Toronto Blue Jays Consensus Top 30 Prospects, Part 2

Here’s Part 1, we’ll pick up right where we left off…

15. Rikelvin De Castro – SS – 18: Got the high bonus in the 2019 J2 class of Blue Jays signings ($1.2m) based on flashy defensive tools and potential to eventually hit. But the latter is going to take considerably time and effort. A year behind the similarly skilled Jimenez, he’ll surely spend him time on a complex team, probably in the DSL. It will take years to get a full read on whether he was worth the bonus.
14. Otto Lopez – INF – 22: Jumped on everyone’s radar with a batting title at Low-A Lansing in 2019, his calling card is capable defense at multiple positions (he played SS, 2B and both OF corners in 2019 but may be best at 2B) and good bat-to-ball skills with untapped offensive potential beyond simply making contact. He’s got a solid opportunity to be a serviceable MLB utility man but he grades high on baseball instincts and some observers feel he has a shot to be more than that.
13. Eric Pardinho – RHP – 20: The one time Top 10 prospect is one year out from Tommy John and at the stage where he’s throwing but not yet roster ready. …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Total Player Score and Contract Valuation

Here’s the thing. There’s a ton of great analytics resources out there. Evolving Hockey, Hockey Viz, and others are producing amazing insight into the NHL that has given us new ways of looking at the players around the league and predicting the success of teams. Their knowledge of hockey, analytics, and programming is beyond what I could ever hope to put together.
The problem for someone like me is that I like to know how the sausage is made, and trying to figure out how they’ve made their sausage hurts my head at time, so I’ve decided to make my own. For better or worse, I decided to embark on the idea of pulling together my own measure that combines the individual contributions of a player with the outcomes of when they are on the ice. I then wanted to take that combined score, and compare it to their contract. A lot of my approach has been drawn from what Dom Luszczyszyn has done with Game Score, which you can read about here. The differences in my version of score, is the separation of on ice play calculations from individual result calculations, and the omission of …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays have apparently shown interest in… Yadier Molina?

Here’s a new name to cross off of your ‘The Blue Jays have shown interest in _____’ bingo card.

According to Jon Heyman, the Blue Jays “still” have interest in catcher Yadier Molina…

Blue Jays still have interest in legendary catcher Yadier Molina and have been in contact. Expectations have been that he returns to St. Louis, where he’s an icon. But nothing’s done, and a couple other teams are still in play.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 3, 2021

The “still” in this post is a little weird, given the fact Molina is one of the few names we haven’t heard associated with the Blue Jays this winter. But, alas, the veteran catcher is apparently a target for the team.
Why, though? I mean, there’s no denying the excellent career Molina has put together (nine-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glove winner, and two-time World Series winner) but he’s now 38 years old and is coming off a season in which he slashed a .262/.303/.359 line.
The Blue Jays also already have a logjam behind the plate with Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, Alejandro Kirk, Riley Adams, and Gabriel Moreno currently on the 40-man roster, so this doesn’t seem to be …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays traded Hector Perez for cash considerations

Here’s an exciting one for Transaction Friday… The Blue Jays have dealt pitcher *checks notes* Hector Perez to the Reds for cash considerations.

OFFICIAL: We’ve traded RHP Hector Perez to the Reds for a player to be named later or cash considerations. pic.twitter.com/9FsMFbFHDg
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) January 22, 2021

The team was operating with a full 40-man, so I imagine that this move was made in order to open up room to officially add George Springer to the roster. Dealing Perez for cash is better than designating him for assignment and letting someone grab him for nothing.
With Perez gone, everyone from the Roberto Osuna trade is now no longer with the organization. Perez is with the Reds, David Paulino got released a while ago, and Ken Giles is a free agent and will miss 2021 after undergoing surgery. Also, Osuna was let go by the Astros, so literally everyone in this deal has moved on.
Perez made just one appearance for the Blue Jays, allowing two earned runs over the course of one-and-two-thirds innings in one of those spankings against the Yankees this season. It’s hard to imagine he factored into the team’s pitching plans …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Pearson, Martin, Groshans, Woods Richardson, Kirk, and Martinez land in Baseball America’s most recent Top-100 Prospects list

Here’s something that isn’t ‘the Blue Jays are in on ______’ or ‘the Blue Jays came second on ______’, which is a nice change of scenery! Baseball America has released its pre-season Top-100 list and it features six Blue Jays’ prospects…

14. Nate Pearson
19. Austin Martin
34. Jordan Groshans
69. Simeon Woods Richardson
70. Alejandro Kirk
96. Orelvis Martinez
The last time BA put out a list, it featured four Blue Jays, Pearson (No. 7), Martin (No. 16), Groshans (No. 31), and Woods Richardson (No. 67).
An injury-riddled debut season that saw him struggle with command drops Pearson a few spots while Martin, Groshans, and Woods Richardson remain pretty much where they were last summer.
The fact Martin is already ranked this high despite not having any at-bats since being drafted is very high praise for his raw talent and what he accomplished in college. Same goes for Groshans, who maintains a very high ranking despite only having 79 plate appearances over the last two seasons.
And then there’s Alejandro Kirk and Orelvis Martinez, who break BA’s Top-100 for the first time. Kirk, of course, gained a lot of hype last season with a very strong big-league debut and rockets all the way up to No. 70. Martinez, a …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs put Denis Malgin on waivers

So here’s the deal. Denis Malgin is still in Switzerland, wasn’t on the Leafs camp roster, and generally someone we didn’t plan on seeing this season.

