Spencer Horwitz (No. 17 Prospect)
After spending four promising seasons in the Jays’ minor league system previously, Spencer Horwitz finally got his chance to shine with the big league club in 2023. Horwitz put together a strong year at Buffalo where he batted a stellar .337 with a .945 OPS, along with 61 runs scored, 30 doubles, 10 home runs, 72 RBI, 9 stolen bases, 78 walks and just 72 strikeouts over 107 games played. His tremendous accomplishments was recognized as it earned him team MVP honours at the end of the season.
More importantly, his breakout season in Buffalo earned him a 15-game cameo with the Jays last season and he certainly did not look out of place when called upon. Horwitz compiled a .256 batting average with a .726 OPS, 5 runs scored, 1 home run and 7 RBI in his two short stints with the ballclub. He showed that he could make good contact at the major league level and looks primed to join the big show in 2024.
Some will believe that the recent signing of veteran Justin Turner, who likely will be taking on mainly the designated hitter role, will push Horwitz out of a role this upcoming season with the Jays. However, Horwitz is still due for a huge spring for many reasons. First of all, he does not want to spend any more time in the minors and show that he belongs with the big boys. Secondly, as a left-handed power bat, he could potentially complement Turner’s right-handed mashing in a platoon role at DH, as well as provide a solid late-game pinch hitting option off the bench. Finally, if the Jays do decide to keep Turner permanently as the team’s sole designated hitter, then by showcasing himself in spring training, Horwitz can attract potential suitors that can finally give him a starting role in the majors. So he certainly has nothing to lose but to just be at his best this spring.