Toronto Blue Jays players haul in Baseball America honors
In their latest issue, Baseball America went across the Major Leagues to pick the brains of the individuals who run the teams, who setup the lineups, and who make the in-game decisions….big league managers.
So were there any Blue Jays that made the cut?
You bet there were.
Jose Bautista has worked 72 walks and has struck out 78 times in 2015, which puts him behind only Cleveland Indians Carlos Santana; however, it was our slugger that is considered to possess the ‘Best Strike Zone Judgement’. Santana came in third and Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera was second.
Josh Donaldson‘s name is getting tossed around in the MVP discussions, and rightfully so, he’s proved to be one of the games most dominant hitters. Fortunately for the Blue Jays, the man that occupies the hot corner is not a one dimensional player for it’s been his glove work at 3rd and fielding ability that earned him votes for the best infield arm and best defensive third baseman. Coming in 2nd place, Josh trailed Baltimore Orioles Manny Machado for best defensive 3rd baseman. Our favorite third baseman finished ahead of 4 time Gold Glove winner Texas Ranger’s Adrian Beltre.
As for Best Infield Arm, Donaldson finished 3rd behind both Machado and Beltre. That is some good company Josh is mentioned with, but Josh isn’t the only Blue Jay to receive accolades for the strength and accuracy of his arm. Troy Tulowitzki, as a member of the Colorado Rockies, received the 2nd most votes. He trailed the slick fielding Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons, and finished ahead of Rockies Nolan Arenado. So he moved from Colorado where he played with the NL’s Best 3rd baseman with the 3rd Best Infield Arm to play in Toronto with the AL’s 2nd Best 3rd Baseman with the AL’s 3rd best arm. Not a bad deal for Tulo.
Continuing with the defensive theme, Russell Martin finished behind Kansas City Royal’s Salvador Perez for Best Defensive Catcher. When Martin signed with the Jays this past winter, it was his defense and ability to frame pitches that scouts raved about. Looks like the opposing managers have noticed it also.
The ageless wonder Mark Buehrle also took some hardware home (there wasn’t actually any hardware) for his control and for his pick-off move. Buehrle continues his consistent ways, putting together yet another fine season. The LHP has made a career of painting the corners and hitting his spots. Mark finished tied for 2nd with Houston Astros Dallas Keuchel for Best Control, behind just Minnesota Twins Phil Hughes. Mark Buehrle is also known for his pick-off move, coming in with the Best Pick-off Move.
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When Alex Anthopoulos traded for Philadelphia Phillies Ben Revere, he added the NL’s third fastest player. Once the speedster heats up at the plate, this game changing speed will be on full display. Revere can cause havoc on the base paths and give the opposing pitchers ulcers.
The biggest surprise for me wasn’t that David Price was nowhere to found in any of the categories. No, my biggest surprise was seeing Marco Estrada name show up on the list. All indicators point towards Estrada being a long reliever, who could start in the pinch. He wasn’t supposed to make us forget Adam Lind so easily. Estada was to challenge RA Dickey for the Blue Jays lead in home runs allowed. Instead Dickey, Buehrle, Drew Hutchison, and David Price all have given up more homeruns this season than Estrada, but back to the task at hand.
Estrada was recognized for the filth of his change-up. He finished behind……ready…..Seattle Mariner’s Felix Hernandez and Chicago White Sox Chris Sale. If you were to tell me in Spring Training that Marco would be mentioned in the same category as those two Super Star pitchers, I would’ve set you up in a nice room with lots of padding an a nice jacket that does up in the back.
What do you thing of Baseball America’s and Major League Manager’s ranking with respect to your Toronto Blue Jays?
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