Power Arm Carries Jays' Sanchez

BEST PLAYER: Catcher Travis d'Arnaud entered the season as the No. 1 prospect in the organization and the 23-year-old did nothing to alter that assessment. He batted .333/.380/.595 for Triple-A Las Vegas in 67 games with 16 homers, before tearing the posterior cruciate ligament in his knee on June 25, which ended his season.

"There have been no setbacks," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "It was basic rest and healing that was needed. The fact that he has also included baseball activities (means) he's on a satisfactory path toward recovery."

D'Arnaud is more than a hitter and works diligently on his catching. "What I was most impressed with was how he took pride in his catching," Las Vegas manager Marty Brown said. "Not only that, but he just started to really work hard to get time at first base as well."

BEST PITCHER: Righthander Aaron Sanchez went 8-5, 2.49 with 97 strikeouts and 51 walks in 90 innings for low Class A Lansing, his first full season since the Blue Jays made him a supplemental first-round pick in 2010. He can hit 94-96 mph.
"He has got three pitches and they're going to be three plus pitches," minor league field coordinator Doug Davis said. "Two of them already are. That's kind of where he's at right now and why he's having so much success. His curveball is a good one and he has developed his changeup."

"It's been the biggest thing for me now," said Sanchez, 20. "Hitters and opponents can't sit dead red, and that's one of the nice things that has happened for me."

KEEP AN EYE ON: Toronto made outfielder Kevin Pillar a 32nd-round pick in 2011 out of Cal State Dominguez Hills after he set a Division II record with a 52-game hit streak. The 23-year-old plays with a chip on his shoulder, and he made sure people noticed him this year, batting .322/.390/.451 with five homers at Lansing and winning Midwest League MVP honors. He moved up to high Class A Dunedin for 42 games and hit .323/.339/.415. He will play in the Arizona Fall League.


•  In his first three starts with Double-A New Hampshire, lefthander Sean Nolin went 1-0, 1.20 and allowed nine hits and six walks while striking out 18 in 15 innings.

•  Righthander Taylor Cole pitched 72⁄3 perfect innings in short-season Vancouver's 7-1 win against Yakima on Aug. 30. Cole led the Northwest League with a 0.80 ERA in 66 innings, striking out 57 and walking 17.