Blue Jays: WAR update at the quarter-mark of the season

Graeme Wallace
TORONTO, ON - MAY 21: Alek Manoah #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches in the first inning of their MLB game against the Cincinnati Reds at Rogers Centre on May 21, 2022 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 21: Alek Manoah #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches in the first inning of their MLB game against the Cincinnati Reds at Rogers Centre on May 21, 2022 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Blue Jays have officially played just over one-quarter of their scheduled regular-season games so far this season.

It’s a good time to check in on how the team is doing and also to take a look at some individual statistics, both traditional and modern.

Here’s a look at the WAR stats (using Baseball Reference) for some of the team’s key members and how they project throughout the full season.

Blue Jays: WAR update – Infield

Santiago Espinal (1.5) was expected to be a key contributor this season but still in a utility-type of role. It took him about two weeks to soar past those expectations, and he’s still flying high above them.

Not only has Espinal established himself as an everyday player, but it’s also reasonable to say he’s been their most consistent performer. He’s in the midst of a 15-game hitting streak and his 13 doubles are a team-high. The fact that he’s on pace for a 6+ WAR season is a testament to the hard work and dedication to improving “Santi” has shown from day one.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (WAR 0.9) hasn’t had the same success as he enjoyed last year, and, as expected, it’s reflected in the numbers. He’s hitting just .235 with one home run over 68 at-bats in May.

Whether it’s the “dead ball”, shorter camp, the weather still warming up, or the league catching up to him, Guerrero Jr. just hasn’t had the same sting in his bat in 2022. Still, him having a season hitting in the .280-.300 range with 30+ homers and 90 RBI and a WAR in the 4-5 range is achievable and wouldn’t be that much of a drop-off.

Bo Bichette (0.4) was, stunningly, mired in the negative portion of the WAR stat for much of the first month of the season. The month of May has represented a shift in Bo’s production.

Bichette is hitting .280 with four homers and 13 RBI for the month. He’s also looked sharper in the field. Although his six errors suggest he’s on pace to match last year’s total of 24, only two have come in May.

Matt Chapman (0.3) has come as advertised as far as his ability to be a defensive anchor at third base is concerned. His offensive numbers haven’t been great but there’s hope that they could improve with better luck. His BAbip is only .222, far below the major-league average of .295.

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