Ranking the 10 best offensive seasons in Blue Jays history
2. Jose Bautista – 2011
Featured for the second time on this list, Bautista played in 10 seasons as a Blue Jay and hit 288 home runs, second-most in franchise history. His best power season was the aforementioned 2010 season when he hit 54 home runs out of nowhere. While that was a top 10 offensive season in Jays history, Bautista’s 2011 season was even better.
Even after hitting 54 home runs, questions still remained about whether that was a fluke or not. Bautista went from being a replacement-level player at best, to all of a sudden hitting 54 home runs. He proved once and for all, that his 2010 season was no fluke, and that he was even better.
His 2011 season probably doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves because the Jays were just not very good, finishing 81-81. He slashed .302/.447/.607 with 43 home runs and 103 RBI. While he didn’t hit 54, his 43 still led the American League.
For such a young franchise, the Toronto Blue Jays have had some monster offensive seasons including two MVP winners. These are the 10 best in Jays history.
Bautista had 8.4 offensive WAR which set a single-season record for the Blue Jays. An underrated part of Bautista’s game was his unbelievable plate discipline. He drew a franchise record walks that led the American League that season as well. In addition to his high walk total, he struck out 111 times. So this frightening power hitter had elite plate vision that made him pretty impossible to pitch to. That explains why he was intentionally walked a league-leading 24 times.
Bautista had an absurd 180 WRC+ which led the Major Leagues as well. Bautista finished third in league MVP voting behind Justin Verlander and Jacoby Ellsbury. I can understand Verlander winning the award because he won the Pitching Triple Crown, however, Bautista’s year was way better in my estimation than Ellsbury’s as he had a WRC+ 30 points higher with an OPS over 100 points higher and 11 more home runs.
Regardless of the MVP votes, Bautista’s 2011 season capped off a two-year stretch which saw him hit 93 home runs and put up numbers no Blue Jay has matched.