMORE, MD – MAY 19: Anthony Alford /

Single-A+ – Florida State League – Dunedin Blue Jays

The Dunedin Blue Jays were co-Champions of the 2017 season, as the playoffs were cut short due to hurricanes. The D-Jays had a very solid second half in which they were one of the best teams in the league. This secured them a playoff spot even though their first half was pretty rough. The second half push was due to an influx of amazing talent on the roster. Big names like Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. helped bolster an already solid attack on offense.

Heading into the 2018 season the D-Jays are looking like they have a chance to repeat as champions of the FSL. This year it will be built on pitching with enough offense to get the team the W’s. Top pitching prospect Nate Pearson is skipping Lansing and jumping right into the deep end of the pool after an incredible first showing with the Canadians last season. Pearson has a whole 20 innings of professional baseball under his belt, but what a performance it was. He allowed just seven hits and two earned runs in those 20 innings while striking out 26 batters.

Joining him in the rotation will be fellow top prospect TJ Zeuch who is fresh off an impressive showing in the Arizona Fall League. After helping the D-Jays win the Championship, he continued to roll in the AFL with a 3.44 ERA and a 0.982 WHIP through 18 innings of work. This was the cherry on top for his 2017 campaign in which he threw 58.2 innings. He only had three wins, but had a solid 3.38 ERA with 46 k’s and just 17 walks. Pearson and Zuech are going to form one heck of a one-two punch for the D-Jays, but Zuech will get the Opening Day start.

The rest of the pitching rotation is rounded out by Patrick Murphy, Tayler Saucedo, and Josh DeGraaf. They are then anchored in the bullpen with Jackson McClelland on the back end. Nick Hartman, Kirby Snead, Connor Eller, William Ouellette, Travis Bergen, and Juliandry Higuera completes the pitching staff. They will also hope to get Justin Maese at some point.

The offense is going to hit but will not have the same punch it did this past season. Consistent hitters that hit the gaps are going to take center stage in this offense. Top Prospects Riley Adams and Logan Warmoth highlight a deep lineup. The pair of Vancouver Canadians champions will look to pick up where they left off and lead the attack.

Other threats in the lineup include Bradley Jones who got off to a crazy start last season with the Lugnuts and was promoted to the D-Jays. Nash Knight and Josh Palacios will live off of line drives and drive in plenty of runs to support this solid pitching staff. D.J. Davis is going to show off his speed on the base paths and hopefully, continue to develop into a solid hitter.

The D-Jays are going to keep opposing batters in a steady conga line back to the bench with all of their talented hurlers. They are going to need to string together hits to be able to sustain wins though. It will be interesting to see how this team performs this season but their young arms are going to be trying to one-up each other all season.