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
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Damiano Palmegiani

Damiano Palmegiani is in a similar position to Roden, in that he is not currently on the Blue Jays' 40-man roster. Again, someone would have to be cut to make room for him, and overall he is the least likely of the four prospects mentioned in this article, to be on the opening day roster.

However, Palmegiani is no stranger to proving people wrong, after previously being drafted in the 35th round by the Blue Jays in 2018. He instead chose to go to college, where he played well enough to be re-selected by the Blue Jays in the 14th round of the 2021 draft.

The just-turned 24-year-old made an immediate impression for the Blue Jays in the Florida Complex League, producing a .333 batting average and .997 OPS during 17 games in 2021. He then continued to improve and work his work up the ranks the following year.

The 2023 season proved to be Palmegiani's most impressive yet, as he continued his success at the plate, in both Double-A and then Triple-A. This included 20 games with the Bisons, when he recorded an excellent .284/.427/.554 slash line and .981 OPS.

The Blue Jays have always been taken by the Venezuela native's power with the bat, but now he has become even better thanks to more discipline and patience at the plate. He continued an impressive year with a .263/.366/.575 slash line and .941 OPS, during 22 games in the Arizona Fall League.

Defensively, the projection is that Palmegiani will likely end up at first or third base. In truth though, he does still have plenty of work to do before he can settle comfortably at either position, but he has already shown he is prepared to put in the necessary dedication and hard work.

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Ultimately, the right-handed bat has enough about him to make it at the Major League level and stick around. Admittedly, being in the opening day roster is a long-shot, but regardless, he has been predicted by some to make his regular season debut with the Blue Jays in 2024.