For two years now the Blue Jays farm system has been proving it’s quality by winning three championships with three different minor league clubs.
Those championship teams were built primarily on the strength of players who’d been with the Blue Jays organization since the beginning of their professional career. This season, the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons will not only have the benefit of all that homegrown talent, but also many of the prospects acquired last year when Toronto traded away so much of their big league talent.
In other words, a lot of things are coming together for the Bisons to have a huge year in 2019.
As this core group of prospects have progressed through the minor league ranks, they’ve had a tendency of winning it all wherever they go. In 2017, it was two Single-A affiliates, the Vancouver Canadians and Dunedin Blue Jays who were champions. Then in 2018, it was the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats who steamrolled the competition on route to winning the Eastern League title.
Obviously the main goal of the Blue Jays is to win the World Series, but it’s still comforting to see Toronto’s minor league teams doing so well. Unlike the Blue Jays Single-A and Double-A squads who’ve experienced plenty of success in recent years, the Bisons have yet to even make the playoffs since becoming Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate in 2013.
After winning it all with New Hampshire this year, look for Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and T.J. Zeuch to make the jump to Buffalo. As for the outfield, the Bisons will have more outfielders than they know what to do with. Players that are too advanced for Double-A (Anthony Alford, Dalton Pompey, Dwight Smith Jr., Roemon Fields, Jonathan Davis), but have yet to prove they belong in the big leagues.
The starting rotation for Buffalo will be the big unknown. It’s impossible to say who might surprise and prove themselves worthy out of camp that they should be included on the Blue Jays 25-man roster. If I were to guess, I’d say the Bisons rotation will include Sean Reid-Foley, Thomas Pannone, Sam Gaviglio, Trent Thornton, and Zeuch.
It’s not often that a minor league team could give their big league brother a run for their money, but I can’t remember Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate ever being so close talent wise to that of the Blue Jays.