Blue Jays’ Ryan Goins has excelled in the clutch

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 25: Jose Bautista
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 25: Jose Bautista /

Toronto Blue Jays utility infielder Ryan Goins has made the most of his opportunities with runners in scoring position despite a less than inspiring .213 batting average and .606 OPS this season.

Ryan Goins connected for his 5th home run and bumped his runs batted in total to 39 last night in a lopsided loss to the Houston Astros. Goins now sits 4th on the team in runs batted in only behind Justin Smoak (74), Kendrys Morales (57) and Jose Bautista (45).

Let that marinate for awhile, Goins is 4th on the team in runs batted in. Nothing against Goins but nobody on the face of the planet would have bet at the beginning of the 2017 campaign that the defensive specialist would be perched ahead of Josh Donaldson, Russell Martin, Steve Pearce, Troy Tulowitzki and Kevin Pillar in that offensive category.

Goins is batting .328 with a .984 OPS in 67 plate appearances with runners in scoring position. Compare those numbers to Bautista and Tulowitzki who are batting .198 and .190 respectively with runners in scoring position. That is no question a tell tale sign why the Blue Jays are treading water in the basement of the AL East.

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The Blue Jays new “King of Clutch” has been utilizing a strike early approach at the plate and the game plan appears to be paying off. Goins is batting .467 on the first pitch swings and 22 of his runs batted in have come with two-outs. If only Goins could harness those at bats and produce with nobody on base as he is currently hitting .173 when the bases are empty.

There is no questioning that Goins can still leave much to be desired at the dish but the infielder has figured out a way to contribute and help his team win even though he is slashing below the league average at .213/.268/.337 and striking out at a 19.2% clip.

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Goins has more than tripled his runs batted in output from just a season ago when he knocked in only 12 all season long. With the injury and uncertainty around the future of Devon Travis, it is refreshing to see “Go Go” contribute with something other than the leather.