Kevin Pillar and Jake Marisnick got the starts in LF and CF respectively the Salt River Rafters game against Reds super-speedster prospect SS Billy Hamilton and the Peoria Javelinas. Hamilton led the game off with a walk and promptly stole second before scoring on a home run by Seattle’s C Mike Zunino. He would walk and steal second again in the 2nd inning before scoring on a groundout to the pitcher.
Marisnick hit a sacrifice fly for the second out of the 6th before Pillar singled on a groundball to left field to keep the innings alive. After moving to 3rd on another single, Pillar capped off a 5-run inning by stealing home as Tyler Bortnick stole second to take the lead.
Ian Kadish entered the game with a one-run lead in the 7th and gave up just a 2-out groundball single with a popup, fly out, and groundout.
Pillar bunt singled in the 9th to leadoff and later scored. Jake Marisnick grounded out softly to the pitcher to end the game. Marisnick finished 1 for 4 and Kevin Pillar went 3 for 5 raising his average to .385.
Deck McGuire pitched and was lucky to escape his inning having given up just one earned run on 3 hits and a walk. He had one strikeout. Sam Dyson would make an appearance in the top of the 11th striking out Marlins’ prospect Christian Yelich (pre-2012 BA’s #41 prospect) swinging on 4 pitches and Max Stassi looking to end the game (tied) in the middle of the 12th.
Ryan Goins and Sean Ochinko were the lone Blue Jays position players in Tuesday’s game. Ochinko hit an RBI single in the 2nd after Goins moved the runner to second on a groundout. Goins would cash in a run in the 6th on a groundball single to the right side. Goins would finish the game 1 for 5 with a strikeout; Ochinko went 2 for 4 with 2 singles.
Ochinko has been cast as a spare part minor leaguer because he served as the replacement to AJ Jimenez in New Hampshire (AA) after the more notable prospect underwent Tommy John surgery and recently received the assignment to the Arizona Fall League ending speculation that Travis d’Arnaud would be the Jays’ representative at catcher. Ochinko actually demonstrated some Yan Gomes-ian power as the backup catcher hit 9 HRs in 87 games in 2012 and OPS’ed a respectable .765 between Dunedin (A+) and New Hampshire. Considering the catching depth ahead of him, Ochinko will be hard-pressed to earn protection from the upcoming Rule 5 draft. However, it would take a team with very few options at catcher to swallow having him on their active Major League roster for a full season.
If Ochinko remains in the Jays’ system in 2013, it’s unclear where he will spend the season. AJ Jimenez is ahead of him on the depth chart and the team may want him to repeat AA considering his year was cut short by injury. The Jays’ only other catching prospect who’s playing time warrants concern is in the lower minors and Santiago Nessy will likely rise no higher than Lansing (Lo-A) in 2013 considering his age. Therefore, Ochinko could find himself anywhere between A+ and AAA in 2013.
Jake Marisnick was the only Blue Jays prospect to make the Salt River lineup on Monday. He went 1 for 4 with a strikeout and a double on a sharply hit line drive to left field. He grounded out in two other at-bats. Blue Jays brass are watching closely with Marisnick to help determine a timeline for his eventual promotion to the Majors. He has had a slow start to the Arizona Fall League hitting .133/.235/.267 in with two doubles, a walk and 6 strikeouts. If he puts together a strong AFL run and a strong 2013, he could position himself to compete for a spot in the Toronto outfield as early as the Fall of 2013.
This was not a great game for Toronto Blue Jays prospect pornographers. Ryan Tepera, eligible for the Rule 5 draft this year and seemingly a candidate for the 40-man roster, got the start and was not very sharp. He gave up 2 doubles, a home run, and four runs in an inning and a third.
John Stilson’s replacement on the AFL roster, Ian Kadish, gave up a run on 2 hits and a walk. He allowed a Surprise to steal second with fellow Toronto product Sean Ochinko behind the plate and a double. Sam Dyson did much better in his second outing allowing one hit in his inning of work. He had one strikeout and no walks and got two outs on the ground.
On offense, Kevin Pillar hit leadoff and played RF going 0 for 4 with a K. Ryan Goins went 0 for 3 with a sac fly and Sean Ochinko was 0 for 3.
Jake Marisnick got the start in CF for the Rafters but was dropped to the 9-spot of the lineup. He doubled off Shawn Armstrong, a reliever for the Indians who moved from Lo-A to AA in his first full professional season with great results despite an elevated walk rate. Marisnick struck out in his two other at-bats but his double stood as one of Salt River’s 3 hits.
Deck McGuire came into the game in relief and got Alex Monsalve to fly out before striking Gift Ngoepe looking to get the first two outs of the 8th. McGuire is yet to give up a hit so far in the AFL but is getting a lot of his outs in the air.
Ryan Goins played shortstop and went 0 for 5 with a walk and a run scored while Kevin Pillar went 2 for 4 with a walk and a home run. He played left field. Owner of best stuff in the system, Sam Dyson, pitched 2 innings and was torched for two runs yielding a HR and collecting 2 Ks.
There was no immediate word about Stilson’s removal from the AFL roster. Perhaps his injury troubles from the regular season have flared up. He is one of the next generation of starting pitchers that should make the Majors in the next year or so ahead of the higher-ceilinged arms in the low minors. Apart from Deck McGuire and Chad Jenkins, he may be at the top of the list of pitching prospects on the organizational depth chart. If he is seriously hurt, then it is bad news indeed. His shoulder has been a concern in the past when Stilson declined to have surgery in favour of rehab.
Jake Marisnick played centerfield and was 0 for 4 in his Arizona Fall League debut striking out twice swinging, grounding out once, lining out to the pitcher and getting hit by a pitch. Deck McGuire also got in the game and gave up just one walk in 1 1/3 innings to Matt Sczur. He erased him with a groundout to end the 6th and returned to face top prospects NIck Castellanos, Jonathan Singleton, and Jonathan Schoop. He struck out Castellanos looking and Singleton swinging before Schoop lined out sharply to Marisnick in CF to end the 7th. McGuire had a poor 2012 in New Hampshire and was passed over by the Blue Jays in the depths of its injury woes. His trip to the AFL to face some of the best prospects in baseball will turn him around hopefully and this first appearance has him on the right track.