Blue Jays 2015 Year End Awards: Biggest Surprise
By Ryan Andrews
Honorable Mention: Roberto Osuna
The 20-year-old from the state of Sinaloa wasn’t expected to be a factor for the big league ball club in 2015, but he surprised everyone by making the squad out of spring training. The more talented of the two boys in the pen, as well as the more polished and poised, Osuna soon moved up the ranks in the bullpen hierarchy to take over the closing gig in June.
He was good enough to win the J.J. Rookie of the Year award, but finished a distant fourth in the actual voting. The surprising thing was that he was being considered for a rotation spot in 2016. Osuna was too valuable in a bullpen that needs every live arm can get. The acquisition of Jesse Chavez should put an end to that notion and allow the Little Cannon to pitch from a comfortable spot in 2016.
Runner Up: Chris Colabello
A second straight runner-up finish for Colabello, who was lost amidst the sea of waiver claims made in the off-season last year. The Blue Jays expected someone who could provide depth in the organization and be a spare bat if needed. What they got was a bat just a shade below the Big Three in terms of value.
Colabello’s stick was worth 19 runs above a replacement-level bat, good enough for fourth on the team. His batting average led the squad at .321 and his OPS+ was just behind Jose Bautista (142 vs. 149). His glove was not fit for the field of play but when combined with fellow waiver claimee Justin Smoak, their WAR equaled 2.0. What was expected to be a tough spot to fill following the departure of Adam Lind was handled deftly by the two first baseman, but Smoak was the primary candidate to be the starter. Colabello forced his way into the discussion with his bat.
Next: 2015 Biggest Surprise: For Long Time Blue Jays Fans, This Won't Be A Surprise