2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: #10 Ty Voit

It’s easy to forget that we’re just one season removed from the cancellation of the 2020-21 OHL campaign. The long-term impact of the development for the prospects affected has yet to be seen, but we are already beginning to see steals emerge from the 2021 draft in the short term.
In the fifth round in 2021, the Toronto Maple Leafs took a swing on a small, creative winger who had shown promise in his underage season as a potential high-end playmaker in Ty Voit. Ranked as high as the second round by some outlets, Voit fell to the fifth round due largely to his non-existent draft-eligible season.
In selecting Voit, the Maple Leafs were hoping to have found a gem out of unusual circumstances. Returning to action in 2021-22, Voit began to make good on that upside, emerging as one of the elite playmakers in the OHL and proving he should’ve been drafted much earlier than 153rd overall.
Ty Voit’s statement season with Sarnia sees him rise eight spots on the TLN Prospect Rankings to crack the top 10.
Ty Voit
C | Sarnia (OHL) | Age: 19 | 5-foot-10 | 161 lbs | Shoots: RAcquired: 2021 Draft, 153rd Overall | 2021 Ranking: #18
As was the case for most OHLers coming off of an entire year without game action, many didn’t know what to expect …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Juan Soto upsets Julio Rodriguez to win 2022 MLB Home Run Derby

It just wasn’t meant to be.

Despite having a Home Run Derby for the record books, mighty Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez was toppled in the final round by Juan Soto.
The Washington Nationals slugger, meanwhile, showed the world why he’s worth every penny of a $500-million deal smoking 19 home runs in the final round.

JUAN SOTO WINS THE HOME RUN DERBY pic.twitter.com/1CpYTXB2H8
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 19, 2022

As great as the comeback was for Soto, Rodriguez stole the show with a performance for the ages.
The rookie Seattle Mariner blew the doors off the derby cruising through the first two rounds.
Rodriguez bested Texas Ranger Corey Seager in the first round 32 to 24, then blasted another 31 in round two to beat two-time champion Pete Alonso.
Through two rounds, J-Rod totaled 63 home runs becoming the first to ever have two 30-run rounds in the history of the derby. Safe to say he, and his pitcher Franmy Pena, were absolutely dialed in.

Through two rounds, Julio Rodríguez’s 63 total HRs are already third-most in a single #HRDerby
He’s off to the Final Roundpic.twitter.com/p4gvgWXqGu
— ESPN (@espn) July 19, 2022

Come the finals, you could see some fatigue setting in, but Rodriguez still managed to put up 18 dongs. Soto, meanwhile, had a slow start, but turned it on in the end taking it to extra time to hit his 19.
In total, Rodriguez smoked 81 home runs through all three rounds — 10 back of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who in 2019 smoked 91 (!) homers, but lost to Pete Alonso in the finals.
One has to wonder if this whole thing needs to be rejigged considering those performances.
Round one
The derby got started off in a big way as Julio Rodriguez stepped up to the plate mashing 32 dingers right off the top. He topped up  opponent Corey Seager, who st …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

B/R grades Raptors’ Otto Porter Jr. signing as a top-five move

B/R grades Raptors’ Otto Porter Jr. signing as a top-five move

The Toronto Raptors are often content just to sit put the early free agent frenzy and allow some of their significant flaws to be fixed by internal development. They didn’t necessarily hold themselves to that philosophical stance this year, as they were out in front of the rest of the competition in the race to […]
B/R grades Raptors’ Otto Porter Jr. signing as a top-five move – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

3 takeaways as Raptors’ Summer League schedule nears end

3 takeaways as Raptors’ Summer League schedule nears end

The Toronto Raptors are just one game away from officially wrapping up their Summer League grind. With star youngsters like Christian Koloko and Dalano Banton on full display on the Las Vegas circuit, many had Toronto’s games circled on their July calendar. Toronto has had mixed results in their first three games, to say the […]
3 takeaways as Raptors’ Summer League schedule nears end – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Dylan Strome could fit with Maple Leafs as reports say he’s approaching free agency

Dylan Strome might be just what the Maple Leafs need this off-season.
NHL teams are beginning to announce who they’re qualifying as the clock bleeds down to the deadline of 5PM ET. One name that’s been out there to not be getting qualified is Strome.

Dylan Strome will not receive a qualifying offer from the Blackhawks, per source. The former No. 3 pick will be a UFA.
Strome averaged nearly a point a game over the second half of the season as the No. 1 center between DeBrincat and Kane. His QO would have been $3.6 million.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) July 11, 2022

Similar to what Toronto did with Ondrej Kase and David Kampf (who was also not qualified by Chicago), they should do the same with the 25-year-old from Mississauga, Ontario.
Now, there’s plenty of reasons this would be a fantastic option for the Maple Leafs — among them is that he’s from the Toronto area. It’s been discussed plenty before that GM Kyle Dubas can capitalize on signing players who are from Ontario, since most grew up dreaming to play on the Maple Leafs.
Strome is just another one from the pack.
Piece that together with the messaging that he could play for a cup contender, possibly have a big role, and be given every opportunity to have success — it’s a great deal for him. Strome can bet on himself and end up getting paid in the future.
On Toronto’s side, this makes a lot of sense because at 25-years-old, he’s just approaching the prime of his career. It’s not like Strome’s totally fell …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Our Leafs predictions heading into free agency week

