Matchup 3: Joe Carter vs Jose Bautista
Do you like walk off celebrations? Or, do you like bat flips? This matchup has them both. You have to chose between two guys who’ve delievered big hits when their team needed them in clutch, post season moments.
Joe Carter recieved 87% of the vote in Rd 1. He is most famous for his walk off World Series homer against the Phillies in 1993. The “Touch ‘Em All, Joe” call is forever engraved in our memories. It marked the first World Series won on Canadian soil. The impact that this had on Canadian culture at the time cannot be understated. Aside from Roberto Alomar’s home run in 1992 against the Athletics, Carter’s shot might be the single most important hit in franchise history.
Toronto Blue Jays
Aside form that, Carter also sits in 4th place on the club’s all time HR leader board. His 203 dingers came over a span of 7 seasons. He hit 30+ HR 4 times with the Blue Jays and 20+ 3 more times. He also drove in 100+ in 6 of his 7 seasons. Carter was an average hitter who averaged over .200 ISO during his time in Toronto. Yet, his WAR never reflected this. As good as his bat was, Carter’s defense was just as bad. Fangraphs does not list a positive value for his defense in any year he played for the club, with the exception of ’91 where it’s a 1.9.
Bautista (who received a whopping 98% of the vote in Rd 1) has been a better defender than Carter, though not by much. He possesses a cannon in right field, but that is not enough to bring his defensive value into the positive. In fact, his only positive year came in 2009, when he put up a 1.6 mark. Eerily similar.
Of course, that is where the similarities end. The gap between offense and defense is measurably greater with Bautista than Carter. Since 2009, his offense has been rated 241.6 by Fangraphs, which brings his WAR to 34.4. He has done this in 7 full seasons as a Blue Jay. That’s an average of 4.91 WAR per year. He sits in 2nd place on the Blue Jays all time HR list with 243.
Bautista is a 6 time All star who finished in the top 10 in MVP voting 4 times, as high as 3rd in 2011. He led the league in HR twice in a row with 54 and 43. That’s 97 HR in just two seasons. He’s also led the league in walks twice with 4 100+ BB seasons. But, all of this might be secondary to his uber dramatic 2015 ALDS Game 5 HR that came in the craziest 7th inning any of us can recall. Of course, we’re talking about the bat flip that had the world talking. It helped solidify his place in Blue Jays lore.
Our next matchup will test your knowledge of Blue Jays history.
Next: Matchup 4: Classic Pitching