Blue Jays Top Third Basemen

Among the top third baseman in the Blue Jays system are two international products the Jays have signed over the last two years. However, do they rank as the top two third basemen in the system?

1. Balbino Fuenmayor

Fuenmayor made his debut in the United States this season after being signed to a lucrative deal last August. Fuenmayor struggled spring training – especially on his defense – and was always seen taking extra fielding practice. He began the year in extended spring training and then was moved to the Gulf Coast League were he batted .174 with one home runs and twelve runs batted in. We'll give the infielder a pass because he was getting acclimated to his surroundings- but we expect better results next season.

Scouts Take: Fuenmayor was excited every at bat. He swung at nearly every pitch and showed poor strike zone judgment. There were times when he showed he's trying to be patient and he's working with his coaches on that. He must cut down on his strikeouts immediately.

2. Anthony Hatch

The Blue Jays love the 24-year-olds bat, which is why they sent him to play in the Hawaii Winter League. After a career year in 2006 in both batting average and power, Hatch was not able to duplicate the high average, but did hit for fifteen home runs in the Florida State League to go along with his twenty-four doubles and six triples. He's a solid hitter at the plate, however, his strikeouts increased rapidly this season.

Scouts Take: The bat is present for the infielder, he just needs to tweak some things. Hatch for the most part is a free swinging, but it works to his favor because he will make contact with the ball more than he misses it. The left-hander does have potential and should be moved up to New Hampshire to begin the season.

3. Jesus Gonzalez

Gonzalez is a product of the Jays Dominican Summer League program and performed well in Dunedin this past season. As expected, he's a pure free swinger and will not draw a walk. His strikeouts are a problem – but they haven't been detrimental to his success just yet. He has power potential although he hit just six this season. We would like to see Gonzalez play in Dunedin for a full-season next year as a full-time player.

4. Ryan Klosterman

Klosterman struggled this season with New Hampshire batting just .205 with three home runs. He started off on the wrong foot in April, but seemed to pick it together after the first month. However, he was not able to continue his success and he struggled for the remainder of the season. Klosterman does have the ability to hit for power, and is a fast and solid base runner. He can play three positions on the infield and is a plus to have on a team.

5. Leance Soto

The infielder was a big catch out of the Dominican for the Blue Jays in 2005 but he's not been able to put it together in professional baseball, and some scouts are wondering if he ever will. "I've seen him in spring training for the past two seasons, and haven't noticed much improvement." Scouts are also beginning to question his conditioning and believe that is a factor in his struggles. "He's gotten wider from 2006 to 2007."

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