A Fortnight on the Farm: Tenth (and final) Edition

That’s another MiLB season in the books, apart from the 10 game “post-season-season” that the AAA level is about to commence.

I’ll make note of that in a couple of weeks when I attempt a season-review possibly “hot take” prospect list in a couple of weeks. None of the teams that are finished are playoff-bound, though the Bisons did score the division championship in the AAA-East. But these columns have always been more about individual prospects than team wins and losses anyway.
Buffalo
While his brief tour in the majors didn’t set the league on fire, Kevin Smith came back with hits in his first four games before going cold over the weekend. But he ended the regular season with a .916 OPS and there’s nothing to be disappointed with there.  Fellow top prospect Otto Lopez ended up with almost half as many at-bats at AAA as he had at New Hampshire. He wasn’t as dominant as he’d been at the lower level (naturally) but it’s worth noticing that manager Casey Candele took the brakes off on the bases. He stole 7 in 10 tries at AA, and 12 without being caught once in AAA. Good baserunning is …

Read More

Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

10 notable games to watch during the Toronto Maple Leafs 2021-22 season

The 2021-22 NHL season is fast approaching for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and there are a handful of notable games on their schedule that all fans should be looking forward to this season. Whether the most exciting game to you is the Maple Leafs season opener or home opener, the game where they play a big rival, a game where they play the team that knocked them out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs the year prior… we won’t go there.
Anyways, this season is going to be a great one, not only because we fans get hockey back again, but it’s also an 82-game season and the normal divisions are back for the first time since the 2019-20 season. All in all, this season is filled with games that are must-watch if you are a Toronto Maple Leafs fan and I’m going to get into them right now.
 
Game 1: October 13, 2021 – Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs – @ 7:00 PM ET
The first notable game on the Toronto Maple Leafs 2021-22 schedule is none other than their first game of the season which they play on home ice. What better way than playing your first game of …

Read More

Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Establishing expectations for the new look Leafs heading into training camp

It’s election season, and maybe that’s why I’ve felt the need to poll the TLN Contributors so much lately. We’ve ranked prospects, we’ve ranked the roster, and at the same time we ranked the roster I managed to sneak in a few other questions about the Leafs roster for our crew to answer.

Not to spoil the rest of the rankings, but it’s interesting to see that Michael Bunting who is the first to appear on our rankings received more votes that Nick Ritchie or Alexander Kerfoot to appear on the left side of Auston Matthews. Ritchie seems to be the front runner based on draft pedigree and size, and Kerfoot seems to be viewed as Tavares line bound. Perhaps the feistiness of Bunting seems more of the Hyman characteristics that need replacing than the physical play. And of course since we’re talking about replacing Hyman it’s worth noting that one of our voters had a hard time accepting that he’s moved on.

As demonstrated by our rankings, we aren’t completely sold on the idea of David Kampf. What we’ve learned in the couple of weeks since we voted …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs depth will likely see Robertson start with the Marlies

Nick Robertson called this past season with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Marlies a “rough one.” He suffered a knee injury, an oblique injury during the middle of the year, and a concussion that ended his season. The 20-year-old, though, is ready to flip the script and enter a brand new chapter.
“I’m excited. I think, first off, I’m healthy, right. Last year, I had to deal with an injury prior to camp, and having multiple injuries during the year ruined my momentum and my overall confidence.” Said Robertson to the media at the beginning of Leafs development camp. “So now, I’m healthy, I’m ready to go and now the season’s looking more like normal, starting in October, longer season, fans back in the building, so I’m looking forward to that.“
Entering this development camp, two things that Senior Director of Player Development, Hayley Wickenheiser, echoed for Robertson was to “dial it back a bit” and allow the play to come to him. Through the camp, he improved on being more patient with opportunities, said Wickenheiser. For dialling it back, though, I don’t believe Robertson will do that anytime soon.

