Dunedin Diaries, Day 3: Travels to Toronto Blue Jays Spring Training

Otto Lopez

Day 3: Friday, March 15, 2019

I woke up to more back pain. Yay. Knowing that the games at the minor league complex would start at 1:00, I spent some time working on The 2019 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook as well as some time prepping the website for the new releases before going to Dunedin Stadium to pick up the press credential.

After getting the credential, it was time for lunch and I spent some time working on the book (yes, it never ends) at a Starbucks not far from the minor league complex. I took some Tylenol, drove over and parked at a side street a little closer than last time.

I went into the complex and saw they were starting to get ready. I started talking to a scout for the Twins about some of the prospects and we had a nice little chat. I ran into Eric Pardinho and asked him when he was pitching but he told me that he’s hurt and won’t start throwing until next week. Sorry Lugnuts fans, that makes him doubtful to start the season up there.

Finally, the games got under way and I got to see some more baseball. Highlights of the lower-level group included seeing Roither Hernandez hit 100 mph on the radar gun (just one gun and just once that I could tell) while some of the hitters who impressed were D.J. Daniels who hit a home run as well as Joseph Reyes who also hit a home run. I heard that Griffin Conine hit a rocket of a double but I wasn’t there to see that. On that diamond, I saw some 2018 draftees like Mike Pascoe and I have to say the best single pitch of anyone I saw on Friday was Ryan Thurston’s changeup. He doesn’t throw hard but that thing just drops off the table.

On the other diamond, I saw Josh Almonte for the first time in a game and he ranked second in pure velocity on the day, touching 97 mph with his fastball. At the plate, Jordan Groshans impressed with his ability to go the other way while D.J. Neal hit a rocket out of the ballpark. Reggie Pruitt also impressed with his speed, getting at least three hits including a bunt single and stealing at least one base.

After the games, I went to work editing photos, working on the website and, lo and behold, The 2019 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook was finished! Then I spent about an hour to an hour and a half troubleshooting the order and download mechanism on the website and once that was finished, it was time to turn in!

So get your copy of The 2019 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook! It’s available now! You can also get a yearly subscription to our premium content section with profiles, photos, scouting reports and more! Giddy up! I’m still getting content online for the Premium Content section and that will take a few more days to get fully operational. It’s a slow process that involves me going in manually to update each individual profile, so a lot of time is spent doing that.

Coming up next: Day 4 back at Big League Camp.

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