Toronto Blue Jays 2023 Season Preview: INF Leo Jimenez

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Up next in our Toronto Blue Jays 2023 season preview series is infielder Leo Jimenez.


Addison BargerAnthony BassChris BassittBrandon BeltJosé BerríosBo Bichette, Cavan BiggioMatt ChapmanAdam CimberHagen DannerSantiago EspinalMatt GageYimi GarcíaKevin GausmanVladimir Guerrero Jr.Thomas HatchSpencer Horwitz, Danny Jansen

Normally for these previews we would look at projections from both STEAMER and ZiPS, but STEAMER doesn't project Jimenez to make the majors in 2023 and ZiPS at least comes close.*

Jimenez, who'll turn 22 in May, is the Blue Jays' No. 17 prospect on MLB Pipeline and spent the 2022 season in A+ with the Vancouver Canadians. He's projected to become a full-time MLB player in 2024, but the Blue Jays adding him to the 40 man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft shows that the team obviously sees something in him.

ZiPS: 56 H, 4 HR, 56 RBI, .225 / .331 / .333, 87 OPS+

2022 stats (A+): 56 H, 6 HR, 40 RBI, .230 / .340 / .385, .725 OPS

*Editor's note: ZiPS projections include minor and major league innings but the performance estimates are all major-league level. Steamer projects only major league innings.

Jimenez only being a High-A prospect makes him a bit more difficult to project than others, but through scouting reports, YouTube clips, and stats, you can still get a pretty good idea of the type of player he is. A few things that stand out in his scouting report are that he has solid power (although likely never double-digit home run power) and can really drive the ball as well as possessing above-average athleticism. These are pretty standard traits for a prospect of Jimenez's caliber, but this video of him facing some of the Cardinals' top pitching prospects helps show some of what he's capable of.

In his first at-bat, he shows some great plate discipline working a walk against 2019 first-round pick, Zack Thompson, who had a 2.08 ERA in relief for the Cards last season. In his next plate appearance, he hits a ground ball past the infielders for a single off Andre Pallante, who pitched over 100 innings in 2022 with a 3.17 ERA. Next, he faces off against the Cards' No. 21 prospect Jake Walsh, where he flies out to left field, despite getting some decent wood on it.

Jimenez shows off the ability to work the count against MLB-level pitching and a confidence with the bat that will be necessary in the majors. These skills, combined with what you'll hear in scouting reports, paints a solid picture of who he is as a player.

To go from High-A to MLB in a one year span is extremely difficult, and given how many infield prospects the Jays have above Jimenez, I doubt he'll see any significant time in the big leagues this year. That being said, he shows some real potential, and while his minor league stats may not be eye-popping, expect him to be an important piece of the team farm system in 2023. If the Jays suffer some injuries down the stretch, I do think it's possible that we could see him this year, but as of right now, don't count on it.

Next. Blue Jays officially announce 16 non-roster invitees for ST. dark