Top prospect Moreno belts 1st Triple-A HR

May 21st, 2022

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Moreno belts first homer, powers Bisons' win (May 21)
Gabriel Moreno
was sure to put an exclamation point on his return. The No. 5 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline launched his first Triple-A home run, two days after taking a pitch to the elbow that held him out of the Buffalo Bisons' lineup for two days.

Moreno pulled a pitch up in the zone from Syracuse reliever Andrew Mitchell for a solo shot in the fifth inning. Moreno later tied the game in the 10th inning with dramatic a two-run single that extended the contest. He finished 4-for-5 with a double, two singles and a walk in addition to his homer, good for three RBIs in the Bisons' 12-11 extra-innings win.

The talented catcher also stood out on the other side of the ball, nabbing Mets runner Nick Meyer at third base for the first out of the 11th. Otto Lopez, ranked as the Blue Jays' No. 4 prospect, brought home the winning run in the bottom of that frame.

The 22-year-old Moreno was hit in the left elbow in his first at-bat of the doubleheader between Buffalo and Syracuse on May 19. He stayed in the game to run the bases and catch the top of the second, but he was replaced by Stevie Berman behind the plate ahead of the third. The Blue Jays announced on May 20 that imaging in Moreno's arm showed no damage and he was cleared to return.

Moreno is hitting .347 with 22 RBIs on the season. -- Julia Kreuz

Moreno collects four hits, Martinez hits 3-run jack (May 17)
The top two Blue Jays prospects enjoyed good days at the dish.

With Triple-A Buffalo, top prospect Gabriel Moreno posted a four-hit day and drove in two runs in the Bisons’ 9-3 win. He singled to right and stole his second base of the year before lacing an RBI double to right in the fifth. He added another RBI two-bagger in the next frame before singling in his last at-bat. MLB's No. 6 prospect is slashing .323/.376/.398 with 19 RBIs in 24 games thus far.

After a slow April, Orelvis Martinez has turned a corner in May. 

The No. 2 prospect has recorded at least one hit in nine of 12 games this month, including blasting his Eastern League-leading 11th home run in Double-A New Hampshire’s 13-3 win over Erie. On a 3-2 pitch from SeaWolves righty Alex Powers, the 20-year-old turned on it and sent the ball to left field and out of the stadium for a three-run blast. He’s batting .295/.404/.659 with five dingers -- including three in his last four games -- and 14 RBIs in May. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Frasso dominates in return from surgery (May 14)
, the Blue Jays’ fourth-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, made his ’22 debut Saturday with Single-A Dunedin. Frasso underwent surgery last summer to repair his right UCL with an internal brace, which is a less invasive form of Tommy John surgery with a shorter recovery time.

Frasso's debut was fantastic, with eight strikeouts over three innings of shutout ball. Most encouraging was Frasso’s fastball velocity, which averaged 97.5 mph but reached as high as 100.3. With 12 whiffs on 19 fastballs and six whiffs on eight sliders, Frasso missed bats at an elite rate. His workload will be monitored as he builds back up, but this was a very encouraging first step for the 23-year-old. Full story »

Moreno motors in Bisons' win (May 13)
It’s no secret Gabriel Moreno can hit, and he showcased that ability again with three hits in Triple-A Buffalo’s 3-2 victory over Lehigh Valley. But wheels? Those aren’t the Blue Jays’ top prospect’s calling card.

Moreno, however, occasionally shows some off. Like in the Bisons' win, swiping his first base of the season and matching his 2021 total in the category. It was the 16th career steal in five Minor League seasons for the backstop, and first ever at Triple-A. -- Joe Trezza

Tiedemann keeps dealing at Dunedin (May 13)
It’s been a smooth early transition into pro ball for Ricky Tiedemann, the Blue Jays’ third-round pick in 2021 and No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline. The left-hander kept dealing at Single-A, compiling 10 strikeouts in five innings in Dunedin's 3-2 loss to Tampa at TD Ballpark.

Holding the Tarpons to two runs, Tiedemann actually saw his ERA jump to 1.80 in his first six starts. He’s struck out 49 in 30 innings at Single-A, but also walked 13. He’s held the opposing team hitless in two of his six outings, including a perfect five-inning start April 29 at Bradenton. -- Joe Trezza

Martinez, Espino mash homers in Double-A (May 12)
It was a busy day for Blue Jays prospects down on the farm, from No. 2 prospect Orelvis Martinez clubbing his ninth homer of the year to No. 25 Sebastian Espino notching a multihomer effort to give him three homers in his past two games.

