Blue Jays officially announce 16 non-roster invitees for Spring Training

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees
Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

On Monday morning, the Toronto Blue Jays officially announced the list of non-roster invitees to this year's big league Spring Training.

Catcher Steve Berman and utilityman Vinny Capra, who had a brief cameo in the big leagues last year for the club, have also officially been re-signed to minor league contracts and will receive invites as well.

Starting with the lone outfielder on the list, Zach Britton is part catcher, part outfielder and hits for a ton of power. He appeared in just 76 games last year split between High-A and Double-A but he has an impressive eye at the plate and even stole ten bags last year as well.

Phil Clarke, 24, is a catcher/first baseman who made it up to Double-A last season. In 77 games, he hit four home runs while driving in 33. He doesn't strikeout a ton and draws a lot of walks and is light-hitting depth at this point.

Steve Berman, the other catcher to make the cut, spent last season in Triple-A for the Jays. In 67 games, the 28-year-old journeyman hit eight home runs and posted a .215 batting average. He is likely the fourth or fifth catcher on the organizational depth chart for the club.

Vinny Capra, 26, made the first eight appearances of his big league career last year for the Blue Jays, registering one hit and two runs scored in seven plate appearances. He is a contact-oriented utilityman that can play all over the diamond and hit .301 in Triple-A last season.

Andres Sosa, 25, is yet another catcher/infielder for the club. It is interesting that he is being formally announced as an infielder, but he played all four infield spots in college as recently as 2021 so this could be a sign that the organization is going to give him more reps at spots other than catcher. He hit five home runs last year in High-A while posting a .226 average in 73 games.

Jimmy Burnette, 24, made 41 relief appearances last year between High-A and Double-A, going 5-8 with a 4.31 ERA. Notably, he struck out 94 batters in just 56 innings while allowing just four home runs.

Brandon Eisert, 25, is another southpaw to make the cut. He made 45 appearances (five starts) in Triple-A Buffalo last year and struck out 77 batters in 60 innings. He is an intriguing swingman-type of pitcher that could easily see time in the big leagues this season.

Jimmy Robbins, 25, looked really sharp last year in three different levels of minor league play. He made 21 appearances (15 starts) and posted an impressive 2.59 ERA, striking out 98 batters in 76 innings. He gives the organization yet another intriguing lefty in the farm system.

The fourth and final left-hander to make the list needs no real introduction. Ricky Tiedemann, the club's top prospect at only 20-years-old, is going to get a look in big league Spring Training. He looked utterly dominant in his first professional action last year, going 5-4 with a 2.17 ERA in 18 starts.

Junior Fernández, Matt Peacock and Bowden Francis are the only three pitchers on the list with big league experience under their belt.

Fernández, 25, made 16 relief appearances with the Cardinals and Pirates last season, posting a 2.41 ERA in 18.2 innings. Peacock, 28, has yet to find his footing in just under 100 innings in the bigs split between the Diamondbacks and Royals. Francis, 26, made a single relief appearance for the Jays last year but has been dominant in the Puerto Rican Winter League this offseason.

Adrian Hernandez, 23, has been a fast-mover through the Jays system, reaching as high as Triple-A last season. He is a relief pitcher who strikes out a ton of guys but needs to work on his control and limiting the walk if he is to see a big league mound anytime soon.

Hayden Juenger, 22, is another intriguing starting pitching prospect in the system. He made 20 appearances (17 starts) last season in Double-A and Triple-A and posted a combined 3.76 ERA. He is similar in Hernandez in the way that he strikes a ton of guys out but needs to work on control.

Jackson Rees, 28, has been in the minor league system since 2018 and - stop me if you've heard this before - is an intriguing relief pitching option in the high minors. Last year, he made 15 appearances and struck out 22 batgters in 16 innings.

Finally, there is right-hander Sem Robberse, a 21-year-old product of the Netherlands. He has been off to a strong start since joining the Jays organization in 2019 at the age of 17. Last year, he made 22 starts and hads a 3.23 ERA in 111 innings.

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