Blue Jays Announce 2016 Spring Training Invitees

The Toronto Blue Jays have released a list of prospects they’ve invited to 2016 Spring Training. The list includes several of Toronto’s Top ranked Prospects.

From Triple-A, the Buffalo Bisons will be represented by 3B Andy Burns, 2B baseman Jon Berti, and LHP Chad Girodo.

Andy Burns was once a top rated prospect in the Blue Jays system, but has seen his stock drop over the past few years. Versatility is one of the skills that will eventually get Burns onto a MLB roster.

Jon Berti has won the MVP award in Dunedin and New Hampshire for his solid play at 2nd and excellent base stealing skills. Berti can also play multiple positions, but won’t hit as much as Andy Burns.

Chad Girodo could be the Blue Jays next LOOGY if Aaron Loup struggles this season. Girodo throws from a side-arm, not submarine, who relies on good movement to get guys out.

From Double-A, New Hampshire will be represented by CF Roemon Fields, RHP Conner Greene, LF Dwight Smith Jr., C Derrick Chung, RHP Wil Browing, and RHP Taylor Cole.

Roemon Fields is a speedy CF who flew through the system in 2015, spending time in Dunedin, New Hampshire and a half-dozen games with the Bisons. After a slow start in the Arizona Fall League, he showed good plate discipline and continued to show an ability to change games with his speed.

Dwight Smith Jr. has good gap power and a mature approach at the plate, but saw his stats drop in 2015. DSJ has a chance to play in Buffalo in 2016.

RHP Conner Greene is one of the Blue Jays top pitching prospects in the system and the closest to contributing in the major leagues. Greene split his time between Lansing, Dunedin and New Hampshire in 2015 and should return to NH in 2016.

RHP Taylor Cole led the Florida State League in strike outs in 2015, but struggled throughout the 2016 season. He still has good stuff and showed glimpses during the season but never seemed to find consistency. A return to NH should help.

RHP Wil Browning is a harder throwing right-handed version of Chad Girodo.

Derrick Chung is a favorite of mine. He has good defensive skills, a cannon for an arm and some offensive abilities. Chung spent much of ’15 on the DL and will need to impress if he wants to move from the Fisher Cats to the Bisons.

From Advance-A, the D-Jays will be represented by CF Anthony Alford, 1B Matt Dean, 1B Rowdy Tellez, and SS Richard Urena.

Anthony Alford’s had a strong first full professional baseball season, which has catapulted him to the top of many Top Prospect lists. This Spring Training will be a coming out of sorts for the talented young outfielder.

Matt Dean is starting to show the raw power Jays fans have been hoping for in 2015 by leading the Florida State League in home runs with 14.

Rowdy Tellez continued his ascent through the system by dominating Midwest and FSL pitching before breaking a bone (hook of the hamate) in his hand. With his hand healed, he headed to the Arizona Fall League and  improved his stock with a solid showing.

Richard Urena showed good power and is now considered the Blue Jays short stop of the future. He led the Lansing Lugnuts in home runs with 15 before moving up to Dunedin where he managed just one in 30 games. Still, 16 home runs for a lean 19-yr-old SS is nothing to scoff at. Strike outs continue to be an issue.

From A-Ball, the Lansing Lugnuts will be represented by C Danny Jansen.

Danny Jansen continued to show power and a mature approach at the plate, despite a low batting average. Jansen broke his hand, spending a chunk of time on the DL. He’s shown that he has what it takes to stick behind the plate and stands to gain the most out a Spring Training invite.

Only 35 more days until Pitchers and Catchers report to Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Florida, site of the only Spring Training home the Toronto Blue Jays have ever had.

*Featured Image Credit: Trevor Pritchard Under CC BY-SA 2.0

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Shaun Doyle

Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.