Will Svi Mykhailiuk burn Raptors after signing with Knicks?

Will Svi Mykhailiuk burn Raptors after signing with Knicks?

The Toronto Raptors experienced with a few different players in positions of prominence on the bench, but very few of them took to those enhanced roles. Svi Mykhailiuk tried his best, but he never seemed to really get into a groove after a promising start. Mykhailiuk was brought into Toronto with the expectation that he […]
Will Svi Mykhailiuk burn Raptors after signing with Knicks? – 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: PF Chris Boucher

Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: PF Chris Boucher

The Toronto Raptors had the opportunity to cleanly break with Chris Boucher after he hit unrestricted free agency. With Thad Young having been interested in returning, the swap seemed like it was inevitable. Boucher managed to surprise Raptors fans when he decided to return to Toronto along with Young. Boucher signed a three-year, $35 million […]
Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: PF Chris Boucher – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The almost certain break up of the Tavares, Nylander, and Kerfoot line

It’s late summer and I was all prepared to come at you with an article today going into the merits of splitting up Tavares and Nylander and trying to spread the offense around to three lines. There might still be some interest in doing that, and I’ll discuss it, but the numbers certainly don’t support it. What it looks like the numbers support is that Kerfoot if he returns this season, shouldn’t be on that line. That’s certainly an idea worth exploring as the salary cap could dictate it as a necessity for the Leafs anyway, and it probably makes sense to prepare for that outcome.
Last start with the place where most bad ideas start, and that’s with WOWYs. The second we start breaking down the large sample of a season into these smaller bite sized samples there is a lot more situational context at play. For one late in the game when the Leafs are looking for offensive opportunities the Leafs will put Nylander and Tavares out on the ice but not necessarily Kerfoot. When Kerfoot was playing with Nyland …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Can Raptors beat Knicks’ best offer for Donovan Mitchell?

Can Raptors beat Knicks’ best offer for Donovan Mitchell?

The Toronto Raptors have been trying with all their might to make sure that Kevin Durant ends up on the squad, but he’s not the only game-changer Masai Ujiri has set his sights on. Jazz star Donovan Mitchell has been dangled in trade talks for the last few months as Danny Ainge eyes a rebuild […]
Can Raptors beat Knicks’ best offer for Donovan Mitchell? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: #15 Dmitry Ovchinnikov

With the current Leafs’ management regime having a reputation for capitalizing on market inefficiencies such as trading down at the draft to acquire more picks, it turned some heads when they traded up in the fifth round of the 2020 draft in order to secure Russian forward Dmitry Ovchinnikov.
Ovchinnikov has continued to turn heads since, establishing himself as a legitimate prospect with stellar production in his draft+1 season where he netted 51 points in just 40 games – good enough for the third highest points per game mark among MHL players who suited up for at least 20 games. His strong play at the junior level earned him some time in the KHL but he was mostly relegated to bench warming duty as an 18-year-old.
The 2021-22 season was a similar story for Ovchinnikov and he racked up 29 points in just 22 games for Siberskie Snaipery. He had seemingly outgrown the MHL, and with Sibir being one of the few KHL clubs without a VHL affiliate, he was caught between being too good for the junior level but not yet gaining the full trust of his coaches in the KHL. He suited up for 17 KHL games but averaged just over five minutes of i …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The qualifying offer remains, which is a good thing for the Blue Jays

Monday was the deadline for the MLB and MLBPA to work out a deal with the international draft.

As you could tell by the title, there wasn’t a deal reached before the deadline. This means that the qualifying offer will remain and that there’ll be no international draft.
How the Jays have used the qualifying offer to their advantage:
Last season, the Blue Jays extended a qualifying offer to Cy Young winner Robbie Ray and MVP nominee Marcus Semien. Both declined and signed with AL West teams, giving the Jays two compensation picks.
With these picks, they drafted Tucker Toman, a projected first-rounder, and Cade Doughty, someone who easily could’ve been drafted in the middle of round two. 
While losing all-star calibre players sounds like a losing strategy, the Jays were able to sign Kevin Gausman (who didn’t have a qualifying offer) and trade for Matt Chapman, filling the holes left by Ray and Semien.
I’d argue that the Jays also could have extended a qualifying offer to pitcher Steven Matz because in the worst-case scenario, he’d of made $18 million or so over one season if he accepted. Had Matz declined it and signed with St. Louis, the Jays would’ve received another pick.
Internal Ramifications:
Fast-forward a year, and the Jays are in a situation where a pitcher is pitching his ass off. Ross Stripling has a 3.10 ERA and a 3.12 FIP in 78.1 innings pitched this season. He has a K/9 of 7.12 and a BB/9 of 1.72, along with a …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Grading each day of the MLB Draft for the Blue Jays

With the draft out of the way, let’s recap how the Jays did.

