Vancouver Canadians 2018 Report, part 1: Blue Jays from Away Awards

Josh Winckowski

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 Vancouver Canadians.


banner ad


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).



Under manager Dallas McPherson, the Vancouver Canadians had a solid year with a 40-36 record, which was ultimately the best in the North division over the course of a full season, but, thanks to the split season format in the Northwest League, they didn’t make the playoffs, failing to follow up their 2017 championship with a postseason. Vancouver was a game back of Everett in the first half at 19-19 and then were a game back of Spokane in the second half at 21-17.

The Canadians struggled on the offense, finishing with the league’s second worst offense, finishing with 4.14 runs per game (below the 4.59 r/g average) while fielding a club that was 0.3 years younger than average. The club shone on the mound, allowing just 3.93 runs per game with a pitching staff that was 0.4 years older than average in the league.

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 Vancouver Canadians:


Griffin Conine 6.67
Mc Gregory Contreras 5.83
Otto Lopez 5.83
Nick Podkul 5
Bryan Lizardo 4.67
Josh Winckowski 4.33
Randy Pondler 4
Jesus Severino 3.5
Vinny Capra 3.33
Jose Espada 3.33
Elio Silva 3
Brandon Polizzi 2.5
Sterling Guzman 2.5
Christopher Bec 2.33
Tanner Kirwer 2
Jake Brodt 1.33
Reilly Johnson 1
Hunter Steinmetz 1
Justin Watts 0.83
Yorman Rodriguez 0.83
Joey Murray 0.5
Fitz Stadler 0.33
Sean Wymer 0.33


So there you have it, folks. Griffin Conine is your Blue Jays from Away Player of the Game Champion for the Vancouver Canadians!


Blue Jays from Away Player of the Year


No offensive player was truly dominant for the 2018 Vancouver Canadians and, as mentioned above, the club really struggled to score. Their top OPS came from 19-year-old Otto Lopez, who was a manager’s dream playing all over the diamond, hitting .297/.390/.434. Albertan Tanner Kirwer was close, posting a .783 OPSwith 13 doubles and 28 stolen bases and Bryan Lizardo and Mc Gregory Contreras were just behind, but the award goes to Lopez.

Honourable Mention: Tanner Kirwer, Bryan Lizardo, Mc Gregory Contreras


Blue Jays from Away Pitcher of the Year


When a player wins recognition from the entire league for his excellence in a given year, it’s hard not to give him an award. In this case, Josh Winckowski was the Northwest League Pitcher of the Year, thanks to a 2.78 ERA, 1.22 WHIP as well as an outstanding 71 strikeout to 15 walks. While there were some very good pitchers in the running for the Canadians, Winckowski’s domination at the age of 20 makes him our Pitcher of the Year.

Honourable Mention: Elio Silva, Randy Pondler


Blue Jays from Away Reliever of the Year


Justin Watts

Coming out of the bullpen there were a number of strong candidates for the Reliever of the Year. Joey Pulido gave up just two runs (none earned) in 24 2/3 innings, striking out 21 and walking seven, Justin Watts struck out 52 batters in 36 2/3 innings with a 2.45 ERA, Cobi Johnson struck out 35 in 26 innings, keeping his WHIP under 1.00 and Nick Allgeyer had a strong first professional season. Joey Murray had a 1.75 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings and Marcus Reyes kept his ERA under 2.00 with a solid strikeout-to-walk ratio. Drumroll please . . . . The winner, by volume of work and second-highest strikeout rate is Justin Watts whose extra 10 innings over most of his competition gets him the win.

Honourable Mention: Joey Pulido, Cobi Johnson, Nick Allgeyer, Joey Murray, Marcus Reyes


If you like us here, like us on Facebook!

The 2018 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available!

Visit the Handbook page for more information! Now is a great time to subscribe to the Blue Jays from Away Premium Content Section!

All photos are copyright Blue Jays from Away (2013-2018) and may not be used without permission.