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Who will be Blue Jays’ outfielders in 2019?

TORONTO — The Blue Jays unveiled a new-seem outfield towards the tail stop of 2018, and it has remained fairly unchanged as the club enters a new calendar year.

Veteran Curtis Granderson is very long gone, but the other outfield pieces from final year remain in position. As MLB.com carries on its yearly All-around the Horn series with Spring Education promptly approaching, it truly is time to take a nearer seem at wherever things stand with the Blue Jays’ outfield.

TORONTO — The Blue Jays unveiled a new-seem outfield towards the tail stop of 2018, and it has remained fairly unchanged as the club enters a new calendar year.

Veteran Curtis Granderson is very long gone, but the other outfield pieces from final year remain in position. As MLB.com carries on its yearly All-around the Horn series with Spring Education promptly approaching, it truly is time to take a nearer seem at wherever things stand with the Blue Jays’ outfield.

The battleground
Left field is wherever the most attention-grabbing competitiveness of Spring Education is established to take position. Billy McKinney and Teoscar Hernandez will be competing for the beginning occupation, and the fight could possibly keep on effectively into the year, with the two gamers obtaining a prospect to crack the Opening Working day roster.

Video: McKinney on his 2018 year, method at the plate

McKinney is the greater defender, and his capability to make reliable speak to is a thing the Blue Jays’ lineup lacks. Hernandez arguably has much more upside simply because of his ability, but his glove has been a main legal responsibility and that will have to improve if he is going to develop into a very long-expression solution.

The mainstay
Kevin Pillar returns as the beginning center fielder for at least a single much more year. He is the longest-tenured Blue Jays player and a single of the only remaining faces from the club’s back again-to-back again appearances in the American League Championship Series in 2015-16.

The huge issue encompassing Pillar is no matter if his highlight-reel defense is in a condition of decline. The California native completed the 2018 year with -2 Defensive Runs Saved, in comparison to 15 Defensive Runs Saved in 2017, in accordance to FanGraphs. Pillar’s greatest asset is his glove, and if teams stop viewing him as an elite defender, then his very long-expression viability in the recreation will be thrown into issue. But for now, his place is secure.

Video: WSH@TOR: Statcast™ tracks Pillar’s diving grab in CF

Altering the narrative
Randal Grichuk is back again for a different year, and it truly is safe to say he’ll open up the year with a large amount much more lovers than he had a year ago. The veteran had a horrendous start out to 2018, but when he returned from a rehab assignment in early June, he seemed like a entirely distinct player. The 27-year-outdated hit a respectable .264/.313/.524 with an .837 OPS around his ultimate 74 video games and that was adequate to secure his place as Toronto’s each day ideal fielder. The challenge here is Grichuk has only two several years of control remaining, and if he is going to develop into a very long-expression piece, he’ll need to have to find much more regularity around 162 video games than he has shown in the previous.

Video: TOR@NYY: Grichuk goes deep 2 times vs. Yankees

Who’s the backup?
Hernandez is previously 26 and McKinney is 24, so there could possibly not be a lot place in beginning possibly a single of them in the Slight Leagues. If the two outfielders make the staff out of Spring Education, the Blue Jays will not likely need to have a different outfielder, and the fight for enjoying time in remaining field will keep on indefinitely. Beneath this circumstance, any time Pillar demands a working day off, Grichuk would slide around to center and the other two would protect off the corners.

If the Blue Jays make your mind up to go with a a single-person exhibit in remaining by picking out Hernandez or McKinney, then Dwight Smith Jr. has a prospect to take on the regular fourth outfielder purpose and acquire sporadic enjoying time off the bench.

The sleeper applicant
This is shaping up to be a quite huge year for Anthony Alford, whose stock dropped in 2018 just after he hit .240 with a .656 OPS in 105 video games for Triple-A Buffalo. The extended struggles represented a main setback for a single of the club’s most promising younger potential customers. There is no greater athlete in the system and Alford, a former quarterback, has only been enjoying baseball comprehensive-time considering that 2015, so it would be foolish to give up on him this early, but he demands a robust year to re-enter the Blue Jays’ outfield combine. It really is not now or never for the 24-year-outdated, but it truly is beginning to get near.

Video: BOS@TOR: Alford singles, picks up initially occupation RBI

In the Pipeline
Forrest Wall was the important piece the Blue Jays been given final July from Colorado in the trade for Seunghwan Oh. He was a possible Rule 5 Draft goal, but he went unclaimed and will now be a part of the Blue Jays this spring as a non-roster invitee.

Wall is ranked Toronto’s No. 25 prospect by MLB Pipeline and is coming off a year in which he hit a blended .263/.343/.402 across two concentrations. He need to commit the bulk of the year at Triple-A Buffalo and will push Alford as a probable midseason callup.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com considering that 2011. Abide by him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and hear to his podcast.



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