The Buffalo Bisons started 2017 on a tear, giving us fans cause to think that it was going to be a great season for the Jays’ top farm club. Two home runs by a young slugger and a win on Opening Day (which was delayed a couple of days because of weather) gave us hope, but as the season went on, troubles in Toronto pillaged the Bisons’ roster, leading to a decline.
The Buffalo Bisons finished the season with a 65-76 record, 21 games back of the first place Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in fifth place in the North Division of the International League. Bobby Meacham, moving up from the Jays’ Double-A affiliate, managed the team to a record seven games below their Pythagorean record of 72-69. The Bisons’ offense was the third worst in the league, averaging 3.86 runs per game (below the average of 4.24 r/g) with a club that was 0.3 years younger than average. On the pitching side, the Bisons were a little older than average (actually, they were the oldest pitching staff in the league at 28.1 years old) and allowed the fifth-fewest runs per game at 3.79.
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game Champion
For those of you who followed the minor league reports here, you’ll know that I “awarded” Player of the Game (PotG) accolades on a game-by-game basis. It should comfort you to know that I’ve been keeping track of these daily awards and my rationale for the system is as follows.
The Player of the Game Awards were determined by a number of factors that included who I thought had the most impact on the game and who might have gone “above and beyond.” Most nights, there was just one Player of the Game. If there was, he earned one point. If I thought that either a) no one stood out enough to merit a single PotG, or b) two or more players were outstanding and deserved mention, I split the point up into two, three or four shares. If two players earned PotG mention, they each received 0.5 points and if three players earned mentions, they each received 0.33 points, etc. There were occasions that I felt that no one merited the award and therefore, I did not give out any points.
|Dwight Smith, Jr.||9.5|
It was a very close race for the Player of the Game Championship but Jason Leblebijian held off the other competitors after a strong opening surge to the season!
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year
A career year in the minors got Raffy Lopez to the major leagues and what a year he had in the minors. Just in Buffalo alone, he hit 13 doubles, a triple and 12 home runs with a .293/.368/.551 slash line (added to the four home runs he hit in Double-A and four home runs in the big leagues). Aside from Lopez, there wasn’t much offense to go around. Christian Lopes was the player with the best OPS over the course of the whole season at .751.
Honourable Mention: Christian Lopes, Mike Ohlman, Jason Leblebijian
Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year
While the pitching was strong overall, it was Chris Rowley who really put himself on the map, dominating Triple-A hitters with a 2.66 ERA and 1.20 WHIP over 64 1/3 innings. Pitchers like Brett Oberholtzer and T.J. House were solid but couldn’t claim to be as effective despite pitching twice as much.
Honourable Mention: Brett Oberholtzer, T.J. House
Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year
When it came to the ability to dominate, it was Leonel Campos who was at the top of the list for our Reliever of the Year. Campos was tied for the team lead with nine saves, posting a 1.65 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 32 2/3 innings, striking out 39. Other solid competitors included Murphy Smith (who also made eight starts and logged 82 1/3 innings.
Honourable Mention: Murphy Smith, John Stilson, Matt Dermody, Chad Girodo
If you like us here, like us on Facebook!
The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Check out the Handbook page for more information!
Now is a great time to subscribe to the Blue Jays from Away Premium Content Section!
All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2017) and may not be used without permission.