Malgin (TOR) on waivers. Both from yesterday cleared
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 5, 2021

So why is he on waivers?
Well. If he’s going to stay in Switzerland, he’ll need to clear waivers. That certainly seems to be the plan, and would be similar to what the Leafs did with Kalle Kossila, although there are probably a lot of teams more interested in Malgin than Kossila (but in reality, not by much.)
Is there a chance that Malgin gets claimed?
Well, probably not. It’s probably been made painfully clear that Malgin intends to stay in Switzerland this year and other GMs aren’t going to claim him, just to go through the same process of having to waive him and lose him to Toronto, who still may wish to use Malgin once the NLA season concludes.
Should the Leafs care about what happens here?
Yes. While it’s not a huge deal if Malgin gets claimed, he’s still young and only turning 24 later this month. The Leafs still have …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Sportsnet is parting ways with Mike Wilner

Here’s something completely out of left field.

According to a statement put out by Sportsnet PR on Twitter, Mike Wilner will no longer be calling Blue Jays games.

Thanks for the memories, @wilnerness590! Statement from @Sportsnet: pic.twitter.com/UiDlfo6Z5y
— Sportsnet PR (@SportsnetPR) November 27, 2020

And here’s a statement from Wilner himself…

1/2…… pic.twitter.com/Sp0wGZHTaS
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) November 27, 2020

Wilner had been working with Sportsnet for two decades and finally became the primary play-by-play voice for Blue Jays games after the retirement of Jerry Howarth in 2018. He also hosted Jays Talk for years, the after-game radio program where fans could call in and rant about what just happened.
The tone of Wilner’s statement makes it pretty clear that this wasn’t a voluntary decision. It seems very likely that Sportsnet decided to move on.
Why that might be? I really have no idea.
Wilner really came into his own in the play-by-play booth and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him and Ben Wagner call games. I also quite enjoyed Wilner on Jays Talk just consistently dismantle the completely insane things that callers would rant about, though he obviously rubbed plenty of fans the wrong …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

It looks like the Vancouver Canadians are becoming an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics

Here’s some bad news for Blue Jays fans out west.

It appears as though the Vancouver Canadians, who have been the Blue Jays’ short-season rookie ball affiliate since 2011, are becoming a full-season affiliate for the Oakland Athletics.

interesting baseball development (to my interests + geography, anyways)
According to @susanslusser article, the @vancanadians MLB affiliate may be changing from the #BlueJays to the #Athletics.
+ moving up a level with minor league restructuring?https://t.co/XEhwISwu10 pic.twitter.com/XoKy9Qx8s6
— Mike McKinnon (@mikemckinnon) October 20, 2020

The original Vancouver Canadians played in the Pacific League back in the Good Old Days with the Edmonton Trappers and Calgary Cannons. But, in 2000, they got purchased by new ownership and packed up and moved south to Sacramento, California. Calgary and Edmonton would soon follow.
Immediately after the original Canadians moved south, a new Canadians franchise popped up and became a Class-A affiliate for the A’s. They would be an Oakland affiliate from 2000 to 2010 before reaching a deal to become one of the Blue Jays’ rookie ball teams.
So, really, affiliating with Oakland isn’t anything new, it’s actually a throwback. It’s just a shame that fans in Vancouver and the rest …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Day Two of Free Agency hit a bit different for the Leafs

So here’s the thing. The Simmonds and Brodie signings were what we were promised. We need a right side defenseman was coming, we knew that Kyle Clifford was going to be replaced. We might have been left expecting more, and Day two might not have been about necessarily giving us what we want or what we were promised, but it was about Kyle Dubas doing what he had to do for the salary cap, for Sheldon Keefe, and for establishing that the 2021 Leafs won’t be what we’ve been used to.
Now more than ever it seems that the core of the Leafs will be the core of the Leafs. Beyond Tavares, Matthews, Marner, and Nylander, it seems that Rielly and Muzzin as part of that vision as well. Add in the commitments to Simmonds, Brodie, and even Spezza, about half the lineup card was looking established before anything began to happen on Day Two. Of course it wasn’t quiet.
Rather than going chronologically, we’ll go with the biggest event first, and that was the decision to trade Andreas Johnsson to the New Jersey Devils straight up for Joey Anderson. On the surface this might have …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs trade up and select Dmitri Ovchinnikov at 137th overall

Here’s the thing about the Leafs and Russians, they’ve got a pretty solid track record over the past few years. The fact that the KHL and MHL are in full swing should put a bit more of a priority on drafting players in professional overseas leagues.
What happened here is the Leafs had a player, Dmitri Ovchinnikov that they wanted and they went for him.

We’ve acquired the 137th overall pick from Florida in exchange for the 153rd and 212th selections in this year’s #NHLDraft.#LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 7, 2020

Now as far as the player, Ovchinnikov is a 5’10 forward, that was a point per game player in the MHL last year, and has 7 points in his first 6 games this year.
From Elite Prospects:
He plays with pace, attacks the inside, cuts through traffic, makes flashy net drives, and creates passing lane. He identifies the trailer and teammates through layers. Defensively, Ovchinnikov brings refined decision-making and discipline. He supports the play, keeps an active stick to deter passes, and brings a consistent effort.
Ovchinnikov didn’t find his way into a ton of rankings, but these seems like the Leafs going off the board a …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation