The New Hampshire Fisher Cats will return 10 players from last year’s Eastern League Championship team for Manager Mike Mordecai, who slides from the Blue Jays front office back into an instructional role.
SS Kevin Smith is the top prospect on this roster. Smith had a breakout season in 2018, slashing .302/.358/.528 at two levels, playing solid defence along the way.
The Fisher Cats rotation will be fronted by 2018 Florida State League Pitcher of the Year Patrick Murphy, who moves up from Dunedin along with teammate Yennsy Diaz. Hector Perez gives New Hampshire a very strong top of the rotation, with Zach Logue likely to provide quality work as the 4th starter. Nate Pearson was thought to be in line to start the season in the northeast, but his injury issues last year likely mean the organization wants him to stay in the warm weather of Florida with the D-Jays for a few weeks. When Pearson joins the team, New Hampshire could have a lights out rotation.
New Hampshire will have a good if not spectacular bullpen. Kirby Snead, owner of one of the best sliders in the system, had a very good spring, and could be headed for bigger things before the season is out. Snead is joined by returnees Andrew Case and Francisco Rios, and Jackson McClelland and his 100+ mph fastball.
After Smith, there’s a bit of a drop off in terms of position players, but with the likes of IF Santiago Espinal, and OFs Forrest Wall and Josh Palacios, New Hampshire will have some quality in their lineup.
If the rotation holds up, and isn’t wracked by promotions to Buffalo, New Hampshire could give their fans some playoff baseball once again.