With the minor league season having concluded it is time for the end of the year awards.…
Minor Leaguers Head to Instructs
PITCHERS The Blue Jays top two left-hand pitchers will be down in Florida this fall. David Purcey and Zach Jackson will make the trip down south and try to improve their game. Purcey will be working on his mechanics, and trying to repeat a consistent motion on the mound, which in turn will make his command better. Jackson, will be returning to the state he began his minor league season at, before making the tremendous climb to Triple-A. Five of the 2005 draft selections will also be in Dunedin in the next several days. Ricky Romero, the Jays first round selection, will be one of ten left-hand pitchers present. Four pitchers from the Auburn Doubledays will also be joining Romero. They include, RHP Billy Carnline, LHP Eric Fowler, RHP Paul Phillips, and RHP Josh Sowers. The Jays also invited several of their young arms this year. Four pitchers who turned 20-years-old this season will be present in "instruct" this year. LHP Chi-Hung Cheng will travel to Florida along with LHP Aaron Wideman as soon as they finish their pitching duties with their National Teams in the World Cup. RHP Jesse Litsch and LHP Joseph Wice, teammates with Pulaski this season, will be present at camp. The oldest pitcher in instructs this year will be Matt Foster, a 24-year-old left-hander who pitched brieflyfor Pulaski this past season Foster will be coming back from arm injuries and will use this to make up for the missed time. Left-hander Kurt Isenberg, who has battled some nagging injuries late this season will also be part of the mix. Other pitchers that round out the group include, RHP Kristian Bell, Danny Hill, Po-Hsuan Keng, Edward Rodriguez, Orlando Trias, along with LHP Davis Romero. CATCHERS There is a lot of talent behind the plate for the Blue Jays in instruct this season. All five of their catcher have solid potential or had an outstanding 2005 season. Jonathan Jaspe will be the youngest catcher in the group. The 20-year-old switch hitter spent his 2005 playing days with the Pulaski Blue Jays. The "veteran" catcher of the group is Brian Bormaster, who was named to the NY-Penn League All-Star team in 2005 and ended the season as the Doubledays starting catcher, sending Josh Bell, who will also be in instruction league, into a backup role. Bormaster has outstanding receiving and defensive abilities, and will focus on continuing the improvement of his batting. Robinzon Diaz will also be present, after having an outstanding second half of the season, and the person who passed him on the depth chart this season, Curtis Thigpen, will round out the catching group. INFIELDERS Looking at the crop in the infield you will notice plenty of intriguing names. Included here is the youngest player in all of instructs, Wesley Stone, a 2005 draft selection. The 18-year-old had a solid debut in the middle infield for Pulaski this past season. Chip Cannon will be the oldest infielder in the group and will continue to work on his defense at first base. Cannon had a tremendous season in 2005, jumping from Lansing to New Hampshire. Leance Soto, the 20-year-old who the Jays signed last winter, will be working out at third base, and trying to improve on his hitting. The Jays will also continue to work out Chris Snavely at third base, and could also have him work at over at first base to increase his value to the organization. Juan Peralta will also be going down south after missing the second half of the season with injuries. Peralta had a good first half of the season, and will look to catch up on the missed time this fall. Three shortstops were invited to Florida. Ryan Klosterman is the high profiled name here, however, Jesus Gonzalez and Emmanuel Sena are two young middle infielders that are expected to make some noise in the near future. Joey Metropoulos and Sean Shoffit were also invited and will be roaming the infield with the Blue Jays. OUTFIELD The Jays outfield mix will feature it all this year. They have speed, they have power, and they have a good eye. The power hitters are Ryan Patterson, Cory Patton and Jacob Butler. Patterson shined for Auburn this season, just like Butler did for Pulaski, before joining the Doubledays for the postseason. Eric Nielsen, who played for Lansing in 2005, will also be in instruction league, and has a power bat. Zach Kalter, the rookie drafted in day 2 of the 2005 draft, made an impact at the top of the order for Pulaski and will continue to sharpen his skills in Florida. There are also a few players trying to find themselves. Yuber Rodriguez had a disappointing season for Lansing and the 22-year-old will look to start from the beginning down in Florida. Cory Patton will continue working hard to prove his slump with Lansing the first half of the season was a fluke, and Brian Pettway will work hard this fall and prove he warranted being a third round draft choice.
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