Blue Jays Triple-A affiliate named one of the best in MiLB and it's easy to see why

Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers
Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages

The Toronto Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, was recently selected as one of the top ten best teams in the minors as per MLB Pipeline. This is an encouraging development for an organization with a minor league system that ranked 24th overall when the team rankings were released in early March. 

Looking at the Bisons’ roster, it’s no wonder this squad is being recognized because it’s loaded with MLB-ready talent. Ricky Tiedemann, the team’s top prospect, was Buffalo’s Opening Day starter, and while he’s had mixed results early on, there’s been nothing to suggest he won’t be able to help the big-league club if called upon this season. 

Chad Dallas, the Jays’ #15 prospect per MLB Pipeline, impressed with a strong showing in spring training and is also a part of the rotation. He leads Buffalo in innings pitched and is part of the improved pitching depth the front office strived to improve in recent years. Although he’s struggled with control, reliever Connor Cooke could also find his way to the majors this season. 

Some of the shine has come off Zach Pop since he was acquired at the trade deadline halfway through the 2022 season. Similarly, Hayden Juenger has gone from a promising prospect to facing a crucial year in his development. Having this pair improve in 2024 will add to the strength of this staff. 

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On the position player side of things, Orelvis Martinez and Addison Barger are on the cusp of reaching the show. They are tied for the second on the Bisons in hits (15) and both have an OPS approaching .900. Leo Jimenez isn’t flashy and is persistently underrated, but considered the best defensive infielder in the system and could debut sometime this year. 

Spencer Horwitz burst onto the MLB scene and played well in a 39-game stint with the Blue Jays last season. He’s displayed tremendous contact skills and the ability to get on base at a prolific rate. So far, the lefty has 18 hits in 48 at-bats (.375) with 16 walks and just eight strikeouts for an eye-popping OBP of .531. 

He may not be among the team’s top 30 prospects but Will Robertson is an ascending talent who could get the call sooner rather than later. The left-fielder is batting .467 (11-for-30) with four doubles and a team-high four homers. The brain trust thinks highly of the 26-year-old, proven by his steady playing time in the spring and his inclusion on the Jays’ Arizona Fall League roster, where he flourished. Robertson’s power and natural ability to play corner outfield may give him an edge.

Damiano Palmegiani also flashed his skills at the Arizona Fall League and might be next in line after the quartet of Martinez, Barger, Jimenez, and Horwitz. He started slow but has gradually started to raise his average as the days have gone by. He’s been splitting his time in the field between first and third base. 

Rounding out the roster are players like outfielders Nathan Lukes and Cam Eden, and catcher Peyton Henry, all of whom have experience at the major league level. That speaks to the depth of this team and it has allowed well-regarded prospects like Alan Roden and Josh Kasevich to start their seasons at Double-A New Hampshire.