MLB Pipeline has a baker’s dozen worth of Vancouver Canadians among its top 30 Toronto Blue Jays prospects this year.
Infielders Orelvis Martinez and Otto Lopez and pitchers Sem Robberse and C.J. Van Eyk made it into the top 10. The rankings are below.
- 2. Orelvis Martinez, SS/3B (2021)
- 4. Otto Lopez, 2B/OF/SS (2018)
- 7. Sem Robberse, RHP (2021)
- 8. C.J. Van Eyk, RHP (2021)
- 11. Adam Kloffenstein, RHP (2019, 2021)
- 16. Samad Taylor, 2B/OF (2017)
- 17. Hagen Danner, RHP (2021)
- 18. Adrian Hernandez, RHP (2021)
- 24. Joey Murray, RHP (2018)
- 25. Sebastian Espino, 3B (2021)
- 26. Hayden Juenger, RHP (2021)
- 29. Tanner Morris, INF (2019, 2021)
- 30. Spencer Horwitz, 1B (2019, 2021)
In its best tools survey in the Jays system on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale, a few of Monty’s Mounties made the grade.
- Power/Arm – Martinez (60), tied with Jordan Groshans for the best arm.
- Curveball – Robberse, Van Eyk (55 each)
- Slider – Juenger, Kloffenstein, Danner (55 each)
- Changeup – Hernandez (65)
Baseball America Releases Top 40 Blue Jays prospects list
Baseball America expanded its original top 30 list by 10 more prospects. Among the Vancouver Canadians to make it in the 31-40 range are as follows.
- 33. Adrian Hernandez, RHP (2021)
- 34. Fitz Stadler, RHP (2018)
- 37. Joey Murray, RHP (2018)
- 39. Addison Barger, INF (2021)
You can find the entire BA list right here.
A total of 27 Vancouver Canadians have worn the Blue Jay blue in the early going this spring. The breakdown is 16 position players and 11 pitchers.
2021 shortstop/third baseman Orelvis Martinez may not be going to Vancouver in 2022 if he continues hitting at his current pace. He has a homer, a double, two walks and is hitting .286 with a 1.301 OPS in four games.
2016 second baseman Cavan Biggio made his spring debut Tuesday and went 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. He avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal worth $2,122,500. He is coming off an elbow sprain from the offseason.
The other former C’s to have played so far.
- Logan Warmoth (2017) 1/2, 2B
- Sebastian Espino (2021) 1/2
- Vinny Capra (2018) 1/5, 2B
- Josh Palacios (2016) 1/5
- Spencer Horwitz (2019, 2021) 1/6
- Chavez Young (2017) 1/6
- Will Robertson (2019, 2021) 0/1, BB, R
- Cullen Large (2017) 0/1, R
- Otto Lopez (2018) 0/8, BB
- Luis De Los Santos (2019, 2021) 0/1
- Chris Bec (2018) 0/2
The 2021 C’s trio of Addison Barger, Davis Schneider (2019) and Rafael Lantigua have appeared on the diamond but did not get an at-bat.
On the pitching side, 2017 Canadian Nate Pearson struck out four over two shutout innings to earn the win Monday against Detroit. 2019 hurler Alex Manoah allowed a run but struck out two over two innings.
- Graham Spraker (2017) 1-0, 6.75 ERA, 1.1IP, 0K/2BB
- Nick Allgeyer (2018) 3.86 ERA 2.2IP, 2K/2BB
- Ryan Borucki (2014, 2015) 0-1, 9.00 ERA, 1.0IP, 0K/0BB
- Adrian Hernandez 2.1IP 3K/1BB
- Brandon Eisert (2021) 1.0IP 3K/0BB
- Tim Mayza (2014) 1.0IP 2K/0BB
- Tayler Saucedo (2015) 1.0IP 2K/0BB
- Hagen Danner (2021) 1.0IP 2K/0BB
- Fitz Stadler (2018) 0.2IP 1K/1BB
2019 and 2021 Vancouver Canadians pitcher Alexander Nolan was interviewed recently on 610 CKTB Radio in St. Catharines, Ontario. Here are some of the nuggets from his chat with Rod Mawhood, starting with his daily routine in Spring Training.
