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The top 10 Toronto Blue Jays Players of the 2010’s

Bevan Hamilton
TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 2: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays tosses his bat aside as he lines out in the eighth inning during MLB game action against the Texas Rangers on May 2, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 2: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays tosses his bat aside as he lines out in the eighth inning during MLB game action against the Texas Rangers on May 2, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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May 11, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) hits an RBI single in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Josh Donaldson: 2015-2018

That brings us into the top three Blue Jays of the 2010s and although some may switch a couple around here, everyone’s top three list would certainly have to be the same. After all, it was this trio that slugged their way into the postseason again. But, no spoilers.

Donaldson was another era-changing transaction for the Blue Jays in November 2014, when Toronto brass flipped Kendall Graveman, Sean Nolin, Franklin Barreto, and Brett Lawrie to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for the “Bringer of Rain”. And man, did he make it rain in Toronto over the next few years. Of the four prospects, only Graveman turned into anything remotely worth holding onto. It certainly was a lopsided trade for the Blue Jays.

Number 20 was a huge part of the offensive juggernaut known as the 2015 Toronto Blue Jays, who made every game a nightmare for opposing pitchers. Donaldson did what the Blue Jays acquired him to do, slugging 41 home runs and driving in a league-leading 123 runs. He also led the league in runs and total bases, and his .939 OPS ranked third in the American League. His 8.8 WAR in 2015 set a Blue Jays record for a single season, passing a player to be yet revealed on this list. Donaldson, who had finished in the top-10 MVP voting the previous two years with Oakland, was easily voted the American League Most Valuable Player for 2015, the first for the Blue Jays since George Bell in 1985. That wasn’t all though – Donaldson also was an All-Star, won a Silver Slugger, participated in the Homerun Derby amongst various other achievements. All things told it was one of the most dominant overall seasons in Blue Jays history.

Donaldson put together another outstanding 2016 season, winning another Silver Slugger, finishing fourth in MVP voting, and being named an All-Star once again. Donaldson hit 37 home runs and drove in 99, but impressively his OBP (.404) and OPS (.953) were even better than his 2015 season. In 2017, the third-baseman battled injuries but still produced at a high level with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 113 games. In August of 2018, the Blue Jays traded Donaldson to the Cleveland Indians for Julian Merryweather. The full extent of that return remains to be seen.

Donaldson hit .325 in 77 playoff at-bats with the Blue Jays, adding four home runs and 13 RBI in 20 games. He certainly did his part in every at-bat as a member of the Jays. Chants of “MVP” were common for his entire tenure and he was a big part of a whole new fanbase of baseball fans in Canada, who quickly loved the Bringer of Rain for the way he intensely played the game and all he brought to every game.

Now 38 years old, Donaldson spent one season in Atlanta before signing a four-year deal with the Minnesota Twins and the slugger continues to be a key contributor into his late thirties.

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