Hello, Blue Jays prospect fans.
It’s been a busy week here at FBJ HQ. A new job, family illness, and the opening of the MLB and MiLB seasons have made for hectic times.
But I haven’t forgotten you, dear reader, and have a bevy of links for your clicking pleasure today.
To start with, the legendary and enigmatic Trevor Bauer has an online venture (he’s the Excecutive Producer) called Momentum, which bills itself as Player driven content, for the fan. Kudos to them for giving several Blue Jays minor leaguers a forum to express their thanks to the organization for giving them a pay raise this spring:
A couple weeks ago, the @BlueJays announced they are raising @MiLB salaries by 40-56%. We had Blue Jay affiliate players Nash Knight, @big_nate5, @hisseyfit18, and @tsauce7 send us their thoughts on what this means to them🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/FNUo9KzGIG
— Momentum (@Watch_Momentum) April 4, 2019
When we spoke to Blue Jays Player Development Director Gil Kim just before spring training, part of our conversation was a discussion of the new staff the team had hired this past off season. We at first talked about the on-field staff joining the organization, and then Gil went on at length about the analyst-coaches the team has brought on board as well. For MLB teams, it’s not enough just to employ new technology like Rapsodo; they have to have staff who can break down its results and translate it to players in terms they can understand in order implement it. Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated put together an excellent article which outlines much of that new tech, and how it works. Over at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi and Ben Nicholson-Smith tell us how the Blue Jays are implementing this new tech in their player development program.
Construction has begun at both the Blue Jays minor league and spring training site in Dunedin. The minor league complex was closed to the public this spring, and the former Florida Auto Exchange Stadium is in the midst of a makeover, which will be completed in time for spring training 2020. Our good friend Baseball Betsy has been closely involved in the whole process, and lives not far from the ballpark. She’s started to document the changes taking place, including the Dunedin Blue Jays packing up and moving to their temporary new home, Jack Russell Stadium in neighbouring Clearwater.
The Blue Jays really seem to like the overlooked, undersized power arm. There’s Marcus Stroman, of course, but he was anything but overlooked. A few years ago, Griffin Glaude made it as far as AAA, and now the team has Ty Tice at AA, and Mike Pascoe at Low A. Pascoe’s hometown paper took a look at one of their favourite sons.
The Blue Jays plan to pay their minor leaguers more has not spread just yet, although we suspect it will eventually. For now, players who didn’t get high bonuses (4 players took up about 3/4 of the Blue Jays $9 Million+ pool last year) have to be creative in how they live during the season. For one player in the Rays system, that means living on a bus – literally.
It was mildly surprising that Nate Pearson didn’t break camp with New Hampshire, but given his injury history, it’s also not surprising that the team opted to keep him in Florida for a few more weeks. He showed he’s close to ready to move up in his start last night, something Baseball America‘s JJ Cooper concluded last week.
It’s a little dated now, but Alexis Brudnicki wrote a great article about Danny Jansen prior to the Blue Jays final exhibition series in Montreal.
It’s not just the Blue Jays: more and more MLB teams are realizing the value of what GM Ross Atkins calls “the windshield effect,” for sons of MLBers, and the advantage they have over other prospects because they grew up around the game. Travis Sawchik of 538 details how and why this is happening.
I try hard to scour the Web for relevant Blue Jays MiLB content. If you come across an article you think would be worthy, please don’t hesitate to share it with me. My Twitter handle is @FutureBlueJays.