Toronto Blue Jays’ Steamer vs. Reality: Positional Players

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Sep 26, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion (10) singles in the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. Toronto defeated Baltimore 4-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

1B Edwin Encarnacion

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It’s too bad that Encarnacion caught the injury bug for a short while in 2014, because his power numbers could have been even more impressive.  Encarnacion continues to be a steady star, and one of the more underrated players in the game.  With Donaldson joining he and Bautista at the heart of the order this season, a healthy Encarnacion should have the opportunity to put up some big numbers.

1B/DH Adam Lind

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Farewell, sweet Lind.  The lefty didn’t put up the HR numbers that many would have liked, but put up very impressive numbers otherwise.  If Lind could hit left-handed pitching consistently, he would be a force, but he has since been shipped out of town, along with his $7.5M salary, in favor of RP Marco Estrada.  The Toronto Blue Jays may still be without the powerful LH bat they would like in the middle of their lineup.

2B Munenori Kawasaki

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Kawasaki performed fairly on par with his projections for the season, which was more than enough in my opinion.  Kawasaki was more valuable to the Blue Jays than his skill set would suggest, and put together some of the longest, smartest AB’s of the season for Toronto.  Last offseason he signed back with the Blue Jays in late December, so his situation will be one to monitor over the coming weeks.

2B Steven Tolleson

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Steamer didn’t see Tolleson making it into a single MLB game in 2014, but he appeared in 108 for the Blue Jays.  That tells you all you need to know about 2B in Toronto.  Tolleson has some favorable splits that could help him in a utility role as the 25th man on the roster, but there are many, many better options.

2B Ryan Goins

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If Goins had of played up to these projections, I think every Blue Jays fan would have been thrilled, especially considering his defensive excellence.  This will be a sink-or-swim Spring Training for Goins, who is long overdue to put together quality MLB AB’s.  The door is wide open for him to grab a job, and I’n excited for the Blue Jays’ new hitting coach to do some work on his swing.

2B Maicer Izturis

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Izturis got off to a hot start before a season-ending injury stemming from a slip down the stairs.  Izturis could have the inside track on the starting 2nd Base job for the Toronto Blue Jays, but that isn’t saying much.  He’s not a young man, and may be no more than a stop-gap until Devon Travis is ready to take the reigns.

SS Jose Reyes

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Defensive shortcomings seem to be the hot topic surrounding Jose Reyes, but he did have a quality season at the plate.  The Steamer projections were very accurate in 2014, and his 30 stolen bases show that there is still a little spring left in those legs.  If Reyes can put up another offensive season like this and improve slightly with the glove, I’ll take it.

Next: 3B and the Outfield