Blue Jays: Combining generations for an All-Time lineup
The Heart Of The Order
4- Carlos Delgado (DH)- 2000
.344/.470/.664, 41 HR, 137 RBI, 57 doubles, 7.3 bWAR
Maybe I’m wrong in saying this, but I sometimes feel like Carlos Delgado doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Those of us that were watching him during his prime years as a Blue Jay are more than aware of how dominant he was, but it was pretty easy to lose focus during those tough seasons in franchise history.
Delgado had a nearly equally impressive season in 2003, but it was in 2000 that he really announced himself as a premier hitter in the American League. He flirted with the .400 mark for a while early in the year, but never stopped providing a source of power and on-base ability. There were several great DH candidates I could have used such as Edwin Encarnacion, or even Jose Canseco (remember 1998?), but I feel that Delgado is more than deserving of a spot on this all-time squad.
5- Jose Bautista (RF)- 2011
.302/.447/.608, 43 HR, 103 RBI, 132 walks, 8.3 bWAR
When Jose Bautista got to Spring Training in 2011, everyone was wondering if his breakout 54-home run season from 2010 was a fluke. He quickly showed the baseball world that he was for real, and his All-Star status wasn’t going anywhere.
He didn’t wasn’t able to match his career high in home runs, but Bautista was an all-around star in 2011, hitting for average, power, and sporting one of the strongest outfield throwing arms in the game. And it didn’t happen until a few years down the road, but “Joey Bats” was a central building block in helping the Blue Jays become a contender again.
6. John Olerud (1B)- 1993
.363/.473/.599, 24 HR, 107 RBI, 54 doubles, 7.8 bWAR
Can you believe that John Olerud hit fifth for the Blue Jays in 1993? Sure, you could make the argument that Cito Gaston could have moved him up in the order that year, but why fix something that isn’t broken? The Blue Jays were defending their World Series from 1992, and Olerud’s emergence into the AL batting title winner was a big reason they were able to retain their crown.
That season wasn’t a fluke for Olerud either, even if it was his best season as a big leaguer. He finished his career with a .295/.398/.465 slash line across 17 seasons.