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Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-man: Spencer Horwitz

2021 Arizona Fall League Headshots Photo by Barry Gossage/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Spencer Horwitz is a 25-year-old, left-handed hitting first baseman. In November, he was added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

Last year he hit .275/.391/.452 with 12 home runs, 73 walks and 85 strikeouts in 114 games split between Double and Triple-A. That’s after hitting .291/.401/.445 in Vancouver in 2021. He walked 15% of the time and struck out 20% of the time (slightly more than he had in the past, but then he’s facing better pitching).

Last year he was number 18 on our top 40 prospect list. This year he’ll be much higher. The power he’s shown the last couple of seasons came from an adjustment in his swing. From Tom_M’s post:

Baseball America attributes the power spike to a simplification of Horwitz’s swing. Previously, he’d had a bat waggle in his setup that disrupted his timing. His new swing starts with his hands still and loaded close behind his back shoulder, giving him a direct path to the ball. They note that his new approach has raised his max exit velocity from around 106mph, which would have put him in the bottom 10% of players in MLB who put at least 100 balls in play in 2021, to over 110mph, which would put him just over the median. That extra power came with no decrease in his knack for contact (his strikeout rate actually dropped to 10% after the change).

The unfortunate part is that, defensively, he’s limited to first base (and perhaps the occasional moment in left field), and he’s not going to take that role from Vladimir Guerrero. He could be a Lyle Overbay type of first baseman in a perfect world, but I think we’d rather have a Vladimir Guerrero type. If we weren’t a contender, he might have had a shot at making the team at DH. In the days before teams carried 13 or 14 relievers, Horwitz could have a job as a pinch hitter.

With our team, he will look to have a good spring, get noticed, and then have a great start to the season in Buffalo and wait for an opening. Or get traded to the Brewers.

2023 is only his first option year, so there is no rush for the Jays; Spencer can be an insurance policy for three years, unfortunately for him.

At 25, it would be great if he could get his MLB career started this year. For the Jays, it would be great if Vlad and Brandon Belt were healthy all year and hit 100 home runs between them.

Steamer doesn’t think he will get much of a chance in the majors this year. It predicted he’d get into 3 games with 13 PA.


Will we see Horwitz in the majors this year?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    (223 votes)
  • 53%
    (259 votes)
482 votes total Vote Now


In three years Horwitz

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Will have established himself as a Blue Jay.
    (51 votes)
  • 62%
    Will have established himself in the majors with another team.
    (296 votes)
  • 26%
    Will still be looking for his shot.
    (125 votes)
472 votes total Vote Now