Toronto Blue Jays News

Toronto Blue Jays: 2022 – High School Yearbook Awards

Henry Wright
Sep 2, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (middle) puts the Toronto home run jacket on shortstop Bo Bichette (left) after Bichette hit a two run home run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. Toronto shutout Pittsburgh 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 2, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (middle) puts the Toronto home run jacket on shortstop Bo Bichette (left) after Bichette hit a two run home run home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the ninth inning at PNC Park. Toronto shutout Pittsburgh 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Blue Jays
Aug 14, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (13) celebrates in the dugout after scoring a run against the Cleveland Guardians during the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

Most Confusing: Lourdes Gurriel Jr.

I know this isn’t an actual yearbook award but I’m using it anyways because I don’t understand Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Entering this season, Gurriel Jr. had 63 home runs in 347 games, which gave him a 162-game pace of 29. This season, he hit five in 121, for a 162-game pace of six. That does not make sense. Do you know what else doesn’t make sense? Per baseball savant, he was in the 80th percentile for average exit velocity but was in the 12th percentile for barrel percentage. To put that in perspective, he ranked 51st in MLB for average exit velocity but had a worse barrel percentage than Jonathan India, whose average exit velocity ranked 241st. That isn’t how this is supposed to work. There is almost always a direct correlation between barrel percentage and exit velocity, but I guess Lourdes just doesn’t care.

Want to hear some more stats that don’t make sense? Let’s run through a few. Per baseball savant again, his outfield jumps and arm strength both had notable drops, but his outs above average jumped 24 percentiles. From early June to late July, he had a 38-game stretch where he hit .409, and then promptly hit .232 in his last 36 games of the season. His OPS in 0-2 counts was over 200 points higher than his OPS in 2-0 counts. I’m unclear on how this one is possible, but again according to baseball savant, if he had played all his games in Cincinnati, he would have hit 12 home runs, more than double his actual total. Finally, look at his monthly splits.

I think you get the point now. Lourdes Gurriel Jr had a very confusing 2022, and I feel it merits this award.

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