Sep 11, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Fans of the Toronto Blue Jays cheer from the left-center field bleachers during the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The Blue Jays defeated the Yankees 11-5. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Shannon Stewart – OF
Blue Jays years 1995 – 2003
The Toronto Blue Jays first round 19th overall pick in the 1992 amateur draft would go on to become a staple at the top of the lineup for years. After a few seasons spending time bouncing back and forth from the minors and majors Shannon figured things out and would become a feared hitter in a solid Blue Jays attack. In the 1997 season he made his way into 44 games and hit an impressive .286 while knocking 13 doubles and 7 triples. He also managed to drive in 22 RBI’s and stole 10 bases in those 44 games. This infusion of speed and contact would lead to Stewart’s eventual rise to the top of the Jays lineup. In his first full season with the club in 1998 he continued to display his tools all around the diamond. He went on to bat .279 and stole 51 bases. That would end up being his career high in steals as Stewart added some power to his game as his career went on. In the years to follow Stewart would put up some nice consistent numbers for the Jays. He averaged above a .300 batting with 10 homers, around 50 RBIs, scored 100 runs, and stole at least 14 bases each year between 1999 and 2002.
The 2003 season would be his most impressive season as he finished 4th in the MVP voting. He was sadly traded to the Twins during the season where he would assist the Twinkies in there playoff hopes. For the season Stewart batted .307 with 44 doubles, 13 home runs, 90 runs scored, and 73 RBI’s. Stewart made his only playoff appearances with the Twins in 2003 and 2004. In 2003 he continued his season success against the Yankees as he collected 6 hits in the 4 game series. In 2004 Stewart had a rougher time in the playoffs in which he only collected 4 hits in 21 at bats. The Twins would lose both years to the Yankees in the ALDS.
Shannon Stewart is still the #5 player on the Jays all time stolen base (166) and batting average (.298) lists. He also ranks #6 on the franchise doubles list.
Jays Career WAR – 18.6
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