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The 2020 Toronto Blue Jays [OOTP15]

Started By ryan008, Jan 30, 2015 10:54 AM

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#61

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2023 MLB First Year Player Draft Preview

June 5th, 2023


The First Year Player Draft is once again upon us and the Toronto Blue Jays and GM Ryan Stewart are going to be very busy on draft day. The Jays hold the 20th overall selection as well as three selections (33rd, 35th and 36th overall) in the Supplemental 1st round. The Jays received the compensation selections when they lost a trio of free agents that declined arbitration and elected to sign with other clubs this off season. CL Rex BrothersLF Justin Williams and C Mike Zunino all signed lucrative free agent contracts this off season. The three extra picks will help the Jays bolster a farm system that currently ranks #5th overall. GM Ryan Stewart "This is looking like a fairly deep draft and we expect to be able to add a lot of talent to the system with our additional picks. We don't have a preference heading into the draft in regards to pitching vs hitters but I do believe that you can never have enough pitching".

The Minnesota Twins hold the first overall selection in the draft this year after finishing last in the Majors in 2022 with a record of 65-97. They will be followed by the Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins and the Kansas City Royals hold the 4th and 5th picks in this years draft after failing to sign their 1st round pick in 2022. The New York Yankees will round out the first round drafting 21st overall.

Baseball America's Pre Draft Top 10

According to Baseball America the top rated players for the 2023 First Year Player Draft are as follows:

SP Sammy Johnston - 21, LHP (University of Arizona, NCAA)
3-2 2.68 ERA 8 BB 45 K
Johnston doesn't have the prototypical power pitchers build standing just 5'11" tall but he has a very good fastball that sits in the 92-94 MPH range and has a curve, changeup and forkball that all grade out as well above average major league pitches. He has very good control and is a workhorse who can eat innings. He isn't the sexiest arm on the list but he has the talent to be a top of the rotation pitcher.

SP Mike Lord - 19, RHP (New Haven High School, USHSBA)
1-1 1.40 ERA 7 BB 58 K
Lord struggled with injuries in his senior season in High School making just 5 starts and finishing with a 1-1 record. He has great stuff for a prep arm topping out in the 92-94 MPH range and he compliments his fastball with a slider, chageup and is working on a forkball. He is very raw coming out of high school and will take some time to develop in the minors but if he can put it all together he has the potential to be a top of the rotation arm. He has been heavily recruited by the NCAA and could easily play in College next year if he doesn't get his asking price by the team that drafts him.

3. SP Jose Torrez - 21, LHP (Wake Forest University, NCAA)
4-1 2.11 ERA 15 BB 78 K
Torrez is a power pitcher with a 95-97 MPH fastball and a devastating change and slider. He stands 6'2" and weighs in at 195 lbs. Most scouts believe he can add some more velocity as he fills out and could top the 100 MPH barrier. He is a very durable arm who can eat a ton of innings. He probably isn't going to be a #1 starter at the MLB level but he has the talent to be a very good #2 or #3.

4. SP Lou Sullivan - 19, RHP (Scottsdale High School, USHSBA)
3-5 2.78 ERA 7 BB 79 K
Sullivan is a bit of a risky pick. He has everything you would want in a power arm. He is 6'3" tall and features a 94-96 MPH fastball that should only get harder as he matures and fills out. He also has a devastating slider and curveball and is developing a changeup, he can throw them all for strikes at any time in the count. The issue is with his stamina. He has bounced back and fourth between the rotation and bullpen in high school and a lot of scouts see him more as a closer than a starter. There is no question the talent is there the issue is do you want to risk a high first round pick on a player who may end up in the bullpen.

5. SP Chris Monroe - 19, RHP (Anchorage Highschool, USHSBA)
4-1 1.27 ERA 6 BB 58 K
Monroe has the highest ceiling of any of the prep arms in this draft class. He has the power pitchers build at 6'3" and 195 lbs and uses that to generate a very hard 91-93 MPH sinker. He also throws a curve and slider for a three pitch mix that all grade out as above average. He has very good polish and control for a high school arm and has the potential to be a perennial All Star and Ace of the Staff in the future. He is looking for a huge bonus demand (rumored to be around $9,000,000) and is being heavily recruited by NCAA schools to play college ball next year.

6. 1B Alfredo Beltran - 21, Switch (University of Oklahoma, NCAA)
.402 18 HR 47 RBI
Far and away the best hitter in the draft this year. He is a monster at the plate standing 6'8" and weighing in at 240 lbs. In his 3 seasons at Oklahoma he hit 40 homeruns and was an All Star 3 times. He is a rare player who can hit for both power and average, leading the NCAA with a .402 batting average this season. He is a 2 time NCAA All Star and there is a good chance he goes 1st overall in the draft. the only real knocks on him are his average defense at first and his complete lack of speed. But with his ability to hit those short comings will be quickly forgotten. 

7. 1B Doug Reed - 21, RHB (Fresno State University, NCAA)
.271 13 HR 36 RBI
Reed draws a lot of comparison to the #6 ranked prospect 1B Alfredo Beltran because they are both NCAA first baseman. Reed is better defensively but has less power and is a bit more of a free swinger. He doesn't hit for as high average or walk nearly as much. He projects as a middle of the lineup bat and is good enough defensively that he is not a liability. He has a tremendous work ethic and strives to get better at every level he plays and this should help him move quickly through the minors. 

8. SP Dan Parker - 21, RHP (University of Maryland, NCAA)
2-4 2.61 ERA 10 BB 75 K
Parker is another hard throwing NCAA righty in a deep class of NCAA pitchers. He runs his fastball up in the 94-96 MPH range (his fastball is by far his best pitch) and also throws four other offerings (a curve, slider, changeup and forkball). He has perhaps the most impressive and diverse assortment of pitches of any of the starters in this years draft class. He struggles at times with his control and tends to overthrow his fastball. He has the ceiling of a #1-2 starter and should go pretty early on draft day.

9. 2B Kurt Gibbs - 21, RHB (University of Indiana, NCAA)
.319 6 HR 15 RBI
Gibbs is a professional hitter. He hits for a high average and has a very discerning eye at the plate. Rarely swinging at pitches out of the zone he is not afraid to take a walk and rarely strikes out (27 walks vs 17 strikeouts in his senior season). He has a good arm and is able to turn double plays easily and is a speed demon on the basepaths. Overall defensively his range is just above average and he isn't likely to win you any gold gloves. He profiles as a top of the order bat maybe even a lead off hitter with a bit of power and is probably the 2nd best hitter in the draft.

10. SS Wes Whitehead - 21, RHB (University of Indiana, NCAA)
.344 17 HR 52 RBI
Whitehead is another tremendous hitter and he has a lot of power for a shortstop. He finished 2nd in the NCAA Golden Spikes Award Voting (behind 1B Alfredo Beltran) this year and is a 3 time NCAA All Star. Defensively he has very good range but only an average arm and isn't the best at making the turn at second. He is a versatile player who can play 2B and LF as well. He has very good speed and base stealers instincts which makes for a unique skill set when combined with his ability to hit homeruns. 

Previous Blue Jays Picks

2020 - 20th Overall 
2B Tim Miller 

.270 0 HR 4 RBI (AAA Buffalo)
.156 0 HR 3 RBI (18 Games with Toronto)
Miller broke camp with the big club this year and was the opening day second baseman thanks to an injury to the Jays starting 2B Chris Goodwin. He struggled in his first taste of MLB action hitting just .156 but its a very small sample size. The 24 year old will be back in September for sure and will be looking to seize a permanent roster spot very soon.

2021 - 24th Overall
SP Dave Winters

9-2 3.64 ERA 23 BB 149 K (2022 with A Lansing)
3-3 4.14 ERA 14 BB 74 K (2023 with A Dunedin) 
The 23 year old moved up to the Florida State League and has been the best pitcher on a very bad Dunedin team that has struggled to start the season. The Jays have been cautious with his development not wanting to rush him and he has responded well. Look for him to be promoted to AA New Hampshire before the conclusion of the 2023 season.

2022- 25th Overall
LF Dan Mueller
.190 1 Hr 20 RBI (2022 in Rookie Ball)
The 20 yer old had a hard time adjusting to the increased level of competition in pro ball and struggled to make solid contact with the GCL Blue Jays. He started the season in extended spring training and is slated to repeat the year with the GCL Blue Jays. If he can make some strides there the Jays expect him to see a few games in Short Season A Vancouver before moving to full season ball at some point in 2024. 

Up Next: 2023 First Year Player Draft



#62

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2023 First Year Player Draft

June 6th, 2023

The 2023 First Year Player Draft was conducted today and there was little doubt as to who the #1 pick was going to be. The Minnesota Twins used the 1st overall selection to nab 1B Alfredo Beltran a 6'8" 240 lb masher out of the University of Oklahoma in the NCAA. Beltran put up video game like numbers in his final season as a Sooner hitting .402 with 18 HR and driving in 47. He was the Golden Spikes Award Winner as the MVP in the NCAA in 2023 and is a 3 time NCAA All Star. His talent comes with a huge price tag as he is looking for a signing bonus in the $7,000,000 range. 

Blue Jays Draft

GM Ryan Stewart was very busy this draft as the Jays held the 20th pick in the first round and then added 3 supplemental 1st round picks as well. All in all the Jays had 4 picks of the top 40 in this years draft.

First Round - 20th Overall

With the 20th overall selection the Jays drafted 19 year old southpaw SP Claude Meyer out of East Los Angeles High School in the USHSBA. Meyer is a big body standing 6'4" and tipping the scale at 190 lbs. He features a 92-94 MPH fastball as well as a slider and splitter. He was 5-1 with a 1.88 ERA with 7 BB and 61 strikeouts in 2023. Hard throwing lefties are a valuable commodity and I was a little surprised he lasted to the 20th overall pick. He has the stuff and control to be a top of the rotation arm he is just very raw and will take some time in the minors to develop. He is looking for an above slot signing bonus of $1,700,000 which is $500,000 over the assigned value for the 20th overall selection.

Supplemental 1st Round Pick 33rd Overall

With the first of 3 Supplemental 1st round selections the Jays tabbed SP Bob Dickey a 19 year old lefty out of Madson High School in the USHSBA. Dickey is another big durable starter standing 6'3" and weighing in at 185 lbs. He doesn't throw all that hard at just 88-90 MPH on his fastball and his best pitches are his curveball and changeup. My scouts believe he will add some significant velocity as he grows and fills out and he ultimately has the ceiling of a #3 starter in a big league rotation. He was 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA with 6 walks and 48 strikeouts in his senior season. He is after a slot signing bonus of $870,000 and should be an easy sign for the Jays.

Supplemental 1st Round Pick 35th Overall

With their second of 3 supplemental picks the Jays drafted their first position player taking CF Eric Brown a 21 year old left handed hitter out of the University of Washington in the NCAA. Brown is a 6'3" 195 lb speedster who is a defensive whiz and could win a few gold gloves at the MLB level. He hit .367 with 15 HR and 46 RBI in 2023. He has a nice combination of power and speed and I think he profiles as a #3 hitter in a MLB lineup. As an NCAA bat he is fairly advanced and should move up through the Jays minor league system quickly. He is looking for a slot signing bonus of $790,000 and is eager to get his big league career going.

Supplemental 1st Round Pick 36th Overall

With their final supplemental selection the Jays drafted 1B Bob Smith with the 36th overall pick. Smith is a 19 year old out of New York High School in the USHSBA. He hit .361 with 7 HR and had 26 RBI in 2023. He is one of the best defensive first basemen in the draft and has gold glove potential. Other then his defensive ability he really doesn't do anything flashy. He will hit for a decent average and has some power and doesn't strikeout a lot. He profiles as a solid bat who should be a MLB regular. He is looking for a well above slot $2,100,000 signing bonus (slot is $750,000) and is a very tough sign for the Jays. 

Second Round 66th Overall

With their second round pick the Jays drafted 2B Jonathan Esparza a 21 year old right handed hitter out of Ohio State in the NCAA. Esparza hit .348 with 8 HR and had 33 RBI in his final season as a Buckeye. He is a very good offensive second basemen with decent power and a great eye. He was a 2023 NCAA All Star. Defensively he is below average but not enough that your going to notice it too badly. He is looking for a slot signing bonus of $370,000 and should be an easy sign for the Jays.

Third Round 97th Overall

In the 3rd round the Jays went to the NCAA to draft a familiar face selecting SP Billy Weidmeyer out of San Jose State University in the NCAA. Weidmeyer was a former 8th round pick of the Jays 245th overall back in 2021 and elected to attend College rather then sign. He went 3-4 with a 2.55 ERA walking 14 and striking out 93. He features a 4 pitch mix highlighted by a 94-96 MPH fastball and a slider, changeup and forkball. He profiles as a mid to back end of the rotation workhorse who will give you 200 innings every year. He should be an easy sign for the Jays and is looking for a slot signing bonus of $250,000.

Fourth Round 129th Overall

In the 4th round the Jays took another NCAA pitcher this time selecting 21 year old lefty SP Dave Everhart out of the University of New Mexico. Everheart is a hard throwing 6'3" lefty with a 93-95 MPH fastball as well as a slider and his best pitch is a changeup. He was 3-4 with a 4.01 ERA walking 25 and striking out 73 in 14 starts in 2023. He has a bit of an issue with control that could prevent him from reaching his ceiling as a #3-4 starter at the MLB level. He is looking for a slot signing bonus of $180,000 and is an easy sign for the Jays.

Fifth Round 159th Overall

In the 5th round the Jays took a bit of a flier on an all bat high school outfielder in RF Tommy Thomas. Thomas is a 19 year old 6'2" 190 lb outfielder out of Modesto High School in the USHSBA. He hit .297 with 6 HR and had 29 RBI in his 2023 season. He is a trainwreck defensively, although he has a very good arm and is most likely suited to the DH role. He is surprisingly disciplined striking out just 21 times in 170 at bats in 2023. He should be an easy sign for the Jays as he is looking for a slot signing bonus of $150,000.

Blue Jays Picks rounds 6 through 30:

6. SP Clarence Jones (19, RHP) Pasadena High School, USHSBA
7. SS Bubba Brown (19, RHB) Long Beach High School, USHSBA
8. CL Joe MacIntyre (21, RHP) University of Virginia, NCAA
9. LF Jim Kelley (22, S) Stanford University, NCAA
10. SP Eric Cook (19, LHP) Cleveland High School, USHSBA
11. CF Chip Paulk (21, LHB) University of Utah, NCAA
12. SS Danny Jackson (21, LHB) University of Miami, NCAA
13. C Kevin Cooper (21, RHB) University of Hartford, NCAA
14. CL Tommy Cobb (21, LHP) Baylor University, NCAA
15. CF Ron Anderson (19, LHB) Newark High School, USHSBA
16. SP Mike Guy (19, RHP) Lubbock High School, USHSBA
17. CL Cenek Vokoun (19, RHP) Oakland High School, USHSBA
18. SP Eli Monfode (21, RHP) Louisiana Tech, NCAA
19. 2B Rory Fowler (19, S) Seattle High School, USHSBA
20. CL Jake Woodward (19, RHP) Bakersfield High School, USHSBA *Impossible sign
21. SS Pat Richard (21, RHB) University of Maine, NCAA
22. SP Jim May (19, RHP) St. Paul High School, USHSBA
23. 3B Artie Davis (21, RHB) USC, NCAA
24. RF Doug Allen (21, LHB) University of Oklahoma, NCAA
25. SS Jose Perreira (21, RHB) University of Notre Dame, NCAA
26. SS Erik Shelton (19, RHB) Madison High School, USHSBA
27. 2B Don Tillman (19, S) Louisville High School, USHSBA
28. LF Ed Collins (21, S) UCLA, NCAA
29. 3B Ben Love (19, RHB) Brooklyn High School, USHSBA
30. CL Bob Hale (19, LHP) Patterson High School, USHSBA

Up Next: June 2023 Update



#63

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Blue Jays Enter July Trailing the Yankees by 4.5 Games in AL East

July 1st, 2023

June was a very busy month for the Toronto Blue Jays and GM Ryan Stewart. On the field the Jays were once again one of the hottest teams in baseball in the month of June posting a record of 17-9 and improved their overall record to 47-28. Despite their hot play on the field the Jays failed to gain any ground on the division leading New York Yankees who lead both the American League East by 4.5 games over the Blue Jays and who have the best record in all of baseball at 51-23. The Boston Red Sox who sat in 2nd place to start the month have fallen back into 3rd place 8 games back of the Yankees and 3.5 games back of the Blue Jays. In the American League Wild Card Standings the Jays currently hold the 1st wild card with the Boston Red Sox in the 2nd wild card position. The Mariners, Indians, Rangers and Royals are all within striking distance of the Wild Cards with plenty of baseball left to play this season.

Off the field GM Ryan Stewart was very busy inking closer CL Jordan Walden to a 3 year contract extension and managing to sign all but two of the teams prospects from the 2023 First Year Player Draft so far. Only 10th round pick SP Erik Cook and 20th rounder CL Jake Woodard remain unsigned to this point. July looks to be a busy month for the Jays as well as the International Free Agent signing period starts in a few days and the Jays are rumored to be involved in a few of the top players available this year.

AL East Standings - July 1st

New York Yankees - 51-23
Toronto Blue Jays - 47-28 (4.5 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 43-31 (8 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 30-43 (20.5 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 23-52 (28.5 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings - June 1st

Toronto Blue Jays - 47-28--
Boston Red Sox - 43-31 --
Seattle Mariners - 39-35 (4 GB)
Cleveland Indians - 38-35 (4.5 GB)
Texas Rangers - 38-36 (5 GB)
Kansas City Royals - 36-37 (6.5 GB)

June's Hot Players

SP Jose Cerventes - 4-0 2.35 ERA
SP Jamie Cox - 3-1 2.35 ERA
SP Erik Black - 3-1 2.67 ERA
MR Jorge Miranda - 1-0 2 SV 1.08 ERA
C Max Pentecost - .427 5 HR 11 RBI
3B Stu Daniels - .313 4 HR 15 RBI
CF Ric Allen - .306 4 HR 13 RBI

June's Cold Players

SP Jake Godfrey - 1-3 4.83 ERA
SP Alex Wood - 1-2 3.38 ERA
MR Phil Jones - 0-1 1 SV 12.46 ERA
LF Marcus Wilson - .224 1 HR 11 RBI
SS Carlos Correa - .231 2 HR 9 RBI

June News & Notes

Injuries

The Jays suffered a single injury that required a stay on the disabled list this month as RF Oswaldo Arcia will miss the next 6-8 weeks with a strained rib cage muscle. Arcia was hitting .225 with 7 HR and 21 RBI at the time of the injury and was placed on the 15 day disabled list. The Jays purchased the contract of CF Jerry Irwin a former 3rd round pick 98th overall back in 2019 who is hitting .210 with 6 HR and 27 RBI with the Bisons this season. 

Contract Extensions

The Jays announced that they have come to terms on a 3 year extension worth $4,200,000 with 35 year old closer CL Jordan Walden. The veteran righty was signed by the Jays as a free agent in the off season and has been a rock at the back end of the bullpen posting a 6-0 record with 18 saves in 20 opportunities. He has pitched to a 4.05 ERA while walking 14 and striking out 45. He may not be the teams closer by the time the deal is up but he still has the stuff to be a valuable arm at the back end of the pen and is a good mentor to some of the Jays young bullpen arms.

First Year Player Draft Update

The Blue Jays announced that they have signed all but two of their picks from the 2023 First Year Player Draft. The only players who have not signed as of yet are 10th round pick SP Erik Cook and 20th round pick CL Jake Woodard. All of the Jays other picks including 1st round Pick SP Claude Meyer and all 3 of the Jays supplemental 1st round compensation picks have signed and all have been assigned to teams in the Jays low minors. Their signing bonuses were:

1st (20th) - SP Claude Meyer - $1,700,000 (slot = $1,200,000)
Supp 1st (33rd) - SP Bob Dickey - $900,000 (Slot)
Supp 1st (35th) - CF Eric Brown - $700,000 (Slot)
Supp 1st (36th) - 1B Bob Smith - $2,100,000 (Slot = $750,000)
2nd (66th) - 2B Jonathan Esparza - $320,000 (Slot)
3rd (97th) - SP Billy Weidmeyer - $190,000 (Slot = $250,000)
4th (129th) - SP Dave Everhart - $240,000 (Slot = $175,000)
5th (159th) - RF Tommy Thomas - $140,000 (Slot = $150,000)

Awards

2B Luis Hernandez a former International Amateur Free Agent Signing back in 2017 out of the Dominican republic was named the Florida State League Batter of the Month after hitting .302 with 6 HR and 24 RBI for the Dunedin Blue Jays.

1B Steve Fox (9th round pick 274th overall in 2020 out of UCLA in the NCAA was named the Mid Western League Batter of the Month after hitting .358 with 6 HR and 26 RBI for the Lansing Lugnuts.

SP Jose Vargas (International Amateur Free Agent Signing in 2018 out of Venezuela) was named the Mid Western league Pitcher of the Month after he went 4-1 with a 2.87 ERA with the Lansing Lugnuts in June.

Up Next: July Update



#64

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Blue Jays Close Gap On Yankees - Trail by Just 2 Games as August Begins

August 1st, 2023

July was an extremely busy month for the Jays and GM Ryan Stewart was constantly on the go. Between the International Amateur Free Agent signing period that saw the Jays spend a total of $15,085,000 and sign 6 of the top 10 players available and the 2023 non-waiver trade deadline where the Jays added some pieces for the stretch run the Jays seemed to be constantly int he news. On the field the Jays had another good month posting a record of 16-9 and improved to 63-37 on the season. They moved to within just 2 games of the AL East leading New York Yankees who still have the best record in baseball at 64-34. The Boston Red Sox are still hanging around in the AL East trailing the Yankees by 7.5 games and the Jays by just 5. In the AL Wild Card races the Jays still hold the first wild card with the Red Sox sitting in the 2nd wild card position. The Rangers are 6.5 back of the Sox and the Indians and Royals are 7 games out of the 2nd wild card.

AL East Standings - August 1st

New York Yankees - 64-34
Toronto Blue Jays - 63-27 (2 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 57-42 (7.5 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 44-54 (20 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 38-63 (27.5 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings - August 1st

Toronto Blue Jays - 63-37--
Boston Red Sox - 57-42 --
Texas Rangers - 50-48 - (6.5 GB)
Cleveland Indians - 50-49 (7 GB)
Kansas City Royals - 50-49 (7 GB)

August's Hot Players

SP Jamie Cox - 3-1 3.63 ERA
SP Alex Wood - 3-1 2.60 ERA
SP Tim Libby - 2-0 1.80 ERA
MR Jorge Miranda - 1-0 0.00 ERA (8.1 IP)
CL Jordan Walden - 0-1 7 SV 2.79 ERA
C Max Pentecost - .380 6 HR 15 RBI
2B Chris Goodwin - .302 3 HR 12 RBI
3B Stu Daniels - .301 2 HR 7 RBI

August's Cold Players

SP Jose Cerventes - 2-3 3.77 ERA
CF Ric Allen - .178 0 HR 4 RBI
1B A.J. Reed - .198 3 HR 12 RBI
SS Carlos Correa - .211 2 HR 6 RBI

July News & Notes

Injuries

The Jays outfield depth would be tested once again as another outfielder was placed on the disabled list this time rookie LF Don Bergeron suffered a strained oblique muscle and is expected to miss the next 5-6 weeks. He was hitting .308 with 4 HR and 22 RBI and was placed on the 15 day disabled list. The Jays recalled veteran CF Colin Bray who was hitting .274 with 1 HR and 19 RBI in AAA buffalo.

International Amateur Free Agents

The 2023 International Amateur Free Agent class was one of the deepest in years and the Jays looked to capitalize on it as they shelled out a total of $15,085,000 to ink 10 players and their haul included 6 of Baseball America's top 10 prospects. The Jays managed to sign:

SP Rodrigo Zamora (17, RHP, 6'3" 185 lbs) - A tall lanky 17 year old with a 4 pitch mix (cutter, curveball, slider and changeup). He needs to work on his control but has top of the rotation stuff. Signed for $950,000 out of the Dominican Republic.

SP Antonio Hernandez (16, RHP, 6'1", 175 lbs) - Is primarily a fastball (87-89 MPH) and curveball pitcher right now, is developing a changeup. Is very young and raw and should add some significant velocity as he fills out. Back end of the rotation starter but most likely better suited to the bullpen. Signed for $150,000 out of the Dominican Republic.

CF Juan Sanchez (16, LHB, 6'2", 175 lbs) - The #3 rated prospect in this class he has huge power and gap potential. Tends to be a free swinger and plate discipline is his downfall right now. He is very raw but has All Star potential. Signed for $1,450,000 out of Venezuela.

SP Goncalvo Bode (16, RHP, 6'4", 190 lbs) - Throws a very good fastball (88-90 mph) and sinker right now and is working on a changeup. He has the frame to add significantly more velocity as he fills out. His future is most likely in the bullpen as he really needs to work on a 3rd pitch and build up his stamina. He signed for $120,000 out of Venezuela.

SP Edgar Chavez (16, RHP, 6'1", 175 lbs) - Chavez was the #5 rated prospect in this class and he features a very good cutter and curveball and is also developing a changeup. He has surprisingly good control for a young pitcher. He probably will be a back end of the rotation arm unless he can make strides with adding the 3rd pitch. He signed for $400,000 out of Venezuela.

SP Wilson Alvarez (16, RHP, 6'5", 195 lbs) - Alvarez is an average pitcher across the board he has a 3 pitch mix with a fastball in the 87-89 MPH range as well a slider and chageup. He is a big boy who could add a lot of velocity and thats why the jays scouts recommended him. He is a bit of a lottery ticket that could pay off big with the right talent bumps. He signed for just $65,000 out of Venezuela.

2B Wilson Cardenas (16, RHB, 6'0", 165 lbs) - The #9 rated prospect according to BA is very good with the bat. He rarely strikes out and is not afraid to take a walk. He doesn't have a lot of power right now but could grow into it. Defensively he is above average with great instincts and a very good arm. He signed for $2,500,000 out of Columbia.

SP Jorge Ayala (17, RHP, 6'3", 190 LBS) - The #2 rated prospect and the best pitcher available in this years class. He is a hard thrower featuring a 91-93 MPH cutter and a curveball. His best pitch is his changeup and he can throw it for strikes at any time. He is pretty polished already which is surprising for a 17 year old and could see himself pitching in the Dominican Summer League as early as 2024. He signed for $3,600,000 out of the Dominican Republic.

SP Jose Rivera (18, LHP, 6'1", 180 LBS) - Rivera doesn't really look like anything special but should be a good innings eater at the back end of a rotation. He is durable and throws strikes, and his cutter and slider combination get him a lot of ground balls. Right now he is only touching 86-88 MPH but that should improve as he gets a bit older. He signed for $350,000 out of the Dominican Republic.

SS Jesus Castillo (18, RHB, 6'3", 175 lbs) - The top player available in this years class and the crown jewel of the Jays haul this year. He is a 5 tool player who could be an All Star at the MLB level. He hits for average and power and is not a free swinger. Defensively he is well above average with a strong accurate arm and great range. He signed for $5,500,000 out of the Dominican republic.

First Year Player Draft Update

GM Ryan Stewart announced that they have failed to sign 10th round pick SP Eric Cook who will attend TCU in the NCAA and 20th round pick CL Jake Woodard who has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Nebraska in the NCAA.

2023 Trade Deadline

Trade #1 - Toronto & Oakland

GM Ryan Stewart and the Blue Jays were pleased to announce that they have agreed to a deal with the Oakland Athletics that will send SP Jake GodfreyLF Oswaldo Arcia and prospects SS Eric Shelton and SP Jeff Burns to the A's for LF Abel Black. GM Ryan Stewart "We have been looking to upgrade our outfield for most of the season and with all of the injuries that we have had we really needed to do something quickly. Black is a former top pick 5th overall in 2017 by the A's and is a former AL All Star. We gave up a lot to make this deal happen but we felt like we had the depth in the rotation that losing Godfrey wouldn't sting too bad".

Players to Oakland

SP Jake Godfrey - A 27 year old righty who was a 2nd round pick 42nd overall in 2014 by the Giants and was traded to the Jays in 2015. He was 8-6 with a 3.99 ERA walking 36 and striking out 77 with the Jays this season.

LF Oswaldo Arcia - A 32 yer old left handed batter who was signed by the Blue Jays as a free agent in 2021. He has been the definition of a walking infirmary spending more time on the disabled list then he has on the field. He was hitting .223 with 7 HR and 23 RBI for the Jays this year and was only included in this deal so that the Jays could fit Black's salary into their budget.

SS Erik Shelton is a 19 year old right handed hitter who was the Jays 26th round pick 789th overall in 2023 out of Madison High School in the USHSBA. He was hitting .314 with 2 HR and 13 RBI for the GCL Blue Jays this season.

SP Jeff Burns is a late bloomer whom the Jays drafted in the 3rd round 94th overall back in 2017 out of Toledo High School. The 25 year old righty has seen his velocity spike up to 96-98 MPH this season and he was having a great season with AA New Hampshire going 7-5 with a 4.91 ERA walking 26 and striking out 74. He will probably step right into the A's rotation this year.

Players to Toronto

LF Abel Black is a 25 year old left handed hitter who was the 5th overall pick in the 2017 First Year Player Draft back in 2017 out of Orlando High School. He was the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year and took home the 2022 Platinum Stick Award for left fielders. He was hitting .297 with 9 HR and 45 RBI for the A's this season and The Jays are hoping that moving him into the hitter friendly Rogers Center will boost those numbers significantly.

Trade #2 - Toronto & Arizona

The Jays second deal of the deadline was a relatively minor one that saw them send 3B Jeff Hatcher and prospect SP Bob Hale to the Diamondbacks for minor league SP Israel Estrada. GM Ryan Stewart "The DBacks have been looking at Hatcher for a while and we had gone back and fourth over a few different scenarios before we finally agreed to this deal. We acquired a high ceiling but very raw prospect in Estrada who we think has tremendous upside".

Players to Arizona

3B Jeff Hatcher is a 27 year old right handed batter who has shuttled between AAA and the majors for the last 2 seasons. A former 3rd round pick 89th overall in 2017 by the Jays out of the University of Indiana in the NCAA he hit .272 with 12 HR and 59 RBI for AAA Buffalo this season. He was never going to be the Jays starting thridbaseman being blocked by 3B Stu Danies and he is a free agent at the conclusion of the 2023 season so we risked losing him for nothing.

SP Bob Hale is a 19 year old lefty who the Jays selected in the 30th round 909th overall in 2023 out of Patterson High School in the USHSBA. He was 0-0 with a 4.91 ERA with 5 walks and 0 K's in 1 start for the GCL Blue Jays this year. He has a power arm with a fastball that can touch triple digits but really struggles with command. 

Players to Toronto

SP Israel Estrada is a 20 year old righty who the Diamondbacks signed as an International Free Agent in 2019 out of the Dominican Republic. He signed for $294,000 and has just 4 starts under his belt in professional baseball. He was 0-4 with a 2.40 ERA with 12 BB and 27 K for the DSL Dbacks. He features a hard 95-97 MPH fastball as well as a curve and slider. His biggest issue at the moment is his lack of command and thats something the Jays believe will be worked out as he matures and moves through the minors.

Trade #3 - Blue Jays & Rays 

The Jays final deal of the deadline was to trade 1B Casey Gillaspie to the Tampa Bay rays for RF Max Kepler and minor leaguers 2B Chad Flannery and 3B Josh Crews. GM Ryan Stewart "We have been looking to move Gillaspie for a while now as he has been a disappointment for us since coming over from the Yankees last season. He has the potential and talent to be a great hitter at the MLB level he just can't seem to make the best of it and he has struggled for us this year. The Rays see something in him and were happy to bring him on board. We managed to get back some more depth in the outfield in a former 3 time All Star as well as a couple of prospects that will help out or depth in the minors. All in all its a deal were pretty happy with".

Players to Tampa Bay

1B Casey Gillaspie is a 30 year old switch hitter who was acquired from the New York Yankees in 2022 in exchange for SP kohl Stewart. He has struggled this year in Toronto hitting just .233 with 7 HR and 19 RBI and was pulled from the starting lineup and has been relegated to a bench role. His ratings are still very good and he should be much better then he is showing but he could just not get it together here in Toronto.

Players to Toronto

RF Max Kepler is a 30 year old left handed batter who was originally signed as a non drafted free agent by the Minnesota Twins back in 2009. He is a 3 time All Star (2017, 2019 and 2019) with the Twins and Rays but has seen his career derailed mainly due to injuries over the last few seasons. He was the Rays #4 outfielder this season hitting .245 with 7 HR and 20 RBI and will fill the same role here in Toronto. 

2B Chad Flannery is a 22 year old right handed hitter who was a 6th round pick 175th overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2020 out of Louisville High School in the USHSBA. He spent the entire 2023 season with the Rays Rookie Ball team in the GCL where he hit .243 with 0 HR and 10 RBI. The Jays are intrigued by his gold glove caliber defensive abilities and his speed on the basepaths. He has very little power and does struggle to get on base but he could be a top of the lineup hitter if he can just learn to be more patient at the plate and put the ball in play more.

3B Josh Crews is a 27 year old right handed hitter who was the Rays 7th round pick 203rd overall in 2017 out of Pepperdine University in the NCAA. He was hitting .241 with 4 HR and 13 RBI for AAA Durham and was brought in to replace the departed 3B Jeff Hatcher at AAA Buffalo. He is probably nothing more then a AAA player at this point but could see some time on the MLB roster as back up in September.

Awards

1B Pat Olson (1st round pick 32nd overall in 2019 by Toronto out of Santa Ana High School in the USHSBA) was named the Florida State League Batter of the Month after hitting .322 with 6 HR and 24 RBI.

CL Tim Bauer (7th Round Pick 215th overall in 2021 by the Blue Jays out of the University of San Francisco in the NCAA) was named the Mid Western league Pitcher of the Month after going 2-0 with 10 Saves and a 0.87 ERA.

LF Jim Kelley (9th round pick 279th overall in 2023 by Toronto out of Stanford University in the NCAA) was named the Dominican Summer League Batter of the Month after hitting .337 with 14 HR and 27 RBI. 

Around the Majors

3B Brett Lawrie of the Los Angeles Dodgers belted his 300th career homerun in a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The 33 year old is hitting .248 with 11 HR and 24 RBI this season and has a career line of .275 with 300 homeruns and 1-35 RBI. He is a 4 time gold glove winner, 3 time All Star and was the 2016 AL MVP winner with the Blue Jays.

SS Elvis Andrus of the Minnesota Twins got his 2000th career hit in a 7-1 twins victory of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The veteran is hitting .257 with 4 HR and 21 RBI this season and has a career line of .275 with 69 HR and 717 RBI and 2003 career hits. He is a three time AL All Star.

Up Next: August Update



#65

ryan008
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Blue Jays Overtake Yankees for Top Spot in AL East

September 1st, 2023

The Blue Jays used a 17-12 month of August combined with a slump from the New York Yankees to vault into top spot in the American League East with just over a month left in the 2023 season. The Jays who improved their major league best record to 81-46 now have a slim 1.5 game lead over the Yankees. The Boston Red Sox have fallen way back in 3rd place in the AL East trailing the Jays by 11.5 games and the Baltimore Orioles (20 games back) and Tampa Bay Rays (33 games back) have already given up any chances of making it to the post season this year. The Jays are hoping to accomplish two things with just over a month left in the regular season. The first is to take home the AL East Crown and the second is to finish with the best record in the American League to ensure that they will have home field advantage throughout the post season. The Jays will also get a significant boost as the rosters have expanded from 25 to 40 and the Jays plan on calling up a number of players to help out with their stretch run.

AL East Standings - September 1st

Toronto Blue Jays - 81-46
New York Yankees - 79-47 (1.5 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 69-57 (11.5 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 61-66 (20 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 48-79 (33 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings - September 1st

New York Yankees - 79-47 --
Boston Red Sox - 69-57 --
Houston Astros - 64-64 (6 GB)
Kansas City Royals - 64-64 (6 GB)
Texas Rangers - 62-64 (8 GB)

August's Hot Players

SP Alex Wood - 5-0 2.25 ERA
SP Jamie Cox - 3-1 2.62 ERA
CL Jordan Walden - 0-1 10 SV 1.46 ERA
MR Phil Jones - 0-0 2.89 ERA
LF Abel Black - .343 7 HR 13 RBI
C Max Pentecost - .307 6 HR 13 RBI
3B Stu Daniels - .292 4 HR 17 RBI

August's Cold Players

SP Tim Libby - 1-2 7.56 ERA
SP Erik Black - 2-3 6.52 ERA
MR Nick Kennedy - 2-0 7.84 ERA
SS Carlos Correa - .216 5 HR 11 RBI
1B A.J. Reed - .237 7 HR 15 RBI

August News & Notes

Injuries

The Jays outfield suffered yet another blow this year as LF Marcus Wilson was diagnosed with an elbow contusion that is expected to keep him out of the lineup for the next 3-4 weeks. He was hitting .222 with 12 HR and 55 RBI this season and was placed on the 15 day disabled list. The Jays recalled CF Jerry Irwin for the second time this season. The rookie is hitting .227 with 9 HR and 41 RBI for the Bisons this season.

Contract Extensions

GM Ryan Stewart announced that the team has come to terms on a massive 7 year deal worth $91,140,000 with SS Carlos Correa. The 28 year old former 1st overall pick by the Houston Astros in 2012 was dealt to the Jays in an off season deal in 2021. He is hitting .221 with 9 HR and 28 RBI for the Jays this season and carries a career stat line of .268 with 148 HR and 576 RBI. He won the 2016 NL Gold Glove Award at short stop and was an All Star in 2020. The deal will pay him an average salary of $13,020,000 per season and will keep him in a Jays uniform until the end of the 2031 season.

September Callups

With the rosters expanding to 40 men on September 1st the Jays elected to add a number of players from AAA Buffalo to give their regulars a chance at some rest before the Playoffs start in October. The Jays added:

SP Vic Johnson - 10-6 3.20 ERA
MR Mike McNeal - 9-5 2 SV 1.86 ERA
CL Dave Davis - 6-5 32 SV 2.82 ERA
2B Tim Miller 0 .280 1 HR 56 RBI
SS Tyler Halas - .278 10 HR 54 RBI
CF Jerry Irwin - .227 9 HR 41 RBI
CF Colin Bray - .278 2 HR 25 RBI

Awards

SP Alex Wood took home the American League Pitcher of the Month Award for August after posting an impressive record of 5-0 with a 2.25 ERA.

SP Luis Aleman a former International Free Agent signing by the Braves in 2019 out of the Dominican Republic was named the North Western league Pitcher of the Month after going 1-0 with 11 Saves and a sparkling 0.00 ERA for the S.A. Vancouver Canadians. 

Around the Majors

CL Jonathan Papelbon of the Chicago White Sox earned career save #600 in a 4-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals. The 42 year old is 4-5 with 34 saves and a 4.14 ERA in 58 games with the White Sox this season. For his career he is 76-73 with 600 Saves a 2.64 ERA with 1438 strikeouts in 1202.1 innings of work. 

Up Next: End of the 2023 Regular Season.



#66

ryan008
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Blue Jays are Baseballs Best During the 2023 Regular Season

October 7th, 2023

The Toronto Blue Jays were predicted to be one of the best teams in baseball at the start of the 2023 season and despite fighting with the New York Yankees for top spot int he East for most of the season they would prevail and would do it with the best record int he majors at 108-54. The Jays would capture the AL East by an 11 game margin over the Yankees who slumped over August and September but still managed to post a record of 97-65. The Jankees would end up facing off in the wild card game with the Boston Red Sox. A game in which the Red Sox crushed the Yankees 8-2. In the National League Wild Card Game the Milwaukee Brewers won a 3-2 decision over the Arizona Diamondbacks to punch their ticket to the NLDS against the San Diego Padres. 

The Blue Jays will take on the Boston Red Sox who finished a full 21 games back of them in the American League East Standings in the best of 5 American league Division Series. There was some bad news for the Jays however as their starting shortstop SS Carlos Correa is expected to miss 5 weeks with a separated shoulder that he suffered in the last week of the season. The injury will keep him out of the entire Red Sox series and could possibly mark the end of his 2023 season.

Up Next: ALDS Boston vs Toronto



#67

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Blue Jays ALDS Curse Continues Defeated by the Red Sox in 4 Games

October 23rd, 2023

Well the Blue Jays can't seem to get past the ALDS no matter what they do. They have been defeated twice by the Yankees in 2021 and 2022 and now they lost out to the Boston Red Sox, a wild card team in 4 games to eliminate them in 2023. GM Ryan Stewart was asked about his teams short falls in the post season "We are flabbergasted, this was easily the best and most balanced team that we have had in Toronto in a long time and once again we just couldn't get things done in the playoffs. Well the off season is fast approaching and were going to have to do some evaluating to see what our moves are going to be moving forward".

ALDS Game #1 - Boston Red Sox @ Toronto Blue Jays
SP Matt Harvey (15-11 3.74 ERA) vs
SP Jamie Cox (17-9 2.82 ERA)

2023%20ALDS%20GM1_zpshvmr0yep.png

W: SP Tim Libby (1-0) 2.0 IP 7 H 3 R 2 BB 2 K
L: MR Ernie Morse (0-1) 1.1 IP 2 H 2 R 0 BB 1 K

Recap: The Blue Jays had their best pitcher on the mound in game #1 and he was very good going 7 innings allowing just 2 runs on 4 hits with 1 walk and 12 strikeouts. His only mistake on the night was allowing a 2 run double to C Joe Newman int he 5th inning that at the time gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead. The Jays scored first on a CF Albert Almora RBI double in the bottom of the second and they would then add a pair of runs in the bottom of the 7th on RBI singles from3B Stu Daniels and DH Don Bergeron that gave the Jays a 3-2 lead. That lead would hold until the top of the 9th when with 1 out LF Victor Roache belted a solo homerun off of CL Jordan Walden to tie the game at 3. The game would go to extras where in the 11th SS J.P. Crawford cashed in a run on a groundout to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the inning RF Marcus Wilson had an RBI double and would be stranded at 3rd but tied the game at 4. The Red Sox once again took the lead in the 14th on a 2B Arquimedes Gamboa sacrifice fly making in 5-4 Boston. In the bottom of the inning 1B A.J. Reed lead off with a single and would make it to 2nd with 2 out. Back up C Jesus Lopez who was in the game because C Max Pentecost was lifted for a pinch runner after doubling in the 12th stepped up to the plate and delivered a huge 2 run homerun to right centerfield and would win the game for the Jays.

ALDS Game #2 - Boston Red Sox @ Toronto Blue Jays
SP Cody Allen (10-11 4.06 ERA) vs
SP Alex Wood (18-7 2.93 ERA)

2023%20ALDS%20GM2_zpsuivroj3a.png

W: SP Cody Allen (1-0) 7.0 IP 7 H 0 R 0 BB 3 K
L: SP Alex Wood (0-1) 6.2 IP 8 H 1 R 2 BB 7 K
S: CL Dave Gibson (1)

Recap: The Jays were hoping for a long outing out of starter SP Alex Wood in game #2 after exhausting their bullpen and the 14 inning marathon that was game #1 and Wood was very sharp allowing just a solo homerun to SS Arquimedes Gamboa in the top of the 3rd inning to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. They would tack on another run in the 8th inning on a 3B Miguel Sano solo homerun and the Jays could just not score against the Red Sox starter SP Cody Allen who tossed 7 shut out innings against the Jays as they were blanked 2-0 at home. The loss sends the series back to Boston tied at 1 game apiece.

ALDS Game #3 - Toronto Blue Jays @ Boston Red Sox
SP Jose Cerventes (16-7 3.14 ERA) vs
SP Josh Murphy (13-8 3.40 ERA)

2023%20ALDS%20GM3_zpsywfqlxvo.png

W: CL Dave Gibson (1-0) 
L: MR Tony Boone (0-1)

Recap: Game #3 was another pitchers duel with both starters lasting through 7 innings without yielding a run. The only run of the game would come in the bottom of the 9th inning when DH Anthony Rendon singled home a 1B Dominic Smith double with one out to give the Red Sox a 1-0 victory in game #3 and more importantly ad 2-1 lead in the series.

[B]ALDS Game #4 - Toronto Blue Jays @ Boston Red Sox/B]
SP Jamie Cox (0-0 2.57 ERA) vs
SP Matt Harvey (0-0 3.86 ERA)

2023%20ALDS%20GM4_zps3eu6kovs.png

W: SP Matt Harvey (1-0) 7.0 IP 7 H 1 R 0 BB 7 K
L: SP Jamie Cox (0-1) 6.2 IP 6 H 3 R 3 BB 5 K
S: CL Dave Gibson (2)

Recap: And that is that. The Red Sox were able to pretty much completely shut down the #1 offence in all of baseball as the Red Sox take game #4 5-2 and take the series 3 games to 1. In a rematch of game #1 starters SP Matt Harvey was dominant giving up just 1 run in 7 innings of work. SP Jamie Cox was not nearly as sharp as his performance in Game #1 allowing 3 runs with 3 walks in 6+ innings of work.

Up Next: 2023 World Series Winner



#68

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Boston Caps Unlikely Season with Thrilling 7 Game World Series Victory

November 8th, 2023

The Boston Red Sox who finished 3rd place int he American League East division behind the power house Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees have shocked the baseball world by winning the 2023 World Series with a 7 game defeat of the Atlanta Braves. The Red Sox entered the Playoffs as the second wild card team and would first eliminate the Yankees in the single game playoff before dispatching of the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALDS in 4 games. In the American League Championship Series they steamrolled the Seattle Mariners beating them 4 games to 1 before slugging it out with the National League Champion Atlanta Braves in a thrilling 7 game series. The Red Sox have a very good core that carried them in the post season lead by SP Matt HarveySP Josh Murphy and SP Cody Allen who were almost unhitable. The back end of their bullpen is also very strong anchored by CL Dave Davis and MR Martin Perez and MR Joe Berry. Offensively its 3B Miguel SanoSS Arqumedis Gamboa and CF Brian Goodwin who are their major contributors. This world series title is the 9th in the Re Sox franchise history and marks the first since back in 2013.

Up Next: The 2023 Off Season Begins



#69

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2023 Awards & Blue Jays Minor League POTY's

Major League Baseball announced its winners for the Gold Gloves, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young Award and the MVP today and there were a couple of Jays that took home some hardware. The Jays also announced their R. Howard Webster Award Winners for the Best Player at each level of the Jays minor leagues.

2023 AL Gold Gloves

P Riley Ferrell (Los Angeles Angels)
C Carson Kelley (Texas Rangers)
1B Will Benson (New York Yankees)
2B Jurickson Profar (Baltimore Orioles)
3B Logan Tolbert (Cleveland Indians)
SS Orlando Arcia (Tampa Bay Rays)
LF Justin Williams (Minnesota Twins)
CF Mike Trout (Seattle Mariners)
RF Michael Gettys (Chicago White Sox)

2023 NL Gold Gloves

P James Haynes (St. Louis Cardinals)
C Chris Okey (Colorado Rockies)
1B Justin Belanger (Chicago White Sox)
2B Parker Kelley (Chicago Cubs)
3B Tim goodwin (Chicago Cubs)
SS Manny Machado (Atlanta Braves)
LF Rex Wall (Philadelphia Phillies)
CF Elijah James (Arizona Diamondbacks)
RF Isaac Green (Miami Marlins)

2023 American League Rookie of the Year
LF Pete Bell (24 Years Old) (Boston Red Sox)
Supplemental 1st Round Pick 34th Overall in 2018 by Colorado out of Baton Rouge High School, USHSBA)
.273 15 HR 80 RBI

2023 National League Rookie of the Year
CF Elijah James (28 Years Old) (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Signed as an International Free Agent in 2022 out of an Independent League by Arizona.
.258 30 HR 93 RBI

2023 American League Cy Young Award
SP Nolan Kingham (26 Years Old) (Seattle Mariners)
1st Round Pick 11th Overall in 2015 by Seattle out of Laredo High School in the USHSBA.
13-8 2.30 ERA 189 K

2023 National League Cy Young Award
SP Ian Scott (27 Years Old) (San Francisco Giants)
1st Round Pick 2nd Overall in 2012 by San Francisco out of Fresno State in the NCAA.
19-7 1.64 ERA 266 K

2023 American League MVP Award
C Max Pentecost (30 Years Old) (Toronto Blue Jays)
1st Round Pick 11th Overall in 2014 
.350 30 HR 85 RBI

2023 National League MVP Award
SP Ian Scott (27 Years Old) (San Francisco Giants)
1st Round Pick 2nd Overall in 2012 by San Francisco out of Fresno State in the NCAA.
19-7 1.64 ERA 266 K

2023 Blue Jays Minor League Players of the Year

AAA Buffalo Bisons - 81-63 2nd in North Division
SP Vic Johnson 
25, RHP, V:92-94 MPH
Acquired: 1st Round Pick 34th Overall in 2020 by Toronto out of Washington State University, NCAA.
2023 Stats: 11-6 3.09 ERA 44 BB 259 K
GM's Comments: Johnson was the International League Pitcher of the Year and All Star in 2023 and was the leader of the Bisons staff. He has great control and 4 above average pitches. He has nothing left to prove in AAA and will get every opportunity to make the club out of Spring Training this year.

AA New Hampshire Fishercats - 66-76 4th in Northern Division
SS Jared McCormick
25, RHB
Acquired: 3rd Round Pick 85th Overall in 2018 by Toronto out of Chicago High School in the USHSBA.
2023 Stats: .310 21 HR 89 RBI
GM's Comments: McCormick has been steadily moving up through the Jays minor league system since being drafted back in 2018. He spent 4 seasons between Lansing and Dunedin in A ball before finally getting a chance to advance up to AA. He has decent power and makes solid contact but isn't really anything special offensive or defensively. He has below average range and an average arm at short and has been taking ground balls at 3rd to see if he could be moved. He is a little older for AA Ball and will be sent to AAA to start the 2024 season. At this point he projects as a back up infielder but with his lack of defensive ability he may be nothing more then a AAA player.

High A Dunedin Blue Jays - 90-50 1st in North Division & 2023 Champs
1B Pat Olson 
23, RHB
Acquired:1st Round Pick 32nd overall by Toronto in 2019 out of Santa Ana High School in the USHSBA.
2023 Stats: .352 24 HR 97 RBI
GM's Comments: Olson has really exploded on the scene in Toronto after he really hadn't done much for the Jays since being drafted in the 1st round back in 2019. He really had a huge season in the Florida State League this year being named an All Star and the MVP. He is a player who is all bat, he hits for power and average and doesn't strike out a ton. Defensively he is a liability and is probably better suited to be a DH. He will get an invite to Spring Training this year and could be an option at DH for the Jays.

Low A Lansing Lugnuts - 90-50 2nd in Eastern Division 
SP Jose Vargas
22, RHP, V: 96-98 MPH
Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2018 by Toronto ($4,000,000) out of the Dominican Republic
2023 Stats: 12-4 3.60 ERA 59 BB 159 K
GM's Comments: Vargas was a highly sought after International Free agent back in 2018 and the Jays managed to sign him for a hefty $4,000,000 sum. He is a power arm with a very good fastball and cutter and splitter. He tends to get a little wild at times and thats when his stuff flattens out and he gets hit. He emerged as the #1 starter in Lansing and will be headed to the Florida State league at least for the start of 2024. He has top of the rotation stuff but some scouts have voiced concerns that he may be better suited to a bullpen role.

Short Season A Vancouver Canadians - 49-27 1st in West Division
CL Luis Aleman
21, LHP, V:94-96 MPH
Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent by the Atlanta Braves ($396,000) in 2019 out of the Dominican Republic. Traded to Toronto in 2022.
2023 Stats: 4-1 24 SV 0.75 ERA 12 BB 45 K
GM's Comments: Aleman was dominant in 2023 for the Vancouver Canadians earning an All Star Game nod as well as the 2023 Northwestern League Pitcher of the Year Award. He has 4 solid pitches and pin point control. The Jays are very high on him and have him pegged as their closer of the future. At just 21 years old they have no intention of rushing him and he will start the season in Dunedin where he will get his first taste of full season ball in 2024.

Bluefield Blue Jays - 36-32 3rd in East Division
SS Rex Everett
22, Switch
Acquired: 11th Round Pick 334th Overall in 2020 by Toronto out of Fort Worth High School in the USHSBA..
2023 Stats: .311 10 HR 33 RBI
GM's Comments: Everett spent 3 seasons in the GCL with the GCL Blue Jays before moving up to Bluefield in 2023. He is known more for his defensive ability over his hitting but he managed to make some adjustments and had a very good season in 2023. He probably is going to be nothing more then a back up/defensive replacement as he moves up into the higher levels of the minors. He is ticketed for Lansing and his first year of full season baseball starting n 2024.

GCL Blue Jays - 25-35 3rd in North West Division 
2B Jonathan Esparza
21, RHB
Acquired: 2nd Round Pick 66th Overall in 2023 by Toronto out of Ohio State University, NCAA.
2023 Stats: .356 5 HR 22 RBI
GM's Comments: A 2nd round pick this past draft Esparza was a player that we were quite high on and were happy to land in the 2nd round. He responded with a very strong season leading the GCL Blue Jays in average, hits and RBI. He is a little old for the level at 21 and will get a real test this year when he will likely start in Lansing or Vancouver. My scouts say he has the potential to be an everyday secondbaseman so we will be keeping a close eye on him.

Dominican Summer League Blue Jays - 39-26 1st in San Pedro De Marcois Division
LF Jim Kelley
22, Switch
Acquired: 9th round Pick 370th overall in 2923 by Toronto out of Stranford University in the NCAA.
2023 Stats:.326 24 HR 58 RBI
GM's Comments: Kelley was mistakenly assigned to the DSL after being drafted in the 9th round this past draft but responded with huge numbers. He easily lead the league in homeruns and RBI and was the 2023 DSL Batter of the Year. Kelley was originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 13th round of the 2022 First Year Player Draft but failed to sign with them. He is a pretty good all around player who probably has a future as a #4 outfielder at the MLB level. He is ticketed for full season ball this year and will likely start the season in A Lansing in 2024.

Up Next: Salary Arbitration



#70

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2023 Salary Arbitration Cases & Possible Free Agents

GM Ryan Stewart and the Blue Jays had only 5 players who were eligible for salary arbitration after the club locked up a number of key pieces to long term deals over the course of the 2023 season. In addition to the Arbitration eligible Players the Jays have four players whose contracts expired at the conclusion of the World Series and all will be allowed to head to free agency. The salary arbitration players and their contract awards are:

2B Gosuke Katok - $1,200,000
CF Rick Allen - $1,700,000
3B Stu Daniels - $3,600,000
MR Phil Jones -$800,000
2B Chris Goodwin - $4,200,000

Free Agents

The Jays also had four players who are headed to free agency. Three of them were out of the bullpen: MR Chris RichardsonMR Mark Montgomery and MR Tony Boone. Richardson, a 31 year old lefty was a Rule V pick up of the Jays back in 2017 out of the Diamondbacks system and he was 3-0 with 3 saves and a 2.89 ERA in 56 innings for the Jays last season. MR Tony Boone was another Rule V pick up from the San Diego Padres back in 2017 and was 4-3 with 3 Saves and a 2.98 ERA for the Jays in 2023. Finally MR Mark Montgomery was traded to the Jays back in 2014 by the Yankees and he was 0-0 with 1 SV and a 5.19 ERA in just 19 games with the club in 2023. The other free agent to be was RF Max Kepler who was a trade deadline pickup by the Jays in 2023. He hit just .246 with 0 HR and 4 RBI for the club and did not make the post season roster. None of the players were offered a qualifying offer.

2024 Operating Budget

The Blue Jays have announced that the teams 2024 budget will remain unchanged at $208,000,000 which is the 5th largest behind the Dodgers ($240,000), Phillies ($228 million), Red Sox ($222 million) and Yankees ($214 million). The Jays budget includes an allotment of $5,625,000 for the 2024 First Year Player Draft. With staff, scouting and development expenses subtracted the Jays available budget room sits at about $150,000,000 with $124,780,000 currently tied up in payroll heading into free agency and the off season. The Jays payroll has them sitting at 15th in the league in spending.

GM Ryan Stewart's Off Season Wish List

The off season is just about upon us and my wish list for the off season includes:

1. Revamp the Bullpen
We lost three arms out of our bullpen this year and two of them really hurt. Losing MR Tony Boone and MR Chris Richardson leaves us with a pretty big hole at the back end of the pen. We do have some internal options available to us as we are really high on CL Dave Davis (6-5 32 SV 3.07 ERA in 67.1 IP in AAA) and MR Mike McNeal (9-5 2 SV 1.96 ERA in 64.1 IP in AAA). Both pitchers will get a long look during the Spring but we will also be browsing what is available in free agency and on the trade market.

2. The Outfield
Our outfield has been a bit of a disaster for the past couple seasons as players have underperformed and been hammered by injuries has caused us to relay far too much on our depth at AAA. There have been some pleasant surprises, LF Don Bergeron emerged as one of our better players last year hitting .317 with 5 HR and 46 RBI in 108 games and may have played his way into the starting OF job for 2024. We are also full of right handed batters in the outfield with the exception of Bergeron and would like to add some pop from the left side. In an ideal world we would like to add one maybe 2 outfielders as well as some depth in AAA just in case we do run into some injuries.

Up Next: 2023 Off Season Transactions Report



#71

ryan008
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Blue Jays 2023 Off Season Report

The weather in Toronto is still very cold but baseball is just around the corner! GM Ryan Stewart and the Toronto Blue Jays have begun to arrive in Dunedin for the start of Spring Training after a very busy off season. The Jays GM identified two major areas of need heading into the off season with revamping the bullpen and the outfield being the teams most pressing needs. Both areas seem to have been addressed and the club is ready to see how their new additions fair on the playing field. GM Ryan Stewart "We had a lot of irons in the fire this off season with trades and offers in free agency, unfortunately we lost out on all of the free agents that we went after but we did make a number of deals that will help us not just in 2024 but beyond. This is a team that should contend for a World Series Title for the next few seasons, if we can shed the jinx of not being able to get passed the ALDS".

Blue Jays Off Season:

1. The Bullpen

The Blue Jays bullpen took a pretty significant hit this off season when MR Mark MontgomeryMR Tony Boone and MR Chris Richardson all elected to leave via free agency, they would all sign with other teams. GM Ryan Stewart would consummate a pair of trades that addressed the vacancies in the bullpen and would bring in a new face that is going to compete for the DH job for the Jays. 

Trade #1 - Toronto & Cincinnati 

Just before Christmas the Blue Jays announced that they have traded RF Marcus Wilson and veteran SP James Paxton to the Reds in exchange for 1B Chris Daniel and MR Sam Turner

Players to Cincinnati

RF Marcus Wilson is a 27 year old right handed batter who was a former 1st round pick 28th overall in 2014 by the Atlanta Braves. He was traded to the Blue Jays in 2022 in the deal that sent SP Gerrit Cole to the Braves. The two time Gold Glove winner hit just .227 with 13 HR and 62 RBI for the Jays last season and did not live up to his potential in Toronto. Both teams believe that a change of scenery might be good for him and could bring him back to the form that saw him hit .260 with 19 HR and 59 RBI for the Braves in 2022. He is in the 3rd year of a 6 year contract and is owed $7,300,000 this season.

SP James Paxton was once a top prospect in baseball but injuries have derailed a once promising career. The 35 year old was signed by the Jays as a minor league free agent in 2021 and spend the last 2 seasons in AAA Buffalo. He was 6-9 with a 3.82 ERA with 56 walks and 125 strikeouts. It is likely that the Braves will use Paxton out of the bullpen and he still has the stuff for it with a 93-95 MPH fastball.

Players to Toronto

1B Chris Daniel is a 25 year old 6'5" 205 lb left handed power bat. He was a 5th round pick 140th overall by the Reds back in 2014 out of Laredo High School in the USHSBA. In 2023 he split the season between the Reds where he hit ,235 with 3 HR and 16 RBI in 53 games and AAA Louisville where he hit .273 with 19 HR and drove in 67 in 90 games. Daniel was the 2021 National League Rookie of the Year after he hit .272 with 27 HR and drove in 86 RBI in 142 games but he hasn't been able to match that level of performance since. He has bounced between AAA and the Majors and the Jays believe that he much like RF Marcus Wilson could benefit from a change of scenery.

MR Sam Turner is a hard throwing 26 year old right hander who was a 1st round pick of the Reds 15th overall back in 2019 out of San Jose State University in the NCAA. He was 1-2 with 1 SV and a 1.48 ERA walking 15 and striking out 22 in 18 games for the Reds in 2023. Turner has a 4 pitch mix with his fastball and changeup grading out as his best pitches and he supplements those with a curveball and slider. His secondary stuff just wasn't good enough to consistently good enough to get major league hitters out and he was moved to the bullpen. The Jays envision him as a late innings reliever with the stamina to go multiple innings if necessary.

Trade #2 - Toronto & Arizona Deal

In GM Ryan Stewart's second deal of the off season the Jays agreed to send minor league SP Cristobal Macias to the Diamondbacks for 25 year old right handed pitcher MR Rodrigo Rivera

Players to Arizona

SP Cristobal Macias is a 24 year old right handed starter who was signed by the Jays as an International Amateur Free Agent back in 2017 for $150,000. He features a 5 pitch mix including a 91-93 MPH cut fastball, curve, slider and changup. He was 10-16 with a 4.59 ERA with 60 walks and 144 K's in AA New Hampshire in 2023. He profiles as a middle to back end of the rotation arm at the MLB level.

Players to Toronto

MR Rodrigo Rivera is a 25 year old righty who features a 95-97 MPH fastball as well as a curveball and slider. He was signed as an International Amateur Free Agent back in 2015 by the Diamonbacks out of the Dominican Republic. In 2023 he went 4-1 with 3 saves with a 3.68 ERA walking 28 and striking out 64 for the Diamondbacks. We expect him to slide into the middle/long relief role and he could even get a spot start or 2 if necessary.

2. Revamp the Outfield

The Jays outfield has had some durability issues over the past few seasons and it has tested the teams depth at the minor and major league level. We were a little heavy in players who could play left and centerfield but our rightfield depth was not very deep. This trade allowed us to upgrade ourselves defensively and didn't sacrifice much in terms of offensive potential. We agreed to send CF Ric Allen to the Miami Marlins in exchange for RF Isaac Green.

Players to Miami

CF Ric Allen is a 26 year old former 1st round pick 22nd overall by the Texas Rangers in 2017 out of Seattle High School in the USHSBA. He was acquired by the Jays in 2021 in a deal that sent SP Cisco Ramos and MR Leo Benson to Texas. Allen hit .229 with 15 HR and 55 RBI for the Jays in 107 games in 2023 and battled a couple of injuries that limited his playing time.

Players to Toronto 

RF Isaac Green is a 25 year old left handed batter who was a 2nd round pick 39th overall in 2020 by the Marlins out of the University of South Florida in the NCAA. He hit .245 with 14 HR and had 50 RBI for the Marlins in 134 games in 2023. He is a top notch defender and was awarded the National League Gold Glove Award for his defensive play in 2023. 

2023 Major League Free Agent Signings 

C Kyle Schwarber - 7 years $135,800,000 (Philadelphia Phillies)
SP Stephen Strasburg - 2 years $54,000,000 (St. Louis Cardinals)
CF Monte Harrison - 5 years $24,540,000 (Atlanta Braves)
RF Eric Jenkins - 3 years $9,460,000 (San Francisco Giants)
SP Noah Syndergaard - 2 years $11,200,000 (San Francisco Giants)
3B Nick Castellanos - 4 years $82,400,000 (San Francisco Giants)
RF Stephen Piscotty - 4 years $16,360,000 (Tampa Bay Rays)
SP Cody Allen - 3 years $33,600,000 (Philadelphia Phillies)
LF Jackie Bradley Jr. - 2 years $29,200,000 (Cleveland Indians)
3B Joey Gallo - 7 years $101,700,000 (Houston Astros)
SS Elvis Andrus - 2 years $24,200,000 (Cleveland Indians)
SP Jake Odorizzi - 4 years $23,600,000 (Los Angeles Angels)
SP Shelby Miller - 1 year $11,000,000 (Pittsburgh Pirates)
SP Mike Minor - 3 years $47,400,000 (Arizona Diamondbacks)
RF Phil Franco - 4 years $109,400,000 (Cleveland Indians)
LF Derek Fisher - 2 years $13,200,000 (San Diego Padres)
SS Michael Chavis - 7 years $106,300,000 (Houston Astros)
1B Josh Hall - 2 years $12,200,000 (St. Louis Cardinals)
SP Kyle Zimmer - 1 year $1,640,000 (Tampa Bay Rays)
SP Carlos Rondon - 2 years $38,200,000 (Milwaukee Brewers)
C Mike Zunino - 1 year $6,400,000 (Milwaukee Brewers)
CL Cole Sands - 3 years $46,900,000 (Chicago White Sox)
SP Devon Roedahl - 3 years $40,300,000 (Texas Rangers)
RF Yasil Puig - 4 years $99,200,000 (St. Louis Cardinals)
2B Shawn Hamilton - 3 years $17,100,000 (Minnesota Twins)
RF Carlos Gonzalez - 1 year $6,000,000 (Pittsburgh Pirates)
SP Matt Moore - 2 years $24,500,000 (San Francisco Giants)
RF Bryce Harper - 6 years $170,000,000 (Boston Red Sox)
3B Mikael Franko - 6 years $147,000,000 (Philadelphia Phillies)
SS J.P. Crawford - 2 years $17,800,000 (Philadelphia Phillies)
CF Brian Goodwin - 2 years $21,900,000 (Boston Red Sox)

Up Next Spring Training 2024



#72

ryan008
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Spring Training 2024

Its almost time for baseball in Toronto again as the weather is starting to show signs of warming up in the city the Blue Jays have already begun arriving in Dunedin to begin their preparations for the 2024 regular season. The off season was a busy one for GM Ryan Stewart as the team essentially was faced with the task of rebuilding their bullpen after MR Tony BooneMR Chris Richardson andMR Mark Montgomery all left as free agents. Boone would sign a 1 year $3,000,000 deal with the Kansas City Royals, Richardson went to the Cleveland Indians on a 2 year $5,760,000 contract and Montgomery signed with the Cincinnati Reds organization, inking a 1 year deal worth $1,756,000. GM Ryan Stewart went out and traded for a pair of new relievers in MR Diego Rivera and MR Sam Turner and also added 1B Chris Daniel who is slated to be the teams DH this upcoming season.

Off Season Players Out:

RF Marcus Wilson - Trade with Cincinnati
SP James Paxton - Trade with Cincinnati
MR Chris Richardson - Left as free agent
MR Mark Montgomery - Left as free agent
MR Tony Boone - Left as free agent
RF Max Kepler - Left as free agent
CF Ric Allen - Trade with Miami
SP Cristobal Macias (minor leaguer) - traded to Arizona.

Off Season Players in:

1B Chris Daniel - Acquired from Cincinnati
MR Sam Turner - Acquired from Cincinnati
MR Rodrigo Rivera - Acquired from Arizona
RF Isaac Green - Acquired from Miami

2024 Spring Training Invitees

Starting Pitchers

SP Erik Black - 16-9 3.07 ERA (Toronto)
SP Josh Britton - 7-1 2.05 ERA (A Lansing)
SP Sam Burns - 10-4 1.90 ERA (A Dunedin)
SP Jose Cerventes - 16-7 3.14 ERA (Toronto)
SP Jamie Cox - 17-9 2.82 ERA (Toronto)
SP Vic Johnson - 11-6 3.90 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
SP Tim Libby - 7-4 4,16 ERA (Toronto)
SP Steve Sampson - 5-1 1.57 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
SP Alex Wood - 18-7 2.93 ERA (Toronto)

GM's Comments

Our starting 5 is among the best and youngest in the entire major leagues. Lead by 31 year old veteran SP Jamie Cox he is followed by the eldest member of the staff in 33 year old SP Alex Wood. After wood the age drops off significantly as SP Jose Cerventes 25 years old, SP Erik Black 28 years old and SP Tim Libby 25 years old round out the rotation. We have some nice depth in AAA too with arms like Johnson and Sampson ready to step in in the event of injuries. Two of our more intriguing young arms 22 year old SP Josh Britton (Supplemental 1st round pick by Toronto 25th overall in 2021) and 23 year old SP Sam Burns (2nd round pick 63rd overall in 2020 by Toronto) have made big strides and will start the season in AA New Hampshire. Both have made large gains developmentally and are in camp to show their stuff to the coaching staff of the big club. It wouldn't be surprising to see them in AAA before the end of the 2024 season.

Middle Relievers and Closers

MR Carson Fulmer - 2-4 3 SV 3.25 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
MR Phil Jones - 1-1 1 SV 4.55 ERA (Toronto)
MR Nick Kennedy - 5-4 4 SV 3.72 ERA (Toronto)
MR Mike McNeal - 9-5 2 SV 1.96 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
MR Jorge Miranda - 7-2 3 SV 1.62 ERA (Toronto)
MR Jim Phillips - 4-7 6 SV 2.70 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
MR Rodrigo Rivera - 4-1 3 SV 3.68 ERA (Arizona Diamondbacks)
MR Sam Turner - 1-2 1 SV 1.48 ERA (Cincinnati Reds)
CL Dave Davis - 6-5 32 SV 3.07 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
CL Jordan Walden - 6-3 46 SV 3.41 ERA (Toronto)
CL Dave Steele - 4-1 1 SV 3.00 ERA (AAA Buffalo)

GM's Comments

Our bullpen was much better in 2024 finishing in the top 5 in runs allowed, ERA and strikeouts. The biggest surprise was CL Jordan Walden who signed as a free agent and proceeded to have a career year with 46 saves and a 3.41 ERA. The 36 year old has lost a little bit of life on his fastball and may face some competition for the closer's role. We also brought in a pair of new arms in MR Rodrigo Rivera and MR Sam Turner who will compete with guys who have come up through our system like CL Dave DavisMR Jim Phillips and MR Mike McNeal all whom my scouts believe are more then ready for the majors. Right now it looks lime we have 5 guys competing for 3 spots in the bullpen. 

Position Players

Catchers

C Jesus Lopez - .264 13 HR 45 RBI (Toronto)
C Arturo Lugo - .255 11 HR 55 RBI (AA New Hampshire)
C Max Pentecost - .350 33 HR 85 RBI (Toronto)

GM's Comments

The catcher position is pretty much just who will back up Pentecost. The reigning and 4 time AL MVP has been an offensive force for the Jays and is cemented as our starting catcher. Lopez had a good season as a backup last year and even contributed a big home run in the ALDS and will likely be tabbed as Pentecost's back up. C Arturo Lugo was a high profile International Free Agent signing by the Jays back in 2018 when he signed out of Venezuela for $2,500,000. The 22 year old has risen steadily ever since and is on the cusp of making his MLB debut. He will likely start the starting duties in AAA with veteran C Steve Reed and will have a lot of eyes on him as a possible injury replacement and September callup.

First Base Base

1B Chris Daniel - .235 3 HR 16 RBI (Cincinnati Reds)
1B Pat Olson - .352 24 HR 97 RBI (A Dunedin)
1B A.J. Reed - .256 29 HR 90 RBI (Toronto)

GM's Comments

GM Ryan Stewart looking for more offense went out and traded for 1B Chris Daniel from the Cincinnati Reds this off season. He is terrible defensively but has a lot of upside with the bat. A power bat from the left side he will be the primary DH and can spell Reed to give the slugger some days off here and there. We are also very excited about 2019 first round pick 1B Pat Olson who tore up the Florida State League and who is getting closer and closer to being MLB ready. He is going to get a lot of reps at first this spring and could be a name to watch out for in Toronto over the next few months. If he doesn't make the club its likely that he will head down to AA New Hampshire with the possibility of moving to AAA Buffalo before the end of the year. 

Second Base

2B Chris Goodwin - .279 21 HR 67 RBI (Toronto)
2B Gosuke Katoh - .267 5 HR 25 RBI (Toronto)
2B Tim Miller - .279 1 HR 56 RBI (AAA Buffalo)

GM's Comments

There isn't a lot of room for competition here as Goodwin did a very good job after coming over from the Royals last season. We are really high on 2B Tim Miller and he has shown that he is MLB ready. He will compete with Katoh for the backup infielder's job this spring and has been tabbed as the heir apparent to Goodwin. 

Third Base

3B Stu Daniels - .295 16 HR 75 RBI (Toronto)
3B Josh Crews - .375 1 HR 3 RBI (AAA Buffalo)

GM's Comments

Daniels continues to be everything the Jays were looking for when they picked him up in the Rule V draft back in 2019 from the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 28 year old had career highs in HR (16), RBI (75), slugging % (.452) and OPS (.766) last season and is looking to improve upon those this season. We picked up 3B Josh Crews in a deadline deal last season and he only got into a handful of games in AAA Buffalo before being shut down with a back injury. He is a capable backup and is a good insurance policy if anything happens with Daniels at the MLB level. 

Short Stop

SS Carlos Correa - .239 12 HR 42 RBI (Toronto)
SS Yeltsin Gudino - .304 5 HR 25 RBI (AAA Buffalo)
SS Tyler Halas - .276 11 HR 56 RBI (AAA Buffalo)

GM's Comments

Correa signed a massive 7 year $91,140,000 contract extension this season and we are hoping that he can live up to it. He has been a slow starter for the Jays and we think there is a lot more potential in there just waiting to be unlocked. Gudino and Halas are more then competent backups that will start the season in AAA and are just a phone call away if there are injuries. Both have MLB experience with the Jays and can play multiple positions. 

Outfielders

LF Don Bergeron - .317 5 HR 46 RBI (Toronto)
LF Abel Black - .320 17 HR 39 RBI (Toronto)
LF Freddy Rodriguez - .282 6 HR 51 RBI (AAA Buffalo)
CF Albert Almora - .267 11 HR 48 RBI (Toronto)
CF Cesar Gutierrez - .325 3 HR 11 RBI (AA New Hampshire)
CF Jerry Irwin - .222 9 HR 43 RBI (AAA Buffalo)
RF Isaac Green - .245 14 HR 50 RBI (Miami Marlins)

GM's Comments

We made some major additions in the outfield bringing in LF Abel Black last year at the deadline and adding RF Isaac Green this off season. We are hoping for big things out of LF Don Bergeron who had a good start with the Jays last year. Our depth is much deeper this year heading into the regular season and we hope that everyone can stay healthy. We are alos going to be keeping an eye on two of our top outfield prospects in CF Cesar Gutierrez and LF Freddy Rodriguez. The 24 year old Gutierrez was picked up from the San Francisco Giants back in 2022 in the deal that sent 2B Kolten Wong to San Francisco. He hit well in AAA Buffalo last season posting .310/.391/.422 slash line with 1 HR and 13 RBI. Rodriguez is a bit old to be considered a true prospect at 26 years old. He was signed by the Blue Jays as an International Free Agent back in 2013 out of Venezuela and has spent 13 seasons in the Jays organization. He might get a chance to finally make his MLB debut with the club this season.

Up Next: Spring Training Recap and Opening Day Rosters



#73

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2024 Is About to Get Underway!

The Blue Jays just wrapped up one of their best Grapefruit League Seasons to date posting a record of 21-5 and finishing ahead of the Yankees atop the Grapefruit League Standings. The Jays were in fine form this Spring and were getting good pitching and hitting up and down their lineup. The Jays brought a number of their top prospects to camp and were able to get some good evaluations of them against some very tough competition.

Spring Training Surprises

The two biggest surprises in the spring were both out of the bullpen. Newely acquired MR Sam Turner who was picked up this off season in the deal that sent RF Marcus Wilson to the Reds was lights out going 15.2 innings without allowing an earned run or walking a single batter. The other pleasant surprise out of the bullpen was MR Mike McNeal who was nearly as good as Turner allowing just 1 run and 2 walks in 13 innings of work. Both players forced their way onto the Jays opening day roster.

Spring Training Disappointments

In terms of performance no one had a really bad spring but the Jays coaches and trainers were a little disappointed that their ace SP Jamie Cox missed most of the spring schedule after suffering from a back injury. He managed to throw just 6 innings this spring but the Jays are still counting on him to be their Ace and opening day starter. His back injury has fully healed and he should be ready to go for the start of the 2024 season.

OPENING DAY ROSTERS

SP Jamie Cox
SP Jose Cerventes
SP Tim Libby
SP Erik Black
SP Alex Wood

MR Phil Jones
MR Nick Kennedy
MR Sam Turner
MR Mike McNeal
MR Rodrigo Rivera
MR Jorge Miranda
CL Jordan Walden

C Max Pentecost
1B A.J. Reed
2B Chris Goodwin
3B Stu Daniels
SS Carlos Correa
LF Abel Black
CF Albert Almora
RF Isaac Green

C Jesus Lopez
INF Tyler Halas
INF Tim Miller
OF Don Bergeron

Pre Season Predictions

The Blue Jays are the pre-season favorites out of the American League East. The pundits are predicting us to win 102 games this season. Its not a run away by any means however, as the New York Yankees are predicted to finish second with 98 wins and the Boston Red Sox in 3rd with 90 victories. It is a very long season and anything can happen so we are taking nothing for granted.

Financial Information

The Jays have the 3rd highest budget in the Majors (behind the Yankees and Dodgers) sitting at $202,000,000. Our current payroll commitment is just over $171,000,000. This coupled with our coaching, development staffs and scouting budgets leaves us with about $6,000,000 in available budget room should we want to add a piece as the season moves on. I don't like not having any financial flexibility so trimming some payroll costs will be a top priority this season. We of course want to do this without sacrificing performance.

Top Prospects and Farm Systems

Baseball America released their first prospect rankings today and the 10 best prospects in the majors were:

1. 1B Alberto Beltran (Minnesota Twins)
2. SP Ernesto Valderez (Washington Nationals)
3. 1B Mike Anderson (Minnesota Twins)
4. 1B Cesar Duarte (Boston Red Sox)
5. SP Jonah Soto (Chicago Cubs)
6. SP Stu Clark (Miami Marlins)
7. SP Dan Parker (Miami Marlins)
8. 3B Wes Knight (Washington Nationals)
9. SP Kurt Stewart (Boston Red Sox)
10. 1B Doug Reed (Boston red Sox)

Its no surprise that the Boston Red Sox have the #1 rated farm system in the major leagues with three players ranked in the top 10. The Miami Marlins have the second best system followed by the Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins. The Jays round out the top 5 and although they didn't place a prospect in the top 10 they have a very strong system that should help them replace some of our older more expensive players in the next few seasons.

Up Next: April Review as Opening Day is here!



#74

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Blue Jays Hottest Team in Baseball in April

May 1st, 2024


The Toronto Blue Jays have been red hot to start the 2024 season. They opened the new schedule reeling off 7 straight wins and surging into top spot in the American League East. They would wrap up the month with a record of 16-5 and the lead the second place New York Yankees by a full 4 games. The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays are 6 games back and the Baltimore Orioles who are scuffling to start the year find themselves in the AL East basement a total of 8 games back. 

AL East Standings - May 1st

Toronto Blue Jays - 16-5 
New York Yankees - 12-9 (4 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 10-11 (6 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 10-11 (6 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 8-13 (8 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings

Oakland Athletics - 11-8
New York Yankees - 12-9
Chicago White Sox - 10-9 (1 GB)
Kansas City Royals - 11-10 (1 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 10-11 (2 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 10-11 (2 GB)

April's Hot Players

SP Jamie Cox - 5-0 0.70 ERA
SP Tim Libby - 3-0 4.07 ERA
SP Jose Cerventes - 2-2 3.70 ERA
MR Nick Kennedy - 0-0 1.69 ERA
MR Jose Miranda - 0-0 1 SV 1.59 ERA
SS Carlos Correa - .453 6 HR 23 RBI
C Max Pentecost - .390 2 HR 11 RBI
3B Stu Daniels - .299 2 HR 9 RBI

April's Cold Players

CL Dave Davis - 2-0 5 SV 5.83 ERA
MR Rodrigo Rivera - 0-0 1 SV 5.59 ERA
RF Isaac Green - .232 3 HR 11 RBI
LF Don Bergeron - .143 0 HR 1 RBI

April News & Notes

Injuries

The Blue Jays came through the first month of the season relatively unscathed on the injury front. Besides some minor injuries here and there the only player that required a stay on the disabled list was MR Jorge Miranda. Miranda suffered a strained back muscle and is expected to miss 3 weeks. He was 0-0 with 1 SV and a 1.59 EA at the time of his injury. He was placed on the 15 day disabled list and CL Phil Jones who is off to a great start in AAA Buffalo going 1-0 with 5 Saves and a 2.25 ERA was recalled. 

Coach Signing

The Blue Jays added a familiar face to their minor league coaching staff as former Jays slugger Jose Bautista was signed to be the hitting coach for the Jays single A team in Dunedin of the Florida State League. Bautista retired as a player in 2018 and has never had a coaching assignment.

Waiver Claim

GM Ryan Stewart added an intriguing piece via the waiver wire early in the month as the Jays grabbed 25 year old MR Jim McCrocken off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers. The righty was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the 1st round 22nd overall back in 2018 out of Pasadena High School in the USHSBA. He spent the 2023 season in AA Tennessee where he was 8-4 with 34 saves walking 21 and striking out 63 in 66 innings of work. He recorded a 3.27 ERA last season and showed improvement in both his k/9 innings and BB/9. He was added to the Jays 40 man roster and was sent to AAA Buffalo. 

Awards

SP Jamie Cox was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for April after he was nearly unhittable going 5-0 with a minuscule 0.70 ERA. 

SS Carlos Correa was named the American League Batter of the Month after he hit .453 with 6 HR and 23 RBI. This is the type of production that the Jays were expecting when they brought him in and it looks like he has finally found his stride in a Jays uniform.

Up Next: May 2024 Update



#75

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Jays Increase AL East Lead to 3 Games but Injury Bug Hits Hard

June 1st, 2024


May was a good month in terms of performance for the Jays and they utilized a 20-8 record to get some distance between themselves and the second place Yankees. The Yankees had a a very strong month themselves but now find themselves trailing the Jays by 3 games. The rest of the AL East pretty much fell off a cliff with the Orioles (14 GB), Red Sox (15 GB) and the Rays (15.5 GB) all way back after just the second month of the season. There is still a lot of baseball left and GM Ryan Stewart and the Jays are not taking anything for granted especially given the number of injuries that the team suffered in May. Toronto lost four regulars including SP Jamie Cox (3 weeks), 2B Chris Goodwin (5 weeks), C Max Pentecost (4 weeks) and LF Abel Black (4 weeks) with significant injuries. The next month is really going to test the teams depth at AAA and many pundits are speculating that the Jays will be forced to go out and try to find some help elsewhere if their record begins to suffer at all. 

AL East Standings - June 1st

Toronto Blue Jays - 36-13 
New York Yankees - 32-15 (3 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 22-27 (14 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 21-28 (15 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 21-29 (15.5 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings

New York Yankees - 32-18 --
Seattle Mariners - 30-18 --
Chicago White Sox - 26-22 (4 GB)
Kansas City Royals - 27-23 (4 GB)
Cleveland Indians - 25-23 (5 GB)

May's Hot Players

SP Alex Wood - 4-1 3.54 ERA
SP Jose Creventes - 3-0 2.52 ERA
SP Erik Black - 3-1 3.02 ERA
MR Sam Turner - 0-0 1 SV 1.59 ERA
MR Rodrigo Rivera - 1-0 1 SV 0.63 ERA
3B Stu Daniels - .398 3 HR 20 RBI
SS Carlos Correa - .387 7 HR 25 RBI
LF Don Bergeron - .351 1 HR 9 RBI

May's Cold Players

SP Vic Johnson - 0-2 6.92 ERA
2B Tim Miller - .239 0 HR 9 RBI
1B Chris Daniels - .204 4 HR 8 RBI
1B A.J. Reed - .234 5 HR 14 RBI

May News & Notes

Injuries

May was a brutal month in terms of injuries for the Blue Jays. Their first significant loss was when SP Jamie Cox reveled that he was suffering from a mild shoulder strain. The Jays are being overly cautious with him and decided to put him on the 15 day disabled list. He was having a great start to the season going 7-1 with a 1.99 ERA. He was placed on the 15 day disabled list and the Jays recalled SP Vic Johnson who is 4-3 with a 1.58 ERA in AAA Buffalo.

The next Jay to go down was 2B Chris Goodwin who suffered a fractured rib after getting hit by a pitch in a game against the Indians. He is expected to be out for the next 5 weeks. He was hitting .278 with 6 HR and 11 RBI and was placed on the 15 day disabled list. The Jays recalled SS Tyler Halas (.228 1 HR 14 RBI) from AAA Buffalo to fill his spot on the 25 man roster.

Next up to join the injury parade was C Max Pentecost who suffered an oblique strain and he is expected to miss the next 4 weeks. He was having another tremendous offensive season hitting .324 with 4 HR and 27 RBI and was also placed on the 15 disabled list. The Jays recalled C Arturo Lugo from AAA where he was hitting .274 with 1 HR and 5 RBI.

Finally the Jays would lose LF Abel Black for 4 weeks with an oblique strain. The veteran outfielder was starting to hear up at the time of the injury and had pushed his average up to .302 with 6 HR and 29 RBI after a slow start to the season. He joined Cox, Goodwin and Pentecost on the 15 day disabled list and the Jays recalled CF Cesar Gutierrez (.310 1 HR 13 RBI) from AAA Buffalo.

Awards

SS Carlos Correa was named the American League Batter of the Month for the second consecutive month after hitting .387 with 7 HR and 25 RBI. The 29 year old has really started to settle in with Toronto and is giving the Jays just what they had hoped when they acquired him 2 seasons ago.

Up Next: 2024 First Year Player Draft Preview



#76

ryan008
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2024 MLB First Year Player Draft Preview

June 5th, 2024


The 2024 First Year Player Draft will take place tomorrow and the Blue Jays will not be nearly as busy this year as last. Last season they had accumulated 3 additional compensation picks in the supplemental 1st round as a result of compensation eligible players leaving via free agency. This year the Jays have just a single selection, their original 1st round pick that is at number 27 overall. This years draft class looks to be pitching heavy and there are some very good arms that will be taken early tomorrow. GM Ryan Stewart and the Jays scouts have their eyes on a couple of players at 27 overall but it is very hard to predict who will still be on the board at that point. 

The Miami Marlins own the 1st overall selection in the draft and they will have the opportunity to add another talented piece to one of the top minor league systems in the MLB. The Marlins will be followed by the Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays, New York Mets and the Detroit Tigers will round out the top 5 picks. The Blue Jays who pick at #27 will be the last to select in the 1st round.

Baseball America's Pre Draft Top 10

According to Baseball America the top rated players for the 2024 First Year Player Draft are as follows:

C Freddy Castillo - 19, RHB (Jacksonville High School, USHSBA)
.390 14 HR 35 RBI
Castillo is easily the best bat available in this years draft class. He has tremendous power and very good plate discipline striking out just 11 times in 131 plate appearances this year. His power is his biggest draw slamming 14 HR this season and doing so with an impressive .390 batting average. Defensively he is sub par as a catcher but has a decent arm. The are some big question marks regarding his ability to stay behind the plate at the big league level and many scouts see him moving to first base or possibly the outfield at the big league level. One thing that is for sure his bat is elite.

SP Hector Pagan - 19, RHP (Omaha High School, USHSBA)
0-0 0.00 ERA 1 GS 1.1 IP
Pagan struggled with injuries in his Senior season in the USHSBA lasting just 1.1 innings in his first start before suffering an elbow strain that would keep him out of the remainder of the 2024 season. He has a good fastball that sits in the 93-95 MPH range and he compliments it with a curveball, changeup and forkball. When healthy he has dominant top of the rotation stuff and if he hadn't gotten injured he would probably have been ranked #1. His injury history might scare away some teams and it will be interesting to see where he ends up being taken tomorrow. 

3. SP Bubba McKee - 19, LHP (Chesapeake High School, USHSBA)
3-2 3.75 ERA 10 BB 59 K
McKee is a 6'2" 180 lb lefty who features a 92-94 MPH fastball as well as a nice selection of secondary pitches including a changeup, curve and forkball. His biggest strength is his ability to throw his pitches to both sides of the plate and he dominates left handed hitters. He should add some bulk to his frame and could add a few more miles to his fastball. He scouts as a top of the rotation arm and a conservative estimate would be a #2 starter.

4. SP Jim Allen - 19, LHP (Tampa High School, USHSBA)
0-1 1.35 ERA 4 BB 9 K (1 game)
Allen is a bit of a project as he is just a tall, lanky lefty right now who doesn't throw as hard as some of the other pitchers ranked in the top 10. He features an 87-98 MPH fastball as well as a curveball, slider and is developing a changeup. His best pitches right now are his off speed pitches and he will really need to work on his fastball to make an impact at the professional level. Right now he scouts as a middle to back end of the rotation arm but with some added velocity and some work on his changeup he could be more. 

5. CF Phil Ellis - 21, RHB (University of Texas, NCAA)
.398 3 HR 27 RBI
Ellis is the top rated collegiate bat in this years draft class and he profiles as a top of the order hitter. He makes a lot of solid contact and utilizes his speed to get himself on base. He rarely strikes out and is a master at putting the ball in play. He was an NCAA All Star in 2022 and 2024 and was a finalist for the NCAA Gold Glove Award in 2023. Defensively he has well above average range in the outfield and a strong accurate arm. He could still use some work reading balls off the bat and in his route taking but those should get refined as he adjusts to the pro game.

6. SP Walt McConnell - 21, RHP (University of Alabama, NCAA)
5-3 1.71 ERA 17 BB 100 K
McConnell is the top collegiate arm available in this years draft class and he could go much higher then he is ranked on draft day. He isn't the typical power pitcher standing just 6'0" tall and weighing in at 180 lbs. He sits 91-93 MPH with his fastball and has a cutter and forkball to compliment it. All of his pitches he can throw for strikes and he put up some big strikeout numbers in his 3 years at Alabama whiffing 291 batters in just 3 seasons. He might not profile as a #1 starter but he should be a safe bet as at least a #2. He is also more advanced then the prep arms ranked ahead of him and could move quickly through the minors.

7. SP Greg Allen - 19, RHP (Colorado Springs High School, USHSBA)
2-1 1.59 ERA 5 BB 67 K
Allen is an imposing figure on the mound standing 6'9" and weighing in at 215 lbs. He uses his impressive size to create a downward plane on his pitches and it showed with some big strikeout numbers. His secondary pitches are also very good with an above average curveball and changeup. The will still need some work but he has the potential to be a very good starter at the MLB level. 

8. SP Bob White - 19, RHP (Arlington High School, USHSBA)
5-0 2.28 ERA 11 BB 70 K
Another big high school right hander who stands 6'6" and weighs 200 lbs. He is a power arm with a 93-95 MPH fastball and the potential to add some MPH to that if he can add some strength as a pro. His secondary pitches (curveball, changeup and splitter) could definitely use some work as he used his fastball for the most part in high school. At the pro level players are use to seeing higher velocities and he will need to make the adjustment with his secondary pitches. He profiles as a top of the rotation arm but there are questions about his stamina and durability and its more likely that he fits in as a middle to back end of the rotation starter at the pro level.

9. 1B Jamie Marrero - 19, RHB (Lincoln High School, USHSBA)
.414 14 HR 27 RBI
Marrero's bat rivals fellow prep hitter and #1 rated prospect C Freddy Castillo. Marrero put up similar power numbers and a better batting average but he is not as disciplined at the plate as Castillo and tends to swing and miss a lot more. Defensively he is well below average even for first base and he most likely is best suited as a DH at the MLB level. His bat is also elite but his lack of position make him a bit of a wild card heading into the draft tomorrow.

10. 2B Jeremy Coleman - 21, RHB (UMBC, NCAA)
.398 15 HR 36 RBI
Coleman is a two time NCAA All Star and is one of the best power bats in this years draft class. He is a very solid all around player who should move very quickly through the minor leagues and could even be MLB ready as soon as this season. He is a unique combination of power and speed at the second base position as many scouts believe he could steal as many as 40 bags at the pro level. His swing does tend to get a little long at times but he is not a free swinger by any means. Look for him to be one of the first players from this draft class to make it to the MLB. 

Previous Blue Jays Picks

2020 - 20th Overall 
2B Tim Miller 
.206 0 HR 5 RBI (Toronto)
Miller started the 2024 season with the Jays as the back up infielder and has seen limited action to date. He hit ,279 with 1 HR and 56 RBI in AAA Buffalo last season. The 25 year old is currently on the 15 day disabled list with knee tendinitis and is expected back before the end of June.

2021 - 24th Overall
SP Dave Winters
3-2 3.50 ERA 19 BB 97 K (AA New Hampshire)
The 24 year old righty has progressed steadily through the minors and is performing well in his first taste of AA. He likely won't spend a full season in AA and will be in the AAA rotation before the end of the 2024 season. Look for him to challenge for a rotation spot as early as 2025. His name has been thrown around quite a bit in trade rumors as the Jays have a number of pitching prospects and limited rotation spots.

2022- 25th Overall
LF Dan Mueller
.268 2 HR 18 RBI (2024 A Lansing)
.322 9 HR 30 RBI (2023 GCL Blue Jays)
Mueller repeated the GCL in 2023 and had much more success this time around. He has carried his success into full season ball hitting .268 to start the season in A Lansing. The Jays want the 21 year old to spend an entire season in A ball and he will likely split time between Lansing and Dunedin in 2024. 

2023- 20th Overall
SP Claude Meyer
1-9 6.58 ERA 18 BB 48 K (2023 GCL Blue Jays)
Meyer had a rough start to his pro career going 1-9 in 11 starts for the GCL Blue Jays. He did display good K/9 and BB/9 ratios and was pitching better as the 2023 season wrapped up. He threw a lot of innings in 2023 and fatigue might have played a role in his performance. He is ticketed to start the season in Vancouver for the short season A Canadians. 

Up Next: 2024 First Year Player Draft



#77

ryan008
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2024 First Year Player Draft

June 6th, 2024

The waiting is over as the Miami Marlins made CF Phil Ellis the #1 overall selection in the 2024 First Year Player Draft. Ellis was a bit of a surprise selection as most people (including Baseball America) had C Freddy Castillo rated as the #1 available prospect. The Marlins decided to take the #5 ranked Ellis instead. Castillo would not have to wait very long to be selected as he was taken 2nd overall by the Oakland Athletics. The 21 year old Ellis is a two time NCAA All Star and the star lead off man for the University of Texas. He hit .398 with 3 HR and 27 RBI in 2024. He is a 4 tool prospect who can do everything but regularly hit the ball out of the yard. He has great speed and range in the outfield and has the ability to steal 40 plus bases a season. If he signs he should move up through the minors very quickly and could see time in the Majors very soon. He is looking for a signing bonus in the $7,500,000 range and early reports are he is not going to take much less then that.

Blue Jays Draft

GM Ryan Stewart was very busy this draft as the Jays held the 20th pick in the first round and then added 3 supplemental 1st round picks as well. All in all the Jays had 4 picks of the top 40 in this years draft.

First Round - 27th Overall

With the 27th overall pick (the last in the first round) the Blue Jays selected 19 year old SP Kevin 'Caveman' Perkins out of Pasadena High School in the USHSBA. The 6'7" 195 lb right hander has a very good 91-93 MPH fastball that he supplements with a cutter and a splitter. He was 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA walking 13 and striking out 67 in 2024. He has the ceiling of a good #2 or 3 starter at the mlb level but will need to do some work on his mechanics. He is looking for a $1,200,000 signing bonus and should be an easy sign for the Jays. He does have a number of NCAA offers on the table so the Jays will have to be careful not to lowball him too badly. 

Second Round 67th Overall

The Blue Jays were very happy that their 2nd round pick 2B Shawn Shannon was still available to them when they picked again at #67. He was a player that we considered taking at #27. Shannon is a 19 year old right handed hitter out of New Orleans High School in the USHSBA. He is a three time USHSBA All Star and was the 2023 USHSBA World Series MVP. In 2024 he hit .367 with 4 HR and 29 RBI and was selected to the USHSBA All Star Team for the 3rd consecutive season. Shannon's biggest strength is his bat, he profiles as a top of the order bat, probably not lead off however as he doesn't have the greatest speed and he does tend to strikeout more then you like. He won't hit a ton of homeruns but 10 shouldn't be out of the question. Defensively he has great range but just an average arm. With some work in the minors he should be able to refine his defensive skills a bit more. He is looking for a slot signing bonus of $370,000 and is eager to get his pro career going.

Third Round 97th Overall

WIth the 97th overall pick the Jays dipped into the NCAA pool selecting 21 year old righty SP Erik Little out of the University of Connecticut in the NCAA. Little was previously drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 11th round 311th overall in 2022 but elected not to sign and went back to Collage instead. He was 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA walking 8 and striking out 68 in 2024. Little has a good repertoire that includes a 96-98 MPH fastball as well as a slider curve and forkball. He has had some injury troubles in the past and some scouts have questioned his durability and whether he can stick as a starting pitcher. He certainly has the stuff to be an elite arm in the bullpen but the Jays want to see what he can do as a starter. He is looking for a slot signing bonus of $250,000 and should be an easy sign for the Jays.

Fourth Round 129th Overall 

The Jays took yet another starting pitcher in the 4th round this time selecting 21 year old SP Dan Shannon out of Mississippi State in the NCAA. The 6'5" 210 lb righty features a hard 93-95 MPH fastball with a cutter, slider and a developing splitfinger fastball. In 2024 he went 2-2 with a 2.96 ERA walking 14 and striking out 43. He has struggled with his control at times and can have some trouble putting batters away. He does get a ton of ground balls (75%) meaning he doesn't give up many homeruns. He scouts as a good back end of the rotation arm and is fairly advanced coming out of an NCAA program. He is looking for a slot signing bonus of $180,000 and should be no problem for the Jays to sign.

Fifth Round 157th Overall

With their 5th round pick the Jays selected 19 year old 3B Jim Day out of Denver High School. Day hit .286 with 0 HR and 1 RBI in just 4 games in 2024. He had surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow that caused him to miss 4 months of the season. Before getting injured Day would have likely gone in the 3rd round had he been healthy. He has a very good all around approach at the plate. Offensively he isn't going to wow you with power or constant contact but he takes walks and sprays the ball all over the field. Defensively he is just average with a slightly above average arm. He should have the tools to stick at third base in the minors. At just 19 he is quite raw and will need some work to reach his potential. He is listed as an impossible sign (slot is $150,000) and has told teams that unless he gets an above slot deal he will likely head to the NCAA and re-enter the draft in 2 seasons.

Blue Jays Picks rounds 6 through 30:

6. SP Phil Bond (19, RHP) Corpus Christie High School, USHSBA (*Impossible Sign)
7. SS Chris Seiffert (19, RHB) Jacksonville High School, USHSBA
8. C Ruben Ulabarro (21, S) University of Utah, NCAA
9. CF Jayson Hess (21, RHB) University of Oklahoma, NCAA
10. SP Jim Gray (19, RHP) Buffalo High School, USHSBA
11. MR Quincy Carson (19, RHP) Boston High School, USHSBA
12. 2B Greg Evans (21, RHB) University of San Diego, NCAA
13. RF Jorge Meza (21, S) San Jose State University, NCAA
14. 1B Thom Bodner (21, S) Penn State University, NCAA
15. RF Dave Barker (21, LHP) Baylor University, NCAA
16. SS Kelvin Aaron (21, RHB) LSU, NCAA
17. MR Jon Alley (19, RHP) Miami High School, USHSBA
18. SP Raul Escamilla (19, RHP) Mesa High School, USHSBA
19. CL Stan Gross (19, LHP) Bakersfield High School, USHSBA
20. CF Chet Blanchard (21, RHB) University of Arkansas, NCAA
21. CL Aligulu Chkaeidze (21, RHP) University of Cincinnati, NCAA
22. CL Tim Robinson (19, RHP) Colorado Springs High School, USHSBA
23. SP Dan Hampton (19, LHP) Jacksonville High School, USHSBA
24. SP Wes Brown (19, RHP) Charlotte High School, USHSBA
25. 1B Jake McKenzie (21, RHB) Georgia Tech, NCAA
26. 2B Charles Brown (21, RHB) University of Kentucky, NCAA
27. SS Sean Taylor (21, RHB) University of South Florida, NCAA
28. 2B Tony Flores (21, RHB) Duke University, NCAA
29. SS Stan McCoy (21, RHB) Baylor University, NCAA
30. C Jeff Walker (19, RHB) Louisville High School, USHSBA

Up Next: June 2024 Update



#78

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Blue Jays Establish 5 Game Lead Over Yankees Heading into the Summer

July 1st, 2024

The Toronto Blue Jays are the hottest team in the Majors right now with a record of 54-23 they currently hold a 5 game lead over the second best team in the American League East (and the second best record in baseball) the New York Yankees who are 48-27. The rest of the American League East teams have pretty much fallen out of contention already. The Tampa Bay Rays (35-42) and Boston Red Sox (35-42) are both 19 games back and the Baltimore Orioles who have the second worst record in the majors at 30-47 are 19.5 games back and looking at competing for the 1st overall pick in next years first year player draft. GM Ryan Stewart is quite pleased with his teams effort so far "This team is really firing on all cylinders right now. Everyone is loose and playing like a team. I want to caution them though, we don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves there is a lot of season left and a few injuries and a losing streak could make a big difference in the standings".


AL East Standings - July 1st

Toronto Blue Jays - 54-23 --
New York Yankees - 48-27 (5 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 35-42 (19 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 35-42 (19 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 30-47 (24 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings - July 1st

New York Yankees - 48-27 --
Seattle Mariners - 45-33 --
Chicago White Sox - 42-33 (1.5 GB)
Cleveland Indians - 36-39 (7.5 GB)
Oakland Athletics - 36-40 (8 GB)
Minnesota Twins - 35-40 (8.5 GB)

June's Hot Players

SP Jamie Cox - 5-1 1.49 ERA
SP Tim Libby - 4-1 2.19 ERA
MR Nick Kennedy - 4-1 2.41 RA
MR Rodrigo Rivera - 1-0 0.84 ERA
2B Tim Miller - .345 0 HR 10 RBI
LF Abel Black - .325 8 HR 16 RBI
SS Carlos Correa - .318 5 HR 22 RBI

June's Cold Players

SP Eric Black - 1-2 5.34 ERA
MR Sam Turner - 0-1 54.00 ERA
1B Chris Daniels - .220 4 HR 18 RBI
1B A.J. Reed - .240 5 HR 19 RBI

June News & Notes

Injuries

The injury bug was out in full force in June as the Jays were forced to place a pair of regulars on the disabled list. The first Jay to hit the infirmary was veteranSP Alex Wood who suffered a strained shoulder and is expected to be out for the next 5 weeks. He was 6-3 with a 3.98 ERA this season with the Jays and was placed on the 15 day disabled list. The Jays recalled SP Steve Sampson who was 7-2 with a 2.49 ERA with AAA Buffalo this season.

The next to go down was the Jays back up catcher C Arturo Lugo who is suffering from elbow soreness and is expected to be out for the next 5 weeks. He is hitting .500 with 0 HR and 1 RBI so far this season. He was placed on the 15 day disabled list as well and the Jays recalled C Steve Reed (.198 1 HR 19 RBI) from AAA Buffalo.

First Year Player Draft Update

GM Ryan Stewart was busy getting the newest talent acquired in the 2024 First Year Player Draft signed and assigned to teams in the Jays minor league system. The Jays have currently signed all but 4 of their draftees including their 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounders. Still unsigned are 3B Jim Day (5th round, 157th overall), SP Phil Bond (6th round, 187th overall), MR Quincy Carson (11th round, 337th overall) and SP Dan Hampton (22nd round, 667th overall). The Jays have used just $1,565,000 of their draft allotment so far this season on their first 4 picks leaving them some room to try and snag some of these late round gambles.

1st Round 27th Overall - SP Kevin Perkins - $1,080,000
2nd Round 67th Overall - 2B Shawn Shannon - $105,000
3rd Round 97th Overall - SP Erik Little - $130,000
4th Round 127th Overall - SP Dan Shannon - $250,000

Awards

SP Jamie Cox was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for June after going 5-1 with a 1.49 ERA.

