Blue Jays relief prospects Snead, McClelland, and Copping are all Rule V eligible if not added to the 40-man Roster in November
LHP Kirby Snead
FB- high 80’s to low 90’s. SL-high 70’s to low 80’s. CH- low to mid 80’s
The 24-yr-old lefty reliever, a former 10th round pick from 2016. This will be his first time being Rule V eligible. Snead started the season as a member of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, making 9 appearances. Kirby Snead saved 5 out of 6 save opportunities, winning 2 games, no loses, striking out 14, and walking none.
On May 4th, Kirby Snead was bumped up a level, joining the Buffalo Bisons bullpen. As a member of the Bisons, Snead appeared in 41 games making the 2nd most appearances behind Zach Jackson. Kirby finished with 5 holds, 2 saves, and finished 11 games. Kirby Snead finished with a record of 5-2 with a 3.98ERA. He posted a 4.43FIP and 4.12xFIP.
The lefty allowed 54 hits and 19 walks (8.3BB%) in 52.0 innings for a 1.40WHIP. The native of Alachua, FL., finished with 54 strikeouts for a 23.5K% while generating 52.3GB% and 22.8FB%. He allowed a little too much hard contact with a 24.8LD% and opponents batted .262.
Kirby Snead held LHB to a .197BA with a 1.22WHIP in 16.1IP while RHB held a .296BA with a 1.49WHIP in 35.2IP.
Snead was a beast in June and July with a 2-1 record with a 2.45ERA and 1.00WHIP in 8 games and 2-0 record with a 2.16ERA and 1.26WHIP in 12 games. He struggled badly in August with a 1-1 record, 6.75ERA, and 1.92WHIP in 10 games.
FB- mid to high 90’s touching 100. SL- low 80’s to mid 80’s. CH- high 80’s
The 6-foot-5 hard-throwing righty reliever started the season as a member of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. In 32 games, Jackson posted a 0-2 record with a 2.98ERA, one save, five holds, and 17 games finished. His 4.04FIP and 4.09xFIP suggest some regression could be expected. McClelland struck out 42 in 42.1IP for a 8.93K/9. Opponents batted .212 off Jackson walking 4.46BB/9 for a 1.28WHIP.
The 25-yr-old had a strong April and May with a 2.19ERA and 1.05WHIP and 1.86ERA and 0.93WHIP. He slipped a little in June and July with a 3.00ERA and 1.56WHIP and 4.76ERA and 1.59WHIP. Overall, he did a good job of keeping the ball in the park by allowing 4HR with a 7.3% HR/FB despite getting most of his outs via the air (50FB%) versus the ground (30GB%).
Jackson McClelland made his Triple-A debut on August 1st. In 11 appearances Jackson pitched pretty well despite a 6.00ERA. He had 7 scoreless outings, often throwing multiple innings. McClelland was roughed up on August 22nd and August 30th, allowing 6 runs and 3 runs. His walk rate increased from 4.46BB/9 in AA to 6.60BB/9 with his K/9 holding steady at 8.40.
The righty did a good job against LHB with a .187BA and 1.24WHIP in AA and .200BA and 1.67WHIP in AAA. Against RHB, McClelland held RHB to a .242BA and 1.44WHIP in AAA with a .235BA and 1.31 in AA.
RHP Corey Copping
FB- mid 90’s. CB- low 80’s
The 25-yr-old came to the Blue Jays organization from the Los Angeles Dodgers for John Axford. Copping started the season as a member of the Buffalo Bisons. It didn’t go great. Corey Copping landed on the IL on April 29th and returned on May 21st. He looked good in June with a 2-1 record and 3.60ERA but fell back to earth with a 0-1, 9.95ERA in July.
This resulted in a demotion on July 21st. He was much better with Fisher Cats posting a 3.60ERA and 1.00WHIP in 4 games in July and 4.26ERA and 1.58WHIP in August in 8 games.
With the Bisons, Copping finished with a 9.28K/9 and 6.19BB/9. He won 2 and loss 2 with a 6.75ERA, 6.16FIP, and 6.22xFIP. The former 31st round pick allowed 6HR (1.69HR/9) and 15.4HR/FB. Copping allowed more balls in the air (45.8FB%) than on the ground (32.3GB%).
Copping did a great job against LHB with a .170BA and 0.96WHIP in AAA with a .229BA and 1.07WHIP in AA.
Jose Espada (22-yrs-old, A-Ball)
Randy Pondler (22-yrs-old, A-Ball)
Juan De Paula (22-yrs-old, A-Ball)
Protect or Not to Protect?
This where things get tricky. There are a bunch of pitchers eligible to be selected at the upcoming Rule V Draft. Some are better options than others. If you remember, the Blue Jays lost Jordan Romano and Travis Bergen in last year’s Draft but got both arms back.
Corey Copping isn’t a strong candidate to get a 40-man roster spot.
Kirby Snead is a lefty and the club will be looking for lefties with Tim Mayza out for 2020. Unfortunately, Snead stats don’t really scream, “I’m Major League ready”.
Jackson McClelland was left unprotected last offseason. Jackson’s biggest asset is his ability to hit triple-digits with his FB; unfortunately, he doesn’t miss a lot of bats. To a lesser degree, he lacks AAA experience.
Of the three relievers above, McClelland should get the most attention from other teams; therefore, he is the leading candidate for a 40-man roster spot.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of R.Mueller
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