Greetings, once again, from Dunedin (Tampa, actually). You’ll probably notice that this week’s post is shorter than previous entries; that’s because I’ve decided to break up our coverage of Blue Jays hitting and pitching prospects over two posts each week. Today, we’ll talk about Jays hitting prospects, including two of the system’s premier talents finally getting their grooves back. Tomorrow, we’ll address all the latest happenings with Bluebird pitching prospects. So without further ado, let’s get started.

View Top 30 Prospects

PLAYER

LVL

AVG/OBP/SLG

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

BB

SO

SB

CS

Kevin Ahrens, 3b

A+

.227/.348/.267

75

17

3

0

0

14

16

0

1

Jonathon Berti, 2b

A

.293/.409/.360

75

22

2

0

1

12

17

8

2

Markus Brisker, cf

A

.197/.310/.311

61

12

2

1

1

8

18

12

2

Andrew Burns, ss

A

.257/.312/.500

70

18

6

1

3

6

19

3

0

David Cooper, 1b

AAA

.316/.396/.480

98

31

11

1

1

13

11

0

0

Michael Crouse, of

A+

.167/.265/.264

72

12

5

1

0

10

25

6

1

Travis d’Arnaud, c

AAA

.278/.347/.422

90

25

7

0

2

8

16

1

1

Brad Glenn, of

AA

.216/.271/.341

88

19

2

0

3

7

32

4

0

Ryan Goins, ss

AA

.286/.327/.440

91

26

7

2

1

7

13

3

1

Anthony Gose, cf

AAA

.219/.308/.286

105

23

3

2

0

13

33

8

3

Chris Hawkins, 3b

A

.313/.345/.422

83

26

4

1

1

4

11

3

0

A. Hechavarria, ss

AAA

.300/.350/.427

110

33

9

1

1

9

25

4

0

K.C. Hobson, 1b

A

.227/.262/.400

75

17

7

0

2

4

9

0

0

Justin Jackson, 2b

AA

.279/.351/.368

68

19

4

1

0

8

16

6

1

Brian Jeroloman, c

AA

.071/.316/.071

14

1

0

0

0

4

2

1

0

A.J. Jimenez, c

AA

.280/.316/.413

75

21

2

1

2

3

10

2

2

Jonathan Jones, of

A+

.169/.246/.186

59

10

1

0

0

5

11

3

1

Marcus Knecht, of

A+

.154/.235/.308

91

14

6

1

2

10

36

1

0

Jake Marisnick, of

A+

.270/.362/.500

100

27

8

3

3

9

18

5

1

Mike McDade, 1b

AA

.298/.375/.369

84

25

3

0

1

11

19

0

0

Sean Ochinko, c

A+

.267/.323/.400

60

16

8

0

0

5

7

0

0

Kevin Patterson, 1b

A

.294/.373/.549

51

15

1

0

4

7

14

0

0

Carlos Perez, c

A

.271/.342/.414

70

19

6

2

0

8

10

1

1

Ryan Schimpf, 2b

A+

.200/.282/.360

75

15

5

2

1

9

24

0

0

Moises Sierra, of

AAA

.283/.365/.457

92

26

4

0

4

10

23

0

2

Kellen Sweeney, 3b

A

.197/.313/.254

71

14

2

1

0

11

11

0

2

Jon Talley, 1b

A+

.313/.446/.433

67

21

5

0

1

15

14

0

0

J. Vega-Rosado, ss

A

.091/.130/.091

22

2

0

0

0

1

12

1

0

Former first-round pick Kevin Ahrens has collected only two extra-base hits—a pair of doubles—over the past two weeks and his slugging average (.267) is better than only one other Florida State League regular, Tampa’s Ramon Flores (.253). He made his second start of the year at first base last night and went 2-for-4; on the year, he’s hitting .375 as a first baseman (3-for-8), .203 as a third baseman (13-for-64), and .333 as a designated hitter (1-for-3). Hooray for small sample sizes.

Lansing second baseman Jonathon Berti has also been in a power drought—no extra-base hits since April 15—but has remained productive, reaching base via hit or walk in 10 of his last 11 games.

As we turned the calendar from April to May, your organizational leader in stolen bases was Antho…Markus Brisker? Yes, the fleet-footed Brisker leads all Jays farmhands with a dozen steals and is the only player to reach double digits thus far. Now for the bad news: Brisker still can’t hit. He’s been in the Midwest League since July 2010 and has hit a combined .203/.314/.295 in 621 plate appearances, including a dreadful .197/.310/.311 this year.

One player who hasn’t had trouble in the slugging department is Lansing shortstop Andrew Burns, whose .500 slugging average falls just short of cracking the Midwest League’s top 10. Burns has been particularly slugtastic over his last four games, in which he has a pair of doubles, a triple, and his third home run of the year.

David Cooper rose his batting average as high as .341 on April 28 before a 1-for-10 skid dropped him down to .316. He finally slugged his first home run of the year against Tacoma last week, part of a 4-for-5 effort that fell a triple shy of the cycle.

