Blue Jays: Welcoming some new faces to the system

This offseason, the Blue Jays front office cut salary but they also added depth to the system via trade, free agency, and Rule 5 Draft

 

 

Spring Training is just a couple weeks away. The Jays From the Couch staff continue to plow through its Top Prospect List so I thought now would be an ideal time to review some of the Blue Jays new minor league players added this offseason and predict which level they might kick off their Blue Jays career.

 

INF Eric Sogard (32-yrs-old)

The former San Diego Padres 2nd round selection back in 2007 signed on as a minor league free agent this past December. Sogard played over 117 games for the Oakland A’s between 2013 and 2015 but never hit enough to solidify an everyday gig….think Ryan Goins. Sogard spent the past two seasons in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, appearing in 55 games in 2018. Sogard will provide the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons with infield depth.

 

Status: Not on the 40-man roster. Will need his contract purchased if called up.

 

RHP Trent Thornton (25-yrs-old)

Acquired for Aledmys Diaz, Thornton has an outside shot at breaking camp and heading north with the Blue Jays. The former 2015 5th round selection of the Houston Astros is more likely to head to Triple-A Buffalo where he will provide the Blue Jays with starting pitching depth along with an assortment of Thomas Pannone, Sean Reid-Foley, Julian Merryweather, Jacob Waguespack, and Shawn Morimando. Thorton threw 124.1 innings for the Astros Triple-A affiliate in 2018, amassing a 9-8 record and posting a 4.42 ERA.

 

Status: Added to the 40-man roster this offseason

 

RHP Julian Merryweather (27-yrs-old)

Acquired for Josh Donaldson, Merryweather continues his recovery from Tommy John which caused him to miss the entire 2018 season. He threw 78.0 innings for the Cleveland Triple-A affiliate in 2017 and finished with a record of 3-7 and a 6.58 ERA. Spring Training will determine whether Merryweather is ready to take the ball every 5th day or should be started in the bullpen. Either way, Merryweather is heading to Buffalo.

 

Status: Added to the 40-man roster this offseason

 

RHP Javy Guerra (33-yrs-old)

Guerra was signed in January after spending 2018 as a member of the Miami Marlins. He made 32 relief appearances, finishing with a record of 1-1 and a 5.55 ERA while walking 12 and striking 30 in 35.2 innings. He has a chance at winning a spot in Toronto’s bullpen, if not he’ll provide the Jays with bullpen depth in Buffalo.

 

Status: Not on the 40-man roster. Will need his contract purchased if called up.

 

RHP David Garner (26-yrs-old)

Picked up during the Triple-A Rule 5 draft from the Chicago Cubs, Garner did not pitch in 2018. Garner was suspended for 50 games on March 23 after testing positive for ‘drug of abuse’. He tested positive again in June, receiving a 100-game suspension. He went 4-3 with a 3.25 ERA between AA (26 games) and Triple-A (9 games). I expect Garner to start the year in New Hampshire’s bullpen after missing 2018.

 

Status: Not on the 40-man roster. Will need his contract purchased if called up. Rule 5 eligible again in 2019.

 

RHP Willy Ortiz (23-yrs-old)

Signed in January 2019, Ortiz spent 2018 with the Tampa Rays Advanced-A affiliate. He made 14 starts with a 6-2 record and 3.74 ERA, throwing 84.1 IP while striking out 73 batters. He is expected to compete with Patrick Murphy, Hector Perez, Yennsy Diaz, T.J. Zeuch, Jon Harris, and Andrew Sopko for a spot in the Double-A Fisher Cats rotation.

 

Status: Not on the 40-man roster. Will need his contract purchased if called up.  Rule 5 eligible.

 

RHP Andrew Sopko (24-yrs-old)

Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Russel Martin in January. Sopko split 2018 between Advanced-A (12 games) and AA (14 games) with a combined 6-5 record and 3.52 ERA. He finished with 121 strikeouts over 117.2 innings while walking just 27 batters. Sopko will compete for a spot in New Hampshire’s rotation but may need to go down a level or head to the pen.

 

Status: Not on the 40-man roster. Will need his contract purchased if called up.  Rule 5 eligible.

 

OF Demi Orimoloye (22-yrs-old)

The Canadian/Nigerian outfielder was acquired last season from Milwaukee for Curtis Granderson but didn’t suit up for any Toronto affiliate. Orimoloye split 2018 between A-ball (61 games) and Advanced-A (65 games) batting a combined .248 with 12 HR, 22 SB, and .715 OPS. Demi should start 2019 back in Advanced-A with Forrest Wall, Joshua Palacios, Brock Lundquist, and Rodrigo Orozco ahead of him on the depth chart.

 

Status: Not on the 40-man roster. Will need his contract purchased if called up.  Rule 5 eligible for the first time at in 2019.

 

INF Ronny Brito (19-yrs-old)

Came to the Blue Jays organization along with Andrew Sopko in the Martin deal. Brito split 2018 between two short-season rookie ball affiliates where he batted .295 with 11 HR. He is said to possess raw power and the ability to stick as a middle infielder.

 

Status: Not on the 40-man roster. Will need his contract purchased if called up.  Rule 5 eligible for the first time in 2019.

 

 

 


*****
HEAD ON OVER TO THE JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS STORE AND GET SOME GREAT SWAG THAT YOU WILL LOOK GREAT IN AND YOU CAN FEEL GREAT ABOUT.
YOU CAN ALSO HEAD TO OUR JAYS FROM THE COUCH VS ALS FUNDRAISING PAGE TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION DIRECTLY TO ALS CANADA.
*****

 

 

THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER @JAYSFROMCOUCH AND INSTAGRAM. LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE LATEST FROM JAYS FROM THE COUCH RADIO

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.