Nate Pearson will need to stay hydrated in 2018 as he will be pitching in Dunedin to begin the season.
The three 2017 Vancouver Canadians rated among the Top 20 prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays system by Baseball America will be together again. The trio of righthander Nate Pearson, shortstop Logan Warmoth and catcher Riley Adams will skip Lansing and get their full-season debut with the defending Florida State League co-champion Dunedin Blue Jays.
There was much speculation that the 2017 first-round duo Pearson and Warmoth would begin this year in the Sunshine State but there was not quite as much buzz around Adams as some had thought he would only move up to Lansing. All three had strong seasons with Vancouver last season with Pearson dominating Northwest League hitters and Warmoth showing a solid bat and improving defensive skills at short. Adams was praised by Jays officials for his leadership in the clubhouse and displayed a potent bat and improving but unrefined skills behind the plate.
Pearson will look to increase his innings count in Dunedin and improve his off-speed offerings to complement his 100-MPH fastball. Warmoth and Pearson will look to keep their heads above water in the pitching-friendly Florida State League ballparks.
Riley Adams will be bringing his catching gear to Dunedin to begin 2018.
Also joining the Dunedin roster from the 2017 Northwest League champion C’s are lefthanders Travis Bergen and Juliandry Higuera and righthanders Justin Dillon and William Ouellette, the Northwest League saves leader.
Among 11 other D-Jays with Canadians ties include righthanders T.J. Zeuch (2016), Josh DeGraaf (2015) , Nick Hartman (2016), Jackson McClelland (2015-2016), Patrick Murphy (2016) and lefthander Tayler Saucedo (2015). Justin Maese (2016) was hoping to join the staff but he will miss the season with a shoulder injury.
2016 C’s shortstop Yeltsin Gudino and first baseman Nash Knight (2016) are part of the Dunedin infield while D.J. Davis (2012), Rodrigo Orozco (2015-2016) and Josh Palacios make up three-fifths of the D-Jays outfield rotation.
Reggie Pruitt (left) will start the 2018 season in Lansing while Logan Warmoth (right) will suit up for Dunedin.
The Lansing Lugnuts will have 15 members of the 2017 C’s championship squad on its roster, starting with a pitching staff featuring lefthanders Zach Logue and Brody Rodning and righthanders Dany Jimenez, Orlando Pascual, Donnie Sellers, Graham Spraker and Kyle Weatherly.
2017 C’s catcher Matt Morgan will be behind the dish with Kacy Clemens at first base and the trio of Cullen Large, Samad Taylor and Kevin Vicuna handling middle infield chores. The triumvirate of Reggie Pruitt, Chavez Young and Brock Lundquist will be together again in the outfield. The Lugnut hitters will be looked after by 2011-2017 C’s hitting coach Dave Pano.
Two members of the 2016 Vancouver Canadians are back again in Lansing with righthander Andy Ravel and first baseman Christian Williams.
Moving up to New Hampshire, former C’s manager John Schneider (2011, 2014-2015) will be the skipper of the Fisher Cats and will be joined by 2013 infielder Andy Fermin as a position coach.
2015 C’s righthander Jon Harris will pitch again in New Hampshire to begin in 2018.
Saint John, New Brunswick native Andrew Case (2014-2015) and fellow righties Jon Harris (2015), Sean Reid-Foley (2014) and Zach Jackson (2016) highlight nine former C’s moundsmen on the Fisher Cats. They team up with righties Conor Fisk (2015) Francisco Rios (2015) and Justin Shafer (2014) and lefties Jose Fernandez (2014) and Danny Young (2015). Unfortunately, 2013 playoff hero Tom Robson (2013 & 2015) begins the year on the disabled list. According to FutureBlueJays.com, Robson is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery.
2016 C’s second baseman Cavan Biggio will be a part of a legacy infield with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette in New Hampshire.
Catcher Max Pentecost (2014) , second baseman Cavan Biggio (2016), infielder Gunnar Heidt (2014-2015) and Juan Kelly (2015) will take the field with outfielders Jonathan Davis (2014), Andrew Guillotte (2015) and Toronto native Connor Panas (2015) to round out the seven Vancouver connections on the position player side.
As for the Buffalo Bisons roster, 2014-2015 Vancouver lefty Ryan Borucki—who many observers believe is on the cusp of appearing in a Blue Jays uniform at some point in 2018—is among four former C’s hurlers on the Herd’s pitching roster. The others joining Borucki are southpaws Matt Dermody (2013) and Tim Mayza (2014) and northpaw Carlos Ramirez (2012). Dermody had been designated for assignment recently but has returned to the Jays nest.
2011 infielder Jon Berti, 2012-2013 infielder Jason Leblebijian and 2014 first baseman Rowdy Tellez are back for another turn in Buffalo. 2014 shortstop Richard Urena begins the year with an intercostal muscle strain on the disabled list with an intercostal muscle strain.
