According to the Canberra Times, three Blue Jays farmhands are scheduled to be joining the Canberra Cavalry of the Australian Baseball League this winter: Jack Murphy, L.B. Dantzler and Christian Lopes.
Murphy is already an Australian baseball legend after leading the Cavalry to the league title in 2013 as well as an Asia Series title in early 2014. Murphy spent 2014 with New Hampshire and Buffalo and had a typical Jack Murphy season with the bat (.221/.310/.374) but the 26 year old has a knack for the dramatic and is well known among pitchers in the Jays’ system as being one of their favourite catchers to throw to. This season will be Murphy’s third with Canberra and he’s become almost an institution as well as a fan favourite. You can my interview with Murphy on our most recent podcast in which he discusses playing baseball in Australia.
Joining Murphy will be L.B. Dantzler who had a relatively disappointing season after winning the Northwest League MVP in 2013 as a member of the champion Vancouver Canadians. Dantzler, 23, hit just .245/.328/.361 evenly split between Lansing and Dunedin but fought through a recurring oblique injury all year. Dantzler did start to round into form in August, hitting .262/.333/.477 with all three of his Dunedin home runs over 19 games.
The third member of the Blue Jays’ organization to be mentioned is second baseman Christian Lopes. Lopes, who turns 22 on October 1, has been in the Blue Jays’ system since he was drafted in the seventh round of the 2011 draft and has put up some decent numbers in A-ball since 2013. Playing for Lansing in 2013, Lopes faded after a strong start and only hit .206/.285/.286 after June 1. In 2014 with Dunedin, Lopes had an inconsistent season but started to show more power as the season progressed, while also improving his batting average numbers. Year over year, Lopes increased his walk rate and power numbers, despite getting over 150 fewer plate appearances in 2014 and he’ll be heading down under to get some more at bats in the Australian Baseball League.
We’d like to thank Matt Percy (@mattpercy100), the stadium announcer for the Cavalry for alerting us to these players getting sent down to Canberra for the upcoming ABL season. Matt joined us last winter for a podcast and we’ll definitely have him back this year to let us know how the Blue Jays’ boys are doing down under!
Who are these players? Find out in The 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook, now available as an ebook at Smashwords.com for $7.99 US. It’s coming soon to Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other fine retailers. You can purchase and preview the book at our Smashwords.com page! If you like us here,“like” us on Facebook!
The All-Star Break Supplement to the Minor League Handbook is also available at Smashwords.com for only $2 US! Get an update on how your favourite players have been doing this season as well as a report on the 2014 draft!
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