That’s about as dangerous a lineup can get back to back to back. Anytime a pitcher actually gets all 3 of them out in a row he should get a $3000 bonus cheque.
I hope whatever order Gibbons decides to put them it’s from 2-3-4 spots in the lineup and not the 3-4-5 spots in the lineup because it seems criminal to have Donaldson or Encarnacion hit lower than 4th. (Let’s be real Bautista would have to slump for a while before he got bumped to the 5th spot. The original franchise player post Halladay blah blah blah).
Only in baseball could a team have 3 of the best players in the sport without it being a guaranteed thing they contend. Or maybe that’s more of a Blue Jays thing. Speaking of a Blue Jays thing Donaldson has a lot in common with Bautista and Encarnacion as he went from being a nobody to magically being one of the best players in baseball. Craziness!
More from Jays Journal
- Matt Chapman has been exactly what the Blue Jays needed
- Blue Jays: The goalposts are moving in the right direction
- Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays advance to the Championship Series
- Blue Jays: Comparisons for Alek Manoah’s Second Season
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
Donaldson has the advantage when it comes to age as he’s just 29 years old, whereas Bautista is 34 and Encarnacion is 32.
Donaldson and Bautista each put up 6 WAR seasons last year and Encarnacion has never put up more than 4. Encarnacion is at a disadvantage when it comes to WAR because he doesn’t provide as much defensive value due to his lack of range at 1st base and the amount of time he’s spending as the team’s designated hitter. But if we go off just the bat he’s right there with both of them.
Last season Bautista had a .403 on base percentage and a 159 wRC+, Donaldson had a .342 on base percentage and a 129 wRC+, Encarnacion had a .354 on base percentage and a 150 wRC+.
It might be unfair to have Donaldson compete with Bautista and Encarnacion’s power as his 29 home runs last season were the most he’s ever hit. But that was when he was playing half his games at Oakland Coliseum, which is notorious for being a tough park for hitters. Now that he’ll be playing half his games at Rogers Centre it’s not that crazy to think he could keep up with his teammates’ power. At the same time, if I had to guess who hits the most home runs on the team, based on recent history I’d go Encarnacion, Bautista and then Donaldson.
However, in baseball a players performances changes so much year to year that it’s anyone’s guess who will be the Jays best player in the upcoming seasons. Most teams have a clear cut best offensive player and it’s barely debatable who’s going to have a better season between just 2 guys. The Jays have three guys who it’s hard to say will put up the best seasons. It’s going to be fun seeing who’s going to be the team MVP each season that they are all members of the Blue Jays.
Even if the Jays don’t contend, it’s going to be fun as heck just to see which of these three guys puts up some of the best stats in the American League next season.