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 finished the season with a strong 44-26 record, winning the Baseball City Division but losing in three games to the DSL Dodgers2 in the first round of the playoffs.. The hitters were 0.4 years older than the average age at 18.5 years old and finished in the middle of the pack in hitting (24th out of 40 teams) scoring 4.65 runs per game (the league average was 4.60 r/g).
It was on the pitching side that the Blue Jays were really dominant. Despite being almost a year younger than league average (at 17.8 years old), the pitchers allowed only 3.69 runs per game (almost a run less than the league average a 4.60 r/g), finishing sixth out of 40 teams.
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.
Here are the final standings for Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game for the DSL Blue Jays:
Knowing what we know about the DSL Blue Jays’ stellar pitching in 2017, it’s not unsurprising that our top two players in the Player of the Game Championship are pitchers with Naswell Paulino finishing above Nathanael Perez for the 2017 title!
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year
On the offensive side, the best player by way of rate stats is catcher Leonicio Ventura, a 20-year-old from the Dominican Republic. That said, Ventura only played in 33 games and had just 109 plate appearances, leading me to go with Rafael Lantigua, a 19-year-old Dominican second baseman who had the best OPS at .755. He hit .284/.379/.376 with eight doubles and six triples.
Honourable Mention: Leonicio Ventura, Steward Berroa
Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year
While Naswell Paulino was our Player of the Game champ, it was Nathanael Perez who was easily the most dominant pitcher for the DSL Blue Jays. Perez had a 1.42 ERA in 13 starts, giving up just 47 hits and seven walks in 47 innings, striking out 55.
Honourable Mention: Naswell Paulino, Emanuel Vizcaino
Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year
17-year-old Elixon Caballero was truly dominant for the DSL Blue Jays. Giving up just three earned runs in 32 innings, he had a 0.84 ERA and 1.13 WHIP while striking out 36 and walking 13. Those are some impressive numbers from a 5-foot-9 righty from Venezuela.
Honourable Mention: Luis Mendoza, Juan Diaz, Jhon Victorino
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