It was a different kind of season, but it turned out to be a successful one for a young Blue Jays roster. What were the highlights of the 2020 campaign?
Although 2020 was a year that raised significant negativity in pretty much all facets of life, the Blue Jays managed to turn this year into a positive. After an offseason that surrounded the Jays in a band of uncertainty, they managed to shock most of the baseball world, finishing with a 32-28 record and a postseason berth for the first time since 2016.
Prior to the start of the season, it was a commonplace thought among the Blue Jays faithful that 2020 was supposed to be the final year of the rebuild. In that particular regard, their success in this past season could be seen as a year ahead of schedule. Even the Blue Jays own beat writers weren’t so bullish on the club before the season began.
Back in July before opening day, Blue Jays beat writer, Ben Nicholson-Smith predicted on his At The Letters podcast that the Jays would finish a couple games below .500 and that Hyun Jin Ryu would have an ERA over 3.70. He wasn’t completely unjustified to make those predictions. Most of the Blue Jays young core had only one season under their belt and Hyun Jin Ryu was coming to a much tougher hitting division.
When all was said and done, BNS was wildly wrong as the Jays would finish above .500, while Ryu would finish with an ERA well under 3.00. Needless to say, there was great uncertainty surrounding this club going into 2020 and the Jays still managed to find a way to outperform the expectations of the public. In the end, the Blue Jays success was short lived as they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Rays before October even started.
As we look ahead to greener pastures in 2021, let’s take a look back at some of the brightest moments in the 2020 season for the young Blue Jays.