Beneath the surface of the games on the field, beyond the daily routines part and parcel to baseball’s daily grind, the themes of teammate values and purposeful practice underpinned the Toronto Blue Jays’ approach to player development in 2018. The manifestations of those focal points ranged from prospects role-playing different scenarios to the staging of need-specific camps, new elements integrated into the organization’s holistic vision for grooming players.

The goal, ultimately, is to ensure that the base of talent which fuelled GM Ross Atkins’ recent assertion that he’d never been as confident “about the future of an organization” provides the framework for the Blue Jays’ next competitive window. Whether or not that happens in the two- to three-year timeframe Atkins described as looking realistic fully hinges on the club’s ability to successfully transform minor-league potential into major-league production.

“Teammate and practice are two areas we’ve taken to a lot in terms of how we think about development and how to create the best training and practice environments so the players can get better,” says Gil Kim, the Blue Jays director of player development. “Those have been two areas that have been successful this year.”

Buzzwordy as it all …read more



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