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Blue Jays 40-man Roster Review: Ernie Clement deserves to be in the mix for a spot on the 26-man roster

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Photo credit:© Isaiah J. Downing - USA Today
Brennan Delaney
2 months ago
Ernie Clement started to hit for power in 2023.
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.
Clement made his professional debut in 2018, and from that season until 2022, he had 1,340 minor league plate appearances with eight home runs and 66 doubles. If you look at his pre-2023 MLB numbers, he had a total of 1,652 plate appearances, 11 home runs, and 74 doubles.
Well, Clement far exceeded those numbers in 2023 between Triple-A Buffalo Bisons and the Toronto Blue Jays. With Buffalo, he hit 11 home runs in just 320 plate appearances, that’s three more than he had in 1,340 previous minor league plate appearances. He also hit a home run in the big leagues, giving him 12 for the season, and surpassing the 11 he had in 1,652 previous plate appearances.
Of course, Clement also had a fantastic season beyond the home runs. In 2023 with the Bisons, he slashed .348/.401/.544 in 320 plate appearances, with an 8.1 BB% and a 5 K%, an absolutely insane number to think about. He was great in his limited big league appearances as well, slashing .380/.385/.500 in 52 plate appearances, along with a 1.9 BB% and a 7.7 K%.
Clement is a fantastic contact hitter, and the increase in power is notable, but his value doesn’t just come from his bat. The 27-year-old played everywhere in 2023. Here’s a chart of the positions Clement played in 2023, as well as the number of innings.
Position:Innings:
First base:69.1
Second base:56
Shortstop383
Third base:78.2
Left Field34
Right Field8
The wonderful Defensive Runs Saved and Outs Above Average aren’t available in the minors, but Clement had 4 Defensive Runs Saved and 2 Outs Above Average in 100 innings at shortstop in 2023 with the Jays. He’s also a competent third baseman, posting 4 DRS and 5 OAA in 201.1 innings at the hot corner in 2022. The 27-year-old super utility didn’t play in the outfield with the Jays, but he had 1 DRS and -1 OAA in 78 innings in 2022.
Heck, Ernie Clement even pitched for the Blue Jays last season, meaning the only positions he hasn’t played in the organization are catcher and centre field. He has experience in centre though, as he’s played 86 games at the position dating back to his college and summer ball days.
With the improved power, great contact ability, and the defensive skills to play at every position, Ernie Clement should be an MLB regular in 2024.

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

ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETANO

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