Jays Prospects Earn Spring Invites

TORONTO–General manager Ross Atkins believes there are two key areas of focus when deciding which non-roster prospects get invited to big-league spring training.

“One is making your team better, obviously, so if there’s a chance for someone to impact your team that year, it can be seen as an orientation and a familiarization with the coaching staff, with the players on it, and certainly a more extended preparation,” he explains. “Two is just effort, who’s earned it from an effort standpoint, who’s been the most consistently professional.”

The Blue Jays are bringing 14 non-roster prospects to their camp this month, with first baseman Rowdy Tellez, righthander Conner Greene and shortstop Richard Urena among the first-timers. Center fielder Anthony Alford is headed to his second big-league spring training, arriving this time as the rising five-tool talent scouts have long projected him to be.

Beyond the obvious goals for any player at camp, something more subtle Atkins looks for from his youngsters is that they “show a respect and understanding for the environment that they’re in.”

“There are essentially three groups of players that are in a major league spring training,” Atkins continues. “There are the players that know they’re going to be on the team, they’re getting ready. There’s a group of players competing to try and make the team, and then there’s a group that are typically just getting exposure. … The emphasis we’re placing and we’re looking for from a young minor league player is that they understand those roles.”

As for evaluating their performance in camp, Atkins describes spring training as a “terrible time” to make assessments, although for young players, how they fare may carry a bit more consideration “because the learning curve is so much steeper.”


• The Blue Jays promoted pitching coach Bob Stanley to Triple-A Buffalo from Double-A New Hampshire. He’ll serve with returning manager Gary Allenson and hitting coach Richie Hebner. Stanley served as bullpen coach for the Blue Jays in 2014.

• Pitching coach Vince Horsman was promoted to New Hampshire from high Class A Dunedin. He joins manager Bobby Meacham and hitting coach Stubby Clapp, who both return for another season with the Fisher Cats.

Comments are closed.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone