Toronto Blue Jays Top 100 (41-45)

TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 24: Marcus Stroman #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches to the Cleveland Indians in the first inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on July 24, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 24: Marcus Stroman #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches to the Cleveland Indians in the first inning during their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on July 24, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

Spring Training and Grapefruit League games are now underway, we are continuing our look at the Top 100 Blue Jays in team history. In the first instalments so far, I looked at players ranked 46-100 and today I’ll look at the next five on the list.  This is opinion based off of career stats with the club and accomplishments.

(Top Players 41-45)

#45 – Greg Zaun (2004-2008)
The journeyman catcher Greg Zaun played for nine different MLB teams and played the most for the Toronto Blue Jays as he suited up for 535 games for the team over five seasons.  Zaun put together three consecutive solid seasons from 2005-2007 where he hit double digits in home runs, while in 2005 he finished second on the team in WAR to Roy Halladay when he finished with 61 RBI.

Zaun currently sits 49th all time in home runs by Blue Jays hitters, however he’ll likely get knocked out of that spot shortly with the abundance of talent jumping onto the current team right now.

#44 – Darrin Fletcher (1999-2002)
The Blue Jays signed Darrin Fletcher to a five year deal after posting a slash line of .266/.322/.422 over six seasons in Montreal.  Fletcher proved to be a valuable signing and had arguably the most underrated and best offensive season by a Blue Jay catcher.  In 2000, Fletcher had his career season hitting 20 home runs, with a .320 BA and an .869 OPS, while striking out just 45 times over 445 plate appearances.

In total, Fletcher would play 540 games in a Blue Jays uniform and while the final two seasons he had a traumatic fall off, he finished his tenure with the team posting a slash line of .276/.318/.434 which gives him the highest batting average of any Blue Jays catcher in team history.

#43 – Todd Stottlemyre (1988-1994)
Imagine waking up and being told that you are currently pitching in Game 4 of the World Series and finding yourself lying on the ground at third base.  Well, that is what happened to former third overall pick Todd Stottlemyre.  In that important game of the World Series in 1993, Stottlemyre tried going first to third on a Roberto Alomar single but was thrown out.  The incident is what a lot of fans remember most about the right handed pitcher.

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What many forget about Stottlemyre is that he was a former top draft pick who had double digit wins in four consecutive seasons and was dominant during the 1992 World Series run.  During that  regular season Stottlemyre finished with a 12-11 record, but with the late addition of David Cone he was moved to the bullpen for the playoffs.  In the ALCS he came in relief in the fourth inning of Game 4 with the team down 5-1 and was able to keep Oakland at bay allowing just one run over 3.2 innings pitched, which gave the offence a chance to come back to tie the game late and win it in extra innings.  In the World Series he was used on four occasions out of the bullpen and did not allow a run over 3.2 IP.

Over his seven years in Toronto, Stottlemyre finished with 69 wins which currently sits him eighth on the team all time.

#42. Rance Mulliniks (1982-1992)
During Spring Training 1982, the Blue Jays acquired 26-year old infielder Rance Mulliniks from the Kansas City Royals for Phil Huffman.  Huffman would go on to pitch in two games for the remainder of his career, while the Blue Jays got a key asset for the next decade.

Mulliniks was a defensive specialist at third base and holds the single season record for fielding percentage by a third baseman.  To go with that, Mulliniks had seven consecutive seasons of 20+ doubles, hit double digit home runs in five of his seasons and finished his 11 year career with a slash line of .280/.365/.424.  While Mulliniks is unknown to a lot of younger Blue Jays fans, he was a solid player that the only thing he lacked was base stealing ability and raw power.  He often finished with more walks than strikeouts and leads’ the Blue Jays in career pinch hits (59).

#41. Marcus Stroman (2014-2019)
Marcus Stroman was a pure bulldog during his tenure with the Toronto Blue Jays.  The former 22nd overall pick was always in the mix of the battle and was determined to do anything to better himself.  When he was drafted out of Duke, his coach said of all the draft picks he was the most major league ready and Stroman proved him right by rolling through the minor league system.  Just under two years after being drafted he found himself pitching in the major leagues.

Stroman would finish his rookie season with an 11-6 record and 3.65 ERA that included a complete game shutout.  In 2015, Stroman was slated to be a key factor of the rotation, however went down to injury in Spring Training that was expected to keep him out for the remainder of the season.  Stroman vowed to make it back for the fall run to the playoffs and he made good.  The right handed pitcher made four starts in September, winning all of them, which three of them were quality starts.

He was just as good in the playoffs as he pitched 13 innings over two starts posting an ERA of 3.46 and WHIP of 1.08 during the ALDS.  In total, Stroman would start five postseason games during the 2015 and 2016 seasons.  Stroman finished his six year Blue Jays career with a 47-45 record along with a Gold Glove Award and one All-Star appearance.

Next. Blue Jays Top 100 (46-50). dark

In the next segment of the Top 100 Players, we’ll see four relief pitchers and a Silver Slugger.