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Past, Present, and (maybe) Future C’s

I really don’t want to start this post off with another Dalton Pompey reference but, well, he does seem to be the topic du semaine (that right?). So, after seeing him live at the Nat and pegging him as one of the few prospects to watch in my original prospects post, Kyle Matte leads off with DP in his Week 11 (but first week including short season players) Blue Jays Prospect Hot Sheet.

As for the future C’s the hot sheet also includes two Bluefield players in 2nd baseman Christian Lopes (7th Rnd, 2011) and RHP Joe Musgrove (46th overall, 2011).  Both of these kids are yet to turn 20, so the Jays may be happy for them to spend a full season in Bluefield.  But then again, Nicolino and Syndergaard were both 19 last year when they came through Vancouver.  So we can always hope.  As Kyle mentions in his piece, with dozens of legit prospects in the two leagues below the C’s there will be some flux.  We’ll see some interesting faces come up to Vancouver and possibly even pass us by.  Should be interesting.

As for the past C’s, there’s been some good performances of late.  Justin Nicolino made his 2nd start tonight since Lansing have done away with the piggy backing system they were employing for the first half(ish) of the year.  In his two starts (all the young guys are still being limited to 5 innings per start) Nicolino has struck out 10 over 10 innings and walked 2.  These numbers are pretty consistent with the rest of the season where he has a 5:1 K/BB ratio and Ks pretty much a batter an inning.  Noah Syndergaard has only made one start under the new system, but it was a beauty, hence his inclusion on the Hot Sheet.  Jesse Hernandez bounced back nicely from his first Dunedin appearance to pitch 3 scoreless innings on Saturday night.  Jesse got the start in the Northwest League clinching game and is a non-drafted free agent.  Two reasons to keep an eye on him as he makes his way up the Jays system.

I’m always a bit pitching heavy when doing these prospect pieces but frankly they are who I know a bit better.  Will endeavour to do a bit of research on some of the position players who played for the C’s last year and have made a jump up a level or two.  One guy I do want to mention is Pierce Rankin, the starting catcher in last year’s final.  He began the year in Lansing and after his scorching his way to  an OPS of .475 the Jays had him jump Dunedin and move all the way to Double A New Hampshire.  Pierce has a great name, great story (he only started catching in college), and judging by the pic below, a nice smile, but there must be something else at play here.  The Jays system is loaded with catching prospects, so can only speculate there has been an injury crisis in NH:

Catchers (click column headers to sort)
# Name Pos Bat Thw Ht Wt DOB Status MLB 40-man
7 Joel Galarraga C R R 5′ 11″ 185 03-20-1982 Active No
8 Brian Jeroloman C L R 5′ 11″ 195 05-10-1985 7-day DL No
31 A.J. Jimenez C R R 6′ 0″ 210 05-01-1990 7-day DL No
29 Sean Ochinko C R R 5′ 11″ 205 10-21-1987 Active No
17 Pierce Rankin C R R 6′ 1″ 190 04-26-1989 7-day DL No

And lo and behold, from the milb website.  Lot of injuries there.   From most pre-season rankings sites I read, A.J. Jimenez was the catcher to watch in AA but as per above, he’s splitting time with Ochinko who has actually OPS’d about 200 points higher than Jimenez.  Buuuuuut, he never played in Vancouver, so we can never speak of him again.

now that’s a good lookin’ kid



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