The Blue Jays have announced that Ryan Borucki and Sean Reid-Foley will get the ball to kick off Spring Training games this weekend. Listen in right here
Jay Bird Watching is partnering up with SouthOfThe6ix.com and Prospectslive.com to bring you great shows on the Toronto Blue Jays Top 30 prospects. In this episode they discuss players that just missed the Top 30 on the list. Jason Woodell of Prospects Live joined us to kick off our weekly episodes counting down the Jays list.
Prospects 30 – 26
#30 – Chavez Young – OF
The 21-year-old switch hitting outfielder put together a solid performance for the Lansing Lugnuts in 2018. After his first full season Young is showing plenty of promise as a possible steal from the 2016 draft. He has now put together a great performance in the Midwest League and will be looking for a true test come 2019. He did have some issues during the long season but was able to burst out of a midsummer funk to finish strong with the playoff running Lugnuts. He is truly athletic and was able to steal 44 bases while scoring 88 runs. He would also slap 33 doubles, 9 triples, and 8 home runs as well.
Expected 2019 Level – Dunedin Blue Jays
📽️ | Chavez Young’s 7⃣ homer of the season was a BLAST 💥 pic.twitter.com/FIjtAdjyDV
— Lansing Lugnuts (@LansingLugnuts) August 11, 2018
#29 – Chad Spanberger – 1B
This big-hitting first baseman joined the Blue Jays as part of the Seunghwan Oh trade with the Colorado Rockies. Spanberger showed off some offensive pop prior to the trade in which he mashed 22 homers and knocked in 75. He showed off some speed with 16 stolen bases but his ability with the lumber is what controls his future. If he can continue to ascend through the system and show there is plenty of RBI potential in his stick he might rise quick. The Jays system is currently lacking depth at 1B but has plenty of athletic options.
Expected 2019 Level – Dunedin Blue Jays
Asheville’s Chad Spanberger is the 2018 Sally League HR Derby champ with 29 home runs, several of which bounced off the building across the street from right field. pic.twitter.com/h34C3gBsuJ
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) June 19, 2018
#28 – Ryan Noda – 1B Noda is currently the heir apparent to Kevin Youkilis in the walks department. Noda took 109 free passes during this past season with the Lansing Lugnuts. He did also strike out 135 times in route to a 20 home run – 80 RBI season. Even with all those positives, he got off to a torrid start to the season in the cold months in the Midwest League. As things heated up he began to. He batted .350 in June and kept his foot on the gas after that. Noda might be destined to restart the season in Lansing but could break the team with the Dunedin Blue Jays depending on where the rest of the first baseman depth lands after Spring Training. Noda is an intriguing player that could break out if he meets his new challenges. Expected 2019 Level – Lansing Lugnuts
— Lansing Lugnuts (@LansingLugnuts) August 5, 2018
#27 – Forrest Wall – OF
Wall is the other player that the Jays acquired in the Seunghwan Oh trade and promptly began to crush the ball after the change of scenery. Wall had a very mixed season in which he raked in the California League, struggled in the Eastern League with the Hartford Yard Goats, to having a great finish in the same league with the now Champion New Hampshire Fisher Cats. While with the Cats he sprayed the ball into both power alleys and showed some pop that could translate into some long balls eventually. Wall is currently 23 and was once ranked in the Top 100 prospects in prior to the 2016 season. If he hits like he did in New Hampshire this could be a steal for the Blue Jays.
Expected 2019 Level – New Hampshire Fisher Cats
Forrest Wall again! His two-run single ties the game at 3-3.
At least it did…until Josh Lester hit a two-run homer. 5-3 Erie, bottom 3. pic.twitter.com/Ty7Ik3hznr
— New Hampshire Fisher Cats (@FisherCats) August 5, 2018
#26 – Elvis Luciano – RHP
The youngest player to ever be selected in a Rule 5 draft has everything to gain in a season the Blue Jays might be looking for bullpen help. Luciano will turn 19 as he reports to Spring Training for a chance a roster spot with the big club. The rules with the Jay having to put him on the 25 man roster to retain his talents will be the driving force behind that idea. Luciano is a talented righty that already has a low 90’s fastball and a solid changeup. The Blue Jays are hoping those two pitches while he develops a curveball will carry well out of the bullpen. He has not pitched above the Rookie-level but has shown the ability to miss plenty of bats with his raw stuff.
