The Buffalo Bisons are set to begin their final home stand of the season tonight (the forecast doesn’t look great), and the playoff bound Bisons received a boost when it was announced yesterday that C Gabriel Moreno, the 8th ranked prospect according to Baseball America, will join the club.
Moreno, last seen tearing up AA before being sidelined with a broken thumb at the end of June, appeared in two games with the Complex League Jays in Dunedin last week, and appears to be ready to roll. His presence on both sides of the ball should be a huge boost to the AAA Northeast champs.
The AA playoffs began last night, and former Jays farmhand Austin Martin, their top 2020 pick, was in the lineup for the Twins Wichita affiliate, playing CF and batting lead off. Martin was 2-4 with a walk, but he was unable to ignite the Wind Surge, who dropped the opener 7-5 to the host Northwest Arkansas Naturals. While Alek Manoah was on the mound for the Blue Jays in Tampa, his brother Erik tossed an inning of relief for Wichita.
Martin, who saw his stock drop from surefire big leaguer to divisive prospect, had an interesting August for Wichita after being acquired along with Simeon Woods Richardson in the Jose Berrios deal. Martin continued to be an on-base machine (.407 OBP), along with some added pop (3 HR), but he also struck out in almost a quarter of his plate appearances. So, the increased power may have come at the expense of some contact. A really quick look at some of Martin’s ABs suggests he’s really opened up his swing:
(Then again, Martin was facing no ordinary pitching prospect on the mound)
SWR had something of a lost August. After playing in the Olympics then changing organizations, Woods Richardson was placed on the Twins development list on August 10th before he had even thrown a pitch for Wichita. He was reactivated on September 4th, and made three starts for the Surge, two of which were decent pitch count-limited outings, the other not so much. He pitched out of Wichita’s pen on Sunday, which might be his role for the post-season.
For those of you who were interested to see who the reported 7 players the Blue Jays will be sending to Arizona for Fall League play next month, Thursday may be the day we find out. Stay tuned.
Thanks to all who have faithfully kept up with this little blog. A couple of book projects have kept me very busy over the past few months, and while that has been fun, it certainly has cut into my production here. When WordPress notified me that it was renewal time a few weeks ago, I was tempted to let this blog go, but after nine seasons of writing about the Blue Jays minor league system, I just couldn’t pull the plug. I may have to change the format of this site in the future, which might mean more articles, but shorter content. I love doing the in-depth pieces – interviews are my favourite – but it is a very time consuming project. Anyway, thanks for sticking with me, and I hope to up the output on here in the weeks and months to come.