“There’s a lot of caffeine through the day. There’s a 5:30 wake up (call) pretty much every day. If not at 5:30, then it’s 6:10. A 5:30 wake up and then a 5:55 bus at the complex. Usually the day doesn’t start until about 7:30. But I like to get there, get my breakfast in, I’ll write in my journal., my book, kind of like my daily goals. Things I want to work on today just to keep track of things and be on top of everything.
If we have like a 30-minute individual preparation time, I like to be there 30 minutes before the preparation time just to get the full hour. Take my time, you know, say good morning to every staff and every player that comes by. You just want to be prepared throughout the whole day. Once the prep goes by at 7:30, 8:30, you start going outside, doing your plows, your weighted balls. You’re playing catch by 8:45. By 8:45, you’re playing catch by about 20-30 minutes depending how long you’re going, and then if you’re throwing a bullpen, that’s another 30 minutes. And then we’ll go into defensive work, team fundamentals, bunt coverage 1st and 3rds and then we’ll go shag for another hour for the hitters.
It’s kind of crazy though because like sometimes you look at the clock, you’re like ‘Wow, it’s 9:30, it’s 10:00.’ You start your workout, you do your arm care, which takes another 30 minutes and then you get to recover. The Blue Jays have built a massive facility that generally makes it impossible for you not to get better every day there. They’ve built this Colosseum of baseball players. It’s unbelievable.”
The former Brock Badger revealed he also gained about 20 pounds over the offseason.
“I’m about (6-foot-4, 242 pounds) now. Going Into the offseason, I was looking to be faster and I thought losing the weight was going to do it for me, but it was actually starting right at the weight room with lifting faster. And where I train at, it’s a push performance in Tempe, Arizona. They really just kind.hit the nail on the head there with having me move faster in the weight room, doing my lifts, meeting a certain speed. Just movming a little bit quicker down the slope because there wasn’t really much more for me to tweak mechanically. It had a lot with me just moving faster, and if I can move fast at 242, that’s really good.”
Nolan is looking to rebound from a tough 2021 campaign by focusing on the development of two pitches.
“I have no shame in saying last year was probably my worst year on the scoreboard for baseball. I feel like that was my most humbling year but what I found pause about last year was a lot of my development, it didn’t show up on the scoreboard but it showed up in me and it showed up on me mentally. And my exit meeting, they were like, ‘Alex, man. You work your ass off, you do everything we tell you to do. We just want you to stop doing these five things average and we want you to do these two things elite.’
And it kind of took my breath away, kind of like relaxed me a little bit like, ‘Okay, that’s a lot better. That’s a lot better than I thought that was going to go.’ The two things they wanted me to work on was velo on my fastball and my sweeping slider. And I’ve always tried to be a starter for the Blue Jays. Always had that dream of being that guy. And in professional baseball, as you get older, you start to learn, ‘Okay, what is my route? What is my impact here on the team?’ I really worked on fastball velo throughout the offseason, moving faster down the slope of the mound and working on the slider, which has become a plus-plus pitch for me. It’s basically a big league slider, which I’m like really proud of now.”
Best of luck to the Burlington, Ontario native. It’s not known yet where Nolan will play in 2022 but he is hoping to reach Double-A in New Hampshire after ending 2021 with the C’s. He celebrated his 26th birthday March 21.
2012 C’s lefty Daniel Norris will remain in the National League Central as he signed a one-year deal worth $1.75 million with the Chicago Cubs. He split last season with Detroit and Milwaukee, going a combined 2-3 with a 6.16 earned run average. Norris will turn 29 years old on April 25.
2015-2017 southpaw Travis Bergen has joined the San Diego Padres organization after signing a minor league deal March 18. The former Kennesaw State Owl split last year between Triple-A Buffalo and Toronto. The 28 year-old was 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA over 10-2/3 innings with the Jays in 2021 but walked eight and struck out six.
2018 righthander Connor Law has joined the Staten Island FerryHawks of the Atlantic League, singing a deal March 15. Law joins 2017 first baseman Kacy Clemens on the MLB Partner League club.