Blue Jays Minor League Notebook

The week (May 21-28) that was in the Blue Jays minor league system.

WHO’s HOT

LINES OF THE WEEK

Saturday, May 21st

Buffalo nearly let 6 no-hit innings by Thomas Hatch go to waste.

Hatch commanded his FB to all four quadrants of the strike zone, and while he gave up some flyball outs, there were few hard hit balls off of him. His offence scored early and often, and the Bisons appeared to be on cruise control with a 7-0 lead over Syracuse before Hatch turned things over to the bullpen to start the 7th.

Reliever Bowden Francis couldn’t hang onto that lead, and Syracuse scored twice in the 7th and tacked on seven more runs in the 8th to take the lead.

The Bisons fought back to tie the score, then the teams traded two-spots in the 10th. Syracuse threw the ball away to allow Buffalo to win the game in the 11th:

Sunday, May 22 – Dunedin lost Yosver Zulueta and Ricky Tiedemann last week, and while he may need to spend a bit more time building up his arm after returning from UCL brace surgery, Nick Frasso appears headed to the Northwest at some point after another fine outing:

That same day, Trent Palmer made his AA debut in Erie on a misty, cobweb afternoon of a day along the Great Lakes shoreline:

Tuesday, May 24th – led by another fine start by veteran Casey Lawrence, a group effort tossed a shutout for the Bisons.

Friday, May 27th – Dahian Santos continued his fine run of late:

Saturday, May 28th – a trio of Dunedin hurlers, led by starter Rafael Ohashi, tossed a four hit shutout.

Sunday, May 29th – not to be outdone, five Vancouver pitchers combined on a three hit whitewash:

Gabriel Moreno

There’s not much more Moreno can do to prove that he’s MLB-ready. His .946 OPS leads Buffalo over the past month.

Visa issues meant that he was behind his peers coming out of spring training, but there’s ample evidence to suggest he’s caught up. Moreno has thrown out 12 of 25 would-be base stealers so far this season, demonstrating his agility, quick pop, and a strong, accurate arm:

In addition to his elite defensive skills, Moreno has bat-to-ball skills that are almost other worldly. He does expand his strike zone a bit, but it’s often dictated by the situation. Moreno doesn’t go up wildly hacking – he puts balls in play.

He’s the Blue Jays top prospect, Baseball America’s 7th top prospect, and a player who draws unsolicited raves from guys who have played with him. There are a lot of things Gabriel Moreno can do on a baseball field.

Why is he still in AAA, then? Likely a combination of factors:

-catching up on some lost playing time this spring and last season;

-the re-emergence of Danny Jansen and the mostly steady work by Alejandro Kirk;

-the front office wanting to make absolutely sure he’s ready to be thrown in the middle of a playoff race;

Does Super Two status figure into this? It’s not likely, as BA’s J.J. Cooper pointed out. But one thing is certain: he will be in Toronto’s lineup soon.

LINKS

I have to admit, gentle readers, that this week’s blog has been a difficult task. We have a loved one receiving end-of-life care, and baseball has been down the list of priorities. In time, I will endeavour to provide you with more links for your clicking pleasure.

One link I’ll gladly share is that of the Around the Nest podcast, a must-listen audio update of the goings-on in the Blue Jays system.

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