When it comes to prominent Blue Jays prospects, being ranked 39th in the organization prior to the 2023 regular season doesn't exactly make headlines. And yet, this doesn't mean Cam Eden isn't an intriguing player to keep an eye on.
Along these lines, Eden was invited to this year's spring training as a non-roster player. This was due in large part, to the combination of his excellent speed and being viewed as one of the organization's top defenders.
The 25-year-old went on to have a strong showing in Grapefruit League action, including with his bat, which was the only area of any real concern. This ultimately resulted in him going to Buffalo to begin the season, for his first taste of Triple-A play.
Showing his wheels
Since joining the Bisons, Eden has hit the ground running. Almost literally.
Using his speed to his advantage, the 2019 sixth round draft pick leads his team in steals. He should easily set a new personal single-season high in the Minors, even more impressive when considering this is the highest level he has played at.
In terms of the International League as a whole, Eden is fourth overall with 30 steals as of June 25. Of course what is helping with this, is his ability to get on base in the first place.
In this respect, while the right-handed bat isn't elite offensively, his .240 batting average is still encouraging. Consider that last year in 80 games at the lower Double-A level, he had just a .215 batting average.
It seems evident Eden's stint in spring training boosted his confidence and self-belief. (He went 6-for-21 before his re-assignment to Minor League camp.)
We would be remiss not to also mention the Yuba City, California native's play on defense, mostly in his favored position in center field. In 38 starts (40 games overall) as of June 25 he has a 1.000 fielding percentage, of course helped in no small part by his speed.
Eden does have some versatility, which means he has also started games in the other two outfield positions (as well as seeing time at DH). However, his fielding percentage efficieny does drop and it seems clear centre field is the best place to play him.
Overall, the Blue Jays would still like to see more improvement from Eden's bat. However, he continues to progress and there is genuine hope of seeing his superior speed and sound defence at the Major League level at some point.