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Blue Jays 2024 Season Projections — Justin Turner and Isiah Kiner-Falefa

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Photo credit:© Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Prasad
26 days ago
We are just a few days away from the start of the 2024 Major League Baseball season. The Toronto Blue Jays will enter the year with a vengeance to succeed and surpass their limits of 2022 and 2023 when they prematurely exited the playoffs. 
Toronto made slender additions to their roster in the off-season, moves that don’t quite address the entirety of the needs that the club had coming into the winter but are spot-fillers, to say the least. The Blue Jays will rely on returning talent to spark their abilities and set the tone for the newcomers of the club. The new additions will play an applicable role in some of the unoccupied holes in the lineup and defensive alignment. 
Justin Turner and Isiah Kiner-Falefa are new with the Blue Jays but not so fresh to the environment. They’ve both competed in the notorious American League East recently, as Turner played with the Boston Red Sox last season and Kiner-Falefa spent the past few years playing for the New York Yankees. 
Let’s start with Justin Turner. First and foremost, Turner brings experience to this ball club that includes 15 professional playing years, two all-star appearances, and multiple playoff runs and World Series appearances.  Blue Jays fans were somewhat confused about this signing but it is as clear as day that Turner is here for his bat and reliability at the dish. Turner spent nine years with the Los Angeles Dodgers in various pennant-chasing scenarios and totalled some astounding numbers. In those seasons with the Dodgers, he recorded a .296 batting average with a .375 on-base percentage and a .490 slugging percentage. 
Some may say that Turner, being almost 40 years of age, is not the fit Toronto needs in the lineup; recent stats beg to differ. In 2023, Turner slashed a .276 batting average, a .345 on-base percentage, and a .455 slugging percentage. He has the ability to put the bat on the ball, hitting the ball violently while putting together quality at-bats. His strikeout tendencies are slim, and is quite dependable to put the ball in play. He recorded 154 hits last year with 96 RBIs and 23 home runs. He has a strong pull-side swing that equals 37.9% pull, with a 16.5 launch angle that shot the majority of his home runs to left field. With a shorter wall in Toronto, his cuts will fly further. Projection wise, Turner may see 500-550 plate appearances and will sit around the 140-150 hits with 88-95 RBIs and 25 home runs. 
Isiah Kiner-Falefa was another questionable signing by Toronto. Despite having never posted an OPS above .700 in his big-league career, Toronto committed $15 million to the super-utility player while many other similar players wound up singing for quite a bit less. 
Though the contract is probably a bit steep, IKF is a veteran who can bring value to the Blue Jays in a few different ways. The pros to this signing were the utility factor positionally, as he’s capable of playing all around the diamond, and the spike in the running game on the base pads. Kiner-Falefa can run, as he snagged 14 bags last year. 
Projection-wise, Kiner-Falefa may see between 375-450 at-bats, estimated at nine home runs and 48 RBIs over 122-135 hits. He projects to have 18-20 stolen bags, which would be helpful for the Blue Jays at the bottom of their lineup before it flips over to the big bats at the top. 

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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