The Toronto Blue Jays are deep at the shortstop position. Very deep. This leaves plenty of questions as to who will be the franchise shortstop for the team.
The Jays haven’t been able to find a real franchise shortstop since Tony Fernandez. In fact, I would classify him as the only franchise shortstop Toronto has had. But fear no more, for the Jays have stacked their system with future shortstops. Maybe even a little overkill, but that’s ok. Let me tell you about these future infielders.
Gurriel has already seen some playing time in the MLB and to a good amount of success. He is a common name among Blue Jays fans, being seen as Troy Tulowitzki‘s replacement from his never-ending injuries. And he was a good “fill-in”. Through 65 games with Toronto, he had a slash line of .281/.309/.446. Those are some pretty respectable numbers for sure. Gurriel is a middle infielder, which means he usually plays short or second. He is a primary shortstop, seeing 46 of his big league games in that position. Although defensively, he seems to play much better at second. He will probably see more playing time there when better players come up.
Martinez was an international prospect that was ranked No. 4 on MLB’s Pipeline International Prospects. Toronto paid a pretty penny to get him, but that is because he shows a lot of promise. Since signing him in July, he’s already Toronto’s No. 13 best prospect. Everything about this guy is above average, and many scouts compare him to Adrian Beltre. That’s not a bad name to be compared to. Don’t be fooled by just the “above average” grading, as he also has the potential to be a big power bat and a plus defender.
Toronto’s first-round pick in 2018 has taken off in the minor leagues. Hitting .296/.353/.446 in 48 games is pretty darn good. He’s quick, athletic, defensively sound, and everything people look for in a shortstop. He’s a long way still from making it to the MLB but he’s certainly making a name for himself already. Don’t sleep on Groshans
In Smith’s couple seasons in Toronto’s system, has shown that he is a terrific player so far, as well as seemingly getting better as he gets higher in Toronto’s system. Last year Smith hit a whopping .302/.358/.528. If he continues to show this talent, he will show that he can hang in the MLB, as well as thrive. Smith, like most of these infielders, shows potential to play in any one of these positions and do well in them. There’s the potential that he could move to third, although he has seen a lot of playing time at second as well.
And finally, Bo Bichette. Bichette himself is already a legacy player (because Toronto loves those) and has that in his favour. But he’s proving that he isn’t going to live in Dante’s shadow. He’s going to carve his own path. Bichette is the No. 9 prospect in all of baseball and the favourite to be Toronto’s franchise shortstop. Throughout his 3 seasons in the minor leagues, Bichette has a career line of .328/.385/.521. Holy cow. This 20-year-old guy doesn’t just have franchise shortstop potential, he has the potential to be a big star in the MLB. People should be excited to see this guy play, they’re just distracted because of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who is still the best prospect in MLB.
Either way, you look at it, Toronto has the potential to have one of the best infields in the MLB for years to come. It’ll be exciting and fun to watch. So buckle up Jays fans.