Toronto Blue Jays: A review of some 2021 Predictions

Sep 20, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Marcus Semien (10) waits on deck to bat against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 20, 2021; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Marcus Semien (10) waits on deck to bat against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Prior the 2021 Blue Jays season, Site Expert Chris Henderson made five bold predictions for the year that was to come.

Now that we are well into the offseason, I thought it would be fun to look back to see how Chris did with his predictions.

1.       Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be the Blue Jays bester hitter in 2021.
Not only was Vladimir Guerrero Jr the best hitter on the Blue Jays hitter in 2021, but he was the best hitter in the American League.  Guerrero Jr. would finish second in AL-MVP voting, however, would take home the Silver Slugger for the top offensive first basemen, as well as the Hank Aaron Award as the top hitter in the American League.
Prediction: Correct

2.       A Bash Brother (Rowdy Tellez) too?
Chris predicted that Rowdy Tellez would have a break out in 2021 that would see him have his first 30 home run season.  Tellez had trouble finding regular at-bats with the abundance of offence on the club this season, which led to a slash line of .183/.222/.267 with just one home run over 63 plate appearances through the team’s first 22 games of the season.  The slow start resulted in Tellez being optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.

Tellez would be recalled in early May, but he still struggled to get things going and after 50 games and just four home runs with a slash line of .209/.272/.338 he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Trevor Richards and a prospect.  Tellez turned things around with the Brewers as he finished with seven more home runs and a batting average of .272, however, it was never a 30-home run pace
Prediction: Incorrect

3.       We’ll get the big trade later?

The article talks about how we may have been expecting a big trade during the offseason, but nothing every materialized.  Chris mentioned he believed the Blue Jays would be set up for a blockbuster during the season and even stated, “The point is, the Blue Jays are going to be well positioned to improve the rotation through the trade markets this summer”.

Chris was bang on with this prediction as the club moved two of their top prospects in Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson.  In return, the club got one of the most durable arms in the major leagues in Jose Berrios.  Berrios came with an additional year of control and he looked exactly like a pitcher with front of the rotation stuff.

In 12 starts, Berrios posted a 5-4 record with a 3.58 ERA.  Down the stretch Berrios was a stud, as  he posted a 4-2 record with a 2.93 ERA over his final seven appearances, while striking out 53 batters to just five walks.  What made the trade even better was that Berrios signed an extension at the end of the season to a seven-year deal (player opt out option after four years).
Prediction: Correct

4.       Jordan Romano will be the closer by the end of the season

Going into the 2021 campaign it was unclear who was going to be the closer for the season.  The club had just signed Kirby Yates and the team had Rafael Dolis who had experience as a closer, along with Julian Merryweather and Jordan Romano looking like they were 9th-inning material.

Yates would never throw a regular season pitch for the club as he went down with an injury for the season before it started, and I don’t even want to get into what Dolis was like to watch, while Merryweather continued going through injury troubles.

The Canadian-born Romano earned his first save in early May, but did not become the permanent closer until later that month.  After taking over the role on May 27, Romano was a perfect 22 for 22 in save opportunities while posting a 2.14 ERA striking out 62 batters over 46 innings over the remainder of the season.  Romano seemed to thrive on pressure situations as posted a 1.23 ERA in save situations compared to a 2.94 ERA in non-save opportunities.
Prediction: Correct

5.       The Blue Jays will return to Toronto this season

Chris full out said he was trying to send out some positive energy in hopes the team would get back north of the border for part of the season.  His prediction was August or September you would see the Blue Jays return to Toronto.  It was two-days earlier that what Chris predicted and on July 30, 2021, the Blue Jays returned to Rogers Centre in Toronto.  It had been 670 days since the team last played in front of their Canadian fans and it was an exciting game.

The game was the first of a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals, and the Blue Jays would sweep the series.  George Springer would collect three hits including a pair of doubles, while Teoscar Hernandez and Bo Bichette would each hit home runs.  The game would finish off with an incredible over the shoulder barehanded catch by Santiago Espinal.
Prediction: Correct

Next. The next prove it deal. dark

Chris finished his predictions off going 4 for 5 (.800) which in baseball statistics would be video game type numbers.  The question now is what type of predictions does Chris Henderson have for us in 2022?