It’s that time of year that we bring you our reports summarizing the season for the Blue Jays’ minor league affiliates. We continue with the the Jays’ Double-A affiliate in the Eastern League, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
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 Fisher Cats had a disappointing season a year removed from having a stud-laden club that included Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero slugging their way to a league championship. This year, under manager Mike Mordecai, the club finished with a record of 63-76, well below their Pythagorean record of 70-69, which prognosticated that the Fisher Cats would have finished above .500 based on their runs scored versus runs allowed.
The Fisher Cats’ offense was a respectable fifth in the league, scoring 4.03 runs per game (slightly above the 3.92 r/g league average) while fielding an offense that was 23.4 years of age, over half a year younger than the league average of 24 years old. The pitching was ranked eighth in the league, allowing 4.01 runs per game with a group that averaged 23.7 years of age, below the league average of 24.3.
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 New Hampshire Fisher Cats:
Congrats to Forrest Wall who had a significant lead over Kevin Smith to earn the Player of the Game Championship!
Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year
It was a very close contest to decide the Player of the Year. Three players had their OPS clustered between .788 and .772 and I basically chose to go with the guy who had well over 100 plate appearances more than the other two despite the fact that he had the lowest OPS of the three. Forrest Wall was that player, getting into 109 games with the Fisher Cats and hitting .270/.353/.419 with 27 doubles, four triples and nine home runs. He narrowly beats out Riley Adams (.258/.349/.439) and Joshua Palacios (.266/.371/.416) who played in 81 and 82 games, respectively.
Honourable Mention: Riley Adams, Josh Palacios, Santiago Espinal, Nash Knight
Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year
While a Yennsy Diaz finished fourth in the Player of the Game Championship (the top pitcher), he was eclipsed by the brightness of Nate Pearson‘s star. While Pearson threw fewer innings (62 2/3), he had just a 2.59 ERA and 0.99 WHIP, striking out 69 batters and walking 21. Diaz, who had his own reward in the flavour of a major league call up, tossed 144 1/3 innings with a solid 3.74 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, striking out 116 and walking 53.
Honourable Mention: Yennsy Diaz
Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year
There were a lot of solid relievers for the Fisher Cats. Tayler Saucedo was outstanding in a relief role before moving up to Buffalo, and the same can be said about another lefty, Danny Young. Jackson McClelland and Bryan Baker brought the heat but it was Dany Jimenez who opened eyes. The 25-year-old Dominican had a 1.87 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 33 2/3 innings after coming up from Dunedin, striking out 46 and walking just 12! Ty Tice was also in the running, tossing 24 2/3 innings with a 1.09 ERA and 0.85 WHIP, striking out 23 and walking eight.
Honourable Mention: Ty Tice, Tayler Saucedo, Danny Young, Jackson McClelland, Bryan Baker
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