2014 C’s outfielder Roemon Fields will be back in Buffalo to begin his 2018 campaign.
Former C’s outfielders back with the Herd again are Bisons 2017 MVP Roemon Fields (2014), Ian Parmley (2012-2013) and Dwight Smith Jr. (2012).
If my math is correct, 62 former C’s (64 if you include the disabled Robson and Maese) are on the four full-season rosters along with three coaches who are connected to Vancouver.
There are some names not accounted for from the C’s 2017 roster. They have either been assigned to Extended Spring Training, placed on the disabled list or released. JaysFromTheCouch.com tweeted that 2017 righthanders Chris Hall and Bobby Eveld along with 2013 lefthander Shane Dawson were given their walking papers by the Jays Monday. I certainly wish that trio—who helped contribute to the Northwest League champions in those seasons—the very best in their future endeavours, baseball or otherwise.
Other members of the 2017 C’s no longer with the organization include lefthander Miguel Burgos and first baseman Francisco Rodriguez as they were released. Catcher Cam O’Brien announced his retirement early in the new year according to his MiLB.com player page. Infielder/outfielder Mattingly Romanin was also let go by Toronto in the late stages of spring training. Again, my best wishes to those players and a thank you for their contributions to last year’s championship title.
Looking back at 2018 Spring Training for the Blue Jays, a combined 43 position players and pitchers who wore the Vancouver Canadians uniforms saw Grapefruit League Action.
Here is a quick statistical breakdown of how each player did beginning with the 27 position players.
- Jason Leblebijian 50 AB, .742 OPS, 1 HR, 3 SB
- Roemon Fields 48 AB, .978 OPS, 1 HR 3 SB
- Kevin Pillar 48 AB, 1.128 OPS, 2 HR, 5 2B
- Richard Urena 29 AB, .441 OPS, 1 SB
- Jonathan Davis 27 AB, .767 OPS, 1 HR
- Max Pentecost 22 AB, .336 OPS, 2 RBI, 1 SB
- Dwight Smith Jr. 20 AB, .854 OPS, 2 HR, 6 RBI
- Andrew Guillotte 19 AB, .496 OPS, 3 RBI, 1 SB
- Dalton Pompey 18 AB, .541 OPS, 2 SB
- Nash Knight 11 AB, .697 OPS
- Jon Berti 10 AB, .800 OPS, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB
- Cavan Biggio 7 AB, 1.143 OPS, 1 3B
- Kacy Clemens 6 AB, .000 OPS, 1 RBI
- Gunnar Heidt 6 AB, .143 OPS
- Rowdy Tellez 5 AB, .400 OPS
- Yeltsin Gudino 4 AB, 1.250 OPS, 1 2B
- Christian Williams 4 AB, 1.750 OPS, 1 HR, 3 RBI
- Reggie Pruitt 3 AB, .667 OPS
- Riley Adams 2 AB, .000 OPS
- D.J. Davis 2 AB, 1.500 OPS, 1 2B, 2 RBI
- Juan Kelly 2 AB, .000 OPS
- Matt Morgan 2 AB, .000 OPS
- Josh Palacios 2 AB, 1.500 OPS, 1 2B, 1 RBI
- Connor Panas 2 AB, .000 OPS
- Kevin Vicuna 2 AB, 1.500 OPS, 1 2B, 2 R
- Michael De La Cruz (2014) 1 AB, .000 OPS
- Ian Parmley 1 AB, .000 OPS
And here’s a look at how the 16 pitchers with C’s ties fared.
- Jose Fernandez 6.1 IP 1 SV 0.00 ERA
- Danny Young 1.0 IP 0.00 ERA
- Roberto Osuna 1-0, 1.23 ERA, 8-0 K/BB, 7.1IP
- Tim Mayza 1-0, 1.69 ERA, 10.0IP, 9-2 K/BB
- Justin Shafer 1-0, 1.69 ERA, 5.1 IP
- Aaron Sanchez 2-2, 3.06 ERA, 17.2 IP, 16-2 K/BB
- Andrew Case 1-0, 3.38 ERA, 5.1 IP, 4-1 K/BB
- Jon Harris 0-0, 4.50 ERA, 4.0 IP
- Ryan Borucki 0-1, 9.39 ERA, 7.2 IP
- Matt Dermody 0-1, 10.29 ERA, 7.0 IP, 6-1 K/BB
- Conor Fisk 0-1, 10.80 ERA, 1.2 IP
- Sean Reid-Foley 0-1, 10.80 ERA, 5.0 IP
- Carlos Ramirez 0-1, 15.00 ERA, 3.0 IP
- Jackson McClelland 0-0, 27.00 ERA, 0.2 IP
- William Ouellette 0-0, 27.00 ERA, 0.1 IP