According to MLB.com’s Keegan Matheson, Gabriel Moreno will join the Blue Jays in Detroit and make his MLB debut some time this weekend.
Moreno is one of the more exciting prospects the Blue Jays have had over the last few decades. They have been recently blessed with high-grade prospects like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Alek Manoah, and more graduating to the big league level, and Moreno is the latest that has been regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball.
In fact, the latest update to mlb.com’s prospect list saw Moreno sitting #4 behind only Adley Ruschman, Riley Greene, and Grayson Rodriguez. Over at baseballamerica.com (subscription required), it’s exactly the same except Moreno is #5, with the same top three and Arizona’s Corbin Carroll sandwiched in between.
Moreno’s top prospect status is well deserved, and he’s continued his dominance of the minor leagues while playing in Triple-A Buffalo this season. Over 35 games in Buffalo the 22 year old had slashed .323/.377/.406. He hasn’t shown a whole lot of power in Triple-A yet, hitting just one home run, but that should come with time.
Part of the reason that Moreno is getting this opportunity now is because Danny Jansen is back on the Injured List, this time with a fracture in his left hand after being hit by a pitch earlier this week. Just yesterday I wrote about why I believe that Jansen’s injury provides the right opportunity for Moreno to get his feet wet at the highest level, which could be important if the Blue Jays are pursuing a playoff spot later in the year, and also hoping that the highly regarded prospect could be part of the puzzle by then.
For now it’s likely that Moreno will share catching duties with Alejandro Kirk, who has emerged as one the most valuable receivers in the American League so far this season. I imagine Moreno will get his fair share of opportunity in the designated hitter role as well. It also doesn’t hurt that it looks like Moreno will start his MLB career against teams like the Tigers are Orioles.
It’s also helpful that Moreno doesn’t have to come to the big leagues and feel like he needs to be a saviour for the offence. Kirk has cemented himself as the #1 catcher at the moment, and the Blue Jays have a plethora of talented hitters up and down their lineup. I wouldn’t be surprised if Moreno hits in the bottom third, at least to start, and that should help him ease into the pace of the highest level.
It’s always exciting when the Blue Jays debut a talented new player, but it’s even better when it’s a homegrown star that we’ve been reading about for years. It’s finally here Blue Jays fans, it’s Gabriel Moreno time!