You know the drill by now. Baseball America recently released their new prospect rankings for the 2023 season (subscription required).
We've covered prospects six through ten in the Toronto Blue Jays system so far.
No. 10 Nate Pearson (story link)
No. 9 Hayden Juenger (story link)
No. 8 Cade Doughty (story link)
No. 7 Tucker Toman (story link)
No. 6 Orelvis Martinez (story link)
Today, we hit No. 5.
Addison Barger, the sixth-round draft pick by the Blue Jays in the 2018 MLB Draft, is a shortstop by trade but has expanded his defensive versatility to be able to play all four infield positions with ease. Baseball America says his arm will be enough to keep him at shortstop in the future but he would be an above-average second or third baseman with his current tools.
Barger, 23, is widely regarded as the Blue Jays prospect with the strongest infield arm and has paired his defense with just as strong, if not stronger offense.
A left-handed hitter, Barger started demanding the attention of Jays fans in 2021, his first full season as a professional. In 96 games split between A-ball and High-A, he hit 22 doubles, 18 home runs with 82 RBI and was seven-for-seven in stolen base attempts.
Surprisingly, this impressive display of power was not enough to get into the top 30 prospects in the Jays system heading into the 2022 season.
Apparently Barger was upset at this because he absolutely went off last year with the bat, splitting time between three minor league levels.
In a total of 124 games between High-A, Double-A and Triple-A, Barger saw himself transform into more of an all-around hitter instead of relying strictly on his home run potential. He hit 33 doubles, 26 home runs with 91 RBI and saw his batting average raise from .244 in 2021 to .308.
If there are any areas of improvement for Barger moving forward, it would be his lack of ability to hit the ball to all fields and to draw walks. Last year, 24 of his 26 home runs were pulled to right field while he only drew 48 walks gainst 131 strikeouts.
BA has Barger's scouting grades on the 80-grade scale as follows: