SOT6 Podcast - Episode 107

Promotional Banner.jpg

Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@ACorsair21)


EPISODE 107

"Leaving Dunedin“

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TALK

Spring Training Toronto Blue Jays Talk

  • With the Jays' finishing up their Spring Training activities in Dunedin, they now head back for a pair of exhibition games in Montreal before kicking off the start of the season for Opening Day. The roster is just about finalized, but still is in need of some tweaking after a few notable injuries have recently plagued the team. Specifically, Ryan Borucki and Ryan Tepera are both battling elbow issues, but are said to be minor. John Axford has been released as a result of an elbow issue of his own, but the Jays plan on resigning him once his rehab is complete. Lastly, Dalton Pompey suffered yet another concussion which may jeopardize his tenure as a Blue Jay. To say that things are shaky even before the start of the season would be an understatement.

  • To discuss these and other topics, host Adam Corsair is joined Ryan Andrews - writer for Jays From The Couch and host of the Locked on Jays Podcast. Ryan & Adam get into a bunch of topics surrounding the Jays, such as:

    • Kevin Pillar Trade Rumors

    • How To Handle These Injuries

    • Alford Assigned to the Bisons

    • Win Total Predictions

and so much more!

It’s a Blue Jays show that you won’t want to miss!

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @NeoAC18

Visit Ryan's work: HERE

Subscribe to the Locked on Blue Jays Podcast: HERE

Music:
Scott Holmes - “Mountains All Around Us”


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


SOT6 Podcast - Episode 105

Promotional Banner.jpg

Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@AdamCorsair)


EPISODE 105

"PAY RAISE"

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TALK

Preseason Toronto Blue Jays Talk!

  • The landscape of the MLB was shaken by the hands of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as they extended - arguably - the best player in all of baseball, Mike Trout, to a record shattering 12 year $430+M contract. A well-deserved extension for both parties as Trout gets the money that he is due and the Angels lock up a phenom. However, the question that this now raises is, how does this impact the future free agents in the MLB?

  • In Blue Jays news, there isn’t any shortage. The Jays made a few roster moves to prepare for the regular season that have raised a few eyebrows. They’ve also implemented some locker-room rules regarding video games. Lastly, they’ve made a monumental and hopefully influential step in the right direction by offering all of their prospects in every level of their developmental system a 50% pay raise.

  • To tackle these and other topics, host Adam Corsair is joined by Connor Chambers of Toronto Sports Views and the TSV Podcast. Connor and Adam touch on a wide variety of topics surrounding the Blue Jays, such as:

    • Mike Trout’s Extension & the Impact on the MLB

    • Elbow Soreness

    • Video Games Being Curfewed

    • MiLB Pay Raise

    • Win Total Predictions

...and so much more!

It’s a Blue Jays centered show that you won’t want to miss!

Follow Connor on Twitter: @connorchambers & @TO_SportsViews

Visit Connor's Work: HERE

Subscribe to the TSV Podcast HERE

Music:

Scott Holmes - “Mountains All Around Us


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


Blue Jays Off-Season In Review

bsb6vus9rp6v709yk8mw.jpg

Article Written by Hudson Stewart (@hudson_stewart6)


While teams like the Phillies and Padres went out and made big moves this off-season, the Blue Jays made it clear that they weren’t going to be big spenders. They were never in the conversation for Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, and only made moves that were low-risk. However, despite the fact that they didn’t make any big splashes, I still think this off-season was a success for the Blue Jays front office.

First of all, here’s a list of the notable moves that the Blue Jays made:

