Blue Jays: The SS standard, and our expectations of Goins
The Start of the Century
2000-01- Alex Gonzalez
The Blue Jays drafted Alex Gonzalez in 1991 and he became their primary shortstop in 1995, holding the job until he left for the Chicago Cubs in 2002. He was definitely a solid shortstop throughout his time with the Blue Jays, and he was pretty solid in 2000-01. He hit .252 and .253, and also added some decent pop, hitting 32 home runs and 145 RBI in those two seasons.
Those were two of his better seasons with the Blue Jays, but unfortunately he left town just as he was finding his power stroke, a nice feature from the shortstop position, especially in the era. While he never quite lived up to the billing the Blue Jays had for him as a youngster, he was one of the better shortstops of the last 20 years. Still, he earned just 0.7 bWAR in 2000, and 1.9 in 2001.
2002- Chris Woodward/Felipe Lopez
The Jays relied on a combination of Chris Woodward and Felipe Lopez in 2002, and it wasn’t one of the stronger years at the position. Woodward played in 90 games and had one of the better seasons of his career, hitting .276/.330/.468 with 13 home runs and 45 RBI. He played all over the diamond, but was one of the primary options at shortstop, earning a career high of 2.3 bWAR.
The power numbers were both career highs, and the batting average was one of the better years of his career, but still it was a transition year that allowed for that much opportunity for the career utility infielder. Lopez played in 85 games and hit .227/.287/.387 as a 22 year old. He mostly struggled throughout his young career before he became an All-Star in 2005, but unfortunately he was with the Cincinnati Reds by then.