I plan on doing some of these lil' round up MiLB whatevers when I feel like it, so here goes the first edition of what's being dropped in the boroughs...
The Vancouver C’s
The Vancouver season doesn’t start until June 15th, when they will kick off a five-game series in Eugene against the Emeralds. They will then be home on June 20th at ‘The Nat,’ where the raucous C’s fans will be ready to continue to be the loudest in the Northwest League. Here’s a link to their schedule just in case you’re in Vancouver during the summer and want to soak up the awesome Vancouver baseball atmosphere.
But what is pretty cool now is that former Vancouver C, Roberto Osuna, did just pick up his 100th save for the good Birds of Summer. That’s kind of some sort of something, amirite?
The ‘save’ might not be the greatest stat, and the role of a closer might be a bit absurd because I’m not sure why a team chooses to only use their best reliever in one specific situation, but it’s pretty damn impressive that Osuna was able to hit this milestone at 23. He’s only 23…
The Lansing Lugnuts
The Midwest League is rocking the casbah of cold weather and is in full winter-gah swing. The Lugnuts are a team that you will want to keep your eye on this season, with prospects like Kacy Clemens (1B), Reggie Pruitt (CF), Brock Lundquist (RF), and Somad Taylor (2B) – who the Jays also picked up in the Joe Smith trade last year – expected to do good things.
Kevin Smith (SS), who was drafted in the 4th round in the 2017 draft, is kind of their offensive player of the week so far, and while he might not be chasing Amy, he is chasing his MLB dream. He is hitting .393 and has an are-you-kidding-me-I-know-the-season-is-still-young 1.059 OPS.
But, the real star of the Lugnuts' early season has to be pitcher Yennsy Diaz, who has tossed 11.2 innings, striking out 14 with a .51 WHIP – that’s real good and it gets even nastier with his dirty good .77 ERA.
Deez ‘Nuts are 4 -3 and will host West Michigan and Lake County from April 13th to the 19th at Cooley Law Stadium in Lansing, which is the capital of Michigan, and home to my friend Jesse Goldberg-Strassler.
The Dunedin Blue Jays
(Ed. Or maybe I should just say the team that big Nate Pearson pitches for, but big Nate was scratched in his first start of the season because they are being very careful with him. It’s no secret that all offseason Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins couldn’t stop gushing about Pearson and neither could Blue Jays land because why wouldn’t you gush and gush effing hard. His stuff is nasty, powerful, and he has been compared to Noah Syndergaard. So, it will be most definitely fun to see how Nate does this season – that’s for sure. But, as for right now, we will have to wait and see.)
Good prospect news alert: Anthony Alford is on his way to recovering and re-joining the Bisons. He had some solid at-bats in Dunedin last week and went 2 – 5 with a pair of singles and a good ol’ fashion RBI.
There is some real prospect goodness on this team, with Riley Adams (C), Logan Warmoth (SS), and Bradley Jones (3B) – not too bad at all. And then there is the hold-your-breath-please-don’t-go-sideways 2016 first round pitching prospect T.J. Zeuch. Zeuch is a big dude, standing 6’ 7” on the ol dirt hill. The twenty-two year old right-hander needs to show the brass that he’s got the stuff this season. So far Zeuch is 1 – 1 with a 4.26 ERA in 12.2 innings of work. He has struck out 9, walked only 2, and has a damn good .87 WHIP.
The Dunedin Blue Jays are 4 – 3 and are on the road playing 3-games in St. Lucie this weekend and then they come home and host Fort Myers and Daytona.
(Ed. Don’t all these cities sound so warm? I am currently typing this piece up in my condo that is one block away from the Dome and I’m staring out my window at cold wet garbage… ugh. I’m not one to complain about the weather, but I’m going to complain about this weather.)
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats
I just recently interviewed Tyler Murray the lead broadcaster and media manager of the ‘Cats for Blue Jays Nation, so you should definitely go check that out. But, holy Jesus Murphy from the baseball land of all things awesome, how much fun are the ‘Cats going to be this year?
I’m pretty sure that the Vlad-and-Bo-hype drum is going to make a ton of noise in New Hampshire, which will spread across all of North America, amirite? And guess what? They are future Blue Jays. Let me just insert a Vlad and Bo are the future Blue Jays dance right now because it’s are-you-kidding-me awesome:
And the ‘Cats are absolutely shredding the Eastern League like they were mother effing Eddie Van Halen playing the Frankenstrat. They are 6 – 1 and ripping along in these winter-like days folks. And the funny thing is that some guys still haven’t even heated up yet. But, the ones who are on fire are, of course, Bichette (SS), Gurriel Jr. (2B), Vladdy Jr. (3B), and Biggio (1B).
This infield is crazy good and kind of Bruce-Campbell-Evil-Dead scary. Collectively this legion of doom has 37 hits – 13 of them being doubles – and collectively they have put up 25 good ol’ fashion RBIs – not bad at all. So, choo choo goes the hype train to awesomeville.
But, this team isn’t just all about the mashing and taking names offence, they have some solid pitching prospects in Jordan Romano, Sean Reid-Foley, and Andrew #CaseClosed Case – to name a few.
Romano has dazzled so far on the ol’ dirt hill, as he has pitched 12 solid innings, striking out 13, walking only 1, and has a .67 WHIP… YOWZA. And Reid-Foley was lights out in his first start, as he tossed 6 solid innings, allowing only one hit, and striking out 7. The future is bright and a lot of the future is in New Hampshire.
The Buffalo Bisons
The Bisons are actually going to be good this year and there is a whole heck of a lot of awesome setting foot on Coca-Cola Field this season.
Danny Jansen is the Blue Jays’ catcher of the future and he is on effin’ fire. I know it’s super early to get excited about any kind of stat stuff and everything gets way too blown out of proportion this early in the year because every little whatever is magnified under the shitty microscope, but Jansen is hitting .545 so far, with a total of 6 hits in 11 at-bats.
I think a lot of Jays fans will be interested to see how Biagini does in Buffalo. He was good in his first start, punching in 5-innings of work, striking out 4, and walking only 1 – cool. But, Deck McGuire, on the other hand, was not so good. It would be great to see the Blue Jays 2010 first round draft pick figure it out, eh? Who doesn’t love an underdog story?
But, McGuire got rocked in his first outing, giving up 5 hits, 3 walks, 6 runs in 5-innings – but he did strike out 4, so that’s coolish. Ryan Borucki’s first start was a bit of a millennial meh, but it wasn’t bad like a Michael Bay movie or anything. He pitched 5-innings in a loss, giving up 6 hits, 2 runs, striking out 3, and walking 2.
The Bisons are 2 – 1 in these early baseball days, but you can expect big things from them that’s for sure. But, seriously simmer down on the whole call-up-Teoscar stuff for now - he’s 3 for 15 at the plate so far and needs time…
The Bisons will try and host Indianapolis and Louisville this weekend and next week, but I’m betting that a couple of these weekend games will get cancelled because of this shitty weather.