Blue Jays OF Junior Lake: Flipping bats and fitting in


Blue Jays outfielder Junior Lake made noise in the MLB’s Caribbean Series last night, doing his best Jose Bautista bat flip impersonation on a deep home run

At the right moment, and on the right night, Blue Jays outfielder Junior Lake looks like an All Star. It’s what makes him one of the more interesting and unpredictable factors on the Toronto roster as he enters 2016 on the back end of the outfield depth conversation.

On Tuesday, the 25-year-old Lake launched a late home run for the Dominican Republic off Wil Ledezma to break a 5-5 with Venezuela. The Venezuelan’s would eventually claw back for an 8-7 victory, but for our own selfish purposes, Lake’s moment was the one that mattered. 

Lake went 3-for-5 on the night with two runs and two RBI, though as of mid-afternoon Wednesday, reports indicate that he is still staring down his home run.

Home run antics aren’t new to Lake, who caused benches to clear this past season in a game against the Miami Marlins. Lake may need to work on his counting and logic tools, as the home run below brought the Cubs within four runs in the sixth inning, but I digress.

While Lake’s supporting tools and the consistency of his play still leave much to be desired, the ceiling of his raw power and throwing arm are immense.

Perhaps being in the same building as Jose Bautista will be a perfect match for Lake, assuming he’s open to the influence. Bautista did not become the player we know until his age-29 season with the Blue Jays in 2009. Prior to that, Bautista held a .729 OPS over 575 career games.

If Lake can align his many moving pieces, there’s a chance he could surprise this spring and begin to earn those major league bat-flips.