Who is Mason McCoy, one the Blue Jays' newest infielders?

Seattle Mariners Photo Day
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The Toronto Blue Jays have finally moved on from Trent Thornton, shipping him to the Seattle Mariners for a minor league player. So, who is Mason McCoy?

McCoy, 28, was originally a 2017 sixth-round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles out of the University of Iowa. The middle infielder advanced to Triple-A in the Orioles' system before being traded to the Mariners for the 2022 season, but he took some valuable lessons from his Baltimore days with him.

In a conversation with Jays Journal, McCoy said, "when I was with the Orioles in 2021, they emphasized extra-base hits for me. We made some swing changes so I could elevate the ball better. I had previously been more of a contact guy. My strikeouts shot up, but so did my walks and my power/hard-hit balls. This, matched with experience I gain every single day is what contributed to some of this new power I have tapped into."

Playing with Seattle's affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers, McCoy put up big numbers in his first full season in the Pacific Coast League (PCL). Despite only a .256 batting average, he slugged .473, hit 21 home runs, drove in 63 and scored 72 in 124 games.

Not to throw cold water on the power McCoy has displayed, but the numbers come with a caveat. The PCL is a notoriously hitter-friendly league with some of baseball's most generous hitting conditions. Before he moved out west, McCoy hit only nine long balls in 112 games in 2021 with Baltimore's Triple-A affiliate in the International League.

An area that McCoy excels in without any help from inflated numbers is speed on the bases. He stole 22 bags last season and was already up to 20 swipes in 87 games this year. He could have taken advantage of that speed more often if he had gotten on base at a better clip. Before joining the Jays organization, his batting average was down from last year at .234, with a .737 OPS.

With 55 RBI and 53 runs scored this season, he still managed to produce for the Rainiers, despite the weaker average. He has 11 home runs on the year, but with a lackluster 85.8 mph average exit velocity, it will be interesting to see how much power translates back to the International League with the Buffalo Bisons.

McCoy came to his new team on a roll, hitting .278 with eight RBI over his final five games with Tacoma. He has kept it going through three games with the Bisons so far, hitting .294 with a double and four RBI in 17 at-bats.

Listed as a shortstop, he has started 78 games there this season between Tacoma and Buffalo. He also has nine starts at second and four at third. McCoy has committed only five errors in those 78 games at short, good for a .986 percent fielding percentage — an impressive average on the fast infields of the PCL diamonds.

He certainly knows knows how to flash the leather.

Where McCoy fits in on a busy Bisons' infield is another question. When he arrived in Buffalo, he became the ninth infielder on the roster and the oldest of the group. Since then, they've trimmed it to six infielders, so he should get semi-regular playing time.

McCoy seems like a depth piece for the organization. Not currently on the 40-man roster, he'll likely spend the remainder of his season in Triple-A helping Buffalo try to remain atop the East Division standings.