Well, it was definitely a long day at the ballpark today and the sunburn I’ve got certainly will attest to that. I spent the day at the minor league camp (which is where I’m going to be for most of the rest of my time down in Florida).
Today, you’ll be getting some of the things that jumped out at me while I was watching. At the Jays’ complex today were the “Double-A” and “Triple-A” teams. I use quotes because the rosters are not at all reflective of who’s going to be on which team come April. In general, a lot of players were playing a level up from where they’re going to be when the season starts, mainly because there are still so many Triple-A guys in major league camp right now.
I saw some pitcher’s fielding practice (PFP) at the beginning of the day and some guys taking BP before heading over to the bullpens to watch about six pitchers throw side sessions.
By far, the most advanced of the pitchers throwing in the bullpen was Daniel Norris who is looking really good on the mound. I didn’t have a radar gun but he was definitely the hardest thrower in the group. His slider was sharp and under control (he was hitting spots with it). I didn’t see/notice any other pitches but Norris really looks like he’s turning the corner. I wouldn’t be surprised if his fastball was hitting 94-96 when he really let one go.
Clinton Hollon also impressed me. He was locating his fastball well and was probably hitting the low-to-mid-90s. He had some more trouble locating his slider and his changeup looks like it’s coming along with some good drop to it.
I also saw a three young lefties throw: Zakery Wasilewski, Daniel Lietz and Corey Gorman. Lietz and Gorman were both in the GCL last year and Wasilewski was in Bluefield. Lietz was having trouble with his control and Wasilewski looked like his curve wasn’t hitting the spots. Finally, I watched Tomo Ohka throw some knuckleballs. That’s always a fun time. Some of the knucklers were better than others but he’s definitely more of a soft-tossing knuckleballer.
Another little interesting tidbit I learned today was that the Blue Jays are having Jonathan Davis (who was a mid-round draft pick last year who played for Bluefield) learn to switch hit. I saw him taking some BP swings from the left side and it really threw me for a loop; I remember seeing him hit from the right side in Bluefield. I spoke to Doug Davis one of the Jays’ front office guys on the minor league side of things and he confirmed that Jonathan Davis is, indeed, working on hitting from the left side.
Sean Ochinko had the only home run for the Jays that I could tell (I was shuttling from diamond to diamond with two games on). It was a no doubter.
EDIT: Brad Glenn also hit a home run. I’m pretty sure I saw it but was talking to a scout at the time. I probably didn’t pay as much attention to it because it wasn’t exactly a surprise; I know how much power Glenn has.
Aaron Munoz threw out a runner stealing and almost threw out another. He’s looking healthy and very spry behind the plate.
Starters were Austin Bibens-Dirkx for the AAA squad and Ben White for the AA squad. White got hit hard but had some good pitches too.
For the AA team, big lefty Scott Silverstein got into the game and threw an inning and a third. He’s a 6-foot-5 lefty and was throwing 89-92 with some nice arm-side run on his fastball and a nice little slider.
It was really nice to see Danny Barnes pitching. He missed most of last season injured and was sitting 89-90 on the radar gun.
I was surprised by how side-arm Efrain Nieves pitches. Was pitching about 86 but had some nice sink on the ball.
Marcus Walden made it into the game for the AAA squad but I was watching the other diamond and some of the younger guys take BP at the time.
I saw Yusuf Carter play as well as Brett Carroll. Both guys were signed by the Jays in the offseason as minor league free agents. I didn’t see much of Carter but Carroll looks like he’s got some really good speed.
Other guys who threw: Randy Boone for the AAA team and Wil Browning for the AA club. I probably missed a few too but it’s tough to watch both diamonds closely.
That’s all for today. I’m probably going to be in Clearwater tomorrow to see the A-ball clubs go against the Phillies and back to the Dunedin complex on Saturday for more A-ball clubs.
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