blue jays minor league year in review

2021 Year In Review: LJ Talley and Nick Podkul

Jays From the Couch Will Review Seasons Of Many, Hopefully, Most, Of The Toronto Blue Jays Prospects. Not Just The Top Prospects.

 


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LJ Talley

Drafted in the 2019 Draft in the 7th round, LJ Talley spent his only MiLB season prior to 2021 as a member of the Lansing Lugnuts. In 52 games, Talley batted a woeful .191 with .599OPS while collecting 6 doubles, a triple, and 6HR. He was utilized at 2B (46GP).

 

Month-By-Month

As a member of the Vancouver Canadians, LJ appeared in 7 games between May 4th and May 14th before joining Double-A New Hampshire on May 16th. After batting .304 with a .360OBP and .348 with the C’s, LJ Talley got off to a sluggish start with the Fisher Cats. in 46 at-bats, Talley produced 4 doubles, 2HR, and a slash line of .196/.255/.413.

 

He appeared in 23 games in June, posting an impressive .271/.357/.400 slash to go with 5 doubles, 2HR, and 17RBI.

 

Talley took a step back in July with a .244BA and .723OPS but still contributed 4 doubles, a triple, and 2 more HR. Another step back in September, to a level that seems to be his norm, Talley batted .250 with a .682OPS. The Fisher Cats 1st baseman collected 2 doubles, another 2HR month, and 11 RBI.

 

LJ landed on the 60-day IL on September 8th.

 

At the End Of the Day

 

In 80 games at AA, LJ Talley posted a .247BA with a .322OBP and .389SLG for a .711OPS. His production of 16 doubles, one triple, 8HR, and 51RBI were league average, if not slightly below, with a .316wOBA and 95wRC+. Talley walked at 10.1BB% with a 19.7K%. His FB to GB ratio was almost equal 0.99GB/FB; therefore, we might expect more HR if he could find a way to increase his flyball rate.

 

Best Game

Shortly after his move from Vancouver to New Hampshire, LJ popped two home runs against the Portland SeaDogs. The May 20th game resulted in Talley collecting 8 total bases and 6RBI while going 2-for-5. A close 2nd has to be his 4-for-6 game on June 11th where he collected 2 doubles and 3RBI.

 

In the Field

LJ Talley spent most of his time at 1st (37GP) where committed 2 errors and posted a .992FPCT. He spent time at 3B (16GP) and 2B (11GP).

 

Looking Ahead

I wouldn’t be opposed to LJ Talley remaining in New Hampshire to provide infield depth. Unless the organization signs another Tyler White to a MiLB contract to play 1st for Buffalo, the organization may decide to push LJ to Triple-A.

 

Nick Podkul

Drafted in the 2018 Draft in the 7th round, Nick Podkul spent his rookie season as a member of the C’s where he batted .222 with a healthy .347OBP. Nick showed some promising pop with 10 doubles, 2 triples, and 3HR in 50 games.

In 2019, Nick Podkul split his season between Lansing and Dunedin. He played 57 games with the Lugnuts, batting .254 with a wOBA of .352. With the D-Jays, Podkul played 37 games and saw his batting average fall to .227 with a .300wOBA.

 

Month-By-Month

Nick Podkul played 11 games in the opening month, batting .063. He went 2-for-32 with a double and triple. Despite showing an excellent eye at the plate in his first two seasons, Podkul walked 6 times and struck out 13 times.

 

Despite his struggles in May, Podkul continued to get his chances with 16 games played in June. He improved his batting average with a .250/.371/.538 slash while contributing 3 doubles and 4 HR. He walked and struck out 6 and 13 again.

 

July saw Nick make a trip to the IL which lasted 23 days. In 6 games, Podkul batted just .118. August saw the native of Munster, IN., back in the lineup and posting some nice numbers. In 18GP, he batted .262 with a .732OPS, collecting 2 doubles and two HR while driving in 10RBI.

 

Podkul played 6 games in September, batting just .211 with 3 doubles.

 

At the End Of the Day

 

In 57 games at AA, Nick Podkul posted a .204BA with a .306OBP and .381SLG for a .687OPS. His production of 9 doubles, one triple, 7HR, and 29RBI were slightly below league average with a .307wOBA and 90wRC+. Podkul walked at 11BB% with a 24.4K% and .177ISO. He produced a large number of flyballs with a 57.0FB% to 25.8GB%, finishing with a 9.6HR/FB. Podkul is extremely pulls happy with a 43.8Pull%.

 

Best Game

Nick Podkul had eight 2-hit games and four games with 3+ RBI. On June 11th, Nick went 2-for-6 with 2 runs scored, a double, a home run, and 2RBI.

 

In the Field

Nick Podkul spent most of his time at 1st (49GP) with one game at 2B and7 games as the Fisher Cats DH.  At 1st base, Podkul committed 4 errors while posting a .990FPCT.

 

Looking Ahead

TBH I won’t be surprised if Podkul doesn’t return in 2022. He definitely didn’t earn a move to Triple-A. If Spencer Horwitz isn’t pushed to Triple-A then Podkul will see his already limited playing time reduced. It is possible he could see more playing time at 2B and 3B in 2022 but it won’t be as a starter. I don’t see any scenario where Nick Podkul becomes an everyday minor league player in the Blue Jays organization.

 

 

*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.

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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.