  1. Traded Aledmys Diaz to Houston for SP Trent Thornton

  2. Signed INF Eric Sogard to a minor-league contract

  3. Signed SP Matt Shoemaker to a 1-year, $3,500,000 contract

  4. Traded Conor Panas to the Padres in exchange for SP Clayton Richard

  5. Signed RP David Phelps to a 1 year, 2,500,000 contract with a 2020 club option

  6. Signed SS Freddy Galvis to a 1-year, 5,0000 contract with a 2020 club option

  7. Signed RP John Axford to a minor-league contract

  8. Signed RP Bud Norris to a minor-league contract

  9. Signed SP Clay Buchholz to a 1-year, 3,000,000 contract

All of those moves have very little risk to them, and have the potential to give the Jays a high reward. With the starting rotation, the Jays could’ve easily gone into the season with a rotation of guys already on the roster (Stroman, Sanchez, Borucki, Reid-Foley, Gaviglio). But instead, they created some internal competition by bringing in some veteran arms that have pitched in the majors before. The additions of Buchholz , Richard and Shoemaker likely have the Jays’ rotation looking like this: Stroman, Sanchez, Shoemaker, Borucki, and Richard until Buchholz is ready to pitch. I like this approach much more than handing rotation spots to unproven guys like Reid-Foley or Pannone. It gives them more time to develop in the minors, and also doesn’t force a guy like Ryan Borucki to be the 3rd starter already. I especially like the Buchholz signing because he’s coming off a pretty good bounce-back year. He made 16 starts for Arizona and posted a 2.01 ERA for them. If he can pitch at close to that level in Toronto, then they could flip him at the deadline for a decent return (As they can with all of the guys on 1-year deals).

As for the bullpen, this was the main focus for the team this off-season. Other than Giles and Tepera, the Jays didn’t really have any reliable arms back there. I still think the bullpen is a question mark going into this season, but the Jays did add a few solid arms to it. Jays fans are familiar with Axford, as he was here last year before being traded to the Dodgers. As for Phelps and Norris, I think they’ll both fill the gap nicely in a middle relief role. Phelps missed all of 2018 due to Tommy John Surgery, but in 2017, he had a 3.40 ERA through 54 total appearances. As for Bud Norris, he was effective for the Cardinals last season, putting up a 3.59 ERA in 64 appearances. It’s too early to tell right now, but if I had to guess, I’d say the bullpen looks like this on Opening Day: Biagini as a long reliever, Norris, Phelps and Axford in middle relief, Tim Mayza as the lefty specialist, and then Tepera as the set up man for Ken Giles, who’s the closer.

The Jays mainly added pitching depth in the off-season, but they also added some infield depth with the signings of Freddy Galvis and Eric Sogard. Sogard will likely start the year in Buffalo, but Galvis has a real shot to play shortstop for the Jays on Opening Day. Obviously the Jays will give Lourdes Gurriel Jr. a shot to play there sometimes, as well as some second base and outfield, but I also expect Galvis to get a substantial number of starts at shortstop. He’s been one of the best defensive shortstops over the past few years, while also producing offensively, and I’m excited to see him play this year.

Overall, this off-season won’t be one that we’ll specifically remember for any big moves, but I do think that the Jays did a good job given the position they’re in. They were never going to be big spenders this year, but I think that they signed some players that have the potential to produce this year, and potentially bring back a haul at the trade deadline. My favourite part about the contracts is that even if they all blow up in their faces, the Blue Jays are only committed for one year, so there’s very little risk involved for the team.


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


SOT6 Podcast - Episode 103

Promotional Banner.jpg

Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@AdamCorsair)


EPISODE 103

"INCHING CLOSER"

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TALK

Preseason Toronto Blue Jays Talk!

  • As Spring Training continues, the Blue Jays are starting to find their stride. The club has won 8 of their last 10, with strong outings from both Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman lately, giving fans confidence that the team will improve on their performance from last season. Also, Jays fans have been excited to see players like Anthony Alford and Dalton Pompey excel and perhaps earn their respective spots on the team's major league roster. The question is, which one will get the green light and at who's detriment? Some fans expect Pillar to be the odd man out.

  • To tackle these and other topics, host Adam Corsair is joined by Jason Lee of Jays Journal. Jason and Adam touch on a wide variety of topics surrounding the Blue Jays, such as:

    • New MLB Rule Changes.

    • Stroman Opening Day Starter

    • Danny Jansen.

    • The Outfield dilemma.

...and so much more!

It’s a Blue Jays centered show that you won’t want to miss!

Follow Jason Lee on Twitter: @Jasons_JaysHub

View Jason’s Work HERE

Music:

Scott Holmes - “Mountains All Around Us


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


SOT6 Podcast - BONUS EPISODE

Promotional Banner.jpg

Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@AdamCorsair)


BONUS EPISODE

"OUTTA THE PARK"

TORONTO Blue JayS talk

Weekly Toronto Blue Jays Talk

  • With an offseason and Spring Training that hasn't necessarily made fans more confident in the Jays reaching another postseason run, there's still plenty of talking points that deserve our attention. The Blue Jays have recently made two signings that are both puzzling in their own separate ways. First, the team signed former member of the Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, to a one year $3M deal. Buchholz, a name familiar with Jays fans way back with accusations of him doctoring balls during his tenure with Boston, will seemingly slide into the Jays' rotation, leaving up-and-comer, Ryan Borucki, as the odd man out. Further, the Jays signed Bud Norris to a one year $3M minor league deal. Norris, known for his controversial comments regarding non-American players, raised eyebrows from fans and doesn't seem to fit the model that Atkins has claimed he wishes to build. Will these signings be something the Jays regret?

  • Joining host Adam Corsair touch on these and other topics is the Outta The Park crew- Barry Davis and Matt McFarland - to talk all things Blue Jays. The trio touch on a wide array of topics centered around the Blue Jays and it is one that you will not want to miss!

Follow Barry Davis on Twitter: @barrydavis_
Follow Matt McFarland on Twitter: @Matt_NSR
Subscribe to the Outta The Park Podcast HERE
Visit NSR Media HERE

Visit Our Affiliates: Stadium Scene & Overtime Media

Music:

Scott Holmes - "Mountains All Around Us"
Broke For Free - "As Colorful As Ever"


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


Blue Jays To Sign Clay Buchholz

1029504410.jpg.0.jpg

Article Written by Adam Corsair (@AdamCorsair)


I’m a little late on this one, but I couldn’t help but offer my two cents on the most recent signing by the Toronto Blue Jays. So let’s dive into it, shall we?

It’s important to note that, as of this writing, the deal isn’t finalized as a physical is pending. However, should the signing become official, Buchholz will be on a 1 year deal and earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $3M with another $3M in incentives.

Although, on paper, this is a solid addition to the Jays’ rotation, I get why this may be a bit emotionally conflicting for fans of the ball club. During his time as a member of the Boston Red Sox, there was no love lost between Buchholz and Jays fans, as well as a certain SportsNet media personality. Recall back in 2013, former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher and also former radio personality of The Fan 590, Dirk Hayhurst, accused Buchholz of doctoring the baseball during an outting between the Jays and Sox.

I mention this, not to open up old wounds and get the fanbase heated about things from the past, but to remind fans that this is ancient history. I highly encourage anyone that is holding on to this and using it as fuel to dislike the signing to quickly let it go. Whether it was true or not is irrelevant at this point and should be left in the past.

Looking at you, Mike -

The way I see it, if Buchholz is able to maintain the pace he was on last season, it’s a very good signing for the Blue Jays. Buchholz signed a minor league deal with the Royals, who cut bait with him early in the 2018 season. He was scooped up by Arizona and proved to be a robust addition for the team. With the Diamondbacks, Buchholz put up a 2.01 ERA with 81 K’s, 22 walks, coughing up 25 runs, going 7-2 over 16 starts. The numbers are encouraging, but his health may not be as the injury-bug has been a reoccurring issue. His most recent struggle came towards the end of last season as he was shut down in September with a flexor mass strain in his throwing arm. Yet, if he gets the nod by the medical staff and he’s ready to go, it’s hard to knock the signing.

But there is a caveat.

Prior to this signing, the starting rotation consisted of (in no particular order) Sanchez, Stroman, Shoemaker, Richard, and Borucki, with Sean Reid-Foley being the defacto No.6 starter should an injury to one of the aforementioned players occur or is in need of rest. Assuming that Buchholz gets the all-clear and doesn’t start the season in Buffalo (which, he may), one of those five pitchers is going to get knocked out of the rotation. As summed up perfectly by Gregor Chisholm, I’m hoping that the one getting the short end of the stick is Richard and not Borucki.

I get that Richard has the veteran advantage over Borucki to get the nod for the starting gig, and it’s not unreasonable to think that the front office may want the latter to get more polished in Buffalo before being a rotation mainstay. But it would be peculiar to me if the Jays pursued Buchholz for this reason and not to maximize their potential to win games. Signing Buchholz is a low rish/high reward type of move that adds some much needed stability to an already questionable rotation. Why add such stability if the Jays are not going to remove the player that, ostensibly, is the weakest link? For me, Borucki has earned the right to have a spot in the rotation and ought to keep it until he proves otherwise. Richard, on the other hand, is more of a question mark and may be served best coming out of the bullpen. Hopefully the front office agrees.

