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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Gift Ngoepe

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MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at Toronto Blue Jays Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Gift Ngoepe was picked up in trade from the Pirates for cash (saying we traded for him sounds much better than we bought him).

He’s a 28-year-old middle infielder, born in South Africa (the first player from South Africa to make the majors). He’s 28, and he’s played 28 games in the majors, all last season. He’s a good glove, no bat, infielder. Sort of a slightly younger Ryan Goins. Or maybe more like Darwin Barney, since Goins has occasional power.

In his minor league career, he’s hit .231/.320/.351, in 768 games. Last year he played 77 games in Indianapolis (the Pirates Triple A team) and hit .220/.299/.383. When you play that many games, and you hit that poorly, you must be very good defensively. He must be very likable too, everyone speaks so highly of him.

After a hit and run triple on Tuesday, Gift is hitting .136 with a homer, triple, 5 walks and 9 strikeouts.

PECOTA has Gift hitting .208/.288/.321 in 60 PA (all at second base, but he’s played mostly short in the minors).

With Tulo starting the season on the DL, there might be a spot for Gift on the team. Solarte and Diaz will get the majority of the playing time at short, but Gift would give us a better glove than either, and would make a defensive replacement in late innings.

To me, he’s also a DFA candidate, if the team needs a 40-man roster spot. We do have other guys that can play short. Richard Urena and Lourdes Gurriel are on the 40-man, as well as Solarte, Diaz and Tulo. If Gift doen’t hit at all, I wouldn’t see anything wrong with trying Urena or Gurriel (though the latter’s defense might leave something to be desired).

Poll

If the over/under for Gift Jays plate appearances is 60 I’d take the

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  • 21%
    Over
    (107 votes)
  • 78%
    Under
    (392 votes)
499 votes total Vote Now