INF Damiano Palmegiani
Drafted in the 14th round of the 2021 MLB Draft by the Jays, Damiano Palmegiani has certainly taken great strides in his growth and development the past two seasons. Moving from Low-A all the way to Triple-A in just a span of two years, Palmegiani has performed beyond expectations and has suddenly put himself on the Jays’ radar going into 2024. He is currently ranked 18th on the Jays’ prospect list.
In 2023, Palmegiani put together a solid season in which he hit .255 with an .842 OPS, along with 70 runs scored, 33 doubles, 23 home runs and 93 RBI between his time at New Hampshire and Buffalo. He has continued that success currently in the Arizona Fall League, as in 22 games, he has posted a .263 average, .941 OPS, with 22 runs scored, 5 doubles, 6 home runs and 21 RBI. In doing so, he even made the AFL Home Run Derby in which he ended up finishing second in the event.
If the Jays wish to retain their higher ranking prospect in Barger, Palmegiani would be a great alternative trade chip given his recent rise to prominence.
INF Leo Jimenez
Leo Jimenez has taken quite the leap in his development during the past three years in the Jays system. Starting off as just a pure contact hitter in his debut with little to no power, Jimenez has now added some of that element to his game in recent years. Pair that with his strong defensive abilities, it has suddenly made him an intriguing prospect to monitor.
In 2023, Jimenez had a productive season split between New Hampshire and Buffalo in which he hit .270 with a .767 OPS, along with 62 runs scored, 18 doubles, 8 home runs, 47 RBI and 8 stolen bases. In doing so, he rose all the way to sixth among the Jays’ top prospects list by the end of the season.
The fact that the Jays have already added Jimenez to their 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft meant that the team sees some value in him. But with shortstop being his strongest position, the presence of Bo Bichette could block his path to the majors. So the Jays could take full advantage of his growth and potential right now by including him in a trade package this offseason.