It’s something to keep an eye on during the spring, but I’m hoping that this signing doesn’t shake things up too much. Otherwise, it’s a solid signing that is almost inconsequential for the Jays. Like I said, at around $3M, the risk is incredibly low while the reward is quite high. If he can recapture the magic he had in Arizona and pitch that way for the Jays, I’m all for it. Again, much like the other signings the front office has made since they arrived, he could also be a nice little trade chip come July to add more depth to an already strong farm system.

Hopefully it all works out.


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


SOT6 Podcast - Episode 100

Promotional Banner.jpg

Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@AdamCorsair)


EPISODE 100

"BUSINESS VS. ETHICS"

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TALK

Preseason Toronto Blue Jays Talk!

  • The Toronto Blue Jays are kicking off Spring Training with a plethora of topics that are on the minds of fans. Has the front office done enough to put the best possible team on the field for 2019? What do fans of the club have to look forward to heading into the 2019 season that can elevate their hopes for excitement?

  • To tackle these and other topics, host Adam Corsair is joined by the Blue Jay Hunter himself, Mr. Ian Hunter. Ian and Adam touch on a wide variety of topics surrounding the Blue Jays, such as:

    • Marcus Stroman’s comments to the media about the front office.

    • The service time debate regarding Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

    • The outlook for the 2019 season for the Jays.

      Predicting the outcome of the season.

It’s a Blue Jays centered show that you won’t want to miss!

Follow Ian Hunter on Twitter: @BlueJayHunter

View Ian’s Work HERE

Music:

Scott Holmes - “Mountains All Around Us


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


Marcus Stroman Said Some Things

marcus-stroman.jpg

Article Written by Adam Corsair (@AdamCorsair)


OH MAN!

It only took about 3 days of Spring Training activities for there to be chatter surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays.

And not the good kind, either. It’s a rather familiar narrative that has almost become episodic.

Like last year, Marcus Stroman was recently outspoken with the displeasure he feels towards the front office of his team and some of the decisions that they have made. Specifically, some of this displeasure centered around the status of his contract - or rather, the lack of an extension offered to him by the Jays.

“I want to play here. I’ve been wanting to play here for a long time. I’ve been waiting to sign a long-term deal. I’ve been offered nothing. There’s no one that embodies the city of Toronto more than me. And you’re not going to find guys who want to come in and embody the city of Toronto because it’s just not natural, and I’ve taken a liking to that myself, and that’s been organic and natural, it’s not something I had to do. That’s something I wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to be here.“

Unlike last year, however, the remainder of his outward displeasure was aimed at the front office for not doing enough to acquire more (or better?) pieces for the team to both lead and help them compete in the American League.

"I still think we just need to mix in some pieces, some moves just around the roster to kind of bolster our roster, whether it be in the ‘pen, whether it be another starter, some position players."

"I want to make sure everybody in this organization is doing everything in their power to put the best product out on the field."

Where to start?

I get that Stroman’s outward expressions and his ability to speak his mind are the type of things that a lot of Blue Jays fans find compelling. I understand the value of being able to verbally express yourself, as Stroman does. I understand that what makes him such an attractive player that some fans gravitate towards is his desire and will to win, his hard work, and his perseverance. Honestly, these are good character traits to have and I admire his drive to be successful and to win. These types of attributes are exactly what you want an athlete on your team to possess because it can be contagious and benefit the rest of the team.

But when it comes to the aforementioned verbal expressions, sometimes saying less is saying more. For me, there ought to be some sort of balance between being expressive and burying the organization that you play for to the media.

Call me crazy.

If there’s anything that Stroman should have learned from last year when he publicly called out the brass of the Blue Jays’ organization, it’s that certain laundry shouldn’t be publicly aired.

After losing his arbitration hearing with the Jays around this time last year, Stroman wasn’t shy about how he felt about the result of the process and some of the things the Jays used as evidence to support their case.

Now look - I am fully on board with the notion that any athlete should make as much money as he or she possibly can in their respective contracts. That’s not an exaggeration, either. The hard work, dedication, and countless hours of perfecting one’s craft is something that I highly admire and think, as a result, athletes should be rewarded. If a person spends the vast majority of their life perfecting his or her craft - no matter what it is - he or she should be compensated appropriately. Thus, I don’t fault Stroman for thinking he deserved more money at the time (and even now). He should have felt like he deserved more and he definitely should have fought for his case (as he did).

