3B/RF Addison Barger
Viewed as someone who could've contributed to the MLB squad in 2023, lingering injuries likey costed Barger a chance at his MLB debut.
Ranked as the fifth best prospect in the Blue Jays system per MLB.com, Barger is a left-handed power hitter with the potential to provide plus defence at either third base or right field. He has one of the best arms in the system, rivalling that of Matt Chapman in spring training last year. He's also spent time at short-stop and second base.
Barger impressed many with his tape measure home runs in spring training action, but a lingering bicep issue cut into his development at Triple-A Buffalo. Barger accumulated a .933 OPS through three levels of minor league baseball back in 2022, but saw that number drop to .745 this past year.
If Barger can remain healthy, continue to improve defensively, and regain that power stroke that shot him up prospect rankings, the former sixth round pick could have a role on the Blue Jays at some point in 2024. With third base not being locked down by anyone and Barger already being on the 40-man roster, we could be seeing some Barger bombs at the Rogers Centre this year.
3B/SS Orelvis Martinez
Another prospect with pop, Orelvis Martinez is a name that fans of the club should be familiar with by now. A steady riser in prospect rankings for a few years now, Martinez currently resides as the second highest in the organization behind Ricky Tiedemann.
Martinez’s biggest tool his is power, hitting 28, 30, then 28 home runs again from 2021-2023 respectively. The caveat being his proneness to striking out, doing so a whopping 126 times last year in 125 games. In the past, this deficiency came without the benefit of walking, however that narrative has changed this past season much to the delight of the Blue Jays. A young, athletic infielder with power and plate discipline is a good thing to have, and he’s only 21.
Now on the 40-man roster, Martinez should be set to open the season with the Bisons. Similar to Barger, should he be seeing success and continued development in his plate discipline, he could be called upon to provide some pop to a lineup that was craving it last year.
With time at both third base and short-stop, it’s possible Martinez could be gearing up for a bigger role with this club in the near future. His playing time during spring training will be something to keep an eye on, and he could be a fun guy to look out for later in the season.