We’re just a few days removed from our draft predictions, and it seems like we should start by looking back at how we did on that survey. 33% of our respondents nailed it with the Leafs trading down, and we all knew the Leafs would be picking more than 3 times. Nick Moldenhauer was the favourite of TLNers for a pick outside the first round and that certainly came to fruition, and 33% of us thought that Petr Mrazek would be traded away and that was also nailed. I’ll hang my hat on being the only person who predicted three or more trades, of course most of them were extremely boring pick swaps.
Now, onto free agency, the event we should care more about as Leafs fans because we are living in the now, not preparing for the future. We’ve got the same nine writers responding and we’ll dive into those questions now.
Where will Jack Campbell sign?
33.3% New Jersey22.2% Edmonton
22.2% Detroit
11.1% Toronto
11.1% Philadelphia
It’s at this point I should point out that we did this survey before the draft and some situations like the Detroit and New Jersey have somewhat been resolved already. I’m the bizarre outlier here who thinks that Philadelphia might do something bizarre like move on from Carter Hart, and that might be a lot of w …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Mark Shapiro Era Draft Retrospective: 2018

Although it feels like just a year ago, it’s been over 4 years since the 2018 draft.

It has to be said that this was the current regime’s most creative draft. They went underslot with their first round pick, just to go overslot with their third rounder.  Those two players also went to the same high school and were seniors at the same time, so this will be a pretty interesting article.
Jordan Groshans:
Selected with the 12th overall pick, the 22-year-old is the first player in this series to currently be on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list. Let’s look over each season of the utility player’s career.
In 2018, he played for the two rookie league teams. He posted a .296/.353/.446 slash line in 207 plate appearances. He hit five homers between the two levels, a rather impressive display of power early in his professional career.
Moving on to 2019, Groshans was promoted to the Lansing Lugnuts in A ball. In 96 plate appearances, he slashed .337/.427/.428 while adding two homers. He had a K% of 21.9 (a career high), but walked 13.5% of the time, which is also a career high). In May, he had an undisclosed left foot injury, which ended his season prematurely.
Much like every single other minor league player, Groshans didn’t participate in the 2020 minor league season, because there wasn’t one. However, Groshans played at the alt site, where he re …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

6 notable games to watch during the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2022-23 season and some schedule details

Just yesterday we got the notification that the Toronto Maple Leafs had released their 2022-23 pre-season schedule, and just like every fan, we looked at who Toronto would be playing and when they would be playing those games. Well, not even 24 hours later and we get to see the entire 2022-23 regular season schedule for this upcoming season.
With that being said, let’s take a look at six notable games you should watch during the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2022-23 season as well as some details in the schedule too.
 
Before we take a look at some notable games to watch this upcoming season, let’s go over some important details in Toronto’s schedule, like longest homestand, longest road trip, how many back-to-backs, etc.
 
California trip: October 27-30 – (SJ, LA, ANA)
Western Canadian trip: March 1-4 – (EDM, CGY, VAN)
Longest homestand: 5 games – (Jan. 23-Feb. 1, NYI, NYR, OTT, WSH, BOS)
Longest road trip: 5 games three times – (Oct. 22-30, WPG, VGK, SJ, LA, ANA), (Feb. 26-Mar. 7, SEA, EDM, CGY, VAN, NJ), (Mar. 18-26, OTT, NYI, FLA, CAR, NSH)
Busiest month: November – 15 games
Least busy month: April – 8 games
Back-to-backs: 14 – 2 in October, 3 in November, 2 in January, 2 in February, 3 in March, 2 in April
Longest break in between games: 8 days – February 2 …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Blue Jays walk eight in 5-3 loss to Oakland Athletics

Yusei Kikuchi just can’t find his command.

He’s struggled all year walking batters left right and center in games, and last Thursday, it appeared he got things back under control.
Oh, what fools we all are.
The Jays needed a big start from the lefty on Tuesday night against the Oakland A’s having dropped a 5-1 stinker before. Instead, they got 2.1 IP where Kikuchi gave seven of the 14 batters he faced a free pass to first plate.
Five walks, two batters hit by pitches, and four earned runs allowed on two hits.

“It’s tough to play behind a guy who isn’t throwing strikes.” – #Bluejays manager Charlie Montoyo.
— Rob Longley (@longleysunsport) July 6, 2022

While Trent Thornton was able to come into the came and right the ship with a solid 2.1 IP allowing just one hit and an earned run while walking one, the damage had been done. Toronto just couldn’t recover and by the end of the night, they tied a season-high walking eight batters by the end of the night.
As tough as the pitching was to watch, the offence was equally as frustrating as we had to watch the Jays outhit the A’s 10-4, but still lose by two runs. While Matt Chapman blew the doors off going 3 for 4 with a two run, 424-foot blast and Teoscar Hernandez smashed a solo home run, the Jays just couldn’t get it going.
In the top of the six, the Jays had a chance to get themselves back into the game. Alejandro Kirk stood at second with Hernandez at first when Chapman hit a deep single into left-center field. Jays 3B coach Luis Rivera inexplica …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation