Blue Jays season preview: 5 reasons this could be the year
No. 1: Those. Damn. Bats.
It’s the obvious answer, but after seeing it on a day-to-day basis, you can’t fault people for losing perspective of just how immense Toronto’s offensive talent is.
Before looking forward, though, let’s look back.
In 2015, the Toronto Blue Jays scored 891 runs. The next closest team? The New York Yankees with 764.
That’s getting close to one run less per game for the second highest-scoring team in baseball. Drop to the halfway mark of the league where the 15th-ranked Detroit Tigers scored 689, and the differential exceeds 200 runs.
The Blue Jays also topped the league in doubles with 308, home runs with 232, RBI with 852, and fell just one point shy of top spot in batting average (hitting .269 compared to .270 by Detroit. Thanks, Miguel Cabrera).
Toronto wasn’t just gripping and ripping, though.
They also led baseball in walks with an incredible 570, but curiously ranked dead-last in intentional base on balls with 12. Even on the bases, despite ranking 12th with just 88 steals, the Blue Jays had the league’s highest success rate of stolen bases with 79.28%.
Next: The flip side: 3 reasons the Blue Jays could struggle
If you look at the players who appeared in the majority of Toronto’s lineups last season, you can essentially swap out Ben Revere for Michael Saunders and Jose Reyes for Troy Tulowitzki.
Toronto did not see the real Tulowitzki last season, and if healthy, he possesses the talent to eclipse 30 home runs with an average near the .300 mark. Even Saunders, who has shown flashes throughout his career, is coming off a very strong spring and launched a home run to straight-away centre-field on Friday night in Montreal.
Some regression is to be expected of course, but even if the Blue Jays 2015 offence can land within 20 miles (sorry, 32.19 kilometres) of last year’s effort, Toronto will be among the league leaders. Given the talent they boast from one through nine, that shouldn’t take much effort at all.