It has certainly been a while since the Toronto Blue Jays had a super speedy ballplayer coming up from within the organization. The last such player that comes to mind was Dalton Pompey, but other than the couple key bag swipes during the 2015 Jays’ postseason run that somewhat stood out, his once promising career did not take off with the ballclub. If we look beyond Pompey, we would be going way back into the Alex Ríos, and perhaps even the Shannon Stewart era before we could officially say we had some legitimate homegrown speedsters.
Well, don’t look now, but the Jays might have unearthed their next speedster in prospect Cam Eden. Taken in the sixth round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Jays, Eden has been showing off his speed along with his steady defence even since joining the organization to begin his professional baseball career.
This season, he has certainly taken it to another level as this past weekend he set the Buffalo Bisons modern day record for stolen bases in a season with 44, with plenty of games left to play for him to have a chance to establish the brand new mark.
Even more impressive is his success rate in stealing bases, as he has only been caught three times all year, making him a scary and potent threat on the basepaths. That is certainly something we haven't witnessed in the Jays' organization for quite some time. At the same time, Eden has used his exceptional speed to his advantage when patrolling the outfield, as so far, he has never committed more than three errors in any one year throughout his professional baseball career, all while making plays like this.
In addition, his run production has been decent thus far for 2023, as he has hit .257 with 53 runs scored, 12 doubles, two home runs and 36 RBI in 106 games played while primarily batting near the bottom of the lineup.
As a result, someone like Eden could be the ideal bench player/backup outfielder in the near future at the major league level for the Blue Jays, as he could be utilized in important pinch-running duties, along with being a strong defensive replacement late in games. We certainly hope to see Eden one day donning a Jays’ uniform while tormenting the basepaths. But in the meantime, he can focus on extending his stolen base record with Buffalo and try to impress enough to get that warranted callup to the big leagues in due time.