This is the second installment of what I hope is going to be a bi-monthly article updating fans on the Toronto Blue Jays ' minor league teams and prospects. A new one should be available every Thursday.
Las Vegas 51's (AAA) —(13-15, Third in PCL Pacific South Division)
Unfortunately, the 51's were unable to sustain their fast start and have fallen 4.5 games back on the division leading Fresno Grizzlies. The hitting has continued to be very good, but the pitching is whats hurting the team.
First basemen of the future Brett Wallace has continued to hit the ball hard as he has nine home runs and a .302 batting average in just 28 games. Second basemen Jarrett Hoffpauir has been the best hitter for the 51's, hitting .340 with three home runs.
Catching prospect JP Arencibia is hitting a decent .266 with three homers. The good news is that his OBP is at .348, meaning he has started to walk more then in the past. The only player who is really struggling at the plate for the 51's is Brian Dopirak , as his .207 average is just not cutting it.
The 51's pitching has struggled after starting off well, a lot of it has to with their best starter (Brett Cecil ) and two best relievers (Josh Roenicke and Rommie Lewis ) being called up by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Brad Mills continues to excel, going 2-2 with a 3.09 ERA in six starts. He has also managed to strike out 40 batters in 35 innings pitched. Zach Jackson has also done admirably considering he has been used as both a starter and a reliever. He has a 1-1 record to go along with a 4.26 ERA.
After those two, the starting pitching has been extremely brutal. Robert Ray (2-2, 4.55 ERA), Lance Broadway (0-3, 6.58 ERA), and especially Reidier Gonzalez (3-2, 9.10 ERA) have all been knocked around.
The bullpen has slipped as well, Steven Register (0-2, 6.38 ERA), Jesse Carlson (0-0, 5.14 ERA), David Purcey (2-1, 4.97 ERA), Marty McLeary (0-0, 17.47 ERA), and Merkin Valdez (0-1, 9.00 ERA) have all shown that they have no business even being on a AAA roster.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (AA) —(18-9, First in EAS Northern Division)
The Fisher Cats have gotten contributions from both the hitters and pitchers so far this season and that is why they have had such a great start, as they are two games up in their division.
The best hitter for the Fisher Cats has been catcher Brian Jeroloman . He has a .357 average, .471 OBP, 3 home runs, and 13 RBI so far this season. Eric Thames has been the teams best power hitter, smashing 7 home runs and driving in 25 to go along with a .312 batting average.
First basemen David Cooper continues to struggle in his second year in the minors, hitting just .248 with absolutely no power. Former pitcher Adam Loewen , now a outfielder, is also continuing to struggle with a .230 average and three home runs.
Top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek (pictured above), has started to heat up after a slow start. He is now 4-2 with a 3.18 ERA and 34 K's in 34 innings. Luis Perez (3-1, 3.09 ERA) and Randy Boone (1-2, 2.93 ERA) have also pitched amazingly well for the Fisher Cats.
The bullpen has been inconsistent for the Fisher Cats. Trystan Magnuson (0-0, 1.65 ERA), Adrian Martin (0-1, 1.88 ERA) and Vince Bongiovanni (2-0, 1.50 ERA) have all been incredible. Unfortunately, Bubbie Buzachero (2-0, 8.00 ERA), Danny Farquhar (0-0, 4.91 ERA), and Zach Dials (0-0, 5.68 ERA) have all struggled mightily.
Dunedin Blue Jays (A) —(15-12, Second in FSL North Division)
The best hitter for Dunedin has been Raul Barron , who has a .333 avg, two home runs, and six runs batted in. Unfortunately, Travis D'Arnaud's hot start has been slowed as he has been placed on the DL with a back injury. Dan Perales , with a .291 average and four home runs, has been a pleasant surprise for the team.
Dunedin has a lot of players struggling to hit and they include: Welinton Ramirez (.184 AVG, 1 HR), Michael McDade (.209 AVG, 2 HR), and Brian Van Kirk (.237 AVG, 1 HR). Four regulars are hitting .237 or less.
Dunedin has two starting pitchers who have been close to perfect this year. Charles Huggins (3-0, 1.91 ERA, 5 starts) and Henderson Alverez (3-1, 1.63 ERA, 5 starts) have been lights out this season.
The bullpen has gotten great contributions from Frank Gailey (1-0, 1.65 ERA), Boomer Potts (2-0, 0.69 ERA), and Dumas Garcia (1-0, 1.29 ERA).
Lansing Lugnuts (Low A) —(16-12, Third in Eastern Division)
Bradley Glenn has continued his tear from the beginning of the season, hitting .350 with three home runs and ten RBI. Mark Sobolewski is hitting a solid .333 and has driven in ten as well.
After a slow start to the season, top pitching prospect Chad Jenkins has rebounded and is now 1-2 with a 3.94 ERA. Jenkins has struck out 29 batters in 29.2 innings and has only walked an incredible five batters.