Interview Excerpts: Fisher Cats RHP Tyson Brummett

Recently our pal Jay Floyd of PhoulBallz.com chatted with New Hampshire Fisher Cats hurler Tyson Brummett.  Claimed off waiver by the Blue Jays from the Phillies organization last off-season, the 28-year-old was a veteran addition to the system, but hasn't had much luck this season.  Through 10 outings with the Double-A Fisher Cats, Brummett has a 0-3 record with a 5.59 ERA.

Here are some highlights from Jay's interview with Tyson...

On the differences between the Toronto and Philadelphia organizations-

There's always a lot of differences. I was in that organization for a long time. I grew up with a lot of those guys, you know, roommates and people like that, coming up through the ranks. This is my first time in a different organization, obviously there are new people, new faces. At the end of the day, it's still baseball. You've gotta go out there and perform and do all those fun things on the field.

On pitching against the Phils' Double-A team in Reading and putting forth his best effort of the season, with six shut out innings-

I mean it's always...you get up to face your old organization. I know there's guys that jump around and have played for three or four different organizations. I think there's that kind of connection there. They know you and you know them and things like that, but you always want to go out and put on a show for the team that you used to be with and obviously the team that you're with against your old team. Kind of like giving a message like, "Hey, I can still help a team win."

On who has been the biggest help to him with the Blue Jays-

I mean, honestly, there's a lot of veteran guys both here, in Double-A and at Triple-A. I think I probably learned the most, it was my first big league (spring training) this year, I had a lot of guys that I played with and Northwoods League and collegiate leagues. Once you've played this game and you move around, it's hard to not run into somebody you've played and vice versa. It's just really good communication over here. Lots of friends. They went out this year and picked up a lot of veteran guys, so it's a lot of guys that have been all over the place, so you feel like you have an instant connection with them, 'cause they're kind of in the same boat you are. I think overall it's pretty welcoming.

To read the full interview with Tyson, including details on his time playing in the Venezuelan Winter League, click here.


1BJW Interview: Fisher Cats Manager Gary Allenson

Former big league catcher Gary Allenson has a career in professional baseball that dates back to 1976 when he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox. In a big league career that included six years with the Red Sox and a small stint in 1985 with the Blue Jays, Allenson batted .221 with 19 home runs and 131 RBI in 416 games.

Since his playing career ended, Allenson has managed in the minors for the Yankees, the Rangers, the Orioles, the Brewers and the Astros.  Additionally, the 58-year-old has served as a coach in the big leagues with the Orioles and Red Sox.

Currently the manager of the Blue Jays' Double-A affiliate in New Hampshire, Gary sat down with minor league insider Jay Floyd last week to chat about his transition into coaching, his time playing in the big leagues, his Fisher Cats players and plenty more. Check out the media player below to hear the full interview.


Press Release: NH Coach Adopts Dog at Ballpark

Via a press release from the Trenton Thunder, Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees-

(TRENTON, NJ) -  Some dogs "roll over", some can "shake hands" and others "speak", but you can bet that newly adopted "Dee Dee's" favorite trick will be fetching baseballs.   
Pitching coach Tom Signore of the visiting New Hampshire Fisher Cats has adopted "Dee Dee", a year old Yorkshire Terrior, who was featured at ARM & HAMMER Park as the Trenton Thunder and Northstar VETS "Dog of the Day" on Thursday, May 9.  The adoption paperwork with Res-Q-Pets of Trenton was finalized today and "Dee Dee" will be making her first baseball road trip after the game as she rides the team bus back to New Hampshire.  Tom said he's considering re-naming his new puppy "Thunder".  

At all 71 Thunder home games, a different "Dog of the Day" is paraded around the field in front of the crowd and a description of the potential pet is read over the public address system.  Fans are invited to "meet" the dog in person or to pick up a flyer at the NJM Fan Services Center on the concourse.  After the game, the dog's picture is posted on the "Dog of the Day" photo gallery accessed through the team's facebook page.
The NorthStar VETS "Dog of the Day" program, now in its seventh season, has helped hundreds of dogs find homes with Thunder fans and staff members over the years but this is the first time a member of one of the teams has adopted.
 New Hampshire won two of four contests at Trenton's Arm & Hammer Park over the weekend.


An Interview with THE Sleeper Prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays Organization

OF Prospect Kevin Pillar
We love cheering for guys like this.

A guy who spent a full 4 years in a division II college. A guy who was drafted in 2011 in the 32nd round, 979th overall.

Generally guys drafted this low either sign immediately for peanuts and start in short season ball or don't sign at all.

In 2011 in the Appalachian League with the Bluefield Bluejays he won the batting title with a .347 average in 236 at bats.

In 2012 in the Midwest League he won the MVP award despite only playing 85 of a possible 137 games with the Lansing Lugnuts. He was also chosen one of only six to represent the Blue Jays organization in the Arizona Fall League and worked his way off the taxi roster and into in the lead off spot.

He got some love on the early 2013 season prospects lists.

This year he made the jump to the Eastern League with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and he has a .331/.380/.470 slash line in 151 at bats, which is pretty damn close to his career numbers since starting in pro ball, which are .331/.376/.470. At 24 he is no longer considered old for his level.

All this accomplished and many scouts still doubt his ability to make an impact in the Major Leagues.

And you know what? They might be right.

We would argue he has the best hit tool in the entire system, has great wheels - he grabbed 51 bags in 60 attempts last year - and can play all three OF positions.

Even if all he ended up being is a fourth OF or a chip in a trade someday, everyone should be talking about this guy more. Or at the very least, know his name.

Below is an interview our boy Jay Floyd of PhoulBallz.com & other fine media outlets did a few days back with Kevin Pillar. In it they discuss why he plays the game with a chip on his shoulder, gives a scouting report of himself and what his mentality is depending on where he hits in the order.

Click here for his complete stats.


RHP Deck McGuire Video Footage

Righty pitching prospect Deck McGuire picked up his second win of the season for Double-A New Hampshire on Thursday night against the Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate).  The Blue Jays' 1st round draft choice from 2010 allowed two earned runs while striking out two and walking three batters in five innings.

The victory took McGuire's record to 2-3 on the year.  He also sports a 5.11 ERA and a .246 batting average against.

Check out the media player below to see footage of the 23-year-old McGuire warming up in the bullpen, striking out Trenton's J.R. Murphy looking and getting Ali Castillo to ground into a fielders choice.


RHP Marcus Walden Video Footage

Double-A New Hampshire righty hurler Marcus Walden has been a bit of a surprise performer thus far in the 2013 season.  A 9th round draft pick of the Blue Jays in 2007, Walden has posted a 1-3 record with a 2.97 ERA while striking out 15 and walking eight in 33 1/3 innings pitched through six starts for the Fisher Cats.

The California native, who stands six feet tall and weighs 190 pounds, entered this season with a 26-18 record along with a 3.62 ERA in five pro seasons, having missed all of 2010 due to an injury.  Additionally, Walden, who is 24-years-old, is armed with a sinker, a cutter, a slider and a change up.

This past week, I shot some video of Walden.  The below clip features some pregame bullpen footage, a strike out of Trenton's Reegie Corona and a single surrendered to Thunder designated hitter Tyler Austin.