However, once the process ended and the dust settled, in no way was it appropriate for him to publicly call out the organization for making their case against the figure he thought he deserved. That is, after all, part of the process and the overall point of a hearing. This is not to be confused with me suggesting that Stroman shouldn’t have vocalized his displeasure - that’s his prerogative. I just don’t think it was appropriate for him to do it on such a public platform. If he was going to do it, he should have done so in private to the organization.

It wasn’t the first time Stroman took pop-shots at the organization, either. Recall when the Jays non-tendered Ryan Goins in December of 2017. Stroman went to Twitter to vocalize his displeasure that he wasn’t informed of the decision by the team in a more personal way, and instead found out on the social media platform.

The reason I bring up old news is not to twist the knife, but to simply point out a pattern of behavior. Like last year, there are certain things that I don’t think Stroman should be saying publicly and/or to the media regarding how the front office ought to do their respective jobs. Nothing good can come from it.

Neither Atkins and Shapiro have any obligation to run the Jays in a way that suits Marcus Stroman’s vision, exclusively. Marcus Stroman does write either of their paychecks and they do not have to answer to him regarding how they are performing in their jobs. I get that fans of the Blue Jays are frustrated with the lack of free agent signings that would really push them into contention. Instead, we are presumably set for another disappointing and lackluster season of baseball while the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox continue to excel around us. I get it. But every team at some point has down/rebuilding seasons. It’s the cycle of things. Unfortunately, we are in the midst of such a season.

I get that this frustration among fans is exacerbated due to the large amount of revenue Rogers - as an entity - generates. This isn’t unfamiliar to us as fans of the Jays. The presumption is that the team could afford better players and the team could mirror the likes of the Red Sox and Yankees if they just bought top-tier players to push them towards contention on a more consistent basis if Rogers wanted. However, this is sort of an antiquated argument that has become tired. I get the frustration, I do, but this isn’t anything new. As Stroman said when he lost his arbitration case - it “is what it is.”

But I digress…

I’m not suggesting that what Stroman said about the lack of veteran leadership doesn’t hold any validity. I’m sure the presence of veterans players to sort of balance out the amount of inexperience the team currently has would be beneficial. It’s not what he is saying that’s the issue. The issue is the setting in which he is saying it.

I have absolutely no issue with Stroman questioning the decisions that the front office has made for this season to them and behind closed doors. I do have an issue with Stroman calling them out through the media. That type of behavior is simply unacceptable and shows a lack of maturity. Say what you will about the unwritten rules of baseball and how the game is changing, but there is something to be said of keeping things behind the curtain. By doing so, things are far less likely to be misconstrued or misinterpreted.

If Stroman doesn’t like how the organization is running the team and/or the product that they are putting on the field, then by all means - let them know! Vocalize that displeasure with the same passion that fans are familiar with while he’s pitching on the mound. But do so privately.

What Stroman should understand by now is that calling the brass out via media scrums will not improve the relationship that they have. It will not make the organization reflect on the decisions that they have made this off-season and, therefore, change course on their plans for the team and its future. It will not make them reflect on how they are navigating the speed in which they offer Stroman a contract extension (if at all). It will not make them reflect on how they are performing their duties in their respective positions and, therefore, adjust.

The only thing it will do is (further) drive a wedge between the two parties.

It didn’t take long for GM Ross Atkins to respond to Stroman’s displeasure regarding a contract extension. When asked about the status of an extension, Atkins respond -

"Any negotiation, any discussion, I'm not going to comment on. We've had lengthy discussions with Marcus' representation. ... I'm excited to have Marcus Stroman as a Toronto Blue Jay, extremely excited about his health, the way he has performed thus far, the way he looks, his energy has been awesome in the clubhouse."

And that’s just the thing. Things such as contract negotiations and/or the status of such negotiations should be handled privately. No good can come when these things are aired out publicly and to the media. Contract negotiations, if there are even any at this point (which, by now, I don’t think there are), are typically a give-and-take type of deal for both parties involved. Given the lack of consistent success from players that are currently under long-term deals - especially on the tail-end of them - it doesn’t surprise me that organizations are becoming more reluctant to offer them.

