Blue Jays: Is Ryan McBroom the one that got away?
On the 23rd of July 2017, Ryan McBroom was traded to the New York Yankees. Would the Blue Jays want a redo on this trade?
The year was 2017, the season for the Blue Jays was looking like a long one due to an obscene amount of injuries and underperformance by some key players. The middle infield picture was supposed to be Troy Tulowitzki at SS and Devon Travis at 2B. However, by the first week of June, Travis was lost for the season, and on the 29th of July, Tulo was also down for the count. In total, Tulo would manage to play 66 games, and Travis would only suit up for 50 games.
Jays fans would watch as Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney would play the lion share of the middle infield innings in 2017. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much depth to pull from to help fill the void, and a trade was consummated on the 23rd of July 2017 for Rob Refsnyder. At this point of the season, the Jays were 10 games back and also 10 games under .500 with a bleak outlook for much improvement. Now I understand the need for replacements to play but, Rob Refsnyder??
At the time of the trade, Refsnyder was hitting a not so impressive .135/.200/.216 in 20 games for the Yankees. I guess his decent track record in the minors made the Jays want to take a look. Refsnyder would play in a total of 32 games for the Blue Jays and hit a line of .196/.281/.216. Following the season, Refsnyder would be released by the Jays and picked up on waivers by the Cleveland Indians.
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So what was the cost to the Jays of that 32 game audition? Well, that was first base prospect, Ryan McBroom. At the time of the trade, McBroom was viewed as blocked at 1B by Justin Smoak, Kendrys Morales (if we want to call him a fielder), and Rowdy Tellez in AAA. McBroom was having a good year at AA New Hampshire, having hit 12 homers, 54 RBI, in 96 games, and had been named a Mid-season All-star.
McBroom was never considered a top prospect; in fact, he signed for a mere $1,000 signing bonus. McBroom would always hear the knock that he was playing against younger competition at every level that he played. In 2019, McBroom would have a breakout season at AAA. In 413 AB, McBroom would provide a line of .315/.402/.574 while hitting 26 homers and 66 RBI. This was also accomplished while providing some defensive versatility splitting his time between 1B and the outfield.
The Kansas City Royals liked what they had seen and made a trade for McBroom on August 31st, 2019, for future considerations.
During the 2020 Spring training, McBroom would not disappoint. At the time when Spring games were suspended, McBroom was hitting .314/.368/.657 with an OPS of 1.026. Through 15 Spring games, McBroom had 3 doubles and 3 homers with 8 RBI. McBroom was slated to start the season in a platoon at 1B with Ryan O’Hearn.
Now it’s fair to say that Ryan McBroom has been a late bloomer. But that’s not always a bad thing. Let’s compare the minor league stats of another late bloomer.
McBroom “A” -Age 23 -127 games-.315/.387/.482-12 HR/90 RBI- 9%BB/18%K
????????? “A” -Age 22 – 63 games -.217/.276/.349 – 6 HR/ 23 RBI -7%BB/16%K
McBroom “AA” -Age 25-134 games -.247/.323/.395-16 HR/ 70 RBI-8%BB/20%K
????????? “AA” -Age 23 -124 games-.270/.379/.415-9 HR/ 91 RBI -15%BB/17%K
McBroom “AAA” -Age 27 -117 games-.315/.402/.574-26 HR/66 RBI-12%BB/20%K
??????? “AAA” – Age 25 -115 games -.261/.344/.439 -17 HR/70 RBI-10%BB/20%K
Some of the above-illustrated stats can be eerily similar. Those mystery stat lines belong to a one time Blue Jay and former MVP, Josh Donaldson. Now I’m not suggesting that the Blue Jays traded away a soon to be all-star and MVP candidate, but it’s looking like it could have been an expensive 32 game audition.