Toronto Blue Jays: Top 10 Players of the 2021 Season
Bo Bichette – 30 doubles, 29 home runs, 102 RBI, .298/.343/.484
Bo Bichette had the best offensive season by any shortstop in Blue Jays history during the 2021 season. Bichette batted all over the top of the order this season, primarily in the second spot, but really found his niche when he was moved into the fourth spot. In 51 games batting in the clean-up role, Bichette posted a slash line of .314/.352/.536 while collecting 21 extra-base hits.
Offensively speaking, Bichette was absolutely dominant as he became a 20-20 player for the first time in his career (20 home runs, 20 stolen bases). He led the league in hits (191) while leading all American League shortstops in home runs (29), RBI (102), stolen bases (25) and third in batting average (.298), which will likely lead to his first Silver Slugger award.
It was spoken often at the beginning of the season that Bichette’s downfall was his defensive play as he made 20 errors through his first 91 games this season. He even had a stretch of five errors over five games in late July, however, in his final 57 games the 23 year old made just four errors and he even went the final 20 games of the season without any. Many credit the continuous teachings of Marcus Semien for his improvement and with the habits that were built this season, you can expect continued improvement.
Marcus Semien – 39 doubles, 45 home runs, 102 RBI, .265/.334/.538
If Marcus Semien does not return to the Blue Jays, he will go down as one of the greatest one-season Blue Jays in franchise record. After not being offered a competitive contract by the Oakland Athletics after the 2020 season, Ross Atkins was able to get the former AL MVP candidate to ink a one-year deal with the Blue Jays. Semien had arguably the greatest offensive seasons by a primary second basemen in MLB history and if it wasn’t the best, he will at least have the record for home runs by a player at that position.
Semien was named AL Player of the Month in May when he collected 21 extra-base hits and had a slash line of .368/.429/.702. While all the talk is about Vladimir Guerrero Jr. or Shohei Ohtani for AL MVP, Semien will receive several votes as well. He finished second in all of baseball positional players with a 7.1 WAR and is the hands down favourite for the Silver Slugger award at his position. Semien led all second basemen in OPS (.873), home runs (45) and RBI (102), while finishing second in doubles (39) and third in stolen bases (15).
It would be hard to find a Blue Jays fan that does not want to see Semien return next season, but the Blue Jays may get priced out by the bidding war that will happen.