RHP Joel Espinal (GCL Blue Jays – Toronto) 19 years old 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K, 0.82 ERA, Win 1-0 TOP AL UTR PITCHING PERFORMANCE
- Espinal brings his wares to the U.S. after a successful 1st season in the DSL. Already has 16 punchouts over 11 innings of work while allowing only one earned run. Seems of late, Ive been highlighting many Blue Jay farmhands within my daily posts, so the cupboard maybe getting stocked.
No UTR Pitcher Qualified for Mention Appy League
RHP Luis Mora (Danville – Atlanta) 21 years old 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 3.86 ERA, Loss 0-2
- Suffers another loss but Mora scores a moral victory with a good outing after getting burned during his last start. The Dominican is also making his mainland debut after 2 mediocre seasons in the DSL
- The 2015 5th rounder can now add his name to the Crosscutter’s rotation that’s been mentioned thus far at UTRMinors. I made note the other day that Williamsport had a loaded staff, but left the projectable high school pick off the list. In his first two starts, he allowed 8 runs over 6 innings and issued 6 walks with only 3 K’s. His debut season in 2015 in the GCL was brief, but promising.
- Acquired from the Angels in early 2015, Sanchez is repeating LoA Rome but appears to be finally settling-in. He set a career high in strikeouts last night and going seven innings was the longest stint since being with the Braves.
- Marc and I throw the term enigma out every so often when describing players. Its not used very often, but when we do place that tag on a player, you probably should pay attention. Ive been flirting with this notion about Leal. I chose him as my “One to Watch” for the 2014 season after he had a successful U.S. 2013 debut in the Arizona League. Here is what I wrote about him following the 2014 season during my Organizational All-Star breakdowns:
“Leal got the opportunity to make some consistent starts with short-season Boise. He did fine, but I was disappointed that he didn’t miss enough bats (31 K’s) over 62.2 innings and gave up 7 dingers. Leal is control type pitcher that the Cubs may nurture through the lower levels”. Grade C At 21 years old , Leal is still young at the HiA level and the Cubs are nurturing him through the system. Though they are not at the levels that I would like to see for a kid on my watch list…Leal’s K9 and BB9 rates have held steady at 6.1 and 2.0 respectfully. I continue to remain high on Leal and believe that a breakout is not far off. He’s never made my OAS list over the last two years, nor appeared on any All-Star roster, yet he continues to be a consistent workhorse and leads the Carolina League with 10 wins and ranks near the top in ERA. A UTRMinors kind of player.
- 2015 OAS
- Speaking of a UTRMinors type of player…how about a 30th round draft pick from 2015 making his way through to the HiA level in just 2 seasons. Springs was promoted to High Desert just a week ago and through 3 appearances (6.2IP) hasn’t allowed a run while striking out 10 and walking two. His K/BB ratio over his short career stands at 3.56 thus far.
- 2015 OAS (Relief)
- This 2015 23rd round pick finds himself back at Quad Cities after the promotion to HiA Lancaster didnt go well (9.32 ERA, 28 IP, 46 H, 29 ER, 14 BB, 33 K). Outmatched in the hitters paradise of the California League, I do like the flashes that Bower brought with the 2.36 K/BB rate, as most the damage was done by serving up 7 home runs…three of which came in the last game prior to being sent back to LoA.