Blue Jays Midseason Report
First baseman Brett Wallace was batting .301/.363/.507 with 14 homers at Triple-A Las Vegas, but teammate J.P. Arencibia has outperformed him in his second run in the Pacific Coast League.
Arencibia's aggressive approach caught up with him last year, as he batted .236/.284/.444 with 114 strikeouts against 26 walks for the 51s. His improved approach this season (58 strikeouts/21 walks) allowed him to be much more productive at the plate while maintaining his power. He was batting .311/.359/.617 with 18 home runs and was among the PCL leaders in most offensive categories, including slugging and total bases (163).
He is regarded as a solid defensive catcher, though he led the PCL with nine passed balls this season and had thrown out just 22 percent of basestealers.
Biggest Leap Forward:
Catcher Brian Jeroloman took a big leap backward last season, dropping out of the Blue Jays' Top 30 after ranking No. 12 entering 2009. An excellent defensive catcher, hitting had been his bugaboo. But in an organization loaded with catching prospects, Jeroloman has shown offensive improvement at Double-A New Hampshire. He was batting .292/.448/.474 with six homers, after batting .217/.330/.316 with six homers for the Fisher Cats last year. His on-base percentage led the Eastern League. He was 17-for-53 (32 percent) in throwing out basestealers this season after going 40-for-94 (43 percent) last year.
First baseman David Cooper, a first-round draft pick (17th overall) in 2008, was batting .219/.280/.389 with 10 homers with New Hampshire. These aren't the numbers expected of someone who was drafted because of his sweet swing.
Cooper is actually repeating Double-A, after batting .258/.340/.389 with 10 homers there in 2009. His position on the depth chart at first base dropped as soon as Wallace joined the organization, and so far this season he has done nothing to change that.
• Toronto called up infielder Jarrett Hoffpauir from Las Vegas on June 22 to play third base. He replaced third baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who was demoted to Las Vegas after clearing waivers. Hoffpauir, who was claimed off waivers from the Cardinals last November, batted .328/.378/.532 with nine homers at Las Vegas this season.
• The comeback hopes of righthander Dustin McGowan grew dimmer when he had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff on June 22. McGowan missed the entire 2009 season after labrum surgery.