"The Buffalo Boys" brought joy to an otherwise disappointing season for the Blue Jays

Sep 9, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Spencer Horwitz (48) poses for a
Sep 9, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Spencer Horwitz (48) poses for a / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
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Ernie Clement

Clement, 27, came over to the Jays with some big league experience under his belt but hadn't previously ran with the opportunities like he did this year. The former 4th-round draft pick (2017) appeared in 103 games for the Cleveland Guardians but hit just .214 with an OPS+ of 56. In a six-game cameo with the Oakland A's last year, he went 1-for-18 (.056) with only a double to his name.

After signing a minor league contract with the Blue Jays just before the regular season kicked off, Clement immediately started hitting. In fact, through the end of the season he never really stopped hitting. In 72 games for the Bisons, he hit 11 home runs with 58 RBI, walked (26) more than he struck out (16) and had a shocking .348 average and .944 OPS. It's no wonder why this guy got some looks in the major leagues.

This translated nicely in The Show as well. In 30 games, Clement hit .380 with 10 RBI, seven runs scored and 19 base hits. He continued to show off an advanced eye at the plate and was the perfect slap-hitter the Blue Jays needed when all it'd take to score a run is a bloop single.

Clement is the type of utility player who has some pop, can steal bases, plays all over the diamond and makes a ton of contact. In other words, he's every manager's dream. His peers reportedly love him as well, which helps his case in a big way. There's no doubt that he'll be back next season.

Handing out a letter grade to Clement is tough, because while he dominated the minor leagues, he didn't get a ton of playing time in the big leagues. Sure, his numbers looked great all around, but a larger sample size would be nice in this instance. Regardless, he did what was asked of him, so there's no complaints here.

Grade: B+