Toronto Blue Jays’ Steamer vs. Reality: Positional Players
Aug 5, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie (13) reacts to a hit in a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre. The Baltimore Orioles won 9-3. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
3B Brett Lawrie
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If Lawrie had of hit these projections, would he be an Oakland A? Would Josh Donaldson be a Toronto Blue Jay? Lawrie battled injuries, again, and is now boosting Red Bull’s stock value in America instead of Canada. He may turn it around in Oakland, but his Blue Jays’ days will be remembered for unrealized potential.
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Valencia’s numbers from 2014 won’t blow anyone away, but I feel that he can be quite successful in a reserve or platoon role in 2015. Valencia is great against left-handed pitching, and should be valuable off the bench at the very least.
3B/DH Juan Francisco
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His projections were a bit ugly, and so was his season. After an incredible start to the year, Francisco was figured out fast by MLB pitchers, and turned into a strikeout machine. He didn’t seem to care much, either. Francisco is the type of “free out” AB that the Blue Jays need to remove from their lineup going forward.
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This shows very well just how good Cabrera’s season was, as he blew his projections out of the water in most areas. Many fans are still sour about not having Melky back, but would he be able to put up these numbers again, or does an overachieving season like this suggest he’ll trend downward in 2015? Time will tell.
LF Kevin Pillar
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Fairly accurate across the board for Pillar, who is the lead dog for the 4th OF position with the Blue Jays next season. If he could take a walk at the MLB level, I think he could be just fine. Between having Rookie Dalton Pompey as his main competition in CF and Michael Saunders’ injury history in LF, Pillar could see a big role in 2015.
CF Colby Rasmus
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The power was there in 2014, but Rasmus’ inability to get on base consistently was his downfall. He surely has the ability to turn it all around, he’s still young, but it won’t be as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.
CF Anthony Gose
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Now gone to Detroit in exchange for Devon Travis, it’s too bad that Gose never found his ceiling in Toronto. If he had of developed a line-drive stroke he could have really clicked, but that’s the Tigers’ problem now. Here’s hoping they can get a helmet that fits him, or a chinstrap. Pompey takes over with similar speed to Gose, but the potential for a much better approach at the plate.
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When a player of Bautista’s calibre exceeds his projections this much, you know it was a good season. Bautista’s health was very encouraging this season, and his veteran approach at the plate had him one step ahead of opposing pitchers all season long. 2015 could be an exciting year for the Blue Jays’ star.