Alejandro Kirk jumped from 49th to 8th on our prospect list from 2019 to 2020. Matt said:
If he sticks behind the plate, he’s a potential impact regular with potentially a big bat. Even if he doesn’t stick, he may well hit enough to still be a regular even at the far end of the defensive spectrum. A possible comp in terms of career arc could be Carlos Santana, who came up a catcher, split time there early in his career and then became a bat-only player. Santana of course is a great hitter, but Kirk’s production and profile look great, and even ending up a poor man’s Santana would be a great outcome.
He got into a few games with the Blue Jays during the shortened 2020 season, hitting .375/.400/.583 with a home run in 25 PA. He showed us why everyone raves about his bat, though it was a small sample.
And he’s having a nice spring, with a .500/.538/.800 line in 13 PA. Considering Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire aren’t hitting much this spring, the calls for Kirk to make the team are getting louder.
I can’t see any reason to keep him off the roster. Keeping McGuire on the roster over Kirk would be malpractice.
Based on talent alone, the competition for the backup catcher’s spot with Reese McGuire seems more like a foregone conclusion than a contentious debate.
The case for him not making the team is solely the fact that McGuire is out of options.
Losing McGuire for nothing — or next to nothing via a minor trade — might hurt, but there’s arguably more than enough depth to make up for it.
I don’t imagine the team would be able to get much for him in trade. If they could have, he would have been traded by now. But, if they put Reese on waivers, someone would grab him.
It is hard to give up on a young catcher, especially a left-handed hitting one, but Kirk is the one we want on the team if the team wants to win. But there are still two weeks left of spring training. Things happen; a team might have an injury and might decide to make an offer for McGuire.
I’m always a fan of using the better player. I get that teams have to worry about making use of all assets, that McGuire has value, and the team would hate to give up on that. Me? I see five catchers on the 40-man, and I think Reese has the least value of the five. If they have to lose him for no return, I think that’s worth the trade-off if it gets Kirk on the roster.
We have five catchers on the 40-man. Losing one wouldn’t be such a bad thing. If there is an injury to one of the major league catchers, Riley Adams or Gabriel Moreno could fill in. Or the team could sign a veteran’s presence guy.
If I was GM which of these two would make the roster
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PECOTA figures Kirk to play 42 MLB games with a .256/.330/.400 line. I’m hoping for the over on the games.
ZiPS has him at 101 games (but then ZiPS doesn’t attempt to figure games played) with a .259/.329/.427 line. So both see much the same batting line.
I think Kirk will play ___ MLB games this year
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