Jul 2, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Danny Valencia (23) celebrates with second baseman Devon Travis (29) after hitting a home run during the ninth inning in a game against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. The Boston Red Sox won 12-6. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
#2 – 3B Danny Valencia
The Danny Valencia trade is quietly looking like one of Alex Anthopoulos’ better moves over the past year, and in 2015 he’s proven to be more than just a lefty specialist. Gibbons has freely used him at third base, first base and in the outfield, and Valencia continues to earn every at-bat.
Against LHP: .304 / .351 / .464 2 HR, 12 RBI
Against RHP: ..294 / .310 / .588 4 HR, 15 RBI
A player like Valencia allows for the Jays to remain fairly stable on their bench because of his ability to play multiple positions with enough offense to cover his defensive shortcomings. Having him on the bench as a pinch-hit option will also be critical down the stretch when opposing managers work to find a lefty-on-lefty matchup.
The 30-year old is under team control through the 2018 season, and that’s good news if you’re a Blue Jays fan. This is the type of player you want hitting in the bottom three when someone like Josh Donaldson needs a day of rest, and that wasn’t always the case in 2014.
Next: #1: The Smoak Monster lives!