Blue Jays left-field battle: 3 Preliminary Dalton Pompey factors

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Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

3)  The new regime’s development strategy

This is a bigger-picture item that we may not have a true handle on until 12 months from now, but the Pompey decision will be a start.

With Shapiro and Atkins now steering the ship, one which includes a farm system thinned by the 2015 trade deadline, how aggressive will the organization be in “advancing” Pompey or younger prospects through the ascending levels.

For example, towards the end of the Alex Anthopoulos era, the club became very aggressive in promoting their high-upside young arms. That strategy landed Miguel Castro and Roberto Osuna on last season’s opening day roster.

Over the past two months, both Shapiro and Atkins have circled back several times to highlight the fact that they need to get a handle on the players within the organization, most recently in regards to the Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion contract situations. Get to know them, both on and off the field.

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Simply put, they will value Pompey in the future and present differently than Alex Anthopoulos did. Perhaps they are more wary of his potential ceiling, or perhaps, despite believing he has All-Star abilities down the road, they still want to see him perform at the triple-A level in front of their own eyes before pulling the trigger.

Furthermore, how will the current organizational makeup really impact this decision, if at all? Will the weakened farm produce a more cautious approach, not wanting to misstep with one of the club’s brightest young talents? Or will the urgency to win in 2016 put that out the window, resulting in the “best 25” heading north?

While Saunders’ situation isn’t completely black and white, especially given his 2015 knee injury, his case for the starting left-field job does seem to include fewer factors that are out of his control.

Soon enough, we begin to see if the factors above work for, or against, Dalton Pompey.