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Vancouver Canadians Prospecting – Who’s on their way to the C’s?

After mentioning in my last post that Kyle Anderson had been promoted to the C’s from the GCL Jays I happened upon a note that Philip Brua had been sent from Vancouver to Lansing.  Philip was a C’s returnee so good to see him earn a promotion after a good start to this season.  Brua made his Lansing debut on Thursday, earning a 4 inning save, giving up 6 hits and 2 runs in the process.

As there has already been a decent amount of turnover within the lower rungs of the organization this season, I figured it was worthwhile taking another look at who we may see in Vancouver over the course of the season.  I also happen to have the the time as tonight’s game against Eugene was rained off, and I was slated to go.

As I get more experienced delving into the depths of the Jays org chart I hope to get a better feel to the reasons players are promoted/demoted etc. (aside from the obvious – playing well, not playing well).  Age may be a factor, as will positional need.  For example the Jays are loaded at center field, both at the mlb level and in the minors, so 2012 first round DJ Davis will be given plenty of time to get up to speed, meaning he may very well stay with the GCL club for another season if necessary.  However, 1b is a problem organizationally at the moment, so any high ceiling prospects may be rushed.  The Jays have always maintained they want their prospects to play in winning environments as well.  So, bodies may be moved around based on which teams are headed to the post-season.

Trying to figure out how much these secondary variables play into the Jays thinking will be an interesting challenge when looking at some of the moves made over the course of the summer.

For this post I’ll focus on the Bluefield Blue Jays, being the rung below, and leave the DSL team until a later date.  Bluefield, based in Virginia,  play in the Appalachian league.  The Jays affiliated themselves with Bluefield in 2011 as a means of providing an extra step for players who found the jump from the DSL to Vancouver a bit to large.

This year, the B-Jays are loaded with high end talent which, hopefully, means Vancouver gets to see some of these kids at some point as they make their way through to full season ball.

(editor’s note: the above portion of this post was written on the 1st of July, but a Canada Day bbq mishap and the birth of our 2nd child meant the past two days have been spent in hospital. So, let’s try and re-join and attempt to keep the thread together)

Starting with the pitchers, any Vancouver Canadians prospecter would immediately look at Daniel Norris and Roberto Osuna but as these two were covered in previous posts I want to take a look at a 3rd arm down in Bluefield that may get to see the bright lights of Vancouver before the season is out.  Joe Musgrove has been piggybacking starts in tandem with Daniel Norris and stats-wise has been outshining the higher ranked prospect.  He’s a big body whose fastball sits in the low to mid-90s, but with his current frame and age, could easily see his velocity tick up a bit if a few more pounds of muscle are added.  What’s impressive about his early season work is that his 9 to 0 K to BB ratio.  Not only is he striking out over a batter an inning, he isn’t giving the opposition any free passes.  This, combined with only 5 hits allowed, makes for a very tidy 0.625 WHIP.  As Joe finished last seasong (his first in pro ball) with Bluefield, given another half dozen or so positive outings, I could see him with the C’s in early August or so.

On the catching side, Santiago Nessy is the propect to keep an eye on.  However, given his age and relative green-ness defensively, I don’t foresee him moving beyond Bluefield this season.  Definitely someone to bear in mind for next year though as he has a very highly regarded bat.

Positionally, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict we see Art Charles in Vancouver at some point this season.  Given fact he is 21 and is currently OPSing 1.192 in Bluefield I don’t think that is much of a stretch.  Jordan Leyland seems to be getting the most reps at 1b in Vancouver, but with a .179 slugging % in 39  ABs, I think his time there may be limited.  Roan Salas may still take the bulk of reps at 1st for the rest of the season, but he has yet to play.  And even though the old adage says you shouldn’t lose you position over an injury, the Jays may find it tough to hold Charles back while waiting for Salas to heal.

In the Outfield, neither of Vancouver’s corners are getting the job done and could be pressured for playing time later in the season.  Both Matt Newman and Nicholas Baligod who man left and right field respectively are returnees to the C’s.  With their ages and OPS numbers I can’t see either of them being anything other than organizational filler.  One name to keep an eye on as a replacement is Nico Taylor.  Drafted as a college junior, Nico is the right age for the Northwest League and, despite his sluggish start this year, has shown some pop in his pro career.

Change amongst the minor league teams in inevitable.  Hopefully the C’s capture the first half flag and guarantee themselves a post-season berth, which not only brings extra opportunities to see your van c’s in action, but also a chance to see some legit prospects as they climb the Jays organizational ladder.  Possibly switching the hat below for that of the C’s:

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