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As I sat in the Buffalo Bisons press box Wednesday, preparing to interview a few of the Bisons players after BP, I casually checked the Jays/Brewers score.  

It was 1-0 Jays on a Davis Schneider HR. It’s rare I miss a Jays game but I was fine just checking my phone that day, as I love my trips down to Buffalo to report on the Bisons. 

I checked the score again an hour later, the Jays were down 5-3 in the top of the ninth and were in the midst of a comeback.  

They had loaded the bases, there were no outs, with George Springer at the plate. 

My first thought was “dear god please do anything but hit into a double play”.  George Springer has been one of the biggest disappointments of 2024. 

He’s hitting .198 with a paltry OPS of .592. He’s been far below league average and a rally killer all season.  

That trend was not bucked in that at bat although he struck out and avoided the double play I was worried about.  However the come back ended and the Jays were handed the series loss.

What stood out about this game is who was succeeding.  

It was the guys who one year ago were all playing at the stadium I was sitting in.  Ernie Clement, Davis Schneider and the newly called up Spencer Horwitz all had two hits in the game and were all Buffalo Bisons in 2023. 

All three of them have exceptional approaches at the plate, know their strengths and play a brand of baseball that accentuates them. 

The Buffalo boys continue to be bright spots on what feels like an otherwise dark season.

The other thing about Clement, Schneider and Horwitz is that they are/were not prized prospects. These aren’t bonus babies. 

All three of them had to literally knock the doors down to be given their opportunity because they were not highly drafted or highly touted prospects. 

For lack of a better term, they are blue collar ball players, that put on their hard hats every day and go to work. 

It’s not that guys like Springer & Bichette aren’t working hard, but they were highly touted from the time they were drafted and doors just opened for them because of their pedigree and draft placement.  

The Buffalo Bisons are truly an interesting minor league affiliate because they really do have a lunch pale/go to work vibe to this entire team. 

Outside of Ricky Tiedemann & Orelvis Martinez, there really isn’t another top prospect/high draft pick (Which is a problem in itself but doesn’t diminish what the rest of these guys are doing). 

So I wanted to highlight 3 guys who stand out on this team that could get called up in 2024 and who also truly have that blue collar pedigree. 

I’m not going to include Orelvis Martinez (although I do have a story coming out about his progress this weekend) or Addison Barger (most of you are aware of Addy and he’s already made his MLB debut earlier in the season) 

The new crop of Buffalo Boys:


.302 6 HR 25 RBI, 28 SB OPS .843

Steward Berroa is a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic who was not much more than an afterthought to most ranking the Jays top prospects the last few years.  

He was acquired through the international free agent draft in 2016 for a 10K singing bonus. Jays fans watched late bloomers from the D.R change the direction of the franchise before in Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion and although Berroa has a ways to go to be in that company, he has forced the organization to take a closer look at him.

If an injury arises in the outfield for the Jays, Berroa is a real option to be called up. 

His defence is impressive as he covers as much ground as a human can cover out in centre field. He even robbed a home run at one of the games I covered.  

Steward Berroa currently has 28 stolen bases on the year and is on pace to shatter the Bisons all time record for bases swiped (Cam Eden set the record last year with 57). 

He’s hitting over .300 and regularly turns singles in to doubles and triples as he uses his speed as a weapon on the base path.  

In an MLB that has changed the rules (Base size, pick off attempts) to incentivize stealing bases, Berroa’s value has only increased. 



Damiano Palmegiani just returned to the Bisons lineup on Wednesday after dealing with a minor injury that kept him sidelined the last 10 days.  Despite a slow start to the season, Palmegiani has started to show that power at the plate that he is so highly touted for. 

He hit 25 bombs between Buffalo and AA New Hampshire in 2023 and is already at 7 in limited playing time.  Palmegiani plays first and third quite well. 

Now that he’s healthy, if he can continue to flex that power tool and the Jays need an infielder, a call up could happen if a guy gets injured.  

Oh and he’s Canadian as if you need more reason to root for the guy.



G 25,  ERA 2.67,  IP 30.1,  SO 31,  WHIP 1.12

Fluharty has been the best left handed reliever in Buffalo this season and quite frankly there is a good case to be made that he has been the best bullpen arm in general.  

He averaged a strikeout an inning and has been basically unhittable against lefties all year.  He is young but has rocketed up the depth charts since being drafted two years ago.  

The left handed relievers in the Jays pen this season have struggled.  Both Tim Mayza and Genesis Cabrera were lights out in 2023 but have struggled to find any sense of consistency in 2024. 

If injuries or struggles continue, Fluhuarty is certainly to be strongly considered for a call up and make his MLB debut.

The Blue Jays farm system absolutely lacks those highly touted prospects with the high ceiling. Player development has been a problem for this organization since the Atkins/Shapiro regime has been in place. 

However, there are some bright spots in the Bisons clubhouse who have had to work for every inch they have been given. 

Schneider, Clement, and Horwitz have proved the Blue Collar, get it done style of baseball can get you to the show and in a spot to contribute to a big league roster.


About Sportswave



Sportswave Productions is located in Delta, BC.
Sportswave promotes/broadcasts Amateur Sports within the Lower Mainland.
He was recognized by Ravi Kahlon, BC’s MLA Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation in September 11, 2017.
In December 2022 he was Awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Pin.
Awarded Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award for tangible for significant assistant given for the better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.
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