Why this Leafs team can win a round in the playoffs

Of all the fun content I can write about in the month of September, I’ve decided to go seven months into the future. That, of course, is when the Leafs will finally win a playoff round.
Note: if they lose in the first round again, don’t blame me.
What makes this Leafs team different than previous ones? Well, good question. Toronto lost one of their best players in Zach Hyman, who’s unfortunately off to the Edmonton Oilers. The team also lost Joe Thornton, Nick Foligno, Zach Bogosian, and likely Alex Galchenyuk.
The Leafs have replaced them, though, with Michael Bunting, Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase, and David Kampf.
If we took all of the players that Toronto lost after this season and put their ages together, you’d get an average of 31.6-years-old. However, if you take each of the players the Leafs have added who’ll likely be in the lineup this season, you have an average age of 26.25-years-old.
That’s a five-year difference from the players you lost, to the players you gained. Obviously the biggest trait that was lost was experience — Toronto got younger. Some might say that’s a bad idea, some might …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 29: Taking a trip around the American League with MLB dot com’s Jordan Horrobin

It might be the All-Star break but The Content never sleeps!

We did a special edition of BJN Radio this week, talking about the Toronto Blue Jays beating the National League in the All-Star game thanks to a monster homer from Vladdy, a double from Teoscar Hernandez, and an RBI from Marcus Semien.
After that, we welcomed MLB.com jack-of-all-trades beat reporter Jordan Horrobin to the show to take a trip around the American League. We touched on whether or not the Red Sox are frauds, why the Yankees have been so stunningly mediocre, what the Blue Jays should do at the trade deadline, and whether or not there are any other teams in the wild-card clump that we should be worried about.
Finally, we looked ahead to the upcoming series against the Texas Rangers and talked about how the Blue Jays should acquire Joey Gallo, Ian Kennedy, and Kyle Gibson before the first pitch is thrown on Friday night.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

A Fortnight On The Farm: Volume Four

This edition has a bit of bonus content since it’s the first day of the Florida Coast league (formerly the GCL) and the youngest of the baby Jays get into an official game for the first time.

I’ll take a moment and review the just-released roster and point out anyone you might be hearing more of in the future (insofar as I can offer a guess). As for the rest, since they have completed exactly four weeks of play since the last day of May, it’s only natural that we take a look at the best June performances across the system (yes, technically there are two more games in June but let’s just go with them, okay?).
To be frank, there are few names here that any but the most intensive MiLB follower will recognize, and many of them haven’t played in any official game at all due to last year’s events. About the only way we can identify players to watch at this point are bigger signing bonuses, and/or appearances on prospect ranking lists. Notably, TSN’s Scott Mitchell prepared a Top 50 list in the pre-season and this team features five players …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: Twitter Request Edition

I was a bit hard pressed for content for this week’s article, so I decided to take to Twitter to take suggestions. I ended up breaking the rule of “most likes in a reply wins”, but the commenter (who is also my managing editor) said I didn’t have to write about werewolves, and I got this suggestion instead.

Is it being too harsh to think John Tavares should be able to better drive a line consisting of Nylander + any other winger?
We would expect Matthews to do it, who is clearly better. But is it too much to expect more dominance from our captain who earns 11m cap hit?
— UK_Leaf (@uk_leaf) February 14, 2021

So, I think to start off, I’ll simply answer the question: I don’t think it’s too harsh to expect John Tavares to drive a line, especially with William Nylander on his wing. The two of them should be able to have anyone on their wing and be able to drive play.
And for the most part, they have. When the two of them are on the ice together at even strength, they have 55.13% of the shot attempts, and 53.19% of the expected …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

LeBrun: “Dubas Could Strike Early”

No hockey means more trade deadline content. That’s a sad fact. The other sad fact that is even when hockey resumes we’ll still probably spend the next month talking trades instead of games, but thankfully we’re exactly one month away and it will all be over soon (until summer).
TSN and their army of insiders are fast at work connecting the Leafs to every possible defenseman on the market, and today it was Pierre LeBrun’s turn to connect those dots:
In Toronto, LeBrun wonders whether the Maple Leafs will add a top-four defenceman to help fill the void left by the injured Morgan Rielly. Rielly is expected to be sidelined into March and LeBrun notes that general manager Kyle Dubas could strike early again this year and acquire a player such as Matt Dumba, T.J. Brodie or Josh Manson. LeBrun believes Dubas does not want to move winger Kasperi Kapanen, but acquiring top-four help on the blueline won’t come cheap.
Since LeBrun was updating on all the Canadian teams, there were also this relevant piece in the Flames and Oilers sections:
The Flames have been in search of …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Baseball America’s new Top 100 features Nate Pearson (7th), Jordan Groshans (29th), and Simeon Woods Richardson (61st)

Interested in some Large Adult Son content? Well, Baseball America has you covered, as they’ve released their much-anticipated annual Top 100 prospects list.

