The Toronto Blue Jays’ minor league system has been turning heads since the emergence of the Jays’ dynamic duo at the top of the system of Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. and Bo Bichette. So it was with a great deal of anticipation that MiLB.com released their Organization All-Stars highlighting both of those two players, although it also honoured several lesser-known minor leaguers. We released our own Organization All-Stars back in September and we’ll compare MiLB.com’s list to our own.
MiLB.com started behind the plate and awarded the first All-Star nod to Danny Jansen with an honourable mention to Alejandro Kirk. We actually reversed that, choosing to honour the huge season that Kirk had (albeit at a much lower level), especially seeing the large number of accolades that Danny brought in. Earning some big league salary during the season also helped ease the gentle snub from us, I’m sure.
At first base, MiLB.com went off our radar, giving their All-Star nod to Chad Spanberger, mostly for the work he did in the Colorado system. Seeing as his resume outside of the Blue Jays’ system didn’t really qualify him for our own award, we honoured Ryan Noda and his stellar OBP for Lansing, who was the honourable mention for MiLB.com.
At second base, there was agreement as Cavan Biggio had a breakout season and won the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards in the Double-A Eastern League. We gave an honourable mention to Ivan Castillo who played extremely well for Dunedin.
Third base? How about Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., of course. There’s obviously consensus there and we added an honourable mention for first-round draft pick Jordan Groshans.
At shortstop, Bo Bichette took the All-Star spot for MiLB.com and they quote Gil Kim as saying that “Bo is one of the most intense competitors we have.” Bo was our honourable mention and we gave the All-Star award to Kevin Smith who starred for Lansing and Dunedin.
In the outfield, MiLB.com chose Rodrigo Orozco (Dunedin), who co-led the Florida State League with a .304 batting average (along with teammate Castillo), Brock Lundquist who tore things up in Dunedin after a solid start to the year in Lansing and Cal Stevenson who was incredible in 53 games in Bluefield in his draft year. We actually went with Stevenson, Chavez Young (Lansing) and Harold Ramirez (New Hampshire) who led the Eastern League in batting average. Ramirez garnered an honourable mention from MiLB.com while we gave honourable mentions to Tanner Kirwer (Vancouver), Joshua Palacios (Dunedin, New Hampshire), Jonathan Davis (New Hampshire, Buffalo, Toronto) and Dom Abbadessa (Bluefield).
Kevin Smith shows up here, taking home the MiLB.com award for a utility player. I guess his ability to play third base as well as shortstop (with 13 games at second base) giving him the “utility” classification. We went deeper into the system to select Otto Lopez, the versatile sparkplug for the Vancouver Canadians with honourable mentions to Ivan Castillo and Nash Knight.
On the mound, righty Patrick Murphy was the All-Star for MiLB.com and the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year was one of our honourable mentions with the award going to Sean Reid-Foley for his work in New Hampshire, Buffalo and Toronto. We had a series of honourable mentions including Murphy, Yennsy Diaz (Lansing, Dunedin), Eric Pardinho (Bluefield), T.J. Zeuch (Dunedin, New Hampshire), Lazaro Estrada (DSL) and Josh Winckowski, the Northwest League Pitcher of the Year.
From the left side, Zach Logue was selected by MiLB.com in another case where they agreed with us. Logue was stellar throughout the season in Lansing and Dunedin. Our honourable mention went to Ryan Borucki who made a big impact as a Bison and a Blue Jay.
Our All-Star reliever and MiLB.com’s All-Star reliever were the same with the selection of lefty Travis Bergen, who was chosen by the San Francisco Giants in the Rule 5 draft. Bergen had a 1.71 ERA in Dunedin and a 0.50 ERA with New Hampshire. Lefty Jake Fishman got an honourable mention after a very strong season, mostly with Dunedin. We had Fishman as an honourable mention with a whole series of mentions to Justin Shafer, Jose Fernandez, Justin Watts, Cobi Johnson, Brad Wilson, Fitz Stadler and Nicolas Medina.
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