Expected 2019 Level – Toronto Blue Jays
— Jay Bird Watching (@BirdWatchingGC) December 13, 2018
All this and more in the above podcast as Jason Woodell and Craig Borden discuss all things prospects and Bo Bichette’s epic hair. All new episode will be recorded soon to include prospects #25-21
Jay Bird Watching is partnering up with SouthOfThe6ix.com and Prospectslive.com to bring you great shows on the Toronto Blue Jays Top 30 prospects. In this episode they discuss players that just missed the Top 30 on the list. Jason Woodell of Prospects Live joined us to kick of our weekly episodes counting down the the Jays list.
Players that just missed the Top 30
Brock Lundquist – OF
With tons of power on display in the Midwest League this past season Brock put pitchers on notice. He owns a potent bat and a rocking mustache reminiscent of Rollie Fingers. The Smashing Stash uncorked 20 homers and 90 RBI between Lansing and Dunedin this past year. Brock is currently in the wait and see ballpark for most of our contributors and is likely to see more seasoning in the Florida State League as they see how his approach translates with more advanced pitching. He will also look to see his power open up with a full season in the FSL.
Cal Stevenson – OF
A true athlete and a player that is 100% committed on the field is looking to run into a new challenge. After dominating pitchers in the Appalachian League Cal is looking to show off his solid tools. He had a great approach at the plate and batter a mere .359 in 53 games in the Appy League. He also players great defense and stole 21 bases. He has plus tools that could translate into a key contributor as his athleticism continues to form his talents.
Ronny Brito – SS
Brito joins the Blue Jays as part of the Russell Martin trade. Brito is known as a solid defender and has a cannon for an arm. Scouts have him graded as a 60 arm tool. For those not scoring at home that is on the 20-80 scale. He has also shown some pop at the plate with 11 home runs this past season in Rookie ball but it will be interesting to see where his bat can carry him. He might not stick as a shortstop but has plenty of arm to slide over to the hot corner.
Samad Taylor – 2B
One of the many athletic middle infielders in the Blue Jays system shows that he has plenty of tools to stand out in 2018. As an igniter in the Lansing Lugnuts lineup he was able to steal 44 bases while scoring 67 runs and driving in 53. As a throw in player for the Joe Smith trade to Cleveland Taylor is starting to look like an intriguing player to watch and could be a nice breakout candidate for 2019.
Leonardo Jimenez – 2B
The 17 year old Panamanian received a chance to jump right into the Golf Coast League and he shined in his first professional shot. He showed an advanced approach for his age and showed that he has the potential to show off more tools as he grows. He racked up 8 doubles and 2 triples in 37 games while scoring 13 and driving in 19. All of this while showing off quality skills at the keystone. Jimenez will be a player to watch come short season ball this summer.
This is the first part of many installments coming over the next few weeks. We will be going through all of the Blue Jays Top 30 Prospects and discussing all the details you are looking forward to hearing on each of them.
Blue Jays fans rejoiced as one of their own joins the hallowed halls of Cooperstown. Roy Halladay is one of the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. We also discuss Baseball Americas latest Top 100 Prospects that includes a big group of Blue Jays youngsters.
To say Blue Jays fans love Roy Halladay would be an understatement. Halladay is baseball royalty in Canada and represents the pinnacle of pitching talent that has come through the Jays system. Doc was a reason for many baseball fans to tune in during a rather dark time in Blue Jays history. People lined up at the ticket counters every 5th day to see him pitch regardless of how the team was performing. This was because Blue Jays fans knew they were seeing a future Hall of Famer in the making.
After being drafted Halladay excelled in the minors and raced through the system. After a successful debut and throwing a 1 hitter in his second ever MLB start, Halladay struggled. He was sent down to Single-A to work on his mechanics. This is a move that would have devastated many professional athletes. Halladay having the intensity and work ethic however, continued to fuel his desire to return to the big leagues. Not only did he return but became the Hall of Fame level pitcher in what seemed over night.
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) January 23, 2019
The accolades piled up in Toronto as he eclipsed 20 wins regularly and won his first Cy Young Award in 2003. Halladay pretty out pitched other pitchers in baseball over that period in baseball. He night even hold a record in the current era of baseball. Halladay amassed 67 complete games in his career. Since the start of his career in 1998 there is no other pitcher in baseball that has finished that many games. Fellow Hall of Famer Randy Johnson is the closest in that category with 54 complete games. As baseball shifts more and more to bullpen dominance and pitch counts there will be even fewer guys pitching this far into games. This past season there was only a hand full of players that had 2 complete games.
