It’s that time of year that we begin our reports summarizing the season for the Blue Jays’ minor league affiliates. We continue our reports with the Dunedin 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).
The Dunedin Blue Jays, under first-year manager Casey Candaele, staved off a sub-.500 record by finishing 69-68, four games below a Pythagorean record of 73-64. The D-Jays definitely showed improvement in the second half: after finishing 31-37 in the first half, in second-last place in the North Division of the Florida State League and seven games back of the leader, they moved up to third place with a 38-31 record but were still seven games back of the division leader.
The Dunedin Blue Jays had a solid offense, scoring 4.50 runs per game, good for second in the league, and about a third of a run better than the league average (4.21 r/g) with an offense that averaged 0.3 years older than the league average of 22.4 years. The pitching was more towards the back of the pack, allowing 4.19 runs per game which was still slightly better than the league average of 4.21 runs per game with a pitching staff that was 23.2 years old on average, 0.2 years older than the league average age.
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.” Many 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 Dunedin Blue Jays:
Congrats to Joshua Palacios, the runaway Player of the Game Champion!
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year
The Player of the Year question comes down to a few players with several meriting consideration. Kevin Smith played in 83 games and led the club with 18 home runs (10 more than his nearest competitor) while Ivan Castillo led the league with a .304 batting average, tied with teammate Rodrigo Orozco. Joshua Palacios finished second in the league in doubles. Or Brock Lundquist who was excellent after arriving from Lansing? But the winner is going to be Kevin Smith, who had the best OPS on the team for players with more than 300 at bats and, had he qualified, would have had the second-best OPS in the league.
Honourable Mention: Joshua Palacios, Ivan Castillo, Brock Lundquist
Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year
It makes it really easy to pick a winner for the best pitcher on the team when the pitcher wins the Florida State League award too. So congrats to Patrick Murphy! There were several strong contenders here too, with Yennsy Diaz pitching well after coming up from Lansing, Tayler Saucedo pitching well before his promotion to New Hampshire and Zach Logue also doing well after arriving from Lansing. In fact, Murphy gets the nod over Logue due to a heavier workload with Dunedin.
Honourable Mention: Tayler Saucedo, Zach Logue, Yennsy Diaz
Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year
There was a strong group of relievers with Dunedin at one point or other during the year. Travis Bergen had a strong year before moving up to New Hampshire and Jonathan Cheshire had a very good year, if it was a bit unheralded. Jackson McClelland was also quite solid, particularly as the year went on. But the one pitcher who was consistently strong and ended up throwing 57 innings (the most for any reliever), leading the team with 44 appearances, was lefty Jake Fishman whose 1.00 WHIP and 2.68 ERA were stellar as was his 56 strikeout to 11 walk ratio.
Honourable Mention: Jonathan Cheshire, Jackson McClelland, Travis Bergen
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