2015 Blue Jays: Hitters Over/Under
As I’ve already stated, I’m not a betting man. I like money too much for that. And, this is not a gambling site. But, I’d like to continue with a look at some predictions of Blue Jays performances for 2015 and set an expectation and take your guesses on the over/under for each. I’ll attempt to use actual facts and stats to back up my thoughts. But, mostly, this is for fun. I have already looked at some thoughts for the team as a whole. Yesterday, I focused on the pitching staff. Today, I’ll check in on the hitters. This should be fun.
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The two thumpers in the Blue Jays lineup, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion combined for 69 HR and 201 RBI. The Blue Jays had 6 players with 10+ HR. They hit 177 total bombs. This winter, they’ve added Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin and Michael Saunders. The subtraction of Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera will not hurt the long ball total for 2015. Given that Rogers Centre is known as a launching pad and the power that this lineup possesses, I am going to put their HR total at 185. I think Bautista will hit at least 35, Encarnacion will chip in 35 or more. Donaldson will add 25, Martin will give us 15, Saunders may hit 20. That’s 130 already. Think the rest of the hitters won’t chip in 55 more throughout the season?
Dalton Pompey made his debut last season when there was no pressure. The team was out of the race and there was a clear indication that the club wanted to see the young Canadian kid in action. And, he delighted fans in his small sample size of 17 games. That’s 39 at bats. Recent comments by John Gibbons about Pompey starting in CF have fans (of which I am one) ready to give him the key to the city. But, there are those who are not so comfortable with this notion.
His .231 average is a starting point. His 12 strike outs are another issue. There are those who want to see him over a longer period of time before they get too excited. Given the growing period it takes for guys to adjust to the big leagues and how quickly Pompey rose through the system, it is hard to pin point an expectation for his performance. But, I’ll do it anyway. I’m not afraid to be wrong. I’m going to put his average at .250, his HR total at 6, his doubles at 20, and triples at 5.
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Jose Reyes has wonky legs. We’ve heard this many times. And, as he ages, it will likely get worse. John Gibbons says he want to rest Reyes more often next season. That’s probably a good idea. In each of his first two season with the Blue Jays, he’s been hurt. In order for the Blue Jays to have as dangerous an offense as many predict, they’ll need to rely on Reyes and his lead off ability. His history of injury and Gibby’s inclination to rest him more makes me wonder if we’ll see him in as many games. I’m going to set his games played at 135.
Speaking of Reyes, last season he had 30 of the club’s 78 stolen bases. Speed on the base paths has not exactly been a strong part of this club’s game. I don’t expect that to change much in 2015. Saunders will add more speed than Melky Cabrera, that is true. Russell Martin is almost a move sideways over Dioner Navarro in this area. They also traded away Anthony Gose. Now, Steamer predicts that Dalton Pompey will swipe 23 in 2015. If Reyes can steal 30 and Pompey can steal 23, it is not unreasonable to expect they’ll come close to their total from last season. I’m going to put their total at 85. I think (read “hope”) the club will attempt to utilize a more balanced attack.
As a unit, the Blue Jays slashed a line of .259/.323/.414/.736. All of this put them in the top 3 in the American League. Given the state of the lineup to date and an emphasis on a balanced attack, it is conceivable that these numbers are reproducible. We know they’ll hit for power. We also know they will show a decent amount of patience at the dish. I think their slash line will look like this: .260/.335/.440/.775. This might be difficult to attain, but again, I don’t mind being wrong.
There you have it. There are so many categories that we could examine. But, these are a few.
Feel free to have your say below. Over or Under?