6 Blue Jays players who put up eye-catching numbers this spring

Which Jays players’ impressive showings in spring training could bode well for them heading into the regular season?

Toronto Blue Jays v Cleveland Guardians
Toronto Blue Jays v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Ernie Clement

For someone that had been working hard ever since joining the Jays’ organization last season, the hard work and determination has finally paid off for infielder Ernie Clement. After a brief 30-game cameo appearance with the big league team last year in which he batted a stellar .380 with an .885 OPS, 1 home run and 10 RBI, Clement wasn’t going to pass up the distinct opportunity to impress the team once again this spring that easily.

In 17 games of action, he put his offensive flair on full display by posting a gaudy .362 average and a 1.026 OPS, along with 8 runs scored, 2 triples, 3 home runs, 8 RBI and a pair of stolen bases to boot. He also demonstrated strong plate discipline and ball contact, walking only twice and striking out only once in 47 total at-bats. His impressive showing gave the Jays no choice but to include him on the Opening Day roster while sacrificing the incumbent defensive stalwart Santiago Espinal to a recent trade with the Cincinnati Reds as a result. Whether in a reserve or starting role, Clement is geared up for a huge season with the big league club.

Paolo Espino

For one of the under-the-radar moves this offseason, Paolo Espino has done everything he can to put himself on the map when it comes to reliable pitching depth in the Jays’ organization. Initially signed to just a minor-league contract with an invite to training camp back in December, Espino has performed way beyond expectations this spring by taking advantage of the most of his opportunities.

In 6 games, including 3 starts, Espino hurled a sparkling 2.65 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP, giving up just 5 earned runs with 2 walks and a whopping 24 strikeouts in just 17 innings of work. The 24 whiffs and 12:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio led the entire team pitching staff. As a result, he may have done enough to force the Jays’ hand in selecting him and adding him to their roster, whether it be for Opening Day or in the not-so-distant future, as he may as well turn out to be this year’s version of Jay Jackson.