Jun 22, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Ryan Goins (17) at Tropicana Field. Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 8-5. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
#4 – SS Ryan Goins
Goins has been a polarizing player in Blue Jays circles over the past several years. Is he a defensive specialist whose bat is worth waiting on, or another career Minor League player with one fatal flaw? In 2015, he’s done enough to cement himself as a bench contributor, and that’s good enough for Toronto.
The bizarre cries for him to overtake Jose Reyes at shortstop have thankfully quieted, but Goins has held his own over 211 plate appearances. His triple-slash of .226 / .273 / .321 won’t knock anyone over, but who expected eight doubles, two home runs and 24 RBI from the glove guru in mid-July? At the very least, it’s an improvement over a 2014 season that had many writing Goins off entirely.
His swing has improved, and defensively, Goins remains a great asset. I’m a believer that all bench players must do one things particularly well, whether it be speed on the bases, their defense or hitting for power. Goins has defense as his calling card, and will continue to be a late-inning upgrade in the middle infield if needed. John Gibbons has dabbled with him in the corner outfield, as well, and the club could further explore making him a super utility player this coming offseason.
Next: #3: No Navarro trade? That's just fine