Goins Makes Steady Progress For Jays
TORONTO—After hitting for power in college, Ryan Goins has made the adjustment to a line-drive hitter since joining the Blue Jays.
"He had a bigger swing out of college where he hit quite a few home runs," Blue Jays assistant general manager Tony LaCava said. "He had to make the adjustment of not being a power hitter as a professional and being more of a line-drive, gap hitter. Each year he has gotten better with that. I think he really understands and knows his swing right now."
The 24-year-old shortstop was a fourth-round pick in 2009 out of Dallas Baptist. He showed he had learned his lessons well enough at Double-A New Hampshire in 2012 that he earned promotion to the 40-man roster in November and figures to start 2013 at Triple-A Buffalo.
Goins batted .289/.342/.403 with 33 doubles, seven homers, 61 RBIs and 15 stolen bases with the Fisher Cats.
"Each year his overall game gets better," LaCava said. "Defensively he's a legitimate shortstop. He has really good actions, he's got a really good clock in his head. He just seems to have that gift of timing. He's a lefthanded bat as well, which is always a plus."
Goins played only shortstop with the organization before playing 23 games at second base as well as 114 at shortstop this past season. He played exclusively at short in the Arizona Fall League, where he went 6-for-45 (.133).
"He's getting some exposure playing second as well as short just like we did with other infielders in the past," LaCava said. "They get their chance coming up at the position that's maybe not the one they played the most in the minor leagues. He's already had a little time at second and he'll see some time over there again, and even third, because you never know when the opportunity will arrive."
• Catcher A.J. Jimenez, a 22-year-old who also was added to the 40-man roster, is expected to be ready for spring training after season-ending Tommy John surgery that limited him to 27 games in 2012. He's expected to return to New Hampshire.
• The Blue Jays passed on the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft but took three players in the Triple-A portion: Outfielder Sawyer Carroll, 26, from the Padres, righthander Alvido Jimenez, 21, from the Cubs and lefthander Efrain Nieves, 23, from the Tigers.