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The Next Generation: 3 Blue Jays Prospects to Watch This Spring

3 Blue Jays Prospects to Watch This Spring – The Toronto Blue Jays enter 2024 Spring Training with lofty expectations, fresh off a postseason appearance last year, making them a focal point for sports betting free picks. While the roster is loaded with established talent, making sports betting enthusiasts keenly interested in their performance, the Blue Jays need a few prospects to emerge in support roles to reach their World Series potential, offering intriguing options for sports betting. Even after a potential DH signing, there are open competitions that could launch young careers, adding an extra layer of excitement for those looking into free sports betting picks.

As the veterans report to Dunedin, all eyes shift to the next generation hoping to make the Opening Day roster. Though Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and other stars will grab the headlines, keep an eye on these three young players this spring.

The Power Pitcher: RHP Bowden Francis

At 27 years old, Bowden Francis is no teenage phenom. However, the mature right-hander has dominated since joining the Blue Jays organization midway through 2021. Across 36 innings last season, Francis delivered a sparkling 1.73 ERA with 35 strikeouts compared to just eight walks. 

Francis subdued opponents with a devastating curveball that functioned as an out pitch. Teammates and coaches alike rave about his stuff and poise on the mound. 

In 2023, Francis floated between the rotation and bullpen as needed. With improved pitching depth, the Blue Jays can now deploy him at maximum effectiveness. Francis should compete for the fifth starter job this spring, with a likely outcome being Buffalo’s top call-up option. At minimum, expect Francis to reprise his swingman role in Toronto’s bullpen.  

Either way, the cerebral Francis is poised to throw meaningful innings this season, both out of necessity and merit. 

The Platoon Power Bat: 3B Damiano Palmegiani

While the Blue Jays have several renowned infield prospects, none offer Damiano Palmegiani’s specific brand of thunder. Toronto’s fringe depth pieces must contribute in specialized roles, and Palmegiani checks every box.

Though still rough defensively, Palmegiani wields a loud bat perfectly tailored for a platoon. He slugged 23 homers across three levels last season, exhibiting the raw power to profile at third base. Reports indicate Palmegiani’s defense is passable and improving rapidly.

Most crucially, Palmegiani dominates left-handed pitching. He posted a .842 OPS against southpaws last season, a dramatic improvement in approach. As soon as 2024, Palmegiani could slot in as the strong side of a third base platoon.  

Palmegiani will not enter camp as the frontrunner at third, but don’t dismiss his chances. Productive players can force their way into the lineup regardless of pedigree. Just ask catcher Davis Schneider.

The On-Base Machine: 1B Spencer Horwitz

In the evaluation of first baseman Spencer Horwitz, experts consistently highlight his limited power. Nevertheless, Horwitz possesses a notably strong skill—an exceptional discernment at the plate, unparalleled within the Toronto organization.

Last season in Triple-A, Horwitz achieved a remarkable .450 on-base percentage (OBP), suggesting his meticulous approach may well be effective against major league pitching. Despite demonstrating greater power when batting right-handed, Horwitz also performed commendably against right-handed pitchers in the previous year.

The Blue Jays’ management is of the opinion that Horwitz has the potential to establish a substantial career in MLB, most likely fulfilling a role as a specialist bat against left-handed pitching. While securing an everyday position may be beyond reach, his skills could offer a valuable balance to Toronto’s lineup, which is predominantly focused on home runs. The acquisition of a designated hitter could potentially expedite Horwitz’s progression to the major leagues.

For now, Horwitz will battle for at-bats off the bench or at first base during Spring Training. Like his prospect peers, he simply needs a crack in the door to unleash his unconventional skills onto the league.  

3 Blue Jays Prospects to Watch This Spring: The Next Wave Arrives

While the roster nucleus returns intact, these embryonic Blue Jays aim to capitalize on spring opportunities. Bowden Francis, Damiano Palmegiani, and Spencer Horwitz all offer enticing elements bubbling just below the surface, much like players discovering the best casino online. Each boasts the talent for an inaugural cameo this summer.

With coach Mattingly emphasizing production over projections, the hungrier players will break through. As the Blue Jays march toward October, they will need supplementary contributions from unlikely sources. Why not this determined trio of newcomers?