Blue Jays All-Star team over the last decade (2010-2019)

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19: Jose Bautista (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19: Jose Bautista (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 24: Jose Bautista #19 (R) of the Toronto Blue Jays shake hands with Josh Donaldson #20 after he is pulled from the game in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on September 24, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 24: Jose Bautista #19 (R) of the Toronto Blue Jays shake hands with Josh Donaldson #20 after he is pulled from the game in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre on September 24, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The lineup

The Blue Jays have had some talented hitters grace their lineup over the last decade, especially during the playoff seasons of 2015-16 when the “New Jacks” put fear into American League pitchers.

There were some impressive offensive performances outside of those two seasons as well though, which you’ll see below. Although there were some impressive rookie performances in 2019, I chose not to include any of this year’s emerging rookies, mostly because I don’t feel that they’ve quite earned the spot just yet, and again, these are my made-up rules.

Here’s how I’ve drawn it up:

RF- Jose Bautista (2011- 8.3 bWAR)
CF- Vernon Wells (2010- 4.0 bWAR)
LF- Colby Rasmus (2013-4.9 bWAR)
1B- Justin Smoak (2017- 3.5 bWAR)
2B- Devon Travis (2016- 3.0 bWAR)
SS- Yunel Escobar (2011- 4.8 bWAR)
3B- Josh Donaldson (2015- 8.5 bWAR)
C-  Russell Martin (2015- 3.0 bWAR)
DH- Edwin Encarnacion (2012- 5.0 bWAR)

Starting with the no-brainers, Bautista, Donaldson, and Encarnacion were going to make this made-up team, and I just highlighted their best season in terms of WAR. I could have used a few examples for each of them and they would have been included regardless. Martin was easily the best choice at catcher, and Travis’ inclusion reflects the lack of high-end options at second base over the past ten years rather than a standout performance. I’ll also admit that I took great joy in putting Escobar down over another notable shortstop or two, but I genuinely feel he was more valuable to the Blue Jays during this decade.

I had considered another option at first base/DH, but in the end it was the combination of EE and Smoak that won out by the numbers. As most of us will remember, Smoak really started to thrive after he was thrust into the middle of the order in 2017, but he was also an important cog in the playoffs teams as well.

The hardest part to sort out was the outfield, and I ended up cheating a little bit to make it work. Rasmus wasn’t really a left fielder, although he did play there a bit as a big leaguer. I felt that his 2013 season, when he teased us with the potential that he was brought to Toronto to put together, was more impressive than the other challengers. Vernon Wells’ best days as a Blue Jay were behind him by the time 2010 rolled around, but he still put together a couple more solid campaigns before he was traded to Anaheim.

Considering that the above nine players totalled 43.6 bWAR in their best seasons over the last decade, imagine what they would have done if they would have been assembled all at the same time?

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