Join Jays From the Couch in Reviewing the 2022 Triple-A Buffalo Bisons Corner and Middle Infields, including their Catchers
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The Buffalo Bisons will have an impressive cast of infielders with a sprinkling of veterans to help guide the Toronto Blue Jays prospect over the course of the 2022 season. The name of the game for the Buffalo Bison’s infielder is positional flexibility.
A breakout season in 2021 opened the door for Vinny Capra to join the Buffalo Bisons in 2022. The 25-yr-old posted a .327/.395/.548 slash in 72 games at Double-A. He ripped 10 home runs with 17 doubles. He posted a .222ISO with a 26.2K% with 8.9BB%. Vinny should play every day seeing time at 3rd, SS, and some outfield.
The 24-yr-old former 7th round select from the 2018 draft was limited to 57 games in 2021. With the Fisher Cats, Nick batted .204 with .177ISO while hitting 7 home runs and 9 doubles. He needs more development at Double, so I don’t expect to see Podkul to remain in Buffalo long. During his 3-year minor league career, Podkul has played 1st, 2nd, and 3rd but with Buffalo, he is likely to man the corners.
The 6-foot-2 lefty bat spent 2021 with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The 24-yr-old cracked 8 home runs, batting .247 with a .322OBP. His .389SLG% and .142ISO need some improvement in order to take the next step. With the Fisher Cats, LJ played 37 games at 1st, 11 games at 2nd, and 16 games at 3rd.
The 26-yr-old switch hitter spent 2021 with the Buffalo Bisons. He batted .256 with a .341OBP while sending 8 balls over the fence and 22 doubles with a .129ISO. Cullen walked at 10.8% with a 22.0K%. at Triple-A, Cullen played 44 games in RF, 14 games in LF, 17 games at 3rd, 25 games at 2nd, and 6 games at 1st, basically everywhere. We can expect the same in 2022.
The 29-yr-old was signed as a free agent and has 149 MLB games under his belt. He is an outstanding defensive player. In 49 games with the Colorado Rockies Triple-A affiliate, Joshua slashed .269/.324/.492 with 9 home runs and 12 doubles with a .223ISO. Fuentes spent time at 1st, 3rd, and LF in 2021.
The 23-yr-old split 2021 between Double-A and Triple-A. He made his MLB debut in 2021, with one at-bat, a strikeout. In Double-A, Lopez batted .331 with a .377wOBA in 70 games. He continued his strong season in AAA with a .289BA and .333wOBA in 43 games.
In 2022, Otto Lopez should provide the Herd with speed at the top of the lineup after stealing 22 bases in 2021. Lopez will split time playing 2nd, SS, LF, and CF.
The 23-yr-old received some positive attention after batting .359 with 9HR and 7SB in 24 games in June. He followed that up with a .321BA with a HR and 2SB in 16 games in July. His production tapered off in August but finished the season with a .294BA and .385wOBA while hitting 16HR and stealing 30 bases across 87 Double-A games.
Taylor will be tested early, as he attempts to prove ’21 wasn’t a fluke. Samad should split his time between 2nd, 3rd, SS, LF, and CF.
The Blue Jays signed veteran 30-yr-old to a minor league offseason to play 2nd, SS, and 3rd. He hit 15HR at Triple-A in 2017 but has 14HR in ’18, ’19, and ’21 while batting .202, .244, and .157.
I know the 23-yr-old had a breakout season with the Advanced-A Vancouver Canadians in 2021 but I was shocked to see him added to the Bisons roster. I see Rafael in New Hampshire sooner than later. With that said, Lantigua hit more home runs in 2021 (11 in 80GP) than he did in his previous 3 seasons (5 in 210GP). He finished the season with a .280BA, 22 doubles, and 26SB.
Lantigua will be used at 2nd, 3rd, SS, and all three outfield positions.
A super athletic catcher with an impact bat, Moreno was well on his way to dominating Double-A pitching before breaking his hand. In 32 games, Gabby finished with a .373BA and 8HR.
Moreno will take regular reps behind the plate as he bids his time in the minors awaiting his chance at the Majors. Now that the Blue Jays will have Matt Chapman at 3rd base for 2022 and 2023 at the minimum, will the Blue Jays organization still consider giving Moreno reps at 3rd base? This will be something to watch….besides Moreno dominating at the plate and behind it.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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