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Better Know Your Blue Jays 40-Man: Addison Barger

MLB: MAR 07 Spring Training - Blue Jays at Pirates Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s time to start looking through our 40-man roster.

Addison Barger was added to the Jays’ 40-man in November of 2022, to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. He’s a 24-year-old, left-handed hitting infielder (he’s also played right field).

He was a sixth-round pick in the 2018 draft (he dropped that far because he was committed to the University of Florida). He didn’t impress with the bat until 2022, but then he hit .308/.378/.555 with 26 home runs in 124 games, mainly with the Dunedin Blue Jays.

Barger was number two on our top 40 Prospect List last year, making a big move from #39 the year before (he might fall a couple of spots this year). Matt wrote:

Hitting from an upright left handed stance, Barger bears little resemblance to the draftee five years ago having put on 50+ pounds of muscle to turn into a slugger. Defensively, he’s got the most time as shortstop but has likely outgrown that. With a really good arm, third base is the logical fit. if the bat plays, he should profile just fine in an outfield corner if necessary.

There are more than a few parallels to Martinez above as power driven offensive profiles with a similar positional outlook. Barger doesn’t have the same pure upside, but while some real risk factors remain with the crucial hit tool, there’s less pure bust risk and it’s two straight years of huge up arrows.

Baseball America has him as the Jays number 5 prospect going into this season.

In 2023 he hit:

Register Batting
23 -3.3 Buffalo 88 397 340 53 85 25 0 9 46 5 3 52 86 .250 .353 .403 .756 11 3 2
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/18/2024.

Barger’s bat came to life in July and August, hitting .278/.397/.469 in 42 games over those two months, but the rest of the season wasn’t good. But he did bring his strikeout rate down to 21.7% (25.3 in 2022), and his walk rate was still high at 13.1%.

He’s had large battering splits in the past. In 2023, the splits closed some. Addison hit .289/.368/.404 against RHP, .229/.348/.387 vs LHP.

Defensively, he has a very strong arm and can play the left side of the infield. Most think he would be better at third base, but he could play short. And the team has been playing him out in right field, another spot to take advantage of his arm. He’s also played second base.

Before the signing of Isiah Kiner-Kalefa, I hoped that Barger could come to spring training with an outside shot at winning a utility role with the Jays. Now, not so much.

Last year, I said, “If I had a suggestion for Cavan Biggio, it would be ‘get off to a good start this year’”. Well, Biggio didn’t get off to a good start, but that didn’t help out Addison. Of course, Addison didn’t have a good start to his season either.

Like last year, his chances of making the team out of camp likely depend on injuries to other players and great performance, but odds are extremely slim. His hope to play for the team is to have a great start to his season in Buffalo and hope for an opportunity.

And, of course, the team is still looking for a bat or two, and Barger is one of their better trade pieces, so there is no guarantee that he’ll be in the Jays’ system by the start of the season.

Steamer figures him to bet 131 PA and hit .243/.316/.392 with 4 home runs, which seems reasonable (but then I figured he would get into an MLB game last season). ZiPS says he will hit .240/.308/.399, so much the same. ZiPS doesn’t guess playing time.

Last year, ZiPS had Don Money, Jedd Gyorko and Carney Lansford as his top three hitting comps; this year, Shawn Hare, John Vander Wal and Don Whiting, which is a big downgrade.


This season I think Barger will get

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    0 MLB PA
    (35 votes)
  • 39%
    1-50 MLB PA
    (166 votes)
  • 30%
    51-100 MLB PA
    (130 votes)
  • 10%
    101-200 MLB PA
    (45 votes)
  • 10%
    More than 200
    (44 votes)
420 votes total Vote Now


In his career I expect Barger to be

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    An All-Star
    (18 votes)
  • 45%
    A solid major leaguer
    (178 votes)
  • 37%
    A utility player
    (149 votes)
  • 12%
    Someone who only gets the odd ‘cup of coffee’ in the majors
    (49 votes)
394 votes total Vote Now


Barger will get his first MLB at-bat in

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    (72 votes)
  • 54%
    (195 votes)
  • 17%
    (63 votes)
  • 8%
    (29 votes)
359 votes total Vote Now