Blue Jays continue prospect promotion train as IKF hits the injured list

Toronto Blue Jays Photo Day
Toronto Blue Jays Photo Day / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

At long last, the Toronto Blue Jays are a team that's not afraid to promote their prospects. This year's Jays have already given looks to Addison Barger, Steward Berroa and Orelvis Martinez, as well as Spencer Horwitz, who we saw for a bit last year.

Adding himself to this mix is infielder Leo Jimenez, Jays Journal's No. 7 prospect in our preseason rankings, who has officially been activated to the big league roster. The Blue Jays took to social media on Tuesday (X link) to announce his promotion. Utilityman extraordinaire Isiah Kiner-Falefa is heading to the injured list with a knee injury.

Blue Jays promote Leo Jimenez, lose Isiah Kiner-Falefa to injury

Losing IKF is going to be a significant blow to the Blue Jays. That is not a sentence I thought I'd ever write when the ink was first drying on his contract. However, he's been one of the more fun to watch players on this team since day one of the regular season. He gives it his all on each play, bounces around all over the field on defense and was hitting .292 with a 117 OPS+ prior to his placement on the IL.

Kiner-Falefa, 29, leads Major League Baseball in Defensive Wins Above Replacement with 1.6 and has logged time all around the infield with a brief cameo in center field. That flexibility is exactly what drew the Blue Jays to him this offseason, and his strong bat has been nothing more than an added bonus.

Jimenez, 23, is going to get his first shot at big league playing time, and it's a well-earned promotion. He first came over to the organization in 2018 as an international free agent and has been making a steady climb to the majors ever since. His development has not been smooth sailing all throughout, but he was in the midst of one of his best seasons in the minors prior to the call.

In 57 games for this year's Buffalo Bisons, Jimenez hit seven home runs, drove in 23 runs and scored 40 more while hitting .271 with an .847 OPS. Those numbers will play just fine in the big leagues.

On defense, he primarily calls shortstop his home, but he's got experience at second base as well. It remains to be seen how he's used at the big league level, but there are likely at-bats to be had, especially at second base. The Blue Jays are a team full of infielders, but having a slick-fielding option like Jimenez who is swinging a hot bat, too, should be a nice addition.