Lugnuts to remain affiliated with Toronto Blue Jays

Lugnuts to remain affiliated with Toronto Blue Jays

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Lugnuts to remain affiliated with Toronto Blue Jays

Current Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris, left, and Blue Jays starter and 2016 AL ERA leader Aaron Sanchez are among the major league players groomed by the Lansing Lugnuts during their affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Current Detroit Tigers pitcher Daniel Norris, left, and Blue Jays starter and 2016 AL ERA leader Aaron Sanchez are among the major league players groomed by the Lansing Lugnuts during their affiliation with the Toronto Blue Jays.

It’s been a strong recent stretch for the Lansing Lugnuts in churning out major league talent.

And that stretch will continue with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The clubs announced Tuesday a two-year extension in their player development contract through the 2018 season.

“We are thrilled to extend our agreement with the Lansing Lugnuts,” Blue Jays director of player development Gil Kim said in a released statement. “Owner Tom Dickson and general manager Nick Grueser are first class people who have a genuine interest in developing Blue Jays players. They operate a first class organization, which is reflected in the passionate fan base, good ballpark atmosphere and a knowledgeable front office. Our players are fortunate to benefit from the professional atmosphere in Lansing.”

The Lugnuts, who completed their 21st season last month, have been the Single-A Midwest League affiliate for the Blue Jays since 2005. During that time Lansing has been a stopping spot for a number of Toronto’s top prospects that are now finding success in the majors. Detroit Tigers pitchers Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd, New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, Blue Jays pitchers Roberto Osuna and Aaron Sanchez and outfielder Kevin Pillar and Cincinnati Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani are among the players that have played in Lansing the last five years.

Lansing has reached the Midwest League playoffs six times and produced 36 major leaguers since beginning its partnership with the Blue Jays in 2005.

“This is terrific news for the city of Lansing,” Dickson said. “The Toronto Blue Jays consistently provide high-character, high-ceiling baseball players. Our fans were able to enjoy watching great players like Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna and Daniel Norris. Each season we are excited to see who follows in their footsteps.”

Contact Brian Calloway at bcalloway@lsj,com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway

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