The Blue Jays’ 2016 lineup of Mt. Crushmore


The lineup of Mt. Crushmore – A look at a possible lineup for the upcoming season. Blue Jays offensive layout

I have been thinking about the Blue Jays lineup a ton lately and no matter how I slice it I feel that we are going to have a record amount of offense this season.  This level of tinkering may be due to the fact that this off season has been slow and I have been playing with the latest rosters on MLB the Show 2015 on my PlayStation in my spare time but regardless we still have a potent offense.  My boredom and thoughts aside, I think the following is a great lineup for the start of the season.

Leading off we have Ben Revere.  This speed demon knows how to get on base and would be a welcome sight at the top of any lineup.  Last season he put together a solid season and was sought after by the Jays management to secure the lead off spot.  Last season he collected 22 doubles and 31 steals while posting a .306 batting average and a .342 OBP.  He has hit near the .300 mark since the 2012 season and I would expect similar results from him this season with the amount of thump that follows him in the line up.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

The 2-hole brings up an interesting argument for me.  We have the raining MVP in Josh Donaldson who was the staple in the lineup for most of the season.  Donaldson raked as he stormed the castle to take the MVP crown for himself.  Donaldson posted a 8.7 WAR and mashed 41 homers with 123 RBIs.  He also batted an impressive .297 and excellent defense.  The argument I will raise is that maybe it is time for Donaldson to be batting in the 3 position and allowing Troy Tulowitzki‘s bat to emerge in the top of the order.

When Tulo is healthy he is easily the best offensive short stop in the game.  To put that into perspective in 6 of the 8 seasons in which he played around at least 90 games he hit at least 20 home runs.  Last season he only missed that by 1 home run also.  I see him having a great season very similar to Donaldson now that he is settled into the Blue Jays lineup.  Give him the protection of Donaldson and watch those numbers get lopsided.  To show how much this stretches out our lineup humor me and let’s say Tulo bats 2nd and the Bringer of Rain slides into the 3 hole.

Batting clean up you have the flair of Jose Bautista.  His late inning dramatics literally made a nation jump out of their seats last season.  Jose needs to bat behind Donaldson to protect him.  Sliding him into the 4th spot only makes sense because of the emergence of JD.  Jose is definitely one of the best hitters on the team still but his .250 batting average to me with the insane amounts of power just spells clean up to me.  Jose continued to post audacious numbers last season as he collected 29 doubles, 40 home runs and 110 RBI’s.

Batting in the 5th spot we have Edwin Encarnacion.  The Edwing will be flying high again this season as he continues to make the Rogers Centre look like a slow pitch softball arena.  According to ESPN’s Hit Tracker Online Edwin lead all of Major League baseball in No Doubt home runs with 17.  Just to put that amount of power into perspective that means 17 of his 39 homers where with out a doubt homers.  Which means 43.6 % of his homers we gone as soon as they struck his lumber.  He would be 1 of 3 Jays to collect at least 30 homers and 100 RBI’s.  The tandem was the first team to do so since the 2006 White Sox.

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The bottom of the order gets tricky but I feel this is where you put the platoon of Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak.  The combo performed well last season as both players exceeded expectations.  Colabello provided a consistent bat and won the job for the playoffs and excelled there.  Smoak showed some fine leather on defense and the thump that was needed in some key situations down the stretch.

7th belongs to Russell Martin.  He will provide a tough out near the bottom of the order with plenty of pop and upside.  Martin batted a mere .240 last season but he did post 23 home runs and 77 RBI’s.  He may have been battling some issues while catching the knuckle ball from R.A. Dickey.  Regardless he is a clutch hitter and knows how to win and lead a team.

8th is the spot for Superman… I mean Kevin Pillar.  He owns a spot in this lineup after showing off Gold Glove level performance in center field.  He also is becoming a better hitter as he continues to play everyday.  He posted a .278 batting average over 159 games and stole 25 bases.  He showed some pop also as he cracked 12 home runs and 31 doubles.

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The 9 hole goes to Ryan Goins.  This will be a part time fill I think until the slick hitting Devon Travis gets healthy but the 2 of them performed above expectations last season.  Devo won the 2nd base job out of spring training and was the rookie of the month in April.  Goins would eventually take over the job as Devo had lingering shoulder issues which hopefully got fixed in his last round of surgery.  Goins played every day from then through the playoffs.  His plus defense made highlight reals but he posted a .250 batting average with 5 homers and 45 RBI’s.  I don’t think anyone saw that coming.

This is how I think the Jays lineup should shake up at the moment.  I do think it is time to put Tulo in the 2nd spot and slide everyone down accordingly.  The Jays have a chance to have 4 guys with 30 homers and 100 RBI’s this season in Tulo, Donaldson, Bautista, and Encarnacion.  Placing them in that order I think could maximize their output.  Here’s hoping that Mt. Crushmore continues to post record numbers in offensive categories and annihilate opposing pitching.  This offense should be able to carry and pitching staff to and get us back to the post season.