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Blue Jays: There are reasons to believe in Brandon Drury

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OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 01: Brandon Drury #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays tosses his bat away after striking out for the third out against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the second inning at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on August 1, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 01: Brandon Drury #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays tosses his bat away after striking out for the third out against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the second inning at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on August 1, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Blue Jays are off to a bad start offensively and Brandon Drury is not an exception. Two weeks through the season doubts surrounding certain players start arising, especially if the player occupies Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s position.

Brandon Drury, who was acquired by the Blue Jays in July 2018 in exchange for starter J.A. Happ, is off to one of the worse starts offensively in the major leagues, in fact, he has the lowest OPS (.346) in the majors among regular players. He’s batting .130 (7 for 54) with no RBI’s (runs batted in) and no home runs. Oh, and he has struck out 24 times (42.9%). He’s been really bad at the plate, just terrible.

It’s even more disturbing when you remember the top prospect in the game, that kid called Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who’s a third baseman batting .360 with a home run and 6 RBI’s in 7 games between Single-A and Triple-A is waiting to be called up and make his long-awaited major league debut.

However, it is way too early to jump to conclusions when there are still 146 games to be played. It’s worth to remember some fans were starting to say the Blue Jays should designate for assignment Randal Grichuk after his terrible start in 2018, the year he ended with an OPS of .803 along with a team-leading (tied with Justin Smoak) 25 home runs.

In March and April 2018, Grichuk batted .106, with 2 home runs, 7 RBI’s, and an OPS of .435 in 66 at-bats and 25 games. Overall, fairly similar numbers to Drury’s so far. Grichuk would then get injured and once he came back he absolutely raked at the plate and was the most consistent hitter along Justin Smoak for the rest of the past season.

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The comparison with Grichuk’s 2018 start is just one of many that could have been made with Drury’s 2019 start, as it something that happens for many players, perhaps not as bad, but slow starts offensively happen. There are other reasons to keep believing in Drury’s talent and his importance for the Blue Jays in the future.

It seems as it’s Drury’s second season in the American League and AL East because he was a Yankee last season, however, the reality is he only played 26 games between the Blue Jays and the Yankees in 18′. Add to those 26 games 14 from this season and Drury has only played 40 games since coming to the American League. Players coming from a different league, sometimes, need some time to adapt to the pitchers in the new league, and Drury might still be in that transition period.

The interesting and somewhat exciting reason why fans have to be more patient with Drury and believe in his skills is the work he did, in the offseason prior to being traded to the Yankees from Arizona, with two coaches, Craig Wallenbrock, and Robert Van Scoyoc, in Las Vegas. These two coaches transformed J.D. Martinez‘s and Chris Taylor‘s swings some years back and the results have been impressive.

J.D. Martinez is now one of the biggest offensive threats in Major League Baseball and Chris Taylor went from being a bench player who was up and down between the minors and the big leagues to hitting 21 home runs in 2017 with a .850 OPS after hitting just 2 homers in his previous 291 at-bats in the big leagues. That’s certainly a transformation. Drury’s idea was to elevate the ball and turn many of his doubles, he hit 37 of them in 2017, into home runs.

It’d already be great news for the Blue Jays if Drury comes back to his Diamondback form at the plate but imagine if he improves his numbers like Chris Taylor and J.D. Martinez did after working with the two coaches in Las Vegas. Perhaps it’s a matter of time.

On top of those reasons already discussed, Brandon Drury is still a very young player who has shown at a very young age with the Diamondbacks that he can be an above average hitter with some pop. In his first two full major league seasons with Arizona, 2016 and 2017, he hit for a slash line of .275/.323/.453 and an OPS of .775 along 29 home runs and 116 RBI’s in 269 games. Very respectable numbers overall.

Drury is also a fine defender at the hot corner and can serve as a utility player as he’s played in every position on the field except for center field and catcher. Once Vladimir Guerrero Jr. comes up, which will be soon, he’ll certainly see more playing time at second base, especially with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. being sent down after his defensive miscues, and at third and in the outfield corners when players need rest.

Next. Blue Jays: An International Prospect not Named Guerrero Jr.. dark

But there are reasons to believe in Drury, it might just be a matter of time before he finds it out, or not, but give it more time.

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