Out of all of the areas of this hypothetical team, I feel like their starting lineup would have the most potential. Again, there’s a reason that the Blue Jays moved on from a lot of these guys, but in some cases you could argue that they made an error buy not keeping them around. Then again, hindsight is always 20/20.
1 (CF)- Kevin Pillar (SF)- .259/.287/.432, 21 home runs, 37 doubles, 1.0 bWAR
2 (SS)- Gio Urshela (NYY)- .314/.355/.534, 21 home runs, 34 doubles, 3.4 bWAR
3 (3B)- Josh Donaldson (ATL)- .259/.379/.521, 37 home runs, 33 doubles, 6.1 bWAR
4 (DH)- Edwin Encarnacion (NYY)- .244/.344/.531, 34 home runs, 86 RBI, 2.7 bWAR
5 (1B)- Eric Thames (MIL)- .247/.346/.505, 25 home runs, 23 doubles, 1.6 bWAR
6 (C)- Yan Gomes (WAS)- .223/.316/.389, 12 home runs, 16 doubles, 1.3 bWAR
7 (2B)- Aledmys Diaz (HOU)- .271/.356/.467, 9 HR, 40 RBI, 12 doubles, 1.4 bWAR
8 (LF)- Dwight Smith Jr. (BAL)- .241/.297/.412, 13 home runs, 16 doubles, -0.9 bWAR
9 (RF)- Melky Cabrera (PIT)- .280/.313/.399, 7 home runs, 22 doubles. -1.2 bWAR
Now that’s a trip down a recent memory lane, isn’t it?
I didn’t include guys that had been prospects in the Blue Jays’ minor league system, and made the team only out of those who had actually played in Toronto at the highest level, otherwise guys like Travis d’Arnaud likely makes the team as well, and Noah Syndergaard won’t appear in the rotation either.
There are a few interesting things about this hypothetical lineup. First, Donaldson and Encarnacion continue to hit well into their mid-late thirties, and should continue to be productive next season as well. Kevin Pillar had a career power year despite moving to the spacious Oracle Park, and Gio Urshela came out of nowhere to become one of the more dangerous hitters in the American League this season.
Of course things drop off pretty heavily on the bottom half of the lineup. Diaz wasn’t bad in a back-up role in Houston, but with all due respect to Cabrera in particular, he made the team because of a lack of better options. Still, add it all up and this lineup isn’t terrible, although I’m glad that the Blue Jay are staring at a rebuild with the pieces they have now, rather than starting from here.