It’s that time of year that we begin our reports summarizing the season for the Blue Jays’ minor league affiliates. We begin (like we did last year) with the lowest level club, the Dominican Summer League Blue Jays.
If you’re new to Blue Jays from Away, we summarize all eight of the Blue Jays’ minor league teams in four parts: The Blue Jays from Away Awards, Starting Pitchers, Relief Pitchers and position players. Players are discussed with the team that they spent the most time with (by innings pitched for pitchers and at bats for batters).
We start with the DSL Blue Jays, who made it to the league finals after a 45-27 season under manager Jose Mateo. The hitters were second in the league in runs per game at 6.32 and ninth in runs allowed per game at 4.56. The hitters were slightly over the average age for the league while the pitchers were slightly younger.
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 0.3 points. There were occasions that I felt that no one merited the award and therefore, I did not give out any points.
Here are the final standings for Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game for the DSL Blue Jays:
|Guillermo de la Cruz||0.5|
The top three players all had very good seasons for the DSL club but 19-year-old Norberto Obeso led the club in OPS by a fairly wide margin. 17-year-old Yorman Rodriguez had an excellent season, considering his age and Francisco Rodriguez (20), led the club in home runs with nine. Congrats to Norberto Obeso, the 2015 DSL Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game Champion!
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year
The conversation for Player of the Year is the same as the one at the top of the leaderboard for Player of the Game points. Obeso, hitting .351/.470/.427, leading the club in doubles is my clear favourite, especially because of his incredible 58 walks to 20 strikeout ratio. Francisco Rodriguez only hit .251 but walked 45 times (with 52 strikeouts) to give him a .406 OBP while Yorman Rodriguez hit .335/.413/.455 with just 17 strikeouts in 242 plate appearances. In all, this was a solid trio of young players who could see Florida in 2016 but the Player of the Year is Norberto Obeso.
Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year
This award is much harder to call this year. There were several interesting young pitchers putting themselves on the Blue Jays’ radar after solid seasons in the DSL. Wilfri Aleton was the workhorse, starting 14 games and leading the club in innings (63 2/3) but his overall stats weren’t as impressive as some other young pitchers and this was his third season in the DSL. Guadalupe Chavez started 10 games, striking out over a batter per inning and still posting a very solid walk rate as a 17-year-old before moving up to the GCL. Jose Nova was stellar for 9 starts with a 1.74 ERA and 0.97 WHIP before moving up to the GCL but Nova is 20 years old. While Yennsy Diaz was also very effective, to me, Chavez was the best and the youngest of the bunch.
Congrats to Lupe Chavez, the Blue Jays from Away DSL Pitcher of the Year.
Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year
For me, this is a three-man race between Jairo Rosario, Joel Espinal and Alvaro Galindo. Rosario led the team in saves (4) while throwing 55 1/3 innings in 19 games, starting just five. His 1.63 ERA and 1.12 WHIP are mitigated a bit by his 25 walks in 55 1/3 innings and his age. Rosario was more dominating this year but it was the 21-year-old’s third season in the DSL. Espinal started the season as an 18-year-old (he turned 19 on August 15), posting a 2.18 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, and striking out 46 and walking 19 in 53 2/3 innings. Galindo is still just 17 and the 6-foot-2 righty had a lighter workload than the other two candidates. Galindo posted a 1.82 ERA and 1.18 WHIP with 31 strikeouts and 15 walks in 34 2/3 innings.
While all three were impressive, the combination of age and workload for Joel Espinal makes him the 2015 Blue Jays from Away DSL Reliever of the Year.
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