Yes, signing a player like Bryce Harper would be absolutely amazing for the trajectory of the team. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about having a Harper/Guerrero Jr. pairing at the three/four spots of a lineup. It would undoubtedly be incredible to see. But having said that, I understand why the Jays don’t see the sense in signing any player to what is rumored to be Harper’s asking price. Even though I personally think the Jays should do it, I certainly understand why they won’t. The track record just isn’t in the favor of the club. This is, after all, a business.

Again, you can think that part of what makes the game entertaining is the hot stove aspect in the off-season, and I don’t disagree. I’m simply stating that such blockbuster contracts are becoming more infrequent with the rise of sabermetrics. Front offices are becoming more reluctant to put the future of their teams in financial jeopardy for the sake of a big splash signing, even if it would solidify the club’s near-term outlook for a playoff run. Simply put, teams are becoming more frugal.

So for Stroman to sort of take the mantel and express his displeasure in how the front office of the Blue Jays is and ought to be running the team in a public setting is not only ill-advised, but also a bit out of his depth. If he thinks that the team needs more veteran leadership, then be that veteran leadership! Take the mantle and show the youth of this team how to conduct themselves as professionals. Demonstrate that there is an appropriate time and place to air your grievances to those that run the team and that by doing so via the media will only land you either a) in hot water or b) on the trade block (or both!). If he loves the city of Toronto and embodies it, then he shouldn’t put his tenure as a Blue Jay on the line by publicly bashing the organization and how they are operated.

Either way, I don’t see the relationship between the Jays and Stroman lasting much longer.

Again, the issue isn’t the accuracy of what Stroman said about the Jays. He isn’t incorrect in his suggestions; in fact, I agree with most of it. The issue is the setting in which the statements were made. The distinction is extremely important and something that I hope doesn’t become a trend for him.

When healthy, Stroman has the ability to be a phenomenal pitcher. His personality is gripping and has a unique opportunity to lead this core of young players by example, both on and off the diamond. Thus, it would be a shame if he got labeled with the “attitude problem” sticker, if he hasn’t already, thereby hindering potential opportunities at such an early stage in his career.


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


Jay Bird Watching - Blue Jays Top Prospects Countdown: No.30–26

Untitled.jpg

Follow Host Craig Borden on Twitter (@Craigers1221)


Jay Bird Watching is partnering up with SouthOfThe6ix.com and Prospects Live to bring you great shows on the Toronto Blue Jays Top 30 prospects. In this episode they discuss players that just missed the Top 30 on the list. Jason Woodell of Prospects Live joined us to kick of our weekly episodes counting down the the Jays list.

Prospects 30 - 26

#30 - Chavez YoungOF

The 21-year-old switch hitting outfielder put together a solid performance for the Lansing Lugnuts in 2018. After his first full season, Young is showing plenty of promise as a possible steal from the 2016 draft. He has now put together a great performance in the Midwest League and will be looking for a true test come 2019. He did have some issues during the long season, but was able to burst out of a midsummer funk to finish strong with the playoff running Lugnuts. He is truly athletic and was able to steal 44 bases while scoring 88 runs. He would also slap 33 doubles, 9 triples, and 8 home runs as well.

Expected 2019 Level - Dunedin Blue Jays

#29 - Chad Spanberger - 1B

This big-hitting first baseman joined the Blue Jays as part of the Seunghwan Oh trade with the Colorado Rockies. Spanberger showed off some offensive pop prior to the trade in which he mashed 22 homers and knocked in 75. He showed off some speed with 16 stolen bases but his ability with the lumber is what controls his future. If he can continue to ascend through the system and show there is plenty of RBI potential in his stick he might rise quick. The Jay's’ system is currently lacking depth at 1B but has plenty of athletic options.

Expected 2019 Level - Dunedin Blue Jays

#28 - Ryan Noda - 1B

Noda is currently the heir apparent to Kevin Youkilis in the walks department. Noda took 109 free passes during this past season with the Lansing Lugnuts. He did also strike out 135 times in route to a 20 home run - 80 RBI season. Even with all those positives, he got off to a torrid start to the season in the cold months in the Midwest League. As things heated up, he began to. He batted .350 in June and kept his foot on the gas after that. Noda might be destined to restart the season in Lansing but could break the team with the Dunedin Blue Jays, depending on where the rest of the first baseman depth lands after Spring Training. Noda is an intriguing player that could break out if he meets his new challenges.

