Dunedin Blue Jays 2009 - Class A Advanced

For those who may not know, Dunedin is about 26 miles away from Tampa Bay Florida. Unlike the big club, the Dunedin team currently sits last in their conference with a 6-11 record and are only 2-8 in their last 10. However, as with any baseball team, there is a lot to be cheerful about on the team.

Notable Pitchers

RHP Andrew Liebel
- 6'0" 195 lbs - Born Mar 22nd 1986 in California
Drafted in 2008, 3rd round, 95th overall out of Long Beach State University
Thus far in 2009: 4 GP, 4 GS, 18 IP, 22 HA, 5 BB, 11 SO, 7.00 ERA
Analysis: at 23 yrs old he is on pace for Class A Advanced, and his season seems to be getting better with each start. His latest start had him giving up only 3 runs over 6 innings which is encouraging. He has plenty of room to grow and will be given the time to do so at Dunedin.

RHP Brandon Magee- 6'4" 210 lbs - Born Jul 26th 1983 in Sheboygan
Drafted in 2006, 2nd round, 120th overall out of Bradley University
Thus far in 2009: 4 GP, 3 GS, 18 IP, 16 HA, 6 BB, 8 SO, 4.50 ERA
Analysis: at 25 yrs old he is older than usual for Class A Advanced and chances are his time has passed. He may eventually find a place in the pen as a specialist and may be pushed up to AA at some point to try it out on him. With so many other starters in the system making noise, it's unlikely that Brandon will get a chance to start at AA.

RHP Ryan Page - 6'1" 205 lbs - Born Sep 16th 1985 in Pennsylvania
Drafted in 2008, 20th round, 609th overall out of Liberty University
Thus far in 2009: 3 GP, 3 GS, 14 IP, 21 HA, 7 BB, 9 SO, 9.64 ERA
Analysis: just drafted in 2008, and obviously tested early, the outcome has been disappointing but expected. His second of 3 starts was by far the worst and he did rebound from it to have a mediocre start in his third start where he lasted 5 innings and gave up only 1 walk and 4 earned runs. Hopefully he'll continue to get better and he is still young enough to have an impact should he find his stuff.

RHP Marcus Walden- 5'10" 185 lbs - Born Sep 13th 1988 in California
Drafted in 2007, 9th round, 295th overall out of Fresno University
Thus far in 2009: 3 GP, 3 GS, 12.2 IP, 23 HA, 6 BB, 5 SO, 9.95 ERA
Analysis: the youngest and smallest of the SP on this team, it is obvious that the Jays believe they can push Marcus to another level. He did throw at Auburn last season with decent results of 51 SO in 60 IP while walking 20 and giving up 70 hits, but it isn't exactly a stellar season. Still, as with the other pitchers on this team, his third start was the best of the season and there is plenty of room for growth in his size and his game.

LHP Tim Collins - 5'7" 155 lbs - Born Aug 29th 1989 in Massachusetts
Signed by the Jays as a non-drafted FA on July 20, 2007
Thus far in 2009: 6 GP, 0 GS, 14 IP, 4 HA, 4 BB, 26 SO, 1.29 ERA
Analysis: when your Tim's size chances are you will not become a starter. This guy is lightning in a bottle and will be a great asset to the Jays pen at some point in the near future. He is extremely young, effective, and throws nothing but strikes without fear. Look for him to make a big jump at some point in 2009, but for now he is a great reason to keep checking the Dunedin stats sheets.

RHP Alan Farina - 5'11" 190 lbs - Born Aug 9th 1986 in Florida
Drafted in 2007, 3rd round 115th overall out of Clemson University
Thus far in 2009: 4 GP, 2 GS, 9.2 IP, 10 HA, 9 BB, 8 SO, 1.29 ERA
Analysis: Alan needs to trust his stuff the same way Tim does. He is walking a batter an inning and that's never a good sign. The Jays may decide to bring him along slowly, but he is expected to get better with time and experience. Expectations were high after his stellar season at Lansing last year where he threw 29 inning and struck out 37 with a 3.07 ERA. Chances are his mid season stats will be much better.

RHP Trystan Magnuson - 6'8" 210 lbs - Born Jun 6th 1985 in Vancouver
Drafted in 2007, 1st rd supplemental, 56th overall out of Louisville University
Thus far in 2009: 7 GP, 0 GS, 12.1 IP, 16 HA, 2 BB, 8 SO, 2.19 ERA
Analysis: the Jays seem to be stretching him out slowly as he pitched 3 innings in his last start, but at his tall and lanky size he can do either in a dominating fashion. Taller pitchers often have problems with control and consistency, but Trystan hasn't walked many batters this far so it seems he is confident and throwing strikes. Whether or not the Jays make him a starter remains to be seen, but he is yet another encouraging pitcher on the Dunedin staff.

Notable Hitters:

OF Darin Mastroianni - 5'11" 190 lbs - Born Aug 26th 1985 in Mount Kisco
Drafted in 2007, in the 16th round, 505th overall out of the University of Southern Indiana
Thus far in 2009: 59 AB, .339 AVG, 5 XBH, 0 HRs, 3 RBI, 12 SB, .451 OBP, .441 SLG, .891 OPS
Analysis: the Jays could use a true leadoff player like Darin, who was initially drafted as a 2nd baseman and therefore could be a key utility player down the road. He gets on base and knows how to steal. Chances are he will make it to AA at some point this season.

SS Justin Jackson - 5'11" 190 lbs - Born Dec 11th 1988 in Asheville
Drafted in 2007, in the 1st rd supplemental, 45th overall out of Roberson High School
Thus far in 2009: 67 AB, .149 AVG, 1 XBH, 0 HRs, 0 RBI, 4 SB, .250 OBP, .164 SLG, .414 OPS
Analysis: the Jays have extremely high hopes for Justin who is the only SS prospect in the system with a possibility of becoming a regular. That being said, he needs to start getting on base any way he can and prove that hi Lansing season of 2008 was no fluke. He is still very young, will only get better and should spend the entire season in Dunedin refining his offensive skills. He is still the future of the Jays at SS regardless of the slow start.

2B John Tolisano - 5'11" 190 lbs - Born Oct 7th 1988 in Florida
Drafted in 2007, in the 2nd round, 85th overall out of EsteroHigh School
Thus far in 2009: 24 AB, .167 AVG, 2 XBH, 0 HRs, 1 RBI, 2 SB, .310 OBP, .250 SLG, .560 OPS
Analysis: another player taken out of high school, and another player struggling at the beginning of the season. The Jays are pushing their young middle infielders to progress through the system and thus far have seen growing pains. John has got to prove he can hit for average if he is to replace Aaron Hill one day and has disappointed offensively thus far in his young career.

3B Kevin Ahrens - 6'1" 195 lbs - Born Apr 26th 1989 in Texas
Drafted in 2007, in the 1st round, 17th overall out of Memorial High School
Thus far in 2009: 54AB, .148AVG, 3 XBH, 0 HRs, 1 RBI, 1 SB, .233 OBP, .204 SLG, .437 OPS
Analysis: the third high school infielder on this list, Kevin drew comparisons to Chipper Jones when drafted in 2007. Well, needless to say that he hasn't shown that potential thus far and needs to do so soon. He is hitting lefties very well with a .400 average, but just can't hit righties with a .091 average. So it seems that Kevin needs to find himself as a hitter and more specifically learn how to hit righties if he is to become a regular.

OF Eric Thames - 6'0" 205 lbs - Born Nov 10th 1986 in California
Drafted in 2008, in the 7th round, 219th overall out of Pepperdine University
Thus far in 2009: 59 AB, .322 AVG, 7 XBH, 0 HRs, 16 RBI, 2 SB, .412 OBP, .475 SLG, .886 OPS
Analysis: well, it seems the OF is carrying the load of the offense on this team and may be doing so because they are coming out of University, while the younger guys are still finding their way. Ragardless, Eric has yet to show any power and has marginal speed, so although he is hitting for average, he needs to find his power stroke if he is going to advance through to the big club. He may find his way to AA at some point depending on needs in New Hampshire.

Overall, Dunedin has a very varried mix of talent but definitely has the potential to get better over time. The pitching seems to be coming around and their extremely young infield should get better as they gain experience. However, one can see why JP has always been reluctant to draft High School players since there are no guarantees and steeper learning curves. No minor leaguer enjoys coming up through an entire system of losing teams. Chances are JP will be drafting more college prospects in the future, just a hunch.

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