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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Josh Palacios

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays-Media Day USA TODAY NETWORK

Josh Palacios is a 26-year-old (27 at the end of July, the day before my youngest son’s birthday) right-handed-hitting outfielder.

Last season, Josh got into 13 games with the Jays, hitting .200/.293/.200. And he only got into 19 minor league games, hitting .283/.411/.333. He missed about three months after a hit by pitch broke his hand, unfortunately happening after the Jays sent him down to the minor, so he couldn’t get major league money while on the IL.

With 2020 being a lost year for Minor League Baseball, we have to go back to 2019 to get more numbers for him. He hit .266/.371/.416 with 7 home runs and 15 steals in 82 games for the Fisher Cats.

Palacios had an excellent spring training, hitting .333/.467/1.000 (in just 12 at-bats), but he was one of the first cuts of the spring, getting optioned out last Sunday. The signing of Dexter Fowler doesn’t look like a vote of confidence in Josh. But I’d think Josh or Nathan Lukes would be the first call-up if there is an outfield injury early in the season. Fowler is still working his way back from a torn ACL suffered at a game against the Jay in Dunedin last year. But if the Jays outfielders can stay health for more than a month, Fowler might become the favorite to take an open spot in the Jays outfield.

Back in 2020, Palacios was #37 on our top four prospect list (his second year in a row to be #37. Among the things Matt wrote:

Palacios got off to a slow start in 2019, before hitting the IL for six weeks. He was very good over the remaining three months, hitting .270/.375/.423 in 296 plate appearances. He trimmed his strikeout rate to 21% despite facing more advanced pitching, while drawing a career high 13% walks.

Even more interestingly is this was despite an increase in power. New Hampshire’s park has a very short porch in right field, and he hit five home runs at home versus just two on the road, which accounts for most of the difference. So there’s reason to discount it, and even a .150 ISO isn’t much to write home about. But it is something of a trend: in each of his first two seasons, his ISO was under .100, before moving up to .126 in 2018. And again, that’s despite moving up.

Power really hasn’t been his game. His season high in home runs is 8. But then he hit 2 in spring training. And he has kind of middling speed, 51 career steals, in the minors, but 29 time caught, for a stolen base percentage that suggests he shouldn’t be trying.

He plays defense plenty well enough for the corner spots, but not well enough for center, where his bat would be good enough for center, but not what you would like for corner.

But then, it could be a good enough 4th or 5th outfielder. And, if he were to get a couple of hundred at bats, he could put up some decent numbers and he could get that 4th outfielder union card. Unfortunately, for Josh, he is in an organization that doesn’t seem to want to settle for an untried rookie in that role.

I get the feeling that, at some point, he’ll end up with a team like the Orioles, and get a chance at showing what he can do.

Josh has a brother in the Gaurdian’s system, Richie, who hit .297/.404/471 splitting time between AA and AAA, playing second and the outfield. has Richie listed as Cleveland’s #18 prospect.

Last year we asked:

  • Will Josh make it to the majors at some point this year? 61% of us got it right.
  • And we asked who would get more MLB at bats, Josh or Jonathan Davis? 90% got it right, Davis had 103 at bats, 18 as a Yankee. Davis signed with the Brewers this off-season.

PECOTA figures Josh to play in 25 games and a .228/.307/.335 batting line.


If the over/under on Palacios’ games played is 25, I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    (29 votes)
  • 85%
    (166 votes)
195 votes total Vote Now


Is Palacios still on the Jays’ 40-man at the end of the season?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    (49 votes)
  • 75%
    (150 votes)
199 votes total Vote Now


Who do we see first with the Blue Jays?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Dexter Fowler
    (83 votes)
  • 38%
    Nathan Lukes
    (81 votes)
  • 23%
    Josh Palacios
    (49 votes)
213 votes total Vote Now