Blue Jays: Five Underrated Players To Watch During Spring Training

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 12: Richard Urena #7 of the Toronto Blue Jays warms up moments before the start of their MLB game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre on April 12, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 12: Richard Urena #7 of the Toronto Blue Jays warms up moments before the start of their MLB game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre on April 12, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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Blue Jays
MONTREAL, QC – MARCH 25: Josh Palacios #75 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts after his bat flies towards the fans against the Milwaukee Brewers during the MLB spring training game at Olympic Stadium on March 25, 2019 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

OF Josh Palacios

Josh Palacios is a recent 40 man roster addition.  The Blue Jays added Palacios to protect him from the Rule 5 draft earlier this offseason so that they can fully evaluate him during Spring Training.  Palacios is a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’, as he does many things well but doesn’t have an outstanding trait to hang his hat on.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Palacios, as he projects as a fourth outfielder at the big level, and having a guy coming off your bench that can do a little bit of everything could be beneficial to a team.  Palacios will definitely have a shot to make the Blue Jays opening day roster, as they are probably going to want to carry an extra outfielder on their bench so they can have Teo, Springer, Grichuk and Gurriel Jr. all in the lineup at the same time.

Palacios will be competing with Derek Fisher and Jonathan Davis for this role.  Davis seems like he has the inside track because of his speed and defence, but if Palacios can show enough with his bat during the Spring, I think he has a real shot of beating him out.

What makes Palacios a really interesting guy to watch is that he may not be a Blue Jay after Spring Training.  The Jays have a full 40 man roster right now, so if they want to add someone like AJ Cole or Francisco Liriano to their active roster, someone is going to have to be DFA’d to make room.  Being 25 years old and not having a great minor league track record, slashing .266/.371/.416 in AA in 2019, Palacios could be the odd man out if he doesn’t show management enough in the spring.

We’ve seen this before with Dalton Pompey, where management kept him on the 40-man to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, but then DFA’d him the following spring because he didn’t show enough in camp and they needed the roster spot.  Palacios is definitely someone to watch out for because there is such a wide range of possible outcomes for him.  We could see him on the big league roster on opening day, or we could see him with a different organization.

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