Looking Ahead: Jays Outfield for 2012


With only 9 games left in yet another playoff-less season, it seems fitting to start thinking about the 2012 Blue Jay campaign. As I’ve written many times before, it is a very interesting and intriguing time to be a Jays fan. Since Alex Antholopolous took over as G.M in 2009, the Jays front office has diligently followed a clear and detailed plan. AA’s m.o. has been to bring in as many young, high-ceiling players as possible, in the hopes that these players will enter their prime at roughly the same time.

Nowhere on the diamond is the lock jam of young talent more obvious than in the outfield. With Colby Rasmus and Jose Bautista locks in centre and right field, the battle for the starting spot in left is going to be hotly contested next spring. Here are the contenders:

Eric Thames:

MLB:

G 83/ PA 353

.265/.313/.449

2B 22/ 3B 4/ HR 10/ RBI 33

wOBA .332/ wRC+ 108

Career UZR -7.7 (LF/RF)

The 24 year old has had a solid rookie season. There is certainly solid power potential in his bat, but he also strikes out a ton (K% 21.8). His lack of plate discipline is troubling, because it is his bat-not his below average glove- that will make the difference between being a starter or a fourth outfielder.

Travis Snider:

AAA

G 61/ PA 277

.327/.394/.480

2B 22/3B 2/ HR 4/ RBI 42

wOBA .393/ wRC+ 124

Career UZR 3.1 (OF)

Snider struggled with the Jays this season hitting .225/.269/.348 in 49 games. Down in hitter-friendly Las Vegas, Lunchbox has raked- although the power numbers aren’t quite where I would’ve expected. Nonetheless, Snider is still only 23, and I will be pulling for him hard to make the big club next spring. I still believe Snider has the biggest upside of anyone on this list.

Adam Loewen:

AAA

G 134/ PA 585

.306/.377/.508

2B 46/ 3B 4/ HR 17/ RBI 85

wOBA .382/ wRC+ 117

Adam Loewen is a long shot to make the Jays out of spring training, but it is possible that he could play his way onto the club at some point during the 2012 season. The B.C. native has shown steady improvement with the bat and the glove since switching over from pitching after a myriad of arm injuries in 2008. The jury is still out on how good Loewen can be in the field, but it appears as though he may have major league pop in his bat.

Rajai Davis:

MLB

G 95/ PA 338

.238/.273/.350

2B 21/ 3B 6/ HR 1/ RBI 29

wOBA .282/ wRC+ 74

Career UZR/150 (LF) -16.7

The forgotten man for many Jays fans, it will not be easy for Rajai Davis to win the starting left field job. Davis’ injury shortened 2011 was one to forget as he was terrible with both the bat and glove. What happened to all those HR’s he hit in spring training?

Who will be the Jays Left Fielder in 2012?

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Tags: Colby Rasmus Eric Thames Jose Bautista Rajai Davis Travis Snider

  • juanguzman

    how can rasmus be a lock? i don’t get it. this guy has been a below average player since the jays picked him up. would they have not been better served by keeping frasor and having an outfield of bautista, davis , thames and snider/ loewen going into next year? i realize frasor may have left anyway, but then you get compensation . and what about gose? is rasmus going to push out thames for left in 2013? terrible move picking up rasmus.

  • juanguzman

    how can rasmus be a lock? i don’t get it. this guy has been a below average player since the jays picked him up. would they have not been better served by keeping frasor and having an outfield of bautista, davis , thames and snider/ loewen going into next year? i realize frasor may have left anyway, but then you get compensation . and what about gose? is rasmus going to push out thames for left in 2013? terrible move picking up rasmus.

  • DerekNakluski

    I don’t like what Rasmus has done since coming to the Jays, but I got to say he is a really good feilder I’d give him a chance, but I wouldn’t lock him in he needs to produce and if he doesn’t then he should get less playing time. Personally I think Thames has done a great job and should be the LF. Although I think having open try-outs to win a spot in spring training is good I think Thames has the edge of playing wll in the regular season something that can’t be said for Snider at this point. I’m surprized at all the Snider votes do any of these people watch the games or what?

  • DerekNakluski

    I don’t like what Rasmus has done since coming to the Jays, but I got to say he is a really good feilder I’d give him a chance, but I wouldn’t lock him in he needs to produce and if he doesn’t then he should get less playing time. Personally I think Thames has done a great job and should be the LF. Although I think having open try-outs to win a spot in spring training is good I think Thames has the edge of playing wll in the regular season something that can’t be said for Snider at this point. I’m surprized at all the Snider votes do any of these people watch the games or what?

  • phoenixrhys

    Have to agree that Ramus should not be a lock. I haven’t seen anything from him, especially at the plate, to suggest he’s a lock. In any case let’s not forget that LaRussa may just have the experience to know what he’s got in a ball player, and Colby’s father may not.

  • phoenixrhys

    Have to agree that Ramus should not be a lock. I haven’t seen anything from him, especially at the plate, to suggest he’s a lock. In any case let’s not forget that LaRussa may just have the experience to know what he’s got in a ball player, and Colby’s father may not.

  • dbenson1399

    I really like the upside of Snider in Left, his defence is much better than Thames … if he can just get consistent with the bat. Thames really cooled off after a hot start and he does leave me feeling uneasy in the field. I tend to agree with the comments about Rasmus, but all we hear about is his tremendous potential, and the kid really can play the field. I guess at this moment, I would like to see Baustista in right, Rasmus in center and Snider in left (I do still believe in the lunchbox!). For the 4th outfielder, I have to go with Davis as he can spell Rasmus/Snider if they get into a funk at the plate, plus his speed is really needed. All that said, it kills me to leave Adam Loewen out, he has come so far, but with no options left, it’s pretty hard to make a case to put him on the 25 man roster.

  • dbenson1399

    I really like the upside of Snider in Left, his defence is much better than Thames … if he can just get consistent with the bat. Thames really cooled off after a hot start and he does leave me feeling uneasy in the field. I tend to agree with the comments about Rasmus, but all we hear about is his tremendous potential, and the kid really can play the field. I guess at this moment, I would like to see Baustista in right, Rasmus in center and Snider in left (I do still believe in the lunchbox!). For the 4th outfielder, I have to go with Davis as he can spell Rasmus/Snider if they get into a funk at the plate, plus his speed is really needed. All that said, it kills me to leave Adam Loewen out, he has come so far, but with no options left, it’s pretty hard to make a case to put him on the 25 man roster.

  • jays4life

    are you guys all crazy?? seriously think about what your saying….you want snider to play left cuz of his potential not because he has proved anything but at the same time you write off rasmus who btw has seriously high potential probably even more so then snider. So snider plays but rasmus shouldnt?? Personally i love snider but he has to prove something next year and if he has a poor spring i say trade him regardless of potential and age. Hell id even trade him as part of a package for a legit starter this off season. Do not write off Rasmus, give this kid a break, he is gonna be a great player just watch. Let him adjust and look at him this time next year i bet everyone who is a naysayer is eating their words!! Go Jays!!

  • jays4life

    are you guys all crazy?? seriously think about what your saying….you want snider to play left cuz of his potential not because he has proved anything but at the same time you write off rasmus who btw has seriously high potential probably even more so then snider. So snider plays but rasmus shouldnt?? Personally i love snider but he has to prove something next year and if he has a poor spring i say trade him regardless of potential and age. Hell id even trade him as part of a package for a legit starter this off season. Do not write off Rasmus, give this kid a break, he is gonna be a great player just watch. Let him adjust and look at him this time next year i bet everyone who is a naysayer is eating their words!! Go Jays!!

  • dbenson1399

    I hope you’re right about Rasmus, I really do, as he seems like a great kid who has never been given a fair shake. My point is that defence has to count as well and I like Snider’s glove a lot more than Thame’s. I agree that Snider has to really prove himself between now and April, but his trade value right now is practically nothing, so is there much point in dumping him for a bag of balls. Rasmus has to prove himself as well, both him and Snider have to prove that they are not just potentially great players, but that they can get the job done.

  • dbenson1399

    I hope you’re right about Rasmus, I really do, as he seems like a great kid who has never been given a fair shake. My point is that defence has to count as well and I like Snider’s glove a lot more than Thame’s. I agree that Snider has to really prove himself between now and April, but his trade value right now is practically nothing, so is there much point in dumping him for a bag of balls. Rasmus has to prove himself as well, both him and Snider have to prove that they are not just potentially great players, but that they can get the job done.

  • scottbarber

    Everyone has to remember that Rasmus has had a grand total of 113 PA’s as a Blue Jay- judging his ability based on such a tiny sample is crazy. Granted, Rasmus did not hit well with the Cards this season either. However Rasmus just turned 25, has a solid glove at a premium position and posted a wOBA of .366 in 2010. Colby Rasmus will be just fine (and likely, much, much better).

  • scottbarber

    Everyone has to remember that Rasmus has had a grand total of 113 PA’s as a Blue Jay- judging his ability based on such a tiny sample is crazy. Granted, Rasmus did not hit well with the Cards this season either. However Rasmus just turned 25, has a solid glove at a premium position and posted a wOBA of .366 in 2010. Colby Rasmus will be just fine (and likely, much, much better).

  • juanguzman

    i hope you are right about rasmus too, however what do you do when gose comes up next year? that’s why i didn’t understand this deal from the start. the jays have too many good outfielders now and with sierra and mastrionni (sp?) knocking on the door why did they get rasmus?

  • juanguzman

    i hope you are right about rasmus too, however what do you do when gose comes up next year? that’s why i didn’t understand this deal from the start. the jays have too many good outfielders now and with sierra and mastrionni (sp?) knocking on the door why did they get rasmus?

  • scottbarber

    Anthony Gose, 21, 2011 AA stats: .253/.349/.385 wOBA .317

    Darin Mastroianni, 26, 2011 AAA stats: .276/.358/.389 wOBA .343

    Moises Sierra, 22, 2011 AA stats: .277/.342/.436/ wOBA .342

    Neither Gose or Sierra are anywhere near ready for the MLB in 2012. Mastroianni will never be a Major League calibre hitter- if he was he wouldn’t have posted a wRC+ of 91 in AAA at age 25-26. Gose’ bat still has a long way to go, I wouldn’t expect to see him in Toronto for a couple more seasons.

  • scottbarber

    Anthony Gose, 21, 2011 AA stats: .253/.349/.385 wOBA .317

    Darin Mastroianni, 26, 2011 AAA stats: .276/.358/.389 wOBA .343

    Moises Sierra, 22, 2011 AA stats: .277/.342/.436/ wOBA .342

    Neither Gose or Sierra are anywhere near ready for the MLB in 2012. Mastroianni will never be a Major League calibre hitter- if he was he wouldn’t have posted a wRC+ of 91 in AAA at age 25-26. Gose’ bat still has a long way to go, I wouldn’t expect to see him in Toronto for a couple more seasons.

  • juanguzman

    well , every projection i’ve seen has gose up by the break next year. and sierra was rumored to be a call up this month. obviously, that did not happen. so, i guess all those stats don’t mean that much (i.e heccavarria numbers in aa as opposed to aaa).

  • juanguzman

    well , every projection i’ve seen has gose up by the break next year. and sierra was rumored to be a call up this month. obviously, that did not happen. so, i guess all those stats don’t mean that much (i.e heccavarria numbers in aa as opposed to aaa).

  • juanguzman

    let’s not forget about gose’s speed and defense ,also.

  • juanguzman

    let’s not forget about gose’s speed and defense ,also.

  • dbenson1399

    What are people’s thoughts on David Cooper? The guy just destroyed AAA this year and Adam Lind looks like he could have chronic back issues. Why is no one talking about him being on the roster next year? If they don’t plan to play him, they need to trade him in the off season, his value will never be higher.

  • dbenson1399

    What are people’s thoughts on David Cooper? The guy just destroyed AAA this year and Adam Lind looks like he could have chronic back issues. Why is no one talking about him being on the roster next year? If they don’t plan to play him, they need to trade him in the off season, his value will never be higher.

  • ace frehley

    Lots of hype about AA players that are a long way off. We had the same hype about Snider, Drabek etc. Many of these prospects will not materialize.

  • ace frehley

    Lots of hype about AA players that are a long way off. We had the same hype about Snider, Drabek etc. Many of these prospects will not materialize.

  • Moondog

    I am hoping Cooper is traded in the offseason. His Defense is suspect so far in the bigs. He will be a major league somewhere and might hit for a good average but I dont see him even getting to Lyles total numbers when he was good. and Overbay could at least play D. (FYI Not a fan of OB at all).

    I think it will be Lind and EE (E5/E3) again. EE’s option is too attractive not to pick up. I am hoping we get a stud at 1/DH with Lind and E5 as a bench player. I doubt that will occur but AA will probably make some trades this offseason.

    Thames/Davis/Snider/Cooper all in play for the offseason I bet at least 2 are traded. Need is an upgrade at LF (unless Snider finally gets it mentally), he is the only one that can play D and be a monster bat (potentially). Need a 2nd Base I bet Kelly wants a bigger contract then AA will give so I think he will be gone. We need a upgrade at 1b/DH.

  • Moondog

    I am hoping Cooper is traded in the offseason. His Defense is suspect so far in the bigs. He will be a major league somewhere and might hit for a good average but I dont see him even getting to Lyles total numbers when he was good. and Overbay could at least play D. (FYI Not a fan of OB at all).

    I think it will be Lind and EE (E5/E3) again. EE’s option is too attractive not to pick up. I am hoping we get a stud at 1/DH with Lind and E5 as a bench player. I doubt that will occur but AA will probably make some trades this offseason.

    Thames/Davis/Snider/Cooper all in play for the offseason I bet at least 2 are traded. Need is an upgrade at LF (unless Snider finally gets it mentally), he is the only one that can play D and be a monster bat (potentially). Need a 2nd Base I bet Kelly wants a bigger contract then AA will give so I think he will be gone. We need a upgrade at 1b/DH.

  • Moondog

    I like the starters myself, sometimes they have to take a step backwords but I have faith in Morrow. Romero/Morrow/Dustin (faith he is back)/Alverez/Drabek (this kid has great stuff, and hes a KID, give him time)

    BP we need a closer, I hope they bring Franky back as the step up guy with Janseen the 7th inning guy, with Prez, Vill, and Litch innings eat’ers. Another scary arm would be nice….

    Thats a lot of missing parts when you are competting in the East, I think we are min two years from competing against the big boys, but well see what AA has up his sleeve this offseason.

  • Moondog

    I like the starters myself, sometimes they have to take a step backwords but I have faith in Morrow. Romero/Morrow/Dustin (faith he is back)/Alverez/Drabek (this kid has great stuff, and hes a KID, give him time)

    BP we need a closer, I hope they bring Franky back as the step up guy with Janseen the 7th inning guy, with Prez, Vill, and Litch innings eat’ers. Another scary arm would be nice….

    Thats a lot of missing parts when you are competting in the East, I think we are min two years from competing against the big boys, but well see what AA has up his sleeve this offseason.

  • DerekNakluski

    I personally love Eric Thames, he’s got a decent avverage around 270 and has 11 HR full season in the bigs he’s a 25 HR hitter and 70-80 RBI’s in the two hole. He’s young and can will learn to play better in LF. So it’s ok to wait on someones bat, but when a players has a bat you can’t wait till he plays a little better defence. He’s made some mistakes, but has also made some really good plays in the outfield. Fact the manager picked him over Snider. I don’t see why everyone is down on this kid I’d personally be upset if he wasn’t at least the front runner going into spring training.

  • DerekNakluski

    I personally love Eric Thames, he’s got a decent avverage around 270 and has 11 HR full season in the bigs he’s a 25 HR hitter and 70-80 RBI’s in the two hole. He’s young and can will learn to play better in LF. So it’s ok to wait on someones bat, but when a players has a bat you can’t wait till he plays a little better defence. He’s made some mistakes, but has also made some really good plays in the outfield. Fact the manager picked him over Snider. I don’t see why everyone is down on this kid I’d personally be upset if he wasn’t at least the front runner going into spring training.