Max Pentecost batted. 280 over a 260-game minor league career.
2014 Vancouver Canadians catcher Max Pentecost is stepping away from the grind of professional baseball. The former first-round pick has retired according to a tweet from Red Sox beat writer Chris Cotillo.
Source: Blue Jays prospect Max Pentecost has retired. Was 11th overall pick in 2014 draft. Got to Double-A last year.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) April 3, 2019
Pentecost stepped away from camp to ponder his future nearly two weeks ago and has apparently decided to close the book on his playing days. The 26 year-old Winder, Georgia native was a member of the 2018 Eastern League champion New Hampshire Fisher Cats where he batted .253/.283/.401 with 17 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs and 52 runs batted in. Pentecost swung a hot bat late in the season as he won Eastern League Player of the Month honours after batting .375 and slugging .675 with 22 RBI over 20 games. Behind the dish, he threw out nearly 40 percent of the runners who tried to steal a base.
Fisher Cats manager John Schneider—who also managed Pentecost in Vancouver—talked to Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker on Sportsnet 590 The Fan about the former Kennesaw State Owl’s late-season turnaround.
“It was a frustrating season for him offensively for the first five months. Then to his credit, he made a few adjustments just to kind of see the ball a little bit better. He kind of incorporated a bit of a toe tap a la kind of another good hitter who was in New Hampshire (Vladimir Guerrero Jr.)…He was just kind of putting himself in position to see the ball better, get his best swing off more consistently and it kind of just snowballed.
He was awesome. It was fun to watch…Once he started rolling…I put him in the three-hole, he kept going so the improvements he made—phenomenal! He’s a dude. He’s really talented…I’m happy he stayed healthy the whole year.”
Sadly, staying healthy was a huge obstacle to overcome for Pentecost as three shoulder injuries cut short his rookie season of 2014 and forced him to miss all of 2015.
Pentecost was expected to report to Vancouver after signing for a $2.9 million bonus but had to spend time in the Gulf Coast League because he did not have his passport at the time. He made an immediate impact when he joined the C’s in mid-July with a nine-game hitting streak and had at least one hit in 16 of his 19 contests. The right-handed hitting Pentecost batted .313 with the C’s with two doubles, three triples and two stolen bases before his season ended in early August. One wonders if Pentecost had stayed healthy, he may have helped Vancouver’s attempt for a fourth straight Northwest League title.
Max Pentecost made a career-high 76 starts behind home plate for New Hampshire in 2018.
Pentecost was strictly a designated hitter upon his return in 2016 and he batted .302 with an .847 on-base plus slugging percentage mostly with Lansing along with a 12-game stint with Dunedin.
The 2017 season saw Pentecost return to Dunedin where he made 19 starts behind the plate and 22 appearances at first base. He earned Florida State League Mid-Season and Post-Season All-Star honours at designated hitter after batting .276 and slugging .434 with 14 doubles, two triples, nine homers and 52 RBI. Unfortunately, a couple of stints on the disabled list meant Pentecost missed out on the FSL playoffs as the Dunedin Blue Jays captured a share of the league title by beating Tampa two games to one in the semi-final. Shoulder woes also cut short his stint in the Arizona Fall League in 2017.
The Blue Jays gambled by leaving Pentecost unprotected for the Rule 5 draft in both 2017 and 2018 but there were no takers. It appeared Pentecost was going to start 2019 back in New Hampshire with Reese McGuire, Patrick Cantwell and 2014 C’s teammate Michael De La Cruz in the catching mix at Triple-A Buffalo.
With Danny Jansen and Luke Maile occupying the top spots in Toronto, it appeared Pentecost saw the writing on the wall about his dimming major league prospects. It appeared the Jays had their catcher of the future when Pentecost arrived on the scene. He had a decorated college career that saw him win the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year and the Johnny Bench Award as college baseball’s top catcher in his junior season. The summer before saw him win Cape Cod League Most Valuable Player honours where his performance with the wood bat got the attention of scouts. The Jays brass had hoped Pentecost would be knocking on the door of the major leagues at this point. Instead, the door has closed on his dreams of making it to the bigs.
