Blue Jays – Spencer Horwitz is taking advantage of the opportunity to play everyday

Photo credit:© David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Shushkewich
22 days ago

It’s no secret that Spencer Horwitz can put the ball in play. The Blue Jays prospect posted a .850 OPS through three years at Radford University before turning professional and since the 2019 MLB Draft, he continues to execute on the diamond. Through parts of five seasons in the Minor Leagues, where Horwitz started the 2024 season, he owns a .307/.413/.471 slash line with a .884 OPS while working his way up every rung of the farm system, cumulating in 448 games.
Before his promotion to Toronto this season, Horwitz was leading the International League in terms of doubles (22) and was amongst the top five in numerous offensive leaderboards with his .335 average, 38 RBIs, and .970 OPS while becoming a mainstay at the top of the Bisons lineup.
While he got a taste of the big leagues last season through 15 games and 39 at-bats, with his hot bat in triple-A and a stagnant Blue Jays offense needing to find some consistency, Horwitz was called upon to do what he does best – put the ball in play. With room on the bench for prospects to take advantage of the opportunity, since his call-up back on June 7th, Horwitz has done everything the Jays coaching staff has asked of him and arguably even more.

Blue Jays prospect Spencer Horwitz is one of the club’s hottest bats

Through 16 games and 47-bats, Horwitz owns a .340/.483/.511 slash line while collecting four extra-base hits on his way to a .994 OPS through the limited sample size. The 26-year-old has walked more than he has struck out – 11 free passes to six strikeouts – and has showcased his keen eye at the plate, with the lefty-bat reaching base in every game he has started since being added to the active roster. Horwitz owns a +.400 SLG on all types of pitches (fastball/offspeed/breaking) while putting forth a .439 xwOBA and a .368 BAbip, all thanks to his patient approach at the plate mixed with a steady bat that sports a 12.5% barrel rate this season.
Although the sample size is small considering he was called up just a few weeks ago, Horwitz has been showcasing his talents in the batter’s box and had an incredibly productive series in Cleveland this past weekend. He notched his first career multi-home run game while adding two walks on the same day and also produced one of the most impressive at-bats of the season against Emmanual Clase in the ninth inning on Sunday. He faced one of the best closers in the game, fouled off seven pitches in a 12-pitch at-bat, and generated a leadoff walk to give the Jays a fighting chance to tie the game at least (although the effort fell short).
Horwitz is also producing against right-handed pitchers, sporting a 1.057 OPS with 15 hits through 15 games against the opposite hand – one of the main reasons the Blue Jays were likely in favour of moving on from Daniel Vogelbach and Cavan Biggio this season.
The Maryland product is certainly not perfect, as his below-average baserunning and a couple of defensive miscues at second base are part of the learning curve with his new role. While the position is new for Horwitz and he has the one error on record, the Jays prospect has also excelled at times on the right side of the infield and has fans applauding his efforts considering his newness to the position – a testament to his athleticism and work behind the scenes with Carlos Febles.
Even more impressive is how Horwitz has found a way to buck the trend of “perform well and you sit the next day” as of late amongst a highly analytical Jays staff, with the running joke becoming almost the norm amongst the younger players on the roster who seem to outperform their veteran teammates on a nightly basis. Multiple times we have seen players like Horwitz, Ernie Clement, or Davis Schneider have an excellent game and then find themselves on the bench for whatever reason. It appears that Horwitz is starting to carve out a regular role in the lineup – which makes sense given his impressive numbers in the batter’s box and is forcing the hand of the Jays staff to play him with regularity.
With a repeatable swing and the ability to put the ball in play with regularity, Spencer Horwitz is making the most of this opportunity which was recently enhanced by the suspension of his teammate Orelvis Martinez, who was likely going to be splitting time with the lefty bat at the second base position until the recent PED news.
While it may be unreasonable to consider Horwitz continuing to hit at a +.300 average pace through the rest of the year, if he can continue to string together tough at-bats and produce at clutch times as we have seen early into his recent callup, not only will he continue to have a spot on the active roster, he should become a regular player by seasons end.

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