Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays: Assembling the all-time team of biggest busts

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 22: Travis Snider #45 of the Toronto Blue Jays at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on July 22, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 22: Travis Snider #45 of the Toronto Blue Jays at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on July 22, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, CANADA – AUGUST 7: Colby Rasmus /

The outfield

LF- Travis Snider

Before Vladimir Guerrero Jr., I can’t personally remember a Blue Jay minor leaguer that was hyped more than Travis Snider.

He broke into the big leagues as a 20 year old, and looked like a lock to be a middle of the order hitter in Toronto for a long time. Not surprisingly he had a tough time adjusting to the big leagues in the early part of his career, so the Blue Jays made a bit of a habit of sending him down to Buffalo when he started to struggle.

Unfortunately that never really changed throughout his time as a Blue Jay, as he continued to yo-yo up and down in the system, and never really grabbed a full-time job for any extend length of time. You could argue that the Blue Jays never gave him the full opportunity he should have had, but hindsight is 20/20, and it’s hard to say if that would have made a difference.

He last appeared in a big league game in 2015 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

CF- Colby Rasmus

One of Alex Anthopoulos’ biggest moves in the early part of his tenure as the Blue Jays GM was to trade for Colby Rasmus of the St. Louis Cardinals.

At the time he looked like a budding star with the potential to bring five tools to the table with a new team. He was a combination of power and speed the Blue Jays had been looking for in centre field, and he was supposed to lock down the position for years to come when he arrived in 2004.

While he showed plenty of flashes of promise, he was never truly able to put it together in Toronto, or elsewhere for that matter. His best season came in 2013 when he hit .276/.338/.501 with 22 home runs and 66 RBI in 118 games. Unfortunately he was unable to build on, or even repeat those numbers, and he’s barely hanging on these days.

Now 32, Rasmus appeared has appeared in 18 games with the Orioles in 2018, hitting .133/.204/.222 in just 45 at bats.

RF- Dalton Pompey

I’m cheating here because Pompey is really more of a centre fielder, and has appeared more in left than in right field. Still, when I thought about the outfielders of the last four-plus decades, he’s one name that really stuck out as a disappointment. I considered making an argument for Jose Cruz Jr., mostly because of the hype that came with him when he arrived from Seattle, but instead I’ll go with the current member of the organization.

Pompey was supposed to be the centre fielder of the future in Toronto. Maybe that was unfair pressure to put on a former 16th round pick, and was probably as much about his being from Missisauga as anything. That said, he’s a talented guy and looked like he could profile as the leadoff hitter the Blue Jays needed, and the speedy gloveman in centre.

After a failed attempt as a rookie in 2014, Pompey has battled injuries for several years now and has spent this season in Buffalo. The rope could be getting awfully short for him, and I’m not sure there’s a guarantee that he’s still around this team next year, but that remains to be seen.

DH- Frank Thomas

If Kendrys Morales had been designated for assignment back when he was struggling in May, he’d likely occupy this spot right now. Instead he’s completely turned his season around and has been arguably the best hitter on the Blue Jays this year. Who woulda thunk it?

Instead of Morales taking the spot, I believe it still belongs to a Hall of Famer who spent some late tiem in his career in Toronto. The Blue Jays signed Frank Thomas to a two year deal after 16 seasons with the White Sox.

He managed to overcome a very slow start to his first year in Toronto to put up 26 home runs and 95 RBI, but it was clear that the fit was anything but perfect. After another rough beginning to his season in his age 40 season in 2008, Thomas quickly grew frustrated by being benched, and even blamed the his contract incentives for his time out of the lineup, despite his .167 batting average.

He was eventually released and landed in Oakland, where he would finish out the season, and his storied career. It’s too bad things didn’t go better for him in Toronto, as it was pretty cool seeing the giant stand in the box while wearing the Blue Jay colours.

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