The Blue Jays’ farm system moved up in post-deadline rankings

When Vlad Jr. graduated from prospect status, the Blue Jays’ farm system predictably took a tumble down Baseball America (and everyone else’s) organizational talent rankings. Since the trade deadline, though, the Jays’ system has jumped up from No. 9 to No. 6 on Baseball America’s list.

#BlueJays now rank 6th in @BaseballAmerica’s organizational talent rankings, up from 9th before the trade deadline https://t.co/L7wJXi3DCc
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) August 14, 2019

The list features Bo Bichette, Nate Pearson, Jordan Groshans, and Eric Pardinho in the top-100. Like Vlad, Bo will have graduated the next time Baseball America puts out a list, but I imagine a few Baby Jays will make the list.
Simeon Woods Richardson is a good bet, as he’s been pitching well since joining Single-A Dunedin after being acquired in the Marcus Stroman trade. Alek Manoah, Toronto’s first pick from the 2019 draft, has been excellent in limited innings in his first full professional season. Also thriving in rookie ball with Vancouver is Adam Kloffenstein, who has an outside chance at making a top-100 list.
With Bo and Vlad graduating, the wealth of Toronto’s prospect capital is pitching. Over at FanGraphs, Marc Hulet did a …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

On Vlad’s early struggles

The 2019 season is the year of Vlad. Everybody knew the team was going to be bad this year, but the arrival of baseball’s prodigy, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, was going to make it all worth it.

Expectations were massive. FanGraphs’ Steamer projected Vlad to put up a 138 wRC+, which would be 14th best in all of baseball, better than stars like Aaron Judge, Manny Machado, and Paul Goldschmidt. Pretty much all of us expected he would hit the ground running and dominate big league pitching, just like he hit the ground running at every new level he was promoted to in the minors.
That hasn’t happened. Nine games into the Vlad era, he’s slashing an ugly 152/.243/.182 line with 10 strikeouts in 33 at-bats. Since he had three hits in each of his first three games, Vlad has gone just two-for-twenty-one.
Does Vlad need to be sent back down to Triple-A to learn how to hit? Is he a bust?! Is it time to slam the panic button?
No. Vlad is going to be fine.
His early struggles represent the reality that being a good Major League Baseball player is really, really fucking hard. While many players have slid into the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Okay, I think it’s time to call up Cavan Biggio

Everyone yelled for months that Vlad Jr. needed to get called up and finally happened last week. Now it’s time to yell about somebody else coming up. I think that player is Cavan Biggio.

Biggio enjoyed a breakout season last year with Double-A New Hampshire due largely to an adjusted swing that had him focusing on trying to put the ball in the air. The results were excellent as Biggio slashed a.252/.388/.499 line and hit 26 homers while driving in 99 runs. The breakout season put Biggio, a fifth-round pick back in 2016, on the map as one of the Blue Jays’ top prospects.
There was some skepticism as to whether Biggio was actually legit or not given the fact he had fairly pedestrian numbers in the lower minors in his first two professional seasons. But, small sample sizes be damned, he’s silenced his doubters by kicking the shit out of Triple-A over the first month of play.
Coming into today’s game with Pawtucket, Biggio was slashing a .352/.478/.577 line with four bombs and 12 runs batted in. Perhaps the most impressive part is that he has more walks (18) than he does strikeouts (16).
Those numbers are… very good. And then he went …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Jays already have many parts of a successful team in place

I was at the final game before the Vlad era began. And as far as I’m concerned that’s being a part of Blue Jays history folks. It’s just as important to witness the end, as it is to be a part of the new beginning.
When I bought my tickets earlier in the month, I hoped to see ‘the prince that was promised’ donning blue that early evening, but instead I saw a bunch of children wearing Superman capes running around the concourse high on sugar and Kevin Pillar madness. I wasn’t high on anything, especially Kevin Pillar madness.
I was sober because I don’t drink much these days. I spent 5 dollars on a bottle of water, soaked in nine innings of pretty bad baseball, and left with a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. bobblehead. It was made in China.
The Jays lost 4-0 to the Giants that night. There wasn’t any offence. There wasn’t much in the air, besides the heckles and jeers. It was baseball in Toronto how I remembered it: empty seats and mediocre players. The bad ol’ days. I still enjoyed myself though, taking in the atmosphere, the lights, and the …

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Author: Ryan Di Francesco / Blue Jays Nation