The Lansing Lugnuts 2009

If I'm going to cover the Jays in their entirety, I need to do it from the bottom up. Not only will this allow for thorough knowledge about the Jays to be gained, but it also enables us to know who we can expect to see in the future. The Lansing Lugnuts play in Class A ball and their website for future info is as follows: http://www.lansinglugnuts.com/

Notable SP on the squad:

RHP Ryan Koch - 6'4" 200 lbs - Born Oct 16th 1985 in Florida
Drafted in 2008, 36th round, 1089th overall out of Florida Southern College
Thus far in 2009: 3 GP, 2 GS, 15.1 IP, 20 HA, 5 BB, 9 SO, 7.04 ERA
Analysis: at 23 yrs old he is fairly old for Class A, but more concerning are his horrible start to the season stats.

RHP Charles Huggins - 6'0" 185 lbs - Born May 6th 1986 in California
Drafted in 2008, 23rd round, 699th overall out of University of California
Thus far in 2009: 3 GP, 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 11 HA, 2 BB, 17 SO, 2.45 ERA
Analysis: he is just about to turn 23, but unlike Koch his stats are something to build on. Being a lefty doesn't hurt and he seems poised to be tested in HiA at some point this season.

LHP John Anderson - 6'2" 200 lbs - Born Nov 9th 1988 in California
Drafter in 2008, 28th round, 849th overall out of Chabot
Thus far in 2009: 3 GP, 3 GS, 14.1 IP, 12 HA, 5 BB, 12 SO, 1.88 ERA
Analysis: now here is someone to get excited about on this staff. He is only 20 and putting out the lights early on in the season. Although his starts are short (less than 5 innings per outing), it seems that could simply be pitch count issues or a lack of efficiency, something that can be rectified either way.

RHP Jonas Cuotto - 6'0" 215 lbs - Born Sep 21st 1986 in Venezuela
International Signing
Thus far in 2009: 5 GP, 1 GS, 14 IP, 21 HA, 3 BB, 12 SO, 7.07 ERA
Analysis: turning 23 in September, it would seem that Jonas has a long ways to go before making it any higher. It seems he is very hittable thus far, but who can pass up a guy with Johnny Cueto name similarity?

RHP Henderson Alvarez - 6'0" 190 lbs - Born Apr 18th 1990 in Venezuela
International signing
Thus far in 2009: 3 GP, 3 GS, 13 IP, 17 HA, 0 BB, 10 SO, 4.15 ERA
Analysis: he just turned 19 and he is already proving to be fearless by putting the ball over the plate. The result has been no walks, and more hits. But the confidence it shows against older competition is very encouraging and it seems like he and Anderson may be able to jump up a level sometime this season.

Notable Hitters:

LF Johermyn Chavez - 6'3" 220 lbs - Born Jan 26th 1989 in Venezuela
International Signing
Thus far in 2009: 52 AB, .365 AVG, 9 XBH, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 1 SB, .393 OBP, .731 SLG, 1.124 OPS
Analysis: Chavez is finally showing the potential the Jays saw in him last season and he could be the highlight of their entire minors system this season (along with my favorite Brad Emaus). He is doing it all and should get tested by a promotion at some point this season. He is on perfect pace of progression at only 20 years of age.

3B Mark Sobolewski - 6'0" 190 lbs - Born Dec 24th 1989 in Florida
Drafted in 2008, in 4th round, 129th overall out of the University of Miami
Thus far in 2009: 15 AB, .333 AVG, 2 XBH, 0 HRs, 1 RBI, 0 SB, .412 OBP, .467SLG, .878 OPS
Analysis: Mark has thus far been relieving Fuenmayor at 3B, but seems to be outplaying him as well. Both are very young, but Fuenmayor is seen as the more likely of the two to move up due to his size, strength, and overall potential. Still, Fuenmayor already has 5 errors at 3B and may be moved to 1B or the OF over time, leaving Mark an opening at 3B.

3B Balbino Fuenmayor - 6'3" 235 lbs - Born Nov 26th 1989 in Venezuela
International Signing
Thus far in 2009: 38 AB, .132 AVG, 1 XBH, 0 HRs, 3 RBI, 0 SB, .132 OBP, .158 SLG, .289 OPS
Analysis: He needs to start hitting, plain and simple. He can't blame his slow start on feeling out of place since he is one of many Venezuelans on the team (now we know where the Jays scouts hang out). He has disappointed thus far, but at his size and with the let down Kevin Ahrens has been thus far, the Jays may be very patient in hopes he becomes the power 3B they so desperately want him to be.

I will add more hitters to this list over time, but to be very honest they are not an impressive bunch and have little hope of progressing through the system. However, as can be noted by the drafting places, Baseball is unlike any other sport in terms of drafting length. When you get someone like Anderson out of the 28th round you know that the draft can be kind to your team late.

The team record thus far is reflective of the talent on board. They have had 19 games scheduled with 4 rain outs total, so only played 15 games. Of those games played they lost 12 of 15. The Jays seem to have some very real talent here in Anderson, Alvarez, and Chavez, but they may ultimately chose to move them up fairly quickly to give them a chance to win and build confidence as a result. As a Jays fan, it is encouraging that Toronto does have some very talented youth at Lansing.

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