The Blue Jays have had a strong start to the season as they’ve won all but one series, which the only one they did not take they split with the Yankees.
What is impressive is the offence has yet to get going at the plate as there are not many players living up to their capabilities.
Here is a look at who has been hot and who has been cold at the plate over the two weeks leading up to the New York Yankees series.
George Springer – 13 Games – 13 for 46 (.283)
It is just not just the respectable .283 batting average that has George Springer as one of the hottest hitters on the team, it is the fact he had twice as many home runs (4) as the next teammate over the last two weeks. Springer continuously came up as a leader as he twice started off games with a home runs, as well as tying the game in the ninth inning with a home run. Springer has been a tough out as he struck out just seven times in 53 plate appearances during the time frame we’re looking at today.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr – 14 Games – 15 for 50 (.300)
Lourdes Gurriel Jr led the team in hits (15), doubles (4), extra-base hits (6) and batting average (.300) over the past two weeks. In past years Gurriel Jr has come on strong later in the season, but this year he is having one of his best starts. The strong armed left fielder exited April with a slash line of .289/.330/.434, compared to years past where his average is .243/.286/.358. If Gurriel has taken another step in his development, it will be very exciting to see what he can do this year.
Santiago Espinal – 14 Games – 12 for 44 (.273)
I think it is safe to say that Santiago Espinal has taken over the starting second base job full-time for the foreseeable future. Espinal has become a fan favourite in Toronto because of his hard work and determination to continually get better. Over the last two weeks, Espinal had played in each game, starting in 12 of them. He currently sits third on the season in Team WAR behind just Alek Manoah and George Springer and tied with Kevin Gausman. Over the last two weeks, Espinal had hit five extra-base hits including a pair of home runs, as well as driving in eight runs and stealing a pair of bases.
Bradley Zimmer – 11 Games – 2 for 22 (.091)
The Blue Jays acquired Bradley Zimmer on April 8 for Anthony Castro and he was given a great opportunity after the injury to Teoscar Hernandez, unfortunately he has not been able to capitalize on his opportunity.
To be fair he did raise his average over the last two weeks, but that was because he was 0 for 8 before this span had started. Zimmer struck out in 13 of the 30 at bats and forced just one walk. Zimmer’s speed is his biggest asset, but he was 0 for 1 stealing bases, albeit you need to get on base to get opportunities to steal. The one bright side is he brings good defensive capabilities, but with Hernandez getting close to returning, Zimmer will likely fall off the active roster.
The Blue Jays are still waiting for the sluggers of the club to get going, but so far they have been good enough to help the club pick up wins.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr – 13 Games – 11 for 46 (.239)
I’m being a little tough on Vladimir Guerrero Jr, but by his standards this is a cold streak. Guerrero had just two extra-base hits in 55 plate appearances over the last two weeks, only one of which was a home run. Vlady is on a 1-19 stretch over his last five games and has been visually upset with calls at the plate. Despite his struggles, he struck out just 11 times to eight walks, which for a cold stretch is not too bad. Here is hoping he starts to catch fire soon.
Zack Collins – 8 Games – 6 for 30 (.200)
Zack Collins had some impressive outings so far this season, but far too often he has been swing and miss at the plate. Over the last two weeks, Collins had a pair of home runs as well as a double to go with four RBI in just eight games. However, in 30 at bats he struck out 14 times to just two walks and had multiple strikeout games in five of his eight games, including an 0-4 with four strikeouts in the series opener against Houston last Friday.