Dunedin right fielder Michael Crouse enters today’s tilt against Lakeland mired in a 2-for-25 slump that has dropped his batting average down to .167, which would be the worst in the Florida State League had he enough plate appearances to qualify.

Travis d’Arnaud has put his slow start behind him, and currently maintains an 11-game hit streak for Las Vegas. It took 12 games for d’Arnaud to hit his first home run of the season, but his power has emerged in recent weeks, as his OPS has soared more than 200 points since April 17.

New Hampshire shortstop Ryan Goins had his modest five-game hit streak snapped on April 30, but the 24-year-old rebounded with a 2-for-5 effort in last night’s 8-4 win over Reading. With seven doubles, Goins sits in a six-way tie for sixth place in the Eastern League.

Like d’Arnaud, Las Vegas center fielder Anthony Gose got off to a slow start at the plate, but he’s managed to turn things around over the last two weeks, collecting six multi-hit games between April 18-30 and raising his batting average from .151 to .219. Since being caught stealing in his first three tries of the year, Gose has swiped eight-consecutive bags successfully.

Chris Hawkins’ bat has cooled off some, but he still remains one of Lansing’s most productive hitters, leading the team in batting average and placing second in total bases. The 20-year-old converted infielder is one to watch closely this summer.

He isn’t hitting .400 any longer, but Las Vegas shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is still impressing scouts with his improved approach at the plate. His strikeout rate remains high by his standards, but he’s also increased his walk rate by about 50 percent.

New Hampshire center fielder Justin Jackson has come down to earth after beginning the year hitting .429 through his first 8 games. The former second baseman has one extra-base hit—a double—in his last 14 games and only three hits in his last 20 at-bats.

When we last saw A.J. Jimenez, he was hitting .243/.282/.270. Since then, then 22-year-old (as of yesterday) catcher has hit .316/.333/.553.

Michael Crouse isn’t the only Dunedin outfielder struggling at the plate. Since April 17, Marcus Knecht has reached base only four times in 46 plate appearances.

The man between Crouse and Knecht in the Dunedin outfield, Jake Marisnick, has been the only one of the trio with a consistent bat of late, with three doubles, a triple, and three home runs over the last two weeks. He currently leads the D-Jays in doubles, triples, home runs, and slugging average.

Mike McDade has hit in eight of his last 11 games, but with little authority: only one of his nine hits over that span has gone for extra bases and his batting average has dropped below .300 for the first time since April 15.

On April 17, Lansing catcher Carlos Perez was hitting .270/.341/.405; currently, the 21-year-old Venezuelan sits at .271/.342/.414. In between, he had a 3-for-16 stretch that dropped his batting average down to .245, but has rallied with six hits in his last five games.

Las Vegas right fielder Moises Sierra—who is not the lovechild of Moises Alou and Ruben Sierra, so please stop asking—is tied with Travis Snider atop the 51s home run leaderboard with four. After accruing a 7:6 strikeout-to-walk rate through his first eight games, Sierra has become a little more of a free-swinger, striking out 15 times against only three walks since April 12.

Dunedin first baseman Jon Talley is one of only 20 Florida State League regulars whose on-base percentage is greater than his slugging average—not exactly what you want from your first baseman.

Comments (7)

  1. Id rather see David Cooper come up for the rest of the season and hit a bunch of doubles and have a good on base percentage than continue to watch Adam Lind ground into double plays and look godawful against left handed pitchers.

    Fuck, I’d almost rather see EE at first for the rest of the year, with Thames as the DH and Snider as the LF.

    I’d also like to see Ben Francisco used properly or released. Adam Lind should be getting very few at bats against left handed pitching the rest of this season.

    • If you don’t like watching Adam Lind, you’ll hate watching Cooper.

      A combination of your 2nd and 3rd scenarios would be better options. Getting Thames’ glove the hell off the field and sending Francisco to a team that could use him would be good.

      • I agree – Cooper is even worse against left-handed major league pitching, and he’ll be a significant dropoff defensively, too. Yes, I said it, surprisingly enough, Adam Lind has actually turned into a decent fielder. Cooper definitely is nowhere near there yet. I sincerely doubt that Cooper ever earns a starting spot on this team, and if he does, it means we’re in trouble.

    • Not sure what you think the proper use of Francisco is. His splits against LHP really aren’t that good. Not sure what is a good place for him.

    • Um, Francisco doesn’t play first. And while Farrell COULD use Encarnacion at first, he’s only a substitution-level defender.

      Also, with Lind’s history as a relatively slow starter, I think the Jays need to give him a tiny bit more rope to turn his fortunes around.

      And if he just uses that rope to strangle himself instead, the Jays can cut him loose in early June (trade for a prospect or two, avoiding the DFA if possible). I doubt he’ll be around in mid-June if he’s still hitting .220 with 3-4 homeruns.

  2. Nice to see d’Arnaud’s bat coming alive.

  3. Also, scrolling the page somewhat quickly, I saw Kevin Patterson and Carlos Perez as “Corey Patterson,” and laughed for a moment when I thought that it was entirely possible that that guy is down in A-ball — before I remembered he’s on Milwaukee.

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