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Digging into Spencer Horwitz’s breakout season

Coming into the minor league season, the position players of the High-A Vancouver Canadians didn’t excite me in the slightest.

At the start of the MiLB season, the only position player on the Jays top 30 on the Vancouver roster was Will Robertson, and he was injured early in the season. Eventually, Tanner Morris joined him and later Orelvis Martin got the call. Yet, the standout player from the team never got the buzz he deserved.

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Picked in the 24th round in the 2019 draft, the soon-to-be 24-year-old first baseman has had an impressive start to his professional career. While he didn’t look incredibly impressive in his first season, the 2021 season was his breakout.

A run for the record books

Let me take you back to August 10th. At this time, Horwtiz had a .235/.359/.692 slash line, which is rather unimpressive for a 24-year-old in High A. You could see the “non-prospect” title appearing on the horizon, but he basically said “Nope”. 

Starting with a hit on August 10th, Spencer Horwitz put together a record-breaking 27-game hit streak, the most ever in the Northwest League. By the way, this isn’t an on-base streak, this is him hitting the ball and getting to first (or further). Unfortunately, the streak ended on September 11th. Spencer finished the season slashing .290/.401/.864. He also added 10 home runs and a 131 wRC+

That is rather impressive, but the most promising aspect of his game in my opinion is his eye. In A+, he had a higher BB% (14.9%) than K% (14.1%1), meaning that he compliments his ability to hit the ball with the ability to take a walk.

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Just like the hitting streak, Horwitz’s time in A+ ended on September 11th, but I doubt Spencer was upset about this. Five days later, the Jays best prospect at first base was in the lineup for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in Double-A.

New Hampshire

Oddly enough, this section will be the shortest. Not because of anything that Spencer did, but because the call-up came late in the MiLB season. He debuted on September 16th and in his four Double-A games, Spencer had 16 plate appearances and had 6 hits, two of which were home runs (a fifth of his season total) and two doubles.

This is too small of a sample size to judge him, but that begs that question: Why am I so high on him?

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Fall League

If you ask any prospect follower (this is probably you, the reader) the biggest standout of the Arizona Fall League, they’ll immediately answer Gabriel Moreno, another Jays prospect.

However, Spencer’s numbers in Fall League are quite impressive in their own right. While the league is still ongoing in his 14 games played, he has a .386/.478/.986 slash line in 67 plate appearances. Spencer’s .478 on-base percentage ranks eighth for batters in the Arizona Fall League. His .386 batting average ranks seventh amongst batters in the league. Furthermore, he has as many walks as strikeouts (9) in the AFL.

The potential of Spencer Horwitz

Will Spencer be playing in the big leagues in 2022? Probably not. However, this isn’t to say that Spencer doesn’t have the potential to be playing in a few years. With tremendous progress the past season, Spencer Horwitz is an exciting prospect to keep an eye on as he’ll likely start the 2022 MiLB season in Double-A.

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As Always, follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.