All the best to Max Pentecost in his future endeavours.
Rodrigo Orozco had a .283 batting average after a five-year stay in the Toronto Blue Jays system.
All the best to 2015-2016 Vancouver Canadians outfielder Rodrigo Orozco after the 24 year-old was traded by the Blue Jays to San Diego for outfielder Socrates Brito April 2, which happens to be Orozco’s birthday. After spending the 2013 and 2014 seasons in the Dominican Summer League, the native of Panama City, Panama batted .333 in a three-game audition for the C’s to end the 2015 season. That was after hitting .300 in 58 games with Bluefield. He spent all of 2016 in British Columbia where he posted a .338 on-base percentage in 54 games.
The Lansing Lugnuts were next up on Orozco’s minor league journey in 2017 and he hit .282 with a .367 on-base mark. The 2018 season saw Orozco break out by winning a share of the Florida State League batting crown with teammate Ivan Castillo after a .303 average for Dunedin. He also stole 18 bases in 22 tries. That was the first time he broke double digits in stolen bases since confiscating 20 bags with the Dominican Jays in 2014.
Orozco will join his 2015 C’s teammate Connor Panas in the San Diego system. The Toronto native was traded to the Padres by the Blue Jays in a deal that saw lefthander Clayton Richard go the other way.
More reaction on the Kevin Pillar trade, bad news for 2015 C’s righthander Jon Harris a former Jays legend likes what he’s seeing from 2014 C’s designated hitter Rowdy Tellez and good news for all minor leagues in the Blue Jays system highlight this instalment of C-Tweets.
When the season kicks off in just under 24 hours, here is the guy that will be on the mound for the @LansingLugnuts. https://t.co/vL80TNu4RG via @LSJnews pic.twitter.com/LtwZX7B7fy
— Brian Calloway (@brian_calloway) April 3, 2019
@JaysFromAway and I have just learned that Jon Harris, who didn’t appear on Buffalo or New Hampshire’s rosters, has been kept in Extended due to some minor shoulder discomfort. He’s building up his strength for now.
— Future Blue Jays (@FutureBlueJays) April 3, 2019
PILLAR: This is awesome footage of Kevin Pillar’s first moments back in Cali… https://t.co/JKd8iercxq
— Rob Fai (@RobFaiNation) April 4, 2019
Rowdy Tellez has a compact powerful swing. He has all the attributes of a good hitter, good balance, strong legs and he knows how to use them. On this HR to CF look at how his hips explodes through the baseball, ball to CF and hips to 1B. Everything works in sequence perfectly! pic.twitter.com/hvj0JxhEui
— Jesse Barfield (@JesseBarfield29) April 3, 2019
Blessed to be a part of an organization that cares about there players and is trying to make a change for all organizations to follow! @BlueJays https://t.co/Mt96llwPiz
— Nate Pearson (@big_nate5) April 4, 2019
We will always remember @KPILLAR4’s contribution to the 2011 Northwest League Championship! 🏆#AtTheNat | #ManOfSteal pic.twitter.com/gE1ltbePpl
— Vancouver Canadians (@vancanadians) April 2, 2019
Kevin Pillar was a true pro both on and off the field.
I had a blast speaking with him the week he made his MLB debut. He was gracious, kind, & honest. He continued to be that way during his 6 years with the #BlueJays.
Best of luck, @KPILLAR4! 👏https://t.co/QF2fQBRAG9
— April Whitzman (@Alleycat17) April 2, 2019
@KPILLAR4 I just became a Giants fan! Always will go down as the hardest playing teammate I’ve ever had. Was an honor and pleasure to suit it up with you! I take great pleasure watching you continue to get it done every summer! Best of luck brother! From Baby Jays to the bay! https://t.co/pLFpcXwdCQ
— Tyler Ybarra (@TYbar23) April 2, 2019
Cavan Biggio’s turn in the cage. #Bisons #BlueJays pic.twitter.com/UUYoEpOOUx
— Pat Malacaro (@PatWGR) April 2, 2019