Toronto Blue Jays – Draftboard Update – 17/09


This edition of the draftboard update was meant to be a bit of a research piece on, if they both had the same lineups next year (admittedly a stretch), whether the Orioles would still be better than the Jays, even if Toronto went through 2014 perfectly healthy.  However, it was meant to run after Baltimore had beaten our heroes Sunday to take two of three over the weekend….for effect.

And, of course, I had hoped to have more time.

So, instead, let’s just do a quick rundown for the sake of discussion.  We have all winter to pick apart the Jays lineup and what needs to be done with it.

I’m going to do a quickie winner/loser positional analysis like they do for rugby games in the Sunday Times.  Probably one of the biggest things I miss about living in England.

Catcher: Matt Weiters vs J.P. Arencibia.  Ya, this is the easiest one of them all

Winner – Baltimore

1st Base: Edwin Encarnacion vs Crush Davis.  From the easiest to the toughest.  Edwin has been sensational with two straight 4.1

Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

fWAR seasons.  Davis made a much more significant leap going from a 2 fWAR in 2012 to 6.6 so far this year.  Even if he regresses it will probably be in to the 4.5 to 5 range.  With even the potential that this year is no fluke and the higher defensive grades that Davis gets, you gotta go with him.

Winner – Baltimore

Second Base – Please, this one isn’t really worth looking at, as Toronto will have someone new there next season.  For arguments sake, let’s use Ryan Flaherty vs Maicer Izturis.  One has a positive fWAR, one has a negative.

Winner – Baltimore

Third Base: This one hurts, but no matter how much I like Brett Lawrie and truly think that his second half resurgence is something positive to hang our hats on for next year, Manny Machado is simply better.  We’re talking about two of the top five third basemen in the league though.

Winner – Baltimore

Shortstop: JJ Hardy vs Jose Reyes.  I’m a bit torn on this one as well.  If we get a fully fit Jose Reyes, playing at his best, then he wins this without a contest.  However, JJ is about the same age and signed for a very reasonable 7ish million bucks a year.  He’s never had the huge value years that Reyes has, but he’s steady.  Sorta the tortoise in this race.  Still, those weren’t the parameters.

Winner – Toronto

Left Field: Uggh, Nate McLouth vs. Melky Cabrera.  Really, this is one that is hard to predict, given Melky’s injury, history, etc.  I’m going to mail this one in.

Winner – Baltimore

Center Field: Colby Rasmus vs Adam Jones. Similar to first base, this one is a battle of the heavy weights.  Do we trust Rasmus’ abnormally high 2013 BABIP?  It would be nice to think that this year’s version is what Jays fans can expect going forward.  Jones is a stud, but I think Colby’s better defensive metrics carry the day (will probably cop some flack for this one).

Winner – Toronto

Right Field: Nick Markakis vs Jose Bautista.  Finally, an obvious win for the Jays.  Markakis is a nice player, if not injury prone (something you could say about Jose these days), but Joey Bats can change a game and a season if healthy.

Winner – Toronto

There we have it, without looking at the rotations, which I realize are rather important, Baltimore projects to have a better lineup in 2014 by a tidy 5-3 score.  After all the moves this past off-season, that’s a rather sobering thought.

Off to the draftboard:

Wow, the National League West has done us a few favours with the Padres and Giants both leaping past the Jays.  Toronto now sits tenth.  Unfortunately, the Mariners futility means they are putting some distance between the Jays and a possible pick as high as sixth.