* Jonathan Davis stole home on the back end of a double steal to help Canada's team -- the Vancouver Canadians -- clinch a post-season berth as they go for their fourth straight championship and has three hits in a win over Spokane as Vancouver advanced to the final against Hillsboro. .... 2014 Canadians in the Minors …. Canadians in College 2015 Canadian draft list Letters of Intent
Previous weeks: Jon Berti, Jays Prospects rankings XIV .... Boomer Collins, Prospects XIII … Nay, Weekly Prospects XII …. BA’s Jays Prospects XI …. Holmberg, Prospects X ….Sanchez, Pompey, Norris Prospects VIV … Case lone Van Canuck Prospects VIII … Romano signs, Prospects VII … Short one for Sanchez, Prospects VI Burns versatile, Prospects V …. Lawrence a cool cat, Prospects IV … De Jong II, Prospects III … Copeland picks up Janssen, Prospects II …. Pompey burning bases, Prospects I …. Matt Boyd.
By Bob Elliott
Canada’s best team was in trouble on Sunday night.
Entering the bottom of the sixth the Vancouver Canadians were trailing the Spokane Indians 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning in the next-to-last game of the season.
That brought up Peterborough’s Mike Reeves with runners on the corners.
“My manager (John Schneider) told me ‘if they throw through you haul butt,’” said Davis Wednesday. Twice Urena was on the move and Reeves fouled off the pitch.
“The next pitch was a ball, the catcher threw from his knees. I had a feeling it would be a bang-bang play, so I was aiming at the right hand side of the plate. If I hadn’t slid that way I would have been out.”
Schneider said Davis made “a great read and great slide at home to avoid the tag on the return throw. It was a good scenario for us as: two outs, two strikes.”
Davis had his seventh steal with the swipe of home, Reeves singled in a run, Andrew Case (Saint John, N.B.) pitched two scoreless and Vancouver had a 5-3 win over Spokane clinching a spot in the first roud of the class-A Northwest League best-of-three, semi-final which opened Wednesday night at Nat Bailey Stadium. The opener was rained out Tuesday.
LHP Ryan Borucki pitching seven scoreless innings as he and relievers Michael Kraft (2/3 of an inning) and Phil Kish (1 1/3 innings combined on a six hit, 1-0 win before 4,018 fans at Nat Bailey Stadium. Borucki allowed five hits and struck out four. C Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ont.) went 2-for-2 knocking in the game’s only run in the seventh. 2B Timothy Locastro doubled, while RF Chris Carlson and SS Franklin Barreto had the other hits.
Jairo Labourt pitched six innings allowing one run for the win as Vancouver edged Spokane 5-4, to advance to the final against Hillsboro. Davis went 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. C Michael De La Cruz had two doubles and knocked in three runs while Urena triple. Kish recorded the final four outs as Case pitched 1 1/3 innings allowing an unearned run.
The Canadians are going for their fourth straight title, while the Blue Jays have not been to the post season since 1993.
A lesson learned at the Bobby Mattick complex in Dunedin helped Davis on the double steal.
“I remember specifically the same situation at extended: I was on third and the Tampa catcher picked me off when I strayed too far,” said Davis. So as he led off third a voice inside was saying “don’t get picked off, don’t get picked off.”
The 5-foot-9 Davis, drafted in the 15th round from the Central Arkansas Bears a year ago, played 23 games at Vancouver, broke his hamate bone and returned to Florida. He’d been back in B.C. less than week.
“Get this,” said Davis. “Dalton Pompey broke his hamate bone when he was here and we have the same host parents in Vancouver.”
A switch hitter, Davis says he’s broken the same bone in each hand.
“Playing here is the best atmosphere I’ve been in next to Mississippi State,” said Davis of his Bears visiting Dudy Noble Field (15,586 capacity) in Starkville, Miss. “Fans here are better than Mississippi State -- they stay and they’re into the game from first pitch to last.”
Asked the fastest on the Canadians Davis answers Roemon Fields (48-for-57 stealing bases) and then Tim Locastro (32-for-36).
At Central Arkansas where the Bears won the Southland conference tourney, beating Southeastern Louisiana Lions 4-0 at Sugar Land, Tex. in 2013, Davis took management information services (computer programming -- no how to make a buggy whip courses). He hit .268 with a team-high five triples, 49 RBIs and 25 steals as the Bears reached the final game of the NCAA Starkville Regional.
But about that size?
“Lots of times I’ve been told I was too small,” said Davis. “When I played shortstop in high school people said my arm wasn’t strong enough. A lot of people didn’t think I could play pro and here I am.
“I’m getting to do what I love. There are long days and short nights. Too many people don’t understand minor league ball is not like the big leagues. We’re all trying to get to that level. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to look back and say it was worth it.”
The Conference freshman of the year in 2011, Davis was a career .315 hitter at UCA in 145 games, with 27 doubles, 10 triples, eight home runs, 107 RBIs, 81 walks and 61 stolen bases.
