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2017 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Stat Leaders

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A closer look at the Blue Jays minor league stats from 2017.

Minor League Baseball: Clearwater Threshers at Dunedin Blue Jays
Vladimir Guerrero
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The minor league season has come to a close. It’s a tough time of the year for those who are most interested in the future of a franchise, but the positive is that we can now sit back and dig into what happened on the field in the minors in 2017.

Note to be eligible for any non-counting stat(Batting average, on base, slugging, ERA, WHIP, strikeouts per nine) a player must have enough PA/IP. I’ve set the bar at 250 plate appearances and 65 innings pitched for starters with a 40 innings pitched for relievers.

Also all of these stats are cumulative for the 2017 season, so for example Ronald Acuña would be listed with his Florida, Mississippi, and Gwinnett stats together. Major league stats will not count, so for example Rafael Devers won’t get credit for his Boston stats. All stats are for within the organization only, so Eloy Jimenez numbers are split between the Cubs and White Sox.

One thing you can’t help but notice with the Blue Jays is the sheer dominance of top prospects and second generation pros Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Had 2017 draftee Ryan Noda had a few less plate appearances that duo would have topped every single non-speed related category(so take out triples and steals) with the lone exception of home runs.

Batting Average

  1. Ryan Noda, Bluefield, .364
  2. Bo Bichette, Low A/High A, .362
  3. Yorman Rodriguez, Bluefield/Vancouver, .333
  4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Low A/High A, .323
  5. Danny Jansen, High A/AA/AAA, .323
  6. Anthony Alford, AA/AAA/High A, .299
  7. Rafael Lopez, AA/AAA, .288
  8. Rafael Lantigua, DSL, .284
  9. Roemon Fields, AA/AAA, .283
  10. Chavez Young, Bluefield/Vancouver, .283

Hits

  1. Bo Bichette, Low A/High A, 162
  2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Low A/High A, 141
  3. Edward Olivares, Low A/High A, 133
  4. Juan Kelly, High A, 131
  5. Tim Lopes, AA, 127
  6. Richard Urena, AA, 126
  7. Danny Jansen, High A/AA/AAA, 119
  8. Harold Ramirez, AA, 118
  9. Roemon Fields, AA/AAA, 115
  10. Connor Panas, High A, 111
  11. Jonathan Davis, AA, 111

Doubles

  1. Bo Bichette, Low A/High A, 41
  2. Richard Urena, AA, 36
  3. Juan Kelly, High A, 29
  4. Rowdy Tellez, AAA, 29
  5. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Low A/High A, 28
  6. Edward Olivares, Low A/High A, 27
  7. Tim Lopes, AA, 27
  8. Christian Lopes, AAA/High A/GCL, 26
  9. Danny Jansen, High A/AA/AAA, 25
  10. Kevin Smith, Bluefield, 25

It took Kevin Smith just 61 games to amass his 25 doubles after the shortstop was drafted from the University of Maryland in the fourth round this year.

Triples

  1. Edward Olivares, Low A/High A, 10
  2. Chavez Young, Bluefield/Vancouver, 8
  3. Steward Berroa, DSL, 7
  4. Roemon Fields, AA/AAA, 6
  5. Rafael Lantigua, DSL, 6

While Bo Bichette and Vladdy Jr. were the guys being talked about for Lansing and Dunedin this year, only one guy from those teams made the lists for batting average, doubles, triples, and homers- their less heralded teammate outfielder Edward Olivares. Olivares is a 21 year old Venezuelan outfielder who played the bulk of his time in center and right this year.

Homers

  1. Connor Panas, High A, 18
  2. Edward Olivares, Low A/High A, 17
  3. Rafael Lopez, AA/AAA, 16
  4. Bo Bichette, Low A/High A, 14
  5. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Low A/High A, 13
  6. Gunnar Heidt, AA, 13
  7. Ryan McBroom, AA, 12
  8. Mike Ohlman, AAA, 12
  9. Cavan Biggio, High A, 11
  10. Jason Leblebijian, AAA, 11

Just missing the list with 10 homers apiece include Danny Jansen and Juan Kelly. Kevin Smith nearly made this list as well despite limited games, as he hit nine homers after signing.

