Alejandro Kirk

From BR Bullpen

Alejandro Kirk

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Height 265 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Catcher Alejandro Kirk had never played above Class A when he made his major league debut for the Toronto Blue Jays on September 12, 2020. He had played the previous season with the Dunedin Blue Jays in the Florida State League and the Lansing Lugnuts in the Midwest League, hitting a combined .290/.403/.465 in 92 games.

Kirk was originally signed by the Jays on September 24, 2016 as an amateur free agent. He began his pro career in 2017 with the GCL Blue Jays, playing just 1 game, then spent the 2018 season with the Bluefield Blue Jays, where he hit a scorching .354/.443/.558 in 58 games. He was a postseason All-Star in the Appalachian League that season, then an organization All-Star in 2019 for his performance in Class A. he attended spring training with the Blue Jays in 2020, then when the minor leagues were cancelled, he spent the first few weeks of the year at their alternate training site. When back-up catcher Reese McGuire failed to hit and was replaced on the major league roster by Caleb Joseph in early September, he was promoted to the taxi squad, then a week later replaced Joseph on the major league team. His first start came against the New York Mets, when he caught veteran Robbie Ray and guided the Jays to a 3-2 win. He went 1 for 3 and walked and scored a run in the game. On September 21nd, he went 4-for-4 and hit his first major league homer off Chad Green in an 11-5 win over the New York Yankees; another one of his hit was off the fence in right field and would have been a homer in New Yankee Stadium - but the game was played in the Jays' temporary home of Sahlen Field in Buffalo, NY. He ended the season at .375 in 9 games, with 2 doubles and a homer, and not only was he added to the Jays' postseason roster, but he started Game 1 of the Wild Card Series at DH, with lefthander Blake Snell starting for the Tampa Bay Rays. He led off the 6th with a single off Snell, but the Jays were unable to drive him in.

In 2021, he continued to surprise as he beat out McGuire for the Jays' backup catcher position on Opening Day, with Danny Jansen the starter. On April 30th, he had the first two-homer game of his career in a 13-5 win over the Atlanta Braves. Jansen was still considered the better defensive catcher and the nominal starter, but Kirk was hitting so much better than he was that he was in danger of losing his title. Unfortunately, he had to leave the next day's game with a hip flexor and was placed on the injured list. He missed over two and half months, returning to the line-up on July 23rd. On September 7th, he had another two-homer game, this one against the New York Yankees, connecting off Gerrit Cole and Clay Holmes in a 5-1 win. By then he had also developed a great relationship with Robbie Ray, who was named the American League Pitcher of the Month in August with Alejandro starting behind the plate every time he came to the mound. He finished the season at .242 in 60 games, with 8 homers and 24 RBIs and an OPS+ of 105.

Kirk started the 2022 season slowly, hitting .245 without an extra-base hit in 19 April games, but he got very hot after that. He batted .347 in May and in June homered in three straight games, including one on June 24th when he went 4-for-4 in a 9-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, raising his average to .321. By then he was leading all American League catchers in votes for the All-Star Game and was indeed elected to be a starter in the game.

Short and heavy-set, his body type is close to that of Willians Astudillo, who is also a catcher who strikes out very rarely and puts the ball in play to all fields. He also bears an uncanny resemblance to Wally the Green Monster. But Kirk is also considered a very solid defensive catcher with great game-calling instincts and pitch-framing skills.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL All-Star: 2022

Further Reading[edit]

  • Nick Ashbourne: "Despite unusual build and background, Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk inspires faith", Yahoo! Sports Canada, September 2, 2021. [1]
  • Keegan Matheson: "He's 5-foot-8, 265 lbs. And yes, he mashes", mlb.com, September 22, 2020. [2]

Related Sites[edit]