Blue Jays Nation’s 2023 Preseason Top 50: #2 Addison Barger

For Addison Barger, adaptability is the name of the game.

Every time the 23-year-old third baseman/shortstop earned a promotion in 2022, he hit the ground running. In fact, he was arguably the best hitting prospect in the Blue Jays organization.
But first, let’s look at the criteria.
Brennan’s criteria:
Instead of writing this out every time I did for the mid-season Top 60, I’ll copy and paste my criteria for how I rank and scout these players.
There are many factors that determine a top prospect. The eye test is the biggest driver in determining a top prospect, but proximity to the majors, ceiling, and floor is also important. Moreover, statistics are another key ingredient, as everything works together to give you numbers.
As for the grades, it’s important to remember that they are relative to the league in which they play. A kid from Dunedin is not going to have a 50-grade hit tool if he were placed in the big leagues. But relative to the league in which he plays, a .300 hitter is eligible to have that grade.
For these prospects, I’ll be reviewing their background, numbers in the minors, pitch mix (if they’re a pitcher), and giving a scouting report (if feasible, rookie league guys are difficult).
Let’s jump in!
Addison Barger‘s career so far:
The 23-year-old shortstop/third baseman was selected in the sixth round of the 2018 draft. He spent his first season with their rookie league team, posting a .194/.318/.322 slash line …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

News and Notes: The Blue Jays again have interest in Andrew Heaney, Ronald Acuna Jr. trade speculation, and more!

A familiar name has entered the Blue Jays Rumour Mill early in the off-season.

According to Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, the Blue Jays have interest in signing left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney…

As the #BlueJays seek pitching, a name on their radar is LHP Andrew Heaney per source.
Jays pursued him aggressively last year, but he signed with Dodgers & posted elite 35.5% K rate (MLB avg: 22.1%) with 6.1% walk rate & 3.10 ERA in 72.2 IP (14 starts).
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) November 11, 2022

Heaney was among the names in the mix last winter to be Toronto’s next Robbie Ray when it became clear that the bargain-bin-arm-turned-Cy-Young-winner was going to secure a bag of cash elsewhere in free agency.
Heaney wound up inking a one-year, $8.5 million deal with the L.A. Dodgers and posted a 3.10 ERA over 72 2/3 innings while striking out a whopping 13.6 batters per nine innings. The Dodgers didn’t issue Heaney a qualifying offer so he’ll head to the open market without draft pick compensation attached to his name.
We’ve seen the Blue Jays carry interest in certain pitchers over multiple off-seasons in the past, which is why Toronto’s interest in Heaney is more notable than the usual ‘The Blue Jays Are In On This Guy’ rumours we’ll see in the coming weeks. They were in on Kevin Gausman back in the off-season following the 2019 season before he wound up signing a one-year deal with the San Fransisco Giants and they finally landed him two years later.
Heaney, who was selected No. 9 overall by the Miami Marlins in the 2012 draft, throws a fastball that averages 93 miles per hour and a wipeout slider that leads to his elite strikeo …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Zach Britton is a Blue Jays’ prospect to keep an eye on, plus more prospect news!

When I say the name “Zach Britton”, you may be thinking of the Yankees closer. I’m here to tell you otherwise that the Jays’ prospect, Zach Britton, is the real deal.

Selected in the fifth round (and last round) of the 2020 draft, Britton has quietly become the best catching prospect in the Jays organization (if you consider Moreno graduated). Not just that, but he also played significant time in both of the corner outfields. 
Britton’s 2022:
The 23-year-old catcher/corner outfielder slashed .239/.390/.441 in 236 plate appearances with High A Vancouver in 2022. He added seven homers and stole 10 of 12 bases. While his 29.7 K% was on the high side, Britton had an outstanding 17.4 BB%, which easily made up for the elevated strikeout rate. Overall, he had a 136 wRC+ in High A.

@zbritton33 (Zach Britton) WITH AN ABSOLUTE NUKE TO TIE THE GAME AT 6 IN THE BOTTOM OF THE 8TH!#BlueJays #NextLevel
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) August 5, 2022

Upon his promotion to Double A, he slashed .234/.355/.453 in 76 plate appearances. His K% dropped to 22.4%, while his 15.8 BB% was still brilliant. He added three homers and had a 123 wRC+.
This alone, led me to add him to Blue Jays Nation’s Top 60 prospects, where he ranked as the Blue Jays’ 37th prospect. As you’ll read shortly, that was far too low.
Arizona Fall League MVP?:
There may still be a few weeks remaining in the Arizona Fall League, but Britton has emerged as one of the contenders to take home the MVP for the fall league.
In 38 plate appearances, Britton is slashing .500/.553/.750 with a homer and five extra-base hits. No matter who we’re talking about, batting .500 is unsustainable, but to do so over 38 plate appearances is absolutely spectacular. 

Zach Britton (@zbritton33) with a 101.4 mph dinger.
Remember the name.#BlueJays #NextLevel
— Brennan Delaney (@Brennan_L_D) October 21, 2022

Not just that, but he hits the ball hard. Out of batted balls measured by stat cast, he has an 86.24 mph av …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation