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 Pitching All-Time leaders since 2011. Don’t expect high numbers as players don’t typically remain at this level for many seasons.
The leader in wins is held by reliever Sean Rackoski and starter Juliandry Higuera. The 25-yr-old Rackoski spent the 2018 season in Bluefield after being signed as an undrafted free agent that season. Rackoski went 7-3 with 4.21ERA in 23 games, striking out 33 batters and issuing 9 walks. Sean spent 2019 with the Lansing Lugnuts and Dunedin Blue Jays.
Juliandry Higuera spent parts of two seasons with Bluefield. In 2015, Higuera made 13 starts, going 5-4 with a 4.26ERA. He added to his win total with a 2-3 record in 8 starts in 2016. The 6-foot-1 lefty out of Falcon, Venezuela spent 2017 and 2018 climbing the organizational ladder. He took the mound for each of Toronto’s affiliates expect New Hampshire. Higuera (25-yrs-old) was released after an injury-riddled 2018 season. He threw 317 minor league innings.
Kelyn Jose spent the 2016 and 2017 season in Bluefield. I remember reading some very exciting scouting reports on Jose during this time. He was lighting up the radar gun; unfortunately, with very little control or success. In two seasons, Jose made 31 relief appearances.
The 25-yr-old last pitched in 2018 as a member of the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays.
Kelyn Jose also holds the franchise lead with 14 wild pitches and 7 bulks.
Another tie. Thank you, Juliandry Higuera. Deivy Estrada and Higuera both made 21 starts as members of Bluefield’s rotation. Estrada pitched for Bluefield in 2011 and 2012 going 3-4 with a 6.94ERA in 9 starts in 2011 and 3-6 with a 4.29ERA in 12 starts in 2012. 2012 was Estrada’s final season.
A current pitching prospect, Ty Tice, is the leader in saves with 12. Ty accomplished this in 2017 when he appeared in 23 games, going 12-for-12 in save opportunities. Tice would finish with a record of 1-1 with a 1.05ERA and 1.13WHIP in 25.2IP.
The 2017 16th round selection has dominated at every level, reaching Triple-A in 2019. Tice appeared in 46 games with a 3-4 record and 2.34ERA, striking out 64 batters and walking 29 in 57.2 innings between AA and AAA. He is currently a non-roster invitee with the Blue Jays at Summer Camp.
Recently released, Adams Cuevas struck out 61 batters in 2018, walking 9 across 17 appearances and 53 innings in 2018. He returned to Bluefield in 2019 where he struck out another 42 batters in 12 games across 31.1IP. In total, Cuevas K’d 103 batters in 84.1IP.
The 24-yr-old righty finished the 2019 season with a pair of appears with the Fisher Cats. He allowed a run on two hits, walking one and striking out 4 in 3IP.
Cuevas also holds the franchise lead with 13 home runs allowed.
Juliandry Higuera with 100.1IP.
The 23-yr-old Joel Espinal allowed 63 earned runs across three separate seasons with Bluefield. Espinal allowed 30 earned runs in 31.1 innings in 2016, 29 earned runs in 47.1 innings in 2017, and 4 earned runs in 11.1 innings in 2018. He was released at the end of 2018.
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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.