Blue Jays Prospect Report: Lansing Lugnuts (Class-A)

By Daniel Jarrett @ProspectD2J

I made the trip to visit the Class-A Lansing Lugnuts in Michigan for their season opening series against the Great Lakes Loons last weekend. The Loons are the Los Angeles Dodgers Class-A affiliate, and they play their home games less than two hours north of the Lugnuts home in Lansing. The geographic proximity make the teams natural rivals, and a prime matchup for the first series of the season.

The Lugnuts feature three of the Toronto Blue Jays top young pitching prospects in RHP Noah Syndergaard, LHP Justin Nicolino and RHP Aaron Sanchez. Each of those three pitchers is generally a consensus top 10 prospect in the Blue Jays system, of course that can depend on who you speak to. Over at MLBProspectPortal.com we just released our updated Top 20 prospect lists for each of the AL East teams. The Blue Jays top 20 prospect list has Syndergaard ranked fifth, Nicolino ranked sixth and Sanchez ranked ninth.

Noah Syndergaard was front and centre for the Lugnuts as he got the start in the first game of the season. He put on an impressive display, despite being limited to just three innings in an effort to limit his workload early in the season. He allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out six Loons hitters. Syndergaard showed a low to mid 90′s fastball, and developing off speed pitches that kept the Loons hitters off-balance.

I wrote a report on the Lugnuts for JaysProspects.com, that includes more video of Syndergaard and links to video of other Lugnuts players as well. LHP David Rollins was impressive in a start the following day for the Lugnuts, and hitters 3B Kellen Sweeney, OF Chris Hawkins, C Carlos Perez, OF Kenny Wilson and 2B Jonathon Berti led the offense. The Lugnuts are off to an impressive 8-1 start to the season, behind their elite level starting pitching and the depth up and down their lineup.

I previewed the Lansing Lugnuts roster prior to the start of the 2012 season and will be making the trip back to Lansing several times throughout the season to provide further coverage of the team’s top prospects along the way. For more Lansing Lugnuts prospect videos, visit the MLB Prospect Portal YouTube Channel here. For updates follow @ProspectD2J and @MLBProspectPrtl on Twitter.

Here’s a bonus video of Syndergaard striking out Loons 2B Kevin Taylor:

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