In this article, I’ll be going by each of the three days and how the Jays by giving a letter grade (with context, of course). Essentially, they got two first rounders and two second rounds on day one. On day two, they added a bunch of high upside relievers for less than the slot value, something they need.
On day three, the Jays shocked me by picking five prep players. Usually, teams will pick a high school player or two in the late rounds as a “hedge” pick. Essentially this means that if they fail to sign someone in the first few rounds, that bonus pool money could be used for the hedge pick.
I’ll take you back to Sunday, where the draft finally ended at 1:00 AM.
Day one:
On Sunday, the Blue Jays had four picks, the 23rd overall, the 60th overall, the 77th overall and the 78th overall. Let’s go through each of the picks one by one (which I won’t do for day 2 and 3).
23rd overall, LHP Brandon Barriera:
They shocked me by picking a high school pitcher with their first round pick, something the team hasn’t done since 2013. The last time a high school pitcher was drafted in the first round and signed with the Blue Jays was Roy Halladay in 1995, three years before I was born.

Here’s a glimpse at #BlueJays 1st-round selection Brandon Barriera: #MLBDraftpic.twitter.com/j1z6OJj1T4
— Thomas Hall (@ThomasHall85) July 18, 2022

Barriera wa …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Toronto Blue Jays have selected Josh Kasevich with the 60th overall pick

With the 60th overall pick, the Blue Jays selected Josh Kasevich.

Kasevich is a right-handed batter shortstop drafted from the University of Oregon. At 6’2, 200 lb, there is potential for more pop from the 21-year-old middle infield.
This season with the Oregon Ducks, he slashed .310/.383/.445 with seven homers. Kasevich walked (BB% of 8.66%) more times than he struck out (K% of 5.78%), meaning that the righty is a contact hitter.

With the 60th overall pick in the MLB Draft the #BlueJays select SS Josh Kasevich from Oregon. Really good contact and on-base skills, could stick at shortstop, too: pic.twitter.com/y8E4FdAZsY
— Mitch Bannon (@MitchBannon) July 18, 2022

For his collegiate career, he slashed .303/.374/.424 with eleven homers. He had the same K% and BB% of 8.43.
Baseball America notes that he has a flat bat path which doesn’t allow him to elevate the ball often, but he still showed great plate discipline which allowed him to walk more than strikeout.
According to MLB Pipeline, Kasevich is considered one of the better defenders in his NCAA league. He has a great arm that is accurate and has excellent instincts (hands and footwork). 

Josh Kasevich’s offensive talents are going to receive plenty of love, and rightly so, but he features a solid glove, too. #BlueJays pic.twitter.com/qNHdZD5Gng
— Thomas Hall (@ThomasHall85) July 18, 2022

Baseball America notes that he doesn’t have a “quick-twich lower half” that scouts like in a big league shortstop. However, he only made 14 errors with Oregon. Kasevich is an average runner as well.
Here are his grades according to MLB Pipeline:
Hit: 50
Power: 40
Run: 50
Arm: 55
Field: 55
Overall: 50
If he develops more pop, he could become an excellent prospect.
It’s likely that the 21-year-old Kasevich starts in High A as he’s likely advanced enough for that level.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Why Masai Ujiri, Raptors have leverage in Kevin Durant talks

Why Masai Ujiri, Raptors have leverage in Kevin Durant talks

The Toronto Raptors may not end up with Kevin Durant when all of the dust settles after his trade request, but it won’t be from a lack of trying. Masai Ujiri has ensured that Toronto is consistently mentioned as a landing spot as the trade saga rages on. Toronto’s chances, however slim they may be, […]
Why Masai Ujiri, Raptors have leverage in Kevin Durant talks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Prospect Profile: Alejandro Melean

With Ricky Tiedemann, Sem Robberse and Chad Dallas on the Vancouver Canadians, you may have never heard of Alejandro Melean.

It’s understandable, really. Prior to this season, the 21-year-old righty never put up spectacular results, but he’s been absolutely killing it with the Canadians this season. Let’s start with the previous years.
Background:
The Blue Jays signed Alejandro Melean out of Venezuela during the 2017-2018 International Free Agent period for $775,000, according to MLB’s official site. 
This period saw the Jays sign former top 5 Jays prospect, Eric Pardinho for $1.4 million. The team also signed current number six prospect Leonardo Jimenez ($825,000) and their twelfth ranked prospect, Miguel Hiraldo ($750,000).
While this wasn’t quite as good as the previous season (Alejandro Kirk Gabriel Moreno, Lourdes Gurriel Jr, Otto Lopez), the Jays had a solid period in terms of adding a lot of solid prospects.
It wasn’t a great start:
In his first professional season with the state-side rookie league team, Melean posted a 4.68 ERA and 5.86 FIP in 32.2 innings pitched. There were worrisome signs, as his BB/9 sat at 6.06 while his K/9 was a solid 8.54.
Melean pitched with the Rookie Advanced Bluefield Blue Jays and once again struggled. In 21 innings pitched, he had a 5.57 ERA and a 5.06 FIP. While his K/9 increased to 10.71, his BB/9 had a slight increase to 6.43, meaning he was struggling to keep runners off the bases.
Melean pitched at two different levels in 2021 and showed improvements. He started the season with Low A Dunedin, posting a …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation