It’s the closing stretch of the minor league season now, any team not making the playoffs has only a little over three weeks, at most, left to play. Observers, qualified and otherwise, can begin to draw some pretty firm conclusions about most of the guys in the system who stayed healthy enough to get significant game time. This weeks edition is chock full of familiar names for prospect watchers.
Hottest Pitcher: Ryan Borucki
This is the name that keeps coming up. The man who idolized Mark Buehrle might just be the 2.0 at some point, albeit probably without the endurance. They say that the hardest jump in the minors, other than the one to the majors, is the one from High A ball to AA. Nobody tell Borucki that. In four starts since being promoted he’s put on a clinic, showing up both EL hitters and the more highly ranked rotation mates he’s joined (who have all three struggled mightily this year). A 1.37 ERA and 0.76 WHIP over 26.1 IP, to go with a 25/5 K/BB ratio. Don’t be shocked if you see his face at the Dome in September.
Hottest Hitter: D.J. Davis
No, that’s not a typo. Yes, I fully intended to write that name. Look, I know what you’re thinking—I’m as shocked as anyone. But here, let me just show you.
Through July 10: 69 GP, 208 AB, 44 H, 3 2B, 3 3B, 0 HR, 20 BB, 57 K and a .212/.283/.255/.538 slash line.
Since July 11: 31 GP, 95 AB, 35 H, 4 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 14 BB, 21 K, and a .368/.450/.495/.945 slash line.
I don’t know how good he’d have to be for how long for me to consider the former first round pick as a potential major leaguer at this point. He’s 23, which is not yet too old for Dunedin even though he is repeating the level (interestingly, he did better in his second year at Lansing than his first by a considerable margin as well). In the mean time, this young man is on fire.
5 Other Stat Lines
- Rowdy Tellez — Here’s a name I haven’t mentioned much this year, and for good reason. He’s really struggled and had hardly had any good stretches. He finished July sitting at .199 with an OPS under .600 and hadn’t been over .240 since mid April. But in August, he’s hitting .395 with a .923 OPS so…? It’s only 11 games, and there’s no homers this month, but maybe it will give him some confidence down the stretch and into the winter.
- Tim Mayza — The hard throwing lefty opened the season in AA where he got pounded on opening day, then ran off a string of 10 appearances, covering 13.1 IP, in which he gave up a single earned run and struck out 13 (1 BB). After 11 days in the wilderness (8 ER in 5 appearances) he got back on track giving up 4 ER in 14.2 IP (2.45 ERA) while striking out 19. That got him promoted to Buffalo on July 4. There he’s been eve better and no less a personage than mark Shapiro name-dropped him in an interview with Jeff Blair this week.
- Anthony Alford — The Blue Jays’ best OF prospect got back to New Hampshire, after rehabbing his broken hamate in Dunedin, on July 21 and it took him a week or so to get his grove back. But over his last 10 games he’s hitting .343 and slugging .600 (small sample caveats obviously apply).
- Richard Urena — At the end of play on May 10, Urena had a .173 BA and a .495 OPS. Since then he’s hit .272 with a .713 OPS and he’s hit .300 so far in August. That’s encouraging but it’s not close to enough given who’s coming behind him.
- Logan Warmoth — Pounding the ball so far in his first 20 games at Vancouver with a .354/.422/.544/.967 slash line. Showing only doubles power at the moment but that’s not unusual for first pro experience. BTW, the Jays’ other 2017 first rounder Nate Pearson has finally arrived in Canada. The Jays are being stingy with IP for their college pitcher draftees and Pearson has made only three 2 IP outings so the sample is incredibly small. But those six innings were beauties, with six K and no walks to go with only three hits. VanC’s broadcaster Rob Fai told Jesse Goldberg-Strassler on Around the Nest that, having seen all the Jays’ top itching prospects for most of the last decade, including Syndergaard – he’d rank Pearson #1! That’ll play!
The Bisons are playing out the string, 16 back of even a wild card, but trying to keep fans interested with an 8-4 mark in August.
13-17 since the ASB, you can’t really string together wins with a maddeningly inconsistent rotation, not only are they playing out the string but they are 31 games out in last place and seem unlikely to do anything about that.
8-5 in August after having a tremendous July, the D-Jays remain 5.5 games back of the division leading Yankees, but since the Yankees were first-half champs, the Dunedin squad is locked in a contest with the Clearwater Phillies for a wild card berth. The nest best overall in-division record qualifies and right now the Jays are a half game back in that race.
They’re a .500 team overall, and 5-6 in August and seem incredibly unlikely to make the post-season. The Blue Jays may make roster assignment decisions based on potential for playoff action (for example, not promoting a 1B here when the Lugnuts are basically pasting together that position with bench players and have been for a while) or they may ignore that factor for the value of giving some guys a next-level taste.
The VanCans already won the first half and are loaded, offensively, to go deep behind the bats of Warmoth, Adams, Clemens, Jacobs, and the much improved Reggie Pruitt.
The Bluefield squad is well position, a half game out of first and 7 games up on their closest pursuer with 18 games to play, so the wild card in their division is more than likely even if they do not overtake the division leaders.
The Gulf Coast Jays have the best winning percentage in the GCL and a 1.5 game lead in their division with 12 to play, the DSL Jays are up by 3 with, likewise, 12 games left.
Lead Photo: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports