Similar to Hiraldo, infielder Leo Jimenez signed with the organization back in 2017 as an international free agent for $850,000. The Panama product would make his debut stateside in the Gulf Coast Rookie League in 2018 and has been slowly climbing the minor league farm system since.
Ranked as the Blue Jays #11th prospect, Jimenez owns a career .292/.423/.371 slash line with one home run, 62 RBI, and a .794 OPS through 154 games and 534 at-bats. He played five games in the Florida Complex League (Rookie) but spent most of the year in Low-A ball with Dunedin, slashing .320/.523/.392 on the season while also posting a .915 OPS. He is currently with the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League and while he is struggling to put the ball in play (.194 average), the righty-batter is still finding a way to get on base to the tune of a .409 OBP, influenced by his eight walks through 44 plate appearances.
While the power is still a work in progress, Jimenez finds a way to get on base and uses the entire field when he is at the plate. On the field, the 5’11” prospect splits his time between shortstop and second base, posting better numbers at second base (.969%) compared to short (.945%).
With the Blue Jays looking to improve the 2022 roster, two prospects could be traded this offseason as part of a package deal for current big leaguers.
There are quite a few hurdles standing in Jimenez’s way of making the major leagues, and like Hiraldo, most of them stem from other prospects or current roster players standing in his way. This rings especially true if the Blue Jays bring back Semien and have him play second base, as a longer-term contract than the one-year pact he made ths past offseason could block Jimenez from any potential debut in the near future. The 20-year-old also needs to be placed on the 40-man roster to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft his offseason as he currently meets the eligibility requirements.
Trading either one of these players as part of a package deal could get the ball moving if the club is serious about acquiring pitching help from the Marlins or trading with the rebuilding Oakland Athletics for one of their pitchers or third baseman Matt Chapman. Cleveland could also be persuaded by one of the two prospects being tossed into the bundle for Ramirez, which really adds some extra pop in the Blue Jays lineup over the next two seasons.
With a glutton of infield talent, both Miguel Hiraldo and Leo Jimenez could be trade pieces this offseason that may actually benefit both the club and player when it comes to finding a spot in the big leagues in the near future.