Thursday, September 26, 2013

7 Bluefield Jays Make BA's Top 20 Appy League Prospects list


   And astounding 7 members of this year's edition of the Bluefield Blue Jays were named to Baseball America's annual Top 20 Appalachian League Prospects today, including 5 of the top 10.
 
   Outfielder DJ Davis was the highest-ranked Jay on the list, coming in at #2.  This despite the fact that Davis may not have advanced as much at the plate as we would have liked, hitting .240/.323/.418.   A late August slump that seemed to effect much of the team dropped his numbers somewhat, but obviously he had built up enough of a body of work for BA to be impressed.

   Mitch Nay was the next Jay on the list at #4.  The 3rd baseman capped off a great pro debut season by winning MVP honours for the Northwest League playoffs after his promotion to Vancouver in late August.
Nay hit .300/.364/.426 for Bluefield, then hit .381 with a home run and 4 RBI in 5 playoff games for the NWL champ Canadians.

   Shortstop Dawel Lugo followed Nay at #5.  Lugo joined Nay in Vancouver, after hitting .297/.327/.469 for Bluefield.  There is doubt that he will stay at short as he progresses through the minors, but his bat will likely propel him to the majors one day.

   Chase DeJong was #6 on BA's list.  The second year righthander, a 2nd round pick in 2012, struck out 66 Appy League batters in 56 innings. He has the long, athletic frame that the Jays covet in a pitcher.

   DeJong's rotation mate Alberto Tirado came in as the 8th ranked prospect.  Tirado was 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA.  Appy hitters batted only .228 against him.  Tirado is yet another power arm in the lower rungs of the system.

   Lefthander Jairo Labourt followed at #12.  Labourt struck out 45 and walked only 14 hitters in 51 innings, compiling a 1.92 ERA.

   A bit of an eye-raiser was Adonys Cardona, who was ranked as the 16th prospect. Cardona, who made some analysts' top 10 list of Jays prospects prior to the season, was 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA.  Cardona was shut down in early August and sent back to Florida.  Still, there must be plenty of room for projection for BA to include him in the top 20.

  The Bluefield Jays had an impressive season, finishing second in the Appy League's east division, before falling to eventual league champ Pulaski in the semi-finals.
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