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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Brandon Drury

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MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Drury came to the Blue Jays in the incredibly popular J.A. Happ trade, back in July of 2018. We sent J.A. Happ to the Yankees and got back Drury and Billy McKinney.

Drury had been a top prospect, hitting #72 on Baseball Prospectus top 100 prospect before the 2016 season. And he had two pretty good seasons with the Diamondbacks (2016 and 2017) hitting .275/.323/.453 with 29 home runs in 269 games).

The last couple of years haven’t been good.

In 2018 Drury had troubles with migraines and blurred vision. Apparently there was an irratated tendon in his neck that was leading to the troubles. So we had hope that he could get back to his numbers from 2016 and 2017.

It didn’t happen. Brandon hit .218/.262/.380 last year. Matt pegged him as a potential non-tender candidate this year. Part of his post said:

Interestingly, despite his BABIP has plummeting, he’s maintained solid line drive rates consistent with his past production. Last year he did have a big spike in pop-up. On the side of causes for optimism, Baseball Savant’s interpretation if his Statcast output suggests his production should have been much better (.306 xwOBA vs. putrid .265 actual the last two years). My caveat would be that having dug into that a little, I wouldn’t treat those projected numbers as the gospel.

I don’t see anything wrong with giving him a chance to see if he can bounce back, but I’m not expecting it the bounce back to happen. Guys who were top prospects (Brandon was number 72 on Baseball Prospectus top 100 prospects before the 2016 season) get many chances.

I am ok with him as a utility infielder, he plays decent enough defense. But I wouldn’t be happy if he got 447 PA again. We should have infielders who play pretty much everyday this year, so baring injuries, he shouldn’t be needed as much.

PECOTA figures him to hit .237/.290/.408 in 280 PA. I could live with that. Still more playing time than I would like, but not a terrible bat for a utility guy.

He has some competition in spring training. Santiago Espinal and Breyvic Valera are on the 40-man. And Andy Burns, Joe Panik and Ruben Tejada are minor league invites.

Poll

When spring training ends, will Brandon Drury be on active roster?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    Yes
    (150 votes)
  • 36%
    No
    (87 votes)
237 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the over/under on Drury MLB at bats is 200 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Over
    (113 votes)
  • 48%
    Under
    (106 votes)
219 votes total Vote Now