21. Will Toffey, 3B
Height: 6’2”, Weight: 205 lbs.
DOB: 12/31/94 (25)
Acquired: Trade (Oakland Athletics)
48 G, 164 AB, .244/.357/.384, 40 H, 8 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 29 BB, 49 K, 0/0 SB, .313 BABIP (High-A)
41 G, 134 AB, .254/.394/.433, 34 H, 12 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 30 BB, 36 K, 2/2 SB, .319 BABIP (Double-A)
The younger brother of Tampa Bay Lightning draftee and hockey minor leaguer John Toffey, Will Toffey also excelled in hockey, playing the sport at the all-boys, college prep Salisbury School in Salisbury, Connecticut, but his true passion was baseball. When he graduated in 2014, he had a life-defining choice to make: would he sign with the New York Yankees, who drafted him in the 23rd round of the MLB Draft, would he accept a scholarship to Vanderbilt University to play baseball, or would he accept one of the other scholarship offers he received to play hockey? In the end, Toffey selected baseball, and he chose Vanderbilt. In his freshman year, Toffey was one of the best freshman players in the entire NCAA, hitting .294/.380/.420 in 71 games for coach Tim Corbin’s Commodores. That summer, he made the decision to play in the Cape Cod League, but only a few games into the season, he suffered a stress fracture in his foot. The foot injury not only forced him to leave the prestigious collegiate league but caused his performance to suffer when he returned to Vady for the 2016 season. Though he played in all 62 games, he hit a paltry .227/.387/.266. Despite the poor performance, the Baltimore Oroles drafted Toffey, selecting him in the 25th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He gambled on himself and did not sign with the Os, instead electing to try his hand at the Cape for a second go-around and then return to Vanderbilt for his junior season. The Cape was much more generous to him in 2016, as he hit .283/392/.402 in 36 games, and he was able to keep the positive momentum going when he returned to Vanderbilt for his junior year, as he hit .354/.475/.602 in 56 game, shattering virtually every career high he had already set. The Oakland Athletics selected in the 4th round of the 2017 MLB Draft and Toffey signed with them for the sot value of $482,600.
Toffey made his professional debut with the Vermont Lake Monsters a few weeks later and hit .263/.377/.349 in 57 games. He skipped over Low-A completely and was assigned to the Stockton Ports to begin the 2018 season. His 48 games there were plagued with injury, as he dislocated his shoulder sliding into home plate and then returned and dealt with a sore quad, and he hit only .244/.357/.384. In late July, he was traded to the Mets along with reliever Bobby Wahl in exchange for Mets closer Jeurys Familia. Toffey was assigned to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and hit .254/.394/.433 in 41 games to close out the season.
At the plate, Will Toffey has a quiet set-up with a level swing path. He has a quick bat, and, coupled with his exceptional eye, can wait a long time before committing to a swing, resulting in Toffey being more comfortable being an opposite-field hitter. While this approach has all but eliminated the platoon splits that he exhibits, it saps a great deal of his in-game power. Toffey has moderate raw power, but his strategy at the plate limits his home run power, making him a spray hitter that scatters line drives, some of which are able to go for extra bases. Defensively, Toffey’s best asset is his strong arm. He is not particularly quick-twitch athletic, but he should be able to stick at third base, providing solid-if-unspectacular defense. Should he be moved from the position, he is athletic enough to handle second base, and possibly left field, as well as first.
Steve Sypa says:
Will Toffey is thoroughly unexciting to me. He draws a nice amount of walks and does not strike out much, but there is nothing else in his profile that does anything for me. He doesn’t hit for average, doesn’t hit for power, is a fringy runner, and only provides solid-average defense at third base. Toffey is considered by many to be the higher upside return in the Jeurys Familia trade, but, to me, Bobby Wahl was- and it’s not like Wahl was a particularly great reliever, either.
Lukas Vlahos says:
I like Toffey more than I should probably, but I’m a sucker for guys who walk a lot. That definitely describes Toffey, who walked 18.2% of the time in Double-A after being acquired for Jeurys Familia, en route to a 136 wRC+. What’s even more impressive was that Toffey played most of the season with a damaged shoulder that required surgery. If he can get healthy again and regain some of his power- a big if, given how tricky shoulder injuries can be- he becomes a real prospect at the hot corner. More likely he’s an interesting corner infield bench bat who works a walk whenever you need it off the bench.
Kenneth Lavin says:
After coming over to the Mets from the Athletics in the Jeurys Familia trade, Will Toffey quietly had a nice half season with Binghamton. He ended up hitting .254/.394/.433 in 165 PAs for Binghamton in 2018, and walked in 18.2% of his plate appearances. There’s some swing and miss to go with the high walk rate, as he struck out in 21.8% of his plate appearances for Binghamton, but he also offers a solid glove at the hot corner thanks in part to a strong throwing arm. He ultimately projects to be more of a utility infielder than a regular, but his plate discipline and solid defense at a difficult position should allow him to be a relatively useful player to have on the bench.