Michael Saunders – Left Field
2016 Stats: 558 plate appearances; .253/.338/.478; .815 OPS; 24 home runs; 57 RBI
2016 ALCS Playoff Stats: 14 plate appearances; .429/.429/.643; 1 home run; 1 RBI
2020 Stats: N/A
Another Canadian outfielder in the lineup, Victoria native Michael Saunders found his way to the Toronto Blue Jays via trade with the Seattle Mariners in the 2014/2015 off-season. As the Blue Jays primary left fielder in 2016, Saunders put up career highs in doubles (32), home runs (24), and walks (59), enough to earn himself a trip to the midsummer classic. He would also have a successful ALCS run for the Blue Jays, hitting a home run while also collecting six hits in 14 plate appearances.
Saunders would leave the following off-season and sign a one year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. The tenure would be short-lived, as he would be designated for assignment midway through the season and would return to the Blue Jays to finish out the year. After some failed MiLB contracts with various teams throughout 2018 and 2019, Saunders announced his retirement on October 15th, 2019, and signed on to become the manager for the Atlanta Braves rookie league affiliate Danville Braves. While the team is no longer associated with the Braves (the Appalachian League was redone to become a collegiate league), Saunders is still listed as the manager.
Melvin Upton Jr.
2016 Stats (Blue Jays only): 165 plate appearances; .196/.261/.318; .578 OPS; 4 home runs; 16 RBI
2016 ALCS Playoff Stats: 5 plate appearances; .000/.000/.000; .000 OPS; 0 home runs; 0 RBI
2020 Stats: N/A
After spending 8 seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Melvin Upton Jr. (now know once again as B.J. Upton) spent a few seasons with the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres before the friars shipped Upton to the Blue Jays at the 2016 trade deadline. A versatile outfielder with power in the box and speed on the base paths, Upton was the perfect acquisition to help the Blue Jays secure another postseason run. Ultimately, the trade was a bit of a bust as Upton wasn’t able to get his average over .200 and while he played well in the ALDS against the Texas Rangers (.333/.429/1.000 with one home run and one RBI), he wasn’t able to find success against the Cleveland Indians, striking out in all four of his plate appearances.
Upton would start the 2017 season with the Blue Jays but would be released from the roster just as the season began. He would sign minor league deals with the San Francisco Giants (2017) and the Cleveland Indians (2018), but he would never play another MLB game. The outfielder is now turning towards a media career in baseball.