SP Sam Burns (2nd round pick 63rd overall in 2020) was named the AA Eastern League Pitcher of the Month for June after going 4-0 with a 1.82 ERA in 4 starts for AA New Hampshire.

Around the Majors

3B Miguel Sano of the Boston Red Sox mashed his 300th career homerun in a 6-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox. The 31 year old slugger is a career /244 hitter with 300 HR and 888 RBI. He is a 3 time All Star and was the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year.

RF Giancarlo Stanton of the Boston Red Sox ripped career homerun #400 in a 7-3 victory over the New York Yankees. The 34 year old slugger is a career .256 hitter with 1774 hits 400 HR and 1130 RBI. He is a 3 time All Star.

RF Bryce Harper of the Boston Red Sox collected career hit #2000 in a 9-5 loss against the Atlanta Braves. The 31 year old is a career .297 hitter with 2001 hits 346 HR and 1059 RBI. He is a 12 time All Star, 3 time MVP and was the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year.

Up Next: July 2024 Update & 2024 Trade Deadline



#79

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Blue Jays Cruising - 10 Game Lead in the AL East

August 1st, 2024


The Toronto Blue Jays are on pace for a record breaking season their 73 wins have them perched atop the American League East Division with a comfortable 10 game lead on the second place New York Yankees. The Jays franchise record for wins came back in 2020 when they would finish 111-51. The are currently on a 115 win pace which would shatter their previous mark. At this point in the season the Jays look like a sure thing for a post season berth and GM Ryan Stewart is hoping that it will finally translate into post season success.

AL East Standings - August 1st

Toronto Blue Jays - 73-29 --
New York Yankees - 62-38 (10 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 48-52 (24 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 44-58 (29 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 37-66 (36.5 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings - August 1st

New York Yankees - 62-38 --
Kansas City Royals - 58-45 --
Seattle Mariner - 55-47 (2.5 GB)
Oakland Athletics - 52-50 (5.5 GB)
Minnesota Twins - 49-52 (8 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 48-52 (8.5 GB)

July's Hot Players

SP Jamie Cox - 5-0 1.05 ERA
SP Eric Black - 4-1 3.93 ERA
SP Tim Libby - 3-1 5.27 ERA
MR Nick Kennedy - 0-0 10 K 1.86 ERA (9.2 IP)
CL Jordan Walden - 0-0 1.23 ERA
3B Stu Daniels - .375 1 HR 10 RBI
2B Tim Miller - .319 0 HR 7 RBI
2B Chris Goodwin - .294 6 HR 23 RBI

July's Cold Players

SP Jose Cerventes - 2-2 4.57 ERA
MR Jorge Miranda - 1-1 5.40 ERA
1B A.J. Reed - .207 4 HR 15 RBI
CF ALbert Almora - .223 5 HR 17 RBI

July News & Notes

Injuries

For the second straight month the Blue Jays were forced to place a pair of players on the disabled list. The first was a huge loss as star SS Carlos Correawho is having a monster season with the bat hitting .388 with 20 HR and 74 RBI is expected to miss the next 4 weeks with a fractured rib after getting hit in the ribs by CL Aroldis Chapman of the Baltimore Orioles. He was placed on the 15 Day Disabled list and SS Tyler Halas (.249 3 HR 20 RBI) who has been up and down from AAA Buffalo this season was recalled.

The next player to go down was MR Rodrigo Rivera who is having a solid season in the Jays bullpen with a 1-0 record 3 saves and a 3.70 ERA. He is expected to miss the next 5 months with ulnar nerve irritation and was placed on the 60 day disabled list effectively ending his 2024 season. The Jays recalled CL Phil Jones who has been lights out for the Bisons this year with a 2-0 record 20 saves and a sparkling 1.96 ERA.

International Amateur Free Agents

July 1st brought with it a fresh crop of new International talent that could be signed on the open market. Thanks to the jays spending way over their allotted cap in 2023 they would be limited to signing players to contracts under $250,000 in value. That might have kept them off of some of the bigger names in the class but didn't stop them from spending a total of $1,500,000 on 6 players this year. The Jays signings were:

SP Jose Gallegos (16, RHP, 6'3", 185 lbs V:92-94 MPH)
Signed for: $250,000 (Venezuela)
Comments: A lanky righty with a big arm. He has 4 pitches (fastball, changeup, splitter and forkball) with decent command. He projects as a back end of the rotation arm and should add some velocity as he grows and fills out. 

SP Jesus Diaz (16, LHP, 6'3", 185 lbs V:88-90 MPH)
Signed for: $250,000 (Venezuela)
Comments: A lefty with pin point control. He throws a fastball, slider and changeup and can locate all his pitches very well. He will need to add some more velocity and stamina if he wants to be a starter and at this point might be better suited as a reliever.

CF Elian Ramirez (16, RHB, 6'0", 165 lbs)
Signed for: $250,000 (Dominican Republic)
Comments: The only non-pitcher that the Jays signed this year. He is a 4 tool player (he has no power what so ever) who can play all 3 outfield positions and quite well. He is very fast on the basepaths and has great instincts. Ultimately he has the floor of a #4 outfielder/pinch runner but with some development could easily turn into an everyday player.

SP Jose Camacho (16, RHP, 6'2", 175 lbs V:87-89 MPH)
Signed for: $250,000 (Dominican Republic)
Comments: This kid throws 5 pitches (Fastball, curveball, changeup, splitter and a knuckle curve) that all grade out as average right now. He is likely to add some velocity as he grows and matures and should be a good middle to back end of the rotation talent. At a minimum he would be a good swing man out of the bullpen.

SP Ruben Garcia (17, LHP, 6'1", 180 lbs V:89-91 MPH)
Signed for: $250,000 (Venezuela)
Comments: A lefty with a good 3 pitch mix (fastball, curveball and slider). His fastball is his best pitch and he locates it well. His secondary stuff will need some work as it is very raw. He has the ceiling of a #4/5 starter at this point and were hoping that he can add some velocity as he grows.

SP Robinson Mescardo (16, LHP, 6'1", 170 lbs V:85-87 MPH)
Signed for: $250,000 (Dominican Republic)
Comments: The biggest wild card of the bunch. He has tremendous control of his 3 pitches (sinker, curveball and splitter) right now, but just doesn't have MLB quality stuff at the moment. He only gets 85-87 MPH on his fastball and thats not going to be enough to get MLB hitters out. If he can add a few MPH on his fastball he could be a diamond in the rough for the Jays down the road.

First Year Player Draft Update

GM Ryan Stewart and the Jays were unable to get any of their remaining 4 unsigned draftees signed as the signing deadline came and went. Still unsigned are:

3B Jim Day (5th round, 157th overall) - UNLV
SP Phil Bond (6th round, 187th overall) - University of San Diego
MR Quincy Carson (11th round, 337th overall) - Rutgers
SP Dan Hampton (22nd round, 667th overall) - Pepperdine

2024 Trade Deadline

The Blue Jays were quite busy this year at the trade deadline as they would make a pair of deals that were both a little surprising to Jays fans. The first deal with the Washington Nationals really came out of nowhere. GM Ryan Stewart "this was a deal that we were approached by Nats GM Randy Knorr (who is a former Jays catcher himself) about the availability of SP Alex Wood. The Nats are in the middle of a pennant race with the Braves and Phillies and were looking for a boost to their rotation. We would get the chance to lose a $22,800,000 salary off the books and were offered a decent starter in return in 26 year old SP Tyler Ivey. It was a deal that really made sense for both sides and gives us some financial flexibility heading into the next few seasons".

Players to Washington

SP Alex Wood is a 33 year old lefty who was a 2nd round pick back in 2012 by the Atlanta Braves out of the University of Georgia. He was acquired by the Jays in 2022 by the Chicago Cubs. He was 6-3 with a 3.98 ERA with 24 BB and 83 K's for the Jays this season and missed a month with injuries. He is a 3 time All Star and was the 2020 National League Gold Glove Winner.

Players to Toronto

SP Tyler Ivey is a 26 year old righty was a 1st round pick 25th overall back in 2015 our of Chandler High School in the USHSBA by the Nationals. He is 4-9 with a 5.14 ERA walking 24 and striking out 63 in 18 starts with the Nationals. The righty has $8,300,000 left on his contract for this season and is under contract for $12,100,000 a season for the next 4 years. He features a 93-95 MPH fastball as well as a cutter and changeup and he struggled with the Nats this season. The Jays see him as a #3 starter and are hoping that a change of scenery will do him good. 

Trade #2

The Jays second trade was a little less surprising. With the acquisition of SP Tyler Ivey the Jays would have liked to demote SP Steve Sampson back to AAA Buffalo but the 26 year old was out of options and would not have passed waivers. He would eventually be dealt to the Florida Marlins in exchange for 23 year old MR Gus Price.

Players to Miami

SP Steve Sampson is a 26 year old right hander who was selected in the 2nd round 45th overall in the 2017 First Year Player Draft out of El Paso High School by the Atlanta Braves. He was traded to the Blue Jays in 2022 and was 3-1 with a 3.82 ERA with 8 walks and 30 strikeouts in 4 games for the Jays this season. 

Players to Toronto

MR Gus Price is a 23 year old righty with a power arm. He can bring his fastball in the 95-97 MPH range consistently and he also throws a curveball, slider and changeup. He was a Supplemental 1st round pick 30th overall by Houston in 2020 out of Denver High School and was 1-1 with a 4.85 ERA with 14 BB and 21 K in 21 games with the Marlins. He has options remaining and was sent to AAA Buffalo. My scouts believe he has the potential to be a starter and he is going to get stretched out as a starter in AAA. 

Awards

SP Jamie Cox was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for July after going 5-0 with a 1.05 ERA.

CF Eric Brown (Supplemental 1st round pick 35th overall in 2023) hit .350 with 8 HR and 25 RBI and was named the Midwestern League Batter of the Month for the Lansing Lugnuts.

SP Josh Britton (1st round pick 25th overall in 2021) was named the AA Eastern League Pitcher of the Month after he went 5-1 with a 2.87 ERA) for AA New Hampshire.

CL Joe MacIntyre (8th round pick 249th overall in 2023) was named the Dominican Summer League Pitcher of the Month after going 4-0 with 8 Saves and a 1.13 ERA for the DSL Blue Jays.

Up Next: August 2024 Wrap Up



#80

ryan008
  • ryan008
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Blue Jays Running Away with the AL East

September 1st, 2024

The Blue Jays have opened up a 13 game lead in the American League East with just over a month left in the 2024 regular season. Toronto's record of 92-37 is easily the best in baseball and good enough for a comfortable lead on the 79-50 New York Yankees. The Jays are withing striking distance of breaking the team record for wins in a season 111 set back in 2020. With the American League East Division all but locked up (and barring a complete collapse in the last month of the season) the Jays plan on resting a lot of their regulars so that they are fresh for the post season. GM Ryan Stewart "We have had trouble getting out of the first round the last couple of seasons and this year we have a large enough lead that we can bring up some of our depth in AAA to spell our regulars and also it gives us a chance to get an extended look at some of the guys who may look to break into the lineup for 2025 and beyond".

AL East Standings - September 1st

Toronto Blue Jays - 92-37
New York Yankees - 79-50 (13 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 66-62 (25.5 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 51-77 (40 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 51-77 (40.5 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings - September 1st

New York Yankees - 79-50 --
Los Angeles Angels - 68-60 --
Seattle Mariners - 69-61 --
Kansas City Royals - 68-62 (1 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 66-62 (2 GB)
Oakland Athletics - 67-63 (2 GB)

August's Hot Players

SP Erik Black - 5-1 3.77 ERA
SP Tyler Ivey - 3-1 4.24 ERA
SP Jamie Cox - 3-2 2.58 ERA
MR Mike McNeal - 1-1 1.17 ERA
MR Sam Turner - 0-0 3 SV 1.35 ERA
SS Carlos Correa - .531 5 HR 18 RBI
3B Stu Daniels - .392 1 HR 11 RBI
C Max Pentecost - .322 4 HR 17 RBI
LF Don Bergeron - .315 1 HR 7 RBI

August's Cold Players

MR Nick Kennedy - 0-1 8.31 ERA
CL Jordan Walden - 1-0 1 SV 7.88 ERA
2B Chris Goodwin - .164 3 HR 7 RBI
1B Chris Daniels - .165 1 HR 8 RBI
RF Isaac Green - .204 1 HR 14 RBI

August News & Notes

Injuries

The injury bug continues to linger around the Blue Jays outfielders as yet another one was forced to go on the disabled list. CF Albert Almora who is hitting .276 with 11 HR and 53 RBI for the Jays this season will miss 5 weeks with a fractured thumb. The injury will keep him out of the lineup until the beginning of the post season. The Jays recalled CF Dan Mitchell (2nd round pick 54th overall in 2018) who is hitting .324 with 3 HR and 28 RBI in AAA Buffalo. The 28 year old will be making his major league debut after spending 6 seasons in the Jays minors.

2024 First Year Player Draft Update

The players that the Jays drafted in the 2024 First Year Player Draft have all had a few months in professional baseball now and its a good time to check in and see how they are adjusting.

1st Round Pick (27th Overall) SP Kevin Perkins - 4-5 5.54 ERA 18 BB 50 K (GCL Blue Jays).
2nd Round Pick (67th Overall) 2B Shawn Shannon - .237 4 HR 19 RBI (GCL Blue Jays)
3rd Round Pick (97th Overall) SP Erik Little - 3-2 1 SV 3.42 ERA 17 BB 53 K (GCL Blue Jays)
4th Round Pick (127th Overall) SP Dan Shannon - 5-3 2.09 ERA 9 BB 75 K (GCL Blue Jays)

September Callups

With the rosters expanding to 40 men on September 1st the Jays elected to add a number of players from AAA Buffalo to give their regulars a chance at some rest before the Playoffs start in October. The Jays added:

SP Bernie Cantrell (1st Rnd, 27th OA, 2021) - 14-12 3.19 ERA
CL Johnny Jones (6th Rnd, 148th OA, 2020) - 4-1 13 SV 1.61 ERA
C Arturo Lugo (Int FA Signing 2018) - .247 4 HR 24 RBI
1B Pat Olson (1st Rnd, 33rd OA, 2019) - .240 10 HR 67 RBI
SS Tyler Halas - .232 5 HR 30 RBI
CF Cesar Gutierrez (Traded to Tor in 2023) - .291 4 HR 32 RBI

Awards

SS Carlos Correa literally tore the cover off the ball in the month of August hitting an amazing .531 with 5 HR and 18 RBI and scoring 21 runs. He is hitting .410 for the season and has a chance to hit .400 for the first time since Ted Williams in 1941.

Around the Majors

CF Mike Trout of the the Seattle Mariners notched career hit #2000 in a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies. The 33 year has a career .300 batting average with 2000 hits, 268 HR and 926 RBI. He is a 12 time all star, 5 time gold glove winner, was the 2019 AL MVP and the 2012 AL rookie of the year.

Up Next: End of the 2023 Regular Season.






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