Blue Jays: Can Alejandro Kirk continue his upward trajectory?

Brendan Oswald
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles / G Fiume/GettyImages
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The 2022 season was one to remember for Alejandro Kirk as he had a breakout season resulting in his first All-Star appearance as well as his first Silver Slugger Award. The 24-year-old catcher from Tijuana, Mexico has been on an upward trend ever since the Blue Jays called him up to the team in September of 2020. 

Kirk plays the game slightly different than most of the players in the majors do today. He is a hitter who hits for a higher average and slightly less power which is something that every great lineup needs.

In 2021, Kirk hit for a .242 batting average in 189 plate appearances. In 2022, he had a .285 average in 581 plate appearances. He had 392 more plate appearances in 2022 than he did in 2021 and yet he still had a far higher batting average than the year prior. This shows how much improvement there was in his game after just one season in the majors.

The higher batting average for Kirk in 2022 can be credited to his outstanding plate discipline. He had an extremely low 10.7 K% in 2022 which helped lead him to such great success at the plate. Kirk finished third in walks by catchers in 2022 with 63 leaving him as a great asset for the Jays lineup specifically because of his ability to always get on base.

If Kirk continues to keep on the path that he is one he will have an incredible career and will hopefully help the Jays win many important series and games. He has a ton of upside in his game, but some fans have shown some concerns and these things could be reasons as to why his improvement could be hindered over time. 

For the Jays, Kirk is an important part to a great hitting lineup and is a calm leader behind the plate. One thing the Jays should do is consider moving Kirk down in the lineup. Although he hits for a high batting average and gets on base frequently, he is slow around the bases and slightly hinders the Jays speed when the middle of the order is up to bat. His production for the team could increase even more if he was hitting in the six or seven spot instead of the four spot where it is difficult for him to get batted in by the hitters behind him.

Kirk’s production in 2023 for the Blue Jays should only be going up as he gets more experience in the major leagues. If his health remains intact and the Jays use him correctly, his production will only go up.

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