Toronto Blue Jays 2020 Report Card: Alejandro Kirk
By Amy Sarkany
Jays Journal contributors will be handing out Blue Jays report cards based on the 2020 season. Today we’ll take a look at Alejandro Kirk.
When 2020 started, the right-handed catcher from Mexico Alejandro Kirk had never played a game above single A in the minor leagues. With an impressive outing at this year’s spring training, fans were anxious to see his first major league appearance, assuming it was still a few years away.
Kirk played majority of his 2019 season with the Dunedin Blue Jays, recording a .288 BA, .395 OBP, with four home runs and 36 RBI in 71 games. As the catcher, he made five errors and had 59 assists last season.
To everyone’s surprise and excitement, the Blue Jays decided to call Kirk up to the big league roster and he had his major league debut on September 12, 2020. Alternating between the catcher and the designated hitter positions, the five foot eight, 21-year-old played in a total of nine games, including the short but significant playoff series.
Although Kirk only had a small outing to start his major league career, he seemed to fit right in. Through his 24 at bats, he finished the short season off well, recording a .375 BA, .400 OBP and .983 OPS, also producing one home run, three RBI, two doubles, and nine overall hits.
Alejandro also made an appearance in one of the Wild Card games against the Rays, recording one of the only hits in a series, which was primarily dominated by Tampa Bay. Before this hit, starting pitcher Blake Snell was throwing a no-hitter, at least until Kirk came to the plate. Very impressive of a rookie with little experience in the big leagues to get that hit off of a great pitcher like Snell.
On the defensive side, Kirk played most of his games at the catcher position, with seven appearances in total behind the plate. It was a decent start for sure, with one assist, and 48 putouts with 49 total chances. He also finished with a fielding percentage of 1.000.
One of the struggles Kirk seemed to have this year was throwing out runners trying to steal bases. He allowed four bases to be stolen, so it’s clear one of the areas of improvement will be strengthening up that arm and being able to better locate his throws. Adjustments and a learning curve are to be expected from all players though, especially those just starting off in a new and harder baseball atmosphere.
With such a short start to his professional career, it’s hard to tell exactly where his offence and defence will be come next season. Just based off of this sample size, he made a great first impression on this rebuilding team.
It is anyone’s guess as to where in the Blue Jays system he will be starting off in the 2021 season. While I would really enjoy seeing him play with the young core again, it is also likely he starts off the season in Triple-A.
Where would you like to see Alejandro Kirk start off next year?