RBI

  1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Low A/High A, 76
  2. Bo Bichette, Low A/High A, 74
  3. Edward Olivares, Low A/High A, 72
  4. Juan Kelly, High A, 68
  5. Cavan Biggio, High A, 60
  6. Richard Urena, AA, 60

It's no surprise that every one of the five guys atop this list spent time in that very talented Dunedin lineup.

Stolen Bases

  1. Roemon Fields, AA/AAA, 50
  2. DJ Davis, High A, 32
  3. Reggie Pruitt, Vancouver, 28
  4. Jon Berti, AAA/High A, 24
  5. Nick Sinay, Low A, 23

With 22 steals on the year Bo Bichette was just one away from cracking the Jays leaderboard.

On Base Percentage

  1. Ryan Noda, Bluefield, .507
  2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Low A/High A, .425
  3. Bo Bichette, Low A/High A, .423
  4. Jake Thomas, Low A/High A/AA, .412
  5. Nick Sinay, Low A, .405
  6. Danny Jansen, High A/AA/AAA, .400
  7. Anthony Alford, AA/AAA/High A, .390
  8. Derrick Loveless, High A/AA, .388
  9. Rafael Lantigua, DSL, .379
  10. Kacy Clemens, Vancouver, .379

He may have only had 276 plate appearances after being drafted out of the University of Cincinnati, but the .507 on base percentage of Ryan Noda was ridiculous. Even though he wasn't playing a very high level of competition, getting on base in more than half of your plate appearances doesn't happen at any level.

Kacy Clemens is the fourth son of a big league star to appear on the Jays hitting prospect lists, joining Vladdy Jr, Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio. Brandon Grudzielanek didn't make any lists, but he's another son of an All Star. Dwight Smith Jr. is also in the system loaded with legacy players.

Slugging Percentage

  1. Ryan Noda, Bluefield, .575
  2. Bo Bichette, Low A/High A, .565
  3. Rafael Lopez, AA/AAA, .563
  4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Low A/High A, .485
  5. Danny Jansen, High A/AA/AAA, .484
  6. Connor Panas, High A, .475
  7. Bradley Jones, Low A/High A, .472
  8. Edward Olivares, Low A/High A, .468
  9. Kevin Smith, Bluefield, .466
  10. Chavez Young, Bluefield/Vancouver, .445

OPS

  1. Ryan Noda, Bluefield, 1.082
  2. Bo Bichette, Low A/High A, .988
  3. Rafael Lopez, AA/AAA, .932
  4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Low A/High A, .910
  5. Danny Jansen, High A/AA/AAA, .884
  6. Connor Panas, High A, .839
  7. Bradley Jones, Low A/High A, .820
  8. Anthony Alford, AA/AAA/High A, .797
  9. Edward Olivares, Low A/High A, .795
  10. Kacy Clemens, Vancouver, .792

Among the guys who just missed the list due to lack of plate appearances includes a pair of catchers in Reese McGuire(.859 in 175 PA) and recent draft pick Riley Adams(.813 in 227 PA).

The Blue Jays pitching prospects really struggled this year. You'll see their stats compared to other organizations are quite a bit weaker in many categories. They had a bunch of others who didn't have enough innings pitched to meet qualifying for the non-counting stats.

Wins

  1. Sean Reid-Foley, AA, 10
  2. TJ House, AAA, 9
  3. Ryan Borucki, High A/AA/AAA, 8
  4. Conor Fisk, High A, 8
  5. Mike Ellenbest, Low A, 8

It was a little surprising to see that only Sean Reid-Foley reached 10 wins this year, especially considering the offense in Lansing and Dunedin.

Saves

  1. Jackson McClelland, Low A/High A, 15
  2. William Ouellette, Vancouver/High A, 13
  3. Andrew Case, High A/AA/AAA, 12
  4. Ty Tice, Bluefield, 12
  5. Yunior Hinojosa, DSL/GCL, 11

Starter ERA

  1. Chris Rowley, AA/AAA, 2.24
  2. Ryan Borucki, High A/AA/AAA, 2.93
  3. Patrick Murphy, Low A/High A/GCL, 3.04
  4. Josh DeGraaf, High A/AA, 3.34
  5. Jordan Romano, High A, 3.39

Ryan Borucki's breakout saw him make every single list that he was able to make as a starter. In a year where Jays prospects struggled a bit on the mound, he was a pleasant surprise for the organization.

Reliever ERA

  1. Jackson McClelland, Low A/High A, 1.34
  2. Kirby Snead, Low A/High A, 1.79
  3. Emanuel Vizcaino, DSL, 2.06
  4. Ryan Cook, High A, 2.31
  5. Zach Jackson, Low A/High A, 2.47

Starter WHIP

  1. Chris Rowley, AA/AAA, 1.02
  2. Ryan Borucki, High A/AA/AAA, 1.12
  3. Josh DeGraaf, High A/AA, 1.22
  4. Conor Fisk, High A, 1.22
  5. Luis Santos, AA/AAA, 1.26

Reliever WHIP

  1. Jackson McClelland, Low A/High A, 1.08
  2. Andrew Case, High A/AA/AAA, 1.09
  3. Zach Jackson, Low A/High A, 1.14
  4. Ryan Cook, High A, 1.16
  5. Jared Carkuff, Low A/High A/AAA/Vancouver, 1.18

Strikeouts

  1. Ryan Borucki, High A/AA/AAA, 157
  2. Jordan Romano, High A, 138
  3. Sean Reid-Foley, AA, 122
  4. Jon Harris, AA, 113
  5. Conor Fisk, High A, 112
  6. TJ House, AAA, 108
  7. Luis Santos, AA/AAA, 102
  8. Chris Rowley, AA/AAA, 95
  9. Mike Ellenbest, Low A, 93
  10. Conner Greene, AA, 92

Starter Hits Per Nine

  1. Chris Rowley, AA/AAA, 7.2
  2. Luis Santos, AA/AAA, 7.6
  3. Ryan Borucki, High A/AA/AAA, 7.9
  4. Yennsy Diaz, Low A, 8.3
  5. Josh DeGraaf, High A/AA, 8.5

Reliever Hits Per Nine

  1. Zach Jackson, Low A/High A, 5.6
  2. Ryan Cook, High A, 6.0
  3. Jeff Beliveau, AAA, 6.1
  4. Jackson McClelland, Low A/High A, 6.7
  5. Kirby Snead, Low A/High A, 6.8

Starter Walks Per Nine

  1. Conor Fisk, High A, 1.9
  2. Chris Rowley, AA/AAA, 2.0
  3. Ryan Borucki, High A/AA/AAA, 2.2
  4. Josh DeGraaf, High A/AA, 2.5
  5. TJ Zeuch, High A/GCL, 2.6

This was the only list where 2016 first rounder TJ Zeuch qualified, as he battled injuries in his first full year as a professional. Zeuch had solid numbers all around, but didn't really stand out anywhere.

Reliever Walks Per Nine

  1. Murphy Smith, AA/AAA, 2.0
  2. Jared Carkuff, Low A/High A/AAA/Vancouver, 2.1
  3. Andrew Case, High A/AA/AAA, 2.2
  4. Matt Dermody, AAA, 2.3
  5. Juliandry Higuera, Vancouver/Low A, 3.0

Starter Strikeouts Per Nine

  1. Yennsy Diaz, Low A, 9.6
  2. Ryan Borucki, High A/AA/AAA, 9.4
  3. Jordan Romano, High A, 9.0
  4. Sean Reid-Foley, AA, 8.3
  5. Osman Gutierrez, Low A, 8.2

Reliever Strikeouts Per Nine

  1. Zach Jackson, Low A/High A, 12.0
  2. Juliandry Higuera, Vancouver/Low A, 11.3
  3. Dusty Isaacs, AA, 11.1
  4. Jeff Beliveau, AAA, 10.7
  5. Tim Mayza, AA/AAA, 9.9