Toronto Blue Jays news and notes for December 17th including updates on Ryan Noda, Elvis Luciano, Kevin Pillar and more.
Ryan Noda: The poor man’s Kevin Youkilis?
Over at Fangraphs, David Laurila wrote a piece on how Ryan Noda’s start to his minor league career is very similar to Kevin Youkilis’. Noda is currently ranked as the 30th best Blue Jays prospect according to MLB.com and performed well with the Lansing Lugnuts (A) this year. Without spoiling the piece, I’ll instead remind you of Kevin Youkilis‘ nickname: The Greek God of Walks.
Luciano’s Projections for 2019
If you don’t know by now, the Blue Jays acquired Elvis Luciano from the Royals in the Rule 5 draft. Luciano is just 18, and he has to stay in the big leagues for all of 2019 if the Jays want to keep him in the organization. It’s definitely a surprising move for them to make as they are obviously betting on the youngster’s upside.
ZiPS isn’t very optimistic about Luciano’s projections for 2019 as they have him throwing 45.7 innings (not a typo) with a 5.19 ERA and in ten appearances (nine starts). It’s obviously hard to predict Luciano’s stats because most experts can’t even predict if he’ll make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training, let alone the starting rotation. If he does somehow make the team, expect Luciano to pitch in extremely low-leverage situations in 2019 while returning to the minors in 2020. A trade with the Royals is also a possibility.
Pillar to the Giants?
According to Alex Pavlovic, who covers the Giants for NBC Sports Bay Area, the Giants have at least discussed the possibility of acquiring Kevin Pillar in the recent weeks. It’s important to note that even if a deal gets done, the Jays likely wouldn’t get more than salary relief and a “lottery ticket” prospect.