Skip to content

Down on the Farm – Jays MILB Thoughts – August 29, 2011

August 30, 2011

Bluefield Blue Jays – Although I have teased in before for his play in the field, it seems as if SS Gustavo Pierre (1-3, 2B, BB, R) has made some strides with the leather in between games. After being demoted earlier this season due to poor play on both of of the ball in Lansing, Pierre continued to be a butcher in the middle infield. As such, he spent 40 of his 61 games with Bluefield in the lineup as the DH, while working on his fundamentals away from prying eyes. It seemed that every time I would see his name in the lineup next to those two identical letters – SS – he would also have committed an error. He averaged 0.68 errors per game for Lansing after all. Yet Pierre has not miscued for some time in the Appy League. 8 errors in 21 games is still poor by any rational measure, but .38 errors per game is a substantial improvement. I still don’t think he can remain at short, but maybe he can play the infield.

With a good close to the season for Bluefield, after a dominant performance in the GCL, RHP Nicholas Purdy (4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K) can force his way up the ladder to start next year. As mentioned before, Purdy has a backstory that gives me the suspension of disbelief that I need to keep a player with his pedigree (or lack thereof) in mind. Purdy has displayed a bit of a reverse split, most evident in his walk rate (3.18 BB/9 vs LHB, 5.73 BB/9 vs RHB). If continued high level coaching can coax the maximum of the potential in his right arm, he could yet surprise at a higher level. That said, I think the Jays’ have to challenge him at Lansing in 2012.

Vancouver Canadians – The NWL is inactive today.

Lansing Lugnuts – After a 3 and a half week layoff due to a leg injury, RF Michael Crouse (0-3, 2 BB, 3 K, R) is back. And a great batting line sees him fail to put the ball in play in 5 plate appearances. With another 10 days left in the season, plus the playoffs, Crouse should have enough time to shake off the rust and make a final impression on a generally impressive season.

As a special favour to Section 203, Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein has given me permission to reproduce his extensive write-up on CF Jake Marisnick (2-5, HR (14), RBI, R, K) which was originally published today (click here, subscription required), before this game.

In April, or even June, Marisnick was a good story as the ultra-toolsy player who was finally translating his athletic ability to on-field ability. Now he’s not just some work in progress—he’s been the best position prospect in the Midwest League this year, batting .323/.396/.500 after a seven-hit weekend that included three doubles and a home run. Now that he has simplified his swing, Marisnick has plus hitting ability , and his 13 home runs are just an indication of what’s to come. Throw in plus running ability, including 35 stolen bases, good outfield play, and a strong arm, and he’s one of the few prospects out there for whom the term “five-tool player” doesn’t sound like a misused cliché.

In the ensuing comments section, Goldstein confirmed that he believes that Marisnick’s future is in CF.

RHP Noah Syndergaard (4 IP, 4 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K) had a so-so 2nd start for Lansing. For a so-so start, it was actually not too bad. And today was his 19th birthday to boot. Baseball America has reported his fastball as sitting 93-94 all year, touching higher, describing it as dominant.

Dunedin Blue Jays – I can only wonder as to what a player like DH/LF Brian Van Kirk (2-4, HR (17), 4 RBI, R, 2 K) must be thinking. He’s 26 years old and, other than a 10-game cameo in 2009, has not played above High A Dunedin, where he has now played in 220 games since 2009. Putting up a .906 OPS in a pitcher’s league is nice, no matter his age, but I would be shocked if this is not his peak season. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the chances are likely higher that this is his last season in professional baseball than he ever plays a full season with an OPS above .900 again. Further dampening his potential is a big split (the standard kind), with this year’s OPS over 130 points higher against southpaws than against righties. I’d love to see him get another shot in New Hampshire, but at the very least, I hope he has enjoyed the ride.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Even though he has already been named the Eastern League MVP, C Travis d’Arnaud (3-6, HR (20), 5 RBI, K, R) continues to mash, making some Toronto boosters nervous as to what to do with incumbent J.P. Arencibia in the Show. It’s a great problem to have, but one that will be unlikely to truly rear its head until 2013. His caught stealing rates are only adequate (26% on the season, 24% for his career) but Baseball America gave him good marks for defensive tools in their 2011 Prospect Handbook. Like I said, it’s a good problem to have. For more on D’Arnaud (plus a few other of New Hampshire’s heavy hitters), check out this clip, posted by Friend of Section 203, Kevin Gray.

I am not sure why he was lifted after only 3 innings, but RHP Nestor Molina (3 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 5 K) pitched well before leaving. That was only the second walk he has allowed in 19 innings for New Hampshire. The run allowed was unearned, so that gives Molina 13 innings without surrendering an earned one. According to Dave Gershman, Molina is now pitching under an innings limit as the Jays’ brass wants to ensure his ability to pitch through the playoffs.

Las Vegas 51s – Inspired by the parent club losing 12-0 to the Rays on Sunday, the 51s dropped their Monday night game to the Sacramento River Cats by an equally lopsided mark of 13-1. Playing a particularly prominent role in this contest was RHP Kyle Drabek (3 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 4 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, WP). This was his third disaster start in ten for the 51s, a term reserved for starts in which more runs were allowed than innings were pitched, and this was the worst of them. There is still talk of recalling him to Toronto for September, if for nothing else than a confidence booster. The scouting world is more convinced that the issue lies in his delivery, out of sync and inconsistent. Even in a stellar season for the Blue Jays’ system, particularly for pitching, there is at least one black mark.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2011 6:34 pm

    This is my first time cruising the site, hell of a good job on compiling all these numbers.

    Nice to take a look at some of the lower levels you don’t hear too much about often.

    Lots of good looking players coming up through the pipeline.

    • August 30, 2011 7:03 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed. It’s fun to do, especially with a growing number of eyes on the ground giving me information that is not otherwise available. I’ll be writing the daily thoughts until all affiliates are done.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: