Blue Jays: One Canadian prospect who is performing well this year
The Toronto Blue Jays have a pretty potent offense at the major league level this year, with a number of top prospects also performing well in the batter’s box to being the season. While the Blue Jays have a number of Canadian-born prospects spread throughout the farm system, there is one player who has stood out amongst the rest since his season began down in High-A ball.
Born in Sherwood Park, Alberta, outfielder Tanner Kirwer is playing very well just over a month into the season.
Drafted by the Blue Jays in the 20th round of the 2017 amateur draft out of Niagara University in Lewiston, New York, Kirwer is entering his fourth season in the minor leagues and his first year in High-A, spending the past three years between the Rookie League and A and A- ball with Lansing (when they were still around) and Vancouver (when they were a short-season team) respectively.
Before university, Kirwer played ball for the Sherwood Park Dukes of the NorWest League while also representing Alberta at the 2013 Canada Games and also suiting up in the Blue Jays Baseball Academy Showcase, formerly known as Tournament 12.
Born in Sherwood Park, Alberta, 25-year-old Tanner Kirwer is performing well this season for the Toronto Blue Jays High-A affiliate. Having a Canadian player in the organization is always special to watch, especially when they are near the league leaderboard in quite a few offensive categories.
For his minor league career, Kirwer has slashed .269/.361/.401 with 10 triples, 10 home runs, and 56 RBI with a .762 OPS through 696 plate appearances across two levels. This season, the righty-slugger has found a good rhythm at the plate and is seeing the ball well to the tune of a .316/.463/.516 line with four home runs and 11 RBI. He currently has 23 strikeouts on the season compared to 21 walks, as well as 19 stolen bases on the season which leads the league. Kirwer leads the team in home runs, OPS, AVG, OBP, SLG, and hits (30).
More from Toronto Blue Jays News
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
Defensively, the Niagara product has split his time between all three outfield positions but performs well when he is in one of the corners. So far this season, he has made two errors through 26 games, with both mishaps occurring when he was playing in center field.
As of right now, he currently ranks well within the entire High-A West League:
- First in stolen bases (19)
- First in OBP (.463)
- Third in OPS (.979)
- Third in walks (21)
- Third in average (.316)
At 25 years old, Kirwer is starting to enter the age bracket where he is starting to lose potential prospect status and will need to keep advancing up the farm system sooner rather than later (as he is roughly two years older than the league average). He, like so many other prospects, did not benefit from the lost season last year and will need to make up ground this season if he wants to fight for a spot up in AA and beyond.
The 2021 season has been pretty impressive so far for the Alberta product, one that should see him potentially move up the ladder to AA sometime in the near future if he keeps producing. While he currently doesn’t rank on the Blue Jays 30 top prospects, Tanner Kirwer is one player to keep an eye on, especially if he can continue to keep hitting the ball well and stealing bases, a legitimate top of the order threat with power in his hands.