4 dark horse candidates to fill out Blue Jays' 2024 Opening Day bench

With the 2024 regular season just two months away, we consider four players who have an outside chance to be on the opening day roster for the Blue Jays.

Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins
Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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Alan Roden

When it comes to Alan Roden, his inclusion in this article is a contradiction of sorts. On the one hand, he is even less likely to make the opening day roster, when compared to Barger and Martinez.

This is purely due to the fact Roden is not currently on the Blue Jays' 40-man roster. In other words, someone would need to be designated for assignment to make room for him on the 40-man.

On the other hand though, we are talking about a player who is arguably coming off the best offensive season of anyone within the organisation's system. In many ways though, this is just a continuation of what the 24-year-old has always done.

Pure and simple, Roden is a natural hitter; he had a .383 batting average during his three seasons in college and has continued in a similar vein with the Blue Jays. Yes, there were some teething problems early on and an adjustment period, but now he's getting into the swing of things (in more ways than one).

First up, the 2022 third round draft pick was just unstoppable at the plate in 69 games at the High-A level last season with the Canadians. He produced an excellent .321/.437/.459 slash line and .896 OPS, to earn a promotion to Double-A.

Once there Roden continued to thrive, resulting in a .310/.421/.460 slash line and .881 OPS in 46 appearances. As a result of his success, he has moved all the way up to seventh on the Blue Jays' prospects list.

The Middleton, Wisconsin native isn't too shabby on defence either, and seems to have found a home in the outfield corner positions -- his preference is for right field if pushed -- with decent arm strength and excellent instincts. Overall, a strong spring training is more likely to see him end up in Triple-A, but the organisation is fully aware of what he's capable of and come opening day, you never know ...