Ten Blue Jays minor league players elect free agency, including Elvis Luciano

On Thursday, Blue Jays minor league players elected free agency.

Updated on the transaction page on Friday evening, there are 10 minor leaguers whose contracts weren’t extended/decided against signing with the Jays:
C Ryan Gold
RHP Jake Elliottt
RHP Elvis Luciano
RHP Brady Lail
LHP Trey Cumbie
RHP José De León
OF Yoshi Tsutsugo
RHP Eric Yardley
RHP Casey Lawrence
SS Eric Stamets
The most noticeable name is Elvis Luciano, who was a Rule 5 draft pick in 2019. The right-handed pitcher was the first player born in the 2000s to play in Major League Baseball. With the 2019 Jays, he had a 5.35 ERA and 5.56 FIP in 33.2 innings pitched, along with a 17 K% and 15.1 BB%, pitching in relief. 

At just 19 years old, Elvis Luciano has a scoreless @MLB debut in the books! #LetsGoBlueJays pic.twitter.com/N3zTPsFAtv
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) April 1, 2019

This looks bad, but Luciano was only 19 years old and wasn’t ready for the big leagues, but had to remain on the Jays’ 26-man roster.
Luciano spent most of the 2022 season on the minor league injured list, as he had a stress fracture in his pitching arm. Last season in New Hampshire, he had a 3.16 ERA and a 4.54 FIP in 37 innings.
Other former major leaguers that elected free agency/weren’t signed are Casey Lawrence, Eric Yardley, Yoshi Tsutsugo, José De León, and Brady Lail.
In the mid-10s, De León was regarded as a top prospect, but injuries have hampered his career. He has an 8.44 ERA and 5.98 FIP in 48 innings pitched with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, and Cinncinati Reds. This season, the 30-year-old had a 4.35 ERA and 5.15 FIP, along with a 31.3 K% and 14.6 BB% in 10.1 innings with the Bisons.
Casey Lawrence is another name of note, as he was the only pitcher on the list that pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2022. While his 7.50 ERA and 6.34 FIP weren’t great, Lawrence was a guy who could eat innings in a pinch. He had a 2.79 ERA and 4.16 FIP in 126 innings pitched with the Buffalo Bisons.
We here at Blue Jays Nation wish nothing but the best for …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Raptors show love to Pascal Siakam with assistant coach hire

Raptors show love to Pascal Siakam with assistant coach hire

The Toronto Raptors are fortunate to have one of the best players in the league at their disposal in Pascal Siakam. When you have a player capable of being such a dominant force, it’s only natural that the organization will have to go out of its way to make sure some of his close associates […]
Raptors show love to Pascal Siakam with assistant coach hire – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: PG Dalano Banton

Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: PG Dalano Banton

The Toronto Raptors added a handful of new young players via the draft and free agency this season, showing their organizational commitment to building from within via development. That philosophy helped Dalano Banton get some quality NBA time despite his second-round pick status. Banton, a Rexdale native who became the first Canadian player to be […]
Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: PG Dalano Banton – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid-Season Prospect Countdown: 10-1

The last article in the series, featuring players ranked 10th to 1st!

Here are all the other articles and if you want to do the countdown the right way, you can click the article title below to read them first.
Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid-Season Prospect Countdown: The Players Who Just Missed The Top 60 List
Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid-Season Prospect Countdown: 60-51
Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid Season Prospect Countdown: 50-41
Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid Season Prospect Countdown: 40-31
Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid Season Prospect Countdown: 30-21
Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid-Season Prospect Countdown: 20-11
As in each of those articles, I’ll be using clips of players in High A, Double A, and Triple A throughout the series of articles. For players in Dunedin, I’ll be using exit velocities numbers, pitching velocity as well as clips from the three series on MiLB TV.
For players in the Rookie Leagues (Florida Complex League and Dominican Summer League), we’ll strictly be using the season numbers. Furthermore, the year is done for those individuals.
Also, the most important aspect to me when evaluating players is their statistics, as it quantifies what players do with the tools. Afterward, their ceiling/floor is important, while proximity to the MLB matters for some, especially closer to 60.
Starting with our tenth best prospect.
#10 Yosver Zulueta:
This one may be surprising to you, but while I think Yosver Zulueta could be a mid-rotation starter or a high-leverage reliever, there are some issues that push me away from placing him higher up in this article.
Signed in 2019, Zulueta missed 2020 due to COVID (and Tommy John) and 2021 due to an ACL tear.

Zulueta just fanned his first runner throwing…
100 mph!!!!!!#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/RjpNT5v6Jl
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 7, 2022

The 24-year-old started his first full professional season with the Dunedin Blue Jays, posting a 3 ERA and a 1.41 FIP in 12 innings pitched. He had an incredibly high 45.1 K% in those 12 innings while limiting walks to 5.9%.
He was promoted to High A Vancouver, where he posted a 3.80 ERA and 3.37 FIP in 23.2 innings pitched. Zulueta’s K% dropped to 30.4, while his BB% increased to 10.8, a worrisome sign as he started to pitch against players his age.

Zulueta has a pretty nasty slider as well.
K thread.#BlueJays #NextLevel pic.twitter.com/neNOJCuYiK
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) July 24, 2022

Zulueta continued to rise up the levels of the minor leagues, as he pitched 10.1 innings with the Double A Fishe …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: #13 Mikko Kokkonen

Few players in the Toronto Maple Leafs system have a career progression as enigmatic as Mikko Kokkonen.
Kokkonen made his debut in the Finnish league at 15 years old and remains the youngest player in league history. By his draft year, he was a regular in the league, scoring the most points by a draft-eligible defenceman in Liiga in 17 years. When the Leafs drafted him in 2019 in the third round, it seemed like a no-brainer in terms of value at that selection.
However, his results have remained relatively stagnant in the three years since. As a result, Mikko Kokkonen falls down the TLN Top 20 Prospect Rankings for the second consecutive year, from #10 last summer to #13 in 2022.
Mikko Kokkonen
LD | Pelicans (Liiga) | Age: 21 | 5-foot-11 | 194 lbs | Shoots: LAcquired: 2019 Draft, 84th Overall | 2021 Ranking: #10
There was a sense of optimism surrounding Mikko Kokkonen heading into the 2021-22 season.
For starters, he was coming off of a strong showing at the end of the previous year, having joined the Toronto Marlies on an amateur try-out to finish the season. There, he produced seven points in 11 games, nearly matching the 10 points he scored in 39 more games during the Finnish league season.
Combined with his posit …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Raptors waive Armoni Brooks after brief tenure in Toronto

Raptors waive Armoni Brooks after brief tenure in Toronto

The Toronto Raptors signed a collection of role players, including famed actor Juancho Hernangomez, to short, non-guaranteed deals with the goal of battling it out in training camp for one of the final roster spots. Armoni Brooks figured to number among that group. After the Houston Rockets decided to cut bait with the 3-point marksman, […]
Raptors waive Armoni Brooks after brief tenure in Toronto – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors one of 4 teams at “forefront” of Kevin Durant trade talks

Raptors one of 4 teams at “forefront” of Kevin Durant trade talks

The Toronto Raptors are rarely considered to be major players in the NBA’s annual trade sweepstakes, but they managed to make their presence firmly felt in the Kevin Durant chase. Toronto remains very active in its attempt to secure KD’s services. Masai Ujiri has preached patience in building this roster, but their surprise leap to […]
Raptors one of 4 teams at “forefront” of Kevin Durant trade talks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