Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista closing in on strikeout record

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 20: Jose Bautista
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 20: Jose Bautista /

Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista owns a number of team records for his offensive prowess over the past ten seasons north of the border, however, the right-fielder is closing in on a strikeout record he may regretfully be the owner of by the conclusion of the 2017 campaign.

Jose Bautista is closing in on the franchise single season strikeout record currently held at 159 whiffs by both Kelly Johnson and Jose Canseco. The right-fielder is dangerously close fanning a total of 147 times thus far in his disappointing swan song season with the Blue Jays.

The outfielder who is affectionately known as “Joey Bats” is renowned for hitting moon shot blasts and coming through in the clutch but making solid contact has been a struggle of late for the aging superstar. Bautista has never struck out more than 116 times in a season and that was in 2010 when he offset the whiffs with 54 round trippers.

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The Jays still have 22 contests remaining before they officially put a fork in the 2017 season while Bautista only needs 12 more strike outs to tie the elusive mark. If I am a betting man it would appear the 36-year will not only tie the record but take over sole possession of it by the time the fat lady sings on the Blue Jays season.

Canseco set the record in 1998 in his only season with the Blue Jays and then Johnson tied the mark in 2012. Bautista holds many records he can look back on and be proud of however this will be one he would likely sooner forget as Father Time catches up with the longest tenured Blue Jay.

Bautista and the Blue Jays have a $17 million dollar mutual option for next season which will be positively turned down by the brain trust making the outfielder a free agent once again.

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Regardless of how many strike outs Bautista finishes with this season, the slugger can leave Toronto with his head held high knowing he was one of the most prolific power hitters to ever don a Blue Jays uniform in their 40-year existence.