MLB All Star Game: 5 Best Blue Jays Ever!

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Apr 19, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) bobblehead doll stands on the field before a game against the Atlanta Braves at Rogers Centre. The first 20,000 fans receive it with their paid admission to the game. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Bautista- 6 Time All Star! 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

This year marks the 6th time Jose Bautista will represent the Blue Jays at the All Star game. In fact, it is his 6th time in a row. He’s gone to the Mid-Summer Classic each year since 2010. Most times he’s had company like in 2011 when he was joined by…Ricky Romero. In 2012, he was the Blue Jays’ lone representative. Actually, most of his appearances are with guys who were having surprise seasons like in 2013 when Brett Cecil and Steve Delabar joined him or in 2010 when John Buck made the trip. 

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I only mention this because Bautista’ own rise to All Star-dom came in 2010 when he burst onto the scene in what would become the beginning of his dominant power display that has lasted for years. He came out of nowhere to surprise everyone in baseball. But, he hasn’t looked back since.

It may have been such a surprise in 2010 that it took another year before they allowed Joey Bats to participate in the Home Run Derby. His first shot was in 2011 where he hit 4 and was eliminated in the first round. The next year, taking the lessons he’d learned from the first, he went all the way to the finals thanks to a “swing off” against Mark Trumbo. He’d go on to lose to Prince Fielder.

Here’s his 2012 performance.

After sitting out in 2013, Bautista would enter the 2014 Derby with determination. He hit the most first round bombs, 10. He would then lose to the eventual HR Derby winner, Yoenis Cespedes. While the All Star game itself is meant to be the focal point of the weekend, nothing puts a player (or his team) on the map like the HR Derby. Remember Josh Hamilton in 2008?

While Bautista has been drawing attention to the Blue Jays through the All Star Game, he’s also been a tremendous part of the success that they’ve been trying to capitalize on for the last few years. He’s been the center piece in this movement toward the club’s first post season visit since 1993. In his short time with the Blue Jays, Bautista has risen to 5th all time with 34 WAR.

Since 2010, Bautista finished 4th (2010), 3rd (2011) and 6th (2014) in MVP voting. He’s tallied 204 HR, including 54 in 2010 and 527 RBI which include his 134 mark in 2011. All of this production is also coming with the patience of a saint. His walk total of 529 nearly match his RBI totals bang on.

His leadership and performance often go unrecognized south of the border. Hopefully, the All Star Game nods mean that this will change. But the time all is said and done, Jose Bautista might be (if he isn’t already) one of the best Toronto Blue Jays of all time. Not bad for a “late bloomer”.

Next: The Doctor Is In...8 Times!

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