Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday Notebook: Pompey Rising & an Osuna Sighting!

    Mississauga's own Dalton Pompey has certainly caught a major helium updraft this year.
   The 16th round pick from the 2010 draft had toiled mostly in anonymity through his first four seasons, which were all spent in A ball.
   Widely regarded as toolsy but thanks to his Canadian upbringing painfully raw, Pompey began to figure things out in Lansing last year, and put together a torrid last half of August last season, hitting .339/..473/.554 over that stretch, including a streak where he scored an incredible 9 times in a row after reaching base.
   Pompey has picked up this season exactly where he left off.  Starting the year in Dunedin, Pompey capped off a .319/.397/.471 half season with the D-Jays with a selection to the Florida State League All-Star Game, followed by being named to the World squad in Milb's upcoming Future Stars game, which was then followed by a promotion to AA.
   With trade rumours heating up as the July 31 deadline approaches, Pompey's name has started to be prominently and frequently mentioned as part of a package the Jays might offer to acquire a frontline starter to bolster their rotation.

   After a few months of silence, we have news of a Roberto Osuna sighting.
   Osuna was shut down in May of last year with elbow soreness, which eventually resulted in Tommy John surgery at the end of July.
   When last we heard, Osuna was starting to throw on flat ground at the end of spring training.  Now comes reports that he threw a live batting practice session in Florida, which was confirmed by the young righthander himself on Twitter:

Threw first live bp since last year , feel blessed to be at the mound again thnks to everyone!

   Playing stateside for the first time, Tejada has already acquired quite a following.  King says he took note of Tejada after just one batting practice session.  He's several years away, but his name is one worth filing away for future reference.

    He isn't getting a lot of publicity for doing so, but Jeremy Gabryszwski is turning in yet another solid season for Lansing.  The Jays 2nd round pick in 2011 has worked his way up the ladder one step at a time, but has gained a reputation for pitching to contact, and not missing a lot of bats.
   This year, he's fashioned five games where he's averaged at least a strikeout per inning, striking out 7 in 6 innings in his last start on Saturday.  In 92 innings, he's given up 104 hits, and Midwest League hitters are batting .287 against him.  That's still a lot of contact, but he's managed a tidy 3.33 ERA this season.  What helps Gaby is that he's usually around the plate, walking only 13 so far this season.
   He's still a longshot to earn a spot in a major league rotation, but we like the way he eats up innings.  He has made 16 starts this season, and has pitched into the 5th inning in every one of them, and into the 6th inning ten times.

   Chaz Frank, like Gabryszwski, has flown under the radar for much of the season.  The 2013 20th founder has risen quickly.  We liked what we saw of him in a brief glimpse of him at Vancouver last season.  He was maybe a touch too aggressive on the base paths, but he has shown a penchant for getting on base (.382 OBP), and has taken over from D.J. Davis at the top of the Lansing batting order, which likely will mean Davis gets to see a few more fastballs with the speedy Frank on base, which might be a huge confidence builder for the struggling Davis.

   To make room for Pompey on the New Hampshire roster, outfielder Kenny Wilson was promoted to Buffalo.  After being named to the 40-man roster in the off season, it's been quite a roller coaster ride of a season for the 6 year minor league vet.  He was DFA'd in May, and was claimed by the Twins, only to be claimed back by Toronto a few weeks later when Minnesota made the same roster move.  After a very slow start, Wilson has started to show the ability to get on base and speed that caused the Jays to protect him from the Rule 5 draft last fall.  Over his past 10 games, Wilson is .324/.425/.896, with three straight two-hit games at the top of the Bisons lineup.

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