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Blue Jays: Five bold predictions for the 2021 season

Feb 23, 2021; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays players including George Springer (left) warm up during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Toronto Blue Jays/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2021; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays players including George Springer (left) warm up during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Toronto Blue Jays/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 23, 2021; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays infielder Rowdy Tellez works out during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Toronto Blue Jays/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2021; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays infielder Rowdy Tellez works out during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Toronto Blue Jays/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports /

A bash brother too?

As excited as I am to see a full season from Bichette, and the additions of guys like Springer and Semien, I’m equally intrigued by the growth of some of their in-house hitters. I expect we’ll see big things from Hernandez again in 2021, and as long as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. can stay healthy he’s going to rake too.

But I’m legitimately pumped to see Rowdy Tellez cement his place on this roster.

The Blue Jays really do have an embarrassment of riches in their lineup, so much so that guys like Gurriel Jr. and Tellez will likely even start out in the bottom third of the order. That’s going to be exhausting for opposing pitchers, because those two can really hit, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see either of them move up as the season wears on.

When it comes to Tellez in particular, I really liked what I saw from him in 2020, as it seemed like he had turned a corner and was having a legitimate breakout as a big league hitter. It was a shame that he got hurt in the midst of a good run, but I think he’ll pick up where he left off as long as he gets a regular opportunity.

He’s going to have to fight off others for playing time, with Randal Grichuk likely serving as his biggest competition. However, I expect that his bat will force it’s way into the lineup with regularity, enough that I’ll even predict he’ll have his first 30 home run season.

I’m guessing it’ll be a bit of a slow start for Tellez in 2021 as he finds his place in the lineup, but I expect he’ll be more than established by the time we reach the All-Star break. Maybe I’ve just played too many video games, but can’t help but see Tellez as the Ortiz to Vlad Jr’s Man-Ram, and I’ve got a funny feeling that won’t seem so ridiculous in a year’s time.

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