What do Kevin Kiermaier, Joey Gallo, and Masataka Yoshida have in common? Well, they all play in the outfield, and all bat left-handed!
While I hope the Jays still remain in the hunt for Brandon Nimmo, it doesn’t hurt to look at some possible names that could fill in as a fourth outfielder. With how the Jays utilize the Designated Hitter spot, these fourth outfielders would likely get an opportunity to play.
Per The Athletics’ Will Sammon, the Jays are one of the teams linked to the Japanese outfielder by various sites overseas.
The 29-year-old lefty slashed .335/.447/.561 with 21 homers in 508 plate appearances with the Orix Buffaloes. He was also an on-base machine, with a walk rate of 15.7% and an incredibly low strikeout rate of 8.1%.
— ベースボールLIVE (@baseballlive_JP) September 19, 2022
In his 3189 plate appearances in the NPB, he has 133 home runs, so there is definitely some raw power there as well. The main question is his defense, which has been described as below average.
While his corner outfield profile could certainly help the Jays in 2023, his defense is suspect, and overseas statistics don’t always translate well in Major League Baseball. It also would keep George Springer in centre field, which may not be ideal if the Jays hop to keep him healthy.
Did Kiermaier steal Alejandro Kirk’s gameplan sheet? He sure did. Does that mean the Jays shouldn’t sign him if he accepts the fourth outfielder role? Absolutely not.
The 32-year-old slashed .228/.281/369 with seven homers in 221 plate appearances. The former gold glove winner has a tendency to strike out, as he had a career-high 27.6 K% the past season, with a career K% of 22%. In total, he finished with a wRC+ of 90, slightly below his career average of 97.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 24, 2022
While it’s arguable that his offense is an upgrade over Raimel Tapia’s, his defense in centre field certainly is. He had a 2 Defensive Runs Saved and a 1 Outs Above Average, which was slightly above average in his 482.1 innings.
While his numbers took a hit in 2022, he did have a 13 DRS in 2021, as well as an 11 OAA in 894.2 innings in centre field. As for his career defensive numbers, he has an insane 134 D …
Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation