After another disappointing campaign for the Toronto Blue Jays, there appears to be some sunshine just around the corner as many of the kids have impressed in their 2018 auditions for next season.
While the likes of Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. continue to marinate in the minors, there has been another crop of rookies who have shown they can compete at the major league level which bodes well for the rebuilding the Blue Jays.
Catcher Danny Jansen has proven he can handle the tools of ignorance while contributing with the stick. The young catcher will also be afforded the opportunity to learn under the tutelage of veteran Russell Martin who has one-year remaining on his five-year pact.
The 23-year old backstop is hitting .333/.382/.600 with 10 hits including a homer in his first nine games at the major league level. Jansen is also very familiar with the new crop of arms who have risen from the minor league depths.
Ryan Borucki, Thomas Pannone, and Sean Reid-Foley have all made their big league debuts in 2018. Borucki has pitched better than his numbers show on their face while both Pannone and Reid-Foley have shown glimpses of what the future holds.
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Borucki sports a 4.12 earned run average in 11 starts however he has allowed two runs or less in seven of those appearances. The young southpaw was touched up for 13 runs in two starts versus the Yankees and Red Sox ballooning his earned run average.
Reid-Foley has two starts under his belt and performed well in his MLB debut surrendering only three runs to the Royals. His second start did not go as well as the youngster was torched for six runs and three homers in 4.1 innings of work versus the Bronx Bombers.
Pannone has made five appearances including one start last week where the 24-year old took a no-hitter into the seventh inning versus the Orioles. The lefty has also had scoreless outings in three of his four opportunities out of the bullpen and sports a 1.59 earned run average in 11.1 innings on the bump.
Newly acquired Billy McKinney has thrust himself into the outfield conversation for next season and is currently taking playing time away from the struggling Teoscar Hernandez who has been relegated to the bench.
McKinney is batting .407/.515/.852 with 11 hits including three doubles and three homers in nine games with his new team. The 24-year old has also been impressive on the defensive side of the field and looks capable of holding down a starting spot if finally given the opportunity.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. has also had a coming out party in 2018 proving he deserves to be on the infield every day. Gurriel had his 11 consecutive games with multiple-hits streak snapped in his first game back from the disabled list. However, he is batting an impressive .307/.333/.477 with 47 hits and seven round-trippers in 41 games. There is a logjam on the infield but Gurriel appears like he will come out with a starting job when it is all said and done.
While there was plenty of doom and gloom this season, rest assured knowing the future is very bright in Blue Jays land beginning in 2019.