Toronto Blue Jays Announce Florida Instructional League Roster

Bradley Jones

Hurricane Irma did its best to disrupt autumn baseball activities in Florida but most clubs are proceeding with a delayed Florida Instructional League and we’ve got the Blue Jays’ roster for you! Game begin on September 29th, for those in the Florida Gulf Coast area.

 

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The Florida Instructional League is a league, much like spring training and extended spring training where teams bring in selected minor league players to get them extra playing time in competition with minor leaguers from other teams. There are generally a few categories of players invited. While I’m not entirely sure how other teams operate, the Blue Jays have almost always invited all of the players who were drafted or signed this past summer (Group 1). Other players are younger minor leaguers, or those who have been playing in short-season leagues who are considered to be on the rise, particularly players who were in the Dominican Summer League and are expected to jump to the US (Group 2). Others invited to the FIL include players who lost time during the season due to injuries or players who are changing positions, roles or learning to hit a new way (Group 3), and the final group of players are those who were signed as international free agents this offseason and who are expected to play in the US (Group 4). Below, I indicate which group of players each player loosely belongs to in parentheses following his name.

 

 

Pitchers

 

Patrick Murphy

Jordan Barrett (1)
Travis Bergen (3)
Maverik Buffo (1)
Elixon Caballero (2)
Maximo Castillo (2)
Jonathan Cheshire (1)
Joe Dibenedetto (1)
Justin Dillon (1)
Matt Gunter (1)
Yunior Hinojosa (2)
Emerson Jimenez (3)
Turner Larkins (1)
Connor Law (1)
Colton Laws (1)
Zach Logue (1)
Ronald Magdaniel (2)
Elieser Medrano (2)
Alejandro Melean (4)
Patrick Murphy (3)
Eric Pardinho (4)
Nate Pearson (1)
Nathanael Perez (2)
Marcus Reyes (1)
Brody Rodning (1)
Donnie Sellers (1)
Matt Shannon (1)
Graham Spraker (1)
Ty Tice (1)
Emmanuel Vizcaino (2)
Justin Watts (1)
Kyle Weatherly (3)

 

It’s interesting to note that there are very few pitchers who pitched solely in the Dominican Summer League who were invited to the FIL. These include Emmanuel Vizcaino, Ronald Magdaniel and Nathanael Perez. First round draft pick Nate Pearson will get a shot to get some more innings in while some other pitchers like Patrick Murphy and Kyle Weatherly will get to add some innings that they missed due to injury. Eric Pardinho is the big international acquisition who will begin his professional journey. Pardinho is thought to be very advanced for his age (16) and could do what Vladimir Guerrero Jr. did: start in Bluefield.

 

Catchers

 

Matt Morgan

Riley Adams (1)
Hagen Danner (1)
Ryan Gold (2)
Javier Hernandez (2)
Reilly Johnson (1)
Alejandro Kirk (2)
Gabriel Moreno (2)
Matt Morgan (2)
Yorman Rodriguez (2)

 

I’m a little surprised to Matt Morgan on this list. Very few players with as much professional experience as Morgan has are invited to the instructional league. Otherwise, I’m still interested to see Alejandro Kirk, who didn’t get into much action this year and Gabriel Moreno, who was in the DSL. Ryan Gold has had two strong seasons with the bat from behind the plate and could be a sleeper.

 

Infielders

 

Luis De Los Santos

Kacy Clemens (1)
Luis De Los Santos (2)
Brandon Grudzielanek (1)
Miguel Hiraldo (4)
Leonardo Jimenez (4)
Bradley Jones (3)
Cullen Large (1)
Patrick Morris (1)
Ryan Noda (1)
Jose Rivas (4)
Davis Schneider (1)
Kevin Smith (1)
Samad Taylor (1 – *acquired via trade)
Logan Warmoth (1)
Christian Williams (3)

 

It’s very interesting to note that neither Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette are on this list. I’ve heard that Guerrero will play for a month in the Dominican Winter League and Bichette may just be getting a rest after a long season. Hopefully Bradley Jones can recapture his stroke after missing a large chunk of the season with an injury and three players – Miguel Hiraldo, Leonardo Jimenez and Jose Rivas – will start their professional careers after signing as international amateurs this summer.

 

Outfielders

 

McGregory Contreras

Steward Berroa (2)
Mc Gregory Contreras (2)
Tanner Kirwer (1)
Brock Lundquist (1)
D.J. Neal (1)
Joshua Palacios (2/3)
Brandon Polizzi (1)
Reggie Pruitt (2)
Freddy Rodriguez (2)
Alberto Rodriguez (4)
J.B. Woodman (2)
Chavez Young (2)

 

Steward Berroa is the only player making the jump for the FIL from the Dominican Summer League while Josh Palacios will get some extra time after missing the early part of the season with a knee injury. Alberto Rodriguez will start his pro career after signing on July 2 and Reggie Pruitt will look to continue his hot finish to the season moving forward into 2018.

 

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