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Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown: No. 8: Addison Barger

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Photo credit:© Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
1 month ago
Today’s prospect was one of the biggest breakout stars in 2022, but struggled with injuries in 2023.
This is Blue Jays Nation’s annual pre-season list, in which I’ll take a look at the top 50 prospects in the organization. We’ll look at the player’s stats, my observations, and other publications’ scouting reports if available.
Let’s take a look at Addison Barger.

Getting to know Addison Barger…

Position: Third base/Shortstop/Second base/Right field
Bats: Left
Born: November 12, 1999
Acquired: 6th-round, 2018 draft (Blue Jays)
2023 Team: Triple-A Buffalo
Previous Ranking: 5
Drafted out of high school in the 2018 draft, Barger had a slow start to his career as a prospect. In 2018 with the Gulf Coast League Jays (basically the Florida Complex League), Barger slashed .194/.318/.322 with three homers in 214 plate appearances for an 88 wRC+. The following year in the now defunct Rookie Advanced class, Barger slashed a much better .283/.345/.434 with two homers in 58 plate appearances, but spent much of the season on the restricted list.
In 2021 with the Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays, Barger slashed .249/.334/.492 with 18 home runs in 374 plate appearances. While the power was an encouraging sign, Barger had a 32.9 K%, which is on the rather high side, along with a 9.6 BB%. He also had a cup of coffee in Vancouver during the 2021 season, getting just 19 plate appearances and hitting a double.
The 2022 season is when it all changed for Barger as a prospect, as he stormed out of the gate in Vancouver slashing .300/.366/.558 with 14 homers in 292 plate appearances, along with an 8.6 BB% and a 26 K%. After his promotion to Double-A New Hampshire, Barger slashed .313/.384/.528 with nine homers in 198 plate appearances, along with a 9.1 BB% and a 25.3 K%.
Barger made it all the way to Triple-A in 2022, where he slashed .355/.444/.677 with three homers in just 36 plate appearances to end a fantastic 2022 season. Now ranked as a top 10 prospect, Barger had a slow start to the 2023 season, where he slashed .237/.333/.329 with a home run in 87 plate appearances. Moreover, his K% jumped back up to 31%, a worrisome sign after his 2022 season.
The infielder missed nearly two months with an elbow injury, but returned to Buffalo on June 21, 2023. In his remaining 310 plate appearances, Barger slashed .254/.358/.424 with eight home runs. More encouragingly, Barger had a 13.5 BB% and a 19 K%, which was more similar to what we saw from him in 2022.
So what makes Barger a top 10 prospect in the Blue Jays organization? Well, it’s the power. Interestingly, Barger is naturally a right-handed batter, but it’s hard to tell because of how pretty the swing is when he connects. He pairs that with a strong arm that’ll allow him to play around the field.
As for where publication’s rank the 24-year-old, Fangraphs has him as their fourth-best Blue Jays prospect. TSN’s Scott Mitchell has him ranked a little bit lower as Toronto’s seventh-best prospect, while Baseball America has him ranked fifth-overall in the Jays organization.
Fangraphs note that his swing is fun when on, but frustrating when off, with the latter leading to an elevated strikeout rate. Defensively, Barger’s arm could play anywhere but Fangraphs believes that he’ll play third base and right field the most. Mitchell also notes that Barger has actually hit left-handed pitching quite well throughout his career, so there’s a solid chance he’s an everyday player.
The 2024 season will be a big one for Barger, as the Blue Jays have a gaping hole at third base, and could even use a second baseman. It’s Barger’s for the taking, but he needs to have a strong Spring Training and start to his season in Buffalo.

In case you missed it…

Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown: The honourable mentions
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 18: Adam Macko
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 17: Jace Bohrofen
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 16: Alex De Jesus
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 15: Dahian Santos
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 14: Enmanuel Bonilla
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 13: Tucker Toman
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 12: Landen Maroudis
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 11: Juaron Watts-Brown
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 10: Damiano Palmegiani
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 9: Leo Jimenez

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

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