Blue Jays All-Time WAR Leaders- Position Players
#8- John Olerud- 22.6 WAR
John Olerud was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1989 amateur draft out of Washington State University. The smooth-swinging first baseman would never play an inning in the minor league making his MLB debut shortly after signing with the Blue Jays in 1989.
Olerud would spend eight seasons with the Blue Jays hitting .293/.395/.471 with 109 home runs and a 22.6 WAR in 920 games. In 1993, Olerud flirted with .400 all season long before finishing with a league-leading .363 batting average.
That World Series-winning season of 1993 would also mark his best campaign for WAR as well. Olerud slashed .363/.473/.599 with 54 doubles, 24 homers, 107 runs batted in and a 7.8 WAR in 158 games. Somehow Olerud finished 3rd in AL MVP voting that year behind teammate Paul Molitor and Frank Thomas. Olerud had a higher WAR total than both of them.
Olerud would eventually leave Toronto for the New York Mets via free agency in 1997. The first baseman would play for five teams over 17 seasons retiring with a 58.2 WAR total. Olerud often gets forgotten about in the Blue Jays collection of superstars but he was a legit hitting machine.