Blue Jays: Canadians in the system

Join Jays From the Couch in highlighting prospects throughout the Blue Jays farm system who call Canada, home.

Outfielder Dalton Pompey, a native of Mississauga, ON, continues to hang onto his spot on the Blue Jays 40-man roster. Many fans of the Blue Jays, myself included, felt Pompey would be released to open up a spot on the 40-man roster with the recently passed deadline to final rosters. Despite struggling with an assortment of alignments over the years, Pompey remains a Blue Jays.

 

Thinking about Pompey and his Canadian roots, got me thinking about other Canadians currently pursuing their dream in the Blue Jays system of one day becoming a major league baseball player. For as far back as I can remember, I’ve always cheered the hardest for a Blue Jays prospect with Canadian roots. Rob Ducey, Rich Butler, Rob Butler, Denis Boucher, and Paul Spoljaric to name a few.

 

To be honest, there aren’t many ‘Local’ boys in the system.

 

Buffalo Bisons

OF Dalton Pompey

Another season filled with trips on and off the disabled list, Pompey spent time rehabbing with the Gulf Coast Blue Jays (2GP), Dunedin Blue Jays (5GP), and New Hampshire Fisher Cats (4GP). Pompey played 41 games in Buffalo and appeared fully healthy, concussions are a bi#$%h. Unfortunately, if it weren’t for bad luck Pompey wouldn’t have any luck at all, wrist and knee issues caused him to be shelved for extended periods of time in 2018. Hopefully, with some luck, Pompey can put the concussion issues behind him, successfully rehab from offseason surgery to repair a thumb ligament, and get his legs fully healthy.

Out of options, Pompey will need to prove he is healthy in Spring Training if he hopes to make the trip North or risk being cut from the team. This would end a relationship which started when he was selected in the 16th round of the 2010 Draft.

 

New Hampshire Fisher Cats

SP Jordan Romano

Another Canadian with ties to the recent 40-man roster/Rule 5 debate. The 25-yr-old Markham native had a successful 2018 season in his first taste of Double-A. Jordan was named to the Mid and Post-Season All-Star teams and won pitcher of the week in July. Romano struck out 125 batters over 137.1 innings. He earned 11 wins in 25 starts with New Hampshire will taking 8 losses with a 4.13 ERA. Unfortunately, Romano struggles in June (0-4, 7.52 ERA) and August (1-4, 7.27 ERA) tarnished an outstanding season.

The Blue Jays left Romano off the 40-man roster; therefore, he will be exposed at next month’s Rule 5 Draft.

 

RP Andrew Case

The Saint John, NB native suffered through a down season in 2018. After posting a record of 4-0 with a 1.58 ERA and 8 saves in 32 games at Double-A in 2017, Case was expected to graduate to Buffalo in 2018. Instead, Case made 39 appearances in NH and just 1 appearance in Buffalo. Andrew Case finished with a record of 1-3 and 5.09 ERA with 7 saves in 46.0IP as a member of the Fisher Cats championship winning bullpen.

 

The righty reliever may need to return to NH before getting his shot at Triple-A.

 

OF Connor Panas

The 25-yr-old native of Toronto wasn’t able to carry the momentum of a strong final two months from 2017 into 2018. Panas finished 2017 by hitting .352 with 6 HR in July and .302 with 8 HR in August. The hope was the adjustment Panas made during this time would translate into success at the Double-A level. That wasn’t the case. Panas’ best month came in July when he batted .267 with 4 HR. Overall, Panas batted .232 with 9 HR and struck out 84 times in 105 gms. Despite the uninspiring 2018 numbers, Panas managed to post league average (ish) .298 wOBA and 82 wRC+. I am hopeful that his 46.2 FB% will translate into more home runs in 2019 which will most likely see him return to NH.

 

Lansing Lugnuts

RP Brayden Bouchey

The Vancouver, BC native made 21 appearances out of the Lugnuts bullpen. He did make 4 appearances with the Fisher Cats between May 22nd and June 12th before being returning to the Bolts. Bouchey made one appearance in April (10th) before being banished to Extended Spring Training for a little over a month. The 23-yr-old Bouchey was selected in the 33rd round of the 2016 Draft and stands 6-foot-6. He looked good coming out of Lansing’s bullpen, establishing himself as a reliable arm 2.08 ERA in June, 2.76 ERA in July, and 2.19 ERA in August. Overall, Bouchey struck out 44 batters in 45.0 innings while converting 2 saves and posting a 2.20 ERA.

Vancouver Canadians

RP Will McAffer

The native of North Vancouver, BC, went 7-2 with a 3.68 ERA in 21 games in his rookie season. The 25th round pick struck out 37 batters and walked 17 across 29.1 innings. The 21-yr-old righty struggled in July with a 0-2 record and 9.31 ERA in 9 appearances.

 

OF Tanner Kirwer

Selected in the 20th round of the 2017 Draft, Kirwer has yet to taste Full-Season A-Ball. Kirwer spent 2018 with the C’s, making  45 starts in CF. At the plate, the native of Sherwood Park, AB, batting .280 with 13 doubles, 6 triples, 4 HR, and 28 SB. The 22-yr-old will might have issues with strikeouts at the higher levels (58K 23.5K%) but the speed and extra-base power continue to play. Next stop, Lansing.

 

That’s it, that’s all. Hope you enjoy following the Canadians plying their trade in the Blue Jays farm system as much as I do. I plan to keep closer tabs on the good ol’ Canadian boys through the 2019 season.

 

 

 

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Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.

Ryan Mueller

Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn't cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I'm more right.