When it comes to Addison Barger, patience has been the key. This was always going to be the case though, considering the Blue Jays drafted him five years ago as a High School prospect.
In this respect, the patience looks like it's really starting to pay off. The potential is clear in Barger, who was one of two Blue Jays to make it onto FanGraph's Top 100 prospects list during spring training.
The 23-year-old helped his case by impressing during spring training games. He produced a home run and six RBI as part of a .294/.351/.441 slash line and .792 OPS in 34 at-bats.
Disappointing start in Triple-A
While Barger was always unlikely to make the opening day roster, he at least served notice of what he was capable of. However, his season didn't get off to the best of starts in Triple-A Buffalo.
The main facet most baseball analysts -- including FanGraphs -- focus on is Barger's power with the bat. And yet he was decidedly underwhelming during his first 20 games with the Bisons, highlighted by a .237 batting average and .662 OPS.
In fairness to the left-handed bat, he wasn't helped by an elbow injury which put him out of action for around six weeks. Since his return, he's returned to showing what he is capable of on offence.
That's more like it
In the last 20 game alone, Barger has hit three home runs and 12 RBI. He has an excellent .267/.402/.480 slash line and .882 OPS.
The 2018 sixth round draft pick has also impressed with his improved patience and discipline at the plate. This is evidenced by his 10.9 percent strike-rate and 18.5 percent walk-rate over the same 20-game period.
In terms of defense, the plan has long been for Barger to play in the infield. As a result he has seen playing time at all four positions during his rise through the ranks, albeit the majority at either third base or short stop.
In an interesting development however, the Bellevue, Washington native has recently seen playing time in right field. He has a .966 fielding percentage in 14 starts and overall isn't performing too badly.
You can understand the intrigue with this move, given Barger has a rocket for an arm. However, wherever he ends up he should develop into a decent defender at the Major League level, with the bonus of offering some versatility.
In this respect, the clamor is only becoming louder, for the former C. Leon King High School student to be called up by the Blue Jays. Whether it be as a result of an injury or two extra roster spots at the beginning of September, Barger deserves to be near the top of the list when it comes to considering options.
NB - All statistics up to and including August 20.