By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
The triple-A Buffalo Bisons got on board the Toronto Blue Jays Winter Tour as they hosted some of the Blue Jays' top prospects at the Prospect Showcase in Buffalo on Wednesday.
Fans arrived at The Atrium @ Rich's for the event, hosted by the Bisons, and milled around, glad the doors opened early to help shield then from the cold. The fans came from as far as Toronto to get a look at some of Toronto's top prospects including 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Montreal, Que.) and SS Bo Bichette while some other Blue Jays' players also enjoyed the trip.
In addition to the Blue Jays' top prospects, the tour stop featured OF Jonathan Davis, IF Jason Leblebijian, RHP Sean Reid-Foley, (newly acquired) RHP Taylor Guerrieri, LHP Thomas Pannone, RHP Jon Harris, LHP Ryan Borucki, OF Roemon Fields, RHP Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.), C/1B Max Pentecost, C Reese McGuire and C Danny Jansen.
Before introducing the players, Blue Jays' VP, Baseball Operations Ben Cherington spoke to the assembled audience, speaking about his own experiences in Buffalo and how, to win the World Series in Canada, "we need players who are developing in winning environments, getting used to playing that kind of baseball so it's important to us that we win games in Buffalo."
Following Ben Cherington's speech, it was time for Ben Wagner to introduce the players who went to their autograph stations. Fans enjoyed their hot dogs and got the players to sign some of their items and they left with their taste buds salivating to see some of these players in Buffalo in 2018!
The 2018 Buffalo Bisons Prospect Showcase is a part of the Blue Jays' Rookie Development Camp being held in Toronto with the young players sticking around Toronto for most of this week (and participating in the WinterFest coming up on Saturday at Rogers Centre). Jordan Romano, who's been at home in Markham, Ont., all winter said that this was the highlight of his off-season so far, saying, "You're getting to hear from some of the greatest minds in baseball so that's really exciting, being down at the Rogers Centre, getting a little snippet of what it's like to be a big leaguer."
Bo Bichette talked briefly about having Buffalo as a goal.
"I hear it's a great place to play, that would be a goal of mine to stop here at some point next year, that would mean I'm doing something right next year so that would be awesome," he said.
Speaking about his first experience in Toronto, outfielder Roemon Fields said "[It's a] beautiful city. Just like [his hometown] Seattle. I love the snow so that's even a plus. I love everything about it."
Heading to the WinterFest at the Rogers Centre on Saturday? We'll be there, too, to take in all the action!
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The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Check out the Handbook page for more information!