Join Jays From the Couch as we highlight the 2019 season of Lansing’s Griffin Conine and the Dominican Summer League’s Willfrann Astudillo and Emmanuel Sanchez
I’ve decided to increase the number of lower-level prospects in these posts from one to two. There is a tonne (slight exaggeration) of players at the lower levels still to cover before we get too close to Spring Training and I have yet to dive into the pitching pool.
OF Griffin Conine
The son of Jeff Conine had a very disappointing start to his 2019, having served his suspension for testing positive for a banned substance. Despite making his season debut on May 29th, Conine was named to the Baseball American Low Class-A All-Star team and the Post-Season All-Star team. He hit the most home runs in the Mid-West League beating the next closest by three home runs in 30 to 40 games fewer games played.
The former 2nd round selection of the 2018 Draft appeared in 80 games with the Lansing Lugnuts. His batting average remained over .300 until July 20th. Conine batted .258 and .250 with 6 and 7 home runs in June and July. Aggressive and free-swinging, Conine struck out 38 and 44 over the first two months of the season. August was his best month, posting a .278BA with 8 doubles, 6 home runs, 21RBI with 39 strikeouts.
The Lugnuts outfielder finished with a .283 batting average, 19 doubles, 2 triples, 22 home runs, 64RBI, and a.946OPS. Conine posted an impressive .293ISO with a .405BABIP while posting an equally impressive .427wOBA and 169wRC+. The native of Plantation, FL., had an issue with strikeouts. There were few games in which he didn’t register at least one strikeout. He had three games with 4 strikeouts and twelve games with 3 strikeouts. In the end, Griffin Conine finished with 125 strikeouts, an ugly 35.9K%, a respectable 10.9BB%, and a .30BB/K.
The 6-foot-1 outfielder produced a 32.8.0% HR/FB with a 38.3FB% and 40.0GB%. Conine did a nice job of using the entire field with a 39.4Pull%, 30.6Oppo%, and going up the middle 30.0% of the time. With the Bolts, Conine primarily hit 3rd (36GP) or clean-up (42GP). He finished with a .286BA and .961OPS with RISP.
In the field, Griffin Conine made 74 starts in right field where he committed 8 errors. Conine registered 9 outfield assists and posted a .950FPCT.
Home: .241BA with 10 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 29RBI, and a .829OPS
Away: .316BA with 9 2B, 1 3B, 16 HR, 35RBI, and 1.038OPS
LHP: .259/.291/.531 (81AB)
Most Productive Game
On May 30th and June 11th, Griffin Conine registered 12 and 11 total bases. May 30th, Conine went 4-for-5 with 3 runs scored, a pair of doubles, a pair of home runs, 3RBI, and one strikeout. On June 11th, he went 4-for-5 with 3 runs scored, a double, a pair of home runs, 5RBI, and a strikeout.
I’d like to see Conine start the 2020 season with the Dunedin Blue Jays. Rather than spend the entire season at the same level, we can expect Conine to see at least one promotion in 2020. It’s unlikely but Griffin could bypass Dunedin and head straight to New Hampshire. His 2019 numbers, K% aside, as deserving it.
Rule V Eligible: 2021
INF/OF Willfrann Astudillo
Signed on July 2nd, 2018 out of Barcelona, Venezuela, Willfrann played 47 games with the Dominican Summer League Blue Jays. He posted a .238BA with 3 doubles, a home run, 18RBI, 17BB, 16K, 7SB, and .638OPS
Astudillo kicked off his career with a .160BA in 18 games in June. He rebounded in July with a .250BA and .691OPS in 15 games in July. August was his best month with a .318BA, a double, a home run, 10RBI, 5 walks, and 3K for a .809OPS in 14 games.
The 5-foot-10 Astudillo produced an average .334wOBA and 92wRC+ while posting a .046ISO and .265BABIP. He walked 17 times and struck out 16 times for a 11.1BB% and 10.5K%. Astudillo spent the season batting 9th (24GP) where he batted .254.
In the field, Astudillo spent time playing all over the field. He played 23 games at 1st base, 5 games at 2B, 7 games at 3B, 11 games at SS, 3 games at CF, 4 games at RF, and 1 game at C. As a 1st baseman, Willfrann Astudillo committed 3 errors and posted a .982FPCT.
Home: .216BA with 2 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 12RBI, and .569OPS
Away: .268BA with 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 6RBI, and .727OPS
LHP: .200/.368/.267 (15AB)
Most Productive Game
On August 3rd, Willfrann Astudillo went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored, a home run, a pair of RBI, and 5 total bases. Astudillo drove in 2RBI two other times, scoring two runs three other times, twice, and had one game with three hits.
Willfrann didn’t do enough in 2019 to get an assignment with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays in 2020.
SS/3B Emmanuel Sanchez
Signed on July 4th, 2018 out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sanchez played 47 games with the Dominican Summer League Blue Jays. He posted a .264BA with 7 doubles, 3 triples, no home runs, 25RBI, 7SB, and .684OPS
Sanchez posted a .268BA with 4 doubles in 12 games in June. He slumped with a .228BA and .537OPS in 21 games in July. August was his best month with a .315BA, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 9RBI, 6 walks, and 4K for a .838OPS in 14 games.
The 6-foot-0 Sanchez produced an average .339wOBA and 95wRC+ while posting a .075ISO and .299BABIP. He walked 20 times and struck out 23 times for a 10.0BB% and 11.5K%. Sanchez spent the season batting 3rd (24GP) where he batted .261 with a .685OPS. He also batted clean-up 14 times with a .280BA and .728OPS.
In the field, Sanchez spent most of the year playing SS with 16 errors and a .891FPCT. He also played 12 games at 3rd base with 3 errors and a .917FPCT. He also played 2 games at 2nd base.
Home: .228BA with 2 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 14RBI, and .633OPS
Away: .295BA with 5 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 11RBI, and .726OPS
LHP: .286/.348/.333 (21AB)
Most Productive Game
On June 13th, Emmanual Sanchez went 3-for-4 with a run scored, two doubles, a stolen base, a strikeout, and 5 total bases. He drove in 3RBI on August 14th. He collected 3 hits four times and scored two runs twice.
Sanchez has a chance to move up a level and begin the 2020 season as a member of the GCL Blue Jays.
Featured image credit: R.Mueller
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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.