Three #BlueJays crack Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list: 7 – RHP Nate Pearson29 – SS Jordan Groshans61 – RHP Simeon Woods Richardson
(Sub required) https://t.co/4y30jXyoCz
— John Lott (@LottOnBaseball) January 22, 2020

Given that Vlad Jr. and Bo Bichette, the organization’s top two prospects graduated this year, it’s pretty impressive that the Jays have three guys in the Top 100 ranking. We all knew Nate Pearson would be there as he’s arguably the best pitching prospect in baseball. Seeing Jordan Groshans get this much love from BA is really encouraging as he’s set to become the organization’s next big position player in the system. And, finally, Simeon Woods Richardson being ranked as high as he is mean that Marcus Stroman trade return that pissed so many fans off maaaaaybe doesn’t look too shabby.
Remember when everyone was mad the Jays didn’t get a Top 100 guy back for Stroman? Well, there you go!

BA thinks Simeon Woods Richardson could be “on …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

It turns out, Vlad does actually lift

In the September content that we all crave, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was quoted earlier this week to have never lifted weights in the offseason before, but he is going to start now. As it turns out with a pre-game quote before the Blue Jays play against the Trash Birds on Monday, he actually does lift, bro.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., just met with media to clarify comments from the weekend, says he does lift weights, just not when home in DR, where he does other types of workouts. #BlueJays
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) September 23, 2019

What Guerrero actually meant was that he usually lifts in the winter, but just not when he’s at home in the Dominican Republic. Makes sense, because who wants to workout when you’re trying to relax?
But as the season has carried on and the worries have grown, the 20-year-old is in need for an improvement if he wants to lead this team in 2020. The third baseman is carrying a .789 OPS (110 OPS+) and has a total of 2.1 bWAR through his 119 major-league games.
It’s not the worst, but it’s less than everyone expected heading into his rookie season. The former top prospect was heralded to have …

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Author: Thomas Williams / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays recall Jordan Romano

Canadian Content!!! Fresh off winning Buffalo Bisons Player of the Week, Jordan Romano has been called up to the Major Leagues.

Romano was selected by the Chicago White Sox (who flipped him to the Texas Rangers) in the Rule 5 draft but didn’t crack their team out of spring training. The Blue Jays got him back and he’s spent the season with Triple-A Buffalo, posting a 6.10 ERA over the course of 31 innings.
While that doesn’t look overly inspiring, Romano has been lights out for the Bisons in the ‘pen over the past few weeks. In his last eight appearances, Romano has tossed 10 1/3 innings without allowing a run while striking out 15 batters. As I said, that 6.10 ERA is ugly, but his peripherals are solid, as Romano is striking out 12.5 batters per nine innings.
Romano isn’t currently on the Blue Jays 40-man roster, so the team will need to make a corresponding roster move. Clay Buchholz has been on the 10-day Injured List for a while now, so he could be a candidate to get bumped to the 60-day Injured List, which would open up a spot on the 40-man for Romano. It’s anybody’s guess at this …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays select Canadian outfielder Dasan Brown with 88th pick

Canadian content! The Blue Jays kicked off the second day of the Major League Baseball Draft by grabbing Dasan Brown, an outfielder from Abbey Park High School. Brown, who’s from Oakville, is the first Canadian selected in this year’s draft.

Brown, who attends Abbey Park High School and plays for the Canadian Junior Nation Team, is a player who grew up in the Blue Jays’ backyard. His best attributes right now are his speed and athleticism, but there seems to be potential for him to grow into a power bat. He’s committed to Texas A&M and has a recommended slot value of $678.60k.

BREAKING : The top Canadian taken in the 2019 #MLBDraft is Junior National Team OF Dasan Brown of Oakville, Ontario!
He goes to the #BlueJays in the 3rd round, 88th overall!
Congrats, Dasan!
— Baseball Canada (@baseballcanada) June 4, 2019

Texas A&M commit Dasan Brown (@dasani_brown3) with an Impressive round of BP @OntarioBlueJays #T12 pic.twitter.com/YliJrhmckH
— PBR Ontario (@PBR_Ontario) September 14, 2018

With the 88th pick in the third round, 2019 OF Dasan Brown is selected by his hometown @BlueJays. #MLBDraft #BaseballCanada #BaseballOntariopic.twitter.com/8wESuLYicN
— PBR Ontario (@PBR_Ontario) June 4, 2019

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Bo Bichette reportedly has a broken hand

This isn’t the kind of Large Adult Son content anybody wants to consume. Bo Bichette has reportedly suffered a broken left hand after getting hit by a pitch in Buffalo’s loss last night.

#BlueJays No. 2 prospect Bo Bichette reportedly has a broken left hand after being hit by a pitch in last night’s @BuffaloBisons game. Bichette is #MLB’s No. 10 overall prospect: https://t.co/GHKO6yYsIe pic.twitter.com/QepJm89uYm
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 23, 2019

This is really unfortunate because Bichette was starting to heat up at the plate. Earlier on Monday, the Bisons named him Player of the Week for his .400 batting average and his seven runs batted in. For the season, Bichette is slashing a .250/.310/.404 line with one homer, eight runs batted in, three steals, five walks, and 10 strikeouts. He’s also the youngest player on the team not named Vlad Jr.

This week’s @ADPROSports Player of the Week is @19boknows Congrats, Bo! pic.twitter.com/RsWzofYY6w
— Buffalo Bisons (@BuffaloBisons) April 22, 2019

Bichette is seeking a second opinion on the diagnosis, but given the accounts of him screaming in pain after getting hit last night, it doesn’t look good.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation