Join Jays From the Couch as we tour the Blue Jays’ minor leagues covering each affiliate’s All-Time Leaders in counting stats.
Bluefield, West Virginia is home to the Toronto Blue Jays Rookie affiliate playing in the East Division of the Appalachian League. 2011 was the first season for the Bluefield Blue Jays, a year that saw them win their 11th Division title in team history. The club also claimed the division title in 2017 but has yet to claim the League title since joining the Blue Jays organization.
I thought it would be interesting to run through some names of Bluefield’s offensive All-Time leaders since 2011. Don’t expect high numbers as players don’t typically remain at this level for many seasons.
Former prospect Matt Dean played 112 games in a Bluefield Blue Jays uniform. In 2012 and 2013, Matt Dean played 49 and 63 games while batting .286 with 22 doubles (3rd), 7 triples (3rd), 8HR, 59 RBI (3rd), and 59 runs scored.
The 6-foot-3 third/first baseman also holds the record for most hits with 108.
Dean would play his last game for Bluefield on August 30th, 2013. He 0-for-1, snapping a 16 game hit streak. Dean became a Free Agent after the 2017 season and remains unsigned. Drafted in the 13th round of the 2011 Draft, He showed good extra-base power with 29 and 27 doubles in 2014 and 2015 as a member of the Lansing Lugnuts and Dunedin Blue Jays. Unfortunately, it was all downhill after the 2015 season as Dean struggled to stay on the field or hit when he was healthy.
Current prospect, Kevin Smith, collected 25 doubles (career-high) in 2017 as a member of Bluefield. Smith did so in 61 games while batting .271 with a triple, 7 home runs, and 44 RBI. The 24-yr-old Smith had a breakout season in 2018, batting .302 with 31 doubles, 6 triples, and 25HR across A-Ball and Advanced A-Ball. He struggled in his 1st attempt at Double-A and was expected to repeat the level had there been a 2020 minor season.
Another current prospect, DJ Neal, holds the All-Time record for triples with 9 which he collected in 2018. The former 2017 26th rounder played for Bluefield in 2018 and batted .237 with 7 doubles, 4HR, and 39 RBI while stealing 15 bags. Neal spent 2019 as a member of the Lansing Lugnut. In his first taste of full-season ball, the talented outfielder played 84 games with a .238BA, 7 doubles, a triple, 4HR, and 16 stolen bases.
A former 20th round selection from the 2010 Draft, Art Charles hit 17 home runs in two tours in Bluefield. In 2011, Charles played 68 games where he collected 18 doubles, 3 triples, 11HR, and 61 RBI. Charles hit 6 home runs in 31 games for Bluefield in 2012 before being promoted to Vancouver at the end of July.
Charles is also the All-Time leader in RBI (77), walks (72), and strikeouts (122).
At 29 yrs-old, Art Charles continues to chase his dream. He played 37 games for the Leones de Yucatan of the Triple-A Mexican League. Overall, the native of Bakersfield, CA., owns .794OPS over 676 minor leagues with 149 doubles, 17 triples, and 99HR.
The speedy Nick Sinay spent the 2015 and 2016 season in Bluefield. The former 22nd round pick batted .227 with 4 doubles, a HR, 8RBI, and 6SB in his rookie season. In 2016, Sinay terrorized opposing pitchers and catchers going 34-for-39 in 58 games. He would finish his Bluefield career with 40 stolen bases.
Thanks to his speed and batting at the top of the Blue Jays lineup, Nick Sinay socred a bunch of runs as well and finished with 65 runs scored. The former SUNY Buffalo alum wasn’t afraid to sacrifice his body to get on board, leading all other former Bluefield players with 31 HBP.
Not blessed with much power, Sinay played to his strengths which was his speed. He placed more importance on earning W for his team than on his own stats, leading the franchise with 12 sac hits.
Nick Sinay would play one more season in 2017 as a member of the Lansing Lugnuts. Nick posted an impressive .405OBP with 23 doubles; unfortunately, his game was absent of any power and his professional career came to an end after just 171 games.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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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.