In Double-A New Hampshire’s 7-2 win over Binghamton, Martinez collected two hits, but his most exciting one was a two-run shot to left-center to give his team a five-run lead. The 20-year-old now leads the Eastern League with nine long balls. He’s batting .286/.390/.571 with three homers, nine RBIs, three walks and two steals in his past 10 games.

Espino put on his own show in the same game. After homering in the ninth inning in his previous game, the 21-year-old smacked two dingers in his first two at-bats the following day, giving him jacks in three straight ABs and his first multihomer game since Aug. 15 of last season. His first homer was a two-run shot to left-center that gave the Fisher Cats the lead, and the second was a solo jack to the same part of the ballpark. He also added a single.

With Single-A Dunedin, No. 18 Yosver Zulueta fanned 10 batters across 4 2/3 innings while allowing a run on five hits with no walks. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Moreno racks up three more hits for Buffalo (May 10)
 continues to dominate.

The No. 1 Blue Jays prospect had another multihit game, with three singles and his 16th RBI of the season in the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons' 14-3 win over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

The catcher went 3-for-5 with a run scored on an 18-hit night for the Bisons. Nine of their 14 runs were scored in the first inning.

Infielders Jordan Groshans and Otto Lopez (Toronto's No. 3 and 4 prospects respectively) also joined in on the slugfest. Groshans ended the night 2-for-4 with two walks, an RBI and a run scored, while Lopez went 2-for-3, driving in a run and scoring two more.

Multihit games are becoming more and more common for the 22-year-old Moreno, who is batting .319 with a .761 over 19 games this year. -- Julia Kreuz

Moreno caps BIG night with walk-off (May 6)
What. A. Night.

The Blue Jays' top prospect, Gabriel Moreno, had the best game of his young 2022 season Friday evening, delivering a walk-off base hit for Triple-A Buffalo to cap a four-hit, four-RBI performance versus Durham.

With the bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Moreno punched a single past a five-man infield and into right field to send the Bisons to a 5-4 win. Toronto’s catcher of the future and No. 7 prospect in MLB, per MLB Pipeline, also laced a scorching line drive off the shortstop’s glove to drive in two in the third inning and smacked a double down the left-field line to score another in the fifth. Full story »

No. 7 prospect Robberse fans 7 in 5 scoreless innings (May 3)
Right-hander Sem Robberse kept his dominant streak going on Tuesday, with five innings of shutout ball and seven strikeouts in his latest start for High-A Vancouver.

The 20-year-old Robberse allowed just four hits and two walks in the Vancouver Canadians' loss to the Everett AquaSox, lowering his ERA to 2.05 in four starts this year.

A Netherlands native, Robberse had his development somewhat delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he showed promise in his return to the Minor League mound last year. The Blue Jays' No. 7 prospect split time between Single-A and High-A in 2021, finishing with a 4.36 ERA and 90 strikeouts over 88 2/3 innings.

Robberse has 21 strikeouts, three walks and a 0.91 ERA over 22 innings with Vancouver this season. -- Julia Kreuz

Palmer tosses six perfect innings (May 1)
Trent Palmer was brilliant on the mound in High-A Vancouver’s 7-0 win, tossing six perfect innings with eight strikeouts.

The Blue Jays’ No. 23 prospect registered 11 swings-and-misses and the Canadians’ finished off the one-hitter, allowing two baserunners. Palmer earned his first victory of the season and has a 1.69 ERA with 24 strikeouts to seven walks in 16 innings.

A level lower, No. 28 Blue Jays prospect Dahian Santos fanned nine in relief, tossing four no-hit innings and walking two in Dunedin’s 5-4 loss. The 19-year-old has a 2.25 ERA with 24 K’s and six walks in 12 innings in relief. -- Nick Trujillo

Top pitching prospect K's 9 over 5 perfect innings (April 29)
Ricky Tiedemann, the Blue Jays' No. 6 prospect, had to bet on himself to get to where he is now.

Originally a San Diego State commit, Tiedemann tried his hand at the MLB Draft in 2020, but after five rounds, his name wasn't called.

After a long conversation with his brother, Tai, who was drafted by the Rangers in 2016, Ricky opted to switch away from a four-year school to prove that he was ready to turn professional. Full story »

Zulueta fans 7 in 4 innings (April 28)
Right-handed starter Yosver Zulueta dominated his first rehab assignment with Single-A Dunedin, striking out seven hitters with one hit and no runs allowed over four innings during Thursday’s game against Bradenton.

