After 9 spring games, the Blue Jays have had a nice showing from some of their new faces and talented youth. Jays Journal takes a look at the early springs top performers.
The Toronto Blue Jays are now through nine games this Spring and their record might not properly be showing how well some of their players have been performing. A few bad innings and some late lead changes have put a dent in the Jays record thus far.
As of now, the Blue Jays youth has had the bulk of the playing time. The regulars have been slowly integrated into the lineup as the prep for the regular season and some for the World Baseball Classic.
There have been plenty of Jays hitters that are looking like they are ready for opening day. The hottest hitter thus far is one of the Blue Jays newest faces Kendrys Morales. So far this Spring the new everyday DH has been showing why his bat is so valuable.
The switch-hitter has six hits in his first 11 at-bats in a Blue Jays uniform. He has also hit a home run and drove in three runs. This is exactly what the Jays were looking for when the enlisted Morales’s services this past offseason.
Catcher Mike Ohlman has RBI’s and a home run as he looks to earn a depth spot with the Blue Jays. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is expected to win the backup role for the Jays but Ohlman could prove to be solid depth in Triple-A if he continues to hit well. Ohlman hit .280 in 54 games in the PCL this past season. Expect him to get an extended look this Spring if he continues on this path.
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Richard Urena has had his share of issues with the glove this Spring training but he has shown what he can do with the lumber. Urena has had 15 at bats but has tallied six hits. He has also scored three times and drove in a run.
On the other side of the ball, Casey Lawrence has pitched the most innings of any Blue Jays thus far. He has pitched five innings and allowed just one earned run. He has also allowed just three hits while walking tow and striking out two. Lawrence did make it settled into Triple-A Buffalo last season. He threw 87 innings and allowed just a 3.83 ERA
Mat Latos has gotten into two games thus far and put together four solid innings. He has allowed three hits but has allowed just one earned run on a homer. Latos signed a minor league deal with the Jays in hopes of cracking the bullpen with the big club. Thus far the veteran has shown he has something left in the tank and could prove to be valuable depth.
As the battle of lefties starts off it looks like rookie Tim Mayza may have the best footing to start. Mayza has shown plus velocity in his first three innings of work and allowed just two hits while striking out four. Matt Dermody has also gotten off to a solid start. He has also allowed just two hits over his first 2.1 innings. The two are completely different types of pitchers but both have been off to a wonderful start this Spring.
The Blue Jays may have just started Spring Training but there have been a few players that have made great first impressions in camp. These players have stood out thus far statistically but there have been other players that have made an impression on the management as potential options going forward. Who do you think has made a great impression this Spring? Keep the conversation going in the comment section and on Twitter.