Part II of the Toronto Blue Jays Prospect Hot Sheet is ready for your enjoyment. It wasn’t a particularly outstanding week for the upper levels of the Jays’ system, but we did see a few hot performers that really shone. Without further ado, let’s begin with the Lansing Lugnuts of the Midwest League.
Noah Syndergaard – RHP -11 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K
Aaron Sanchez – RHP -5.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 BB. 8 K
Chris Hawkins – OF -13/28, 3 2B, 3B, 5 BB, 2 K, SB
Carlos Perez – C – 9/23, 2B, 3B, HR, 2 BB, 3 K
My take: The best part of this week, despite excellent performances out of these 4 young men, was the fact that Sanchez and Syndergaard finally pitched their way into the 6th inning. Sanchez made one start for the week, going 5.2, and Syndergaard pitched 6 full frames in his second start of the week.
Some feared that, as Syndergaard started facing an order two or three times through, he’d get hit a little more because of his lack of breaking stuff. Well, it seems the Blue Jays have timed his progression perfectly, as Syndergaard has been flashing a slider recently, actually getting two of his strikeouts on the slider in one of his recent starts.
Sanchez has now given up just 30 hits in 62.2 innings this year. Let that digest a moment.
OK, Sanchez gives up some walks, but if you’ve had the opportunity to watch him pitch, you’d notice that it’s only because his breaking stuff is so nasty. He’ll need to learn to harness it in the strike zone on a more consistent basis, but the actual break on his pitches is as consistent as they come.
Hawkins has heated up again after a very slow month of June. Hawkins hit just .160 in June, but has hit .313, .327, .484 in April, May, and June respectively.
Perez has also enjoyed a bit of a hot stretch, tantalizing us again with his immense potential. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this from Perez before, and we’ll have to keep an eye on him to see if he keeps it up this time.
DUNEDIN BLUE JAYS
Danny Barnes – RHP – 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Michael Crouse – OF – 5/25, 2B, 3 HR, 2 BB, 11 K
Jon Berti – 2B – 6/15, 2B, 3B, 2 BB, 2 K
Asher Wojciechowski deserves an honorable mention here. Despite not having the sexiest stat line in his most recent start, all accounts from those close to the team indicate that he threw the ball very well. He used his curveball more often than usual, and perhaps this led to to his 4 walks. Either way, he limited the damage, and I am still a big proponent of his promotion to AA in the near future. Whether that’s because the boys in Lansing are in desperate need of a call-up or Asher truly deserves it, I’ll let you decide. I think it’s a healthy dose of both.
Danny Barnes continues to rack up the strikeouts. He did give up his first earned run since the end of May, but the performance fanning batters is enough to warrant his appearance here.
Michael Crouse may not deserve his place here, but the 3 home runs are a great sign for the young Canadian outfielder. The strikeouts have to come down. He doesn’t have the greatest approach at the plate, but hopefully he’ll start to get on track now that he’s finally healthy.
Jon Berti was perhaps the story of the week, beginning his career in Dunedin with a 3/5 performance. One hit was taken away from him on a controversial error call; he actually began his Dunedin career 4/4 before a scoring correction and an out in his final at-bat.
NEW HAMPSHIRE FISHER CATS
Deck McGuire – RHP – 11 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 12 K
John Stilson – RHP – 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Mark Sobolewski – 3B – 8/25, 2 HR, 1 BB, 10 K
My take: Deck McGuire was outstanding in one start, not so much in the other. His latest outing: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K. He gave up a few runs in his last inning on a home run, which, of course, has been the Achilles heel of Deck since, well, forever. He needs to cut down the base runners, but the 10 strikeouts were nice to see, even if they came against a pretty bad lineup.
John Stilson was exceptional in facing a few rehabbing Red Sox players. Read more about his outing and about his potential call to the Blue Jays here.
Mark Sobolewski probably doesn’t deserve to be here. He’s hitting for power, striking out a ton, but none of the New Hampshire bats excite me much right now, except for one recent promotion…
Jake Marisnick deserves a mention – he got the call to New Hampshire mid-week, and has already hit 2 doubles in 4 games for the club. He hasn’t been incredible with the bat, striking out 4 times, but let’s give him time to get his feet wet and he should be making regular appearances in this column.
LAS VEGAS 51s
Adeiny Hechavarria – SS – 11/27, 3B, 2 HR, 4 BB, 5 K, SB
Travis Snider – OF – 6/23, 2B, HR, 6 BB, 3 K
Hechavarria had a nice week, but don’t be too fooled. Jon Diaz hit his 2nd home run this year (yes, 2nd, in the freakin’ PCL) against the same pitcher that Hech took deep twice in the same game. Both shots were opposite field, both were impressive, but at least one of them would not have been a home run in most major league parks. Perhaps a double off the wall barring an outstanding catch from the right-fielder. Nevertheless, it’s good to see Hech break out of a slump that had mired him for a few weeks.
Travis Snider has also shown signs of breaking out of his most recent slump. The walks are good – he was starting to strike out on breaking balls – it’s nice to see him taking again. Once the power returns, I think we can bank on a quick promotion to the Blue Jays.
I’ll also give a quick shout-out to Anthony Gose here, who hit a home run this week for the first time in quite a while, and also participated in the Futures Game last night. Gose had a nice night, making an outstanding diving catch on a line drive to center field. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here.
Well, that is it for Part II of your Blue Jays’ Prospect Hot Sheet. Hope you’ve enjoyed and here’s to another great week of Blue Jays’ baseball! Happy All-Star Break.
Stats never tell the whole story – if you want to talk Jays’ prospects or have any questions about the tools that these players possess, tweet me and I’ll be ready to answer any questions that you throw at me.
Charles Davis is a baseball writer for RantSports.com with a specific focus on the Toronto Blue Jays, their farm system, and prospects league-wide. Read his articles here and follow him on Twitter @CPDavis90.