Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
The last serious candidate for the All-Star honour would be Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and that’s sure saying something after the way his season started.
For a player who began the year by hitting .175 in his first 13 games, got demoted to Triple-A, and has switched positions, how could Gurriel Jr. possibly be considered as the best candidate to represent the Blue Jays in Cleveland this summer? Well, he’s been destroying the ball ever since he got back.
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The 25-year-old showed flashes of this potential last year when he was a rookie, but he’s been on a whole new level over the last 30 games. He’s now pushed his slash line up to .304/.351/.615 and has 12 home runs, 12 doubles, and 30 RBI. Add in the fact that he’s adjusted very well to left field, and has even proven to be a weapon out there with six outfield assists, and Gurriel Jr. has been the Blue Jays’ best player over the last month.
Is that enough to get Gurriel Jr. to the All-Star game? It’s possible, especially if he continues to tear the cover off of the ball before the league breaks for the official end of the first half.
If he hadn’t started off so poorly and spent a decent chunk of the year in Buffalo, then I would think he would be the slam dunk choice to represent the Blue Jays. It could come down to what the Cora and AL team need to fill out the roster as well, but I also think the previous three candidates are just slightly ahead of Gurriel Jr. right now, simply because of the consistency of their contribution. Something tells me this won’t be the last time we’re talking about Gurriel Jr. as a candidate for the All-Star game though either, and he should be in a Blue Jays’ jersey for a long time.
Given their place in the standings and the amount of other deserving players around the American League, I don’t think the Blue Jays will get more than one player on the AL roster. Injuries and availability could change that, but otherwise I would expect we’ll see just one player pick up the honour, and if it’s any of the four players I’ve mentioned here, it’ll be their first selection.
Now that we’ve had a look, who would you choose as the Blue Jays’ All-Star representative? Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments section below.