Delgado on Level of Excellence Credit: S Doyle/Jays Journal
In the interest of full disclosure, Carlos Delgado was my first true favorite player. Up until 1994, guys like Bell, Moseby and Barfield were names I’d heard of and thought were pretty good. But, Delgado, man. He was what got me hooked on the long ball. He burst onto the scene in 1994 and hit 7 home runs in April. This, of course, was on the tails of the Blue Jays’ 2nd consecutive World Series title and so all eyes were open and focused on this club.
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From 1996 through 2004, Delgado would not hit any fewer than 25 homers in a season. He was the pillar of consistent power from the left side of the plate. His ISO was impressive throughout his time in Toronto ranging from .219 and peaking at .320. He’s a .280 hitter who holds the most homers in team history. His total of 336 is attainable, but will take Bautista a couple more years, at least, to match.
Delgado also is first in team history with 343 doubles, 2786 total bases, 889 runs scored, .556 SLG, 1058 RBI, 827 BB, 690 extra base hits, 6018 plate appearances and 39.1 Offensive WAR.
He was a once in a generation bat that the Blue Jays just couldn’t build a winner around. It is unfortunate. Delgado had a beautiful power stroke that absolutely crushed the ball. Perhaps, a great example of this was when he hit 4 home runs in a game in 2003 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Delgado would go on to hit 137 more blasts for the Florida Marlins and New York Mets. He found himself on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2015, but did not receive enough support to remain. However, he can say that his name was on the ballot. That is an accomplishment few can claim. And, we can claim that we watched Carlos Delgado swat his way into top spot on the Blue Jays All Time Home Run Hitters List.