Meet the 2016 Lansing Lugnuts

Jays From the Couch review the 2016 Opening Day roster for the Lansing Lugnuts

 

The Lugnuts will have a pair of the Blue Jays top pitching prospects on their roster to start the 2016 season, but they also have the intriguing Angel Perdomo in the rotation and Travis Bergman in the pen. There’s a chance that top catching prospect Max Pentecost makes an  appearance at some point in 2016. The line up in litter with non-top prospects who will try to make a good first impression in their first full season of professional baseball, while others while to finally reach their potential.

 

Starting Pitching

RHP Jon Harris

Last year’s 1st round pick heads to Lo-A Lansing with the hopes of putting a disappointing debut season behind him and dis-spell the concerns over his endurance. Harris could move up if he shows he can handle the level and could easily pitch over 100IP. He will need to show more control in order to be successful.

 

RHP Sean Reid-Foley

Another Top Prospect, Sean has struggled with walks in his two years in the Blue Jays system walking 77 in 118.2IP. On the other hand he also has struck out 150, so ya. Will this be the year that SRF harnesses his control, this taking the next step in his development?

 

LHP Angel Perdomo

The 6’6″ lefty had a successful 2015 with the C’s and Bluefield. Angel finished with a 6-1 record and a solid 2.60ERA in 69.1IP. Perdomo walked 30, struck out 67 and finished with an impressive 1.18 WHIP.

 

RHP Francisco Rios

In his 3rd year, the 20-yr-old Mexican finished with a 3-6 record and 4.27ERA. Rios surrendered more hits (72) than innings (65.1), but did a good job keeping the ball on the ground with 1.56 GO/AO.

 

LHP Tayler Saucedo

The 21st round 2015 pick had a great first season. Starting the year in Bluefield, Tayler ended up in Vancouver and will get his first taste of full season. Tayler is imposing figure on the mound, standing 6’5″.

 

RHP Conor Fisk

Fisk spent 3 games in Vancouver before heading to Lansing until August 6th, when he got moved up to Dunedin for 4 games before returning to Lansing for the playoff run. The 24-yr-old is a bit old for the level and may be an organization guy at this point.

 

RHP Ryan Cook

This non-draftee had a really good year, starting in Bluefield and getting as high as Lansing. He posted a 3-2 record with a 3.03ERA. He struck out 40 batters over 35.1IP.

 

Bullpen

LHP Travis Bergen

This lefty could move quickly through the system if he remains in the bullpen, but I’d like to see him get a chance to piggy back with one of the other starters to she how he’d fare pitching multiple innings. He was a starter in Kennesaw so it’s not a stretch. He throws a cutter/slider and change.

 

RHP Josh DeGraaf

The 6’4 reliever split his time between Bluefield and Vancouver throwing 43.2 inning and posting a 2-2 record with a 3.30ERA.

 

RHP Dusty Isaacs

In his 2nd season, the 23-yr-old Dusty pitched for the Lugnuts and D-Jays. Isaacs throws lo-90’s FB and a change which helped him to a 1.97BB/9 and 10.73K/9 in Lansing.

 

LHP Dan Lietz

The 21-yr-old Lietz hasn’t gotten the desired results in his first 3 seasons. Dan throws a fastball that runs and sinks, a slider, a change and a curve. Lietz has struggled with command, walking 23 batters in 25.2IP.

 

RHP Starlyn Suriel

Surprised to see that Starlyn was not included in the starting rotation after making 33 starts in his first 2 seasons. His stuff may play up as a reliever.

 

LHP Colton Turner

Turner returns to Lansing as he enters his age 25 season. Turner made 32 appearances striking out 53 batters and walking 29 in 66 innings. He posted a 0-3 record and a 4.36ERA while converting 2 saves.

 

Jon Wandling (7-day DL)

Jon spent some time in Vancouver, Lansing, and Dunedin but only managed 68.2IP. He posted a 3-3 record with a 4.59ERA while striking out 42 and walking 22BB.

 

Catchers

Justin Atkinson, Ryan Hissey, and Max Pentecost on the 7-day DL as he continues his recovery. Hissey will get the bulk of the playing time with Atkinson and Kelly backing him up. Interestingly, both Atkinson plays multiple positions so may end up being moved from the behind the plate when/if Pentecost is finally healthy.

Hissey took home the Vancouver Canadians MVP with 14 doubles, 2 home runs, 23 walks and 48 K’s with a .283 BA between Bluefield and Vancouver.

Atkinson has struggle to find a position, playing  a bunch of 1st and 3rd, and a bit of 2nd. Now it’s time for him to try catcher.

 

Infielders

Corners

1B Juan Kelly

Kelly can play either 1st or catcher. He hasn’t shown much power, but has shown to be very good with the glove. The 21-yr-old Kelly is a little small for a 1st baseman at 5’10.

 

3B Aaron Attaway

Attaway has only 69 games under his belt in 2 years and owns a .213 BA for his efforts. He’s played 31 games at short, 15 games at 2nd and 14 at 3rd.

 

3B Connor Panas

The 23-yr-old native of our fair city of Toronto, had a decent with the C’s in 2015. Panas split his between the LF and 1st. So I’m pretty sure that he will end up at 1st. Panas looks better at 1st than Kelly and has more power potential.

 

3B Carl Wise

The 21-yr-old 2015 4th round pick was drafted as 3B/C with above average power. Wise hit only one home run, and struck out 43 times in 47 games. Wise will assume the 3B job in his first taste of full season.

 

Middle Infielders

SS J.C. Cardenas

Slick fielding Cuban will take over SS for Richard Urena, but don’t expect 15 homers from J.C. The Havana native struggled with the bat, hitting .179 with only 3 doubles, a triple, 2HR, 28BB, 36 K. Expect more from J.C. in 2016.

 

2B Gunnar Heidt

Heidt handles the bat well, but has yet to produce. Gunnar should spend most of his time as the Lugnuts full-time 2nd baseman and should hit more in his second year at Lo-A. Gunnar could also fill the utility role showing the ability to play 3rd, SS and 2nd.

 

Outfield

RF Jacob Anderson

Signed for .990K, Anderson’s tall frame was showed projection. The 6’4 outfielder has done nothing to warrant the high pick slot or his signing bonus. After missing 2013 due to injury, Jake has played 22 games over the past two years. I’d be very surprised if he succeeds in Lansing after playing for Bluefield that past few seasons and not being able to make any contact.

 

CF Josh Almonte

Another projectable outfield, Almonte has solid power potential, but can’t take a walk. In 69 games with Lansing, Josh has a grand total of 28 walks in 199 games. Not being able to walk aside, Josh’s game has progressed in 2014 and 2015 showing an ability to show extra base power and good base running skills with 28SB  to only 10 caught stealing.

 

CF Andrew Guillotte

The 32nd round pick had a good showing in Vancouver in his first year, hitting .251 with 3HR and 17SB. Guillotte plays a good CF and should lead off for Lansing as he’s shown the ability to take a walk (26) and limit his strike outs (33).

 

OF Lane Thomas

The 20-yr-old Thomas spent last year trying to figure out the keystone position, but looked lost at time. Now he will head to the outfield. Lane has good swing and good approach at the plate, but the results haven’t shown up yet.

 

The Lansing Lugnuts will open their season with Opening Night Labatt Thirsty Thursday Gone Wild against the Great Lake Loons with Michael Boyle taking the mound for the Loons. The starter for the Lugnuts hasn’t been named.

Visit Jays From the Couch each morning as we recap the previous nights MiLB games and keep a close eye on our Top Prospects.

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: Joel Dinda-flickr- UNDER: CC BY-SA 2.0

 

 

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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.