Tier 3- Getting a real shot to be a part of it
The Blue Jays have a lot of talented, but arguably flawed players that they’re still evaluating at this point, and that’s what we’ll have a look at in my third tier.
Teoscar Hernandez fits this description very well, as he’s shown enough potential to intrigue the Blue Jays, but hasn’t fully put things together in a way that would lock down a position for him in the long term. That said, he’s been surprisingly solid in centre field since he made his own return from Buffalo earlier this year, and the power production is still there. I feel like he was on the way out before his mid-season renaissance, and now he’ll likely get an opportunity to earn the starting centre field job in 2020.
Competing with Hernandez will be guys like Derek Fisher and Billy McKinney, who both present reasons to be optimistic about their potential, while also wondering if they’re going to fit in Toronto for the long term. As I talked about yesterday, Fisher will need to earn his spot with the team throughout the 2020 season because he’ll be out of minor league options, and that’s not the easiest scenario for a 4th outfielder in today’s game. McKinney could be stuck behind the others on the depth chart, but could still move up if he takes advantage of his opportunities.
I would also include a guy like Brandon Drury in this tier, even if I’ve all but written off his long-term inclusion with this team before. The thing that works well in Drury’s case is that he’s versatile defender who can play all over the diamond. He’s not really a shortstop or centre fielder, and he’s definitely not a catcher, but he can more than adequately cover the team elsewhere, and he’s also a streaky power hitter. It’s feasible to see him carving out a gig with this team for the long-term, but he’ll have to force his way on.
Speaking of people who are forcing their way into the picture, Jacob Waguespack has went from an afterthought to the most productive starter on the team this month. His performance, including seven shutout innings against the Dodgers, will earn him a long look next year, and will likely have the Blue Jays hang on to him on their 40 man roster at the very least.
I feel like there are a few bullpen pieces like Justin Shafer, or Jordan Romano that can and will stick in Toronto, but trying to predict a bullpen picture on a yearly basis is a fool’s game if you ask me. I’m gonna go ahead and leave that part of this equation alone for the most part.