For Blue Jays fans Halladay is on the Mount Rushmore of our historic franchise. Part of Blue Jays Royalty. When he was traded to the Phillies all of us were saddened but completely understood why the team had to part with their super star pitcher. As Doc marched toward his second Cy Young aware Blue Jays fans were ecstatic. As he opened up the ALDS against the Reds that season it felt like this was a the first Blue Jays playoff game since the close of 1993.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 22, 2019
That first playoff appearance for Doc only became more special as the evening progressed. In true Halladay fashion he was locked in and intimidating on the mound. The Reds that season had one of the best offenses in baseball and Doc decimated them. As Blue Jays fans eagerly watched their hero mow through the Reds one fact became clear. Not one batter was going to best Halladay during this one. In an out pour of emotion from Halladay he picks up just the 2nd playoff no hitter in all of baseball history. Blue Jays jumped from their couches as Carlos Ruiz managed to tame a little squabbler in front of home plate and throw out Brandon Phillips to complete the no-no. This was the first real playoff victory that Jays fans had felt in years.
Doc was a master of his craft and this was his crowning moment as he showed off his talents to the world. It truly is a bittersweet moment for all baseball fans as Doc will not get to enjoy this wonderful accomplishment with his fellow inductees. It is with a heavy heart as I type these words but could not be happier that Halladay’s family is being treated to a celebration of Roy’s life on the most deserving of scales. His speech as an inductee to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame is incredible and I feel the Halladay’s will find a way to have fun come induction day this July.
Our show this week is dedicated to the Halladay family as we celebrate the accomplishments of a great family man, amazing teammate, and incredible ball player.
Thank you all for listening!
Blue Jays Fans we take a break from the offseason grind for a very special episode of Jay Bird Watching. We assembled an amazing group to discuss which baseball movie stands about them all. We compiled results from votes on twitter, our contributors, and the MLB.com + Bleacher Report best baseball movies lists. This led to an incredible show with our guests Zach Helton, Hayden Godfrey, and Adam Corsair.
There are tons of great baseball movies ranging from serious stories, to historic, to laugh out loud funny. The list we go through in this show clearly rings true with baseball fans in general. We mentioned that we could have rolled the dice for the votes on 5 different days and had 5 different countdowns. The votes and previous rankings from MLB.com and Bleacher Report were put into a points system with the votes from our fans and site contributors. As the cold calculating math boiled down our list it definitely struck a cord on what movies could or should have been number one.
Zach Helton the voice of the Bluefield Blue Jays locked in his vote for top movie with Bull Durham. A true classic with tons of character led with an incredible cast of Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins. This Minor League Baseball classic hits home for Zach as a member of the Appellation League family in Bluefield. As he states this movie is a window into the happenings in Minor League Baseball and truly hits the mark. (@z_helton)
Hayden Godfrey of JaysJournal.com was the youngest member of this movie debate and brought the Natural to the table. A movie that came out in 1984 that stands the test of time as one of the best baseball movies ever. Hayden goes on to mention that because of this movie he pictures the ideal baseball player in comparison to Roy Hobbs. (@haydengodfreyy)
Adam Corsair joined this conversation in between Raptors Podcasts and his work at SouthOfThe6ix.com to preach why The Sandlot is the best movie in baseball history. An incredible story of a group of friends growing up idealizing Babe Ruth and the Murders Row Yankees. This comedy has it all and has something for everyone. It is infinitely quotable and may have the best catch phrase in all baseball movie history. “You’re killing me smalls” spans generations and is super funny. Adam as a youngster could not wait to rock a pair of PF Flyers, play baseball, and luckily did not have to pickle the beast. (@ACorsair21)
Thanks to all the fans that joined the voting on and a special thanks to our guests who made this one of the fun/ funniest episodes we have recorded here on Jay Bird Watching. Make sure you find them on Twitter and join in on the conversation with us on the Top Baseball Movie Countdown.
Coming up we will be kicking off the Jay Bird Watching / South of the 6ix Top 30 Blue Jays Prospects shows. We are going to be having the scouts from ProspectsLive.com join us to discuss the list five players at a time with out contributors. There will also be a New Wednesday Wallop this week coming as we continue to bring you all the Blue Jays content you can handle!
Blue Jays Fans were shocked last night as their Canadian team leader was traded back to the team that drafted him the Dodgers. The Blue Jays loose one of their best clubhouse leaders in this trade and a Canadian citizen. The Jays sent 16.4 Million Dollars with Martin to the Dodgers to receive a pair of prospects.
