2015 Blue Jays Defence, better than last years?
Oct. 14, 2014; Mesa, AZ, USA; Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey plays for the Mesa Solar Sox during an Arizona Fall League game against the Scottsdale Scorpions at Salt River Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
2014 was a surprisingly depressing year for center fielders in a Jays uniform. Colby Rasmus was supposed to come into a contract year and do everything he did the year before: bat .276, hit 20+ home runs and play top notch defence. Shockingly, he did none of those. Instead he hit .225 with 18 home runs and was benched late in the year in favour of a Anthony Gose-Kevin Pillar platoon. Sad to say, the platoon was actually more valuable.
With that said, center field is potentially the most demanding position on a baseball field. Essentially, they are asked to be the captains of the outfield. This season, only speculation parlayed with Gibbons’ sound bites have established who will play center field. It appears to be rookie Dalton Pompey.
Pompey had a cup of coffee with the Jays in center last season, posting a reputable 0.3 UZR in the 27 innings he was trotted out there. Scouts grade his fielding tool at 55 with the potential to be 60 so he should be able to be an above average defender if given the wheel for the bulk of the season.
Other options include Pillar, Andy Dirks and Ezequiel Carrera, all of whom fail to inspire at least this Jays writer. Nevertheless, 2015 should be an upgrade defensively unless Pompey craters into a black hole with his glove the way Rasmus did in 2014 .