Toronto Blue Jays Poll: Best Hitter of All Time, Round 1

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Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Matchup 4: Willie Upshaw vs Shannon Stewart

Upshaw played in 1115 games with the Blue Jays after being selected in the Rule 5 Draft when the league expanded. He remained with the Blue Jays through 1987. During that time he hit .265/.336/.426 with 112 HR and 478 RBI. He also scored 538 runs for Toronto. He’s a career 12.5 WAR player, who’s best year came in 1983 when he reached 4.5 WAR.

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That year, he hit 27 HR and 104 RBI in 160 games with a wRC+ of 137. It was definitely his bat that won Upshaw praise. As a first baseman, his defensive value is a career -44.2. Though, his career TZ rating at the position is 36. He committed 21 errors in 1983. That seems a bit high for a first baseman, no?

Stewart was drafted by the Blue Jays in 1992 with the 19th overall pick. He played 907 games with Toronto over parts of 10+ seasons. He’s a career .299 hitter  who ranks 2nd in that category among all time Blue Jays. His Blue Jays OBP sits at .365. He represented a true leadoff hitter, the likes of which we’ve not seen around these parts in a long time.

Stewart stole 166 bases for the Blue Jays, which is good for 5th all time. In 1998, he stole a remarkable 51 bags to lead the league. He would steal 37 more the following year. He’s a career 21.4 WAR player whose peak came in the 2000 season, when it hit 4.9. Mostly playing in LF, Stewart totaled a TZ rating of 4 in LF, -5 in CF and 1 in RF for his career.

Next: Matchup 5: Devo or EE?