March 14, 2023 – Northwest League (NWL) – Vancouver Canadians News Release
DUNEDIN, FL – Another week of Spring Training is under our collective belt as we inch closer to the start of the 2023 season. It’s been nearly a month since the first trickle of players began arriving at the Player Development Complex in Dunedin, and by all accounts everything has (mostly) been going according to plan. Over the course of their first 17 games, the Blue Jays went 11-6 thanks to conribtions from established stars, new additions and a bevy of farmhands getting their first taste of big league preseason play. As of March 14, 41 players who once suited up for the C’s have appeared in a Blue Jays spring game this year; 35 of those 41 played for the Canadians in either 2021 or 2022.
Each week this month, we’ll highlight the exploits of old friends who are making noise down south. These are five standouts from the last seven days in Florida:
Addison Barger – 2021-22
If former Canadian Ricky Tiedemann has been the prospect headline so far this spring, Addison Barger is undoubtedly the subhead. After mashing his way through the Northwest League last year – he slashed .300/.366/.558 with 21 doubles and 14 homers in 69 games with the C’s – he continued to rake with Double-A New Hampshire and made a September stop in Triple-A as his prospect stock rose so quickly even Gordon Gekko would be proud.
Born in Washington but raised in Florida, Barger has been right at home in Grapefruit League action so far. He has nine hits – including two doubles and a home run – with five RBI and five runs scored in 12 games while playing all over the field; he has logged innings at his natural shortstop, third base and both corner outfield spots.
Jimmy Burnette – 2022
Chicago’s own Jimmy Burnette quickly established himself as a commanding late inning presence for the C’s last year and spent the second half of 2022 fooling hitters in Double-A as he navigated his first full season as a pro. The Blue Jays have called upon the hard-throwing southpaw more than any other former Canadian pitcher this spring and Burnette has answered in kind; in three and a third innings of work across four relief appearances, he has allowed a single run on two hits with a walk, a hit batter and five punch outs while earning a hold and securing a save.
Cam Eden – 2019, 2021-22
Perennial fan favorite Cam Eden – who has yet to play a full healthy season since the Blue Jays took him out of Cal in 2019 – could be on the cusp…
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