Blue Jays 40-man Roster Review: Alejandro Kirk is an elite defensive catcher, but needs to be better with the bat in 2024

Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
3 months ago
Alejandro Kirk is one of a few players that needs to improve for the Jays to have success in 2024.
This is the 40-man Roster Review, in which we’re going to take a look back at each player on the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster, and how they performed in 2023, as well as their outlook for 2024.
The 25-year-old catcher was riding high as the 2022 season ended. He put together a terrific season, slashing .285/.372/.415 with 14 homers in 541 plate appearances for a 129 wRC+. Along with winning his first Silver Slugger for catcher, Kirk was also one of six players in the league with a higher BB% (11.6%) than K% (10.7%).
However, the 2023 season with the bat was rough for Kirk. He slashed .250/.334/.358 with eight homers in 422 plate appearances for a 96 wRC+, and had a similar BB% (10%) to K% (10.7%), but it was a sharp contrast from the season prior.
There was some good news regarding Kirk’s 2023 season, as the Mexican catcher earned his first Gold Glove nomination, falling short to Rangers’ catcher Jonah Heim, who actually had a worse defensive season than the Blue Jays backstop. Kirk’s 17 Defensive Runs Saved in 775 innings ranked as the second most for catchers, only behind former Blue Jay Gabriel Moreno (who won the National League Gold Glove).
Baseball has several positions where you’d take good defense over a world-class bat, and there’s not a more important defensive position than catcher. The fact that Kirk excels defensively means he already provides enough value to keep him around. Not just that, but he has a track record and it’s entirely possible that his bad 2023 season with the bat is just a fluke.
According to Fangraphs’ Steamer, they believe he’ll slash .276/.359/.436 with 11 home runs in 376 plate appearances for a 122 wRC+ and a 3.1 fWAR. On top of that the prediction has him posting a 10.7 BB% and an 11.1 K%. If he can have a season like that, it’ll significantly help the Jays.
Kirk’s bat is just a bonus to his Gold Glove calibre defence, but if he can put the two together, he could easily be one of the best catchers in the league.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.


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