2015 Blue Jays: Reasons to Get Excited!
Mar 28, 2015; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10), third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) and shortstop Jose Reyes (7) talk against the Atlanta Braves at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
1-5, this Blue Jays squad is looking pretty impressive. With Reyes hitting lead off and coming off a year where he slashed .287/.328/.398 he’ll be protected by the thump that is waiting in the wings behind him. If he gets on base, he’ll be able to use his speed to disrupt the opposing pitcher. He also stole 30 bases last year. Adding Russell Martin to this mix brings a career .354 OBP (.402) last season.
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This may replace Melky Cabrera’s absence just fine. Then, we have what could be quite possibly the most dangerous 3-4-5 portion of a lineup around. It would not be unreasonable to expect these 3 to hit 100+ HR! The combination of HR power this club will bring is intimidating. Pitchers are going to have to be super careful with Bautista, Encarnacion and Donaldson. And, the beauty here is that there are 3 of them, so “working around” them is more challenging. There are so only so many bases to put people before you start playing with fire.
This lineup is primed to score a lot of runs. A lot. But, in the interest of not getting too carried away, it should be noted that the bottom section of this lineup is a tad less intimidating. With Devon Travis, Dalton Pompey and Kevin Pillar slated to occupy the bottom of the order, there are some question marks there. However, this spring (yes, it’s just spring training) these guys have more than held their own hitting .316. In fact, Pillar, the one with the most MLB experience is the only one of the 3 hitting under .300. There will be peaks and valleys, but these youngsters may just prove that there is not as much of a drop off in this lineup as people think.
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