Blue Jays relief prospects Saucedo, Fishman, and Hatch are all Rule V eligible if not added to the 40-man Roster in November
LHP Tayler Saucedo
FB- low 90’s. SL-low 80’s. CH- low to mid 80’s. CB- mid 70’s
The former 2015 21st round selection spent much of 2019 with the Buffalo Bisons. Saucedo spent the season pitching multiple innings out of the bullpen and making the odd spot start for the Bisons. The 26-yr-old lefty was outstanding for the Herd between April and June before regressing in July. Despite a 2-0 record and 22K in 19.1IP in eight July appearances, Saucedo allowed 10 runs, 2HR, and a .286 opponents batting average which elevated his ERA go from 1.29 up to 2.84.
His control failed him in August, walking 9 batters and striking out 11 in 7 appearances over 11.1IP. His ERA continued to soar in August, going from 2.84 up to 4.85 as he allowed 3 runs in three outings, 5 runs in one outing, and one run in two outings.
Overall, the 6-foot-5 native of Honolulu, HI., finished with a Triple-A record of 6-1, 4.85ERA, 4.43FIP and 4.25xFIP in 24 games. He struck out 7.44/9IP, walking 3.23/9IP, and allowing 0.81HR/9IP. Most of the batted balls off Saucedo are on the ground with an outstanding 56.2GB% and just 16.9FB%; however, he does give up a lot of hard contact with 27.0LD% and a .306 opponents batting average.
The lefty longman/swingman held LH opponents to a .254BA with a 1.39WHIP. RH opponents were had very little trouble getting to Saucedo, batting .329 which elevated his WHIP to 1.73.
Tayler Saucedo was placed on the IL on August 24th, ending his season.
As a member of the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Tayler Saucedo made one start and 11 relief appearances. He finished with a 2-1 record, 1.01ERA, and 1.24WHIP across 26.2IP.
LHP Jake Fishman
FB- mid 90’s. SL- low 80’s. CH- mid 80’s
Anther lefty reliever. Jake Fishman is a former 2016 30th round selection who will be Rule V eligible for the first time. After dominating the FSL in 2018, Fishman started the season with the Double-A Fisher Cats and that’s where he stayed.
The 24-yr-old went 1-1 with a 3.45ERA, 4-for-5 in save opportunities, 5 holds, and 17 games finished. He was the club leader with 42 relief appearances and 62.2IP out of the bullpen. May was the only Fishman stumbled, posting a 5.73ERA with a 1.64WHIP. July was by far his most dominant month, as he posted a 1.88ERA with a 1.26WHIP.
Jake Fishman finished with a 10.63K/9, 2.59BB/9, and 71.8LOB%. His 2.79FIP and 2.77xFIP suggest he pitched better than his 3.45ERA would suggest. He held opponents to a .249 batting average, allowing about a hit per inning (61 in 62.2IP). Fishman keeps the ball on the ground with a 50.9GB% and 31.1FB% while 7.7% of his flyball go for home runs.
RHP Thomas Hatch
FB- low to mid 90’s. SL- mid 80’s CH- mid 80’s
Another Fisher Cat, the 25-yr-old Hatch was acquired by the Blue Jays for RP David Phelps and cash from the Chicago Cubs on July 30th. He made his first start for New Hampshire on August 3rd, allowing 4 runs over 4IP. In his final four starts, Hatch allowed 2, 1, 0, 2 runs, going 6.0IP, 6.0IP, 7.0IP, and 7.0IP. His strong finished allowed him to lower his ERA from 4.69 to 4.12.
As a member of the Fisher Cats, Hatch went 2-3 with a 2.80ERA in 6 starts. He struck out 34 and walked 2 in 35.1IP. He posted a 3.43FIP and 2.25xFIP, allowing 5HR for a 20.8HR/FB. Hatch finished with a 8.66K/9, 0.51BB/9, and 1.27HR/9.
After being traded, Thomas Hatch improved upon his 35.2GB% to post a 51.1GB% while his FB% decreased from 44.5 to 27.3%. His LD% held, going from 20.3 to 21.6%.
Hatch struggles against LHB. LH opponents batted .292 with 5HR during his time with the Fisher Cats. RH opponents were held to a .080BA. In 2018, at the same level, LH opponents batted .276 versus a .221BA for RH opponents.
Kyle Weatherly (25-yrs-old, A-Advanced)
Emerson Jimenez (24-yrs-old, A-Advanced)
William Ouellette (26-yrs-old, AA)
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.
While I believe that Tayler Saucedo is a valuable arm to have in Triple-A. He doesn’t possess the ‘stuff’ most teams are looking to acquire during the Rule V Draft; therefore, it is unlikely Saucedo gets protected.
Fishman put up some solid numbers and will no doubt garner some attention from clubs looking for a lefty reliever; however, he stuff isn’t overpowering. Although he does generate an excellent number of groundballs. Unfortunately, I can see Fishman being left unprotected despite the Blue Jays need for a lefty reliever with Tim Mayza out for 2020.
Thomas Hatch could develop into a backend starter. His mid-90s FB also makes him a possible bullpen option if he ‘fails’ to make an impact as a SP. Plus possesses an above-average change which will go well with a FB that should gain a tick or two in the bullpen. This FO has shown it will protect SP. They did it with Yennsy Diaz the last offseason and he had zero AA experience. They did with Jacob Waguespack and he got very little love as a prospect or future major league SP. Hatch appears ready for the next level which brings him one step closer to wearing a Blue Jays uniform. Protected.
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