Hayley Wickenheiser …

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Players are thrilled to finally head back to Toronto after 2020

Raptors: Players are thrilled to finally head back to Toronto after 2020

After a season spent far away from their Canadian home, the Toronto Raptors are finally coming back north, as it was officially announced that the Raptors will play their home games at Scotiabank Arena for the first time since the pandemic-induced hiatus the league took in 2021. Players like Gary Trent Jr. and Khem Birch […]
Raptors: Players are thrilled to finally head back to Toronto after 2020 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Franchise Hockey Manager 7 predicts the rest of John Tavares’ career

I’m not sure if you are aware, but a brand new NHL season is right around the corner and that means the Leafs will be returning to the ice soon.
Isn’t that exciting? No? Moving on.
The ever longing dread of getting hopes up for a franchise that is currently associated with a four-digit number and an embarrassing ending to their previous campaign is starting to creep up again. The blindly optimistic are eager to emerge from their caves and shout to the mountain tops that “This is the year.” Others are looking ahead to when the playoffs start and will only judge on how the postseason fares. All of this is in anticipation of a home opener that will host fans for the first time since 2019, which just so happened to be the day John Tavares was revealed as the team captain.
Speaking of Tavares (who seems to be recovering nicely from his scary concussion), he is a player that I have yet to do a career simulation on and today seems like the perfect opportunity to do just that. And as you can tell by the title of this piece, we are changing up how we …

Read More

Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Who will be the Marlies starting goaltender?

With the 2021-22 season about to ramp up and training camps beginning in a few weeks, I thought I’d dive a little bit deeper into the Toronto Marlies goalie situation. There are four goaltenders who could have the starters role on opening night, but one could be up with the Maple Leafs.
In this video, I discuss why two of the three goalies have a stronger chance to become the starter, with the other net minder heading down to the Newfoundland Growlers.
I hope you enjoy the video!

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Getting to know Hagen Danner, a catcher the Blue Jays have converted into a pitching prospect

The Blue Jays may not make the playoffs this season. In fact, with each passing day, Blue Jays fans are getting the Julius Caesar treatment. All these winnable games that have turned into losses are the equivalent to Caesar getting poked 23 times at the steps of the Pompey Theatre. It’s been a slow and painful season to watch a team underperform.

It’s not all bad, however, as the one thing I find enjoyable with the Blue Jays at the moment is writing articles about current prospects, which is what this article will be about.
With the 61st pick in the 2017 draft:
I’ve mentioned this player before in an article. In fact, Hagen Danner’s name came up in my last article about Chavez Young.  The Toronto Blue Jays drafted a 18-year-old catcher/pitcher Hagen Danner out of Hunting Beach High School. According to Pipeline’s top 200 draft picks, these are Hagen Danner’s grades and there are a lot of them as a 2-way player.
Grades:
As a hitter:
Hit: 50
Power: 45
Run: 30
Arm: 60
Field: 55
Overall: 50
As a pitcher:
Fastball: 60
Curveball: 50
Changeup: 50
Control: 55
Overall: 50
Hagen Danner ranked as the 41st best draftable prospect in 2017, so how did he …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

A Fortnight On The Farm: Volume Eight

The full season farm teams are at or just passed the 3/4 mark, the majority of likely promotions among them have occurred (apart from those driven by the specific needs of any given team) though I should not be surprised to see some complex team players added to the D-Jays down the stretch. At this point in the season, some players have slowed due to fatigue (particularly given the absence of a season at all last year) and some presumably have flagged and then gotten their wind again. Shorter trends can be misleading, so we’ll take that into account.

Buffalo
For basically the whole season I’ve put the spotlight on Kevin Smith, and now he’s in the majors. Recently the team enjoyed the arrival of Otto Lopez but he, also, was with the big team for much of the past week (in 11 games before the promotion he seemed to have hardly missed a beat, with an .814 OPS). Scanning down the list of hitters you’ll find those on top are promoted or traded or otherwise left the team. Those left are mostly veterans. Nonetheless, this is the one among the teams in the system enjoying success, sitting in …

Read More

Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Best case scenario for 4 star players in 2020-21

Toronto Raptors: Best case scenario for 4 star players in 2020-21

This upcoming NBA season could be one of the most unpredictable and intriguing in the history of the Toronto Raptors. This team did just lose Kyle Lowry and is coming off of an 11th place finish in the East, so a rebuild makes sense. Likewise, this team is full of holdovers from 2019, so a […]
Toronto Raptors: Best case scenario for 4 star players in 2020-21 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Kahfeel Buchanan / Raptors HQ