If the Blue Jays add a DH this winter, a top prospect will be squeezed out of a job

Spencer Horwitz's future with the Blue Jays is likely on the verge of becoming a major question mark.
Toronto Blue Jays v Colorado Rockies
Toronto Blue Jays v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

The Blue Jays have more work to do when it comes to the lineup. The club would benefit from adding a legitimate third baseman, though the market is small. There is also an abundance of uncertainty in the DH spot as it currently stands.

There are internal options to fill the hole as of now. It’s possible that Davis Schneider DH's, with Cavan Biggio and Santiago Espinal splitting second base duties and newly signed Isiah Kiner-Falefa playing third. However, the best fit when considering skillsets for the DH role on the team may be Spencer Horwitz.

Horwitz, the No. 16 prospect in the Jays system as per MLB.com's latest rankings, has a clear path to at-bats against righties as the roster currently stands. The young first baseman has favourable projections from FanGraphs, as they project a 113 OPS+ for the 2024 season. This projection is most likely a result of his plate discipline, as he has sported a .407 OBP in his minor league career. 

Should Horwitz enter 2024 with a role on the Blue Jays, it’s likely he’d split DH and first base similar to what we saw Brandon Belt do last season. Horwitz has also spent time in the corner outfield spots and second base in the minors, but with the current position player depth on this roster it’s unlikely that this versatility would need come into play. 

The prospect has little left to prove in the minor leagues. After representing Israel in the WBC, Horwitz crushed Triple-A pitching last season to the tune of a 144 wRC+. However, there may be some more developing power to be had, hitting only 10 long balls over his 107 games in Buffalo. Regardless of his home run output, the Blue Jays should be encouraged by Horwitz’s floor: a contact oriented player with an exceptional eye at the plate.

With the Blue Jays reportedly in the market for a DH, namely Joc Pederson and Jorge Soler, it’s feasible that Horwitz could be pushed out of playing time in 2024. If the Blue Jays were to have a player taking regular at-bats at DH, it becomes difficult to fit Horwitz onto the 26-man roster. The first base prospect has minor league options remaining, and he could use that time to work on his power output while utilizing Buffalo’s coaches and consistent playing time. 

The Blue Jays would be well off to add an established hitter to their DH role for 2024, though it would be at the expense of Spencer Horwitz’s role on the big league club.