2 Blue Jays who have exceeded expectations and 2 who have fallen short through 50 games

Whit Merrifield and Kevin Kiermaier
Whit Merrifield and Kevin Kiermaier / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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Exceeding Expectations

Kevin Kiermaier

Kevin Kiermaier was signed this past offseason by the Jays, primarily to shore up their outfield defence. Based on his resume, they weren’t expecting too much in terms of offence, so any little offensive output that he could provide would be an added bonus as a result. But boy, has he delivered big time and much, much more.

Hitting out of the nine hole for the majority of the season so far, Kiermaier has produced a .313 average, .841 OPS, an OPS+ of 135 (all career highs so far), to go along with 21 runs scored, five stolen bases, three home runs and 14 RBI. On any other team, he probably would have been moved up further in the lineup to maximize his production and contribution to the team, but the Jays preferred to have him in the nine slot to set the table for the big guns at the top of the lineup. In doing so, Kiermaier is probably currently one of the best nine-hole batters in all the league right now.

This is all without mentioning the fact that Kiermaier has also been providing exceptional defence to go along with his surprising offensive outburst, with 10 DRS already on the season and no errors committed over 334 innings played. Overall, he has definitely performed way above expectations, and as wild as it may sound, he is probably the Jays’ underrated MVP so far this season, getting it done on both sides of the field.