In-depth defensive evaluations on Orelvis Martinez, Addison Barger, more

Taking a much closer look at how Blue Jays prospects did on defense in 2023.

Orelvis Martinez at Spring Training
Orelvis Martinez at Spring Training / Mark Brown/GettyImages
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Leo Jimenez

Jimenez is ranked as the #6 overall prospect in the Jays system by MLB Pipeline. Of the players discussed in this article, he's the best defender and closest thing to a true shortstop. He has made the majority of his starts at shortstop at Double-A and Triple-A but also has played a considerable amount of second base.

Jimenez is not the explosive athlete that a typical shortstop is. He's not a good runner, he does not have a huge arm, and he's only 5-foot-10. He does however make quick reads and he glides around the infield with ease. His internal clock and hands are excellent and his glovework and actions are strong.

Here's a good play in which he ranges to his right and makes an off-balance throw. He does not have a huge arm by any means but his quick release and good mechanics helped him to make a difficult play deep in the hole.

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His range and glovework is on display here but it's also his composure and internal clock to get up, set his feet, and make an accurate throw in plenty of time.

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Here's one of his many other standout defensive plays, this time showcasing his reflexes and athleticism.

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There's a lot of impressive stuff on Jimenez's defensive tape this year but he did commit 14 errors at shortstop (none at second base) so it was important to take a look at how some of those transpired and how much of it was his fault.

Type of Error

Number of Errors

How many were fully his fault?

Glovework

5

5

Throwing

8

5

Catching a throw on a stolen base

1

0

Like most shortstops, the majority of Jimenez's errors were throwing errors. A few of them are not perfect throws but picks that a major league first baseman would normally make. Here's an example a low throw that's on target but the first baseman fails to catch it on the short hop.

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The glovework errors were pretty typical of any player. A few tough bounces and hard hit balls. Here's an example of one that he awkwardly tries to back-hand and misplays.

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Based on this year's tape and evaluations from other scouts, here are Jimenez's Field grades for the main positions he has played. A 55 is considered to be a median outcome of being a slightly above average defender at the position and a 60 is considered to be a median outcome of being a well above average defender at the position.

Shortstop

Second Base

50/50

55/60

Jimenez is not an outstanding defensive shortstop by any means but he's quite reliable, moves fluidly around the middle infield, and has a high defensive IQ. His arm can let him down on some of the trickier plays and he does make his fair share of mistakes. He's more suited for second base on a team that already has Bo Bichette entrenched but he looks like a solid back-up shortstop at the very least. Jimenez has a great skill-set for second base and looked stronger there than at shortstop. His arm profiles better at second and he has all the tools and ability to be a plus defender at the position hence the potential 60 grade. He has very rarely played third base but he would likely be serviceable there in a pinch given his skills elsewhere.