The flamethrowing Zulueta, the Blue Jays’ No. 19 prospect, is working his way back to tossing 98-99-mph fastballs. The 24-year-old is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in his first start of last year with the Dunedin Blue Jays. A native of Cuba, Zulueta signed with the Blue Jays in 2019 and underwent Tommy John surgery shortly after that.

Thursday’s start was his first outing since last year’s injury. 

“The fastball is right there like last year. The velo is there,” Zulueta told Keegan Matheson during Spring Training. “I’m feeling good right now.”  

Once he’s done with his rehab assignment, Zulueta is expected to join High-A Vancouver. -- Julia Kreuz

Robberse pitches seven scoreless for Vancouver (April 26)
The thirid time was the charm for Sem Robberse. The No. 7 Blue Jays prospect turned in seven scoreless frames, striking out seven and allowing two hits and a walk. His pitching helped lead High-A Vancouver past Hillsboro, 6-0.

Robberse did not allow a hit until the fourth, although he did toss a pair of wild pitches. The 20-year-old recorded all of his strikeouts across his final four innings and tossed 82 pitches, 58 for strikes. The scoreless outing lowered Robberse's ERA to 2.65 in three starts spanning 17 frames.

Robberse, who was born in the Netherlands, went 5-7 with a 4.36 ERA and struck out 90 in 88 2/3 innings in 21 appearances (19 starts) between two Minor League levels in 2021. -- Michael Avallone

Speedster Brown launches first home run with Dunedin (April 26)
Dasan Brown might just be the fastest man in the organization, but Toronto's No. 27 prospect spent his offseason focusing on his swing, working to make harder contact more consistently. On Tuesday with Single-A Dunedin, Brown launched his first home run off the season, a 408-foot shot, and he had another flyout with an exit velocity over 100 mph, per Statcast.

“I was relying on my athletic ability to get my swing off. Now I’m focusing on the mechanical side," Brown said in Spring Training. "As I’m starting to get older, I’m starting to figure out what does and doesn’t work. My thing is that I’m trying to get out of that and get back to the place where I can trust myself and let my abilities take over, but without that base, that’s not possible.”

Brown is a superb defender with elite speed, so he doesn’t need to hit .350 or launch 45 home runs to climb the ladder. As long as he’s reaching base consistently, he’ll be able to lean on that speed and use his athletic gifts to change games. At 20, the Canadian outfielder represents incredible upside at a position the Blue Jays would love to load with depth. -- Keegan Matheson

Tiedemann tosses five hitless frames for Single-A Dunedin (April 22)
Dunedin is one of the nicest places to play in the Minors, but it doesn't appear that Ricky Tiedemann has any plans to get comfortable there. The 2021 third-round Draft pick of the Blue Jays is only three starts into his pro career, but he continues to not only impress each time out -- he is also outdoing himself. The 19-year-old lefty tossed five hitless frames with four walks and eight strikeouts against Fort Myers.

In his pro debut, the sixth-ranked Blue Jays prospect allowed a pair of runs on three hits and two walks with eight whiffs over five innings and followed that up with five shutout frames, yielding two hits and four walks while fanning eight again. Tiedemann is sporting a 1.20 ERA with 10 walks and 24 punchouts over 15 innings. -- Rob Terranova

Juenger off to hot start in Double-A (April 19)
The 2021 sixth-round pick made an immediate impression with the Blue Jays and it’s only gotten better from there. Coming off a strong camp, Toronto has opened right-hander Hayden Juenger in a bulk role with Double-A New Hampshire, where he’s started the year by striking out 11 batters over five hitless innings.

This shows how the Blue Jays, like many teams, are changing their approach to pitching development. The club is already showing the value of bulk roles and multi-inning relievers, and Juenger could push for a big league spot by the end of the season if he continues on this trajectory. Ranked as the No. 26 prospect in the organization, he’s putting himself in a great position to rise through the season. -- Keegan Matheson

Tiedemann backs up the hype (April 15)
This Spring Training, no prospect in camp drew more praise than Ricky Tiedemann, the 19-year-old lefty selected by the Blue Jays in the third round of the Draft last summer. On Friday night with Single-A Dunedin, Tiedemann threw five shutout innings with just two hits allowed, walking four and striking out eight.

Tiedemann’s fastball averaged 96.1 mph and topped out at 98.2 mph, representing a significant jump from where he was coming out of Golden West College. He’s benefited greatly from moving from a JUCO strength program into one of baseball’s best facilities in Dunedin, Fla. He’s packed on muscle, and while his season-long workload will need to be monitored, he has the potential to leap into the Top 100 Prospects conversation in 2023. -- Keegan Matheson