After joining the Blue Jays in 2018 in the trade for Steve Pearce, the infielder impressed the organization in his first full season with Toronto last year, beginning ‘19 at Double-A and hitting .278/.343/.381 with five home runs, one triple, 21 doubles, 10 stolen bases and 57 RBIs in 94 games before being promoted to Triple-A. Espinal got into 28 games with Buffalo and slashed .317/.360/.433 with two homers, six doubles and 14 RBIs in the small sample. The Dominican-born utility infielder was originally the 10th-round pick of the Red Sox in 2016 out of Miami-Dade College.
Espinal has a collection of mostly average-or-better tools despite being somewhat undersized at 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. He has good bat speed from the right side of the plate that allows him to make plenty of hard, line-drive contact across the entire field. He’s grown into some power since becoming a pro, showing some occasional over-the-fence pop, though he’s likely to tally more doubles and triples at the highest level. Espinal’s above-average speed and quick feet are assets on the basepaths, and together they give him the potential to post double-digit steals in a given season.
Espinal’s defense is a separator. His athleticism is on display at shortstop, where he has above-average range, soft hands and the above-average arm needed to stick at the position. He’s also seen time at both second and third base, and it’s led some evaluators to peg him as a future utility infielder in the big leagues.