Expected 2019 Level - Lansing Lugnuts

#27 - Forrest Wall - OF

Wall is the other player that the Jays acquired in the Seunghwan Oh trade and promptly began to crush the ball after the change of scenery. Wall had a very mixed season in which he raked in the California League, struggled in the Eastern League with the Hartford Yard Goats, to having a great finish in the same league with the now Champion New Hampshire Fisher Cats. While with the Cats, he sprayed the ball into both power alleys and showed some pop that could translate into some long balls eventually. Wall is currently 23 and was once ranked in the Top 100 prospects in prior to the 2016 season. If he hits like he did in New Hampshire, this could be a steal for the Blue Jays.

Expected 2019 Level - New Hampshire Fisher Cats

#26 - Elvis Luciano - RHP

The youngest player to ever be selected in a Rule 5 draft has everything to gain in a season the Blue Jays might be looking for bullpen help. Luciano will turn 19 as he reports to Spring Training for a chance a roster spot with the big club. The rules with the Jays having to put him on the 25 man roster to retain his talents will be the driving force behind that idea. Luciano is a talented righty that already has a low 90's fastball and a solid changeup. The Blue Jays are hoping those two pitches - while he develops a curveball - will carry well out of the bullpen. He has not pitched above the Rookie-level but has shown the ability to miss plenty of bats with his raw stuff.

Expected 2019 Level - Toronto Blue Jays

All this and more in the above podcast as Jason Woodell and Craig Borden discuss all things prospects and Bo Bichette's epic hair. All new episode will be recorded soon to include prospects #25-21!


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


Jay Bird Watching - Blue Jays Top Prospects Countdown - Just Missed Players

Blue Jays-Slide 2.jpg

Follow Host Craig Borden on Twitter (@Craigers1221)


Jay Bird Watching is partnering up with SouthOfThe6ix.com and Prospectslive.com to bring you great shows on the Toronto Blue Jays Top 30 prospects. In this episode they discuss players that just missed the Top 30 on the list. Jason Woodell of Prospects Live joined us to kick of our weekly episodes counting down the the Jays list.

Players That Just Missed the Top 30

Brock Lundquist - OF

With tons of power on display in the Midwest League this past season, Brock put pitchers on notice. He owns a potent bat and a rocking mustache reminiscent of Rollie Fingers. The Smashing Stash uncorked 20 homers and 90 RBI between Lansing and Dunedin this past year. Brock is currently in the wait and see ballpark for most of our contributors and is likely to see more seasoning in the Florida State League as they see how his approach translates with more advanced pitching. He will also look to see his power open up with a full season in the FSL.

Cal Stevenson - OF

A true athlete and a player that is 100% committed on the field is looking to run into a new challenge. After dominating pitchers in the Appalachian League Cal is looking to show off his solid tools. He had a great approach at the plate and batter a mere .359 in 53 games in the Appy League. He also players great defense and stole 21 bases. He has plus tools that could translate into a key contributor as his athleticism continues to form his talents.

Ronny Brito - SS

Brito joins the Blue Jays as part of the Russell Martin trade. Brito is known as a solid defender and has a cannon for an arm. Scouts have him graded as a 60 arm tool. For those not scoring at home that is on the 20-80 scale. He has also shown some pop at the plate with 11 home runs this past season in Rookie ball but it will be interesting to see where his bat can carry him. He might not stick as a shortstop but has plenty of arm to slide over to the hot corner.

Samad Taylor - 2B

One of the many athletic middle infielders in the Blue Jays system shows that he has plenty of tools to stand out in 2018. As an igniter in the Lansing Lugnuts lineup he was able to steal 44 bases while scoring 67 runs and driving in 53. As a throw in player for the Joe Smith trade to Cleveland Taylor is starting to look like an intriguing player to watch and could be a nice breakout candidate for 2019.

Leonardo Jimenez - 2B

The 17 year old Panamanian received a chance to jump right into the Golf Coast League and he shined in his first professional shot. He showed an advanced approach for his age and showed that he has the potential to show off more tools as he grows. He racked up 8 doubles and 2 triples in 37 games while scoring 13 and driving in 19. All of this while showing off quality skills at the keystone. Jimenez will be a player to watch come short season ball this summer.

This is the first part of many installments coming over the next few weeks. We will be going through all of the Blue Jays Top 30 Prospects and discussing all the details you are looking forward to hearing on each of them.


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)