Blue Jays Nation’s Mid-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 5: Addison Barger

Photo credit:© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
9 months ago
The next wave of Blue Jays prospects is on the way.
Just a quick recap of the mid-season list: We’ll look at the player’s stats, my observations, and finally other publications (Prospects Live, MLB Pipeline, Baseball America)’ scouting reports.
Let’s take a look at Addison Barger.

Getting to know Addison Barger…

Position: Shortstop/Third base/Second base/Right Field
Bats: Left
Born: November 12, 1999
Acquired: 6th round, 2018 draft (Blue Jays)
Current Team: Triple-A Buffalo
Previous Ranking: 2
Out of any position player in the Blue Jays organization in 2022, Addison Barger had the biggest breakout. In Single-A ball in 2021, he hit 18 homers in 374 plate appearances, but had a lot of swing-and-miss in his game, striking out 32.9% of the time.
He broke onto the scene in 2022 and quickly became one of the Blue Jays’ best position player prospects in the organization. With the High-A Vancouver Canadians, Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, Barger slashed .308/.378/.555 with 26 homers (second in the organization) in 526 plate appearances. Moreover, he dropped his strikeout rate to 24.9%.
So that begs the question, how has his 2023 season been? Without context, not great in reality. With the Bisons, he’s slashing .254/.367/.405 with 7 homers in 343 plate appearances. Barger maintained his great eye at the plate while his K% has dropped, but his 99 wRC+ on the surface level isn’t great.
A potential reason for this is due to an elbow injury he suffered early in the season, which made him miss all of May, and not getting back with the Bisons until late June. Since returning to the Bisons, he’s slashing .260/.379/.433 with a 15.2 BB% and a 17.2 K%, along with six homers in 256 plate appearances. Still not as great as last season, but better than his early season suggests.
Still, Barger has the stuff to be an everyday infielder. For starters, he has some serious raw power from his left-handed swing (despite being naturally right-handed). Barger’s maximum exit velocity of 113.7 mph and hard hit percentage of 40.4% reflect this. In terms of his hit tool, Barger has made enormous strides with pitch detection and the ability to work the count. He may never hit .308 as he did in 2022, but his hit tool is average at worst.
Defensively, he’s most likely to play third base where he has a strong arm. However, the Blue Jays have experimented with the 23-year-old playing right field, where he’s actually played the most in 2023. It’s probable that Matt Chapman will leave the Blue Jays in free agency after this season, and Addison Barger could be the first internal option to replace him entering 2024, and positional versatility will help his case. 

Next up…

In the next article, we’ll look at a prospect with one of the best starts to a major league career… ever. I’ll let you guess who he is.

In case you missed it…

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


Check out these posts...