Should Blue Jays Inquire about Rymer Liriano?

Claiming San Diego Padres Outfield prospect, Rymer Liriano, would be a wise move for the Toronto Blue Jays

 

When GM Ross Atkins pulled the trigger on the Washington Nationals deal that sent OF Ben Revere to DC for closer/setup guy, Drew Storen, he was dealing from an area of strength to fill an area of weakness. This was an excellent baseball trade, where both teams win….on paper at least.

The San Diego Padres designated outfielder Rymer Liriano for assignment to make room for short stop Alexei Ramirez after he signed a 1-yr contract. If you thought the Blue Jays outfield was crowded, you haven’t taken a look at San Diego’s outfield.

The Padres have 8 possible outfielders after removing Liriano from the 40-man roster, this includes Wil Myers who is expected to be converted to 1st base. The Friars Opening Day outfield should consist of Jon Jay and Matt Kemp, with the third spot to be a battle between 10 yr veteran Melvin Upton, Rule V pick Jabari Blash, and top prospects Alex Dickerson, Travis Jankowski and Manuel Margot. Dickerson, Jankowski and Margot will likely start the year with the Padres Triple-A affiliate, where Liriano will be waiting for them. That is some very impressive outfield depth and that’s not including Hunter Renfroe, who hasn’t been added to the 40-man roster.

Enter the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays have some impressive outfield depth of their own; however, much of their outfield depth lacks power. Power that will be required to replace Jose Bautista, if Toronto decides or is unable to sign the premier slugger at the end of the 2016.

The Jays outfield for 2016 will have Jose manning right field once again, 2015 break out Kevin Pillar in center and Dalton Pompey and Micheal Saunders battling for playing time in left. Pompey and Saunders will also receive competition from 4-A outfielders Junior Lake and Ezequiel Carrera. On the farm, the Blue Jays have promising outfielders Anthony Alford, Roemon Fields, and Dwight Smith Jr., but none are expected to be added to the 40-man roster until the end of 2016.

Liriano would be a good addition to the Jays Triple-A outfield and become the Jays first option if any of the four major league outfielders were to go down for any length of time. At 24, Rymer is still not fully developed as a baseball player, he strikes out far too much, doesn’t walk enough, but he possesses a unique blend of power and speed.

Fangraphs.com ranks his hit tool as 30/45, GamePower 30/50+, RawPower 60/60, Speed 50/50, Throws 55/55 and future value 45. They also have his 2015 Triple-A ISO at .167, where he hit 14 home runs, 31 doubles, 3 triples, and 18 stolen bases. He also struck out 24.0% and walked 11.7%, while generating an excellent .378 wOBA and .376 BABIP.

Liriano made his major league debut on August 11, 2014, with a 38 game audition that saw him hit .220, a home run, 2 doubles, 9 BB, and 39 K’s. He failed to receive a call up in 2015, despite his strong Triple-A numbers.

There are no indications that the Toronto Blue Jays have or will show any interest in the promising outfielder, but why wouldn’t the Blue Jays not consider claiming Rymer? The Blue Jays have room on the their 40-man roster and could use more power in the system. Rymer’s bat would prosper far more in the American League East than it would in the National League West.

More on Rymer Liriano

  • Best OF arm between 2009 and 2012
  • Ranked #49 by Baseball America in 2011
  • Rankings by year in the San Diego Padres system: #14 in ’09, #18 in’10, #2 in ’11, #5 in ’12, #6 in ’13, #8 in ’14

 

*Featured Image Mandatory Credit: Patrick-flicker-CreativeCommons

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Shaun Doyle

Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.