Hustle has long been a vital part of the game. It’s what endeared Pete Rose to a generation of fans long before he was better known for making MLB executives angry for being ahead of the daily fantasy curve. For the first time in years, the Toronto Blue Jays squad showed signs of having that desire.
Going out onto the field and not holding back, sacrificing their bodies to make the kind of plays that winning teams make. Or at least trying to make those plays. Sorry, Dalton Pompey.
There were a tone set by certain members of the team that was contagious. It inspired squadmates to give it their all alongside them. The Best Hustle award celebrates the players whose efforts pushed the team to do better, even if success might have been just out of reach.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Goins
Ryan Goins has earned a lot of praise in the year-end awards already for the growth shown in his offensive production. A seventy point jump in the batting average is nothing to sneeze at. It has always been his defense though that was his most attractive feature as a ballplayer, and that’s what gets him the shout out here.
As Ryan Mueller opined when submitting his vote, “He never gives up on a play in the hole.” Mueller also pointed out that he was able to do this while subbing in for both Jose Reyes at short as well as Devon Travis at second base. That versatility and ready-to-play attitude will be necessary in 2016, especially with Travis undergoing the knife yet again. While his most famous run in the outfield may have resulted in tragedy, more often than not it results in Goins making a tough catch to help the Blue Jays out of a tough spot.
Next: Runner-Up: The Reason There Is An MVP Candidate in Toronto