Russell Martin was a center piece to the Blue Jays Playoff runs in 2015 & 2016. Without Martin anchoring the catching position the teams young pitchers might not have excelled to the level needed for the Blue Jays to break their playoff drought. Martin is a class act that knows the game of baseball. Not only was he an elite catcher in his time but carried plenty of offense. All that in a package that knew how to win ball games. The Montreal native will be missed North of the Border but still has plenty of baseball left in him.
On the flip side of the trade the Blue Jays get a pair of youngsters that project well. First Ronny Brito brings high end defensive pro-wise to the middle of the diamond with some solid pop at the dish. He hit 11 home runs in rookie ball last year and at the age of 19 presents a high upside wildcard for the Jays Organization.
I want to thank the Blue Jays organization from top to bottom for the opportunity to play in my home country for the last 4 years. It was truly an amazing ride! I’ll miss this great team and staff. I am now looking forward to being back with the Dodgers where it all began fo… pic.twitter.com/QITH9wws5E
— Russell Martin (@russellmartin55) January 11, 2019
Andrew Sopko is a 24 year old RHP that has performed well in the Minors. He had some difficulties adjusting to the AA level this past year but projects as a good depth arm for the organization. The Blue Jays have made it known that they are looking to add arms into the system and this shows they will take a chance on a throw in arm on a trade to meet that point.
In other news David Phelps signed with the Blue Jays the other day. He is looking to join the bullpen after bouncing back from Tommy John Surgery. In a very interesting contract the Blue Jays give him a chance to prove himself along with setting him up for solid pay with performance incentives. This is a great signing for the Jays as they look for live arms to fill out their bullpen.
The Blue Jays have also reached terms with all of their arbitration eligible players.
Joe Biagini $900,000
Brendan Drury $1.3 Mil
Ken Giles $6,300,000
Randal Grichuk $5 Mil
Kevin Pillar $5.8 Mil
Aaron Sanchez $3.9 Mil
Marcus Stroman $7.4 Mil
Devon Travis $1.925 Mil
All this and more in the latest episode of Jay Bird Watching. Our Guest Hayden Godfrey joins Craig Borden to talk all the latest news.
In what has been a slow offseason for the Toronto Blue Jays we try to put a good summary what has happened thus far. The team has not mad any huge splashes but has improved it’s depth for a season that is clearly going to be led by the youngsters.
In this weeks episode of Jay Bird Watching the gang discusses what New Year’s Resolutions the Blue Jays could make in order to squeak out some extra wins in 2019. Our host Craig Borden was joined by Adam Corsair of Southofthe6ix.com and Hayden Godfrey of JaysJournal.com
The Blue Jays just signed Matt Shoemaker to a one year deal. The gang unanimously agreed that this was a solid signing for the Jays. He brings some veteran presence along with someone that possesses some solid upside. Shoemaker projects a member of the Blue Jays rotation as it currently sits and could be someone that excels with a change of scenery.
Shoemaker is projected to throw around 100 innings this season according to the main projection sites. On Rotochamp.com they are showing a 7-6 record on the season, with 100 strikeouts. This would put him at an ERA around 4.00 and a WHIP around his career average of 1.20. The Blue Jays are a team looking for MLB ready arms to fill out their innings on the mound this season and Shoemaker is an incredible sign on a 1-year deal. His basement numbers is a fail like Jamie Garcia but has the potential to surprise Jays fans like Marco Estrada in 2015.
Now the focus of the show which was 2019 Blue Jays New Years Resolutions. Adam stepped up to the plate first to discuss how the home run ball needs to play for the Jays this season. Regardless that the Jays big thumpers are gone from the days of old the Jays still have plenty of guys that can pop 20 homers this season. He would really love to see someone run away with it this season and uncork 30. Smoak is probably the best candidate for this but Vlad has some very lofty projections to live up to. Time will tell.
Hayden brought up how the Jays are scraping to fill up the inning on the mound and how do they attack that? It could be with these opener/bullpen games as they truck every rookie arm out during a game once every 5 days. With a new manager in Charlie Montoyo who is a product of the Rays system this only becomes more likely. The opener has worked for the Rays in the past season and was even adopted by the Brewers in the playoffs.
The Blue Jays could improve at the plate by striking out less and putting the ball in play. Fewer strikeouts can lead to more batters reaching base. The Jays were in the middle of the ballpark on strikeouts last season and in the bottom of walks as a team. With a young team, more baserunners will be key to success.
Listen in to this just over a half hour long episode as the team hashes out these fun conversations. Happy New Year Blue Jay’s Fans!!
In the latest episode of the Wednesday Wallop Craig Borden and Brendan Panikkar discussed everything that occurred with the Blue Jays Winter Meetings. The rumors that are swirling now in the Troy Tulowitzki fallout as the Jays gear up for their final push of the off-season.
