Three prospects on Triple-A Buffalo have been mashing their way into call-up talks lately
Photo credit:Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis2 months ago
The Toronto Blue Jays have a couple of clear needs heading into the trade deadline — an insurance arm for their starting rotation and a bat that can help bring their frustrating lineup to life.
A big storyline this season has been the organization’s lack of a sixth starter. Mitch White was acquired last year to fill that role but he’s struggling as Toronto’s mop-up arm. Zach Thompson was added in the off-season to give the team added depth but he pitched poorly in Triple-A and was designated for assignment. Veteran pitchers Drew Hutchison, Luke Bard, and Casey Lawrence also all opted out of their minor-league deals and went elsewhere.
While the Blue Jays haven’t been able to find an effective starting pitcher from shuttle between Triple-A Buffalo to Toronto, the Bisons boast a trio of interesting bats who might be able to help their offence in the coming weeks.
Addison Barger put together a breakout season in 2022, as he slashed a .308/.378/.555 line between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. The Blue Jays added him to the 40-man roster in the off-season and he came into spring training pushing for a spot on the big-league club.
His 2023 season got off to a disastrous start. Barger posted a .237 batting average and hit just one home run over his first 20 games for the Bisons before an issue with his elbow landed him on the Injured List.
Since returning from that injury, Barger has looked much like the player who rocketed up three levels last season. Barger has slashed a .276/.361/.487 line over 86 plate appearances since re-joining the Bisons on June 21 with three home runs and seven doubles.
Spencer Horwitz was another prospect that the Blue Jays added to their 40-man roster last winter so that he wouldn’t be eligible to be selected by another club in the Rule 5 Draft.
He performed well for the Bisons in the first couple of months of the season and earned a call-up to the Blue Jays in June. During his cup of coffee at the Major League level, Horwitz went 2-for-10 with a couple of singles and an RBI.
Since going back down to Triple-A, Horwitz has been on fire. He’s slashed a .328/.444/.531 line over 81 plate appearances with four home runs and 13 walks compared to nine strikeouts. He’s a switch hitter with better results as a righty when facing left-handed pitching, which is exactly what the Blue Jays need right now.
Davis Schneider had an impressive rise through three levels last year but Toronto’s 28th-round pick from the 2017 draft has found another gear this season. Through 338 plate appearances with the Bisons so far, Schneider has slashed a .272/.414/.541 line and he leads the organization with 18 home runs.
Like Barger and Horwitz, Schneider is a versatile defender who plays multiple positions, as he’s been used by the Bisons at first, second, and third base along with left field this season. But unlike those other two, Schneider isn’t on the 40-man roster, so calling him up would be a little more tricky.
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