The best player he’s seen this year? Vancouver first baseman Ryan McBroom.
“He has great numbers (11 homers, 59 RBIs, .297 average, .841 OPS) regardless of how he does, he doesn’t take it into the next at-bat. He’s so clutch and he went the in 15th round ,,, like me.”
A National League evaluator scout looks at the best prospects in the Jays minor-league system:
“You mean to tell me that I can’t pick Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, Daniel Norris, Dalton Pompey, Anthony Gose, Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman because they are in the big leagues?” he asked. “Tell your minor league editor it should be top 10 in the system -- not whose left.”
1. RP Steve Delabar, Buffalo.
“Hey he was an all-star last year, he is in the minors so he’s eligible.”
2. SS Franklin Barreto, Vancouver.
“Our guys love him: 90 hits in 73 games to lead the league. Big upside. He’s 18 hitting off pitchers that are three years older on average.”
3. RHP Roberto Osuna, Dunedin.
“Coming back from Tommy John surgery, more than a strikeout per inning.”
4, RHP Miguel Castro, Dunedin.
“Has been up to 100 MPH and throws strikes, only 19.”
5. C Max Pentecost, Vancouver.
“He was injured when I was there.”
6. 3B Mitch Nay, Dunedin.
“He may move to first. Saw where they bumped him to Dunedin for the playoffs. Lots of room to project.”
7. OF D.J. Davis, Lansing
“Very raw, but fun to dream on, as long as you’re not watching his swing at strike three. He might have struck out 200 times if he played six months instead of five.”
8. INF Dawel Lugo, Lansing.
“Another pup teenager, a guy earlier this season told me he liked him better than Adeiny Hechavarria.”
9. SS Emilio Guerrero Dunedin
“A big (6-foot-4) frame putting things together. I don’t think he’s be a shortstop.”
10. LHP Francisco Gracesqui, Lansing
“He has a shot, didn’t give up a run in 11 outings at Vancouver, then the finally scored on him at Lansing.”
At Buffalo: The Bisons finished their season 1 1/2 games out of a wild card with C A.J. Jimenez finished hitting .260 with 13 doubles and two home runs in 58 games ... RHP Bobby Korecky posted a 1.97 ERA in 64 innings with 60 strikeouts.
At N.H.: 3B Andy Burns hit .284 (60-for-211) finishing at .255 with a .745 OPS, 32 doubles, five triples, and 15 home runs in 133 games ... INF Jorge Flores hit .293 in his 64 games, while 2B Jon Berti hit .270 with 40 stolen bases in 136 games.
At Dunedin: OF Dwight Smith hit .284 with 28 doubles, eight triples, 12 home runs and a .816 OPS in 121 games for Dunedin, while LHP Matt Boyd had a 1.39 ERA in 90 2/3 innings and 103 strikeouts to 20 walks ... Taylor Cole posted a 3.07 ERA in 132 innings with 171 strikeouts and 39 walks.
At Lansing: 3B Mitch Nay batted .285 with 34 doubles, three triples, three home runs, and 59 RBIs in 120 games before being promoted to Dunedin for the playoffs ... 1B Rowdy Tellez hit .357 (15-for-42) with a .949 OPS and two homers in 12 games, while INF Matt Dean batted .281 with 29 doubles, five triples, and nine home runs in 113 games.
At Vancouver: SS Franklin Barreto finished at .311 (90-for-289) average, an .865 OPS, 23 doubles, four triples, six home runs, 61 RBIs, while LHP Jairo Labourt had a 1.77 ERA in his 71 1/3 innings with 82 strikeouts. LHP Matt Smoral owned a 2.70 ERA in 20 innings for Vancouver, with 19 strikeouts.
At Bluefield: C Dan Jansen hit .282 with an .874 OPS, 10 doubles, five home runs in 38 games while LHP Oscar Cabrera had a 1.98 ERA in 36 1/3 innings, with 36 strikeouts in that time ... OF Lane Thomas hit .323 in 18 games for Bluefield.
Average _ Kevin Pillar, Buffalo .323; Dalton Pompey, Buf .317, Tim Locastro, Vancouver, .313, Chris Carlson, Van, .312: Franklin Barreto, Van, .311, Richard Urena, Van .308; Josh Almonte, Bluefield, .307; Ryan McBroom, Van, .297; Deiferson Barreto, Blue .288; Juan Kelly, Blue .287.
RBIs _ KC Hobson, NH, 78: L.B Dantzler, Dunedin 64; Burns, 63, Franklin Barreto, 61.
ERA _ Kendall Graveman, Buf 1.83, Phil Kish, Van 2.26, Joey Aquino, Blu 2.48, Daniel Norris, Buf 2.53, Jairo Labourt, Van 2.53, Chase Mallard, Van 2.73, Conner Greene, Blu 3.03, Matt Boyd, Dun 3.17, Taylor Cole, Dun 3.43, Scott Copeland, Buf 3.44.
Strikeouts: Cole, Dun 181, Norris 163, Boyd 147, Graveman 115, Copeland 105.