After a recent shaky patch, the Blue Jays have won seven of their past nine games. Combined with the inconsistency of other playoff contenders, they're back in a Wild Card spot - at least for now.
The Blue Jays will be the first to admit they've underachieved/performed so far in 2023. As a result, ongoing poor form from individuals -- along with potential injuries -- mean always considering the next man up.
In this respect, which Blue Jays prospects are in line to be called up next? We take a look at four of the most deserving candidates:
NB - All statistics up to and including September 11.
When recently writing about Addison Barger, we mentioned how the Blue Jays had to be patient with his development after being drafted as a high school prospect five years ago. Now it's Barger who needs to display patience, after being snubbed for a call up to the Majors at the beginning of September.
In fairness, you can understand why the Blue Jays picked Spencer Horwitz as the position player to be called up. Regardless, it doesn't mean Barger isn't deserving of getting that promotion himself.
There is a lot of potential surrounding the 23-year-old, who was one of just two Blue Jays included on FanGraphs' Top 100 prospects list during spring training. His production in 2023 has justified this inclusion, albeit after a slow start to the season highlighted by a .237 batting average and .662 OPS through his first 20 games with the Bisons.
It was only after returning from an elbow injury, that Barger started to show more of what he's capable of. This improved consistency includes a .282/.390/.400 slash line during his previous 23 games in Triple-A.
Admittedly the .790 OPS over the same period doesn't stand out per se, but as a whole the left-handed bat is looking good. He's also shown more patience and discipline at that plate as the season has progressed, evidenced by a gradual decrease in his strikeout rate.
Further helping Barger's case for a call-up, is his versatility on defence. He can already play all four infield positions, particularly at short stop and third base.
However, this season has also seen the Bellevue, Washington native make 21 appearances in right outfield, recording a reassuring .979 fielding percentage in the process. If there's any justice he will be called up sooner than later to the Majors, but for now he will have to remain patient.