The Blue Jays need pitching and now that the main players on the market have found their new homes it could be time for the Jays to strike on a decent innings eater. Free agents Lance Lynn and J.A. Happ fit this mold perfect but the Jays were clearly outbid. They are also in this wait and see how the rest of the market plays out. The market for Dallas Keuchel has yet to surface and with options like James Shields and Gio Gonzalez there are some decent players that fit what the Jays need
The Blue Jays payroll is going to change a ton this season regardless of the Tulo and Russell Martin money. The Blue Jays could have a payroll under 100 million for the first time in a decade. This is even with the assumption that the 10 arbitration eligible players get a substantial bump in pay.
With this money, the Jays could decide to find a few key veterans that could maximize the window for them to compete in the early part of the Vlad era. The Jays could have benefitted from grabbing someone like Micheal Brantley or Matt Harvey. The two of them have since signed new contracts with ball clubs and are off the market but they represent solid Mid-Tier players the Jays could use to increase their ceiling on this seasons team even.
The looming news of possible Blue Jays fan favorites being traded has put some on edge. If this team is to improve it could be time for Kevin Pillar to be traded to make room for players like Anthony Alford and company. The odd trade rumor is that Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez appear to be on the block. For a team that needs to eat up innings on the mound this one proves as a curious move. Would these trades signal something else to come in the next few weeks? If these guys are going to be moved one would think it would happen soon so the Jays can act accordingly to fill the holes they leave.
Speaking of the young players Santiago Espinal was featured on MLBpipeline.com’s Top Ten Prospects that should take off this season. Espinal was acquired in the trade that sent Steve Pearce to Boston. He has since been hitting hard line drives all over the field and playing a solid shortstop. His power has come around over the last season as well. Belting 10 homers this season and really showing off his gap to gap power.
All this and more right here on the “Wednesday Wallop”. All of us here at JayBirdWatching.com are ready to talk Blue Jays baseball all the time. Dive into the comments below and do not forget to find us on all the main podcast websites and click those subscribe buttons. We will be here all off-season long!
We have a hell of a special show for you as we brought together a great group for our discussion today. Blue Jays fans we were able to get Ian Hunter of Blue Jays Nation & the Daily Hive, Ari Shapiro of the Jays Journal Podcast and AriShapiro.ca, and Adam Corsair of Southofthe6ix.com to join us for a who should make the Baseball Hall of Fame if the bar has been lowered by the Era Committee.
First on the plate as always we discuss Toronto Blue Jays News. The Jays have been pretty quiet during the winter meetings thus far. Their only “splash” has been the release of Troy Tulowitzki. The ripples are still fresh and the Jays are on the hook for $38 Mil because of it. In a rare move that helps both sides the Jays now have the roster flexibility that they need to give Lourdes Gurriel Jr. consistent at-bats.
Stroman and Sanchez appear to have a rather large price but that has not stopped the Reds from knocking on the door so far. It has been reported that the Jays are using the James Paxton deal as a comparable. Is that asking a little too much??? Russell Martin is the lone veteran left from the recent playoff push. Is he the next to be moved?
Now the meat of the conversation. Harold Baines has been voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Today’s Era Committee. How has a career 38.7 WAR player been elected into baseball legends? If this is indeed the new bar for the Hall of Fame where do the Toronto Blue Jays legends rank in comparison. This is what we all dove into during the talks but the below list was compiled before the show. After Roberto Alomar and soon to be elected Roy Halladay are in the Hall of Fame, what other Blue Jays should be joining them seeing stats are secondary to enshrinement now.
As players that happened to play part of the career with the Blue Jays this is how their full careers in WAR rank. All these players have a higher WAR then Harold Baines.
Roger Clemens – 139.6 WAR – Blue Jays WAR 20.3
John Olerud – 58.2 WAR – Blue Jays WAR 22.6
Dave Stieb – 56.7 WAR – Blue Jays WAR 57.1
Fred McGriff – 52.6 WAR – Blue Jays WAR 19.4
Jimmy Key – 49.1 WAR – Blue Jays WAR 29.8
Devon White – 47.3 WAR – Blue Jays WAR 22.3
Tony Fernandez – 45.3 WAR – Blue Jays WAR 37.5
Carlos Delgado – 44.4 WAR – Blue Jays WAR 36.8
Jesse Barfield – 39.4 WAR – Blue Jays WAR 29.5
Special thanks to all of our guests. It truly was a pleasure!